Measuring the effectiveness of training: important, but neglected.
Not only am I a strong believer in training employees, but it is an essential part of every quality management system.
Upgrading your employees (UPGRADING the QUALITY of your products and/or services) is part of continual improvement.
Training employees is a must. Organizations working with quality, a quality management system, spend a lot of time and money training and upgrading their employees. Through training your organization can have skillful and productive employees. Teach them new skills and broaden their knowledge.
But before you start to train your employees, you must have a training program.
The training program must be well defined by the needs of the organization. Training employees should always benefit the organization and the individual.
BUT how many organizations perform the evaluation of the training? Why are we forgetting this very important part???
Evaluation of the training is not working for many organizations. Many organizations are unwilling to spend resources (time and money) on the training evaluation. Evaluation of the training is crucial. It’s important information for management to:
- Improve/adapt the training for the next trainees
- Evaluate the value of the training
- Evaluate the changes in the trainees performance
- Not to waste time and money if you have no good return afterwards
One simple way you can start measuring the effectiveness of the training is by observing how the trainees use their new skills. Always remember to take notes, and communicate and discuss all your findings with the trainee.
How to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of the training?
There are different models to evaluate the effectiveness of training.
The worldwide standard and also my favorite one is the Kirkpatrick Four –Level training evaluation Model.
It’s an objective method to analyze the effectiveness of the training created by Dr. Don Kirkpatrick.
The Kirkpatrick model consists of 4 evaluation levels.
The 4 levels are:
Level 1: Reaction
Level 2: Learning
Level 3: Behavior
Level 4: Results
It’s very important to measure the trainees’ reaction. It’s useful to evaluate how well the trainees liked the training. Management has to observe, and get feedback immediately after the training.
Here you measure what your employees have learned. Has their knowledge increased because of the training?
The learning objectives planned at the start of the training are the starting point for the measurement. Use pre and post knowledge testing.
At this point we want to measure how far the trainees have changed their behavior because of the training they have received. Trainees have to make use of their new skills and knowledge on a permanent basis. Management has to observe trainees before and after the training.
Just a reminder: working conditions must be favorable so that behavior can change.
This is the point where you analyze the final results of the training.
These are outcomes determined from the start to be good for the organization, and also good for the employees.
-Increase in quality
-Reduction of cost
-Evaluation of return of investment (ROI)
One important aspect management has to deal with before implementing a training program and development plan is eliminating obstacles that hinder the implementation of the new acquired skills and knowledge to the workplace.
These obstacles are items like:
- Lack of application of skills by trainees
- Lack of motivation by the trainees
- Management not showing enough support
- Not enough time to practice new skills
So, training is crucial. But training without evaluation of the effectiveness of the training is: WASTE.