Problems with training programmes: Limited feedback
The purpose of training is to change and improve employees for the better. Their behaviours, opinions, knowledge and level of skill are not set in stone and can all be bettered with a little investment and the right approach to training. Once the training has taken place, comprehensive feedback is essential to gauge whether lessons have been learned and the intended changes have taken place.
Without the knowledge that a comprehensive feedback session provides, employees are less likely to understand the purpose of the training they received, incorporate the new approaches into their work or be motivated to engage in further training.
The evaluation methods many companies use today to gauge the value of training were first developed by American trainer Don Kirkpatrick. This is his four level model:
- Reaction: Did participants find the training enjoyable and applicable?
- Learning: Did the participants learn?
- Behaviour: Did the participants apply the learning to their jobs?
- Results: Did the participants or the business realise the intended results from the application of learned skills? Dr Jack Phillips then added to this model with the final level:
- Return on Investment: Was the training program worth the monetary investment?
Feedback on the first four levels of the model is vital to the motivation and learning of the employees, whilst the fifth level of feedback is an important measure of success for those investing in the training.
We ask participants to complete a questionnaire immediately after every training session we hold. As well as a paper based survey, we obtain information from other sources, such as video interviews with delegates, to provide a qualitative stream of information. To make the training programme feedback more digestible, we then chart the participants’ responses to create a clear method of reinforcing the training shortly after it has taken place. See the examples below:
As an effective method of measuring learning, we ask each participant to complete an online exam to test their recollection of the training’s key lessons. Delegates must score 80 percent to pass the test. Measuring learning in this way provides us with valuable insights into which parts of the training really resonated with the delegates, and other areas where further review is needed. This also provides pre-warning of areas where training may not be applied in the future.
We like to conduct impromptu mystery shopping and telephone evaluations to measure the extent to which participants are changing their behaviours and putting their learning into practice. Over the years we have found the evaluation of real recorded calls to be the best approach of assessing the application of training, as this helps to maintain the validity and reliability of the results. We are also not wasting the valuable time of enquiry handlers by interrupting their work with fake calls.
With the help of experienced evaluators, we are able to assess whether enquiry handlers are putting their training into action. We then discuss the results with their managers during coaching calls, which we hold on a weekly basis for the 12 weeks following the training.
Measuring the results of training is simply a case of calculating the conversion rates of participants after the training, and comparing this to our goal, and to conversion rates before the training took place. This is a core measure of training success and provides a clear view of its effectiveness.
Measuring return on investment
Our approach to measuring return on investment is to enter the results from the “return” stage of the process into a spreadsheet, which we then use to calculate the value of incremental sales recorded. By comparing the value of incremental sales with the cost of training, we are then able to calculate the precise return on the training investment. This then forms a valuable resource on which to base future training decisions.
How do you solve the problem of limited feedback after training sessions? Do you use the reaction, learning, behaviour, results and ROI model? Or perhaps you have your own tailored approach? Get in touch with us here at LiveseySolar or leave your comments below.