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Firm up your vital statistics

first_imgFionaLiddle offers an evaluation workout to help you measure the impact of yourtrainingWarm-upStart with the business strategyWeall know that people are fundamental to an organisation achieving its businessstrategy. By increasing people’s performance, training can therefore help toincrease business performance. Evaluation allows you to quantify this impact.If you consider how much your organisation spends on training, can you affordnot do evaluate?Exercise1Identify how performance needs to changeThisis much easier and more effective when you focus on the business objectives.For each business objective, establish the required level of performance andcompare this to current performance. If there is a gap, think about howpeople’s knowledge, skills or behaviour need to change.Itis important to identify which group(s) of people need to be involved. It isalso important to ensure that they understand why changes in their knowledge,skills or behaviour are required and how these changes will contribute tobusiness performance. By understanding why training is required, people aremore likely to be motivated to change.Exercise2Check for underlying issuesTosave yourself time, money and a lot of frustration check that there are nounderlying issues currently affecting people’s performance, for example:–Poor management/leadership,–Lack of motivation/reward,–Inappropriate processes/technology.Peoplemay already have the necessary knowledge, skills or behaviour, but due tounderlying issues they are not motivated to perform to their full potential.Where this is the case, even world-class training will have minimal impact onperformance.Exercise3Estimate the impact of trainingThisis often required in order to justify the spend on training. You need toestimate the anticipated changes in performance and the cost of training.Estimatingthe cost is particularly useful when you are selecting from more than oneproposed training solution. A suggested framework includes: analysis time,design and development time, materials, equipment/facilities, delivery time,evaluation and participants costs.Wherethe impact of training is expected to continue over a period of time, you canspread the estimated training costs. This is known as a payback period.Froman alternative perspective, calculating the cost to your organisation of nottraining is a useful exercise. This can often be very revealing and create aconvincing business case for training.Exercise4Agree evaluation methodologyItis important to agree with the relevant parties which evaluation methodologyyou are going to use.Theterm “return on investment” (ROI) is originally an accounting term and measuresthe anticipated profitability of an investment. Caution is required when usingROI in training evaluation as managers may compare this methodology to ROIcalculations for capital expenditures.Thefollowing equation provides a simple but effective alternative:Changesin performance (A) – Cost of training (B) = Impact of training (C)Ifnecessary, you can still put a pound sign on (A) by asking the question, “Whatwill changes in performance mean to your organisation in financial terms?”Exercise5Identity evaluation measuresAfundamental part of this workout is identifying relevant evaluation measures todescribe changes in performance. This can be described as “firming up the vitalstatistics”.Yourevaluation measures should include a mix of quantitative business data andqualitative data/feedback.QuantitativeUseexisting business measures as sources of quantitative data. This makes yourevaluation more credible, as the business areas will be able to identify withtheir own facts and figures.Thereare a number of performance measurement systems used by organisations, eg TheBalanced Scorecard, The EFQM Excellence Model, Key Performance Indicators.There is also a wide selection of data collected by organisations, such asproduction time/costs, sales figures, customer data, human resource information,data for industry specific standards. It is a good idea to find out howperformance is measured and recorded in your own organisation.Havingidentified which business measures will provide you with relevant quantitativedata, it is useful to find out who is responsible for collating this data andhow frequently it is collected. You may find it helpful to describe thesebusiness measures under broad categories e.g. quantity; quality; time; cost;margins. QualitativeTogather qualitative data/feedback you need to think about who will be affecteddirectly or indirectly by those who have been trained. For example: teammembers, colleagues, line managers, customers, the individuals themselves. Linemanagers also have a very important evaluation role to play, coaching andreviewing on-the-job performance. This support motivates people to makechanges.Evaluationtechniques for gathering qualitative data/feedback include questionnaires,surveys, focus groups, interviews, observation, case studies. Whereappropriate, make use of your organisation’s technology to collect and manageevaluation information – “E-evaluation”.Feedbackfrom a sample number of people will often be adequate, particularly in largeorganisations.Exercise6Plan the evaluation timescalesToensure that the business areas can make timely and full use of the evaluationfindings, identify any project deadlines which you need to accommodate in yourevaluation timescales.Akey element in gathering evaluation information is collecting base-line data,prior to the training. This will allow you to do a before and after comparison.People’sinitial reactions to the training provide a useful, early source of feedback.Again, a sample number may be adequate.Inmost cases it is useful to do an interim review of how performance is changing.Timescales for this will depend on the type of learning (shorter forskills-based and longer for behavioural). Taking an interim “reading” of allthe business measures will not always be practical, you may have to select.Timescalesfor the “final reading” of both the quantitative and qualitative measuresshould coincide. This will provide an up-to-date picture of how performance haschanged. The final readings can then be compared to the base-line data.Exercise7Measure up!Ifyou have followed the evaluation time scales, you will have a selection ofquantitative and qualitative data/feedback which describes how performance haschanged. Pulledtogether, this provides the information for (A) in your final calculation.Remember to put a pound sign on (A), if your methodology requires you todescribe the changes in performance in financial terms.Tocalculate (B), you need to revisit the costs. Remember to include a paybackperiod if necessary.Changesin performance (A) – Cost of training (B) = Impact of training (C)CooldownTakea few moments to reflect on this evaluation workout and how it could increasethe impact of training in your organisation.Practisedregularly, the exercises will help to ensure that training makes a noticeabledifference to your organisation’s bottom-line.FionaLiddle is an independent evaluation specialist. Tel 0131-447 0771 or e-mail [email protected] Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Firm up your vital statisticsOn 1 Jun 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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