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IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING EVALUATION IN AN ORGANISATION

INTRODUCTION:

In the past several years human resource management become quite popular. Human Resource management is a very important internal part of an organisation. It has many functions like recruitment and selection, human resource development, reward and performance and management development. Skilled and developed employees are main strength of organisation’s success. Companies are willing to recruit skilled and talented people. But it is a short sighted approach for long term success. As mentioned above, in recent years of companies and organisations have realised importance of training and development. They are focusing on continuous improvement and learning through training and development in organisation. But for that employees are need to choose wisely. This part is related to recruitment and selection process. So HR manager need to choose people with the potential to learn more. Many organisations encourage employees to participate in training and development programme to learn the systematic knowledge in depth. Now it is realized that if there are more opportunities of development for employees, so that they stay committed longer to the organisation. Such motivated, experienced and trained staffs bring better organisation performance. That’s how organisation can produce best product or services that bring more customer satisfaction and more sales which ends in more profit. It also supports employee in participating training and development programme and thus, it increases job engagement of the employee to the organisation. Organisations definitely will gain more productivity from skilled and trained employees rather than non trained employees. Trained and engaged employees are motivated employees. Skilled and motivated employees are high performing employees. That is how employer and employee both can get benefit from training and development programme. (Beardwell & Claydon, 2007)

2. STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT:

This project focuses on human resource development. Main objective of this project is to explain the importance of training evaluation in an organisation. Training evaluation is the one of the crucial part of training process. But first we need to know, why training evaluation needed? From the beginning it is a key topic for most of the trainers. When, training and development do not give the required results than it can be very much harmful for the organisation. It can de-motivate the learners and can seriously damage their reputation. That is why training evaluation has been introduced. So that by evaluating training, trainers can get expected results. It also helps to make any appropriate changes where it is required. It gives the confidence to the trainer by providing result of that they are doing a good job. (Thorne K. & Mackey D. 2007)

HRM features create more importance when it is attached to strategic integration. It is more concerned to link the HRM issues into strategic planes. Strategic Human Resource Development (SHRD) is for giving the clear vision about employee’s abilities and potential to operate within the strategic framework of the business. New learning and development strategies are created under SHRD to achieve business goals. Training evaluation is needed to ensure that, is SHRD attaining the business goals or not? The main objective of SHRD is to enhance resources with the belief that firm’s employees are a major source of competitive advantage. It is more focused on intellectual capital, ensuring that are there right quality of employees available to meet the present and future needs. By creating a learning environment in which employees are encouraged to learn and develop to match the employability of outside and inside of organisation, should be one of its concerns. Michael Armstrong (2009) has highlighted the philosophy of SHRD.

HRD makes a major contribution to successfully achieve firm’s goals, investment in the benefits to the stakeholders of the organisation.

HRM planes and programmes should be interact with and support to achieve the goals of business and HRM.

Everybody in the organisation should be encouraged and given opportunity to learn and develop their skills and knowledge.

In SHRD there should be a focus on self managed learning and support by coaching, training and monitoring.

As we have seen learning, training, development and education are the elements of HRD. Learning should be distinguished from training. Therefore, organisations need to monitor their training programmes. (Armstrong M. 2009)

From Baron J. & Kreps D. (2005), now firms do not show training as a cost for the employee but as an investment. They said that, it is important to measure the training. By giving some examples, they argued about how it is difficult to measure of performance improvement. Therefore, evaluation is more likely to be considered as a capital investment of training. Trainer and trainee both should undergo from evaluation process. The result of this process will give better understanding about performance improvement. Making changes where necessary in training will provide great help in the integration with business strategies.

According to Armstrong (1999) training evaluation is important to evaluate training in order to assess its effectiveness. It is important to know what ever training is provided to the employees; does it really help them in their work? Because, lot of time, effort and money spend to train employees. That is why Hamblin said “any attempt to obtain information (feedback) on the effects of a training programme and to assess the value of the training in the light of that information. It is an integral feature of training. It gives the answer to the question of how far the training has achieved its purpose.” Training evaluation makes sure that, the given training was investment rather than expense.

