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How to Conduct Corporate Training Evaluation
Corporate Training

How to Conduct Corporate Training Evaluation

8 mins read

by Pete Ford

Updated On Apr 10, 2024

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Every successful organization that strives to stay ahead of market expectations understands the value of continuous learning, and that's why it invests in employee training. But does investing in corporate training make a difference? The answer to this question lies in corporate training evaluation.

According to the studies, 87% of CEOs prioritize talent development, recognizing its crucial role in an organization's success. Unexpectedly, 70% of companies admit that they do not regularly evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. This oversight leads to significant financial losses, estimated at more than $13 billion annually, due to ineffective education and hinders employee engagement.

Corporate training evaluation has become a key element of business strategies to close skill gaps, foster professional development, and achieve competitive advantage. With businesses allocating an average of over $1,252 per employee for training each year, the stakes for optimizing return on investment are high, yet organizations must accurately gauge the impact and success of their efforts to measure return.

Are you ready to conduct corporate training evaluations? Keep reading. In this blog, we will discuss the importance, methodologies, and future trends of evaluating corporate training, ensuring your organization's growth, innovation, and competitive advantage through effective learning and development strategies.

How to Conduct Corporate Training Evaluation?

Follow the below steps to conduct a corporate training evaluation in your organization:

1. Determine the Indicators of Effective Training

It's critical to identify the markers of training success and effectiveness before beginning the evaluation process. L&D professionals need to respond to the query, "In what sense will the training program be considered successful?".

The following are some instances of variables and markers that will aid in addressing this query and offering guidance on gauging the efficacy of training:

  • Gaining new abilities and information
  • Worker contentment
  • Impact on finances
  • Impact on efficiency

2. Select the Right ROI Model

Various evaluation methods can be used to carry out a methodical training evaluation process inside the company. Any of the training assessment models that have been the most well-liked and reliable over the years are excellent tools for assisting you in determining the return on investment (ROI) of your training initiatives.

3. Choose the Right Method for Data Collection

After determining the goal and methodology for training evaluation, the best approach to collecting the necessary data on the training program is selected. These techniques assist in obtaining input from trainees who have recently participated in the program to identify areas for development and weaknesses in the training curriculum.

  • Questionnaires: A survey is issued to your training participants both before and after the session to collect information and course feedback. These evaluations aid in determining the extent of newly acquired knowledge and abilities among the learners.
  • Interviews: In-person or virtual interviews give practitioners access to more detailed, individualized replies from training participants about their experiences.
  • Focus groups: Focus groups consist of talks led by facilitators among a small number of participants who share the same training course. This approach facilitates the collection of participant insights, attitudes, and suggestions for future training improvements.
  • Observations: The observation approach monitors training participants' altered behavior in a work environment. The manager or practitioner checks whether staff members apply the skills they learned in the training sessions to their everyday work.
  • Data Analytics: To find out how your staff members are engaging with the training materials, use the LMS data analytics dashboard or your employee training program. The analytics dashboard of a digital adoption platform may be used to monitor which courses employees are connecting with, how often they interact with the course, the average course completion rate, and the locations of employee dropoffs in employee training programs. Based on such figures, you can assess whether courses are the most helpful or ineffective, engaging or uninteresting, or perplexing.

4. Analyze the Collected Data

The last step is documenting the results of the training evaluation and analyzing the data gathered. The training evaluation record is essential for improving the company's approach to staff training programs in the future. You must compile, evaluate, and draw conclusions from a variety of data sources to document the record and ascertain the training's impacts. 

Integrating Technology into Evaluation

Technology isn't just changing the training landscape; it's revolutionizing how you evaluate training effectiveness. Today's tools offer powerful solutions to streamline data collection, enhance analysis, and gain more insights into your programs. Let’s explore these tools or technology trends in training evaluation:

1. Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Learning Management System (LMS) can help you to understand employee engagement with the training courses. It tracks employee course interactions, including the frequency of interactions, the average completion rates of courses, and the points at which employees disengage. This data enables you to assess the courses' effectiveness, relevance, and appeal, identifying which may need continuous improvement in corporate learning based on the engagement metrics. 

Examples of Tools: Moodle, Blackboard, and TalentLMS

Moodle

2. Feedback and Survey Tools

Collecting feedback from participants assists in evaluating training effectiveness. Digital survey tools enable the creation and distribution of feedback forms and questionnaires easily. These tools help to gain useful insights to create more effective training programs.

Examples of Tools: SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and Qualtrics

SurveyMonkey

3. Performance Management Software

Integrate training data with performance evaluations, connect training completion with performance goals seamlessly, and track progress toward mastery. These tools also offer learning modules, streamlining data analysis and identifying training impact on performance.

Examples of Tools: BambooHR and Workday

BambooHR

Effective Frameworks for Corporate Training Evaluation

An effective framework for evaluating corporate training requires a comprehensive approach, from identifying goals to implementing a feedback system. This framework ensures that every aspect of training is assessed for its relevance, effectiveness, and contribution to organizational goals.

1. Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluation

In the 1950s, Donald Kirkpatrick gifted the training world with a powerful tool: the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model. This simple corporate training evaluation framework provides a 4-level approach to assess the efficacy of your customized training programs. Let's look at each level.

Level 1: Reaction: This level measures how participants respond to the training. It helps to assess their initial impressions of whether they found the training engaging, relevant, and useful. The focus is on participant satisfaction and emotional response. Ask for feedback before and after the training session to collect data at this level. This data can assist you in identifying any content gaps or areas for improvement before moving further into knowledge acquisition and behaviour transformation. 

