This month’s letters

Slow pace of evaluation

It was wonderful to read the feature ‘Evaluation Evolution’ in October’s
Training Magazine. It gives me hope that evaluation will become nearer the top
of the training manager’s agenda in the near future.

As an external training provider, we expect and encourage our clients to
properly evaluate the work we do for them. After all, they often spend tens of
thousands of pounds with us.

Unfortunately, few take us up on the offer: They either don’t want to spend
that extra 10-20 per cent of time and money carrying out the exercise, or
decide they will do it themselves.

Unfortunately, training departments who use our services are usually
overstretched, so it either doesn’t get done at all, or it is attempted too
late, or tries to measure things that do not relate directly to the training.
On those few occasions when we have been able to evaluate properly, we have
usually done so at all four levels of Kirkpatrick’s Model, which has been
invaluable for us and the client.

If training isn’t properly evaluated, it makes you wonder if people are
afraid of the results they will find. As a breed, trainers generally like to be
liked, so may shy away from something which could show them in a less
favourable light than the end-of- course ‘happy sheet’.

However, if training and HR generally is to make a more significant impact
at the heart of business operations, a move to objective evaluation will surely
do more good than harm.

Sheridan Webb
Client service manager, Training for advancement

Generation Games true winner

Some of the comments expressed in the October edition about ‘Generation
Flex’ really rang true with my personal experience.

I believe the ability to learn is linked more to attitude than age. We all
know the older person whose attitude is that they are just ‘killing time’ until
they retire. But equally, there are just as many who, like myself, accept new
challenges with enthusiasm.

I was appointed company trainer at the age of 63 and really enjoy my job.
Most young people in the company dread the day I retire and they lose the
benefit of my knowledge and experience.

We must avoid generalising about people on the grounds of age.

Barbara lee
Company in-house trainer, The Dental Directory

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