RESEARCH MATHODOLOGY:

All the data is gathered by secondary sources. Most of the data is collected from books. Some of the journals have been referred for adequate knowledge of the research report. Electronic source is the main source of gathering the relevant data. Both qualitative and quantitative data been gathered for the proposed research report. A case study has taken is supporting Kirkpatrick’s model. It provides the brief detail of how to make evaluation in training. (Bhattacharya, 2006)

KIRKPATRIC’S TRAINING EVALUATION THEORY:

To understand training evaluation, Kirkpatrick has introduced four level of training evaluation. Donald Kirkpatrick was president of the American Society of Training and Development in 1975.

Reaction: Reaction evaluation is how the trainee felt, and their personal reaction to the training or learning experience. It is a feedback forms on training experience. Verbal reaction can also be noted and analysed. It can be done by post training surveys and questionnaires. Feedback form, which can be filled or verbally given to the manager. It contains personal feeling type questions, like did the trainees like and enjoys training? Did they consider the training relevant? Was it a good use of their time? Did they like the timing and the place of training? It is easy to do. It can be done immediately after completion of training. Easy to obtain reaction feedback. Easy to analyse. Not much expensive to gather all the data and for analyse. It become very helpful to know the primary questions like trainees were not unhappy or disappointed with training. Analyser has to assume that all the feedbacks are genuine. If it is than most of the feedbacks may be similar.

Learning: Learning evaluation is the measurement knowledge from before and after learning experience. It can be done by doing assessment tests before and after training. Interview and observation can also be used instead of assessment test. Assessment test need to be closely related to the aims of learning. Measuring the test can be easy in g group rather than individual. Hard-copy, electronic, online or interview style assessment are types of gathering learning evaluation data.

From the data, it is easy to figure out, did the trainee learn what every he intended to taught? Did the trainee experience what intended to experience in training? It is more time consuming and costly in compare to reaction evaluation. It only shows that how much knowledge h

As trainee has. It doesn’t shows that how much learning applied at the workplace.

Behaviour: Behaviour evaluation in which trainees applied the learning and change their behaviour. This can take some time to change their behaviour it might take several weeks or months after the training. The main objective of behaviour evaluation is to find did trainees put their learning into effect? Are they using the relevant skill which has been taught? Is there any change in their activities while working? How is their performance? Is the trainee aware of the changing behaviour? Is the trainee trying to transfer their learning in others or not?

As behaviour evaluation is an important evaluation process amongst the other processes. Observation need to done at certain level of training. Assessment test is not suitable in this because each trainee will take his own time to put his learning into effect. Assessment can be done only by suitable analysis tools. Judgement, observation or interviews are the best possible way to measure the impact of training. A flexible way, like 360 degree feedback is useful method for measuring the effect.

It is less easy to measure the change in compare to learning behaviour. Cooperation and skills of observers are most important in this evaluations process. Analysers need to be very much accurate and experience in judging trainee’s behaviour. Behaviour evaluation should take place in some time duration during the training. So it depends on evaluators vision to see behaviour pattern, which can be varies amongst different evaluator. The support of line managers and trainers are essential in this evaluation process. Involving them from the beginning of the training would definitely beneficial for further assessments.

Results: Result evaluation is the measurement of effect on the business or environment after the training. The main objective in this evaluation process is to find results or performance indicators like; sales, volumes, quality, timescale return on investment, performance, turnover, failure, wastage, achievements, accreditations, growth, retention etc,. Many of these measures can be done by other management systems and reporting. It can be found by how trainee’s inputs are affecting the performance after training. Commonly trainees are informed about the expected level of performance which needs to be achieved by the end of training. It requires simple links with the training inputs. Failure with this can reduce the chances of getting accurate results at the end.

