Training Effectiveness Checklist

A McKinsey study found that only 25% of training programs improve business performance. As a learning leader, you have an uphill battle to connect your initiatives to business/employee performance. In the meantime, 75% of training programs that don’t impact business outcomes are at risk of being cut.
Making your learning initiatives measurable helps you better tell your story, align your efforts with business outcomes, and prove training ROI.

Those measures help identify opportunities for improvement and create an accountability system that can ripple throughout your organization. Arming yourself with the data to identify skills, knowledge, and application gaps allows you to collaborate with leaders at every level and become a proactive business partner who can get ahead of risks and drive productivity, all of which contributes to the growth of your organization, your people, and your career.

Getting started can be overwhelming; the systems, the data points, and even the outcomes! Where do you start? In collaboration with learning leaders like yourself, we created this checklist that includes KPIs to help get you started. 

Your Training
Effectiveness Checklist

Drag the KPIs you’re measuring today into the first bucket, and the KPIs that you want to measure into the second bucket. Include how you plan to measure each in the coordinating box. Once done, click "Give Me My Checklist" to download a copy of your checklist that you can share with your team, executives, and the leaders you support so you can collaborate with them on how best to get this data.
Training Effectiveness Checklist
Drag and drop KPIs
Things I’m measuring today
Things I want to measure
Learning Analytics Checklist.pdf

Determine Training KPIs

Determining your training KPIs is the first step in measuring your training effectiveness. Being selective is important for this step, the more data the better, but don’t overwhelm yourself with too many data points.

"If you are a learning leader, you are likely familiar with the saying, 'what gets measured gets done’. Stakeholders and the C-Suite, now more than ever, are expecting a measurable return on investment for every investment. Know what KPIs matter most -- even if that is only 2 or 3.” ~ Lacey Hedrick, Head of Talent Development - Tungsten Network

Here are 7 KPIs to get you started; over time you’ll know more about what you’d like to measure as your program progresses:

  • Time to proficiency
  • Knowledge and skill retention
  • Transfer of training
  • Impact on organizational performance metrics
  • Employee engagement in learning initiatives
  • Net promoter score
  • Stakeholder satisfaction
“Once you are able to talk their language (finance) with proven outcomes, the rest will follow as your stakeholders pay more attention." ~ Lacey Hedrick, Head of Talent Development - Tungsten Network

Post-training Feedback

Asking learners how effective their training was provides you with instant feedback from those directly experiencing your training materials and format. You can find sample surveys online (Talent LMS, Qualtrics) to kickstart this process for general feedback or come up with your own questions related to the learning goals you determined during training program development. These surveys can be built with free tools like Google Forms, Survey Monkey, or even Trivie’s own survey functionality.

A common assessment model to refer to when developing these surveys is the Kirkpatrick Evaluation (as shown below) or any of these trusted by many companies today: The Phillips ROI Model, Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation, Anderson’s Model of Learning Evaluation, Summative vs. Formative Evaluation


Refer to the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model

In the 1950s Donald Kirkpatrick developed the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model for evaluation training. This 4-level approach helps you measure the effectiveness of corporate training programs. These are the four levels of measures and the key indicators you should consider for each level:

Level 1: Reaction of learner

What they thought and how they felt about the training:

  1. Did the trainees like and enjoy the training?
  2. Did they consider the training relevant?
  3. Was it a good use of their time?
  4. Did they like the venue, style, timing, etc.?
  5. What was the level of participation?
  6. Ease and comfort of experience
  7. Level of effort required to make the most of the learning
  8. Perceived practicality and potential for applying the learning

Level 2: Learning

The measurement of the increase in knowledge or intellectual capability from before to after the learning experience:

  • Did the learners learn what was intended to be taught?
  • Did the learner experience what was intended for them to experience?
  • What is the extent of advancement or change in the trainees after the training, in the direction or area that was intended?
Level 3: Behavior
60f9e278009c11ae45b45007_Webclip - Trivie

The extent to which learners applied the learning and changed their behavior, this can be immediately or several months after the training:

  • Did the learners put their learning into action when back on the job?
  • Were the relevant skills and knowledge used?
  • Was there a noticeable difference and measurable change in the activity and performance of the learners when back in their roles?
  • Was the change in behavior and new level of knowledge sustained?
  • Would the trainee be able to transfer their learning to another person?
  • Is the trainee aware of their change in behavior, knowledge, and skill level?

Level 4: Results 

Is the effect on the business or environment resulting from the improved performance of the learner?

  • Measures would be based on organizational KPIs such as:
Volumes, values, percentages, timescales, ROI, or organizational performance: number of complaints, staff turnover, attrition, failures, wastage, non-compliance, accidents, quality ratings, achievement of standards and accreditations, growth, retention, etc.

Reporting/Evaluation Process

Establishing a system of reporting for learner training is important for your continued use of the training methods you have deployed. Organization stakeholders should be given the opportunity to review the results of training as it pertains to company performance and training program ROI.

Here are some reports to consider using to measure effectiveness:

  • Learner activity: How often are learners utilizing training materials?
  • Learner progress: Are learners improving their skills and understanding?
  • Department progress: Has the department as a whole improved through training?
  • Learner competencies: What areas is the learner struggling or excelling in?
  • Course activity: Which courses are being used most or least? (this helps determine opportunities for course material improvement)

Segmentation: It’s important to think about what unique audiences you’re measuring and reporting across. Is it by location? Department? Manager? Topic? All of the above? Think through the most common ways that other reporting is already segmented across your organization and use that as a starting point.

Ready to start measuring your learning?

Speak to a knowledge expert to learn more.
"I use Trivie for a few minutes a week and it’s the one thing that makes me better at my job. What else does that?"
~ Learner at Kin Insurance
“If you don’t reinforce learning, you are missing the whole point of training. Trivie’s adaptive reinforcement platform ensures that my training programs stick.”
~ Jennifer from Centro, Director of Development
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