Human Resources/TRAINING

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Question
Identify and explain any 5 stakeholders and highlight their roles in evaluating a training program

Answer
Stakeholder involvement is based upon the belief that expertise does not lie solely with program professionals. Stakeholders are persons or organizations that have investments in the content of a program, or in the dissemination and evaluation of a program . Over the last several years the interpretation of stakeholder involvement has changed as programs have focused not just on individuals and families, but the broader ecology including neighborhood, workplace, schools, places of worship, communities and the society. Work in the area of teen pregnancy prevention, for example, as in the general public health, social service and education fields, involves partnerships. Consequently, decisions regarding programs should include the considerations and perspectives of multiple stakeholders.
Who are stakeholders?
Stakeholders include funders and administrators of programs, but also include staff, program participants and their peers, family members, and the wider community. It would not be unusual for stakeholders in a youth development program to include elected city, county and state officials, religious leaders, business owners, neighborhood association members, sports figures and coaches, students, out-of-school youth, parents, health and social service providers, educators, representatives of the art community, and any other interested person or group. They should represent the diversity of the community in many ways—race, ethnicity, ability, income, sexual orientation, family constellation, etc. Youth development is the responsibility and a domain of interest for all citizens in a community.
Why is stakeholder involvement important?
Stakeholders offer important insight into each phase of program planning, implementation and evaluation. Stakeholders are most commonly involved at the beginning stages of program planning. They are able to provide insight for the various needs that a program or curriculum should meet. Experience shows that once the goals have been set in the first part of program development, stakeholders are sometimes not consulted in latter stages of program implementation and evaluation. This is unfortunate because stakeholders have the potential to illuminate issues and needs during the course of program implementation . Frequently stakeholders who participate in an initial needs assessment may not be the same stakeholders who ultimately sustain the program. Consequently, eliciting on-going feedback and keeping lines of communication open are crucial to program success. This is particularly true in community-based youth development programs. A broad range of stakeholders has the knowledge, daily life experiences and expertise that can contribute to program success.
How do stakeholders become involved?
Stakeholders may be involved in multiple roles and various functions. Focus groups may be conducted to get initial ideas and reveal community norms, history and players. Community mapping may be conducted to learn about the important features, places and events. Volunteer opportunities, advisory committees, participation in hiring processes, program committees, and various other means can be explored. The important point is that if stakeholders are valued, they will be welcomed and their voices heard.



A stakeholder is any individual or organisation that is affected by the activities of a business. They may have a direct or indirect interest in the business, and may be in contact with the business on a daily basis, or may just occasionally.
The main stakeholders are:
The 'Training Evaluation Quintet' advocated consists of:
1.senior management
2.the trainer
3.line management
4.the training manager
5.the trainee
Each has their own responsibilities, which are detailed next.
1.senior management - training evaluation responsibilities
**Awareness of the need and value of training to the organization.
**The necessity of involving the Training Manager (or equivalent) in senior management meetings where decisions are made about future changes when training will be essential.
**Knowledge of and support of training plans.
**Active participation in events.
**Requirement for evaluation to be performed and require regular summary report.
**Policy and strategic decisions based on results and ROI data.
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2.the trainer - training evaluation responsibilities
**Provision of any necessary pre-programme work etc and programme planning.
**Identification at the start of the programme of the knowledge and skills level of the trainees/learners.
**Provision of training and learning resources to enable the learners to learn within the objectives of the programme and the learners' own objectives.
**Monitoring the learning as the programme progresses.
**At the end of the programme, assessment of and receipt of reports from the learners of the learning levels achieved.
**Ensuring the production by the learners of an action plan to reinforce, practise and implement learning.
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3.the line manager - training evaluation responsibilities
**Work-needs and people identification.
**Involvement in training programme and evaluation development.
**Support of pre-event preparation and holding briefing meetings with the learner.
**Giving ongoing, and practical, support to the training programme.
**Holding a debriefing meeting with the learner on their return to work to discuss, agree or help to modify and agree action for their action plan.