Result evaluation is particularly not difficult. It can be done by using qualitative and quantitative analysis. Targets can be set down with the use of this evaluation process. While doing the result evaluation, analyser needs to consider the external factors of environment which are affecting the performance of organisation. This can be good or bad. So the analysers have to be realistic towards the situation. (Kirkpatrick 2007)

I think Kirkpatrick’s model gives foundation level knowledge to evaluators. There is a need to extend these levels. The four levels are over simplified. They do not consider the dynamic changes in the environment and in the organisation. By not considering the training environment, trainer will give a false training evaluation. Although the trainee is well trained, still he is not efficient as others. To find out such problem training programme need to consider the cultural and ethical factors. It is also missing the determination of usefulness and availability of organisational resources. Yes it is true that this model is very much useful during the training session. Minor problems with the trainees can be rectified and necessary steps can take to improve training programme. Thereafter it is not much useful. For more accurate result of training evaluation Philip has introduced ROI theory of training evaluation. It is also considered as a fifth level of Kirkpatrick’s model.

Kaufman’s five levels of evaluation:

Roger Kaufman has introduced five level of evaluation by using the Kirkpatrick’s four levels. His evaluation model level includes addressing the viability of various resources and inputs necessary for successful interventions by adding social and client responsiveness with the consequences of payoffs. According to him, evaluation needs to consider both within and outside of organisation. His view of evaluation is broader than Kirkpatrick. He said that training is the only performance improvement so evaluator needs to see the contribution to performance inside as well as outside of the organisation. He showed the fifth level which is mega level. It is societal contribution, which is missing from Kirkpatrick’s framework. The mega level aims on societal usefulness like health, continuous profit, pollution level, safety. It concerns more for the future. Like what will be effect of it in the future market. Other levels are shown in the following table:

The mentioned table shows the suggested levels of Kaufman’s theory. He is making critics on the first level, that Kirkpatrick is not involving resource availability. Level two is considered as an assessment type. It focuses on training implementation. Level three is performance based. Identify the changes due to training. Fourth level is common in both. It includes performance improvement, cost benefits such as timely and quality output. If I put it in a simple way, Kaufman’s five levels are interlinked with business strategy. It is a useful model for Strategic Human Resource Development. By considering all the environmental factors evaluator can give more accurate result. The quality of result is richer that simple evaluation result. (Kaufman R, Keller J & Watkins R. 1996)

CIRO METHOD OF TRAINING EVALUATION:

War, Bird and Rackham introduced four level of approach called CIRO.

Context: It checks back to the basics of training. It considers the environment within which training took place. Employer need to look the original methods for training and development. Employer need to check and analyse the information to identify specific needs.

Input: This evaluation decides the best method of delivery. It takes into account of employee’s selection process, employee material and the level of involvement at workplace. By determining the accuracy of the input will increase the success of overall evaluation.

Reaction: Reaction is not much different from Kirkpatrick’s behaviour evaluation. It evaluates the nature of employee and measure the reaction from learning. This can be useful to evaluate quality of employees.

Outcome: It is the final evaluation to check the changes in employees at the workplace. It is easier to evaluate if results are numeric. Outcome is to check that how far training has transferred employees by measuring their performance.

Warr, Bird and Rackham made a critic on Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation. They said that this process may not always produce genuine, meaningful and long-term results. The parameters which Kirkpatrick looking to evaluate training are limited. It is not considering the firms overall ability to perform. CIRO model is requires more detailed analyses of an organisation. There are many factors that will affect training. So this evaluation model takes more time than Kirkpatrick’s model. (Thackwray B. 1997)

ROI TRAINING EVALUATION THEORY:

Jack Phillips has introduced ROI evaluation theory. It is also known as Jack Philip’s five level ROI model. As mentioned above training is considered as investment in people. ROI is the best match for this sentence. According to Philip, there are six trends which have increased the use of ROI.

The increasing amount of training and development are pressuring for more accountability in business.

Competitive strategies are linked with training and development, management are always eager to measure the contribution of training programme.

Other programmes do not give as accurate result as ROI. Therefore many times programme sponsors have requested to for ROI justification.

Including all the other functions, training and development is required for continues development and to hold the position in competition. Therefore many support efforts are taken for it.

From the perspective of top executives in large number of organisation required ROI information.

Trainers are now taking interest in justifying their contribution in training and development. So they increased their interest in ROI.

