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Measuring Behavioral Skills


Is there a way to measure every soft skill training effectiveness? How is RoL measured, keeping aside the intangibles?



7 Responses

  1. Using EQ Tools to measure and validate soft skill development

    Hi, having worked in developing soft skills and managers and leaders for approaching 10 years; my personal view is a measure of their emotional intelligence and the behaviours and competencies that underpin capability in this area.  Using the BarOn Emotional Quotient Tools (EQi & EQ360) you can use scientifically validated tools that confirm significant changes over a 6 – 12 month period.  Feel free to contact me to discuss this in more detail.


    Many thanks Gary Hosey


  2. Measurement

    Hi Sareeta,

    I think the key here is to have a clear reason of why you’re delivering the soft skill training. 

    Quick example which I hope illustrates.  Let’s say I’ve been asked to deliver some negotiation skills training.  After asking some questions and doing a little research, it turns out that the real reason for the training is down to a low conversion rate from opportunities to new business. Having done all the ‘is it really a training need?’ bits,  I can then sit down with the ‘sponsor’ of the training and we can talk about how they measure this, what his ideal improvement looks like and come up with a range of measures that signify success, with the likelihood that a £ sign can be attached to them.

    I deliver the training, and we see what has happened to those benchmark measures – has the conversion rate increased?  If so, by how much? 

    Whilst they’ll be other factors that impact on this, from a training perspective we can go back to the sponsor and say ‘this was performance before, these are the improvements you wanted and the measures that were important, this is what’s now happening’.

    So I guess my answer is:

    – Isolate the business improvement(s) that needs to be seen as a result of your soft skill training

    – work with the sponsors to identify the measures and improvements that are important to them

    – monitor the changes that occur post event.

    Kind Regards


  3. Involve their manager

    Hi Sareeta

    I don’t know what your circumstances are, but I am a trainer for a very large company that employs tens of thousands of people. We have a core training offer which involves, for example, ‘soft’ skills training for managers. It just isn’t possible for us, as trainers, to meet with every individual prior to the course to establish what they really want/need; and anyway, isn’t this the responsibility of their manager?

    I believe that the best way to measure soft skills is for the trainees manager to establish where their employee is (in terms of skills/competencies) prior to the training and then where they are after the training when they have time to put their learning into practice. The manager should be in a position to see the changes in their employees behaviour and the effects this has had on them and their performance. When I was a trainer in the Civil Service this worked very well, probably because it was a system that was driven into the culture of all managers as to the process for developing their people.

    My (humble) advice would therefore be that you, as the trainer, aren’t in the best position to measure the benefit. You need to work with managers to put in place a process to ensure they measure ‘before and after’ performance, which they can feed back to you. You will therefore end up with your measures.




  4. Training Manager’s inputs

    Hi Nigel,

    I work with the vendor training management team here. With every new client, do you suggest that I do an evaluation with the managers over their expectations? This would mean that the managers will need to provide inputs for each nomination they make. Hope I have got this right.

    Any case, I feel this is very much doable and although, it will result in a lot of data, I can safely remove the repeat info or include only the common targets in the course (at the risk of neglecting the important points). Guess, the coordination with different managers and conflicting interests will be the only two things that we will need to take care of.

    Thank you for your help.


  5. $ value

    Hi Ian,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Is it possible for you to give me an example (of ROI equivalence) from any work that you may have undertaken in the past? If you do have any case study or calculations, information about the questions you asked their finance/hr department, ROI calculator or any complete post training measurement system as an example and if you are willing to share that with me, I will be very grateful.

    Thanks and Regards,


  6. ROI Case Study on Soft Skills

    Hello Sareeta – I have a detailed case study showing the ROI on soft skills training. If you want a copy and the asscoiated paperwork and spreadsheet I will happily send it to you. My contact details are: gplatt[at]

  7. Soft Skills ROI measurement

    Hello Sareeta,

    I have read the comments from Ian, Nigel and Garry and similar to both Ian and Nigel have been "encouraging" line managers to help me in this area.  To this end last March I developed a training request form which I insist is completed before I commission any training.  This enables line managers (and proposed trainees) to consider what the desired outcome (DO) is from the training, the fulfilment of which will form my ROI. 

    I may sit with the manager and/or proposed trainee to make these desired outcomes SMART objectives and insist on a minimum of 2 DOs per training initiative, with a maximum of 5.  Sometimes a DO may simply be that the trainee will be more motivated in their work and/or will consider their work/life balance has improved. For this example any improvement can be measured by a "before" and "after" self score (as well as a follow up scoring say 6 months later) and/or improvement in lateness or absence record.

    Depending on the manager and trainee I may be the person to orginate and complete the training request form.

    Before the trainee attends the course they are then briefed to ensure they attend the training with SMART objectives; after the training they are debriefed to enable recording of their attainment (or otherwise) of the targets agreed (so I may record ROI) and whether any additional reviews, follow up training or other support is required (and if so what) to make the maximise the effectiveness of the learning for both the trainee and the company.

    If you contact me direct (or if someone else on the forum can show me how to attach word documents to a posting) I will send you copies of my forms.  I use them for both hard and soft skills training.

    If you wish to discuss further, please let me know.



    P.S. Garry – your recording seems quite scientific – can you share more detail with me?

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