Of Course You Should Measure the Results of Training – or Should You?

Of Course You Should Measure the Results of Training – or Should You?

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Over the past ten years we have been helping organizations, establish mechanisms to measure the outcome of their training based on the Kirkpatrick model. As is to be expected there have been successes and there have been failures.
What determines if an organization will be successful or not in evaluating the effectiveness of its training is not too difficult to tell.
Let us start at the beginning; all L&D specialists will tell you that their company is committed to the development of its team members – the reality is often very different. After asking 2 or 3 simple questions it frequently becomes clear that the organization is not truly focused on the systematic development of its team.
The second most common reason is the competency of those involved in the process – a recent example; we were asked to work with a group of 35 training specialists to aid them in establishing a simple training evaluation /measurement system. This would normally take 2 or 3 days, with some post training follow up, however the client advised that their training specialists were experienced and that one day would be enough.
These “experienced” specialists could not even write a simple measurable training objectives, a common over estimation of the competency level of those responsible for carrying out the measurement.
As space and time is limited, let us leave the failures and move on to a successful example. An industry leader in its field with over 15,000 employees, after 2 years of painful trial and error is now successfully measuring the results of all of its key learning initiatives.
Its success formula is – in my opinion quite simple: the GD of the company takes and active interest in what is happening in terms of training and most importantly training evaluation. The head of HR is a pragmatist who is happy to work with best guess rather than aim for data which is nearly impossible to collect.
The other two factors which have brought about success are the training of senior managers in the establishment / evaluation of training measures, plus a competent / committed team of L&D professionals.
My advice to anyone who is planning to implement a training measurement system is start slowly and only attempt to measure what you are confident you can.
Garry Howell,
November 6th 2018       

If you’d like to meet with Garry and find out how you can implement a measurement system, you are welcome to join the Practical Ways To Measure the results of Training in Hanoi, on December 11 – 12, 2018

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