ROI theory cannot be directly applied. For this there is a need of a classic model like Kirkpatrick’s model. Then the result should be taken for ROI such as turnover, quality improvement, productivity or cost reduction. To get the accurate ROI all programmes should be compared to cost implementation in order to value the investment. That is why ROI theory is called as a fifth stage of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation theory. On the other hand, this model requires final results. Only then evaluator can able to use this model. There isn’t any more research need to be done if desired result can obtain, but if the results are wrong then evaluator need to go back to the basics. ROI is not a proper method to evaluate training. Because there are lot of qualitative aspects related to it. Use of ROI is just to check the returns on investment. This technique is more favourable to investors rather than evaluators. The ROI formula is the annual net programme benefits divided by programme costs. Where else the net benefits are the mandatory value of the benefit minus the cost of the programme. The ROI formula is as follows:

(Philips 1996)

CASE STUDY: A case study taken from journal of workplace learning. The aim of training is to give knowledge and leadership skills to the managers. The test was conduct on two groups of manager and supervisors of large municipal organisation. Both the groups are divided in 27 people. One group was undergoing from the training, while the other one is untrained. So the result will reflect the clear difference between both the groups. The data is evaluated by Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation method. Candidate’s age, seniority, experience level and educational knowledge were almost identical.

Reaction: Reaction was measured by a short questionnaire. 16 questions were given with from five scales from bad to excellent. The reaction training and the trainers were positive in general. The main result fallen under the other three levels. Suggestions were gathered to improve aspect of training facility. However, reaction is necessary, but not enough for a high quality evaluation. It is to measure that training is reaching the intended goals or not.

Knowledge: It is to measure the aspects of effective leadership and management skills, measured by multiple choice questions. The results were remarkable. Candidates demonstrate a significant growth in knowledge. This will help managers to reach higher level of knowledge than untrained managers. The training apparently gets successful in this theoretical knowledge. Even somehow, this result was putting pressure to untrained managers to perform better.

Behaviour: Managers behaviour is noticed after providing the adequate knowledge. Leadership behaviour had been discussed during the training. The present frequency compared with before training frequencies. The result was again showing positive indication. After training, a significant change been noticed. The behaviour toward leadership skills was higher in compare to untrained group of managers. The proposed result showed the increase in leadership behaviour is doubled that before from the gathered numbers.

Result: Final result is showing the long term analyses of improved productivity, quality of product and processes, lower sickness and absence rate. The result is in two parts: self evaluation and evaluation by others. Both parts are showing positive result which is supporting the hypotheses, for long term effectiveness. But obvious it is often difficult to prove a causal link between training and long term effects. There are several factors like age, boredom from same kind of work, changing nature of human and other environmental factors effect it. This method can’t be predicting the future, it just to measure the current performance. Further research gives the idea, for long term result a 360-degree evaluation should be more accurate than Kirkpatrick’s four level evaluation methods.

Overall result showed the gap between trained managers and untrained managers. Step by step evaluation is giving the improvement in manager’s skills and knowledge. Training main objective was achieved. However, Kirkpatrick’s model is not giving accurate results. Further research need to done in this case. Individual evaluation between trained managers will give more accurate result than groups. For that, Philips ROI method, kaufman’s five level and CIRO evaluation methods need to introduce. However, the candidates are almost identical as the case says. So, there won’t be much difference in result. (Steensma H. 2010)

As mentioned in the training proposal, training means investment in people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities. It is very much important to improve employee’s skill which results better quality product or a high level of customer services. (Armstrong, 1999).

RATIONAL:

I would like to describe one of my own experiences regarding training and training evaluation. A few months back when I was working with an AGIES BPO as a customer care executive. My job task is very much related to a salesman. At the time of joining the company. Trainers have provided brief training regarding my work. After few month of working there was not much improvement in my work. My sales figures were low and I was staying away from reaching my goals. Considering my efforts company’s trainer suggested me to participate in the further training programme which was called as PIP (Performance Improvement Programme). In this programme trainers had provided through training regarding my work. They provide me basics for the working tasks and advance techniques also. As my work was technical work, I have to give assessment test on each end of the day. At end of very first of PIP, a verbal interview has taken place where, trainer took the interview. It does include some simple questions like how are you feeling about training? Did you understand the concept? Do you know your way getting out of the problem? Assessment test were taken after each session, it was regarding the technical issues. The evaluation of training is going as per Kirkpatrick’s four level of evaluation pattern. Behaviour pattern has been marked as well.

