HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

Training Efficiency

You know training will make your business better, but are unsure how to communicate the importance to your boss or leadership. Being able to explain the training efficiency helps you provide both personal stories as well as data to make a convincing case and ensure your program is on the right track. Read on to see how this can help your business.

What Is Training Efficiency?

Training efficiency is the success of a training session or program. Simply stated, does the activity make the company better? We will discuss the various ways to measure this to help you find the best solutions for your business. We will also review how to measure training efficiency to get you started.

Why Is Training Efficiency Important?

Training efficiency refers to effective use of company resources, company adaptability, and being a strategic business partner. If you are going to spend time and money, don’t you want to make sure it is having a positive result? Let’s look at some reasons why training efficiency is important
  • Reporting. To obtain buy-in from leadership to start a training program, provide an update or begin a new training session you can utilize to measure training efficiency. Leaders often ask about the return on investment (ROI) or why training would benefit the company or department. This can be answered by training efficiency which provides a starting ground for conversation as to why the training is important.
  • Adaptability. The marketplace is constantly changing as new technologies are created or different government policies are enacted. Training efficiency helps you know how long it takes to implement a company-wide change to procedure.
  • Onboarding. Training efficiency helps you estimate how long it takes for a new hire to get up to full operating speed. Different people learn at different speeds, but knowing the average time can help you decide if more help is needed.

How to Measure Training Efficiency

While there are a wide variety of ways to measure training, here are three common methods that are utilized.

Step 1: Choose a Key Performance Indicator

Selecting which key performance indicator (KPI) you hope to change is the first step in measuring training efficiency. Examples could include customer satisfaction for your center, meeting shipping deadlines for your warehouse, releasing new modules for your online software every month, etc. This KPI shows the short and long-term gains from your training program.

Step 2: Measure the Time to Change

Measuring how long it takes to implement your desired change can provide important insights. Be sure to review both the short and long-term effects of your training. If the program participants make the change immediately, that is a good sign, but if the changes are lost after a month or two, additional changes may be needed.

Step 3: Record Number of Participants

This metric is most powerful for voluntary training but can be utilized for required training as well. Looking at resources invested and how many people utilized the program can help you communicate with your coworkers and leadership. This is a powerful metric when paired with the change in your KPI.

Tips to Make Training More Efficient

Developing a training program takes a lot of time and resources. In addition, you will be asking employees to set aside their current work initiatives to participate. Let’s review five tips on making your training efficient.

Identify if Training Is the Solution

A key aspect of problem-solving is understanding what the current issue is. Depending on the situation, it’s possible that a training program will not solve the problem. Do not hesitate to make this suggestion and then explain to your co-workers or leaders why you feel that way. The best training programs in the world do not make up for lacking basic supplies to accomplish your work. Training cannot fix a bad business model or help you increase your applicant pool for specific jobs. A great HR leader knows when to point out that training is not the answer.

Collaborate to Solve

If assigned to head a training project, communicate frequently with the leaders of the department that will receive the training. They will have key insights on what will help their employees internalize the principles and make the training a success. Common questions may include the following:
  • What is the best method of communication for your department's employees: supervisor communication, sit-down meetings, online training access, etc.?
  • When is your department busy during the year and when are they slow?
  • What issues have your employees been bringing to your supervisors recently?
These questions can help you get a better sense of the issues to be addressed and identify the best times to implement the training.

Keep Your Audience in Mind

When developing your training, keep your audience in mind to identify the best ways to obtain your desired result. A computer programmer learns differently than an accountant and a good training program will utilize that knowledge to improve its efficiency. If you are creating a company-wide training, refer to your workplace culture or how the leadership team communicates company-wide information.
“Be willing to train something differently than what may be considered effective to you. If you think PowerPoints are effective to teach a topic, that’s great, but not everybody receives learning that way. Be willing to teach topics to all different learning types, even if it doesn’t match your learning style.” — Abby Olson, VP of training at Crumbl Cookies HQ

Run a Pilot Group

The purpose of a pilot group is to test the efficiency of a training program on a small group of people who can provide feedback before the program is given to the entire population. This allows you to identify certain areas that are confusing and create the best final draft.

Ask for Feedback and Evaluate Progress

At the end of a training cycle, give the participants a chance to offer feedback through a survey, communicating with their supervisor, or directly with you. This will give you a sense of how the training went.
“You can teach somebody to do something over and over and over again, but until you find the best way to measure their comprehension of what you’re teaching them, you’ll never be able to tell if your training is effective.” — Abby Olson, VP of training at Crumbl Cookies HQ
Another important measurement of your training program is if it solved the problem it set out to solve. Evaluate progress at 30, 60, or 90 days or another cadence that makes sense for your business. The KPI your training was built to improve should show improvement. If nothing seems to change, start asking why and make adjustments accordingly.
Brent Watson

Brent Watson

Brent Watson enjoys problem solving, analyzing data, team building, and becoming an HR Guru. His work experience comes from the employee experience, recruiting, and training arenas. After attending a local HR conference, Brent knew that he had found his people and the problems he wanted to solve for in the business world.
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Frequently asked questions
Other Related Terms
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Bell Curve Performance Management
Cost of Labor
Cost per Hire
Employee Experience Metrics
Employee Lifecycle
Employment Cost Index (ECI)
Hiring Quota
Human Capital Metrics
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