By Laura McLoughlin
Training is powerful. It’s not just a tick-box exercise for CPD or meeting industry requirements. It’s not just a token nod in the direction of your employee’s career development and personal goals in to order to motivate them. Training actually pays. The Association for Talent Development (ATD) in the US found that organisations that offer comprehensive training opportunities have a staggering 218% higher income per employee. Those same businesses have a whopping 24% higher profit margin than businesses who don’t invest in training. How can you evaluate your last staff training day so that you can see how investing in your staff boosts your bottom-line and business growth?
- Assess the material
Productivity is enabled by skills advancement, which is the central tenet of a good training course. However, if you’re trying to assess this on a costbenefit level then you need to find out what was actually covered in the course. The easiest way to do this is to look at the material provided within the course itself. When reading, ask if this met the goals and hopes prior to the training. If not, why not? What lesson can be learned for next time? What problems do you still have left to solve?
- Assess its originality
There is little value losing an employee’s input in the office for a training course that simply goes over old ground – even if it’s a refresher course or part of mandatory industry requirements. Instead, each training course (ideally prior to arranging) should be evaluated in terms of what new skill or concept is being developed. A training course adds value when it adds something new.
- Assess engagement
Stop for a moment and realise why employee engagement is so valuable to your bottom-line. According to Gallup, teams with high employee engagement are 21% more productive than those with low engagement. Training is an exceptional and relatively easy way to give an individual personal development and wider opportunities that will facilitate their engagement in return. Employees who are invested in the business are motivated for the organisation. Ensuring the training experience is one that is engaging for them ensures they’ll be engaged in your business goals.
- Assess the wider benefits of training
As business leaders it’s easy to focus on the perceptible deliverables of training i.e. what skills does the course develop and how does the organisation benefit from this? Staff training days actually deliver other valuable rewards. Taking training away from the regular workplace environment, delivering it in an excellent setting with staff-focused facilities, can often feel akin to a team-building day. This opportunity to socialise, discuss, and interact with each other in a different setting is translated in to an enhancement to relationships within the workplace itself.
- Assess staff feedback
Go to the horse’s mouth: what did your staff feel about the experience? Did they find it useful and engaging? What skills to they feel they developed? Do they have suggestions about what would have improved the experience? What can you learn from their experience?
Assess the Value of Training
Improving your productivity is about improving the development opportunities offered to your most valuable resource: your employees. Whilst carefully planning training opportunities in advance is of course central to their success, evaluating their value retrospectively enables you to continuously improve. Boost your bottom-line by delivering staff training days that really increase productivity.