Training - How to Make it Pay

by Stephen Newton

Post event review

The review is a critical element in ensuring that you can evidence pay-back from training. It closes the loop that began with your needs assessment. It should follow the process agreed with the trainee before the event.

  • Gain feedback as early as possible from the employee and, if possible, from the trainer about how the activity went and how well they felt the desired outcomes were achieved.
  • Ensure that the employee has adequate opportunities to practise and to use their new skills.
  • Assess the results achieved against both the desired outcomes and the post event feedback. Do this several times over a period of weeks or months, as appropriate. Are you still seeing the changes you expected?
  • Document the results (it will help to ensure that your future training bids are more easily accepted).
  • Where there are shortfalls, discuss them with the trainee and agree what must be done to correct them.
  • If further training or other development is requested, decide if this is in fact appropriate at this stage. If it is not immediately worthwhile, agree a time-frame for review. If it is, agree the objectives, benefits and approximate timings according to the process outlined in this topic (in other words, treat it as a new piece of development work).
  • Assess the ‘stickiness’ of the training (for example, whether the learning is retained after 30 days, 90 days and six months). Research indicates that, without ongoing use of skills, retention of knowledge will typically fall to under ten per cent or less after six months.

Training and other development activities should be an ongoing part of building your team and one in which you should take an active role. Like appraisal, it should be just the way you do business, day to day, and not an annual event.


Have the trainee deliver a presentation to other team members on the key points they brought back from the training as they relate to their work situation.