Training evaluation - when to do it?

Service Business

Employers more and more often pay attention to the evaluation of training. The evaluation of the courses carried out is important as it indicates whether the employees have acquired new knowledge, practical skills and increased their competences in a given field. Is it always possible to measure the effects of organized presentations, seminars and lectures? When should the training be evaluated? What to do with the results obtained?

Training evaluation - who carries it out?

In large organizations, the evaluation of training is carried out by HR departments. Sometimes it also happens that a special unit is established for this purpose, whose employees only deal with the organization and evaluation of the courses conducted. On the other hand, in small companies, verification of the training results should be carried out by the owner himself. Thanks to this, he will be able to determine whether the investment in training employees has paid off.

Training evaluation - how is it carried out?

Training evaluation consists of several stages:

  1. questionnaire research examining the reaction of training participants,

  2. knowledge tests,

  3. observation of acquired skills,

  4. evaluation of the increase in the efficiency of the organization as a whole.

The questionnaire survey is aimed at diagnosing the attitudes and attitudes of employees who participated in the training. By completing the questionnaire, participants are asked to answer questions regarding, among others:

  • the manner and attractiveness of the content provided,

  • substantive preparation of the person conducting the training,

  • general feelings about the meetings - was the subject matter interesting, what was the atmosphere, and whether the training was organized at the right time of the day.

On the other hand, knowledge tests are aimed at verifying whether employees have actually learned something new and expanded their professional competences. The "tests" should be prepared by the person who conducted the meetings, as he or she will know what the participants should remember. Knowledge tests can take various forms and include closed, open-ended questions and case studies.

Evaluation of training must also include checking the degree of acquired skills. In this case, a normal test cannot be performed. Employees must be subjected to observation or take part in a simulation that will require demonstration of new competences. For example, if the ladies in the human resources department have been trained in the advanced use of the spreadsheet, you will need to check whether they are really capable of using this program.

The training courses are aimed at increasing the overall efficiency of the enterprise. By gaining new knowledge and skills, employees should use them in practice. As a result, the number of mistakes should be reduced or the time needed to perform certain activities. The entrepreneur should observe whether investments in human resources contribute, for example, to:

  • improving the level of customer service,

  • increase in the quality of services provided,

  • cost reduction,

  • reducing the number of accidents,

  • improving the financial result.

Training evaluation - when should it be carried out?

The stages of the training evaluation have been presented above. Each of them should be assessed in a slightly different period. For example, the participant reaction testing should be done immediately after the last meeting. Thanks to this, employees will not forget their feelings about the courses organized. In turn, knowledge tests can be carried out a bit later. It is even advisable - a month after the training, it is good to check whether the participants still remember the information that was given to them.

On the other hand, the observation of acquired skills may be carried out in parallel with the questionnaire survey and knowledge tests. People responsible for the evaluation of the training should randomly check whether the employees use the new experiences in the implementation of everyday tasks.

The assessment of the increase in the efficiency of the organization as a whole is, in turn, a long-term process. Training results should not be expected immediately. It should be borne in mind that the company's financial results may not improve until one year after the organized course has passed.