The True Measure of Training: Outcomes, Not Entertainment

In the realm of professional development, the allure of training courses often lies in their promise of enhancing skills and know-how. Yet, the underlying truth is starkly different. Training, no matter how advanced, cannot surmount the barriers erected by an inert culture or a lack of motivation. This realization prompts a critical reevaluation of our approach to professional training and its objectives.

The Misconception of Training Effectiveness

Traditionally, organizations have leaned heavily on training courses as a solution to improve employee performance and know-how. The assumption is that a lack of skills is the primary hurdle to better performance. However, the real issue often lies not in the “know-how” but in the “will-do.” The effectiveness of training should not be gauged by how engaging or entertaining the course was. Instead, the focus should shift to the tangible outcomes and outputs in the workplace following the training period.

Real Value in Post-Training Outcomes

The true value of any training program is revealed in the subsequent 90 days. It’s in this critical period that the fruits of training are either harvested or lost. Therefore, setting clear, measurable targets before embarking on any training is crucial. For instance, if the goal of a training program is to improve customer satisfaction scores from 4/10 to 9/10, then the success of that training should be evaluated based on achieving this specific outcome within the designated timeframe.

This approach necessitates a departure from traditional metrics such as course satisfaction (c-sat) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS). While these indicators may reflect the immediate reception of the training, they do not necessarily correlate with productive behavior or profitability post-training. The real question is not whether the participants were happy or entertained, but whether they are able to apply what they learned to make tangible progress towards their targets.

Shifting the Focus to Application

To harness the full potential of training, it’s imperative to enter these courses with a clear understanding of what needs to be learned, done, and applied afterward. This clarity can transform the way training effectiveness is measured, moving away from superficial indicators of success to more meaningful assessments of progress and application in the workplace.

Furthermore, by setting specific goals and expectations for post-training application, organizations can foster a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. This not only enhances the relevance of the training but also ensures that the investment in professional development yields real, measurable returns.


In conclusion, the paradigm shift from evaluating training based on entertainment value to focusing on real-world applications and outcomes is essential. By doing so, organizations can ensure that their training programs are not just enjoyable experiences but catalysts for significant improvement and growth. It’s time to embrace a more outcome-oriented approach to training, one that prioritizes the application of skills in the workplace and the achievement of specific, measurable goals. Only then can we unlock the true value of training and ensure that it serves its intended purpose of driving progress and enhancing performance.

Tim HJ Rogers
Consult | CoCreate | Deliver

I support people and teams to grow, perform and succeed unlocking potential as a partner Consultant, Coach, Project and Change Manager. Together we can deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people I work with.

ICF Trained Coach | MBA Management Consultant | PRINCE2 Project Manager, Agile Scrum Master | AMPG Change Practitioner | Mediation Practitioner | BeTheBusiness Mentor | 4 x GB Gold Medalist | First Aid for Mental Health | Certificate in Applied Therapeutic Skills

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