Two Techniques You Need to Learn Before Your Next Program

November 4, 2015

There are three basic objectives of evaluation: to improve your training program, to drive the transfer of learning to behavior, and to demonstrate ultimate value to your stakeholders. The rest is fluff and noise.

To contribute to all three of these purposes, start your mission-critical program strong, and finish even stronger.

This week’s quick tip will teach you how to address two of the three objectives of evaluation. 

Improve the Training Program

Let’s talk first about improving your training programs. Delivering training and administering a smile sheet at the end of a training event is not our idea of a strong start. The technique you should be applying instead is one we like to call Pull Up a Chair (PUC).

PUC means that the in-class or virtual instructor plans for or identifies opportunities to interrupt the training and pull up a chair. Suppose the energy level of participants has suddenly dropped. That is an ideal time to PUC and say, “I am noticing signs that I have lost some of you. Would you please share what might be happening?”

Or perhaps many class members appear confused or distressed. PUC and ask, “I know we just went through a tough exercise. How about if we debrief how this relates to what you will actually be expected to do back on the job, and any challenges you anticipate?” 

Looking at the other end of the spectrum, energy and excitement might be on the rise. PUC and say, “I am seeing a lot of energy all of a sudden. What might be causing that?”

The purpose of this is to find out what is working and not working in your training before the end. It allows you to make prudent adjustments if needed. 

Demonstrate Value to Your Stakeholders

It is just as important to demonstrate the value of your efforts to stakeholders when the time is right. A powerful technique to help accomplish this is called, “There is someone I would like you to meet.” This, like PUC, is simple yet effective.

When you are presenting your chain of evidence to show how pre-training, training, post-training support and accountability have led to solid on-the-job application and subsequent significant business results, we encourage you to present this with a chain of evidence. Present the data in a logical sequence to show the connections. At the very end, use “There is someone I would like you to meet” to bring life to the chain. This is done through a personal testimony.

Call upon an individual or small group of people who have been successful in moving from training through to positive outcomes. Have them share their stories. The more they can compare application and results before the learning and performance package was implemented to the present, the more powerful the message. It is icing on the cake, and stakeholders around the world are responding positively to seeing success manifested through the words and excitement of their employees rather than just through numbers in a report. 

About the author, Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick® Strategic Evaluation Planning Certification Program

Training on Trial

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