Evaluation of Yorkshire manufacturing Training and Development Activities
Yorkshire manufacturing is a largest global manufacturer of plastic containers with more than 115 permanent employees. To enhance employees’ skills and development, the company carries out training and development activities for them. To identify the extent to which the training program has been able to achieve organisational goals and objectives, Yorkshire manufacturing carries out evaluations of training and development activities. An evaluation of Yorkshire manufacturing’s training activities reveals that the company employs Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model to evaluate the company’s training activities. However, the paper has identified that Yorkshire manufacturing is incurring high costs for the evaluation of the company’s training program.
Thus, this paper recommends that Yorkshire manufacturing should select Kirkpatrick’s level 3 evaluation for the evaluation of the company’s training program.
Yorkshire manufacturing is a large global manufacturer of plastic containers, and provider of engineering services, for the Dairy, Juice and food industries. It has manufacturing and distribution sites in the UK in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The company’s other manufacturing and distribution sites are scattered around the world in North America, Canada, Russia, China and Mexico. At the UK sites, Yorkshire manufacturing has 115 permanent employees. To enhance employee skills and development in their manufacturing operations, Yorkshire manufacturing runs several training and development programs for its employee.
The focus of this paper is to review the effectiveness of the Training and Development (T&D) functions within Yorkshire manufacturing. The paper attempts to evaluate Yorkshire manufacturing’s (T&D) activities because of the paucity of literature related to this topic. The paper collects secondary data to prepare this report.
Identification of the training programs implemented by the Yorkshire manufacturing is essential in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s T&D functions.
Outlining of the training and development activities within Yorkshire manufacturing
To enhance their employees’ skills and development, Yorkshire manufacturing implements several in-house- training programs. However, wherever practical application is needed, employees are sent off site for further training.
The training programs carried out by Yorkshire manufacturing are as follows:
1) NVQ level 2: Training shop-floor employee to perform manufacturing operations.
2) BIT’s, Injection Moulding Techniques level 2, Injection Moulding Techniques for all employees.
3) Business Improvement technique, Internal quality auditors ISO9000:2000, and Recognized Quality
4) Business Improvement Techniques, Problem solving, Tribology, Reliability Control Maintenance,
and Root Cause Failure Analysis for all employees in the engineering department.
5) Business Improvement Techniques or ILM level 3, Assertiveness training, Appraisal training,
Problem solving and Dealing with conflict training for department Coordinators such as Process,
engineering, manufacturing, logistics, and Product Line Managers.
6) Business Improvement Techniques level 3, Problem solving, Statistical Process Control data, and
Health and safety minimum level 3, for quality improvements team.
7) Business Improvement Techniques, and BIT’s level 4, and Problem solving for Departmental
Evaluation of the training and development activities carried out by Yorkshire manufacturing is very critical. The paper identifies the reasons for evaluating the company’s training and development activities.
Reasons for evaluating the training and development activities.
Yorkshire manufacturing carries out the evaluation of the training and development activities to determine whether the T&D activities carried out meet organisational goals and objectives.
Jackson, Schuler, & Werner (2008) identified several reasons for evaluating training and development activities. The authors point out that organisations evaluate training and development activities to determine the effectiveness of their short-term effects and long terms effects.
Thus, Yorkshire manufacturing evaluates the training and development activities to identify the extent to which the T&D activities have been able to achieve the organisational goals and objectives such as improved productivity, improved customer service, lower cost, pool of competent global leaders, and increase the pool of applicants. (Bromley, 2009, Jackson, Schuler &Werner, 2008).
Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick (2006) provides similar argument by identifying five basic reasons for evaluating training:
- To justify how training and development activities contribute to organisational goals and objectives.
- To decide whether it is worth continuing a training program.
- To improve training.
- to transfer learning into workplace
- To help in defining future investment objectives.
To justify the effectiveness of training and development activities within Yorkshire manufacturing, the paper examines various techniques the company employs to evaluate T & D activities.
How training and development activities are evaluated by the organisation
Yorkshire manufacturing employs Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model to evaluate the training and development activities within the organisation (Kirkpatrick, 1998).
“According to Kirkpatrick, the four levels of his model provide a sequential framework from which to evaluate training. Kirkpatrick contends that each level is important and should not be overlooked in an attempt to measure more important outcomes which occur later in time”.( Falleta, 1998, p 259).
The four-level evaluations are:
- Level 1:Reaction
- Level 2: Learning
- Level 3: Behaviour
- Level 4: Results
Level 1 evaluation involves measuring the reaction of training participants immediately after the training and development activities. The method is to sample the opinion of training participants on overall training programs. The feedback of participants is very important in determining whether participants consider training relevant to the organisational goal and objectives. The feedback of participants will allow an organisation to assess the weaknesses and the strengths of their training and development activities. (Kirkpatrick, 1998).
Thus, Yorkshire manufacturing collects the feedback of its employees by asking them to fill in both structured and unstructured questionnaires; this will identify the reactions of employee towards overall training activities. (Trochim, & Donnelly, 2007).