**Reviewing the progress of learning implementation.
**Final review of implementation success and assessment, where possible, of the ROI.
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4.the training manager - training evaluation responsibilities
**Management of the training department and agreeing the training needs and the programme application
**Maintenance of interest and support in the planning and implementation of the programmes, including a practical involvement where required
**The introduction and maintenance of evaluation systems, and production of regular reports for senior management
**Frequent, relevant contact with senior management
**Liaison with the learners' line managers and arrangement of learning implementation responsibility learning programmes for the managers
**Liaison with line managers, where necessary, in the assessment of the training ROI.
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5.the trainee or learner - training evaluation responsibilities
**Involvement in the planning and design of the training programme where possible
**Involvement in the planning and design of the evaluation process where possible
**Obviously, to take interest and an active part in the training programme or activity.
**To complete a personal action plan during and at the end of the training for implementation on return to work, and to put this into practice, with support from the line manager.
**Take interest and support the evaluation processes.
N.B. Although the principal role of the trainee in the programme is to learn, the learner must be involved in the evaluation process. This is essential, since without their comments much of the evaluation could not occur. Neither would the new knowledge and skills be implemented. For trainees to neglect either responsibility the business wastes its investment in training. Trainees will assist more readily if the process avoids the look and feel of a paper-chase or number-crunching exercise. Instead, make sure trainees understand the importance of their input - exactly what and why they are being asked to do.
training evaluation and validation options
As suggested earlier what you are able to do, rather than what you would like to do or what should be done, will depend on the various resources and culture support available. The following summarizes a spectrum of possibilities within these dependencies.
1 - do nothing
Doing nothing to measure the effectiveness and result of any business activity is never a good option, but it is perhaps justifiable in the training area under the following circumstances:
If the organization, even when prompted, displays no interest in the evaluation and validation of the training and learning - from the line manager up to to the board of directors.
If you, as the trainer, have a solid process for planning training to meet organizational and people-development needs.
If you have a reasonable level of assurance or evidence that the training being delivered is fit for purpose, gets results, and that the organization (notably the line managers and the board, the potential source of criticism and complaint) is happy with the training provision.
You have far better things to do than carry out training evaluation, particularly if evaluation is difficult and cooperation is sparse.
However, even in these circumstances, there may come a time when having kept a basic system of evaluation will prove to be helpful, for example:
You receive have a sudden unexpected demand for a justification of a part or all of the training activity. (These demands can spring up, for example with a change in management, or policy, or a new initiative).
You see the opportunity or need to produce your own justification (for example to increase training resource, staffing or budgets, new premises or equipment).
You seek to change job and need evidence of the effectiveness of your past training activities.
Doing nothing is always the least desirable option. At any time somebody more senior to you might be moved to ask "Can you prove what you are saying about how successful you are?" Without evaluation records you are likely to be at a loss for words of proof...
2 - minimal action
The absolutely basic action for a start of some form of evaluation is as follows:
At the end of every training programme, give the learners sufficient time and support in the form of programme information, and have the learners complete an action plan based on what they have learned on the programme and what they intend to implement on their return to work. This action plan should not only include a description of the action intended but comments on how they intend to implement it, a timescale for starting and completing it, and any resources required, etc. A fully detailed action plan always helps the learners to consolidate their thoughts. The action plan will have a secondary use in demonstrating to the trainers, and anyone else interested, the types and levels of learning that have been achieved. The learners should also be encouraged to show and discuss their action plans with their line managers on return to work, whether or not this type of follow-up has been initiated by the manager.
3 - minimal desirable action leading to evaluation
When returning to work to implement the action plan the learner should ideally be supported by their line manager, rather than have the onus for implementation rest entirely on the learner. The line manager should hold a debriefing meeting with the learner soon after their return to work, covering a number of questions, basically discussing and agreeing the action plan and arranging support for the learner in its implementation. As described earlier, this is a clear responsibility of the line manager, which demonstrates to senior management, the training department and, certainly not least, the learner, that a positive attitude is being taken to the training. Contrast this with, as often happens, a member of staff being sent on a training course, after which all thoughts of management follow-up are forgotten.