The taught soft skill in sales helps me to respond well in communication and the technical training helped me in doing my work easy and quickly. After the end of my training, I have been called for the face to face interview for measuring my learning and how well I can able to put it into practice. After that I was feeling like confidence enough to work with my full productivity as well as I was teaching some of the technical skills to my juniors. This is how training changed my way of working. At the end of the month I have achieved my sales targets without any problem. The results were showing the significant changes of training programme.

CONCLUSION: Although the above mentioned discussion showed that how training and training evaluation is helpful for organisations own benefits and employees can also improve their own performance. It builds a moral interest in staff development. Future train programme can be determined by training evaluation. Training evaluation can also rectify the mistakes done in training programme and can build a new programme. Most important for an organisation, training programmes make the business stands in market. Changing culture, technology and ethics influence an organisations work place. To understand its effect and to cope with the competition there is an urgent requirement of training, and to ensure the training is going in right path, it becomes a necessity to do training evaluation. Training evaluation take part in most of the organisation. The above mentioned training evaluation theories are the key to analyse training and its effectiveness. Better working environment with well trained workers can lead the organisation to high level. This can be helpful to gain more market share and better reputation among competitors and customers. Therefore it is not wrong to say that training evaluation is a vital part for an organisation. But it is not always because of the training. There are some cases when training is not enough to improve productivity regardless the evaluation is showing the uprising performance.

As seen above, strategic human resource development is essential in developing business strategies. SHRD enables learning cycle. It creates a chain of continuous improvement. Measuring the evaluation and apply changes with that, can formulate flexible development strategy. Sometimes, employees are not happy with management or not happy with the payment and reward system. If some employees are chosen for the wrong position to work than how will training affect his performance or behaviour of working? There might a mistake from selection and requirement section. If a person is not satisfied with his work than there is no way of getting trained him for the future.

According to Druckman ET, al, (1997), it is found that training is not always worth. Training do not give satisfactory output in some cases, there is evident that training is not always successful. Application on learning on practical basis at job, amount of learning depends on conditions at workplace. As mentioned the above cases. One of the factors affecting training success is how much employees are interested in participating in training programs. Training is more effective in participation condition is not compulsory. Training programme should be voluntary. Other factor is co-operation from the managers. Supportive environment always influence result training and makes it more efficient in practise.

REFERENCES:

Armstrong M. (1999), Human Resource Management Practice, 7th edition, Kogan Page Limited. London.

Armstrong M. (2009), Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. 4th edition. Kogan Page. New Delhi.

Baron J. & Kreps D. (2005). Strategic Human Resources: Framework for General Managers. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. USA.

Beardwell J. & Claydon T. (2007). Human Resource Management: a contemporary approach. 5th edition. Prentice Hall, England.

Bhattacharya D.K. (2006), Research Methodology, 6th edition, Excel Books, New Delhi.

Druckman D., Singer J.E. & Van Cott H.P. (1997). Enhancing Organisational Performance. National Acedemy.USA. pp: 106-107.

Kaufman R, Keller J & Watkins R. (1996), What Work & What Doesn’t: Evaluation Beyond Kirkpatrick. Volume 35.

Kirkpatrick D. (2007). The Four Levels of Evaluation. American Society for Training and Development. USA

Philips J.J. (1996). Technical and skills training. [Online] available at: http://www.astd.org/NR/rdonlyres/D0BCF259-880D-4EEC-BF89-7F1B9A88F430/0/phillips.pdf. [Accessed: 27 April 2010]

Steensma H. (2010), Evaluating the Training using the “Four Level Model.” Journal for Workplace Learning. Leiden University. [Online] available at: < http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1366-5626&volume=22&issue=5&articleid=1865097&show=html#id0860220504005.png%200860220504006.png> [Accessed 22 Aug 2010].

Thackwray B. (1997), Effective Evaluation of Training and Development in Higher Education. Kogan Page, London.

Thorne K & Mackey D (2007). Everything you ever needed to know about training. Kogan Page Ltd, USA.

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