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Measuring Training Evaluation Effectiveness

Apr 5, 2008
While surveys have long been used to measure the effectiveness of training evaluation, these may not really provide a proper accounting or validation of the training. For training evaluation to be effective, it is important to satisfy the following considerations such as the extent of which the training needs and objectives are achieved, the extent of which the participants' objectives are met, what the participants have learned from the training and whether the participants have made a commitment to implement what they have learned from the training once they get back to work.

Once they return to work, it is also important to determine the level of success in implementing action plans, the extent of which they were supported by their managers, the extent of which the action has achieved an effective training ROI for the company in terms of goal satisfaction or financial assessment.

Many companies usually fail to implement these training evaluation processes, especially in instances where the trainers and HR department do not have enough time or resources to do. Training evaluation must fit according to the resources available as well as the environment which can substantially differ from an organization to the next. Of course, a good and proper methodical evaluation yields a good and reliable data. A lack of evaluation performed, on the other hand, would also produce very little results about training's effectiveness.

There are two major factors that should be resolved when it comes to training evaluation. These include the person responsible for the training evaluation and validation processes and the available resources needed for the said processes. These resources include time, money and people.

The training evaluation is traditionally left to but not limited to the trainer. It can also be the responsibility of the senior management, line management, the training manager and the trainee, each of which has distinct responsibilities. Moreover, the participants in the training program also play an important role in the validation and evaluation process as well. This is because evaluation would not be possible without their comments nor new skills and knowledge be carried out.

Training evaluation will also depend on various available resources as well as culture support. The more tools and the wider the approach used, the more effective and valuable the evaluation will become. However, you need to set realistic goals. Largely expensive and critical training programs more often justify more scrutiny and evaluation than small, simple and non-critical ones. Evaluation requires more precise details where there is huge investment and so much expectation. Training managers, in particular, should make clear expectations on validation and measurement with senior management before conducting new training programs in order to establish the right evaluation process.

In addition, when planning potentially critical and big training programs, training managers should exercise caution to make sure that sufficient measurement and evaluation processes are in tact. So that when the company's top executive asks what you got for your investment, the training manager can be able to provide a full and detailed response.
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