So your institution just purchased a new reporting solution and you would like to train your employees on this product. Or perhaps you had a recent turnover in staff and would like to train these new individuals on the existing software without having to utilize precious internal resources. Either way, you reach out to your software vendor and purchase official product training.
Once the training occurs, then what?
Since you invested your resources (time and money) in your employees, it’s only natural that you want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. So how can you tell if the training was sufficient and effective? How can you tell that you got exactly what you paid for?
It might sound like common sense, but the most effective way to gauge the results of training is to receive feedback – from your employees and from the trainer. Additionally, and probably what will be the most useful metric for assessing outcomes, is to simply let the results speak for themselves. See first-hand how your employees are utilizing the software.
Feedback from your employees
If you want to know how things went for your employees in their training session, be direct! Set aside some time with them to ask how they felt about everything.
Some possible questions include:
- Do you feel like you can immediately use what you learned?
- Were all of your questions addressed by the trainer?
- Were you comfortable with the pace of the training?
- Would you recommend this training to your peers?
- Overall, how did you feel about the training?
You can first do this as a group, which encourages discussion and an exploration of any issues that may have arisen. However, it is also smart to meet with each attendee individually. A one-on-one setting may be more conducive to an open expression of opinions that are not shared
Feedback from the trainer
While soliciting feedback from employees is a great way to get a feel for how a training engagement went, it doesn’t paint the whole picture. It’s important to factor in feedback from the trainer, as well.
After working closely with your employees for consecutive hours or days, he/she will have a good idea of how well the training went based on:
- General attentiveness of the participants
- Quantity and quality of questions asked by the attendees
- Ability for attendees to apply concepts to training exercises
The trainer can then, based on these observations, report their thoughts and opinions to you, the manager. This will often be accompanied by a formal evaluation, also known as a trip report, which summarizes training activities and offers recommendations.
Results speak for themselves
In the end, probably the most effective way to gauge the effectiveness of training is to let the results speak for themselves. Have your employees applied what they learned during the training session? Are they able to successfully use the application or product as intended? Do they appear to be struggling with anything related to the training material?
If you’ll recall, in our previous blog (Successful Training Starts With the Manager), we said that one of the ways a manager can help ensure that training is successful is to have reporting assignments ready to go as soon as the employees return to their desk. By immediately putting their newfound skills and knowledge to work, you can quickly evaluate how well they have mastered them.
The success of the individuals who participated in training is a direct reflection of the quality of training. So, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate its effectiveness through feedback and observation. In doing so, you are assuring the success of your employees and of your institution as a whole.