training world and its dog (and cat) have their own opinion on evaluation and
assessment and we seem to hear the same argument time and time again. Usually
around ROI and finding things to measure.
many who got into Training, I done so, because I like helping people (ok, and
showing off!!) I love getting up in front of an audience and empowering, inspiring
and motivating them. On a one to one level, I love talking through the issue and
seeing the lights come on as the person Im coaching realises what they have
I did not (and I suspect many
of you feel the same) get into training to do evaluation. Not that it isnt
important, far from it, its essential. But its just that, I suspect, trainers
as a breed just dont want to do it, sitting at a desk trying to find ways
to measure training just doesnt fit in.
this piece is not written by someone who has a real passion for evaluation, nor
whom evaluation has come easy for. I found little solace in evaluation theory,
which had some good points but nothing to make it work in the real world. What
I realised is that it was a waste of time completing a TNA, rolling out the training
and then trying to evaluate something I didnt understand fully what I was
trying to measure. I therefore developed the supremacy method after lengthy trial
Have we asked ourselves
why did we do the training in the first place? What was the business need? What
were our reasons for doing it again?
take evaluation in weight loss. You weigh yourself and set yourself a target weight
over a period of time, but in training, one of the biggest crimes is that we don't
bother setting the measurements, and before I upset anyone, I fully agree that
training provides many, many intangible benefits that cannot be measured.
we know we can't measure them, so why bother with them? Lets work within
our circle of influence and measure the measurable.
on a diet, the only thing we can measure is the pounds that drop off and the body
measurements. Therefore, that's all we measure, we don't measure increased energy
and sense of well being, but its there and we know its there, but if we can't
quantify it, we'll just quietly enjoy it.
you are going to evaluate, start from the very start (Training needs analysis)
This I feel is the main reason evaluation falls down, like the weight loss scenario,
know where you are and where you want to go, with yard sticks along the way and
measure what you can measure.
at all times "Why do we need this training?" Don't be scared to change
the way you do things if you can't see the clear path as to why you are doing
Identify any financial gains or
savings (staff retentions, recruitment costs, increased profitability etc.) if
you look hard enough, you can find them. Use the this means that drill
down question. E.g.
This means that, theyll
be happier at work
This means that,
they will work more efficiently
means that, more work will get completed
means that, the company will increase productivity by
a lot easier to measure productivity financially then it is to measure motivation!
be afraid of getting it wrong. Some trainers I worked with stopped evaluating
when the evaluation process showed that their training intervention wasnt
working as planned and inevitably, sometimes, your evaluation will show that your
training hasn't delivered the return on investment that you expected. This is
what evaluation is for, so you can learn from it and tweak your practices and
get it better next time
Always be evaluating!!!
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