Gauging the Success of a Current Training Plan and Steps to Make an Improvement
Partner & Director of Operations
To have a quality and scalable high-growth company, it is crucial to constantly work on the employee training program.
If you can recognize that your people are your most valuable asset, it stands to reason that how you onboard and train them will have a significant influence. One of the ways our company grows and ensures professional and quality business plans is to put each employee through a structured training process.
A structured training process can improve chances of success for your business, as well as for your employees. I look at a training process like any other business process – it should always evolve.
As I mentioned in my previous article, when I started working at Joorney, I was a Business Plan Writer. My training process lasted just a couple of hours, during which I went through a well-written business plan with a senior writer. That was it. After that, I started on my very first business plan, from scratch!
Today, Joorney utilizes a structured three-week initial training plan. Every training process should adapt, improve and be efficient for the employees. This sparks a crucial question – How to gauge your current training plan’s success and what steps to take to make improvements?
In this article, I will dive into detail on how to identify if your training plan needs to change and how to go about changing it.
Monitor your training program and its success by collecting feedback from the trainee, trainer, and beyond
In order to monitor success and spot opportunities, the most valuable insights will come from the parties involved, beginning with the trainee themselves.
We have found it useful to collect trainee feedback at three different stages:
- during the initial training – useful to make immediate adjustments,
- immediately after the initial training has been completed – useful because the entire initial training program is fresh in the trainee’s mind,
- after some time has passed, i.e. a couple of months since the initial training has been completed – useful because this is when the trainee can first have a true understanding of how much the training helped with actual daily tasks – at this time, they performed those tasks long enough to gain such understanding
Currently, at Joorney we collect feedback verbally and in written form. Right after the initial training, trainees complete the “training satisfaction” questionnaire. During the training period, trainers and project managers give written feedback by evaluating the quality of trainees’ mock business plans. After the completion of a few real business plans, the trainees will complete the “training usefulness” questionnaire.
One way we look to further improve our training in the future is to have a slightly more standardized approach to how we request and receive feedback. This is a useful way to oversee the training process because you can collect the feedback you need, just by observing the performance of the most integral part of the process, the trainee.
You can also monitor the success of the training program by collecting the trainer’s feedback during training, as well as by collecting the feedback of the trainees’ supervisors about the trainees’ post-training performance.
Finally, you can monitor the training program by conducting a training audit – that is, by bringing in an experienced colleague to observe the training. This can be particularly helpful when a full-time trainer conducts the training – the observer can serve as a fresh pair of eyes and communicate insights to the trainer who has been conducting many training rounds and thus might have a hard time stepping out of the routine and seeing the larger picture.
Monitoring your training program is just one part of the process. The second part is the evaluation.
Evaluation helps to improve the training program and give it structure.
If you need to evaluate the training program, the success of the trainee in his current position and the trainee’s post-training satisfaction are useful metrics. However, what we particularly like as metrics that go beyond short-term monitoring and provide a longer-term evaluation are the trainees’ horizontal and upward mobility.
In other words, how well have both the initial and supplemental training equipped the trainees to quickly learn additional skills, perform new tasks or seamlessly progress to managerial roles? If the training program helps facilitate mobility and career development, then it is certainly a great one!
But, if the training process does not benefit your trainees as you thought it would, you will improve it and give it more structure.
Over the years, we have established an effective way of converting the insights from monitoring and evaluation into direct steps that can be used to make the necessary changes to your training program.
There are three main steps you can undertake to make a change.
- Collect ideas internally at all levels.
Have internal meetings where everyone involved in the process can suggest what to improve in your initial training program.
2. Determine – on an executive level – the number of resources you would like to allocate to the change/improvement.
This decision depends largely on how important the change is, how big of an issue the status quo situation is, and how effective you believe the best-proposed solutions can be in disrupting the status quo.
3. Start to involve more and more colleagues in the organization, prep, and planning so that you can make that drive towards the implementation stage as fast as possible.
Once the change is rolled out, you can monitor its effects right after the implementation.
Monitoring and evaluating is the key to creating an ever-improving training program for your trainers and trainees, but let us not forget about the vital steps to take to make a different and unique program. Involve your colleagues, determine the resources needed, collect ideas, and your training program will be a success.
Our highly-trained team of business experts will be happy to work with you on creating any business-critical documents you may need from pitch decks to business plans, market research to financial models, and beyond. You can be confident their training allows us to create and provide the highest quality documents. Contact us today for more information!