Dear Workforce How Do We Measure the Effectiveness of Training Consultants?

By Staff Report

Sep. 13, 2007

Dear Questions Linger:

Whether these trainers are our company’s employees or professionals to whom you have subcontracted the work, the prescription is the same. First, you must define a successful training event from both an external and internal point of view.

The key is to understand that customer satisfaction drives true success, so begin by identifying the key stakeholders in your customer’s organization and designing metrics based upon what they would or would not expect from a successful event. Stakeholders might include the department purchasing your services, the human resources department, program participants and/or senior management. Because all customers, stakeholders and programs may be different, external success criteria could vary from one training event to the next. So, in the end, you may have multiple success measures based on each customer’s definition of success.

Once you have captured the metrics you believe drive customer satisfaction, you should test them to make sure they measure what was intended. It is important to validate your metrics on a regular basis and to update them based upon your customer’s expectations. For instance, if the customer is not interested in the cost per unit of service, why measure it?

From an internal perspective, your company’s metrics for measuring consultant performance and program success should be consistent and understandable. You must develop a metric that consolidates the previous metrics into one success metric (for example, overall customer satisfaction). Just because the customer’s criteria may vary from engagement to engagement, your performance expectations must allow the trainer to gauge if he/she was successful or not successful.

Your consultants should be fully aware of the expectations of both your customer and your company, and they should understand the metrics and the impact to their success. This will set them up for success by letting them know how to meet both the customer’s needs and those of your company. By clearly setting expectations upfront, you can avoid disappointing your customer and your trainers.

Once the metrics are established and validated, begin measuring and reporting on progress and or issues on a regular basis with both the customer and the training consultant. This will allow for celebration of successes and refocusing if off track.

So, the steps are:

  1. Define success from your customer’s perspective.
  2. Develop success metrics.
  3. Test and validate the metrics.
  4. Develop consistent internal metric aligned with customer success metric.
  5. Test and validate the metric.
  6. Communicate expectation and metric(s) used to validate success to both the customer and the consultant.
  7. Measure consistently and update progress regularly.

Following these steps will help you to develop a fair and consistent approach to measuring success—both of your programs and your trainers.

SOURCE: Chris Hatcher and Daryl Krimsky, Capital H Group, the Woodlands, Texas, August 1, 2007.

LEARN MORE: Teaching employees to be trainers can be effective, although they are challenges to be met.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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