Training questions answered

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first_imgAmongthe answers on offer at this year’s Training Solutions Conference is the key tothat eternal conundrum – how to measure the return on a training investment. Inthis special preview we ask the guru of training evaluation Jack Phillips whathis message to delegates will be, and offer a round-up of the rest of theevent. By Stephanie SparrowTrainingprofessionals are in for a treat. As Birmingham gets ready to host thethree-day conference and exhibition that is Training Solutions and the ITTraining Show many delegates will already be sharpening their pencils to takenotes from the acknowledged expert in training evaluation Jack Phillips.Phillips,the chairman and CEO of Performance Resources Organisation, is an American whohas a long-standing reputation in human resources accountability programmes,and occupies a slot on the first day of the conference. He is speaking in anafternoon that is set aside to cover the subject of Measuring Learning,Performance and Impact.RationalapproachHistitle – A rational approach to the ROI dilemma – is reassuring, and will be ofgreat interest to anyone who has followed the TD2000 campaign run by Trainingand The Industrial Society.Thedefinition of ROI, says Phillips, is earnings divided by investment and mostbusiness processes are evaluated using this definition.Butof course his use and application are more sophisticated than this basicdefinition.“Whileour process includes this classical definition of ROI, this is only one measurewe report,” he tells Training magazine. “We refer to the ROI Process as amethodology that takes a balanced approach to measuring training andeducation.”TheROI process actually develops a scorecard of six types of measures. Phillipsdefines these as:–Reaction and Planned Actions – to measure participant satisfaction with theprogramme and captures planned actions.–Learning – to measure changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes.–Application and Implementation – to gauge changes in on-the-job behaviour.–Business Impact – assesses changes in business impact variables.–ROI – compares programme benefits to the costs.–Intangible Benefits – captures the benefits not converted to monetary valuesuch as job satisfaction, customer satisfaction, teamwork, conflict.“Thisscorecard presents a complete picture of the total value a training programmebrings to an organisation including participant reaction, what they havelearned, how well they have applied their learning, the consequence of theapplication, and the actual financial impact,” he says.Thereis good news for any training professional who can get the hang of thisapproach.CorporateclimatePhillipsbelieves that the current corporate climate has made it into a concept which iseasily assimilated by the rest of the company. It gives trainers the chance tospeak the same language as their colleagues.“Managersin functions outside the training department are quite familiar with thisconcept,” he says. “Thesemanagers use the same financial equation to measure the contribution theirfunctions bring to the bottom line. Their familiarity with ROI results in adesire to see the same financial impact training programmes bring to theorganisation. “Theywant to see from the ROI standpoint the benefit of sending their employees totraining programmes.”Buttraining teams must also demonstrate value for money. “In many organisationstraining budgets are going up, either because the corporate budget isincreasing or because the training budget is actually being moved to the line,thereby, increasing their training budget. This increase in budget brings withit greater visibility and can cause the training function to be a larger targetfor criticism by managers. This puts the pressure on the training function toshow true, bottom-line value.”Headds that senior executives are showing an “increased interest in linking allfunctions, including training, to the strategic direction of the company. Thisbrings a greater interest in accountability to the training function”.EnhancementItseems that ROI can help with all of this. Phillips sees it as a way “to enhancethe training and education function. The ROI Process can show the contributionof selected programmes; earn the respect of senior management and gainconfidence of [the]client [departments].”TheROI Process can also enhance the training and education process, he says.“Itnot only enhances the post-programme evaluation process, but enhances theentire training and education process by linking needs and programme objectivesto the levels of evaluation.”Throughthis evaluation, inefficient programmes can be identified and changes can bemade to create more strategically focused programmes.Andhe is blunt that some training departments might be ready for a clear-out.