Evaluating training effectiveness is important because it sheds light on four aspects. They include:
- How well the training program met the learner’s needs and objectives
- What knowledge and skills it has imparted to learners
- What desirable change it has brought in the learners’ performance
- What organizational benefits it has yielded
However, unfortunately, in today’s organizations, this mechanism of training evaluation is in short supply. Organizations are unwilling to spend their resources for a comprehensive after-training evaluation. They end it by serving a ceremonious feedback form to learners and getting their opinions. But you must realize that it will not work. It will not make your training programs effective and yield the results you want.
In this absence of a proactive follow-up, you will have to face the following undesirable consequences:
Lack of application of skills by learners
You had analyzed the performance gaps in your employees and devised a suitable training program. At the end of the training program, your participants said that the training program was quite useful and they had learnt many useful skills. You are happy about that. But at the end of your annual auditing, you are horrified to find no progress in the performance in spite of the training. And your employees have not used the skills you intend them to after the training. This is quite possible. You can avert it by putting in place a proper evaluation mechanism.
Inability to measure ROI
Financial assessment of a training program is crucial in that it provides useful insights into the Returns on Investment (ROI). This assessment depends on evaluating how well the employees implemented the skills they have learnt in the training program.
Inability to make your future training programs contextual
In today’s dynamic marketplace, the need for consistent skill up gradation never loses its importance. What was said to be an effective training program in the past may not be so now. You need to continuously adapt it to suit your current needs. This is possible when you know how effective your previous training program was.
There are methods like Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation Model, Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains and Keller’s ARCS Model. Use the models suggested here depending on the available resources, size of the training program and your corporate culture. When you have complex and critical training programs, you need to choose elaborate tools and have a wider approach to evaluate each program at various stages. Only then can the evaluation become effective and accurate.
Do share your thoughts on the same.