29 Tangible Measurements of Training Success
For most training courses, there are both tangible and intangible measurements of success. In this two-part blog series, we are going to look at the most important tangible and intangible measurements that can help you analyse your training investments.
In this first blog, we are going to focus on tangible measurements of training success, i.e., objective and/or quantifiable measurements.
Tangible Measurements of Training Success
- In-course assessments – quiz and test scores as part of the training course, both during the course and at the end.
- Post-course assessments – scores from quizzes or tests that learners take several weeks or months after the training has been completed. These tests assess knowledge retention.
- Sales performance – this one specifically applies to training courses aimed at increasing sales. One of the best tangible measurements of success with this type of course is improved sales performance.
- Customer satisfaction metrics – measuring customer satisfaction metrics.
- Productivity – output, for example, or quality.
- Accident and incident rates – for health and safety-related training courses, a reduction in accidents, near misses, and incident rates are good measures of success.
- Employee turnover – assessing recruitment and retention rates. Absence and sickness rates are another effective measure of success.
- Product knowledge – has employee knowledge of your products and/or services increased to a sufficient level.
- Behaviour change – the aim of many training courses is to alter behaviour in a way that benefits the business. Behaviour changes can be observed, but some are also measurable.
- Adoption rates – for training courses on new tools or processes, a good measure of success is the rate of adoption.
- Reduce errors – has the number of errors decreased as a result of the training course?
- Improve quality – improvements in quality are a quantifiable metric that can be influenced by a range of different training courses.
- Skill proficiency – assessing learners competency levels in a particular skill is a relevant measure of success for many training courses.
- Time to competency – how long it takes for employees to attain a sufficient level of competency can also be important.
- Certifications earned – are employees able to obtain internal or external certifications as a result of the training course?
- Skills application – learners don’t need to just acquire skills; they need to apply them too.
- Cost savings – money saved by the company as a direct impact of the training. Reduced raw material waste is an example.
- Customer complaints – are there fewer customer complaints in the time period after the training course?
- Rates of compliance – for compliance-related topics, rates of compliance are a measure of training success.
- Topic-specific performance metrics – many training courses will have topic-specific metrics that you can analyse to measure success. An example is training on an IT competency topic, where a measure of success could be a reduction in support tickets. Another is training on cybersecurity, where a measure of success could be reduced cybersecurity incidents.
- Training costs – reductions in the cost of training are another measure of training success. This includes cost reductions in travel, accommodation, trainers, and the time learners have to take out of the business to attend training courses. You can also assess whether you are making efficient use of the training budget. Are you doing more with less?
- Training course completion rates – the percentage of people who complete the course is a measure of success. How many people didn’t engage with the training course at all? How many people started it but didn’t finish?
- Number of people trained – the number of people trained is also an important indicator of success. With compliance topics, for example, you will often aim to train the maximum number of people within a specified time.
- Training deadlines achieved – have you trained who needs to be trained within the required timescale?
- Course completion speed – how long it takes learners to complete the training will give you a better understanding of the success of your course. For example, if learners are completing it faster than anticipated, they could be skipping sections. If, on the other hand, learners are completing the course slower than expected, they might be going over sections a number of times.
- Training metrics – your learning management system will give you metrics that will indicate whether parts of the course are delivering on learner requirements. For example, in an e-learning course, do learners reach a certain stage and then stop? This could be a navigation or technical problem.
- Learner feedback and satisfaction rates – getting feedback from learners is an important part of measuring training success.
- Cost per employee – how much per employee trained did the training course cost?
- Return on investment – for training courses where return on investment can be measured, it is one of the most important factors to assess.
The Importance of Measuring Training Success
There should always be an assessment of the success and effectiveness of the training courses and materials that you produce. This will tell you if you are getting value for money as well as whether or not the training is delivering on the requirements of the business.
This blog has focused on tangible measurements of training success, but there are also intangible measurements, i.e., factors that are subjective, observable, and/or experienced. The intangible measurements of training success will be covered in part two of this blog series.