Having a training evaluation strategy is really important. It should provide the big picture of how you intend to approach the evaluation of training across your business. The following are five reasons why I think you should have one.
1. Your training evaluation strategy generates coherence for your activity
Forcing yourself to write down how you’re going to approach the evaluation of your training helps to ensure that you have a logical and efficient plan in place. Without a strategy, there is a danger that your activity becomes ad-hoc and un-coordinated. This has the potential to reduce the business value gained from the resource you have invested.
2. Your training evaluation strategy provides direction
Your strategy will clearly illustrate individual roles and responsibilities. The benefit of this is that everybody should be clear on what they are required to do in support of the process. Without this, duplication can occur or more significantly, vital areas of activity could slip between the cracks.
3. Your training evaluation strategy acts as a reference guide
Any new personnel who are employed in the business and who maybe involved in the evaluation can read the strategy in order to bring themselves up to speed. Having processes documented helps to avoid single points of failure if a key member of the team has a prolonged leave of absence or leaves the business completely. Without the strategy as a reference, the quality of your processes can erode over time.
4. Your training evaluation strategy demonstrates that you mean business
It’s all very well discussing how you should conduct your training evaluation but taking the time to develop a well thought through strategy helps to demonstrate that you are fully committed to the process (it should include an action plan). Without having a strategy that somebody can quote back to you there is perhaps an increased possibility that actually conducting the training evaluation remains at the bottom of your ‘to do’ pile.
5. Your training evaluation strategy concisely communicates your activity
It is likely that you’ll need to engage with personnel across your organization who will hopefully contribute towards your training evaluation process (line managers, for example). Having part of your strategy that is packaged and ready to publish will help present that consistent message. Without a strategy, there is potential for confusion outside of the training department regarding the aim and objectives of your training evaluation activity.