I recently answered a reader question about getting feedback from new hires. Also, in the reader question was a mention about getting training feedback. I don’t recall ever writing about training feedback and it’s an important topic, so I wanted to toss out some thoughts.
I think about training feedback in the same thread as training evaluations. Part of the feedback process is understanding how valuable the training session was for participants. But it’s equally important to get some feedback about the training session from other stakeholders – for example, the subject matter experts utilized during the design process, the instructional designers who wrote the program, and the trainers/facilitators who delivered it.
It’s also critical to get feedback from the participant’s managers – find out their perceptions now that one of their employees has attended training. Did the employee come back from training excited and energized to use their new knowledge or were they indifferent to the time spent in training?
Next, there’s feedback about the session itself. I know it might sound silly but you do need to get feedback about the logistics. I’m a firm believer that the mind can absorb only what the rear can endure. So if the chairs are hard, the seating is cramped, lighting is poor and the room is cold…guess what? It impacts training.
Get feedback about the trainer/facilitator. There’s a time and place for edu-tainment (Translation = education + entertainment) and there’s not. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve asked participants about a facilitator and received the reply, “he’s so funny!” I asked what the topic was and get crickets. Having the right person deliver the content in the right way is essential.
Then find out about the actual training content. One way to do this is by giving a little quiz at the start and again at the end of the session. Participants don’t need to put their names on it. The goal isn’t to trick people. It’s simply to understand what people know prior to the session and afterward. It will give you a gauge of how many questions were answered correctly at the beginning and how many at the end. Needless to say, the number should go up.
Being able to solicit feedback about the training process helps build good training programs. It gives companies valuable information to use before, during and after training sessions. It allows adjustments to be made that will enhance the session for future participants. And all of these actions lead to one thing – more effective and impactful training that will deliver outcomes to benefit the organization.