“Many programmes may also be found that add no real value to the organisation –maybe they are leftovers from a previous trend, or the skills developed fromthe programme are no longer necessary. These programmes can be completelyeliminated from the curriculum,” he says.Phillipswill be taking more than an hour to speak at the conference and hispresentation will build on some of the issues covered in this interview. But hewill also add a further perspective to what he terms “the measurement andevaluation puzzle”.Heexplains, “To create a comprehensive measurement and evaluation process, itmust be built around a solid framework. For instance, years ago, DonaldKirkpatrick developed the four levels of evaluation. This is a framework to categorisedata. Our ROI Process begins with this and we add a fifth level, ROI.Processmodel“Thereshould also be a process model, one that is easy to understand and practical.The process model details the steps by which evaluation should be conducted eachtime an evaluation takes place,” he says.Phillipsgoes on to say that next there should be operating standards.“Thesestandards ensure that the process can be easily replicated. During the sessionwe will introduce the guiding principles we have developed as the foundationfor these standards.Heis hoping that his British audience will go away inspired and ready to act.“Organisations should implement the process to its fullest. Many times, we willlearn new methods and processes only to let them sit on the shelf.”Heis aware that there can be internal barriers to implementing the process, butpromises that the session will address those barriers and other keyimplementation issues.Speaker’scornerThisyear’s Training Solutions Conference from 4-6 July offers a strong line-up ofspeakers who will follow six key themes: –Linking learning and work, –Measuring learning, performance and impact, –Developing senior managers, –Emotional intelligence in practice, –E-learning lessons,–Creative Juices. Eachhalf-day is designed to be a mini conference representing a theme and can bepaid for separately (at £120 + VAT per session) or booked in a series (whichentitles delegates to a discount).Speakersrepresenting academia and industry will take the platform, ensuring across-section of research and company case studies.Forexample the session on E-learning lessons (6 July) will be explored both fromthe a theoretical perspective as Martin Renkis, CEO, Trainersoft.comCorporation predicts the future and suggests how investments in technology canbest be safeguarded and with some practical examples as specialists from CGUInsurance, Prudential Portfolio Managers and BT explain how e-learning worksfor them.Readersof Training will already be well aware of the TD2000 campaign which themagazine launched by the magazine last year in conjunction with The IndustrialSociety.Anoption for Training Solutions delegates is to attend a special TD2000 event onthe morning of 4 July, and spend the afternoon in the conference, including theJack Phillips session.Themorning will unveil the results of the TD2000 agenda for change and advisetraining professionals how best to achieve top table influence. These themesare complemented by a visit to the conference in the afternoon where speakerssuch as Peter Dixon, director of customer service and training at ThistleHotels will look at the correlation between business performance and customerand employee satisfaction.Theday is rounded off with the announcement of the winner of the TD2000 award whenIndustrial Society chief executive Will Hutton presents a the trophy. Theprice of the TD2000 day is £270 plus lunch and awards reception buffet and a 20per cent discount is available to members of the Industrial Society and readersof Training and Personnel Today, bringing the cost down to £216 plus VAT.Howto bookToreceive a booking form contact Colin Parris at Brintex on 020-7973 6689 ore-mail him at [email protected]: the exhibition in cyberspaceThosetoo busy to travel to Birmingham, can take advantage of what is claimed to bethe world’s first commercial interactive exhibition in cyberspace.From14 June until the end of July organisers Brintex are running Training Solutionsand the IT Training Show on the Internet. The interactive web site will allow“e-ttenders” to plan, preview and follow up their visit to the NEC by exploring3D exhibition halls and stands from the comfort of their home or office byclicking their mouse.Theexhibition itself will feature more than 200 organisations. Asit incorporates the IT Training Show, a further conference programme – the IT TrainingConference – is running alongside the other conference sessions, to givedelegates and visitors even more choice.Theprogramme includes themed sessions on e-Business, Learning and CorporatePerformance, Technology for IT Training and End User Training. Speakersinclude Julia Collins, global leader of knowledge management,PricewaterhouseCoopers and Riitta Vanska, manager of new learning solutions,Nokia.Sessionscost £120 + VAT and bookings should be made through the delegate booking formwhich is available from Colin Parris on 020-7973 6643 or [email protected] Comments are closed. Training questions answeredOn 1 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more