Evaluating training outcomes: A mixed-method case study of a sales training program
Ongoing training and development of the workforce is critical for both organizational and societal growth. The demand for training and development is growing due to demographic changes in the U.S. population, globalization and the speed of technological changes. The United States needs an educated work force to remain competitive in the global economy. This cannot be done without investment in education and in workplace training and development programs. While American businesses are making large investments in training and development programs, these organizations do not know if these investments are producing any results because they do not measure the success or failure of these programs. Regardless of reason for not evaluating, the impact is the same: the training and development function within organizations cannot effectively improve employee performance, demonstrate their value or receive critical feedback needed to improve its program offerings.
The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct a training outcome evaluation that assessed the effectiveness of a sales training program in achieving its stated objectives. A case study approach was used because it served as a real life example of the dilemma organizations face when trying to understand the effectiveness of their training programs. This case study used quantitative data methods to determine that the training was ineffective in producing gains in sales performance. Qualitative data collection methods were used to help explain why the training was ineffective. This data also identified opportunities to improve the training for future use. As a result of these findings a new evaluation model was presented for discussion that emphasizes the use of test pilots, obtaining qualitative feedback and leveraging stakeholder involvement, to refine and deploy quality training programs.
0688: Business education