Level 2: Learning: At this level, you will assess the extent to which your employees acquired the intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, or confidence from the training. It measures the increase in understanding or capability. You can conduct pre-and post-training assessments, tests, quizzes, and practical exercises to measure learning gains. Compare results from before and after the training to clearly understand what has been learned.

Level 3: Behavior: This level evaluates the transfer of learning to the workplace by observing if participants apply the skills or knowledge gained during training in their job roles. It involves assessing changes in attitude at work or implementing new practices. This corporate training evaluation is typically conducted based on observations, interviews with participants and supervisors, and performance metrics. It helps to assess behavioural changes.

Level 4: Results: The final level of evaluation measures the impact of the training on performance. At this level, assess productivity, quality, costs, employee retention, and other factors like customer satisfaction. Analysis of business metrics, performance indicators, and other organizational data pre- and post-training are used to determine the training's impact on business results.

2. Phillips ROI Model

While the Kirkpatrick Model offers a solid foundation, the Phillips ROI Model takes things further. It acts as a magnifying glass, focusing on data from employee training programs and evaluating it to reveal key insights across specific areas:

Level 1: Reaction: Reaction surveys capture participants' immediate impressions of the training experience, including their engagement, satisfaction, and apparent relevance to their job roles.

Level 2: Learning: At this level, you will analyze your employees’ post-training responses to see what needs improvement and what needs a boost. Pre- and post-training assessments can help you measure where learners stand beforehand and personalize training.

Level 3: Application & Implementation: Unlike the Kirkpatrick Model, the Phillips Model analyzes data to determine whether the training was beneficial. It enhances the data collection process by providing qualitative feedback to assist you in improving your training programs.

Level 4: Impact: The Phillips ROI model is useful for analyzing the effect of training material and other factors that influence participants' ultimate performance. 

Level 5: Return on Investment (ROI): Utilize a cost-effective analysis to translate impact metrics into quantifiable monetary gains alongside various intangible advantages. This analytical approach empowers trainers to evaluate and communicate the benefits of their programs to other divisions within the organization, providing leaders with tangible proof of the worth of training efforts.  

Common Challenges and Solutions in Corporate Training Evaluation

Corporate training evaluation is not an easy task. It faces several common challenges that can hinder the effectiveness and accuracy of the assessment process. However, with each challenge comes a set of solutions that you can implement to enhance your evaluation efforts. Some common corporate training evaluation challenges may include:

Challenge 1: Engaging Participants in the Evaluation Process

Sometimes, participants may not understand the value of assessment procedures or hesitate to offer honest feedback due to time restrictions or other reasons.

Solution: To overcome this issue, highlight the importance of evaluations in improving training programs. Explain how feedback enhances learning experiences, increases productivity, and promotes personal growth.

Challenge 2: Keeping Evaluations Relevant and Up-to-Date

Corporate training evaluation methods change with training needs and business goals, leading to outdated assessments that fail to capture the full impact of training.

Solution: You should regularly review and update evaluation criteria and methods to ensure they remain aligned with current organizational objectives and training technologies. Incorporating stakeholder feedback can help ensure that assessments stay relevant.

Challenge 3: Integrating Evaluation with Learning and Development

Evaluation is frequently viewed as a separate procedure from learning and development rather than an integrated part, limiting its efficacy in generating changes.

Solution: Encourage a continuous development culture in which assessment is built into the training process from the beginning. Encourage collaboration among trainers, learners, and evaluators to ensure that evaluation results are used to improve and enhance training programs.

Case Study: Successful Corporate Training Evaluations

Let’s look at the Ministry of Health and Medical Education's case study on corporate training evaluation.

Background: The Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education implemented a decentralization approach to improve its health system, assigning additional functions and responsibilities to lower-level managers. To complement this effort, the World Health Organization hired a UK-based organization to develop a set of health management and training courses. These activities strengthen the National Public Health Management Centre in Tabriz, Iran, by providing continuing health management education. Seven short courses were held, three in the UK and four in Tabriz, involving 35 participants.

Challenges: Despite the comprehensive training programs, they struggled to assess their impact on employee performance. A robust evaluation strategy was needed to measure the effectiveness of the training and justify the investment.

Solution: An extensive corporate training evaluation of these courses was conducted to overcome the issues and for future development of the training programs. They utilized the Kirkpatrick framework, focusing on participants' reactions, learning, job application, and organizational impact. They distributed a structured questionnaire to 23 of the 35 attendees one to 13 months post-course completion. Most respondents were linked with provincial universities and worked in the health system and academia. Interviews with key informants and previous trainees provided insight into the organization's success.

Results: The training revealed a preference for interactive health planning and management learning approaches. While the course content was regarded as relevant, feedback indicated a theoretical emphasis over practical, local applicability. The ease with which "useful" learning could be applied was directly proportional to its frequency of usage. Most participants reported improved work performance and comprehension of health systems, with one-third additionally sharing their newly acquired knowledge with colleagues, implying a larger organizational advantage. Interviews verified the trainees' better work performance.

Key Takeaways: The Iranian health management training initiative, supported by the international university's capacity-building efforts, underscored the importance of adhering to effective training practices. These include conducting needs assessments, selecting suitable participants, defining clear learning outcomes, and ensuring relevant course content and methods complemented by targeted evaluations. Future contracts for external training support should explicitly include capacity-building components and emphasize the collaborative development of courses and evaluation plans.

Conclusion

The role of corporate training evaluation in organizational success is visible. By adopting a strategic approach to evaluating training programs, companies can not only enhance employee performance but also achieve significant outcomes.

Ready to elevate your training evaluation and drive unparalleled business success? Contact with EdStellar today. We offer cutting-edge training management software to revolutionize your corporate training. 

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