Last week I discussed the concept of Empowered Skills and provided a checklist for evaluating the effectiveness of your training program. Proper evaluation of your training programs will ensure you have a process in place of requesting and receiving feedback from caregivers on the training you've provided. Training is only effective if you know what caregivers are thinking.
Here are some ways to gather feedback:
1 to 1 on-site interviews
Pen and paper feedback forms
Make sure to ask caregivers about their preferred methods of communication. Continually remind them about the importance of their feedback, reinforcing the value of their input.
It's important to note that the quality of the feedback you receive is highly dependent on the questions you ask.
Here’s an example of feedback from AGE-u -cate's Dementia Live® training:
"This was one of the most organized and prepared classes we have had…I thought there was a perfect balance between staying optimistic and then understanding the severity of the subject."
- Police officer, North Central Dallas police department.
That’s a lot of helpful information! What type of question leads to feedback that includes specific detail that is helpful? While simple yes/no questions or rating scales can provide data that is easy to collect, sort, and present results, the “why” behind the answer is often lost.
Here are a few suggestions for questions that elicit more detail:
What did you like most about this training?
What aspects of the training could be improved?
How do you hope to change your practice as a result of this training?
What wasn’t covered in the training that you were hoping to learn?
Adding open-ended questions to any type of feedback process will ensure helpful details are captured to support ongoing evaluation of training quality and effectiveness.
Now that we know how to gather feedback, let’s briefly review ways to measure training impact.
Ensuring that you are keeping a pulse on the satisfaction of those you serve is crucial to the success of any business. Including questions on satisfaction surveys that can be connected back to your training program is a helpful way to measure impact.
If your residents or clients are rating care quality the same before and after staff training, this would indicate opportunities for improvement in your education and training program.
On the other hand, if you are receiving higher scores after the training program is in use, you can begin to demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) of the program.
This same approach can be applied to other measurements your company is tracking. If the training program is designed to educate and build skills for fall prevention, use clinical data to track training effectiveness.
Lastly, caregivers can also contribute valuable feedback regarding resident or client changes following training sessions. An increase in relationships and positive interactions can be an indication of success when training topics go beyond basic caregiving skills.
Stay tuned to our next discussion on measuring the financial impact of your training with an easy-to-calculate tool. Once you've established the financial impact of your training, it's time to talk about program sustainability.