Training programs are an integral part of every successful organization. They are an undertaking of the human resource department; this unit ensures the efficacy of these programs in yielding beneficial company outcomes. The paper provides an in-depth discussion of the methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs, strategies to address programs deemed inefficient, and the training measurement process. Furthermore, the writing delineates examples of effective and ineffective measurements as well as recommendations to best measure the appropriateness of training projects.
Methods to Evaluate the Training Programs’ Effectiveness
Kirkpatrick taxonomy is one of the commonly used methods of evaluating training programs’ effectiveness. It was developed in the 1950s by Don Kirkpatrick (Choudhury & Sharma, 2019). It offers a four-level strategy used to assess whether or not a particular training program is efficient. The first phase entails gauging the training participants’ reactions, which can be achieved by encouraging employee feedback. The second level involves measuring what was learned by giving employees short quizzes or practical tests before, during, or after the plenary. The third step encompasses assessing the participants’ behavior regarding the application of what was learned during the forum. The final level incorporates the analysis of training outcomes against the company stakeholders’ expectations.
The Philips ROI methodology coined by Jack Philips was developed to address shortcomings, such as inadequate data gathering, associated with the Kirkpatrick approach. It has five levels, with the first one being participants’ reactions – here, employee attitudes toward the training program are evaluated. The second phase involves assessing the concepts learned during the project. The third stage encompasses the application and implementation of these conceptualizations. Furthermore, the fourth level involves explaining the impact of the training workers and distinguishing the effects a different training project had in delivering the desired outcome. Finally, the fifth level tries to assess the return on investments (ROI) (Choudhury & Sharma, 2019). Here, the cost-benefit analysis is utilized to ascertain whether the training had value on the business’ needs as well as meeting stakeholders’ expectations.
The final method used in this assessment process is Kaufman’s five levels of evaluation. The initial step under this procedure involves measuring resources to be invested in the program and evaluating the participants’ reactions to the project. The second phase entails assessing whether or not the objectives of the training were met. Assess whether new skills were acquired. The practical impact of the benefits accrued in the second step is typically computed in the subsequent phase. The fourth stage incorporates the analysis of the greater benefits of the training; this involves evaluating the program’s effectiveness within the larger society – their clientele and customers.
Best Ways to Address Ineffective Training Programs
Sometimes, particular training programs may not yield the intended results. If a training program is ineffective, some adjustments should be made to enhance its appropriateness (Phillips & Phillips, 2016). First, the organization should ensure that they do not generalize their workers’ learning needs and experiences. Concentrating on workers’ individual needs typically facilitates the HR department’s capacity to identify their strengths and weaknesses and fill the skills gaps. Second, the organization should implement an employee-centered training strategy; this will help identify and address the workforce’s learning traits and preferences. Lastly, adequate time must be allocated to these projects to allow employees to learn and own their training path.
Measurement processes entail the procedures involved in evaluating the effectiveness of a training program. These methodologies involve four steps, with the first one being the identification of what needs to be computed. This is achieved by distinguishing expected outcomes and training goals and analyzing participants’ responses and their impact on the job (Phillips & Phillips, 2016). The second phase involves creating an evaluation schedule by identifying the anticipated results and training objectives, stakeholders’ expectations, and the overall purpose of the learning program. The third incorporates designing and deploying assessments in pertinent areas. Here, one needs to recognize stakeholders’ anticipations, analyze the needs of the business managers and the participants to ensure that they are in sync, and collect relevant data. The final phase encompasses the analysis and reporting of information; this is dependent on the size of the business, budget, available time, and the number of participants as well as stakeholders’ requirements.
Examples of Effective and Non-Effective Measurements
There are many training programs measurements – both effective and ineffective. Examples of appropriate evaluations include supervisor reports and feedbacks on recently trained employees and practical on-the-job applications. Test scores during and after the training are examples of a non-effective way of measuring a project’s efficacy since some participants can score high in theory but record poor performance in the practical application of learned concepts. Another improper way is issuing course and completion certification after a program (Phillips & Phillips, 2016). This approach may be deemed inefficient because some workers may participate in the certification program instead of skill development and improvement.
To improve the onboard training program, the company should strive to ensure that each employee is specifically targeted. This approach will help identify their strengths and weaknesses in executing specific roles in the workplace. The relevant department should also employ strategies to ensure that workers are not treated as a group but rather individually. Furthermore, firms should seek out the best talent to ensure the smooth flow of their business activities.
Employee training is an essential component of any given organization. Companies should ensure that these programs are geared towards the attainment of their respective business goals. It is about improving the performances of an individual, group, and overall firm’s overall productivity. The methods used to evaluate these programs’ effectiveness should be chosen carefully to obtain positive outcomes that reflect the attainment of the intended purpose.
Choudhury, G. B., & Sharma, V. (2019). Review and comparison of various training effectiveness evaluation models for R & D organization performance. PM World Journal, 8(2), 1-13.
Phillips, J. J. & Phillips, P. P. (2016). Handbook of training evaluation and measurement methods (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.