A training program is an investment that a company makes in its employees. Like any other investment, the company will expect its training program to yield returns in the form of better performance from the employees who have undergone training which will translate to higher revenues for the company.
This is why it is important for a training program to be carefully planned and executed, so as to ensure that its trainees become better performing employees after they have completed their training. And, after training has ended, a well-structured assessment system should be in place to determine if the training has been successful in producing the results that it was designed to bring forth or if there are any improvements that need to be made to it for succeeding batches.
The Kirkpatrick Model
If your company needs to have an assessment system with which to measure the effectiveness of your recent training program, The Kirkpatrick Model is highly recommended. Developed by Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick in the 1950s, this model is probably the best known method for assessing the results of a training program. The Kirkpatrick Model consists of four levels:
Level 1: Reaction
The objective of this level is to evaluate how the training participants feel about the training. Questions are asked to the trainees to figure out if they enjoyed their experience and if they feel that the materials discussed in the program are relevant to their work.
Level 2: Learning
This level aims to determine to what degree the participants have gained the knowledge, skills, behavior, and commitment that were intended to be learned. Compared to Level 1, this level is more challenging and time-consuming. Both informal and formal tests are conducted, as well as self and group assessments. A pre-test and post-test are performed to see how much the participants have learned from the training.
Level 3: Behavior
Level 3 assesses the degree in which the participants apply what they learned from their training in their respective roles. One of the most effective ways to evaluate change in behavior is to conduct observations and interviews over time. It is important to consider the environment where the training participants return to, as this affects whether they can apply what they learned or not. For instance, if the management, culture, or reward systems of their department does not support behavior change, then the participants may not be able to apply what they have learned from their training.
Level 4: Results
This level is considered as the primary goal of the program. It determines the overall success of the training program by measuring several factors, including return on investment, quality of products, production efficiency, employee retention, customer satisfaction, and sales revenue. If the training program has been effective, there should be an improvement seen in these areas.
It pays for a company to have a structured system in place so that they can assess the effectiveness of a training program, whether it be traditional training workshop or an e-learning platform for employees.
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