10 Innovative Ways To Measure Training Effectiveness

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Training evaluations help learning and development professionals identify what is missing in their L&D strategy. These insights aid in improving the efficiency of corporate training programs. 

However, businesses are losing $13.5 million per year per 1000 employees to ineffective training. Why? 

This is strange, considering most L&D departments are backed by data analytics, with a metrics for every activity. 

Also, with the growing importance of L&D departments in digital transformation initiatives, there is a need for L&D teams to demonstrate how effective each training program is and how it contributes to business outcomes and objectives.

So, wherein lies the gap in training effectiveness?

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that most of today’s L&D teams measure training effectiveness only to check a box. Efforts tend to be unsystematic, where some organizations only measure course completion and satisfaction scores, while others focus on behavioral change. And very few have graduated to evaluate the business outcomes of training.

This is something to consider – especially when investing months and thousands of dollars (with spending growing by 14% year on year) on elaborate workplace training sessions; companies need to know if the exercise is delivering any real returns in terms of time, productivity, and money.

What Is Training Effectiveness?

Training effectiveness measures the impact of training on the learner’s knowledge, skills, performance, and the company’s return on investment. To measure training effectiveness accurately, it is crucial to define the training’s goals and objectives clearly before implementation. Training effectiveness helps L&D teams to get the most out of their learning and training investments.

Benefits of Measuring Training Effectiveness

Organizations measure the effectiveness of training programs for a variety of reasons. The advantages and benefits of measuring training effectiveness include: 

  • To determine if training benefits employees.
  • To determine the ROI of a training program based on the effect on business outcomes nad performance.
  • To identify and improve issues in training programs.
  • To make informed decisions on which programs to continue, and to get an idea of the potential of future programs.
  • To hold everyone accountable to the standard your company has set for training.

What Are the 10 Best Ways to Measure Training Effectiveness in 2023?

  • Visual Authentication of Effectiveness
  • Intelligent Measurement with xAPI
  • Measuring Software Adoption
  • Measuring While Doing
  • Modern HR Analytics Platforms
  • Feedback & Surveys
  • Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation
  • Phillips ROI Model
  • Kaufman’s Five Levels of Evaluation
  • Anderson’s Model of Learning Evaluation

10 Innovative Ways To Measure Training in 2023

Traditional means of training measurement doesn’t cut it anymore. Analysis methodologies must catch up with the proliferation of new and dynamic training technologies, including microlearning, mobile, gamified learning, and social learning. Each of these needs a different evaluation approach, usually a mix of quantitative and qualitative metrics. 

What’s more, according to a McKinsey report, the impact of your learning strategy should depend on KPIs that sync with overall L&D initiatives and business priorities and if learning changes people’s behavior or performance.

Another important training KPI to track is how efficiently resources and investments are used for the corporate academy or operational excellence.

Apart from the basic methods such as attendance tracking, completion rates, and skill assessments, it is time to consider new and engaging solutions that shed light on the effectiveness of your training programs.



1. Visual Authentication of Effectiveness

The visual authentication approach measures training effectiveness via visual confirmation of employees completing the learned tasks in real life. Employees upload videos, audios, or images as proof of a task completed by harnessing the learnings from the training sessions. Such visual proof helps managers gauge if the training is successful and tailor future sessions accordingly.

For example, L&D teams record salespersons’ pitches before training and compare them to the call with a prospective client after the training. The difference in the quality of the pitch helps L&D managers make improvements in future training modules.

2. Intelligent Measurement with xAPI

Nowadays, learning can happen anywhere and anytime, which is great for learners but poses tracking issues for the L&D team. The growing popularity of such blended, adaptive, long-term, and interactive learning experiences led to the advent of Experience API (xAPI).

Intelligent Measurement with xAPI

Source: Elucidat

xAPI (formerly known as Tin Can) content standards aid in the production of personalized training content modules. xAPI can tell you exactly where learning is happening, powered by analytics & reporting features. 

This communications protocol tracks learning-related activity from different sources and stores it in a Learning Record Store (LRS). This means richer insights are mined that allow L&D teams to measure training effectiveness.

Digital adoption platform, such as Whatfix, harnesses xAPI to understand how users engage with the training content and leverage insights to improve the learning experience. It also presents metrics on content usage, user engagement, and the relevance of help content.


 The vast and granular data gathered through xAPIs allow trainers to decide how training material can be edited in real-time, as the system understands individual learning preferences and knowledge levels. Consequently, the learner’s attention can be directed at relevant concepts, as the rest is automatically removed from the course.

3. Measuring Software Adoption

For software training, measuring product adoption before and after the training is a beneficial outcome-based way to measure training effectiveness. Most software tools provide information on metrics such as how much time users spent in the system, how many activities were successfully completed etc. These dashboards show how well users are engaging with the software and hence how well they can apply their learnings on the job.

WIPRO, a leading global IT, consulting & business process services company, leveraged Whatfix DAP to augment their sales training and understand how sales reps leverage software such as CRM, sales portal, and knowledge management system. The digital adoption platform tracked how many times employees accessed the in-app contextual walkthroughs in real-time to identify the gaps in the training. It also gathered user feedback in real-time, right when employees accessed training and applied it to work. Such advanced analytics are critical in delivering an optimized learning experience and improving sales productivity.

4. Measuring While ‘Doing’

New-age tools, such as microlearning platforms, empower you to collect details on how employees engage with the training content while continuing to work. Since microlearning is much more trackable and engaging for employees, companies are increasingly converting their elaborate training programs into bite-sized learning content.

