Training Evaluation Mistake #6

May 22, 2013

Training Evaluation Mistake #6: Assuming That Your Training Budget and Position Are Secure

Do you think that your training budget and position in your organization are 100% secure? Do you believe that if your organization’s leaders or executives value and speak well of training, your job is safe?

Based on the results of the Training Evaluation Strategy quiz, 19% of you believe that executive support of training means that the training budget is secure. If you are in that 19%, consider this story:

Two years ago, Jim Kirkpatrick presented a one-hour program to approximately 100 training professionals at a large Canadian corporation. The program’s message was that training professionals need to reinvent themselves into true, strategic business partners; it is no longer sufficient to simply develop and deliver training events. Training professionals must rebrand themselves, extend their reach and ultimately embed themselves in the business. Avoiding this necessary transformation puts training functions at risk of being replaced by technology that can easily and inexpensively deliver training content, such as YouTube or smart phone apps.

One person in the rather disengaged group retorted, “Well, with all due respect, we are exceptions to that trend. Look around you. This beautiful facility was constructed for us within the last year because our company executives know that training is valuable to our business.”

Jim forged ahead in his presentation, concerned but no less determined to make his points. At the end of the presentation, he asked the group to leave business cards if they would like more information. As the group got up to leave, one person came forward rather shyly and presented Jim with her card. “I’d like to know more,” she said.

Six months later, Jim received an email from that woman. It said, “Do you remember that group of trainers you talked with here? 75% of them were laid off last week.”

We don’t tell this story to scare you. Our purpose is to remind you that training is not exempt from having to show bottom-line or organizational value just like every other function. This is one of a dozen similar stories we have witnessed in the past five years.

If you and your colleagues are not already being asked for evidence of your organizational value, be proactive; gather and provide it anyway. You never know when the summons will come to show your value, or worse, when the news will reach you that your budget has already been cut. If you aren’t sure how to get started, the additional resources listed below will help.

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We also welcome any of your questions and comments on this series, or any training evaluation related topic.

Additional resources:

Previous tips in this seriesKirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certificate Program

Training on Trial

Let’s Get Real about Training Evaluation (upcoming free webinar)
Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 (recorded webinar)

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