How Do You Seamlessly Train Over 4,000 Employees?

July 6, 2017

L&D Manager Cyndee Gorkowski won last year’s ATD Valley of the Sun Don Kirkpatrick Scholarship, which entitled her to a complimentary seat in a Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level.

This week, Cyndee shares her first update with us after having begun applying what she learned in the program to a large training initiative within her company.

Read on to learn what steps Cyndee is taking to train over 4,000 employees on a new software program while making it as seamless as possible for customers.

In October of 2016, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend and complete the Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level with Jim Kirkpatrick. The timing couldn’t have been any better. I recently had changed positions in my company, becoming part of a large initiative to train employees on a new software program. 

Our stakeholder’s expectation was to train over 4000 employees and to make it as seamless as possible to the customer. I kept visualizing the “flag at the top of the mountain” as we continued to put things in place for our journey.

Our team decided that the largest portion of learners would be instructed through web-based courses, while the centralized units would be trained with a combination of instructor-led training (ILT) and web-based courses. The success and engagement of this training was crucial for each participant in order for them to perform their job effectively on day one – when the old software would be replaced with the new.

It didn’t take long to realize that even with something that was project based, the New World Kirkpatrick Model  applies extremely well.


We knew starting with the end result in mind was imperative. Analyzing the existing positions and levels of authority, and determining the best way to implement the training, were included in our strategy. The desire was to obtain maximum participation and have maximum comprehension while instilling self-confidence.

The targeted outcome is to create in-depth material that covers as many types of scenarios as possible. Most of our employees have been used to a more methodical type of web-based course.  We knew we needed something different to catch the eye of the learner. We have established a new design and started to work on obtaining all of the pertinent content. 


We know communicating our training strategy and getting our business partners involved early on is key for our training. Representatives from various units were identified, and a Training Advisory Group has been established. Asking Project Managers, SMEs and representatives from each area to participate is crucial for the success of our training project. 

We have held monthly meetings and shared material to make sure this group of individuals stays involved and informed of our progress. After all, they are our advocates. We furnished them with our timeline, and we demonstrated sections of the training so they could get a sense of what was being created. We felt that showing previews of the web-based training and getting their feedback would help with the promotion of the training and the software itself. The more we get people talking about it, the more it becomes familiar and interesting. 

Our goal is to create a sense of assurance for all employees. They need to feel they can answer a question when asked. We have decided to allow four weeks of practice in a training environment, which, accompanied with weekly WebEx meetings and opening it up for Q&A, will be beneficial. We will record the WebEx meetings so they can be viewed at a later date, in case it is more convenient than participating during the scheduled time.

More to Come

When I attended the class back in October, it didn’t really resonate how these levels flow together to complement each other. As we have incorporated the model into this training project, it all makes perfect sense. This is a concept that can be used with many different scenarios, whether you are creating something from scratch or jumping into a full-on project.

Keeping the end in mind is really what it is all about. What are we trying to accomplish, and how can we help individuals get the most out of what they learned? We are anxious to continue to move forward and follow the Kirkpatrick Model as we get to the finish line…stay tuned….

Join the Discussion

Think about a time when you’ve been tasked with tackling a large training initiative. How did it go? What could you have done differently to improve? Let us know. Here are some ways to join the discussion. 

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation

Avoid Miscommunication and Scope Creep in Your Training Programs

Level 3 in Action: Update from the Don Kirkpatrick Scholarship Winner

Reaching the Summit: Two Tips from the Latest Scholarship Winner

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