Grace Hill Training Tip of the Week
Measuring Training Effectiveness:
Training Program Implementation
Once I had a nagging running injury and was prescribed physical therapy. In addition to sessions two times a week, the physical therapist gave me stretches to do daily, on my own. Weeks went by and the injury still nagged. Frustrated, I told the physical therapist, “this isn’t working.”
She asked if I was doing the stretches every day. After moment of thought, I told her I was doing the stretches almost every day. “Well,” she said, “we can’t say the stretches don’t work if you aren’t actually doing them.” Ok, so she had a point.
Something similar can happen with training. As trainers or administrators, we don’t see results and we get frustrated. We scrap what we’re doing for something new. But what we often don’t investigate first is, are people actually completing training, and are they completing it in the way it was designed to be completed?
Measuring training implementation is the low hanging fruit of compliance training evaluation, but it is also one of the most important things to measure. Here are some things to consider.
What’s Your Denominator?
When tracking compliance training completion, absolute numbers are useful, but percentages are more informative. It is generally more useful to know that 100% of people completed training than it is to know that 136 people completed training. Always track who is supposed to have completed training, so you have your denominator.
Meticulously Track Participation
If you use online training, make sure employees are in the system correctly and that your LMS allows you to track training completion and retrieve the data at the employee level. Use a sign-in sheet for in-person training, and take roll call on a webinar. Always track the date training was completed.
Go beyond Participation – Track Implementation
In an ideal world, what are all the things a person would do to complete training the way you designed it? Is there a follow-up assignment to an online training module? Is there a role play activity during an in-person training? List these things out and track who did them. This will help you know how many people completed the training with fidelity. If your evaluation doesn’t show the results you’d hoped, maybe it isn’t that the stuff isn’t working, maybe it is that people aren’t doing all the stuff.
Collecting compliance training implementation data guards against drawing wrong conclusions about effectiveness. You don’t want to conclude that training didn’t work when, in fact, the issue was that people didn’t complete the training, or didn’t complete it with fidelity. In compliance this is particularly important. Should you ever need to defend your training, the more you know about who did what and when, the better off you’ll be.
Next up, we’ll look at some basic tips for measuring learning in compliance training.