Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model Applied
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Sunshine Supermarket is an upcoming supermarket in Singapore. It first opened its door for business in the year 2014 at Jurong East. Sunshine Supermarket's primary aim is 'to serve the customer'. Keeping existing customers happy is important, as they are more likely to return. This is more cost effective for the business than acquiring new ones. Sunshine Supermarket's original product range of grocery and general merchandise has diversified to include home appliances, electrical goods as well as telephone equipment.
In the past two year Sunshine Supermarket's growth has been massive mainly due to its excellent customer service and quality of products. Sunshine Supermarket's market expansion strategy is to penetrate further in the Singapore market by opening the second store in Punggol.
Sunshine Supermarket would be recruiting 10 more retails staffs, three for the current branch and seven for the new branch. The new recruits would be foreign nationals with no prior retail experience. They would have to be trained in customer service, merchandising, stock taking and other functions. All employees have a varied style of learning.
Three retails staffs who have been exemplary employees in the first branch will be promoted to the role of Store Manager, Purchase Manager and Supervisor respectively. Currently they lack leadership skills which may impede their performance in the new store.
Sunshine Supermarket is currently pursuing the market development strategy to expand its operations and they are planning to enter into UK market in 2017.
Before explaining Kirkpatrick's four levels of Training Evaluation it is important to understand why such evaluation is done. There are various types of evaluations techniques to understand and "Kirkpatrick's for levels of Training Evaluation" is just one of the thousand methods of training method that is used by training organizations to determine their training program effectiveness.
The reason for a new recruit, promoted employee or anyone who is sincere enough to hold a job position that they are not trained would feel he/she wants to be trained before taking up that particular responsibility that their organization is assigning them. Each person have a different thinking e.g. I want be trained because I want to be accepted by my company, I want to be trained because I want to be trusted by my company, I want my company and my fellow managers to understand that they need me, and etc (Selvaraj, 2016).
On the other hand the company will also feel confident that the person who has undergo the training program will be on his/her 100% in performing the job title given, as they are trained professionally on how to handle. There will be lots of changes in the management of the company e.g. senior management listening to whatever advice you might given for the company, the company promoting you faster because of the sincere you might be showing, you will be of course given more control since you are trained, and importantly they know that your quality of work will improve (Selvaraj, 2016).
Lastly and most importantlyin order for both parties above, "person undergoing the course" and "company" to be satisfied, the training organization's training programmes MUST be easily knowledgeable for anyone taking up the course to understand so that they can perform the right work performance in the company's work environment.
And in order for any training organization that wants to meet their objective have to evaluate their training programmes.
But there is three main reasons for a training organization to evaluate their training programmes and it is for deciding on whether to continue or discontinue a training program if it's too disliked by many, and to gain information on how they can improve their training programmes for their future training programs, and lastly and importantly if the budget and training received contributes to their organization's objective and goals (Selvaraj, 2016).
Apart from main reasons but common reasons for training evaluations are often known to determine the effectiveness of a program and ways in which it can be improved, usually the training programmes continue as of how they were going but minor feedbacks are also taken for consideration at times to keep up the standard of their owns training organizations, they are often know to the following below (Selvaraj, 2016):
- Is the trainer the best one qualified to teach?
- Are the schedules appropriate for the trainees?
- Are the facilities beyond satisfactory?
- Was the coordination of the program up or beyond satisfactory?
- What can be done to improve the program?
- Is the trainer providing effective methods for maintaining interest and teach the desired attitudes, knowledge, and skills?
In overall training organizations do evaluation for improving future programs and at times this evaluation is the only way they can decide upon to continue or drop a programme if unsatisfied by many
If you provide training for your team or your organization, then you certainly should know how essential it is to determine its efficiency. Besides, you don't want to waste time or funds on training that does not give a good turnover (Mindtools, 2016).
Here is when Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model can assist you in determining the efficiency and force of your training, so that you can improve it in the future, there is four levels that represent the sequence of ways to evaluate the training program (Mindtools, 2016).
- Level 1 - Reaction
- Level 2 - Learning
- Level 3 - Behaviour
- Level 4 - Results
Level 1 - Reaction: As the phrase reaction implies, evaluation on this level measures how those who participate in the program respond to it. It can be also known as the measure of customer (stakeholder) satisfaction. Evaluation reaction is known to be the same thing as measuring customer satisfaction (Mindtools, 2016).
If training is going to be useful, it is important that trainees respond well to it. Otherwise they will not be motivated to be trained. Also, they will tell others of their reactions. Several trainers call the forms that are used for the evaluation of reaction happiness sheets (Selvaraj, 2016).
