Friday, 1 March 2013

Bridging a new world Kirkpatrick Model Sales Training Evaluation

Research suggests that as much as 90% of training resources are spent on the design, development, and delivery of training events that yield 15% on-the-job application (Robert O Brinkerhoff, 2006).

Reinforcement that occurs after the training event produces the highest level of learning effectiveness, followed by activities that occur before the learning event.

The best places to start when evaluating sales training are understanding and agreeing the business goals and work back down the levels of the Kirkpatrick model.
 So after the goals have been set, then identify what behaviours need to be implemented on a sustained basis in the field /workplace  in order to bring about the results.
 Jim Kirkpatrick looks to trainers becoming the 'civil engineers' who build bridges from the various levels back of the business.

In practise evaluation of training interventions in selling should be simple. The results are sales and/or profits aren’t they ?

In those sectors which have barely been effected by the recession perhaps such a crude measure might have some value but what  if you are in a static growth market, dear I say a triple  dip recession ?

Evaluation and measurement of training can be difficult but that does not mean we should wrestle with it.

For over 50 years the Kirkpatrick model has been used to help with the battle . It is not without its detractors but it in many situations training evaluation and Kirkpatrick  have become one and the same thing.

Certainly the language and questions the model raises are core to most training and development discussions.

Jim Kirkpatrick was interviewed by Richard Griffin of Buckingham  University for Learning Skils and technologies magazine  “... The keywords of Training and Development’s future are

"............Execution, Implementation, Application and Performance.”

The model has been developed over the years. For example Reaction Level(1) not only covers customer satisfaction but also the relevance and involvement of the learner. It goes beyond a happy sheet by challenging whether the learner is really with the training ( or just has ‘downloaded the App’ Or is just ‘in the room’) by taking responsibility for their own learning.
At the learning level (2) they have added words like confidence and commitment. This has been done to counteract the  abdication of trainers and sponsors to abandon the learners to just get out there and fight it out for yourself. Such an approach is a  kind of experiential learning but perhaps no more than obtaining the results of mistaken related competence.
Essentially the confidence and commitment labels at level 2 are there to check on whether there is a support network of accountability, coaching , involvement and additional learning that will really help the learner to be successful.
The language of Kirkpatrick is around ‘building bridges to the business’ and ‘tactical bridges supervisors.’

 As an outsourced trainer this handing back of baton to the manager/sponsor and supporting learning through medium like this blog  helps with this enhanced view of Level 2.
So for as the enhancements to Behaviours (level3) this has been extended beyond basic behavioural change and seeks to ensure the learner has a performance support network holding people accountable , that encourages them , recognises them, rewards them, reinforces them, monitors them to ensure there is application of this behaviour level (3) and thereon to level four results.
In level four(Results) the Kirkpatrick model now encompasses leading indicators such as (work in progress [WIP] ) measurements and observations to ensure things are still on track. This early warning system allows identification of barriers and problems and fix them before it is too late and before the results are negatively impacted.
Related Links:
Training Journal January 2013 


University of Bucks


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