Training without feedback is like sailing out into the ocean without a compass. That is precisely what some organizations do. Using metrics to create training feedback loops helps ensure employees are learning the "right" kind of skills, and the company is getting the maximum return on its training investment. Selecting beneficial training metrics should take into consideration the reliability and strategic focus of each measurement.
Feedback is a tool for assessment of training effectiveness. Appropriate feedback provides measurable evidence that a training program is doing what was intended. When the evidence does not support the training program, changes must be made to evolve the training program into something more advantageous.
All training programs should be aligned to the organizational objectives in a way that funnels people toward the most beneficial learning. Without this alignment, people will be expected to perform their jobs in ways that don't help the organization. When strategies change, training should also change to be more reflective of those goals.
Selecting functional feedback makes a big difference in performance. When not selected with care, the metric will have little meaning and could cause your significant harm as output and operational need become misaligned. You will be training people on the wrong type of information with the wrong objectives in mind thereby weakening the organization.
Feedback metrics should also be reliable and valid. Metrics should provide consistent and valid results that lead to greater insight. If you are seeking to improve performance on a given task, the metric must be chosen so that it is accurately reflecting what is happening in the work environment. More metrics are only beneficial if they lead to greater understanding.
There are thousands of different metrics that companies use to determine successful training. The most common are pre and post-test offered within the training. However, learning in class may not always equate to performance on the job. The best metrics integrate training with actual performance in a way that realizes tangible results for organizations.
Some Feedback Loops: