Training evaluation refers to the process of collecting the outcomes needed to determine if training is effective.
Effectiveness of training programs are constantly evaluated by the company to find if the money, they have invested has been spending properly or not.
There are three types of criteria for evaluating training: internal, external, and participant’s reaction.
Most experts argue that it is more effective to use multiple criteria to evaluate training. One view of a multiple-evaluation system was developed by Kirpatrick(1998).
Training programs can be evaluated by asking the following questions.
- Has change occurred after training?
- Is the change due to training?
- Is the change positive or negative?
- Will the change continue with every training program?
A training program should give the following resulting changes;
Reaction refers to the attitude of employee about the training, whether the employee considers training to be a positive or negative one. If the reaction is positive then people have accepted the program and changes will be possible.
Another method of judging effectiveness is to identify levels of learning i.e. how much the people have learned during the training. This can be found out by trainers mark sheet, the report submitted by the employee, and actual performance.
The HR department needs to understand the behavior of the employees, to understand the effectiveness of training. The behavioral change can be seen in how the person interacts with juniors, peer groups, and seniors. They mark the change in behavior and inform the HR department of the success of the training program.
Results provided by the employee in monetary terms also determine the effectiveness of training program i.e. employee success in handling the project, the group performance before and after training, etc.
Why training programs should be evaluated?
The main objective of evaluating the training program is to determine, either they are accomplishing specific training objectives that are correcting performance deficiencies or not.
A second reason for evaluation is to ensure that any changes in trainees’ capabilities are due to the training program and not due to any other conditions.
Third reason: Training programs should be evaluated to determine their cost-effectiveness.
Evaluation is useful to explain program failure should occur. The credibility of training and development is greatly enhanced when it is proved that the organization has benefited tangibly from it.
If specific performance factor can measure the trainees’ performance after the training can be compared with the objectives for the training program. If the training objectives have met, then the training has been successful.
For example, a training objective could be to train ten people to type a minimum of fifty words per minute with an error rate of less than 1 percent.
In this case, evaluating the success of the training program would involve testing the typing skills of all trainees both before and after the training. If the objective was found to have been met, the program would be evaluated as having been successful.