In business, we take metrics very seriously, don’t we? We measure returns on investments, churn rates, conversion rates, a thousand customer service metrics and fiscal metrics, don’t we? We even have metrics for testing and for brand identity and internet brand recognition, a thousand other things as well. But, there are some metrics that seem a little harder to concretely define and measure, and one of those is employee training effectiveness.
The problem is that there is no clear cut standards for what signs of effectiveness or failure are with this, and realistically, there cannot be. This kind of across the board standard for training effectiveness works nowhere outside the military, and is probably a big reason our schools are failing so miserably as well.
So, employee training effectiveness is kind of dependent on a lot of local things pertaining to a business and the training in question, but surely there must be some general signs of whether training is working or not. Well, there are, but this is going to give you less accurate, non-numerical metric data if you do it, than most other metrics we’ve ever talked about.
But, let’s dive in and look at some signs of success and failure for training.
First, if there is no sign of improved efficiency which the new training was meant to bring about, it’s pretty obvious that training isn’t working. If improved speed was a goal, this is a sign that whatever technique was to reduce these training woes isn’t working very well and something must be addressed.
Also, along this same line, if new software or techniques are introduced, but increasing slowdown or problems with the software arise, then the training is clearly not taking effect as well as hoped.
These are the types of general things to measure, but there are more subtle things to look for too. Employees who are struggling in training will show increased signs of stress and unhappiness in their regular work, and the team dynamic may begin to break down.
In that vein, increased group hostilities to an individual or individuals is a sign that some or part of the group is having a hard time, and training failures are occurring on some level to where the group cannot progress.
Loss of productivity and increased social distress are signs that training is stressful, and everyone feels kind of stuck and unable to get out of training that they know is not working.
Finally, though, there does exist technology in the form of tutorial creation systems which can in fact measure how well students are absorbing material, and deduce there they are having trouble. They can even try to a certain level to remedy the problem themselves by teaching the student. These systems are probably your best bet, but none of these is going to be free.
So, employee training effectiveness is a little bit of a fickle metric to measure, but with a keen eye for people and causality, or with the aid of brilliant new software, it is no longer impossible. Makes you wonder what else will stop being impossible in the future, doesn’t it?