Measuring a Training Meeting’s Value

Training measurement from the ground up.

Using Kirkpatrick's four levels of evaluation

Marketing departments have a host of metrics that they can use to justify the effectiveness of their advertising for a brand, a product launch, or even an individual ad campaign. But ask the marketing department to give you a ROI number for one individual 30 second radio or TV spot and they'll start calling you names.

On the other hand, managers have no qualms about asking trainers to report back on how business increased as the result of a one hour training meeting. Instead of replying with a burst of epithets, I'd suggest the following approach using Kirkpatrick's four levels or training evaluation 1) Reaction, 2) Learning, 3)Behavior, and 4) Results.

1. Provide a Level 1 and Level 2 analysis.

  • Reaction (level 1). Be prepared to provide management a report on how the trainees and their management reacted to the training. Training meetings should be followed up with a survey or evaluation providing some basic data regarding the reaction to the training.
  • Learning (level 2). Serious training efforts should also include evaluations that assess the learning of the trainees either on a periodic basis during the training session, at the end of the training, or shortly thereafter.

2. Suggest Level 3 and Level 4 metrics at the department level.

Inform your manager that while level 3 (Behavior) and 4 (Results) metrics can be applied, they're not generally cost effective and statistically valid for any given individual training session. Rather, these higher level measurement tools should be utilized to assess an entire training initiative or program for improvements in post-training behavior and results.

In our next blog we'll tackle some of the ways to evaluate training programs using level 3, level 4 metrics, and beyond.

Art Johnson
Johnson Enterprises

Social Media, Training, and Consulting


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