How do organizations ensure their training is practical and not a total flop? Training evaluation models were developed for this reason. There are different models designed to fit the requirements of particular organizations. Each technique has its upsides and downsides depending on the task at hand. Training directors have to consider various options when making a choice. The main approaches rely on three researchers: Kirkpatrick, Jack J. Phillips, and Robert Brinkerhoff, and picking the most suitable one may transform into a tough assignment.
The first technique was developed by Kirkpatrick, which focuses on four major phases. According to the Kirkpatrick model (2016), each progressive stage is determined by the outcomes of the previous one, which endorse a linear design for the assessment process. Members’ reactions to the learning experience are focalized at the primary level. Evaluation tools incorporate feedback forms, post-training overviews, and surveys, providing all relevant data. The increase in participants’ knowledge is assessed at the second level by comparing tests before and after training (Labin, 2017). The trainees’ responses are crossed over to the recently gained abilities, abilities, and perspectives. The assessment tools at this level are more unpredictable, involving additional testing, group evaluations, and self-assessment, regularly supported by interviews and observations. One should remember that the essential aim is to uncover how the students have progressed because of the new information, not the experience.
The last two phases of Kirkpatrick’s model are more complex and challenging. At the third level, the improvements in the participants’ daily performance are assessed. This stage is believed to provide the most reliable measurement of learning outcomes through the employment of observation and interview. However, the two techniques have severe limits, as feedback given by the learners and their immediate supervisors may be self-assertive and abstract, making the evaluation process tricky. At the last level, the evaluation focuses on the training outcomes concerning organization results. There are no universally applicable data collection methods to be used at this stage. As the evaluation process might challenge, particularly in the last two phases, choosing specific tools is fundamental to training program development.
Jack J. Phillips advanced Kirkpatrick’s technique by acquainting a few adjustments to the phases and adding another ROI stage. The primary step measures response, fulfillment, and planned activities, which means the trainee’s view of the course and goal to practice the new skills. The second stage assesses the increase in knowledge and capabilities of the trainees, using tests and evaluations. The third level deals with applying and implementing the newly gained skills into the working process, whereas the fourth level aims to evaluate the organization’s training impact. The fundamental limitation is the costs of extensive data collection.
The core Phillips’ innovation introduces a new ROI level to the previous approach. It implies return on investments as a principal measuring tool, which compares net program benefits to the program costs (Fu et al., 2018). However, the computation of ROI relies upon the outcomes of the previous stages. To appraise ROI, one should initially assess how the information and skills obtained in the training course are applied in the workplace. There are various ROI computation methods, and the assessor is allowed to pick whichever better fits their purposes and the available information.
Another approach that differs from the previous techniques is Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method. It depends on a top-to-bottom examination of the best and the worst outcomes exhibited by trainees in a specific program (Gonzalez et al., 2018). This approach is employed to assess the results of training and coaching by studying stories of success and failure. Investigating severe cases is the primary purpose but not to evaluate the average performance of trainees. Focus is placed on determining the key factors that contributed to the failure or success. The five principal phases in Brinkerhoff’s technique incorporate arranging a study, deciding the highlights of accomplishment, directing a review to identify the extreme cases, interviewing and documenting relevant instances, presenting results, and giving suggestions. The method is recommended for large-scale and long-term evaluations, especially for repeated assessments of the same program.
Out of the three methodologies, the ROI technique provides a more extensive scope of data collection tools a corporate training director can use for Talent Development Reporting. The principal advantage of this approach is the involvement of quantitative techniques, which can be adjusted to every specific case. Financial indicators, KPI, and ratios have rational grounds and are effortlessly perceived by decision-makers. Although a straightforward way to link training outcomes to particular organization results does not always exist, restrictions may be reduced or eliminated by an insightful modification of precise data collection tools and techniques. This method is suitable for the task as it provides the best practices of evaluation.
Kirkpatrick, Phillips, and Brinkerhoff have developed different models to assess the training outcomes of various organizations. Each technique provides its pros and cons, making it hard for training directors to choose the suitable one. All the methodologies comprise unique phases and data collection techniques to meet various requirements of organizations. An organization’s corporate training director should opt to use Phillip’s ROI method for Talent Development Report. This technique offers more utilization opportunities compared to the others, thus more suitable for the task at hand.
Fu, F. Q., Phillips, J. J., & Phillips, P. P. (2018). ROI marketing: Measuring, demonstrating, and improving value. Performance improvement, 57(2), 6–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/pfi.21771
Gonzalez, Y., Guemes, M. A., & Gonzalez, Y. (2018). Evaluation findings of culturally competent nutrition training: A case study using the success case method. Journal of nutrition & food sciences, 08(04). https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9600.1000667719
Kirkpatrick, J. D. (2016). Kirkpatrick’s four levels of training evaluation. Association for talent development.
Labin, J. (2017). Mentoring programs that work. Association for talent development.