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How to Measure the Effectiveness of Online Training Programs?

We are in an era of continual change, with new innovations disrupting the workplace and resulting in radical new styles of working. The only way that organizations can hope to stay relevant in this competitive age is by adopting the technological advances and transformative models of the future of work.As edge computing, AI and automation forge new paths in today’s business world, companies have realized that employee upskilling has become, more than ever, an imperative. Talent Trends 2020, a study by PwC  indicates that three quarters of CEOs questioned were concerned about whether they would have the talent needed to navigate an uncertain economic futureWhen questioned on their upskilling programs in reducing skill gaps and mismatches, the global consensus put their perceived effectiveness as only 20%. Even companies with advanced upskilling initiatives reported a meagre 35% rate of effectiveness of their training programs.While upskilling and reskilling can get employees attuned to industry advancements and breed confidence, how can CEOs be sure that the training they are being given is actually having the desired impact?To completely reap the rewards of a continuous learning paradigm, the right measures must be in place to gauge how impactful the training program was.In-depth evaluation is required to judge what is missing from the training sessions, and what can be done to improve the ROI on employee training.And the figures speak for themselves. Today’s businesses are losing whopping amounts of money through ineffective training. Harvard Business Review states that although organizations are collectively spending in excess of $350 billion globally on training, this is money that is not put to the best use.Consider this:A Gartner study finds that 70% of employees feel they lack mastery over the skills needed for their current jobs; Just 12% of employees are confident enough to apply new skills learned through training programs; and In a recent McKinsey survey, 25% of the respondents were certain that the right training could significantly improve performance. So, where exactly are we going wrong? L&D teams often implement training programs without a comprehensive understanding of what defines an effective training program.  Considerable time is wasted as employees spend 11% more learning time than is optimal for best performance. This lost time translates to productivity losses to the tune of up to $134 million. And the wasted investment on L&D functions is at least $6.5 million; money that could have been put to much better use.Just measuring satisfaction scores or course completion targets is not enough, and the true measure of impact should evaluate actual business outcomes post training. Real returns can be judged by the pay-off in terms of time schedules, productivity and financials of the company.Here’s how you can measure the effectiveness of your online training programs!To make the most of your training investment and eke out value for every dollar spent, you should be able to offer your employees the training they need to boost productivity. Here’s how you can do that.1. Pre-training and post training assessmentsLearning programs are usually developed incorporating assessments that can test the employees’ understanding and retention of the theories learnt. By knowing where they have gone wrong, they could build upon their weaknesses and reinforce their strengths till they achieve mastery of the subject matter.These assessments are also useful to judge whether your training program has achieved its goals. For instance, if you find that a majority of the employees are getting stuck at a particular interim assessment, you could take another look at the module to see if the content can be simplified for better understanding.Pre and post tests can measure knowledge gained from undertaking a training course and evaluate whether the training has had the desired effect.Assessments can take the following forms: Before training: The learner’s present level of skills and knowledge is judged. During training: Short tests at regular intervals can help to judge comprehension of concepts learnt. After training: Various evaluation methods could be used to determine whether the training has been effective, and the learning objectives have been achieved. 2. Scenarios and simulationsOnce the training has been completed, how would you know whether your employees have actually absorbed the lessons learnt? Are they able to apply their new skills on the shop floor, for instance, and would you trust them to get it right the first time?Scenarios or real-work situations can put the learner in the driver’s seat, judging their ability to translate the learning to a work-like situation. By creating a series of scenario-based tests, you can determine their level of retention and understanding of the concepts learnt. An ideal scenario-based test is one that is credible and true to life, of which the outcome is easily measured.If your employees are consistently failing the tests, you should look at refining the learning curriculum or providing additional learning content, until they are well versed with all the learning objectives and can apply theory to practice.3. Learning analyticsLearning Management Systems or platforms often have in-built analytics that evaluate the learning journey of your employees. These learning analytics use data collected during the learning journey to trace the efficiency of the learning.For instance, the time spent on each module, the number of attempts of each assessment, and so on can be used to tailor the training for greater effectiveness. As an example, if most of the learners are breezing through a particular module but spending far too long on another, you might want to assess the difficulty levels of the content and adjust it as needed.AI algorithms can further use this data to personalize the learner’s path, giving suggestions as to which are the topics that need further focus. 4. Adoption of technique post training In many instances, the learner may understand the concepts very well during the training—but find themselves at a loss when they have to apply the knowledge to solve a real-world problem.Are your employees putting their newly acquired skills to practice, or falling back into the error of their old ways?Try observing your employers before and after the training session to find out if they are actually achieving the goals of the training. For instance, teams that try to adopt Agile often fall by the wayside, simply because they are more in tune with traditional ways of working and fail to readily transition to the Agile mindset.Post training follow up sessions and technique training can create opportunities for practice, and ensure that the new knowledge acquired is correctly implemented. 5. Measure business impact/ ROI post trainingThe ROI is the clearest indicator of how effective your training strategy is.A Peoplematters article states that in a study, 55% of companies that registered high-growth averaged 30-50 learning hours per employee, while 61% of low-growth companies only spent less than 30 hours of average learning per employee.By knowing the impact of your training programs after a predetermined period post the training, you can get an idea of whether all the effort, time and money you have put in was worth the investment.Estimate the L&D spend, including design and development costs against the benefits that have been observed post implementation of the training. These could be increased sales, more productivity or even a reduction in the customer complaints. Use measurable metrics to chalk out the cost vs performance ratio and determine whether the training strategy has worked the way you wanted it to.6. Feedback from employees When it comes to judging the effectiveness of your training programs, your employees are often your best critics.By collecting their feedback and receptiveness, you can measure the effectiveness of your training program and see what could be done to improve it.Collect data in the form of a survey that could be programmed to rank employee satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Collect suggestions on the topics that were useful and those that were not, and find out from them what the weak areas of your training course were.Above all, your learners should find the course content interesting and valuable, or they will not feel the need to complete it wholeheartedly. If your employees were not engaged and motivated through the learning journey, then you are clearly doing something wrong. 

