“Should we teach any program without an understanding of how it will help the organization?” Patti P. Phillips and Jack J. Phillips
In a recent article, Patti P. Phillips and Jack J. Phillips looked at what can be done to convince upper management that learning and development is critical to organizational success.
They suggested adding two objectives to major training programs: application objectives (what the participants will do with what they’ve learned) and impact objectives (what business measures will be impacted when the participants apply what they’ve learned).
Reflect Key Measures That Management Monitors
To do this properly, it is important to identify the key measures that upper management values and monitors, such as productivity, cost reduction, and/or customer satisfaction, etc.
If upper management values decreased costs, an application objective in a program teaching how to use compressed air properly might be: The participants will shut off tools that use compressed air when done with the tools.
The relevant impact objective might be: The result of shutting off compressed air powered tools when not in use will be a measurable decrease in electricity costs.
If upper management values increased productivity, an application objective in a train the trainer program might be: The participants will create learning experiences that build specific, measurable, and observable skills.
The relevant impact objective might be: The result of skill-building learning experiences will be a measurable increase in productivity and/or customer satisfaction.
Add Questions to the Reaction Sheet
Now include application and impact questions in the Level 1 evaluation sheet.
The compressed air application evaluation question might be: To what extent did this program teach you how to reduce electricity costs?
The impact evaluation question might be: To what extent will you use what you learned to reduce electricity costs?
The train the trainer application evaluation question might be: To what extent did this program teach you how to design a skill-building learning experience?
The impact evaluation question might be: To what extent will you use what you learned to increase employee productivity?
A Credible Data Source
Both Phillips believe that training participants are a credible source for data that shows the training will have a measurable business impact if the participants implement what they’ve learned.
Question: Would your executive team like to know how your training programs provide real value to the organization?
If you would like to discuss the best way to ensure that your training programs provide real value, contact Deborah Laurel.
May your learning be sweet.