Because it matters, of course. You’re probably familiar with a business management cliché first uttered by Peter Drucker – ‘What gets measured gets managed’ – but how to measure? The question of management effectiveness becomes more burning when you consider it in the contact of training: while a basic question – “Was is worth it, and what did it achieve?” – should matter to every organisation, few know or attempt to discover the answer.
When it comes to training evaluation, organisations hunger for evidence of two often elusive factors: return on investment (ROI), to prove that their expenditure was not wasted, and increases in productivity. Training and learning that doesn’t increase performance wastes not just money but time, energy and optimism. Despite this, many organisations limit evaluation to satisfaction scores: a record that the training took place and was ‘enjoyed’, but its impact remains elusive.
One reason that more meaning evaluation is rarely undertaken is the perception that it is difficult to do. Management performance, after all, is typically assessed using not one but a number of yardsticks: ASK’s own Management Development 360 Degree Feedback tool includes sixty individual competences. No training programme could aspire to address and improve managers’ performance in all of these, and we typically gather and facilitate feedback on the 6 – 10 competences most relevant to the scope of the training.
We use this 360 degree instrument at the beginning of our programmes as a diagnostic tool, identifying areas for personal development and providing insights that can drive self-awareness. Re-deploying it after training allows us to measure how far participants have travelled and supports future development activity, but it is also another starting point: the beginning of a measure of their effectiveness.