Article: Measurement and evaluation of training effectiveness

Training & Development

Measurement and evaluation of training effectiveness

Training begins with stating objectives in accordance with the need analysis conducted by an organisation. But unfortunately most of the time training doesn't end with its evaluation and measurement.
Measurement and evaluation of training effectiveness

Every organisation has a business sense and direction. The cash inflows and outflows is the part of their everyday’s functioning. Training has a considerable influence on company finance as there are several potential training costs that companies may incur. One type of training related cost is direct cost. This may include instructor salary, material and follow up supervision. A second type of training related cost is indirect cost. These costs are related to worker output and productivity during and upon the completion of the training. 

The most challenging task is to measure the return on the indirect cost incurred on training. Training begins with stating objectives in accordance with the need analysis conducted by an organisation. But unfortunately most of the time training doesn’t end with its evaluation and measurement. One of the major challenges of training is to measure the return on investment on training. ROI means measuring all the economic returns generated from an investment in a training program. These returns are then compared with the true cost of the programme to determine an organisation annual rate of return of the investment. Returns of training programs like customer service can be measured and evaluated by customer feedback on service. Tangibilising the results of training is very difficult in behavioural trainings. According to Leach P. Mark and Liu H. Annie, 2003, to evaluate training investments critically, organisations need to know how reactions, knowledge acquisition and behaviour change impact outcomes. Similarly organisations need to know the value of measuring training at multiple stages. 

Over the years, researchers have developed systematic procedures for training evaluation. Some of them are:

Kirkpatrick’s four Level Model

The most widely accepted framework is four stage training evaluation model proposed by Kirkpatrick (1959). Kirkpatrick’s framework classifies training evaluations into four categories:

  • Participants’ reactions to the training program (Reaction)
  • Changes in attitude, knowledge or skill levels (Learning)
  • Changes in work behaviours (Behaviour)
  • Changes in organisationally desired outcomes (Results)

Hamblin Training Model

Hamblin training can be evaluated in four levels: Reaction, Learning, Job Behaviour and Functioning.

Peter Warr C.I.P.O Model

This model recommended Context Evaluation, Input evaluation, process evaluation, outcome evaluation framework of Evaluation.

Virmani and Premila’s model of evaluation

This model embraces three stages- Pre-training evaluation, Context and Input Evaluation and Post training evaluation.

Peter Bramely’s Model

This model of evaluation includes three stages- Evaluation before training, deigning learning event, evaluation during the event and evaluation after the event. 

David Reay Model

David divided evaluation in three stages- the trial phase, the ongoing phase and the final phase. 

Jack Phillips ROI Model

Dr Jack Phillips offered a practical way to forecast the potential payoff return on investment. Return on Investment is a proposed training initialise before the funds are committed. It’s an easy to use decision support tool that allows organisation to quickly develop and examine the business case for investing in workforce development. ROI is the ratio of net benefits of an investment compared to its total costs. 

Dr Donald Kirkpatrick and Dr Jack Phillips models are the most credible and most widely used training and HRD evaluation methodology in the world.

Though we have models and approaches that can evaluate and measure the effectiveness of training, unfortunately organisations still find training evaluation as challenge. The evaluation ends at reaction or learning. Evaluation at each stage is important and measuring the effectiveness of training needs to be evaluated by a 360 degree feedback.

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Topics: Training & Development, Assessments

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