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Measuring Training Efficacy – What’s Working, What’s Not

Human Capital – correction – efficient Human Capital, has always been one of the greatest asset an organisation can have. A country having a strong human capital formation is considered to be a benchmark for successful economic growth and development. It is no wonder why the most successful countries have organisations who spend a huge amount of their annual budget on the Training and Development of their employees. Why? The reason is simple. By increasing their knowledge and skills, the organisation will have efficient and productive employees. When employees are efficient and productive, the company enjoys profit, growth and goodwill.

Having said this, what every organisation has to ensure is that, the training and developmental activities provided are effective.

The question now is – How do you know that your training has been successful ?

When a person attends a training program, he does it with the intention of learning a certain skill or enhancing existing skills which will empower him to be successful. This in turn will help him do better at his workplace or in his business. Another way of saying this is, it will give new wind to his sails, which will help him reach his goals, faster.

How does a participant know if the training that he has attended has been successful?

In a nutshell, there are four levels of evaluation. (Here we will refer to a model known as the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model created by by Donald Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. to define the four levels of training evaluation. The four levels of evaluation are: (1) your reaction and thoughts about the training experience; (2) the resulting learning and increase in knowledge from the training experience you have gained; (3) the behavioral change and improvement after applying the skills on the job; and (4) the results or effects of your performance in your role or on the business.

1. Reaction- will answer the questions –

  • Was the experience valuable or satisfying?

  • Was the training relevant?Did the faculty have the necessary knowledge to conduct the training?

  • Did you feel engaged?

  • Did the training cost justify your ‘take home learnings’ from the training

2. Learning – will answer the following questions –

  • Have you acquired the intended knowledge, skills and attitudes from the training?

  • Have the training objectives been met?

3. Behavior – will answer the following questions –

  • Is the knowledge and skills acquired from the training being applied on the job or the business?

  • Is there a knowledge shift on account of the training?

  • Have you actually learned the subject for which the training was done?

4. Tangible Results – will answer the following questions –

  • Has the training improved the quality and efficiency of your work?

  • Whether the improved quality and efficiency of your work are truly the result of the training?

  • Has the training increased productivity,retention, higher morale, increased profits for the business?

It is not always easy to see tangible results from any training, all at once. While some of the learnings could be adopted at the earliest, there would be some learnings that would require more time or interval. It’s obvious that if any organisation spends critical money on their human capital development, they want to see tangible results. Therefore, it becomes very important to measure the skill or subject-related pre and post training knowledge and behaviour, periodically. Having said this, one cannot have a hard and fast training evaluation method as no two participants learnings are the same.

Some tips on how one can evaluate whether the training has been effective or not:

Before the training program-

  1. Assessing the skills and knowledge of learners to determine areas of strength and weaknesses.

  2. A pre-test assignment would help understand and evaluate the participant’s skill and knowledge or lack of.

During the training program –

  1. Involving the participants – through experiential learning methods – so that they actively participate in the learning process and absorb the learnings.

  2. Observe the attention and understanding of participants, assign periodic tests/assignments and feedback by skilled evaluators during the training program.

Post the training program –

  1. Once the training is completed, a post-test assignment would help understand and evaluate what the participant has gained in terms of skill and knowledge

  2. A skilled evaluator could give a one-on-one feedback to the participant

  3. Observe changes in participants behaviour as an outcome of the training conducted

  4. Capture the learning reactions of participants through feedback forms or other data capture tools

  5. Evaluate participants effectiveness for a consistent period of time, on the job, through formal and informal assessments or projects

  6. Ensure such evaluations are meaningful to both employees and the organisation

When conducting or attending a training program, one has to understand that the training conducted is for improving the quality of the participants’ knowledge, skills and behaviour as these factors directly affect the organisation or business’s financial and non-financial performance. At the end of the day, it is only those organisations or businesses that prosper and grow, whose employees are positive and productive and work with passion towards achieving organisational goals.


About UV Consultants: At UV Consultants, we focus on providing ‘Unique Value’ to our customers through Customized Training Solutions and Focused Coaching to Individuals and Corporates.

To discuss your training requirements, please write to or call +971-4-8525752.

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