In an interview, Bernhard Seilz from HGS introduces a comprehensive training concept which includes preparation and follow-up and makes success measurable. If one defines the objectives of a training plan during its conception, and assists the participants even after the seminar is over, one will derive optimal benefit from the investment. Inge Hüsgen talked with the longtime trainer and coach:
Training with accompanying performance measurement is an offer that is not so much in demand. What standards are currently applied in the evaluation of training and seminars?
As a rule, the widely-known "happy sheets" are used in training seminars. They are questionnaires on participant satisfaction which are filled out at the end of the event. The value of these questionnaires is, however, very limited. Even more important is the fact that this tool does not capture the decisive criterion for the success of each seminar: the transfer of learning into everyday life.
Is it therefore an improvement to send the questionnaires a few weeks after the seminar, as is already done by some training companies?
Certainly this represents a step in the right direction – as a kind of delayed happy sheet. But this still leaves great scope for improve-ment, and the customer's investment mostly vanishes into thin air.
Are there any statistics on this?
There are a number of studies, and they draw an impressive picture. Accordingly, the average success rate of training, the return on investment, is only 10 percent. This means that, in conventional training concepts, only ten percent of the investment in a training program will be transferred into practice, the rest goes down the drain. The German training market currently has a volume of 27 billion euros. Based on the above success rate, 24 billion euros are wasted.
So what is the problem?
It has been shown again and again that training does not achieve the desired effect because of the lack of transfer into practice. On the other hand, the return on investment of training resulting in a qualification increases with consistent monitoring and assistance.
This is why we have developed a comprehensive concept. During preparation and follow-up it delivers tools to ensure transfer into practice - in addition to the actual training - thus making success measurable.
How does such a performance measurement work?
Already in the preparation of each training plan, and together with the client, we define clear transfer targets. These are the criteria for when and how the training is successfully transferred into everyday life. Based on these objectives, at the planning stage we choose exactly those methods that will facilitate and guarantee the transfer.
So the above-mentioned survey sheets have their place in implementation control, but in addition there are further methods to check on learning. For example, to facilitate the transfer, the coach can remain in contact with the participants, even after the seminar itself. This may be done by phone, e-mail or web conference. By request individual coaching can also be integrated into the concept. Next an action plan is feasible, to be created by the participants during the training session and monitored by the trainer or by the relevant executive. During the final performance review the ratio of investment and improvement for the employees and the company is shown.
Why is it then that these methods are not used very frequently?
The fact that many companies do not fully use control tools for education is in most cases not due to their lack of care, but rather out of economic considerations. From a business perspective, the time and expense do not appear to be worthwhile.
However, the satisfaction of the participants, their learning success, and possibly even behavioral changes all have a significant impact on the overall success of a company. Much of this success is thus bound up with the people. Their knowledge and commitment are the prerequisites for innovation and progress. Can we really do without them?