When commissioning training for your healthcare staff, consider the following 5 evaluation methods before investing in any training programs:
1. Satisfaction and participant reaction
The most basic evaluation of training measures satisfaction. Usually, the trainer will hand out a survey at the end of the course to see how the participants reacted to the training.
We send out an electronic survey to measure satisfaction rates with our training courses. What specific levels of satisfaction and reaction to the training are you looking for? It could be:
- Did your staff enjoy the training?
- Did they like the trainer?
- Would they want him or her back?
- Do they think they felt it was an appropriate use of their time?
- Do they think the material was relevant to their work?
- How likely would they be to recommend the course to colleagues?
In most cases, training evaluation begins and ends here. However, there are 4 other important ways to evaluate any training program.
2. Knowledge acquisition
The second level of evaluation is knowledge acquisition. In our experience, many work-related training courses do not have an examination attached.
A valid and reliable examination following training can help determine if the content was learned or not. It can flag participants that did not acquire the learning and further support those who did (potentially making them mentors).
Also, it can flag trends of areas that may require further training or additional coaching. What specific knowledge and skill(s) do you want the participants to develop?
As an example, our Increase telephone conversion rates course examination, also completed by participants online, asks questions like:
- What is the goal of the first phone call?
- What specific pieces of information do you need from the caller, before you qualify them?
- What do you do if someone asks you how much it costs at the start of the call?
- What are some examples of a dominant buying motive for your product or service?
- Provide a good example of a bridging statement when moving from Opening to Closing the call?
- If you cannot book the appointment on the first call, what is the first option you will provide callers with?
We find that participants take training more seriously when they know they will be requested to demonstrate what they learned after the training.
So, we send participants the exam within a week of training, grade their responses, and share these with their line managers. This can help ensure that any gaps in knowledge can be quickly sown up so that participants don’t pick up new, poor habits.
3. Behavioural application
The third level of evaluation answers the question – are they applying what they learned. What behaviours are you seeking to change as the knowledge and skills are applied on the job following training?
For our custom training programs, we evaluate behaviour (level 3), in addition to reaction (level 1) and knowledge acquisition (level 2).
For example, for our Ready to Convert telephone enquiry handling course, we conduct at least 10 mystery calls before the training, record them and grade them according to the learning objectives of our course.
After training, we conduct a further 10 mystery calls and compare their results with the results from the pre-training and present this report to management.
This, more than anything else, can demonstrate the degree to which participants apply their new knowledge in the real world.
That can provide clear evidence of who is applying the training and who is not, and can lead management to correct misapplication, and reward close application after training.