Develop Clear Objectives
business objectives of training must be clearly developed at the outset. These
objectives must be specific and quantitative. For example:
Make Evaluation a
Mandatory Requirement of all Training
One goal might be to improve customer service
by reducing the number of customer complaints by 75 percent within the next 6
Another might be to reduce employee turnover
of the top 50 middle managers by 100 percent within the next year.
evaluation is much more than how the participants felt about the instructor and
the refreshments. Evaluation is also more than determining whether the
participants learned anything.
Training programs must be evaluated
to establish whether or not the program:
programs are rarely systematically evaluated. Why?
Conduct Pre, Post,
and Post-Post Assessments
For example, if the goal
of the training program is to improve the "people skills" of first line
supervisors, measures should be taken of their people skills before, one month
after, and 6 months after the program. This provides a determination of whether
the program actually changed behaviors.
Use Control Groups
Another way to rigorously
assess the effectiveness of the training program is with a control group. In
the case of the supervisory training example, a random sample of supervisors
would be selected to receive the training and another random sample would serve
as the control group. The control group would also be tested before, one month
after, and 6 months after the training program. Comparing the behavioral
assessments of the control group to the training group will prove whether the
training program effectively changed the behaviors.
Focus on Measurement
Management typically does not insist on evaluating training because
they believe that the targeted behaviors cannot be measured. They are usually
wrong. Many types of behaviors can be measured. For example, I have helped
organizations measure the effectiveness of seemingly unmeasurable behaviors
such as the:
Objectives and Results to Senior Management
Interrelationships of employees in a
culturally diverse work force for an organization that wanted to improve their
employees' understanding of diversity, and
Career self-management behaviors of top
performers for an organization that wanted to retain them.
Inform senior management
about whether the goals of the program were achieved. Be sure to communicate
the financial benefits of the program.