The initial line manager debriefing meeting is not the end of the learning relationship between the learner and the line manager. At the initial meeting, objectives and support must be agreed, then arrangements made for interim reviews of implementation progress. After this when appropriate, a final review meeting needs to consider future action.
This process requires minimal action by the line manager - it involves no more than the sort of observations being made as would be normal for a line manager monitoring the actions of his or her staff. This process of review meetings requires little extra effort and time from the manager, but does much to demonstrate at the very least to the staff that their manager takes training seriously.
4 - training programme basic validation approach
The action plan and implementation approach described in (3) above is placed as a responsibility on the learners and their line managers, and, apart from the provision of advice and time, do not require any resource involvement from the trainer. There are two further parts of an approach which also require only the provision of time for the learners to describe their feelings and information. The first is the reactionnaire which seeks the views, opinions, feelings, etc., of the learners about the programme. This is not at a 'happy sheet' level, nor a simple tick-list - but one which allows realistic feelings to be stated.
This sort of reactionnaire is described in the book . This evaluation seeks a score for each question against a 6-point range of Good to Bad, and also the learners' own reasons for the scores, which is especially important if the score is low.
Reactionnaires should not be automatic events on every course or programme. This sort of evaluation can be reserved for new programmes (for example, the first three events) or when there are indications that something is going wrong with the programme.
The next evaluation instrument, like the action plan, should be used at the end of every course if possible. This is the Learning Questionnaire (LQ), which can be a relatively simple instrument asking the learners what they have learned on the programme, what they have been usefully reminded of, and what was not included that they expected to be included, or would have liked to have been included. Scoring ranges can be included, but these are minimal and are subordinate to the text comments made by the learners. There is an alternative to the LQ called the Key Objectives LQ (KOLQ) which seeks the amount of learning achieved by posing the relevant questions against the list of Key Objectives produced for the programme. When a reactionnaire and LQ/KOLQ are used, they must not be filed away and forgotten at the end of the programme, as is the common tendency, but used to produce a training evaluation and validation summary. A factually-based evaluation summary is necessary to support claims that a programme is good/effective/satisfies the objectives set'. Evaluation summaries can also be helpful for publicity for the training programme, etc.
5 - total evaluation process
If it becomes necessary the processes described in (3) and (4) can be combined and supplemented by other methods to produce a full evaluation process that covers all eventualities. Few occasions or environments allow this full process to be applied, particularly when there is no Quintet support, but it is the ultimate aim. The process is summarized below:
•   Training needs identification and setting of objectives by the organization
•   Planning, design and preparation of the training programmes against the objectives
•   Pre-course identification of people with needs and completion of the preparation required by the training programme
•   Provision of the agreed training programmes
•   Pre-course briefing meeting between learner and line manager
•   Pre-course or start of programme identification of learners' existing knowledge, skills and attitudes,
•   
•   Interim validation as programme proceeds
•   Assessment of terminal knowledge, skills, etc., and completion of perceptions/change assessment
•   Completion of end-of-programme reactionnaire
•   Completion of end-of-programme Learning Questionnaire or Key Objectives Learning Questionnaire
•   Completion of Action Plan
•   Post-course debriefing meeting between learner and line manager
•   Line manager observation of implementation progress
•   Review meetings to discuss progress of implementation
•   Final implementation review meeting
•   Assessment of ROI
Whatever you do, do something. The processes described above allow considerable latitude depending on resources and culture environment, so there is always the opportunity to do something - obviously the more tools used and the wider the approach, the more valuable and effective the evaluation will be. However be pragmatic. Large expensive critical programmes will always justify more evaluation and scrutiny than small, one-off, non-critical training activities. Where there's a heavy investment and expectation, so the evaluation should be sufficiently detailed and complete. Training managers particularly should clarify measurement and evaluation expectations with senior management prior to embarking on substantial new training activities, so that appropriate evaluation processes can be established when the programme itself is designed.
Where large and potentially critical programmes are planned, training managers should err on the side of caution - ensure adequate evaluation processes are in place. As with any investment, a senior executive is always likely to ask, "What did we get for our investment?", and when he asks, the training manager needs to be able to provide a fully detailed response

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