Purpose of the training
Before evaluating the effectiveness of a training look at why you want to run the training. Define the objective. You will use it later to see how much was achieved. The goal should be specific. Follow SMART model:
Clearly communicate the goal to the instructor before the training. It is done to align the objectives and give the instructor time to adjust the training. He or she might also come back with more questions to further modify the training or combine it with other training sessions.
After you set the goal let’s proceed to evaluating the effectiveness.
Do a test before and after the training. Check what people learned. The test should be very short and cover only the main subject of the training. The recommendation is to have a multiple-choice test with around 20 questions. Compare individual’s answers before and after. Don’t average from the beginning.
It is way trickier to evaluate as it is not just the training that is evaluated. It is also the opportunities that were provided to use the new skills. Easy way to do the adoption is to do another skill test a month or two after the training session. Add two more questions to the test: any project where the new skills were used, any planned project were the skills might be useful.
For technical training you can use VA One to measure adoption of new technologies.
Ask managers to evaluate satisfaction of their teams. See if any of the employees mention the training as being an important event. See if the performance changes.
Measure the turnover before and after the training. Having professional training at work is one of the most desirable qualities of employer. Many people leave because they are stuck doing the work over and over without learning anything new. You will see a huge impact if you provide your employees a few well-run training sessions a year.