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EvaluationZone workshop transcript: Defining Business Objectives as Learning Objectives


This is the transcript from the online workshop held on EvaluationZone on 14 June on the subject of Defining Business Objectives as Learning Objectives.

Paul Kearns While we're waiting any immediate questions?
Claire Barry Hi Paul. What is your background?
Paul Kearns In Hr and training since 1978
Paul Kearns Getting on a bit now!
Paul Kearns Mainly engineering/manufacturing
Paul Kearns Worked as evaluation specialist since 1991
Claire Barry I'm working with construction companies.
Paul Kearns Yes I remember
Claire Barry We're doing an European Social Fund project.
Siobhan Walker What do you do Claire
Claire Barry I have done a bit of training, also training needs analysis
Claire Barry and organising training courses/events/conferences
Siobhan Walker Not evaluation then?
Paul Kearns What's your job Siobhan?
Claire Barry Yes. I evaluate all the training events as well.
Siobhan Walker the title is HR co-ordinator - a bit of everything
Siobhan Walker The company is a housing association
Paul Kearns The big question for today is does our training have a business objective?
Paul Kearns If we can't say it has then why do it?
Paul Kearns But it's easier said than done
Paul Kearns How about an example from anyone
Claire Barry Do you mean personal development.
Paul Kearns Anything - bit of training that doesn't have a business objective maybe?
Paul Kearns Or just put any training example up for discussion
Siobhan Walker Personal coaching - life coaching
Paul Kearns Ok
Paul Kearns What's the objective?
Claire Barry Self development
Siobhan Walker To make staff more 'rounded' people
Paul Kearns Ok - are they clear objectives?
Siobhan Walker Yes
Paul Kearns In the SMART sense?
Paul Kearns Specific, measurable etc
Siobhan Walker I think the specific objectives are made between the coach and coachee - probably a bad example
Paul Kearns No let's stick with it
Paul Kearns Lets see where it leads us
Paul Kearns We will all learn
Siobhan Walker The coach and coachee will make clear objectives
Paul Kearns Sure - but who said getting a coach was a good idea
Siobhan Walker Voluntary
Paul Kearns Ok
Paul Kearns I was asked to evaluate a coaching prog
Claire Barry You see how other people benefit
Claire Barry It makes you want to try it.
Siobhan Walker What did you find?
Paul Kearns when I investigated it was more like counselling
Paul Kearns what's the difference
Siobhan Walker Coaching is forward thinking, counselling looks in the past?
Paul Kearns I like that definition
Paul Kearns Counselling is much more personal problem stuff as well
Paul Kearns Coaching tends to be business related
Claire Barry Coaching also looks at past experience.
Paul Kearns The question though is what is the business objective?
Paul Kearns Employee could feel better after either
Paul Kearns Is that what we want
Siobhan Walker I think both would be useful in helping people progress
Paul Kearns So do I
Paul Kearns I think they are very powerful
Siobhan Walker That's a business objective
Paul Kearns But do the coachees think it is about them or the business?
Siobhan Walker That doesn't matter
Paul Kearns No - why shouldn't it be both
Claire Barry I agree
Paul Kearns Or do we counsel/coach just for the individual
Claire Barry It would consider where they are coming from
Siobhan Walker Where who is coming from?
Paul Kearns Maybe it is how we phrase the objectives
Paul Kearns This counselling is offered to help the individual with their personal issues
Paul Kearns To help them fulfil their role
Claire Barry The individuals' - if they have a different agenda to the company
Siobhan Walker get you
Paul Kearns Shouldn't we have mutual benefit
Claire Barry Yes - they will be more motiviated to do their job
Siobhan Walker I agree
Claire Barry If your personal life is resolved (problems)
Claire Barry then you can concentrate on work
Paul Kearns Yes - that's the trick I think
Claire Barry It's about work/life balance
Siobhan Walker Yes
Paul Kearns So how would you phrase the objective
Paul Kearns This counselling is intended to ....
Paul Kearns Fill in the blanks
Paul Kearns No hurry
Claire Barry reduce stress ?
Siobhan Walker help the individual break down barriers
Paul Kearns Before we get too specific
Paul Kearns How about broad objectives
Claire Barry develop strategies to handle issues affecting them
Siobhan Walker that's good
Paul Kearns OK - how about counselling should enable the individual to resolve personal issues that reduce their effectiveness at work?
Siobhan Walker yes
Claire Barry yes - that is good
Paul Kearns Could this be a general objective?
Siobhan Walker yes
Paul Kearns This would lead onto discussion of what?
Claire Barry yes - it could apply to anyone
Paul Kearns Personal issues first
Paul Kearns Then personal effectiveness
Paul Kearns Then their role
Claire Barry who they work with
Paul Kearns Hey even more interesting!
Siobhan Walker how they deal with them
Paul Kearns Personal effectiveness and organisational effectiveness start to come together
Paul Kearns Now if counselling were just about individual problems
Paul Kearns It would be an entirely different exercise wouldn't it?
Paul Kearns Can we change tack slightly
Paul Kearns A different bit of training like induction
Paul Kearns What is the business objective?
Claire Barry To help the employee get to know the company
Siobhan Walker To make people stay
Paul Kearns and ...?
Claire Barry to do their job better
Paul Kearns and...?
Claire Barry To get to know colleagues
