Most companies measure the effectiveness of their training programs by surveying participant reaction. But that's not good enough, say David van Adelsberg and Edward Trolley in their new book, Running Training Like a Business (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999). The authors, executives at the Boston-based Forum Corp., advocate business-oriented training programs and measuring the bottom-line results of those programs.
For example, if the goal is to increase sales, then measure sales before and after the training. Set goals related to performance rather than to mastering content. Most important, gauge performance "not against some abstract standard, but against the tangible business value it provides to customers."