MINI SERIES (9/11): Eleven reasons to make training and development work for your company

Reason #9: Failure to Isolate the Effects of Training.

More often than not, improvements are credited to the training process alone after training programs are conducted and business measures monitored. The assumption is training program improved the business. But one must note that there are neglected factors in other influences and processes which may have influenced the business measure.

The main challenge is to isolate the improvement directly related to training. Failure to attempt to isolate may cause some training pros to be discarded as irrelevant. These training pros may have actually been the ones strengthening the bottom line. Without attempting to isolate their impact, executives and sponsors may not be able to see the actual connection to business improvement.

So how do we carry out the isolation? The classical approach is comparing a group that has received training, to a group that has not, and the difference in the two groups then represents training’s impact. But this all-too-simple setting may not apply to each and every impact studies. The good news is, various techniques have evolved since, to estimate the connection between training and business improvement. At least one of these techniques can be applied in the different impact studies and the issues can be addressed. We share with you the list below:

  • Use of control groups

  • Trend line analysis

  • Forecasting methods

  • Participant’s estimate of impact

  • Supervisor’s estimate of impact

  • Management’s estimate of impact

  • Use of experts

  • Subordinate’s report of other factors

  • Calculating/Estimating the impact of other factors

  • Customer input

Adapted from the article “Eleven Reasons Why Training and Development Fails... and what you can do about it” by Drs Jack J. Phillips & Patti P. Phillips at the ROI Institute, the Business Evaluation Centre will be featuring a mini-series on this topic, sharing a new point each week. Make sure to catch our weekly update!

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