Moreover, Yorkshire manufacturing employs Learning level 2 to evaluate the training and development activities. The learning evaluation involves measuring the intellectual capability of training participants immediately after the training and development activities. The method Yorkshire manufacturing employs to measure employee intellectual capability and information retention is to use several techniques such as accessing the new skills employees have acquired in computer operations, problem solving, Statistical Process Control data, Business Improvement Techniques, and other training skills. For example, Yorkshire manufacturing tests employees on computer operations by asking them to upload a new operating system or new software onto the system. In addition, Yorkshire manufacturing also conducts performance tests for all employees participating in the training. Employees are asked to take on traditional paper-and-pencil tests to determine their drawing skills, problem-solving skills, and Process Control data skills. The participants’ scores are compared with cut-off marks, and the overall results are used to evaluate the training and development activities.
In addition, Yorkshire manufacturing employs behaviour evaluation level 3 to determine the extent to which training and development activities change the behaviour of training participants. The behaviour evaluation is to examine whether employee could apply or transfer what they have learned to their job. Yorkshire manufacturing uses observational method to determine the change in employee behaviour a few weeks after the training. This technique helps the organisation to determine whether the training and development has had positive or negative effects to the behaviours of employees. It is essential to realise that positive behaviour of an employee towards his/her work will increase the organisational level of productivity. If an employee shows signs of enjoying the work allocated to him, this could mean an increase employee’s productivity. (Kirkpatrick ,1998).
Finally, Yorkshire manufacturing uses results evaluation level 4 to evaluate the training and development activities. The management of the organisation examines the extent the outcome of the training program has been able to contribute to the organisational success. Yorkshire manufacturing employs variables such as increased sales, return on investment (ROI), and effects on financial outcomes, organisational profits, higher productivity, and reduction in turnover, higher worker morale, lower absenteeism, and greater job satisfaction.
Despite the evaluation processes undertaking by Yorkshire manufacturing on T&D activities, there are criticisms that can be made of the evaluation techniques employed by Yorkshire manufacturing.
Effectiveness of evaluation process employed by Yorkshire manufacturing.
Yorkshire manufacturing has been able to evaluate the training and development activities using the Kirkpatrick model. Despite the evaluation method employed by the organisation, criticisms have been made of the effectiveness of Kirkpatrick four level evaluation model employed by Yorkshire manufacturing. The report provided by American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) revealed that 60% of US organisations evaluated their training and development activities through the Kirkpatrick model. However, not all of them employed all four-evaluation levels to evaluate their training and development activities. According to the survey carried out by ASTD, 77% of the organisation evaluated training and development activities were based on Level 1, while 38% employed level 2, and 14% employed level 3 to evaluate training and development activities. Just 7% employed level 4 to evaluate training and development activities.
The main reason for the decrease in participant rates was that organisations complained that there was an increase in costs to evaluate upper evaluation levels. (Coulthard, 2005)
From the survey results, it is clear that Yorkshire manufacturing is incurring higher costs in evaluating the training and development activities because the company is employing all the four Kirkpatrick’s evaluation levels to accurately evaluate the training activities. Coulthard (2005) argues that organisations should be cost conscious, and there is need to employ costs analysis in evaluating training and development activities. By using all four evaluations levels, Yorkshire manufacturing is arguably not employing an appropriately cost effective method to evaluate the company’s training and development. Moreover, Yorkshire manufacturing does not include the development of admin and “office based staff” in the training programs.
The paper has identified the training and development activities carried out by Yorkshire manufacturing. The paper also identifies the process by which Yorkshire manufacturing evaluates their training and development activities. The paper reveals that Yorkshire manufacturing employs the Kirkpatrick four level evaluation model to evaluate its training and development activities. Despite the benefits that Yorkshire manufacturing might have enjoyed from the company’s evaluation techniques, the paper has identified shortcomings from these. Typically, the company’s evaluation method is not cost effective, and Yorkshire manufacturing may be losing part of its revenue by implementing the four level Kirkpatrick evaluation model. To improve the training activities carried out by Yorkshire manufacturing, this paper makes the following recommendations.
This paper recommends that Yorkshire manufacturing should stop employing the entire four level Kirkpatrick evaluation model to determine the effectiveness of the training and development activities. The paper also recommends that the company should select behaviour level 3 of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model to evaluate the training and development activities. The level 3 of Kirkpatrick’s centres on the extent training participants have been able apply or transfer what they have learnt to their job. Applying evaluation level 3 will save the company costs when evaluating the T & D activities.
Yorkshire manufacturing should also include office based staff in the training and development activities to enhance overall organisational performances.
Added to the above evaluation process, Yorkshire manufacturing should evaluate the competence of candidates by using a qualified assessor who will determine the relevance of training and development to the organisational goal and objectives. (Rae, 1997).
List of References
Bromley, T(2009). Evaluating Researcher Training and Development: History, Challenges, Methodology and Implementation, University of Leeds.UK.
Coulthard, G.J. (2005).Critique of Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels Evaluation, Purdue University.UK.
Falleta, S.V. (1998). Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels, by Donald L. Kirkpatrick, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA, 1996,229 pp. American Journal of Evaluation19(2):259-261.
Jackson, S.E.Schuler, R.S. &Werner, S. (2008). Managing Human Resources, UK, Cengage Learning.
Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1998). Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Kirkpatrick, D.L. & Kirkpatrick, J.D. (2006). Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels (3rd Edition).UK. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Rae, L. (1997). Evaluation Approaches for Training and Development: A Complete Resource Kit, UK. Kogan Page Publishers.
Trochim, W. & Donnelly, J.P. (2007). The Research Methods Knowledge Base, (3rd Edition), USA.Atomic Dog Publishing.