Why it is so hard to evaluate training in the workplace

Why it is so hard to evaluate training in the workplace Purpose – This paper aims to explore these reasons regarding why it is difficult or perhaps impossible to properly evaluate the impact and effectiveness of workplace training. Design/methodology/approach – The approach taken is to describe the barriers to effectively measure training in the workplace. Findings – The paper finds that, essentially, training sometimes lacks planning, sponsorship, budget, or because training is done for the wrong reasons. Evaluation of training is also difficult because operating unit managers are looking for increased performance and not necessarily the increased learning on which trainers usually judge the success of their training. Additionally, in almost all cases, the lack of performance is only partially due to the need for training. Even when training is needed, a deficit of skills and knowledge is often a small part – 15 percent‐20 percent perhaps – of the overall lack of performance. Training's effectiveness in helping to increase performance is reduced even further since training is often wasted because the skills and knowledge gained in training are not applied on the job and thus have no impact. Add to these things, the antiquated accounting methods used to measure and evaluate training, and it becomes easy to understand why evaluation of the impact training has within the organization is difficult. Originality/value – Knowing the causes for difficulty in evaluating training in the workplace may help planners in this field to develop ways to overcome them. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Industrial and Commercial Training Emerald Publishing

Why it is so hard to evaluate training in the workplace

Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 40 (7): 6 – Oct 3, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0019-7858
DOI
10.1108/00197850810912270
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to explore these reasons regarding why it is difficult or perhaps impossible to properly evaluate the impact and effectiveness of workplace training. Design/methodology/approach – The approach taken is to describe the barriers to effectively measure training in the workplace. Findings – The paper finds that, essentially, training sometimes lacks planning, sponsorship, budget, or because training is done for the wrong reasons. Evaluation of training is also difficult because operating unit managers are looking for increased performance and not necessarily the increased learning on which trainers usually judge the success of their training. Additionally, in almost all cases, the lack of performance is only partially due to the need for training. Even when training is needed, a deficit of skills and knowledge is often a small part – 15 percent‐20 percent perhaps – of the overall lack of performance. Training's effectiveness in helping to increase performance is reduced even further since training is often wasted because the skills and knowledge gained in training are not applied on the job and thus have no impact. Add to these things, the antiquated accounting methods used to measure and evaluate training, and it becomes easy to understand why evaluation of the impact training has within the organization is difficult. Originality/value – Knowing the causes for difficulty in evaluating training in the workplace may help planners in this field to develop ways to overcome them.

Journal

Industrial and Commercial TrainingEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 3, 2008

Keywords: Training evaluation; Workplace learning; Performance management; Continuous improvement

References

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