3 ways to ensure that your training programs are effective

Worldwide, companies spend millions, even billions of dollars on training employees in order to improve the important skills needed to do a better job at work. The big question is, however, how effective are these training programs? HR and training managers often come across the question whether the training programs they are spending so much money on are effective at all. If you really want to succeed as trainer, you will need to be able to give your clients their money’s worth.

As a trainer myself, I am also always interested in finding out how I can measure the effectiveness of training programs I conduct, and I came across two articles that provide some nice insights on how to measure the effectiveness.

In the first article, titled “Measuring the effectiveness of your training program” (http://ubm.io/1QnAfEn), Rose Polchin discusses using the four-level training evaluation model created by Donald Kirkpatrick. In her article, Polchin describes the model as a tool to help you to objectively analyze the effectiveness and find out how you can improve your training program.

dilbert20031663411201Source: Dilbert on training

In addition to the information shared in the previous mentioned article, John Eades provides some very handy tips on how to evaluate the effectiveness of a training. In his article ”3 Ways Organizations Can Improve The Way They Measure Training Effectiveness” (http://bit.ly/1XRQQRn), John suggest using visual confirmation by asking learners to post vidoes of theirselves putting into practice what they learned, creating social ownership and performing skills assessments.

As you will go through the two articles mentioned above, you will no doubt fully agree with me that every trainer must design his training program with the effectiveness of that program in his mind. This means that there are three important steps you as a trainer cannot afford to skip;

  1. Always remember that when designing and conducting a training program, it’s never about yourself but about the trainees. Your program should be designed in such a way that it can clearly be seen how participants can put what they’ve learned into use.
  2. Not everyone learns in the same way. A good training programs caters to the different learning styles, this will help you create a better engagement with all of your trainees. Do some research about different learning styles and what you can do to increase the effectiveness for each style.
  3. Don’t forget to include ways to effectively measure whether or not you have achieved your learning goals with the training. Using the Kirkpatrick 4 level evaluation model should provide you with the right tool to find out if you were able to make your training stick.

From my experience as a trainer, I came to learn that in the field there are people who just pass on information and there are trainers who actually know how to create the right learning environment. If you want to be among those who actually add value to their learners, taking the three above mentioned steps are a great way to start off.

Marciano Lie A Young is a trainer and consultant who has conducted training programs on Leadership, Work-life balance, Entrepreneurship and Public speaking in over 20 countries in 4 continents.
He is the director of the Leaders Management Group Foundation, an organization that offers training and consultancy services to Small and Medium businesses. You can follow him on twitter on @marcianolie or visit his blog www.marcianolieayoung.com.

[note: this blog post was written as part of an writing assignment for my “Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies” course at the Northwestern University.]