Reaching the Summit: Two Tips from the Latest Scholarship Winner

June 22, 2016

Marta Wilmoth, the recipient of the 2015 ATD VOS Don Kirkpatrick Scholarship, has earned her bronze level certification and is implementing what she learned.  Here she explains how she identified the missing link in her organization’s evaluation strategy and provides tips that can help you do the same.

Marta Wilmoth
Manager – Business Analytics, Learning, and Development
Macy’s Credit and Customer Service

I attended the Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level earlier this year, and it has surely expanded my understanding of evaluation. With the expert teachings of Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick, I was able to identify the missing link in our current evaluation strategy. I also learned that finding the treasure in our data does not end with survey analysis, but begins by envisioning our end goal at the “top of the mountain.” In the case of Macy’s Inc., the top of the mountain is to be the nation’s #1 premier Omnichannel retailer in sales and customer loyalty.

After completing the bronze program, I was eager to apply what I had learned and reach the top of the mountain. My benefits so far have come from two perspectives, which you might find helpful in your own training evaluation efforts.

1. From a practical point of view, I found the Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Blended Evaluation Planning Form to be a great tool for designing a strategic outline for a particular mission-critical program. This form is provided as part of the bronze level program.

Initially, my project was based on the directive to reinvent the Macy’s Home Direct online selling services New Hire training. However, the focus of the business shifted to targeting our online selling services, and so did my project. Equipped with the four levels training and tools, I was able to quickly adapt my project plan by identifying the methods, tools, and techniques necessary for obtaining and measuring Level 1: Reaction, Level 2: Learning, Level 3: Behavior and Level 4: Results.

In collaboration with our Corporate Learning and Development team, our New Hire training will undergo a complete redesign. Once the redesign is launched, tentatively by mid-July, it will be crucial to have a clear plan in place for providing the business with data showing that our team delivered on the promise of increased customer satisfaction, associate confidence, and speed to efficiency.

After confirming the integrity of the tools, methods, and techniques previously established for evaluating Level 1 and Level 2, I tackled the challenge of tapping into Level 3. Here, the second evaluation perspective came to life. 

2. Leveraging the human factor. To measure associate on-the-job behavior, I formed a relationship with the Operations Business Intelligence team to gain access to their Tableau performance dashboards, which provide associate and department performance data, customer satisfaction metrics and coaching frequency tracking. The goal will be to exploit the selling services performance dashboard data, along with corporate performance data, to create a visual representation supporting how the redesigned New Hire training program has helped our organization reach the “top of the mountain.”

You will hear from me again in a few months to report further progress. 

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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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