Tuesday, December 18, 2018

This week, we hear from talent development professional Kevin M. Yates. His real-life application of the Kirkpatrick Model helped write his program's success story. Yours can be next.

The Roadmap to Results with Marketing Research New Hires

I used the New World Kirkpatrick Model as a roadmap in my work with a market research business that specialized in research and insights on consumer behavior. Business clients used these insights to inform decisions about marketing and advertising.

New hires in the business were market researchers with diverse backgrounds. Some were experienced hires, and some were graduate students with little or no experience. The method for new hire onboarding was a mixture of one-on-one training with the hiring manager, self-directed study, peer coaching, shadowing and hands-on work. While this method worked for a while, it did not address the need for new hires being ready for client work as quickly as possible.

The solution was an immersive, week-long training program that prepared new hires for their roles in less time. The goals were clear -- reduce the time it takes to onboard new hires, and build capability for client engagement. I’ll focus on the goal of building client engagement capability.

Roadmap to Results: Critical Behaviors

We identified critical behaviors for new hires and the leading indicators that showed how close or far we were from desired outcomes.

One of the critical behaviors for client engagement was identifying client needs through discovery, collaboration and building trust. Tools and templates supported the behavior. The expected outcomes were deeper understanding of client goals and offering an assortment of appropriate solutions.

We evaluated behavior by looking for a positive change in performance. We also used client satisfaction as a leading indicator, or what I like to call a flag on the path to results, that showed progress toward the goal. Satisfaction scores showed the level of approval clients experienced in their interaction with new hires.

A template that showed results from new hires’ interaction and research into client needs served as evidence for their client engagement. This landmark also showed the likelihood of client engagement leading to solution sales. Managers saw the desired outcomes in new hires’ success in accurately diagnosing client business issues, building trusted advisor relationships and matching solutions with client needs.

Journeys require help along the way. We provided support (required drivers) for the critical behaviors with communities of practice, follow-up webinars and coaching.

Roadmap to Results: Learning

Still on the road to results, we needed to evaluate the effectiveness of classroom teaching and knowledge acquisition. As part of the classroom experience, new hires participated in role-play, or what I like to call real-play, where they demonstrated mastery of client engagement techniques. They also demonstrated their confidence through final presentations in front a “client panel” and received immediate feedback in the moment. This was a highly insightful method for evaluating learning and validated that we were on the right path to results.

Roadmap to Results: Reaction

We evaluated reaction by looking at new hires’ satisfaction with their learning experience, engagement and sense of relevance. A post-program online evaluation asked questions like, “How much of what you learned will you be able to apply?”, “What was most useful?” and “Were there any parts of the program less helpful in preparing you for your role?” There were also daily check-ins led by program instructors to evaluate participants’ engagement and get feedback on what was working and what was not.

Conclusion

Did you notice how the roadmap started with the end in mind?

The New World Kirkpatrick Model is the roadmap that leads the way. Stay on the path!

Kevin M. Yates is a data detective for training, learning and development answering the question, “Did training work?” with facts.  He is also creator of The COURAGE Model©.  Connect with Kevin on his websiteLinkedInFacebookYouTube and Twitter.


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Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program - Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation

Is Level 3 Enough?

Do You Live Your Level 4 Results?

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