5. Modern HR analytics Platforms

An MIT Sloan Management Review article states that 65% of organizations are effective at capturing data, but only 46% can effectively secure insights from it.

Enter: Modern HR analytics software. These tech solutions allow you to find and measure the link between training and performance. Once employee data is collected from various sources and stored in a centralized repository, HR analytics help generate actionable insights to measure training effectiveness. 

For example, Visier People Learning is a tool that can predict the time required to get your workforce compliant to optimize compliance training capacity and reduce the risk of adversely affecting workforce productivity.

HR analytics platforms help spot trends from huge training data to understand the impact of your learning activities on employee retention and employee engagement. And also learn what L&D efforts are unable to drive strong business results.

6. Feedback and Survey

While they may seem like the most basic forms of evaluation, they are highly critical to determine the success of your training program. The approach here is to collect real-time feedback to measure training effectiveness and make required changes to the program immediately without delays. L&D professionals can curate a list of post-training survey questions to collect valuable feedback on company-wide and role-specific training. 

Whatfix does this by intelligently gathering feedback on each walkthrough training flow to determine the gaps in your training content. The platform also integrates with survey tools to gather user feedback from specific locations (in-app) to ensure higher response rates.

Furthermore, you can also decode your learners’ relationship with the course with Net Promoter Score (NPS) rating [1 to 10]. This benchmark is commonly used for customer satisfaction analysis and can also measure training effectiveness. The NPS is derived from learners’ answers to the question: “How likely is it that you would recommend the attended training session to a friend or colleague?

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7. Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation

The Kirkpatrick Model of training evaluation is best known for analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness and results of employee training programs. It takes into account the style of training, both informal and formal, and rates them against four levels of criteria:

  1. Reaction – Understand learner satisfaction through feedback forms. 
  2. Learning – Gauge the understanding of a topic and degree of skill development by taking pre and post-test measures and hands-on assignments. This helps understand if the training objectives were met.
  3. Behavior – Evaluate if employees apply their learnings from training to their everyday work.
  4. Results – Check if the business objectives (such as greater productivity and fewer errors) linked to corporate training are met.

8. Phillips ROI Model

The Phillips ROI Model is a methodology that ties the costs of training programs with the actual results. It builds on the Kirkpatrick Model and classifies data from different types employee training programs to measure:

  • Reaction – Training managers use short surveys to gather data about participants’ responses to their training.
  • Learning – Participants complete an MCQ survey or quiz both before and after the training for training managers to determine how much knowledge has been acquired.
  • Application and Implementation – The Phillips Model doesn’t only collect data to find if the training worked or not; it also evaluates the WHY behind the success/failure of the training. It adds qualitative feedback to the data process to help organizations improve their training programs.
  • Impact – The model lets you analyze the impact of training content and other factors that contribute to participants’ final performance.
  • Return on Investment – Uses cost-benefit analysis to map impact data to tangible monetary benefits and a set of intangible benefits. Training managers can use this data as hard evidence to prove the value of training to the authorities.
Phillips model of evaluation

9. Kaufman's Five Levels of Evaluation

Kaufman’s model is yet another model built on the Kirkpatrick Model. Kaufman’s model is a response or reaction to Kirkpatrick’s model and aims to improve upon it in various ways. Kaufman’s five levels of training evaluation are:   

  • Input – The training materials used to support the employee training.  
  • Process – Measure process acceptability and efficiency. 
  • Acquisition – Study whether learners acquired the learning and are using it on the job.  
  • Application – Evaluate how well participants utilize their learnings in their day-to-day tasks.  
  • Organizational payoffs – Measure payoffs for the organization as a whole. This level includes performance improvement evaluations and a cost-benefit or cost-consequence analysis.  
  • Societal outcomes – Measure the societal benefits of the contribution as a whole from and to the client and society’s evaluation.

10. Anderson's Model of Learning Evaluation

The Anderson learning evaluation model is a three-stage evaluation cycle applied at an organizational level to measure training effectiveness. The model ​​is more concerned with aligning the training goals with the organization’s strategic objectives.

The three cycles of Anderson’s model are:

  • Determining current alignment against strategic priorities.
  • Using a range of methods to assess and evaluate the contribution of learning.
  • Establishing the most relevant approaches for the organization.

Best practices for measuring training effectiveness

Here are some best practices to measure training effectiveness:

  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many KPIs because the more measures you include, the more information you’ll have to work with.
  2. Consult with key stakeholders and identify your KPIs before the development phase of your training.
  3. Know when you want to measure effectiveness and how you will measure it, and build it into your training timeline to stay organized.
  4. Carefully choose the best suitable method to measure training effectiveness depending on the type of training.
Create, measure, and analyze in-app learning experiences with Whatfix

Every organization’s unique needs will employ different methods to meet its learning and business goals. But no matter what methodology you choose, it is crucial to measure training effectiveness to understand whether the original learning goals were achieved. Remember, measuring training effectiveness is not a one-off event but a continuous process that enables you to build the most effective corporate training programs. 

Talking about creating effective training programs, implementing a digital adoption platform like Whatfix helps you create scalable corporate training flows built directly into your website or enterprise applications – allowing employees to learn in the flow of work. It provides segmented, contextual training and development self-help resources to employees in the moment of need, with actionable insights to build and optimize data-backed onboarding, continuous training, and other in-app user experiences.


With Whatfix, L&D teams are empowered to create in-app learning experiences, and analyze them with employee behavioral event tracking. This allows teams to make data-driven decisions to segment learners better, create more personalized experiences, understand friction points, and provide better learning paths.


Schedule a free demo with us to learn more about creating personalized, on-demand corporate training programs supported by advanced analytics to measure ROI.

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