Investing in employee training programs has become a standard practice in organizations worldwide. In 2022, organizations in the US alone crossed the $100 Billion mark in corporate training expenditure.
Many employees consider a good L&D program to be one of the most influential factors when it comes to choosing a workplace. An effective training program not only benefits employees personally but also ensures positive business outcomes for the organization.
That leads us to the question: how does one measure the effectiveness of a training program?
The answer isn’t particularly straightforward. There are many different evaluation models that companies can use to measure the impact of their training. In this article, we will focus on one of the best-known models for measuring the effectiveness of an educational program: the Kirkpatrick’s model.
Why Do You Need to Evaluate Your Training Program’s Effectiveness?
Impactful training can go a long way in building employees’ skills and enhancing their confidence and trust in their employer. Knowing that an organization invests in the personal development of its employees by offering meaningful training opportunities significantly reduces turnover and boosts productivity.
But the benefits are not just limited to employees. It is also in a corporation’s interest to determine the ROI of its training efforts. By evaluating how effective their training program is, they can justify their training costs. Not to mention, good training programs can positively impact the company’s bottom line.
It also helps redirect investment in pieces of training that are more effective than others. Training can sometimes be a hit or a miss. Depending on the employee demographic and the nature of the work, certain types of training may not be successful. The only way to determine that is by measuring training impact.
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Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model
Developed in the 1950s by the University of Wisconsin Professor Donald Kirkpatrick, the model outlines a four-level approach to evaluating the effectiveness of employee training programs.
Level 1: Reaction
The first level determines the learners’ reaction to the training. This means measuring the relevance or usefulness of the program from a learner’s perspective. Learners may be asked to comment on the usefulness of the training using a variety of different methods.
Learner reaction is usually measured both qualitatively and quantitatively by asking learners some questions. Qualitative surveys may include questions like what particular areas the learners found the most helpful or whether they would recommend this training to others. Quantitative data may include analytics data like completion rates, Net Promoter Score, or having the learners rate the training on a scale.
Level 2: Learning
Next, the model evaluates how well the learning intervention met its intended objectives. In other words, organizations need to measure how well the trainees have acquired the knowledge or skills after the training.
This can be done by assessments or post-training interviews where the learners can be tested on key areas covered in the training. Additionally, peer review and supervisor feedback can be used to determine the acquisition of skills and knowledge.
Level 3: Behavior
The third level in Kirkpatrick’s model measures the degree to which the trainees apply what they have learned in their daily tasks, once the training is over. In particular, close attention is paid to the behavior of the learners. For example, whether the learner exhibits greater confidence or motivation post-training. This can mostly be determined by third-party observations or by the employees’ self-assessments.
Level 4: Impact
Finally, the organization must determine how well the training efforts achieved their business outcomes. This can range from measuring customer satisfaction to better sales and anything in between. It is also important to note that the impact must also be measured with regard to employee retention and better work output.
By conducting surveys among customers and employees, it is possible to measure the impact. Another way to do so would be by comparing the overall trends in employee turnover or quarterly profits.
Create Effective Training Programs with Edly
Measuring the effectiveness of workplace training programs can help organizations determine what pieces of training their employees respond best to, and how it affects their overall business goals. This can streamline the creation of new programs. It can also help identify areas of improvement and address any knowledge gaps that older programs may have resulted in.
Creating effective training programs is no easy feat. Edly can provide you with all the tools you need to create the training program that fits your organization’s needs.
We even created a custom survey and rating system that you can add directly to your courses with the ratings pushed onto your Discovery site for your prospective learners and customers. Ready to take a look? Get in touch with us today or try our platform for free!