Training Tip of the Week: Gather Learner Feedback - Grace Hill
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Training Tip of the Week: Gather Learner Feedback

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Grace Hill

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Grace Hill Training Tip of the Week

Measuring Training Effectiveness:
Gathering Learner Feedback


Bottom line: You want to know if your training program is working. Employee feedback is one of the best ways to know what is and is not working for them.

This is the fourth post in a series about how to measure the effectiveness of your compliance training program. Read Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 5.


Building a good compliance training evaluation plan is all about accumulating evidence to help you answer the question: Is the training working?


You could just measure impact on the ultimate performance metric: Have you gone a year without a fair housing claim? Have internal harassment complaints decreased? But, if you don’t see an impact, you will want information about what went wrong so you can fix it.


In a past post, we covered measuring implementation. 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. We also covered measuring learning. If employees can’t demonstrate they grasp what’s been taught, it is very unlikely they will be able to apply the training content on the job.


It is also important to gather information on employees’ reactions to the training.  Did employees find the training valuable and feel they benefitted from it? This kind of learner buy-in is particularly important in compliance training. Here are some tips for measuring this aspect of your compliance training.


Go beyond “did you like it” questions. Understanding whether employees liked the training is important, and is something most training administrators already think to ask. Here are a couple questions that are often overlooked, but you may want to consider asking learners.


Do employees understand the legal ramifications of the issues the training covers?

How valuable did you find the training? This gets to the heart of why many employees do not complete training or apply themselves during training. When learners understand the value of training, they are more likely to start, complete, and invest time and mental effort – all the things we want them to do. If you find learners aren’t seeing the value, address this by explicitly talking about the value of the learning opportunity in training.


How confident are you that you can implement the strategies you learned in training? Even if learners understand what they are supposed to do after training, there may be some practical barriers to doing those things, such as lack of time, resources or supporting processes. Follow-up questions about what the barriers to implementation are will help you understand how you can better support people in applying strategies learned in training on the job.


Capture feedback through a variety of ways, and offer options to give both a quick review and more detailed feedback.

Gather feedback in multiple ways. Online surveys are great tools for gathering feedback on training. However, think about complementing surveys with informal chats or one-on-one feedback sessions.  Sometimes discussing the training over a a cup of coffee will get you the best insights. The key thing here is to have a plan. Map out your conversations to get a good sampling of people in a variety of roles and locations, and ask a standard set of questions so you get a critical mass of information in key areas.


Gathering information on multiple aspects of training will help you tease out weak spots and target your improvement efforts.  Understanding the extent to which learners see the value in training and whether there are practical barriers to using the strategies on the job will give you important insights into things you can address to improve the overall effectiveness of your compliance training.

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