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Training effectiveness is measured in learning and development (L&D) programs to identify upskilling strategy gaps and impact on business productivity. These insights help improvise L&D strategy and improve the efficacy of employee training programs.
While L&D departments are now equipped with leading technology and digital initiatives, the outcome fails to contribute fully to business outcomes. It is certain that the gap lies in training effectiveness.
Businesses need to focus on the actual outcomes of training initiatives in terms of enhanced productivity, employee satisfaction, increased employee morale, and better client communications.
Training effectiveness measures the extent to which employee performance has improved with continuous learning. It assesses employees’ knowledge, performance, skills, and the company’s ROI after the training.
A popular method to measure training effectiveness is identifying the 3Ws (why, who, and what of training):
As the business landscape evolves with time, employees’ existing skills are unable to meet organizational demands as well as personal career goals completely. Therefore, implementing employee training programs according to different employee categories and their core competencies can help improve workplace productivity and outcomes.
Identify organizational requirements and employees’ aspirations. Based on these factors, employees who are being considered for promotion, seeking lateral shifts, or are willing to improve their performance can be considered for employee training programs.
Ideally, every employee should be given an equal chance to refine their skills. Therefore, a personalized program for each employee category can be designed.
Every employee has varied training needs; some employees need to learn transferable skills, while others need to refine their leadership qualities. Therefore, a well-round training program should be designed according to different job profiles, employee needs, and organizational mobility requirements.
Measuring employee effectiveness helps to:
Understanding training evaluation metrics is crucial to measuring training effectiveness. It allows organizations to implement well-conceptualized training that makes efficient and high-performing teams.
Training evaluation metrics can include the following questions:
Some ways to measure training effectiveness for an employee training program are:
Organizations should focus on KPIs that provide clarity regarding employees’ performance projections and progress.
Measuring the right KPIs helps understand training gaps and success factors, which allows valuable strategy modifications.
Employee training assessments are excellent for L&D professionals as they help assess trainees’ learning retention and progress from beginning to end.
Steps to administering a training assessment:
An assessment before training provides a baseline awareness of employees’ existing skills. Such assessments provide a base to evaluate employees’ performance before and after the training.
Gauging employees while training makes it easier to understand whether the exercise is helping employees, or it needs some amendments.
An employee assessment at the end of training helps compare scores against the pre-training scores to determine whether there is an improvement. These evaluations efficiently address a progression or retrogression in trainees’ performances, helping make necessary training amendments.
Are employees committed to the training from the beginning to the end?
It’s essential to understand whether the training initiative is engaging employees. The success of a training initiative is directly related to the richness of content and the value it provides to the learners.
A few questions that answer whether employees are engaged or not are:
Employees’ feedback regarding their learning experience helps recruiters understand what’s effective and what’s not. An ideal way to seek feedback is through a medium where learners can express their training experience. For example, an anonymous feedback survey during the training program helps understand employees’ honest views.
Engaging employees in this activity throughout the program aids L&D managers in extracting valuable insights that help improve training satisfaction in the future.
The Kirkpatrick Model is a globally recognized framework to streamline organizational training and learning initiatives. It evaluates the training effectiveness for formal and informal training modes against four evaluation criteria: reaction, learning, behavior, and results.
The Phillips ROI Model associates training costs with the training outcome.
Anderson’s Value of Learning Model is a three-stage assessment to measure the training program’s effectiveness.
Mercer | Mettl’s Training Effectiveness tool helps understand the training lifecycle, including training needs identification, measurement of the program ROI, and impact on employees’ knowledge and skills.
Mercer | Mettl’s pre-training assessments are customized for the specific competency training framework. These assessments, when administered before the training, measure the current proficiency level in the desired competencies. They help in creating the right training program for employees.
Mercer | Mettl’s post-training assessment framework is designed based on the Kirkpatrick 4-level training evaluation model, the worldwide standard for evaluating training effectiveness. It helps assess the effectiveness of the L&D program for successfully filling skill gaps in each employee to improve their performance.
Based on the Kirkpatrick Model, Mercer | Mettl’s training effectiveness assessment solutions measure perceived learning and demonstrated understanding. They take into account the following:
Measuring training effectiveness helps understand the challenges faced during the employee learning and development program. When training is paired with a feedback system for every employee, it helps the hiring managers meet business objectives with a logical approach. Thus, employees at all levels are able to comprehend expectations, operationalize vision and values, and perceive what is essential to succeed.
The effectiveness of employee training programs measures how well a training program works. It helps L&D officers understand whether the program delivered desired knowledge, skills, decision-making power, and strategic thinking to employees.
The effectiveness of training programs can be evaluated using the following four models: i) The Kirkpatrick Model, ii) The Phillips ROI Model, iii) Anderson’s Model of Learning Evaluation, iv) Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation.
The three attributes of an effective training program are: i) They have achievable and measurable goals, ii) They include assessments throughout the training, iii) They ensure all-round professional development.
Originally published December 24 2018, Updated May 23 2023
Abhilash works with the Content Marketing team of Mercer|Mettl. He has been contributing his bit to the world of online business for some years now. Abhilash is experienced in content marketing, along with SEO. He’s fond of writing useful posts, helping people, traveling, and savoring delicacies.
Training effectiveness determines how a training program instigates change in an employee's skills, knowledge, and behavior; for example, it measures the degree to which a particular training program may enable a team to increase its efficiency or achieve a specific business objective.