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How do you connect training and evaluation to improved on-the-job performance and results?

Jim was working with a client a few years back that had won a number of industry awards for their training programs. One of their showcase programs was their new hire onboarding program. They were especially pleased with their Level 1 survey results. "We consistently average 4.8 on a 5-point scale! To be honest, we don't think we need to consider any changes to that program," they said.

Jim suggested that they add one question to their evaluation form: "I know what is expected of me as a result of attending this training."

They added the question, and to their dismay, most participants responded that they disagreed or strongly disagreed. After participating in a week of comprehensive training, few graduates had any idea what they were supposed to do with what they had learned when they started work the following Monday. 

How clear do you make on-the-job performance expectations during your training programs? Here are some practical things you can do during training to prepare participants for on-the-job implementation:

1. Introduce all job aids during training and have participants practice using them during activities. 

2. Do occasional pulse checks during training and ask, "How do you think you might use this information on the job?"

3. Describe all post-program follow-up that participants will receive after training so they are watching for it.

4. Near the end of the program, conduct a discussion of participant confidence and commitment to apply what they learned on the job. Allow plenty of time for objections to surface; allow participants to respond to each other's concerns. 

Interested in more tips like this? Attend Jim Kirkpatrick's ATD Core 4 Conference session, "First Things First: The Foundational Principles of Training Evaluation." His session will enable you to:

      • Increase on-the-job application
      • Maximize results from training programs
      • Learn simple methods for evaluating training programs
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How are you connecting training and evaluation to improved performance and results? Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program - Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation 

Avoid the "Red Pants Phenomenon"

Creating ROE: The End is the Beginning

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# Chuck Udell
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:34 PM
The suggestions are all good. I have used most of them during training engagements that I have facilitated. Perhaps the two most valuable I have found is doing a pulse check. I have taken Jim's suggestion of "pulling out a chair" when I do these. It is amazing how your body language and tone of voice changes when you pull out that chair and ask questions - you do get more people to open up. Based on doing a pulse check at the end of a multiple day program, I often will make a few changes to the next day's program based on this feed back I hear.

In addition to Jim's suggested question of asking how you do you think you may use this info on the job, I also ask about perceived barriers that think they will run into and how to work around these.
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