People are a company’s most valuable asset. We may have advanced technology systems and automated processes to help drive manufacturing, but we still have the need for skilled employees, making employees the key for building a successful and efficient business.
Skilled employees are not easy to find. An organization may have to hire or invest in good training programs to help their employees develop skills which are required as per the changing requirements. Hence, it’s time for manufacturing companies to look at training programs not as an expense but as investment in human capital.
Measuring the effectiveness of training is important in order to justify costs to senior management as well as to help in improving the training program itself. Another argument could be to decide the type of training method—it could be eLearning, classroom training, on-the-job training, or through the latest trend, microlearning.
The New World Kirkpatrick Model, developed by Donald Kirkpatrick, Professor (Emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin in the United States and a past president of the American Society for Training and Development (now the Association for Talent Development), has been a popular method for evaluating training by manufacturers. The model, which served as the subject of Kirkpatrick’s Ph.D. studies, uses four levels to approach training:
Reaction - What does the learner feel about the training?
Learning - What knowledge did the learner gain?
Behaviors - What skills was the learner able to develop? That is, what new information was gained that the learner is applying on the job?
Results - What results were achieved? That is, when the learner applied the new skills to the tasks assigned, what results were achieved?
As this methodology is easy to follow, this model helps in assessing the ROI from the trainings provided. The theory and practices of this model allow users to establish learning and development strategies which can be then compared against a set of predetermined objectives and the company’s business goals. This will help in measuring the effectiveness of the training program as well as lead to a positive change in employee performance and results.
Hence, ROI for training is a measure of the monetary benefits obtained over a specified time period in return for a given investment in a training program by an organization. The ROI will help in justifying a planned investment in training and to evaluate the extent to which the desired return was achieved.
Workforce training benefits the employees, the company, the customers, and the industry itself. Good training programs make employees feel nurtured and empowered. The other benefits include increased productivity, reduction in downtime, workplace safety, and an improvement in employee morale. Training also drives innovation.
By employing a robust evaluation model, manufacturers can ensure a maximized ROI.