How Honest is Your Evaluation?

June 27, 2018

By Wendy Kirkpatrick

I had the thrill of hearing a presentation made by former President Barack Obama at the ATD 2018 Conference last month. His message was not only inspiring, it also has great implications for the future and success of training.

One lesson he shared is that good old-fashioned values are as relevant as ever:

  • Honesty
  • Working hard
  • Kindness
  • Being useful
  • Carrying your weight
  • Being responsible

Our values prevail in every situation. We show them every day in how we conduct ourselves and how we treat others. There is no shortcut; we cannot abandon our values when it is convenient to do so to get what we want. It will not work in the long run.

Values get us through hard times because they give meaning and value to what we do, even if each action, in and of itself, does not seem significant.

So, how do your good values come through in your training evaluation efforts? Let’s explore honesty in training evaluation.

How Honest are the Questions you Ask?

To me, honest training evaluation starts with asking questions that get real information that people will feel comfortable to answer. By real information, I mean asking things that are actually important to the success of an initiative, and questions that might not have 100% positive responses.

For example, instead of asking what people liked most and least about training, which is interesting but not really that important, ask instead what part of the training they believe they will use in their work, and how. If they cannot describe how they will use what they learned in their work, you have a problem. Perhaps the training isn’t relevant to them. Or perhaps you didn’t show them clearly why it is relevant to their work. Or, they don’t feel confident to do what is asked, or you have not convinced them of the importance.

To see some examples of questions we think do a good job of getting at honest feedback, click here to see Kirkpatrick® Blended Evaluation Plan® Form samples.

If you would like a library of questions to ask at each of the four levels, consider taking Kirkpatrick bronze certification.

Join the Discussion

How do you ensure your evaluation efforts reflect your values? Was it challenging to make this happen? Share your story. Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick® Strategic Evaluation Planning Certification Program

Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation

Kirkpatrick Foundational Principles

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