How do you measure the effectiveness of a training program? This question is similar to one people ask about the effectiveness of advertising. The story goes that all advertising is only 50% effective. The problem is finding out which 50% that is.
Dana Corporation identified a problem that affected engine part sales. Lack of quality machinist training was critical to the growth and expansion of machine shops. Fewer machine shops mean fewer parts sold. After a needs analysis was completed, the Dana solution was to offer their customers machine shop training.
Measuring the effectiveness of this training was accomplished in several ways. Paper and pencil evaluations (smile sheets), follow-up telephone surveys and skill mastery exercises were a few of the methods used to measure the training program. The difficulty in obtaining evidence was partially attributed to the fact that customers were trained and not Dana employees.
Some key questions need to be answered if one wants their training program to be accountable. Do I have specific budget for training? Does my business train its customers how to use, sell and promote its products and services? Is my business's training program part of my cost control/profit strategy? Does my business have at least one person responsible for training? These are critical questions that need to be answered if one wants to make performance pay through training.