The importance of Measuring Reaction at Level 1: It gives the training organization important feedback that helps them to evaluate the program with them as well as comments and suggestions for improving future programs (Trainingindustry, 2016).
The reason of this is to tell the trainees that the trainers are there to help them do their job better and that they need that feedback from them to conclude the efficiency of the program (Trainingindustry, 2016).
Reaction sheets can provide quantitative information that they can give to managers and others concerned with the particular program, furthermore the, Reaction sheets can provide trainers with quantitative information that can be used to establish standards of performance for future programs (Trainingindustry, 2016).
Level 2 - Learning: At this level the training organization must determine what the trainees have learned. The three things that an instructor can teach the trainees are knowledge, skills, and attitudes so it is important for the training organization to determine on what knowledge was learned? What skills were developed or improved? And what attitudes were changed in them?
So it is important that training organizations measure the trainees learning because no change in behaviour can be expected unless one or more of those learning objectives have been accomplished in their training programmers (Mindtools, 2016).
Level 3 - Behaviour: At this level the training organization have to evaluate their trainees behaviour based on the training they received, in other words this helps trainers understand how their trainees manage to apply that information they learn in the training programme. The training organization must understand this because the behaviour can only change if the conditions are favourable in the programme, for example if the training organization has skipped the first two Kirkpatrick's levels, and by looking at the trainees group behaviour, they determine that no behaviour change had taken place. Perhaps they might have assumed that the trainees have not learned anything and the training was ineffective (Mindtools, 2016).
On the other hand it's not just about evaluating behaviour changes. It's not right to judge just based on behaviour at all times, because the trainee's boss might not have let them apply any new knowledge. And maybe the trainees have actually learned everything from the training programme but they have no desire in apply that knowledge themselves, so it's hard to judge because we are dealing with human beings not machine (Mindtools, 2016).
Level 4 - Results: At this level the training organization have to analyze the final results of their training in the programme. This also includes the findings of the trainer, the training organization have determined for good of the business, employees, and for everyone, eventually the training organization can use this result for future reference or etc (Selvaraj, 2016).
That's the end of explanation on Kirkpatrick's Four - Level of Training Evaluation.
There are different types of training evaluation methods that can be used to evaluate any possible outcomes of different scenarios people face e.g. training evaluation, learning, and etc. But Kirkpatrick's four level of training evaluation actually covers all expertise of needed data in an evaluation. NTUC Learning Hub was the training organization that trained Sunshine Supermarket's new recruits and promoted employees based on their training needs.
They trained their new recruits based on their problems that were initiated by their company, Sunshine Supermarket. They actually had 10 new recruits but they were all of foreign national and with no retail experience.
Sunshine Supermarket wanted all of the 10 recruits to be trained upon Basic English even before they attend courses that were related to their job. Sunshine Supermarket wanted all 10 recruits to be trained on merchandising, customer servicing, stock taking, and also with other retail related function. NTUC Learning Hub conducted all needed training on their new recruits based on Sunshine Supermarket's request.
On the other hand, Sunshine Supermarket had 3 promoted employees in their first branch who were promoted to be a Store Manager, Purchase Manager, and Supervisor respectively. Sunshine Supermarket planned to deploy this three promoted employees in their new store, but before they actually take up their job position, they felt it's a necessity for them to attend leadership trainings before taking up their job roles. NTUC Learning Hub trained all the three promoted employees based on Sunshine Supermarket's request.
NTUC Learning Hub (Training Organization) MUST use the Kirkpatrick's Four - Level of Training Evaluation Model to evaluate their training on Sunshine Supermarket's (Trained Company) new recruits and promoted employees (Company's Personnel - Who are Trained).
It is important to understand Kirkpatrick's Four - Levels of Training Evaluation is just a method of evaluate. Identifying how to use will vary case to case basis. This evaluation method is an ART NOT a SCIENCE. As for Sunshine Supermarket, it will be the training organization evaluating the first two levels (level 1 & level 2). The other two levels (level 3 & level 4) will be evaluated by the trainee's company since it's them who sponsored the trainees to the training programme which in this case is Sunshine Supermarket.
Level 1 of Training Evaluation on New Recruits and Promoted Employees: NTUC Learning Hub has to measure their trainee's reaction at the level. But there are a couple of factors that they will have to evaluate at this point and they are known to the following below:
- They will have to find out if their training was worth the trainee's time and was it successful in the end (Mindtools, 2016)?
- At which point did the new recruits or promoted employees face the most tough and easy time in their training and where was their biggest strength and weakness throughout the programme (Mindtools, 2016)?
- Was NTUC Learning Hub's venue suitable for learning (Mindtools, 2016)?
- Did this learning personally created any "CHANGE" in their personal life style (Mindtools, 2016)?
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