Benchmarking Training, Personnel Today, 16th March 2010

Ben Crowley2 Blogs Leave a Comment

This is a brief article which requires only a brief review; it is yet another reference to the holy grail of learning evaluation. It summarises a survey by the market research agency IRS, covering 55 organisations employing 145,000 people.

It confirms what is mentioned in the review of the Massy article above; that the biggest constraint on evaluation is the lack of buy-in from managers. Yet you often hear line managers saying that one of their major reasons for not buying in is the lack of proof of benefits! Breaking this circle must be one of L&D managers’ greatest challenges and benchmarking surveys of this kind will help by enabling comparisons with others.

The challenge is confirmed by the survey’s result that 52% of learning managers struggle to prove added value and 17% have tried and failed to evaluate training successfully. Those who have successfully engaged line managers in evaluation have used links to appraisals, collaborative goal setting and follow-up meetings. One encouraging sign is that 61% feel that they have successfully engaged line managers – more than I would have expected from anecdotal evidence.

One interesting question in the survey was – how do you use evaluations? – and it is interesting that measuring ROI was at the bottom of the list. More important to respondents was using evaluations to improve content and methods and to identify learning gaps. This is a much more fruitful and positive route that does not need the complexities of level 3 and 4 evaluation. It’s good to see that a practical approach is the norm.

To read this article go to:

http://www.personneltoday.com/home/default.aspx

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