Evaluate staff training results

Evaluate staff training results

1. Satisfaction and participant reaction

The most basic evaluation of training measures satisfaction. Usually, the trainer will hand out a survey at the end of the course to see how the participants reacted to the

. We send out an electronic survey to measure satisfaction rates with our training courses. What specific levels of satisfaction and reaction to the training are you looking for? It could be:

  • Did your staff enjoy the training?
  • Did they like the trainer?
  • Would they want him or her back?
  • Do they think they felt it was an appropriate use of their time?
  • Do they think the material was relevant to their work?
  • How likely would they be to recommend the course to colleagues?

In most cases, training evaluation begins and ends here. However, there are 4 other important ways to evaluate any training program.

2. Knowledge acquisition

The second level of evaluation is knowledge acquisition. In our experience, many work-related training courses do not have an examination attached. A valid and reliable examination following training can help determine if the content was learned or not. It can flag participants that did not acquire the learning and further support those who did (potentially making them mentors). Also, it can flag trends of areas that may require further training or additional coaching. What specific knowledge and skill(s) do you want the participants to develop? As an example, our Increase telephone conversion rates course examination, also completed by participants online, asks questions like:

  • What is the goal of the first phone call?
  • What specific pieces of information do you need from the caller, before you qualify them?
  • What do you do if someone asks you how much it costs at the start of the call?
  • What are some examples of a dominant buying motive for your product or service?
  • Provide a good example of a bridging statement when moving from Opening to Closing the call?
  • If you cannot book the appointment on the first call, what is the first option you will provide callers with?

We find that participants take training more seriously when they know they will be requested to demonstrate what they learned after the training. So, we send participants the exam within a week of training, grade their responses, and share these with their line managers. This can help ensure that any gaps in knowledge can be quickly sown up so that participants don’t pick up new, poor habits.

Why evaluate training?

Why evaluate training providers?

There are many reasons for evaluating training, including:

Training Providers:

  • quality-check training development and delivery
  • identify the most effective training strategies
  • find out how learning is being applied/transferred
  • demonstrate the value of training to customers.


  • identify high/low-performing courses
  • track development of staff knowledge and skills
  • check impact on job and business performance
  • justify/expand training budgets
  • inform future training investment decisions.

Why evaluate training providers?

How can you evaluate external training providers?

How can you evaluate external training providers?

It’s reckoned that over 25% of the external training that companies provide for their staff fall far short of meeting their needs. So how can directors ensure it will work effectively and that it’s money well spent?

Not a cheap option

In a recent survey by Knowledgepool, more than 25% of employees questioned felt that the external training courses they had attended via work had little or no relevance to their job role. Many claimed to be none the wiser after sitting through them, meaning that the company’s cash was well and truly wasted.

Before you pay?

Many training courses aren’t cheap, and so you won’t want one of your employees to be amongst this worrying statistic. But you’ve a one in four chance that they will be. So is there any way to evaluate the effectiveness of a training provider both before and after you book places on one of their courses?

Ask your own staff

It sounds obvious, but don’t just send a member of staff on a course (unless you have to for, e.g., manual handling). Before you do, ask them about what they feel they need and show them any you have selected. If they feel the course is pitched too high, or low, for their level, request more detailed course content from the provider.

Tip 1. Following most training courses, attendees are invited to fill in feedback, or evaluation forms. There’s no reason why you can’t ask the provider to see a range of these comments – good and bad.

Tip 2. If they’re reluctant to release any (they can easily block out the names, address etc. to protect confidentiality) or provide you with a sample of recent reviews, there’s a reason for it and it’s unlikely to be a good one.

Business is booming

Following training, you should be able to measure its success using tangible indicators. For example, if the training was for Customer Service, you should be able to see for yourself how an employee is now interacting with customers. If it was on technical skills, e.g. IT, ask them to demonstrate something new that they learned about on their course.

Questioning your staff

Although your staff will probably give feedback to a course provider, it’s a good idea to have your own evaluation forms too. We’ve produced an example evaluation template that you can use as a basis for this exercise (see The next step).

What can you ask? You could ask staff questions such as: “How relevant was the training to your job role?”“What were the most and least useful parts of the training?” and “Will you be able to utilise your new skills?”

Tip 1. Ask for feedback promptly. The longer you leave it, the less reliable the results will be.

Tip 2. If you get negative feedback, query it with the provider. Don’t assume your employee approached the course with enthusiasm!

And finally. The Business Link website includes detailed information on how to evaluate training and has a free guide that you can download.