Reasons You Must Measure and Evaluate Training Outcomes

    Evaluating employee training programs is vital to maximizing engagement and showing ROI. This factsheet explores strategies for getting started with data-based training measurement.
    calendar-plus-01 June 26, 2024
    user-circle Credly Team
    Manager reviewing strategies to measure training program effectiveness

    Employee training is more crucial than ever. In 2019, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that advances in technology and automation would eliminate or radically transform 48% of all jobs globally. The entry of artificial intelligence (AI) into the marketplace has amplified that trend further, highlighting an increased need for soft skills.

    As employers navigate these rapid technological advancements and jockey for competitive advantage, ensuring the workforce is equipped with the right skills is a must-have.

    Yet, it's not just about conducting training programs. HR and L&D leaders must rigorously evaluate outcomes to align with organizational goals. This evaluation provides accountability, enhances future training, and facilitates budgeting by demonstrating business impact.

    This factsheet explores the importance of measuring training outcomes, key metrics, and how digital badges can enhance the process, amplifying training impact.

    Why Measuring Training Outcomes is Critical

    Employee training fosters professional development, enhances employee performance, ensures that the workforce remains agile and adaptable, and strengthens retention and engagement.

    However, to reap all these benefits, organizations must adopt a systematic approach to measure and demonstrate training outcomes. These not only validate training effectiveness, but also help focus and strengthen future training to better meet organizational objectives.

    The Basics of Measuring Skills Training Programs

    Training effectiveness is determined by how well the acquired skills are applied in the workplace and how they contribute to business goals. To gauge this, employers must focus on specific metrics that provide insights into the training program’s impact. Here are five common metrics to consider:
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    Attendance Rates

    The percentage of eligible employees attending training sessions. High attendance indicates strong interest and perceived value in the training programs.
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    Completion Rates

    The percentage of people who complete the training. High completion rates suggest high levels of employee engagement and commitment — critical traits in a healthy workforce.
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    Time to Competency

    The time it takes for employees to become proficient in new skills. This metric assesses the efficiency of the training program in equipping employees with needed competencies.
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    Performance Improvement

    Changes in employees’ job performance post-training. By measuring performance, this metric tracks the impact of training on productivity and job effectiveness.
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    Cost per Employee

    The investment made per employee for training. This helps in evaluating the cost-effectiveness and budget management of training programs.

    Altogether, these metrics allow L&D leaders to assess the impact of training on individuals while also measuring the value created for the company. But collecting this data is just the first step.

    Making Sense of Metrics with a Comprehensive Review

    A comprehensive review of the impact of training involves more than just measuring engagement, completion and post-training metrics. Business leaders need to integrate that data with broader business insights to showcase the strategic value of training. According to Valamis, a successful data and information integration approach should provide management insights into:

    • Knowledge Gained: What employees have learned and retained.
    • Practical Application: How well employees apply new skills and blend learning with day-to-day tasks.
    • Business Alignment: How training aligns with organizational goals.
    • Comparative Analysis: How different learning approaches perform relative to each other.
    • Return on Investment: How training investments translate into tangible outcomes.

    The Case for Measuring Training Outcomes

    Organizations can gain several benefits from a robust training measurement program. Measurement helps companies strengthen and improve the training programs themselves, satisfy regulators or compliance requirements, and demonstrate the bottom-line value of training.

    Benefit 1

    Effectiveness Assessment & Continuous Improvement

    Measuring training outcomes allows organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of their training programs. This assessment is critical for identifying areas of improvement, enabling organizations to refine their strategies and deliver more impactful learning experiences. Because business is constantly changing, training programs must also constantly evolve. That requires assessing training effectiveness as business strategies shift over time, and then modifying training programs to keep them aligned with the business.

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    Benefit 2

    Compliance and Certification Requirements

    For some industries, regulatory or certification requirements mandate the measurement of training outcomes. Ensuring employees meet these standards helps organizations maintain compliance, adhere to industry standards, and mitigate potential risks.

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    Benefit 3

    ROI Calculation & Business Case Justification

    Demonstrating the ROI of training is essential for securing budget. By comparing training costs with improvements in employee performance and business outcomes, L&D leaders and HR teams can highlight the value and cost-effectiveness of their programs. For Pearson’s iSell learning and development initiative, for example, leaders measured digital badge acceptance and sharing rates, plus self-reported ROI, for sales team members. The result was a $14.5 million return on investment.

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    The Power of Digital Badges

    Traditional data collection methods can be time-consuming and, worse yet, may not always lead to insights grounded in verifiable skills data. When skills are inferred, rather than based on credible learning experiences and backed up by digital credentials, employers may gain a distorted or overly rosy view of workforce skills.

    Digital badges offer a solution. They reward employees with shareable credentials that indicate the verified skills each employee has. They also make data collection and tracking easier.

    Digital badges enhance training programs by:

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    Providing Verifiable Credentials

    Each badge contains metadata that verifies the skills and accomplishments of the badge earner.


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    Encouraging Engagement

    The tangible reward of a badge motivates employees to complete training programs and achieve new milestones.


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    Facilitating Data-Driven Decisions

    Analytics from badge data help organizations make informed decisions about future training investments and strategies.


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    Enhancing Advancement from Within

    Employees can share badges on digital networks with colleagues, boosting their visibility and potentially leading to new career opportunities inside the organization — without the expense that external job searches typically bring for employers.


    Measurement Requires Data

    Measuring training outcomes ensures their effectiveness and business impact. By leveraging Credly, the world’s leading digital credentials platform, it provides built-in analytic tools that allow organizations to gather data on badge acceptance rates, share rates, and the skills employees have earned. Organizations can validate the impact of their training initiatives and make the business case for the further investments needed in a rapidly changing world.

    Additionally, integrating Credly with learning management systems or other platforms can further streamline training progress and business outcomes are tracked.

    Download our whitepaper below to discover how Credly’s digital badge platform can support your organization’s training and business needs.


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