Jan 31, 2005

On training evaluation

On 29 November 2002 I posted the following:

The time tested method of evaluating any type of training has been Kirkpatrick's 4 levels of evaluation.
It is always helpful to keep in mind the learning objectives in mind when deciding on measuring something like 'customer service'.
This is because 'customer service' can have different connotations for different people. It would therefore help that before the training the shared understanding between the trainer and participants is clarified on such fundamental assumptions.
  • So, is 'service' giving the menu over and smiling ?
  • Is it to make the customer feel comfortable?
  • Is it to suggest him the food in keeping with his mood and personality?
Once these fundamental assumptions are clarified before the training , then it makes sense to measure these measures post the training in keeping with 3 levels of Kirkpatrick's model:
  1. Reaction : How did the participants like the training vis a vis the learning objectives?
  2. Knowledge: Did the participants get to know what good customer service is and can he/she explain the same to other people?
  3. Behaviour: Are the participants behaving in the way the training programme asked them to behave (3-6 months post the programme also?)

If these are in the 'no' region then further diagnostics will need to be probed like ...is the block due to skill and knowledge level or is some more fundamental block like low motivation and negative attitude is coming in the way ?
If that is the case then it would be better that an OD workshop is conducted rather than relying on training as these would be more structural and process issues that need to be confronted.

Looking at my post today I am even more convinced that this piece is one thing we still do not do so well in training and development yet ! And yet, this is the first piece that needs to be sorted even before we start contracting with the business !