The Measurement of Manager Training

THE MEASUREMENT OF TRAINING: Evaluation is one of the most valuable — and challenging — aspects of a training manager’s job. A well-planned and on-target evaluation process can be the tool which separates a superlative training department from a merely satisfactory one.

Evaluation can help you determine whether what you are offering is successfully meeting existing corporate needs.

It can help you to identify needs which have previously not been expressed, and tap a source of new training opportunities.

Unfortunately, it is not enough to ask the question “Did it work?”. Not only will the answer vary according to the way the evaluation process is conducted, but success is always relative to each organization’s individual goals.

As Ken Wessel, an independent training consultant in the Chicago area, puts it: “Nothing will fill the bill in all instances. Evaluation has to be tailor-made for organizational objectives.”

In search of some hands on tips to help you make the evaluation process — and its outcome — smoother and more effective, we interviewed nine training managers and three consultants in different industries, different-sized firms, and different locations. All twelve of them made it clear that the questioning process itself is crucial, and that this process really begins at the initiation of the training cycle, not the end.