Corporate Training promises an improvement to a company’s bottom line in some manner, shape or form.

This is why companies pay for corporate training. Companies want improvement in their people.

So how do companies measure the effectiveness of the training they pay for? How do they measure the return on their investment (ROI)?

One common model to do this is the Kirkpatrick model. This short article will give you a simple working summary of this.

The Kirkpatrick model evaluates training effectiveness at four levels.

Level 1: How did the participants enjoy the training experience?

This is evaluated by a feedback form or evaluation form at the end of the training program. Usually, as long as the participants are happy, they will typically give an above average rating of the trainer and the training program.

Level 2: How much did the participants actually learn?

This is evaluated in a few ways. You can do a pre-program and post-program test to assess this. You can do a pre and post program rubrick as well. You can also ask participants to demonstrate the skills you have taught them and observe if they have done it correctly (which takes a bit more time or need more than one trainer/facilitator).

Level 3: How much do the participants change when they are back at work after the training?

Usually, we monitor one or more of these four areas of change as follows:

1. Cost – has the training brought down the cost of doing business in any specific way? e.g. the participants make less mistake leading to less wastage, saving money for the company.

2. Time – has the training caused an improvement in the time needed to do a task? e.g. the participants get more efficient and can do things in less time.

3. Output – has the training caused the participants to be more productive? e.g. the participants generate more output than before the training

4. Quality – has the training caused the participants to increase their quality of work? e.g. the participants produce higher quality work after the training program

Level 4: What is the total Return on Investment (ROI) from the training?

This takes more detailed planning to evaluate as it requires making sure only the training is different but everything else stays the same. This is very difficult because in business, a person’s contribution to ROI is hard to quantify since other colleague’s work also contribute to your results. Also, changes in the environment e.g. competition, national policy changes, developments in the industry, etc. can also impact results. However, it can be done but requires careful planning and design.

Usually, from my observation, most corporate training in Malaysia does evaluation at Level 1. There are some that does it at Level 2 but not as many. And even fewer does it at Level 3 although I do it in all my training programs as an option for participants. As for Level 4, so far, I’ve not personally been involved with any client that does Level 4 evaluation.

I’ll discuss each level in more detail in a future article.

For more information, just google “Kirkpatrick training evaluation” and you’ll find heaps of resources online.

Have fun!

Brien