It has been noticed that many times organizations make the biggest mistake while planning training programs for their employees. HR professionals overlook ‘Evaluation’ which is one of the most important components of the training program. The evaluation consists of comparing the training program results to the established objectives to determine whether the original needs are met or not. Reactions of the participants, retention of new information gained during the learning process, application of new procedures, changes in behavior on the current job, changes in organizational performance are some of the key indicators which cannot be ignored while evaluating training results.
Measure trainee reaction - This is a simple interview or feedback process. You have to assess whether trainees enjoyed the trainee program, did they like the teaching style of the trainer, was the training delivery method appropriate for them, did they feel that You want to know how the participants enjoyed the training, how they felt about the trainer if they felt the training session was appropriate, did they feel that training material was relevant as per their expectations. These interviews with participants and feedback forms will help to understand the reaction of participants towards the training program.
Measures Training Effectiveness – To measure the effectiveness of training survey tools can be used to know about behavioral changes of the participants on the current job and it can also be assessed if they have applied any new learning gained in training. Training effectiveness should be measured at least a couple of times, once on immediate completion of training and once it should be done after few months to know the long-term effectiveness of the training.
Measures Training Cost-Effectiveness – To measure the training cost-effectiveness comparison of the cost incurred on the training program and benefits reaped from the same needs to be done. This assessment should be done after a couple of months by converting changes in the results post-training into monetary value such as an increase in productivity etc. This is also known as Return on Investment (ROI).
Evaluation help in preparing for the future - Evaluation of the training program can provide us information on whether the desired purpose of the whole activity has been achieved or not. Organizations can make projections for the future based on the evaluation of all the above-mentioned factors. Companies can decide in the future which content and method of training delivery be more appropriate for the targeted participants, gather a database of info to assist in upcoming strategic decision making, can help in designing retraining process, providing required feedbacks for the trainers, determine pace and sequence of the training is appropriate or not.
Measurement Methodology – Though there are many methods identified globally one of the most recommended evaluation methods got identified by Donal L.Kirkpatric; it has four levels at which any training can be evaluated and these are Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results.
Level 1 is Reaction where it is assessed how participants felt at the training program. Data can be captured by conducting interviews and getting feedback forms filled by the participants.
Level 2 is Learning where you can evaluate how trainees increased or change their knowledge, attitude and skills. Pre-post measures tests or only post measures tests can be conducted for the same.
Level 3 is Learning, at this level, you can see how trainees changed their behavior on the job. Performance test, Simulations, Observations, and 360-degree feedback can be done.
Level 4 is Results, how entire program affected the organization goals. Return on Investments (ROI) analysis conveys many things, return on stakeholder’s expectations and performance appraisals.
Hence, training evaluation plays a critical role in any organization to decide future strategies related to training plans. This measurement component gives direction to make the entire activity as a meaningful exercise. HR professionals should never overlook evaluation rather they should consider it as integral part of the training from beginning.