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Online Training Programs?

6K
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Online Training Programs?

We are in an era of continual change, with new innovations disrupting the workplace and resulting in radical new styles of working. 

The only way that organizations can hope to stay relevant in this competitive age is by adopting the technological advances and transformative models of the future of work.

As edge computing, AI and automation forge new paths in today’s business world, companies have realized that employee upskilling has become, more than ever, an imperative. Talent Trends 2020, a study by PwC  indicates that three quarters of CEOs questioned were concerned about whether they would have the talent needed to navigate an uncertain economic futureMeasuring Training EffectivenessWhen questioned on their upskilling programs in reducing skill gaps and mismatches, the global consensus put their perceived effectiveness as only 20%. Even companies with advanced upskilling initiatives reported a meagre 35% rate of effectiveness of their training programs.

Measuring Training Effectiveness

While upskilling and reskilling can get employees attuned to industry advancements and breed confidence, how can CEOs be sure that the training they are being given is actually having the desired impact?

To completely reap the rewards of a continuous learning paradigmthe right measures must be in place to gauge how impactful the training program was.

In-depth evaluation is required to judge what is missing from the training sessions, and what can be done to improve the ROI on employee training.

And the figures speak for themselves. Today’s businesses are losing whopping amounts of money through ineffective training. Harvard Business Review states that although organizations are collectively spending in excess of $350 billion globally on training, this is money that is not put to the best use.

Consider this:

  • A Gartner study finds that 70% of employeesfeel they lack mastery over the skills needed for their current jobs; 
  • Just12% of employeesare confident enough to apply new skills learned through training programs; and 
  • In a recent McKinseysurvey, 25% of the respondents were certain that the right training could significantly improve performance. 

So, where exactly are we going wrong? 

L&D teams often implement training programs without a comprehensive understanding of what defines an effective training program.  

  • Considerable time is wasted as employees spend 11% more learning time than is optimal for best performance. 
  • This lost time translates to productivity losses to the tune of up to $134 million. 
  • And the wasted investment on L&D functions is at least $6.5 millionmoney that could have been put to much better use.

What you are wasting

Just measuring satisfaction scores or course completion targets is not enough, and the true measure of impact should evaluate actual business outcomes post training. Real returns can be judged by the pay-off in terms of time schedules, productivity and financials of the company.

Here’s how you can measure the effectiveness of your online training programs!

To make the most of your training investment and eke out value for every dollar spent, you should be able to offer your employees the training they need to boost productivity. Here’s how you can do that.

1. Pre-training and post training assessmentsPre-training and post training assessments

Learning programs are usually developed incorporating assessments that can test the employees’ understanding and retention of the theories learnt. By knowing where they have gone wrong, they could build upon their weaknesses and reinforce their strengths till they achieve mastery of the subject matter.

These assessments are also useful to judge whether your training program has achieved its goals. For instance, if you find that a majority of the employees are getting stuck at a particular interim assessment, you could take another look at the module to see if the content can be simplified for better understanding.

Pre and post tests can measure knowledge gained from undertaking a training course and evaluate whether the training has had the desired effect.

Assessments can take the following forms: 

  • Before training: The learner’s present level of skills and knowledge is judged. 
  • During training: Short tests at regular intervals can help to judge comprehension of concepts learnt. 
  • After training: Various evaluation methods could be used to determine whether the training has been effective, and the learning objectives have been achieved. 

