Monday, January 25, 2016

Pre-Training Assessment vs. Post-Training Measurement

a magnifying glass is held over data

When you are called upon by leadership to demonstrate that the right business training in the right circumstances has made a measurable impact, you need to provide real numbers rather than rely on anecdotes and hunches. 

Preaching to the training effectiveness choir, right? Those of us in the learning and development field are already convinced that effectively assessing training needs and measuring training outcomes matters to participants, trainers and the business. The problem is, however, that training assessment and measurement is not always as straightforward as we would like.  You have to select the approach that makes the most sense for your unique business strategy, organizational culture and situation.

Here are two options to consider.

Pre-Training Assessments
Used before a learning solution is designed or delivered, pre-training assessments are typically used to gain an accurate understanding of what your target audience “knows” and “can do” compared to what you need them to be able to “know” and “do.”   Training needs assessments allow instructional designers to align leadership and employees on what matters most, initiate the behavior change process, pinpoint critical skill gaps and priorities, customize workshops, predispose participants, guide coaching and individual development plans, set baseline metrics, target investments and determine the root cause.  

Done right, they should set a learning solution up for success by enabling all key stakeholders (the target audience, their bosses and the business) to agree upon the critical few development needs that matter most.

Post-Training Assessments
Post-training measurement is typically used to reinforce behavior change, increase accountability, measure skill adoption, quantify performance impact and guide coaching and individual development plans.  Done right, effective training measurement should answer five critical learning and performance questions:

1. Are people using the new skills, behaviors and knowledge on-the-job?
2. Is it making a performance difference?
3. Has the root cause of the initial performance problem been addressed?
4. Do important skill, competency or performance gaps still exist?
5. Have the originally targeted business metrics improved?

The bottom line? To be sure that your training is having the desired results, you need to measure the impact…before, during and after. Without the data, you can only rely upon your hunches. This is hardly a way to operate in a business environment where real numbers and performance improvement count.

Learn more at: http://lsaglobal.com/training-measurement/



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