Fast and Easy Ways to Get to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4

November 20, 2012

Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 is not as difficult, time-consuming or expensive as some believe. Our first tip is to remember that the end is the beginning.

At the beginning of any initiative or training program, start by considering the highest level result your organization is charged with accomplishing. This could be profitable sales growth, saving lives or keeping the nation safe. Use this Level 4 Result as your target for any and all efforts in the initiative. If you cannot describe how the intended training would in some way positively impact your overall result or mission, you aren’t on the right track.

Once you are clear on your highest level result, think about the specific actions or behaviors your intended training audience should engage in to contribute to that result. Hint: often the reason that business managers contact training is because these behaviors are not currently happening. Make sure these behaviors can be observed and measured. For soft skills programs such as leadership development, this is particularly important.

An example of a good critical behavior for leadership development is, “Perform weekly touch bases with all direct reports.” The underlying assumption is that the training will provide a model and templates for an effective touch base. Note, however, that sometimes training is not needed. The intended training audience may know exactly what they need to do but not be willing to perform those actions for a number of reasons. In this case, another type of intervention would be more effective. In the coming weeks, we will discuss what you can do to support on-the-job performance after (or in lieu of) training.

When you start your needs analysis and program design with the end in mind, you are setting the stage to create and demonstrate the value of your program. Once Levels 3 and 4 are clear, you can move to writing the learning objectives and designing any required training. If you determine that training is not required, you can focus your attention on a different intervention to improve on-the-job performance.

Next week, we will discuss specific tactics that any training professional can execute to support on-the-job performance.

Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certificate Program

The Brunei Window Washer: Bringing Business Partnership to Life (book)

Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 (webinar)

Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 (keynote)

Igniting the Inner Fire: Kirkpatrick® Levels 3 and 4 (workshop)

Training on Trial (book)Training on Trial(workshop)

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