As a customer education professional, you know how important it is to measure your program's' effectiveness. You want to make sure that it meets the needs of the participants and meets the business goals you set out for it. However the thought of doing a deep dive into your training program's results is scary. Probably because that means wading through a stack of paper feedback forms or attempting to use a database program that has more options and features than NASA Mission Control.
Yet analysis and reflection doesn't have to be frightening. In fact, it can be rather enlightening. Once you see all the insight available to you, I'm sure you won't be as uncomfortable doing it. You'll learn more about your program and the participants, which can lead to even better training programs and more profitable results for your business. You want to ensure success for everyone, including yourself, right?
Instead of working with a complex and unwieldy training analysis process, let's use a simple questionnaire. These 3 questions will help you analyze your training programs without adding complexity. (Plus one more just for good measure.)
Ready? 1, 2, 3, Let's Go!
3 Questions to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Training Programs
Question 1: What work did you do prior to developing the training program?
Your training programs must incorporate your customers' business language, systems, information, goals, and targets. You must have a clear understanding of this prior to developing the program, otherwise your post-program feedback and analysis won't be complete.
Question 2: Do you understand the business goals or targets the training program must meet?
In order to develop an appropriate training program, you must also understand the business goals it is to meet. It is preferable to focus on customer goals, with your company goals as a second priority. Typically programs change skills, knowledge, or attitudes of participants, so having a clear understanding of this and how it maps to business results is important.
Question 3: Are the program feedback mechanisms standardized?
Standard feedback mechanisms and questions help you quantify and tabulate feedback easily.
Question 3a: Do you also allow non-standard feedback?
That means asking open-ended questions in feedback surveys, but also soliciting feedback at different times after the program has ended. For example, sending email surveys to managers of participants to discover how participants are using the new knowledge. And asking participants several months later to ask if they found the training valuable to their business activities. Your customer success team should be able to help you do this.
Question 4: Do you understand how to use the feedback you've gathered?
It's great to gather all this feedback and information about your training programs, now it's time to use it. Having processes and procedures in place to use the information is important as well. You must understand how the information applies to the program, your development and delivery of it, as well as any modifications or revisions you must make based on it.
In other words, if you are going to collect feedback, you must act on the information.
Over to you
See? That wasn't so painful, was it? Analyzing your training programs is an important step for any training pro, and it gives you good, solid information about your programs. They don't exist in a vacuum and neither do you. So use these questions to start thinking about your programs and find out how effective they really are.
Have you been ignoring your training program effectiveness analysis because you've been scared about what you'll find out? Or maybe your existing process is too complex for you? Share your fears in the comments and let us know how you've overcome them.
To dig further into this topic, we are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, October 25 called Demonstrate the Value of Customer Education with Salesforce. This webinar aims to further our ability to make the connection between customer training activity and account performance, so that we can show management how customer education improves some or all of the metrics the business cares about most. Then we will show examples of how this can be done in Salesforce, if your LMS and Salesforce are integrated the right way.