Measuring your training is an essential step to proving the worth of corporate learning at your organization. But for many training departments, this is a daunting task. Training is such a qualitative practice that finding the numbers to measure it – beyond the standard smile sheets- can be a challenge.
Jessica Coburn, Director of Training at Social Solutions, went through the exercise of setting up a measurement strategy for her department. She shared her experiences on our webinar, Case Study: How to Create a Training Measurement Strategy.
In the webinar, Jessica shows how she mapped out strategies for capturing measurements for each level of the Kirkpatrick model, plus a few of the lessons she learned along the way. She also shares a few takeaways for other trainers to get started as soon as possible.
These five steps are an easy way to set your training measurement strategy in motion – as early as this Monday!
1. Start Collecting Data (Even If You Don’t Know What You’ll Do With It)
You can’t demonstrate results if you don’t have any data. Even if you don’t yet know what you are going to do with survey results or how to correlate Net Promoter Scores with attendance, the important thing is to start collecting it as early as possible. That way, when you sit down with a data analyst or get your measurement rubric approved, you will be able to produce a report that means something.
2. Use Pre-Test and Post-Tests
When it comes to measuring knowledge transfer, Jessica recommends a series of tests to measure what your learner retains over a period of time.
If you expect your learners are coming in with some background knowledge on a topic, use a pre-test and post-test to get a measure of knowledge transfer directly related to your course.
Then send out another test three or six months down the line to get a measure of how much they retain. If they haven’t retained very much, you know you need to design reinforcement exercises to help them turn add new knowledge to their long-term memory.
3. Keep Training Objectives in Mind
You will only be able to prove the success of training objectives if you set up a measurement strategy that will show those objectives. In Jessica’s case, if her learning objective is to empower her customers to use the software independently, it doesn’t make sense to use learner feedback as the primary metric. Instead, she needs to set up a strategy that correlates course completion with customer support cases created to demonstrate the success of her training. (As a bonus, it also helps her demonstrate how her team impacts the business’s objectives).
4. Look Inside Your Org for Data
Using the example above, Jessica’s team is not in a position to measure how many customer support cases have been created. However, there is a high likelihood that the customer success department already has those metrics on hand. Whatever data you need, think about where in your organization that might already exist.
5. Get Input from Your Team Members
No matter what measurement strategy you devise, it is going to impact your team. Jessica’s facilitators were at first fearful that her new rubric would show lower results than the average smile sheet, which reflected their friendliness as facilitators. To make sure your team is comfortable with changes, solicit your facilitators’ thoughts and opinions about your strategy early – and make sure you incorporate what is essential to them.
As learning and development teams demand a seat at the metaphorical table in their organizations, a strong training measurement strategy will only become more important. With these five tips, you can get started as early as next week.
Hear Jessica’s full story on our free on-demand webinar: Case Study: How to Create a Training Measurement Strategy.