Siobhan Walker be happy
Claire Barry legal issues - health and safety etc
Paul Kearns If the business objectives are clear
Paul Kearns How do we ensure the training achieves them?
Paul Kearns Making people stay?
Paul Kearns Perform better?
Paul Kearns Who should do the induction?
Claire Barry Evaluation - happy sheets
Paul Kearns That's a start but I'm not a great fan
Claire Barry It's normally personnel/HR
Paul Kearns I think it should be the line as well
Siobhan Walker our is
Paul Kearns Good
Claire Barry What about someone from each department
Paul Kearns If managers agree the business objectives they should get involved
Paul Kearns Here's an idea
Paul Kearns Get a manager to talk about what performance is expected
Paul Kearns And not to paint too rosy a picture
Claire Barry How it is monitored
Claire Barry Who they can ask for help/clarification if necessary
Claire Barry when team meetings/briefings take place
Paul Kearns Exactly
Paul Kearns Do you do this?
Siobhan Walker not exactly
Paul Kearns It's well worth doing
Paul Kearns Especially in HR terms
Paul Kearns Saves a lot of grief later
Paul Kearns When people don't fit in
Paul Kearns Any other training
Paul Kearns It is worth always asking the business objective
Paul Kearns It really keeps people focused
Paul Kearns And ensures their buy in
Paul Kearns What if you can't see a business objective
Paul Kearns What about leadership?
Siobhan Walker Ask the person who wants the training
Paul Kearns Good idea - what if they don't know
Claire Barry Motivation
Claire Barry Self development
Siobhan Walker ask them how it would help their job
Paul Kearns Exactly
Paul Kearns Motivation is really interesting
Paul Kearns Does motivation improve performance?
Paul Kearns Or generate personal agendas?
Claire Barry I think so - but it can generate personal agendas as well
Paul Kearns We're back to mutual benefit
Paul Kearns Yes the two have to go together
Paul Kearns I think one without the other doesn't work
Paul Kearns Not all trainers agree with me
Paul Kearns What do you think?
Siobhan Walker Do you think they're far apart?
Paul Kearns Sometimes
Paul Kearns It's always worth checking
Siobhan Walker That's quite scary
Paul Kearns Many people see training as a list of CV points
Siobhan Walker I have a personal agenda - why shouldn't others
Paul Kearns I think the basic question should be on all training applications
Paul Kearns So do I
Siobhan Walker I do
Claire Barry I agree
Siobhan Walker How would you word the question?
Paul Kearns Name one personal and one organisational benefit you expect this training to achieve
Paul Kearns Good training, that is effective actually looks great on CV's
Paul Kearns As an ex-career counsellor
Paul Kearns I always wanted to know what the training achieved
Paul Kearns Not just the title of the course
Paul Kearns If the individual could cite how they applied it
Paul Kearns What they achieved
Paul Kearns I knew they not only had learned
Paul Kearns But that their organisation had benefited as well
Paul Kearns The best of both worlds
Paul Kearns Lists of management courses on their own
Paul Kearns Not impressed
Paul Kearns What do you think?
Siobhan Walker What do you think about evaluating after a time lapse
Paul Kearns Is it a policy you would want to follow?
Siobhan Walker when people have had chance to apply?
Paul Kearns I think its better to get the evaluation question up front
Paul Kearns It checks the individuals commitment to learn and apply it
Claire Barry If you ask how people can apply it at work after the training
Claire Barry Then review it they have done
Claire Barry so - if they have done
Paul Kearns That's fine as long as you manage their expectations
Paul Kearns But don't try to do follow up if not agreed beforehand
Paul Kearns It actual gets rid of time wasters as well
Paul Kearns I always say I don't want to train people who are not keen
Paul Kearns They bring everyone down
Paul Kearns I'd rather they weren't there
Paul Kearns OK to finish any other questions ideas etc?
Paul Kearns Siobhan how do you like the workshop online?
Siobhan Walker Our staff attend a lot of conferences - would the same apply?
Paul Kearns Conferences - a very grey area
Paul Kearns Education, training, development or a jolly?
Claire Barry They are - not all topics covered are relevant
Paul Kearns Again ask the business objective
Siobhan Walker networking?
Claire Barry Networking is often the best value -
Claire Barry you meet business contacts
Paul Kearns Yes but networking to what business end - It will sort out the serious ones
Paul Kearns Just for info
Paul Kearns I usually distinguish between education and training
Paul Kearns Education cannot be evaluated easily if at all
Paul Kearns Training can be
Claire Barry They often say education is for life
Paul Kearns If conferences are education just accept them as such maybe
Claire Barry Training perhaps addresses specific issues?
Paul Kearns Have you looked at the 3 Box System Claire
Claire Barry No. What is it?
Paul Kearns It's a technique on EvaluationZone
Siobhan Walker Is this the carrot?
Paul Kearns one of them! - It categorises training for evaluation
Paul Kearns It is very pragmatic
Paul Kearns In Box 3 is nice to have training
Paul Kearns That is where I put most conferences
Paul Kearns Maybe we can run a workshop on what constitutes education
Paul Kearns Shall we call it a day?
Siobhan Walker OK
Paul Kearns Thanks for coming
Claire Barry ok
Paul Kearns Hope to 'see' you again
Claire Barry Thank you as well!
Siobhan Walker Bye


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