This post was written by Stefan Debois, who is the founder and CEO of Survey Anyplace, an online software tool to create engaging surveys, quizzes and assessments. Debois is passionate about the use of technology to build professional relationships with people, at scale.

As an employer, you have an abundance of responsibilities when it comes to your team. You need to make sure you are hiring the right people, continually help them define their roles, support them, trust them to work autonomously, guide them toward goals and so much more. 

Hiring and nurturing a good environment for your team is seemingly never ending work and a balancing act. As an employer or manager, you want to make sure you create a company culture where everyone thrives and feels valued and supported—and even has fun!

But, on the other hand, there is employee productivity.

Productivity is a beast within itself. There are just so many distractions in the workplace! Other workers, social platforms, texts, emails and so much more vie for your employees’ attention at all times. 

In fact, Workgroups DaVinci shared a few surprising statistics when it comes to productivity:

  • Each month, more than 90 percent of adult Americans spend 15 to 18 hours on Facebook—that’s two whole workdays!
  • On average, employees spend around one hour per day in a meeting—or around 31 hours per month.
  • The summer months can result in a 20 percent decrease in productivity.

But perhaps the most dangerous productivity killer, though, is lack of training.

If your employees do not understand how to approach a part of their job and do not feel as if they can receive support from you, then they will be anything but productive. But employees are often quick to please, so how do you know if one is struggling in that area?

That’s where training assessments come into play.

What are Training Assessments?

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Basically, training assessments measure the effectiveness of training sessions. They enable you, as an employer, to improve your training sessions by collecting valuable feedback from your employees. With that feedback, you are able to identify areas where your employee might be struggling and need some extra support. 

These assessments also provide other opportunities for your employee to share feedback on why they are having issues with productivity. That’s why it’s important to leave an area at the end with open-ended feedback. But we’ll get to this more in the next section.

Tips for Creating a Helpful Training Assessment

In order to reach your full potential with these assessments, you need to make sure you are setting up your training assessment correctly. That being said, here are a few tips we have found helpful while creating our assessments. 

Keep it Short

According to a study from Microsoft, the average human’s attention span is eight seconds, which is actually less than a goldfish. That being said, you need to make sure your assessment is not too long. 

Your employees have so much on their plates already. They are doing their jobs, socializing/contributing to company culture and have to spread their attention thin as is. Adding an assessment onto their already endless list could cause some eye rolls or downright frustration. 

That is why you want to make sure your assessment is short, sweet and to the point. The ideal number of slides is around 10. Anything longer will make employees’ eyes glaze over or cause frustration. 

Also, make sure you are communicating the importance of the assessment and how it can help employees in the long run. If they understand that you are asking for an additional five minutes in order to help them and truly listen to them, then they are much more likely to be willing to take the assessment seriously.

Make it Engaging

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As we mentioned above, you are competing with a myriad of distractions in the office at all, so you can not just ask for your employees’ attention, you need to earn it. One way to do that is to make sure your assessment is as engaging as possible.

Adding fun, vibrant and humorous images, GIFs and videos to the assessment will help keep their attention and maybe even garner some laughter. You know your employees (or at least you should), so tap into what you know will catch their attention. Are there any shows that many of them seem to talk about frequently? What memes are making them laugh? 

It might seem like an internal assessment could be something quickly and mindlessly thrown together, but remember that your employees are your greatest asset as a business. You need to treat their time and efforts with respect. Give them a reason to want to participate.

Brand Your Assessment

As mentioned above, you do not want to be mindless when it comes to this assessment. The whole goal here is to understand what is holding your team back with productivity so you can enact better training. 

This assessment is all about your employees and business as a whole, so make sure you treat it as such. Brand it according to the standards of your business. When creating your assessment, use your business’s colors and logos. Make it reflect your business, employees and mission. 

Using the Feedback

Make sure you are using software that provides reports after an assessment is finished. This function will enable you to provide insights and tips to your employees to help them with productivity. 

Most importantly, though, it will enable you as an employer to receive important feedback from your employees. You can then use those reports to find patterns or areas where your employees need additional training.

Approach this feedback in a way that is not defensive. Be open and really listen to what your employees are saying, without ego or anything that is going to make you angry toward them. They are just trying to tell you the truth, and you need to use it as an employer to make sure their experience sets them up for success in the business. 

One way to approach this is by creating a team to take a look into the reports and set up the additional training needed. That way, you have several minds at work brainstorming and finding ways to approach additional training. 

Conclusion

Your team’s productivity goes right toward the bottom line of your business. There is a direct correlation between your team feeling motivated and productive and to your business succeeding. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are providing a solid environment for them to be as productive as possible.

Use a training assessment to learn directly from your employees what is and is not working in terms of productivity. See the areas where they need additional training, so you can empower them to be the best they can be.