Results Domains - Training and Development

The promise we have for you is that you will learn how to measure results within three domains: performance, learning, and perceptions. Each domain has two options within it. These domains and options within the Results Assessment System are defined as follows:

Performance Results are defined as:

Performance Results are defined

Results assessment process.

System: The units of mission-related outputs in the form of goods and/or services having value to the customer and that are related to the core organizational,work processes, and group/individual contributors in the organization.

Financial: the conversion of the output units of goods and/or services attributable to the intervention into money and financial interpretation.

The assessment of system, mission-related outputs are bottom-line talk. Things such as 50,000 cars made; the patient lived; or 5,000 service contracts sold. Those pursuing improvements in an organization face a key dilemma— mission-related outputs. Although the focal point is the output goal, the means, or driver, of that goal may look very different. A simple analogy would be a sporting event in which the goal is to win by throwing the ball through the hoop more times than the opponent—scoring points.

T&D Officers who are determined to be relevant to the main thrust of their organizations will opt for evaluation by contribution to goals. They see themselves as members of the problem-solving team. They are specifically concerned with the organization's performance problems. They prioritize training needs in direct proportion to organizational urgencies. They therefore want to know whether training has eliminated or alleviated those urgent problems.

A Critical element of such evaluation is identifying and selecting the key indicator. The evaluation process involves deciding how many units must be bad to require action—and what improvement must be made for the program to be adjudged successful. Among the indicators considered are:
Units of work per hour
Total days absenteeism
Units of work per worker
Number of absenteeism incidents
Number of sales
Dollar value per sale
Ratio of sales to calls
Backorders filled
Percent of quota achieved
Dollar value for backorders filled
Total dollar value of sales
Tasks completed
Number of grievances
Percent of tasks completed
Percent of grievances decided properly
Percent of grievance decisions
Budgets submitted sustained
Budgets achieved within X percent
Inventory turnover of forecast
Percent of counseling problems
Employee turnover
Cost of accidents
Machine downtime
Letters and reports completed
Number of disabling accidents
Percent of letters and reports that
Total minutes tardiness get the desired results

The T&D department evaluating its contribution to the organization must not ignore the standard operating indices already established. The baselines that reveal deficiencies are often the same baselines included in regular management reports. It is not always necessary to identify a new indicator. When a useful indicator is already part of regular reports, it is folly to invent new indicators!

T&D Officers who can find existing indices can "talk to management in their own language."

So now we see that another dimension of evaluation is the cost-effectiveness of the solution. The formula hardly needs repeating—but we'll repeat it anyhow:
Cost of the performance deficiency
Minus the cost of the improvement program
Equals the cost-effectiveness of the improvement program

To apply this formula to any given program, T&D specialists must wear their very best consultants' hats, identifying not only the key indicators but the cost of each unit. For the collection letters, one might compute the total time spent in writing letters. That would give salary costs. Add to that the cost of materials and facilities. These data are always available somewhere in departmental budgets or records. By adding those totals together, we find the total cost of letter writing. To determine the unit cost, we divide that total by the number of letters. The phone calls would be a bit more difficult to price, but it can be done. The phone bills are easily available, but the time costs could be more elusive. Some observation or work-sampling can give the needed facts:

How much of their time do people spend on the telephone?
Similar logic and investigation can be used on those elusive management tasks that"nobody can measure." One can always estimate the time spent on tasks; one can always secure standard overhead figures for departments. And one can always find the "product"—that's how we knew we had a deficiency in the first place!.Thus meetings should produce decisions; grievance hearings should produce findings;counseling should produce changed performance. The way we knew we had a problem in the first place was that these products were too few or too faulty. Our evaluation merely asks, after we've counted and priced the new levels of productivity, "Is the change sufficient? Sufficient to meet the organizational goals? Sufficient to pay for the training?"

When putting price tags on human values, clever T&D consultants quickly point out to client managers that the ultimate price tags may very well be psychic inestimable elements such as morale, human dignity, team spirit. But, they add just as quickly, these can come through programs that justify themselves on purely economic bases.

They are also careful not to jump to superficial indicators of changes in the operation. Things such as "smiling faces" or "infractions reported by supervisors" don't indicate much. Employees can learn to smile even when they're being rude or feeling miserable; supervisors can learn to look the other way.

Finally,clever T&D consultants err on the conservative side when putting price tags on performance deficiencies. After all, this is a process for evaluating the true cost-effectiveness—not for justifying the program. But some hard data on the"plus side" of the ledger or of a key operating index is necessary before one can applaud training programs on the basis of their contribution to organization goals.

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