How to Measure Training Results Like a Boss

You know your training is changing behaviour, but how do you prove it? 

In an age where budgets and time constraints are the norm, demonstrating that your training was worth the time and trouble is more important than ever. Training needs to be valuable while simultaneously making a positive impact on the business.

Most trainers focus too much on course completions and participation instead of whether training is changing behaviour or driving business impact. When you look at the wrong metrics you risk higher-ups seeing your training as a costly failure instead of the cost-effective, valuable solution it truly is.

But what should you look at? How do you prove it works?

The answer lies in analytics.

Assess Progress With Baseline Knowledge

You need to know where people are starting before you can measure what they’ve learned.

By having learners answer relevant questions at the start of their training and logging their initial results, you can then compare that data with future results to gauge how much they’ve improved.

Let’s say a learner is achieving a grade of 50% after one month of training. At first glance it might not seem that impressive, but if you know their initial grade (baseline knowledge) was 5% it becomes very obvious that they improved a lot! Likewise, if you’re aware a learner’s baseline was 45% and they only raised it to 50% in that time, it’s easy to see they aren’t improving at a sufficient level.

While tracking growth against baseline scores is an excellent way to assess whether employees are learning, it only stays effective if baseline scores are regularly updated.

If someone started with a grade of 5% three months ago and is now at 80%, overall it looks great! But if you had periodically re-evaluated their baseline, you would notice they only improved in the first two months and have been stuck at 80% ever since. Without regularly assessing their baseline, you’d be none the wiser.

Track Skill Growth for More Insight

While baseline scores give you a general sense of whether employees are improving, skill growth tracking shows you what skills they’re gaining (and which ones they aren’t).

Attaching particular skills to relevant content not only inspires learners to master that skill, it also gives you an easy way to check if they’re excelling or lacking in key abilities.

For example, an employee could show an overall improvement against their baseline scores in a “Customer Support 101” course — but they might only have high understanding of product knowledge, and not customer service. Skill tracking will easily highlight their less-than-stellar understanding of that particular ability. Then you can take steps to remedy that skill-gap by assigning targeted courses.

Compare Training Data to Business Trends

When you know where people started and what skills they’ve gained, you have a better idea of how and what people are learning over time. You can then compare that knowledge against  your business data and find trends to infer impact!

You can compare the timing of increases in productivity, sales, and other aspects of your business with your learning platform’s analytics. That sudden boom in closed sales could very well be a result of the knowledge learners gained through your training modules. Not only is the boom a great boost for your business, its timing can suggest your training has been effective.

The Bottom Line

To prove training is impacting your business, you need to track more than just course competitions.

Regularly assess your employees baseline knowledge to measure their overall knowledge growth, then drill down into the specific skills they’re gaining or missing. Compare your training data to your business data to find correlations and show how training is impacting employees’ behaviour on-the-job — and how that affects your business.