2. Scenarios and simulations

Once the training has been completed, how would you know whether your employees have actually absorbed the lessons learnt? Are they able to apply their new skills on the shop floor, for instance, and would you trust them to get it right the first time?

Scenarios or real-work situations can put the learner in the driver’s seat, judging their ability to translate the learning to a work-like situation. By creating a series of scenario-based tests, you can determine their level of retention and understanding of the concepts learnt. An ideal scenario-based test is one that is credible and true to life, of which the outcome is easily measured.

If your employees are consistently failing the tests, you should look at refining the learning curriculum or providing additional learning content, until they are well versed with all the learning objectives and can apply theory to practice.

3. Learning analyticsLearning analytics

Learning Management Systems or platforms often have in-built analytics that evaluate the learning journey of your employees. These learning analytics use data collected during the learning journey to trace the efficiency of the learning.

For instance, the time spent on each module, the number of attempts of each assessment, and so on can be used to tailor the training for greater effectiveness. As an example, if most of the learners are breezing through a particular module but spending far too long on another, you might want to assess the difficulty levels of the content and adjust it as needed.

AI algorithms can further use this data to personalize the learner’s path, giving suggestions as to which are the topics that need further focus. 

4. Adoption of technique post training 

In many instances, the learner may understand the concepts very well during the training—but find themselves at a loss when they have to apply the knowledge to solve a real-world problem.

Are your employees putting their newly acquired skills to practice, or falling back into the error of their old ways?

Try observing your employers before and after the training session to find out if they are actually achieving the goals of the training. For instance, teams that try to adopt Agile often fall by the wayside, simply because they are more in tune with traditional ways of working and fail to readily transition to the Agile mindset.

Post training follow up sessions and technique training can create opportunities for practice, and ensure that the new knowledge acquired is correctly implemented. 

5. Measure business impact/ ROI post training

The ROI is the clearest indicator of how effective your training strategy is.

A Peoplematters article states that in a study, 55% of companies that registered high-growth averaged 30-50 learning hours per employee, while 61% of low-growth companies only spent less than 30 hours of average learning per employee.

By knowing the impact of your training programs after a predetermined period post the training, you can get an idea of whether all the effort, time and money you have put in was worth the investment.

Estimate the L&D spend, including design and development costs against the benefits that have been observed post implementation of the training. These could be increased sales, more productivity or even a reduction in the customer complaints. Use measurable metrics to chalk out the cost vs performance ratio and determine whether the training strategy has worked the way you wanted it to.

6. Feedback from employees 

When it comes to judging the effectiveness of your training programs, your employees are often your best critics.

By collecting their feedback and receptiveness, you can measure the effectiveness of your training program and see what could be done to improve it.

Collect data in the form of a survey that could be programmed to rank employee satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Collect suggestions on the topics that were useful and those that were not, and find out from them what the weak areas of your training course were.

Above all, your learners should find the course content interesting and valuable, or they will not feel the need to complete it wholeheartedly. If your employees were not engaged and motivated through the learning journey, then you are clearly doing something wrong. 

