Deciding when your training is a success can be difficult, because of are multiple people involved.
The organization wants the training to be a success so the employee can contribute more. Commonly, they want an employee to be more effective or efficient in their work. Or to be able to take on new work that the employee is unable to do right now. At the same time, the organization wants to make sure that the training was worth the investment. Basically, did the cost of the training (time and money) cost more than the improvement from the employee?
You, as the trainer, want the training to be a success for similar reasons as the organization but with more of a focus on the personal development of the employee. While you want the employee to produce a return for the organization, you also want the employee to grow and develop as a person. Training isn’t a one-shot deal where it’s given to an employee and they magically become better. The employee has to work to integrate the training before they see the results.
You’re also interested in the tactical effects. Are they learning the material rapidly? Does the material make sense? What could you change in the training to make it better received next time? This will help you extract more value out of creating and giving a single training so it can be reused again.
Finally the employee also has their own definitions of success for their training. Their goals will vary but are commonly centered around career growth, personal growth, and interest. Much of their training will help them with their career, both for their current organization as well as future organizations. Training that gives them or improves their marketable skills are much easier to see the value directly. Related to career growth, some training will help them grow personally. These can be improvements in soft skills, such as listening, communication, or how to deal with stress. Finally, a training can help an employee by getting them interested in something. Let’s face the facts, not everyone has a fun job that they look forward to everyday. By giving an employee something new, the training, you can break apart a sometimes tedious phase in their career and reinvigorate them.
When you create your training programs, it pays to keep all three of these groups in mind.