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How to conduct a year-end review of your training program’s performance: Part 2

Make sure you're prepared for 2015 by evaluating your current training programs.

Make sure you're prepared for 2015 by evaluating your current training programs.

In our previous article, we discussed the usefulness of conducting a year-end review of your training programs, based on Donna Wells' piece in Learning Solutions Magazine. We described the seven-step process for evaluating your current methods and identifying areas of improvement. Now we want to expand on the necessary criteria of successful training programs. 

The three key success criteria Wells highlights – which are compiled from best practices from a range of companies – are measurement, innovation and feedback. Once you have gathered answers to your seven checklist questions, you will be able to act on the following:

1. Measuring the impact of training on business outcomes:

Your training programs need to be aligned with your business needs. Therefore, it is critical to measure your training results against actual performance. Particularly helpful reports are those that compare sales by employees who completed training programs versus those who did not. Many learning management systems offer this kind of detailed analysis and reporting, so that you can derive insights about the effectiveness of your training. Make sure that your reports contain employees who have undertaken enough training hours. Limited hours will not provide a comprehensive assessment of your programs. 

2. Innovating to ensure increasing cost efficiency:

Typically quality and cost of your training programs rank as top priorities. As Wells explains, being able to deliver high-quality and cost-effective training programs will earn you recognition:

"Training leaders who continually challenge the status quo and deliver more and better training each year, at the same or even declining costs per hour of training, are champions in the eyes of the C-suite."

There are also technologies that make scaling your program easier. These include rapid content-authoring tools and advances in video-conferencing. Mobile learning and video-conferencing are particularly helpful with the trend toward remote work.  

In terms of increasing cost efficiency, Wells advises seeking a 20 percent annual improvement in training costs. "Lower costs by 20 percent or increase volume by 20 percent," she says. She cites the example of Kofax, a software company with more than 1250 employees in 48 countries. Kofax was able to reduce the cost of its training by 80 percent through embracing an innovative approach to course creation and delivery processes. 

3. Capturing and acting on trainee feedback:

Gathering feedback from your employees is another critical element to improving your training programs. This fact holds true across the board: Feedback is important to live, online and blending training programs. Gather "data on the types of questions trainees ask, on areas of the content that are not readily understood, or that are perceived as low value," Wells says, adding that "Companies that establish and act on a dialog with their trainees produce better content and get better learning outcomes, in our experience."

With the rapid advances in technology and the importance of meeting current and future business goals, it is vital to perform a regular year-end review of your training programs. Make sure to have measurement, innovation and feedback as top criteria for evaluation. This will not only help you now, but set your business up for success in the future.

To learn more about SyberWorks services or to schedule a product demonstration, please call us at 888-642-7078, email us at info@syberworks.com or register on our site.

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Waltham, MA 02452

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