The following is an excerpt about evaluating training programs from a paper I wrote on training and advancement issues. It’s important to properly evaluate programs to ensure time and money spent is in line with organizational goals and is perceived as valuable by employees.

“To address the issue of providing professional development and training opportunities it is essential to ensure the training is of value to both the organization and the employee. Elliot and Edwards indicate that the Kirkpatrick training evaluation model is a simple system to evaluate both value and impact of training and consists of (2009, p. 658):

1. success of the training is assessed in terms of satisfaction and planned action

2. requires the measurement of improved skills of knowledge

3. captures the application of skills and knowledge “back-on-the-job”

4. measures the resulting changes or improvements in the business from this applied


Using Kirkpatricks’s model I recommend the following steps for improving the quality and increasing the quantity of training opportunities. First, senior management, production department managers and the human resource department need to collaborate to determine the type(s) of training to offer, the value the training will provide to the organization and the cost of the proposed training. Second, after the training program has been designed and an initial pilot program completed, measurements need to be taken to assess employee satisfaction, if the training has an affect on the job, and ultimately how it affects the organization. The impact the training has on the organization in the form of financial gains/losses, organizational culture changes, and employee satisfaction need to be measured and assessed by the production department and the human resource department. Measurement could be conducted via anonymous survey’s to help ensure employee’s feel comfortable being candid and to alleviate fear of retaliation.

One example of what type and how training would be valuable to a company may be found in proper raw material evaluation. For example, if a batch of raw materials becomes compromised due to becoming damaged during storage or transport, proper identification by a production worker could result in the suspect material being pulled and prevent product from being contaminated. By inhibiting the use of contaminated raw materials, product quality is maintained and customer satisfaction issues avoided, both of which can have financial impact on the company (no returned product or dissatisfied customers). Of course this is just one type of training and the organizations needs may be better served by providing education in areas such as sensory evaluation, product formulation, leadership, team-building and management skills.”