They keep bugging me to give them a level 3, 4 or 5 evaluations! They say every time: “Please fill out the survey! You can win free prizes!” I am talking about those fast food restaurants or other service industries or sometimes they pop up on the internet when you are on a site. What is up with this?
The challenges of gathering level 3, 4 or 5 data are well known: time consuming and costly, unreliable data, or not even asked for by management. Basically, it is easier to justify a budget for training and add a bit for level 1 and 2 evaluations. But to ask for the time and money for higher levels isn’t usually kosher.
Why? Game of school- the assumption that they go to school, they passed the test, everything is fine. Anything we missed will come up in the evaluation. Oh no! Game of work! How often has anyone spent the resources to get an unbiased, 3rd party evaluation? Pretty rare. It is often more of an “I like you, we still like the company, right” conversation. And how was the training? Great, I use it a lot. Next question please.
The best higher level evaluation program I have experienced is the secret shopper- an unannounced evaluator that would come to our restaurant for a meal and grade the performance. Was it costly? Not really considering how much a dissatisfied customer costs! Did it help management evaluate performance? Definitely. Is this doable in other industries? I think so.
So, what is up with intangibles being increased job satisfaction, reduced absenteeism or increased cooperation being relegated to the outcast level 5? Aren’t these the real quality issues that add value to training and the results? Why are they so hard to measure and justify?
There is a mint to be made when someone learns how to efficiently and effectively scale upper level evaluations with new technologies and methods without bugging us, will it be you?