This is how you measure the effectiveness of your online training

Renate de Jonge

Whenever you invest in something, you want to know what results this investment yields. This applies to money, but also to time and energy. 

Measuring the developments and results of a training is of high importance for the employees. They invest time and energy and want to see what they achieve by doing so. It’s also valuable information for the organisation itself. When you measure something, you can also improve it; evaluation is thus needed. But, how do you evaluate the success, or the lack of it, of an online training?

What does effective mean?

In order to perform a decent evaluation a few things must be clear. First of all, you must determine what the training should effect, for example the company culture, the sales or the speed with which the tasks are performed. Next up, it’s important to know the goal of the training and when this goal has been reached. When you’ve revealed this, you can ask yourself what you want to measure by means of the evaluation. If you want to measure how effective the training is, you’ll need to specify when the training is perceived as effective. Which factors are connected to this? A factor can for example be the success of the training. Is your training successful when employees improve in their job? Or is a healthier company culture an indicator of this? Or both?

Surely, you’ll measure the effectiveness of your training with more than one criterion. The more criterion you apply, the more information you’ll collect and the more specific you can eventually improve your programme.

We’ll list a few indicators in this blog.

New skills and knowledge

Gaining new skills and knowledge and applying this to practice is for almost every company the most important yardstick for success. They namely contribute directly to the company’s results.

When you train your sales team in persuasion techniques, you want them to be able to have better sales conversations afterwards. An indication of this could for example be the amount of tickets that the customer’s service processes to the satisfaction of the customer or to which extent the sales increase per employee after the training.

You can measure the efficacy of an online training on an individual level by testing the user at the end of the training. This way you measure the development in knowledge and skills. You can easily integrate quizzes and tests in your online academy, which will automatically be graded and which are above all fun and interactive for the user. This provides more insight into their progress, but motivates the user as well!

Learning experience

An indicator of the training efficacy that’s often overlooked is the learning experience. This one is fundamental for the complete effectiveness of the training. When the learning experience is bad, the employees are less tempted to delve further into the content. So, they learn the desired skills less quickly and they’re less enthusiastic to continue learning after this training.

Ask you users for feedback and improve the learning experience in this way!

Happy employees

The majority of the working people in the Netherlands indicate that the possibilities for development and growth determine a big part of the happiness at work. Happy employees work harder, are more involved in the company and obtain better results. When the trainings are rated positively, you’re employees are thus happier. The happiness of your personnel is in this way an important yardstick for the effectiveness of your training.

Cultural impact

What’s the impact of your training on the company culture? Haven’t you measured this before? It’s about time! Compliance and onboarding trainings are examples of trainings that can be of influence on the company culture. In this way you can strongly influence the values at work. It’s thus even more important to reveal how effective such trainings are. This can for example be measured by looking at the amount of short sick leaves at HR, but also the received complaints are a valid indicator.

Below-the-line

Eventually, it’s all about if there are enough gains below-the-line. This can be time gain, an increase in sales, but also a positive change within the company culture.


Ensure that you’ve insight in the goals of your education programme, which indicators determine its success and measure these. Start the conversation with employees, take a look at the numbers and evaluate. This way you’ll make the most of your trainings offer and you’ll motivate your employees to continue learning, which then again will have a positive effect on the functioning of your company.