As an HR manager, it is important to evaluate your company’s leadership training program to determine its effectiveness, short- and long-term benefits as well as negative results, if any. Knowing the impact of your existing training program will help you figure out whether the current resource allotment is adequate or lacking, what methods are working and what approaches are no longer useful. Most importantly, it will help you measure any improvement in the participants’ overall work performance.
Your company will reap numerous benefits from proper and timely leadership training assessment. Here are five practical ways to check the impact of your training program:
- Administer pre- and post-training surveys. This is one of the easiest and most commonly used methods in evaluating leadership training programs. Use an empirical measurement scale (e.g., common scales used in research on training and development or a scale developed by your company using its own indicators) to assess the participants’ knowledge and skills before and after the training. Compare the scores of both surveys per trainee to derive the level of improvement.
- Ask feedback from other employees who directly interact with the training participants. If the participants are managers or top-rank officials, ask direct staff or assistants if there has been a change in their leaders’ performance. Likewise, request feedback from the trainees’ supervisors. Assure them that the data will be kept confidential and used solely for evaluation purposes. In addition, assure them that the results of the inquiry will not interfere with their relationship with the person in question.
- Gather feedback from clients. For unbiased evaluations, ask the participants’ clients to assess pre- and post-training performance. This is considered effective because client responses are usually free from personal bias. Prepare a set of questions or develop criteria that will guide clients in giving feedback.
- Determine the participants’ reactions. At the end of a training program, require the trainees to fill out an evaluation form or complete a brief survey. However, one of the disadvantages of this method is that the participants may not share their comments or give detailed responses. This will lead to inaccurate evaluation results.
- Conduct on-the-job evaluation. To see if the leadership training program objectives were met, check in with the participants while they are working. This way, you can observe how the training has influenced their interpersonal skills, management techniques and outputs. After all, leadership training is meant to transform them into better business leaders and more efficient company members.
Celebrate positive evaluation results but be careful not to rest on your laurels. When measuring the effectiveness of your company’s leadership training program, also consider other circumstances that could influence short- and long-term impact. For example, non-work factors (e.g., personal problems and health conditions) could affect the participants’ performance before, during and after the training. Take these factors into account throughout training program planning and implementation. Always track the progress of leadership training and take advantage of post-training evaluation. Understanding the results will help you design and implement better training programs in the future.