Many organisations are working in tough economic times with reduced training budgets. However, many of the world’s leading organisations are increasing their training spend. Current research suggests that over one-third of the top 100 companies report increasing their spend on learning and development in 2018. These are the companies that manage and measure training.
There is a vital need to prove the connection between an investment in training and improvement in organisational performance. While this is understandable, it creates some difficulties for those involved in training. The fact is that the benefits of sustained long-term investment in training are almost impossible to calculate accurately.
There is a strong case for training evaluation, particularly given the vast sums of money that are spent on it. However, there are some problems associated with the evaluation process which also must be considered.
There five main reasons for evaluating training are:
- The evaluation can help to justify expenditure on future programmes.
- It enables improvements to be made.
- It allows the effectiveness of different approaches to be compared.
- It provides feedback for the trainers about their performance.
- The evaluation indicates to what extent the objectives have been met.
Many different models have been developed by various writers; however, one of the best is the model proposed by Jack Phillips (Phillips, 2002).
Phillips has taken Kirkpatrick’s famous framework for evaluation (Kirkpatrick, 2005), and added two more levels. His modified version of Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation model, adapted to include measuring for return on investment (ROI), it looks like this:
- Reaction and planned action
- On-the-job application
- Business results
- Return on investment
- Intangible benefits
This model allows us to look more deeply at the financial implications of the impact of the training process and by analysing this in cost-benefit terms is producing a cash value for the training. It is, however, important to remember that not everything is measurable. This is why Level 6, Intangible benefits are essential.
An example could be where there is a noticeable improvement in employee satisfaction following a training intervention – the management may decide that there would be no real point in spending time and money in quantifying the value of this, even though they believe that a value exists.
By attending this AZTech training course, you will learn about this and other essential topics in Managing & Measuring Training: Strategy, Systems, Finance & Measuring Impact