Friday, June 2, 2023

How do you Measure the Effectiveness of Training?

The training programs are often conducted in institutes and corporates to train their people to learn something new. This way, the people become skilled in their profession and perform their best. That is why it is essential to measure how much people have learned from their training programs. How effectively they are applying those skills. The reason why this assessment is important is that they help you to determine the returns on your investment. Corporates can schedule and plan better for their training. 

That is why some evaluation metrics are designed to measure the effectiveness of training. They give you a realistic picture of how much the programs have worked on people and what areas of improvement one actually require. improvements. Organizations today invest in training programs and witness the Effectiveness of Employee Training through various measures. Other common evaluation metrics are employee satisfaction, behavior changes, learning outcomes, and performance  

Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Training

As briefed, there is a number of ways in which we can measure how effectively the training programs work. Those are briefed below:

Training KPIs

KPIs of Key Performance Indicators are the tools that help us to measure the progress of training. Some of the popular KPIs used by companies are conversion rate, customer retention rate, order fulfillment cycle time, employee engagement, and monthly sales growth.

Training Assessments

As already said and guessed, assessments are helpful in determining the knowledge level of the employees. So the companies conduct the assessments on three levels:

Pre-training assessments: these are conducted right before the training. They really check the initial level of information the person knows. It tells where the employees stand before receiving any training.

Mid-training: we can say that it is a spontaneous level of training for the candidates. We can really check what the employees really grasp at the time of receiving the training (for example, pop quiz). Although this step is optional.

Post-training assessment: lastly, this post-training assessment is conducted. The scores are then compared to the pre-training assessments. The higher scores tell that there are improvements in the employees. And the lower scores tell that there need to be improvements among employees. 

Evaluation models

The evaluation models are popular among HRs to assess employee performance. So here are some of the evaluation models used by the companies.

  • Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation model
  • The Philips ROI model
  • Kaufman’s five levels of evaluation
  • Anderson’s model of Learning Evaluation
  • Summative vs. Formative Evaluation  

However, Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation model is popularly used in companies and institutions. Because it is trusted more for its effectiveness. From here on, I will be describing this model. 

Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation model

Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation model is developed by Wisconsin professor “Donald Kirkpatrick,” during the 1950s. This model has 4 levels. All of these four levels are great at measuring the success of the training programs. Here is a brief description of all of them. 

Level 1- Reaction

As the name suggests, this level is all about determining the reaction of the recipients of training. So it receives feedback in various forms. one such form is through direct verbal communication, and the other is through questionnaires. All of these methods have their pros and cons. Different people have different attitudes regarding the training. So some of the helpful questions to ask for opinions are:

  • How much relevant was the course content? Was it easy or difficult?
  • What did they learn, and what are their key takeaways?
  • Ask them questions regarding the pace of training and the ways in which they grasped the subject matter.

 Such questions give you a reality check on whether they found the training to be useful or not. Moving on to the next level, “Learning.”

Level 2 – Learning

This level determines the skills and knowledge the trainees have grasped. Some of the popularly used metrics for this purpose are:

  • Assessments to check the scores. Thereafter they determine how much of the skills are retained.
  • Evaluation through the assigned projects.
  • Influence on performance KPIs

Another important aspect to look for is certification and course completion. Lastly, feedback from the supervisors is also very important. This level gives you a clear picture of your training objectives meeting reality. Hence, the areas of strengths and improvements are concluded. 

Level 3 – Behaviour

This is important for all levels. This step determines how much the people have retained their learnings. Thereafter applying those learnings and key takeaways at their workplace. The key metrics to measure this purpose are briefed below:  

  • Informal feedback from peers and management
  • Focus groups
  • On-the-job observation
  • Customer surveys, comments, or complaints. 

The core objective is to watch how much the learning has worked for employees in their place. Whether or not they are able to apply those skill sets?

Level 4 – Results

This last phase assures that your training has worked well with the people or not. We can use different measures to determine its effectiveness. If the organization is able to witness some positive changes in their work areas. Some key metrics to ensure this are:

  • Faster project completion
  • Improved costs 
  • Returns on Investment(ROIs)
  • Increased quality of work. 
  • Sales and the generated leads. 
  • Employee morale 
  • Customer satisfaction index


Finally, we can say that evaluation methods have become an important part of the organization. Since this involves dedicated time and resources, some organizations may find it expensive. Or it just doesn’t meet their budgets. It is not always important to measure with all the indicators and assessments. Some of the measurements also work. The organization should then be able to utilize its resources in the best way possible. Training ensures that the employees upskill and provide better performance in their workplace.