Importance Of Training Evaluation For Training Effectiveness

Importance Of Training Evaluation For Training Effectiveness

Importance Of Training Evaluation For Training Effectiveness

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.

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  • Michael J. Spangle

    All training programs have at least one customer, usually a Department Manager of some kind. This manager has the reasonable expectation that the end result of the training given is a measurable improvement in the performance of the people being trained. This reasonable assurance can not be obtained in any other way than to measure the effectiveness of the training by measuring the improvement in the performance of the trainees. This also has the benefit of increasing the credibility of the training program with future trainees.

  • Evaluation of training programs is sure a necessary idea. I would also look for two major factors. in the first place, look for kind of training. If evaluation is for ‘commodity’ training – the kind that is given in a BPO or IT company for basic competencies required for functioning – especially the entry level professionals, the basic training effectiveness is a good starting point. For all these applications, basic knowledge transfer is the most important part of training and development.

    Even for this type of training situation, role of training is the major factor to consider. IS the training restricted only to transfer of knowledge / information in the class? This is an important issue and point of cost. But actually return is something that an organization will earn in field. This will come out of better application of this knowledge and higher level of skill that a participant is expected to show. Does the class room trainer have this capability or even responsibility. For this delivery itself, I would look to operational manager as main contributor. The training participant should have adequate opportunity and in field help required to leverage this knowledge and develop higher skills.

    If the training is for higher level people, the task will get even more complicated. It would then really start with defining what is the purpose, method and then content of training program. For more senior level positions, it should really include roles required for ensuring delivery of benefits of the training and adequate leveraging of team, structure and infrastructure in operation.

    Hence target of evaluation should include all these contributions and related costs / investments. Only then one should embark on exercise for evaluation of return and effectiveness.

  • Hello,
    You are correct, most training does not yield a high ROI. In addition to measuring that, I emphasize for my positive strengths-based leadership clients that
    1. The training is tailored to the client, not “cookie cutter”.
    2. The training includes an up front needs assessment to ensure tailoring is relevant and ROI is higher.
    3. The training includes consultation for application of the new knowledge to the client’s REAL work during the training–this requires excellent design/consultation/coaching/facilitation skills as well as training skills–I am trained in all those skills, most trainers are not. No more forgetting when faced with the mountain of work in the office after training.
    4. There is follow up to anchor the learning and refine application. All the research is clear, new learning requires repetition for retention.
    When you meet these conditions, you will have a much higher ROI and your measurement will show that!!
    Great issue, thanks for raising it.
    Dr. Linne, “The Practical Ph.D.”