Does Your Training & Development Deliver Excellent ROI?
Q1. How do you Measure Impact of your Training Programs?
Donald Kirkpatrick first outlined his 4-level training evaluation model in 1959.
Which of the following measurements/evaluation approaches do you regularly use?
- Level 1 – Enjoyment. Did the participants “like” the program? Did they enjoy the experience, did they feel good about the instructor, topic(s), the material, the presentation, the facility?
Akin to “smile sheets”, this is the easiest impact to measure, but has no indication as to whether the learning will last or be applied.
- Level 2 – Knowledge improvement. Based upon some pre-established learning objectives, did the participants improve their knowledge. This is usually measured by testing their knowledge of the new concepts, principles – written or oral, correct/incorrect.
- Level 3 – Behavioral Improvement – Can/have the participants applied the new knowledge, skills, attitudes in-situ. Has their “competence visibly improved – in action in the workplace. This is somewhat harder to measure. Within the training environment you can “test” this by putting the participants into a simulation exercise, work through “live” or created Case Studies, do role plays etc. In the workplace, the participant’s boss must allow for/facilitate/support new practices with the rest of the team.
- Level 4 – Improved Organizational/Community Results. Asa result of taking the training and applying new practices has the organization/community noticeably benefited from their training. I.e. improved efficiency, productivity, quality, innovation, teamwork, profitability, etc. This requires pre-training measurement of these elements, and then measured again post-training.
Q2 – Does your Training Design Match your Training Impact Expectations?
- If you are expecting improved competency or changes in behaviour, then you must develop knowledge, attitude, skills, provide hands-on practice, provide for feedback and repeat application attempts. The full 4-phase experiential cycle must be built-in to the training: Observing, Conceptualizing, Attempting, Feedback. Lecture method is not enough.
- If you are expecting improved organizational or community improvement, then there must be real-life-like application opportunity designed into the program, coaching or support back in the workplace, and involvement of the participant’s boss both before and after the program.
- Knowledge-transfer only design rarely leads to behaviour change and business application & results improvement.
Q3 – Are your Trainers able to “Live What They Teach”?
There are “trainers” who can present information and lead exercises to build skills; there are “facilitators” that can draw out the experience and wisdom of the larger group and engage excellent dialogue; and then there are “masters of learning” that can do all this and more. They’ve done the jobs (successfully) that they are preparing the learners for. They know what it’s like to succeed & fail, and they KNOW why they have been successful and why they failed. This allows them to pass-on wisdom and develop judgement in their participants.
- Do your leaders of learning have personal experience in leadership, management, innovation, creativity, delegation, empowerment, strategic planning, performance management and/or systems/network thinking – In what they are teaching?
- Can your learning facilitators tell personal stories applied to the material they are teaching?
- Are your “Master Teachers” comfortable in their own skin to calmly answer applied questions, respond to participant challenges, adapt the teaching approach to the learning styles of the participants?
Q4 – Do you help “Focus” your Adult Learners Before, During & After Program?
- Do you use Learning Plans where the participants identify the key outcomes they want to learn, which sessions are most appropriate for them, and requires their boss’s sign-off so they will support their learning and application after the session?
- Do you utilize learning partners within the program to provide feedback and generate reflection?
- Do you program in Time-outs during role plays or simulations, and mini-Reflection periods at the end of each segment for participant to plan action items and how to take things back to their workplace?
- Do you follow-up with participants after the program to see if they are applying what they learned and if they need further support?
Q 5 – Can you Show all the cost of Training and Compare it to Results Accomplished?
- As a training consultant do you understand your all-in costs, the costs to the client, the value of improvements to their organization and then compute/show the ROI?
- In providing service to clients, what connotes success to you:
- # of Paying Participants?
- Improved performance of trainees?
- Impact on/improvement of client’s business/organizational objectives?
- Is your training easily linked to client Strategic Objectives, closing HR Competency Gaps, or advancement of Community Impact?
- What do your clients say about you to their friends – how are you known… As someone that “makes a difference”? As a talented consultant? As a personal coach and colleague? What % of your business comes from either repeat business or referral clientele?