!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: A Case Study of Training Evaluation

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Case Study of Training Evaluation

For the story of how one company sought in a practical way to assess the success of a learning program, you can read the write-up available at corporatetraining.ie, an Irish education and training portal.

The company in question, identified in the narrative as "M Ltd.," is a manufacturing concern with 20 employees. M Ltd. undertook a leadership training program that combined classroom sessions with one-on-one coaching. The individuals trained were a production manager, a supervisor and a senior employee.

In assessing the impact of the training, M Ltd. considered outcomes at Kirkpatrick's Level Two — amount of content learned — and Level Three — amount of on-the-job application.
  • Level 2 — At an evaluation meeting, the training participants presented "individual 30-minute summaries of key ideas or skills acquired during training." The presentations were interactive, in the sense that the firm's general manager, who was the key audience member, asked the employees questions while they were speaking. (E.g., What was the most important skill you learned? What are the most common conflict-resolution styles that you see us using here at M Ltd.? How do you use the four basic communication styles with the people you supervise?)

  • Level 3 — "The employees reported that the training had enhanced their ability to communicate and listen. Evidence of improved communication at work was noticed in less time spent by the manager and the employees in locating materials, messages and equipment. Better communication also improved message flow and reduced lost time. For example, after training [the general manager] instituted 30-minute overlap meetings between day- and night-shift supervisors. Previously, shift overlap lasted no more than five minutes, which resulted in confusing or missed communication. With increased overlap, day- and night-shift problems related to scheduling, machine operation and personnel issues were minimised resulting in shortened lines of communication and a smoother turnover of work shifts.

    "Other evidence that some classroom learning was being applied to workplace situations was the institution of Monday morning meetings among the general manager, the production manager, the supervisor and the senior employee to review issues and anticipate problems for the upcoming week. Prior to training, these meetings were sporadic and did not always include all key personnel."
The narrative closes with recommendations for enhancements to the training and for improving the Level 2 evaluation meeting. The most important of the latter recommendations was to explicitly assess what the one-on-one coaching contributed to the learning process.


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