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Kirkpatrick Quick Tip Vol. 2 #11

Do you identify specific business metrics that will be impacted if your training participants apply what they learned in training on the job? These leading indicators are one of the biggest predictors of program success.

Leading indicators are short-term observations and measurements suggesting that critical behaviors are on track to create a positive impact on desired results.

Leading indicators should be identified in the planning stage of your initiative. Select six or more for major initiatives to show if the behaviors being performed are actually having an impact.

It is silly to try to answer the ultimate question, "Did the program work" after a period of time if did not monitor progress along the way, and make adjustments and enhancements as needed to maximize program results.

Required drivers, discussed in last week's quick tip, help to ensure on-the-job application. Leading indicators tell you to what degree the sustained behaviors are contributing to targeted outcomes.

Common examples of leading indicators for leadership initiatives include:

  • Positive comments from direct reports about their supervisors
  • Achievement of weekly KPIs
  • Increased initiative from direct reports
  • Decreased absenteeism and turnover
  • Increased confidence and commitment from the leaders involved in the training program

If you or your organization has a leadership initiative in progress or in planning, apply the ideas from this quick tip series to maximize your investment and ultimate impact on the business.

We love to hear from our readers. If you have questions, comments or a story to share, please contact us at or (770) 302-3500.

Next week we are pleased to feature an interview with Don and Jim Kirkpatrick.

Is Your Leadership Training on Track Part 1

Is Your Leadership Training on Track Part 2

Is Your Leadership Training on Track Part 3

Is Your Leadership Training on Track Part 4

Additional resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels™ Evaluation Certification Program - Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick Four Levels™ Evaluation Certification Program - Silver Level

Training on Trial

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Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:54 AM
Whilst I totally agree that there is very little point in conducting any form of training without there being some measurement on the return, I have problems with some of the metrics used, they are far too fuzzy (examples - "increase in staff morale", "decrease in absenteeism").
To my mind a training intervention must directly result in either:
1. An increase in turnover or
2. A decrease in either cost of sales or overheads or both.
The difficulty I have, when planning training or when I receive requests to send people of courses, is being able to quantify, in real, objectively measurable terms, the direct effect of any training intervention against either or both of 1 and 2 above.
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