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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They played remarkable roles as healthcare workers, primary caregivers, counsellors, community workers and engineers and technical innovators and truly made a difference through selfless, untiring service to humanity.And yet, their burdens were disproportionate and their contributions largely went unrecognized. Countries that are headed by women—Germany, New Zealand, Finland and Ethiopia, among others—have been far more successful in halting the progress of Covid-19 in its tracks, making rapid and decisive decisions that were based on compassion and that their citizens responded to. Even so, only 20 countries worldwide have women at the helm of their Governments.Not just in politics, but women are unable to effectively participate in public life, and are as yet unable to make significant contributions to leadership roles in many corporates across sectors and industries. Why this disparity, in today’s day and age? What can organizations do to encourage more women to come out and utilize their strengths, getting recognized just as much as men in a similar role would be?Breaking the Glass Ceiling Traditionally considered the weaker and fairer sex, few women in the 80s and 90s had reached a position where they could wield power and authority. Even when they did, they were expected to lead in much the same manner that a man would: by being authoritarian, directive and leading from the top.However, times and changing and so are trends in the workplace. More women today are at the helm of organizations, big and small, than ever before. They inevitably find that they face bigger challenges than their male counterparts and have to struggle far more to prove themselves.A large part of their workplace woes stem from the fact that what is deemed acceptable behaviour from a male leader is often frowned upon in a woman. If a man is aggressive and assertive, he is respected, while if a woman acts the same way she is considered to be dominating.Similarly, if a woman leader shows that she is caring and nurturing, instead of considering that these are positive traits she is dismissed as lacking authority and being too soft.Women are also automatically given more responsibilities at home, and are considered the more natural caregivers for children and elders in the family. It will take not just a more sensitive organization, but also a more supportive family for them to be able to successfully navigate the challenges of being a woman leader in today’s world. A study by Pew Research showed that about four out of ten Americans feel that there are higher standards set for women seeking to climb the corporate ladder, where they have to struggle much more to prove themselves than a male would have to. The second biggest hurdle was found to be, quite simply, the fact that companies were not really ready to hire women leaders.Women are also automatically given more responsibilities at home, and are considered the more natural caregivers for children and elders in the family. It will take not just a more sensitive organization, but also a more supportive family for them to be able to successfully navigate the challenges of being a woman leader in today’s world. But there are many clear benefits of a woman leader that put them head and shoulders above male leaders.  Women view situations from a new angle. They bring a fresh perspective and a whole new approach to problem-solving that comes out of their own life experiences, which are inherently different from a male viewpoint. They are naturally more empathetic; and mentoring, guiding and collaborating come far more easily to them.  They are excellent communicators and are readily able to manage teams across geographies.  Their capacity for high emotional maturity also helps them to get under the skin of their subordinates better, and be sympathetic to their diverse situations and any personal issues they may have.  When teams led by women feel that they are being heard, they rally together to perform better.A McKinsey study found that on the average, women exhibit five out of nine leadership behaviours that drive organizational performance more often than men. This contributes significantly to stronger organizational performances.Image SourceA Nudge in the Right Direction In fact, having more women in leadership positions isn’t just good for feminist morale—it has been proven to boost profitability.The US think tank, the Peterson Institute conducted a study of over 21,000 public companies across 91 countries, and found a direct correlation between the numbers of women there were at the higher management levels and the bottom line.On the average, a company with 30% female leadership was able to notch up at least 6 percentage points to their net margin, as compared to a similar company with no female leadership. It has been found that women should be at a critical mass of over 20% at the decision making levels in order to catalyse higher performances.What Can Organizations Do to Increase the Numbers of Women in Leadership Roles? The spotlight is already on the concept of equity and gender fairness, and with targeted support, more women can take those all-important first steps to move ahead in the workplace. The first step in the right direction would be to create awareness, across all levels, of the need to create more gender equity in the workplace.   The proportion of women at each rung of the management ladder and among fresh recruits can be studied, and steps taken to address any inadequate representation of women at any level.Pay levels and attrition rates need to be studied, and any salary disparities should be plugged.By carrying out a diagnosis of the existing situation, the management can identify gaps and bottlenecks and take steps to promote more eligible women to suitable posts.Women in Leadership at KnowledgeHut: Dissolving the Gender Barrier!   A versatile leader, Shyni Satyamitra is the Chief Sales Officer at KnowledgeHut, a leading Ed-tech company offering a wide repertoire of professional training programs that equip workforce for the digital age, helping enterprises across industries and sectors develop new capabilities and nurture future-ready talent. Shyni provides a deep understanding and balanced perspective on how the right workplace culture is critical to promote women in leadership positions in today’s VUCA world and emerging industry landscape.She feels that women face many of the same challenges that men face in the workplace — juggling responsibilities at home and at work, spending quality time with their kids, and trying to create a sensible work/life balance in the bargain, so that they are not burnt out during their professional career span.While in many organizations, women do face the added pressure of discrimination and gender bias at work; Shyni as a true leader and being part of the executive leadership group has never allowed or faced a situation at KnowledgeHut where a male and a female in the same role are perceived differently—be it within her team or across the organization. Many of the teams she has led in the past decade were comprised of a majority of women… if not all women…and they worked well as a cohesive unit to drive positive business outcomes and results. While she has no complaints about the salary scale at KnowledgeHut, which is completely merit-and-capability based, in many other companies there is a very real wage gap and women often earn anywhere between 33 - 75% of what men in a similar position take home. Even today, she feels, the higher up the ladder you climb, the fewer women you will find than actually deserve to belong there! She consciously does all she can to reverse this push down trend.In her own experience, she finds that women bring their inherent traits of compassion and understanding to the table, and empathy is a critical skill for leaders in any domain.Shyni has always leveraged her emotional quotient towards her team and empathy towards customers, which is a key differentiator as a woman leader apart from the usual leadership strengths of creative thinking and problem solving."Leading by example is the way to go—and by creating more awareness, and increasing the numbers of women at middle and senior management levels, workplaces worldwide will be moving in the right direction to create a more gender diverse culture," is Shyni's take away on the subject.This year, let’s all #ChooseToChallenge gender bias and inequality. Together, we can create a world that’s inclusive and celebrates women, not just those in leadership roles, but in every role!More power to all women, all over the world. 
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More Power to Women! Women in Leadership Roles

This year, the theme chosen by UN Women celebrates... Read More