Booking the right training company and having them deliver great training is only half of the story. To ensure the training is successfully embedded and to help with further decisions around training activities evaluation is essential.

Here are 5 easy and reliable ways to do it.

1. Satisfaction and participant reaction
The most basic evaluation of training measures satisfaction. Usually, the trainer will hand out a survey at the end of the course to see how the participants reacted to the training, or you can send something out by email or have them do a survey on line. Some specific levels of satisfaction and reaction to the training are you looking for could be:

  • Did your staff enjoy the training?
  • Did they like the trainer?
  • Would they want him or her back?
  • Do they think they felt it was an appropriate use of their time?
  • Do they think the material was relevant to their work?
  • How likely would they be to recommend the course to colleagues?
  • What will they do differently as a result

In most cases, training evaluation begins and ends here. However, there are 4 other important ways to evaluate any training program.

2. Knowledge acquisition
The second level of evaluation is knowledge acquisition. In our experience, many work-related training courses do not test what knowledge has been acquired. A simple quiz following training can help determine if the content was learned or not. It can flag participants that did not acquire the learning and further support those who did (potentially making them mentors). Also, it can flag trends of areas that may require further training or additional coaching. Send participants the quiz within a week of training, share results with their line managers. This can help ensure that any gaps in knowledge can be quickly filled and the participants are supported.

3. Behavioural changes
The third level of evaluation answers the question – are they applying what they learned. What behaviours are you seeking to change as the knowledge and skills are applied on the job following training? One-way of doing this is to evaluate the participants before the training and then again a month afterwards to see what changes has been made.
Or you can ask participants to share stories of how they have changed their behaviour and made an impact on the business.

4. Measurable business improvement
At the end of the day, business training is about generating a business improvement. What specific (key performance indicators) do you want to change or improve as a result of the training? For example an increase in sales or a reduction of customer complaints or improving staff retention.

5. Return on investment (ROI)
The last level of evaluation training relates to return on investment. What specific return on investment are you after as a result of the training? To evaluate your return on investment here is one example: –

  • Take the course fee (cost)
  • Add the facility fee (cost)
  • Add staff wages that were spent during the course (cost)
  • Add the opportunity cost of staff time spent during the course (cost)
  • Measure the business improvement (e.g. measure the business impact on sales conversion rate before and after the training to arrive at net gains in financial terms)
  • Consider the financial gains in the long term (3 months, 6 months, 12 months?)
  • Long-term net gains / Cost = return on investment (ROI)