An analysis of the evaluation practices of employer-sponsored training in the financial services industry
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Instructional evaluation is essential for assessing the effectiveness of learning events. In today's economy, corporations are under great pressure to reduce expenses, and training budgets often feel the effects. The closure of in-house training programs, combined with the reduction of training budgets, could be seen as evidence of training professionals' inability to prove their worth in terms of organizational benefit. To solidify their value to an organization, training departments must assess the effectiveness of their programs and provide evidence that they are supporting the organization's goals. The purpose of this study was to determine how employer-sponsored training is evaluated in the financial services industry by firms affiliated with DALBAR, Inc., using Kirkpatrick's four-level evaluation model as a framework. The total population for this study consisted of all financial services organizations providing education and training. The target population was limited to the financial services organizations that subscribe to the services provided by DALBAR, Inc. Affiliation with DALBAR was considered an indicator of interest in raising standards of excellence within the financial services industry. Therefore, DALBAR affiliation was believed to represent organizations whose training personnel had current knowledge of industry practices and thereby would report higher usage of evaluation than the total population of other entities. Data was collected using a modified survey instrument. Patterns, trends, models and methods of training evaluation among these financial services organizations were examined. Finally, barriers to implementation of training evaluation were identified and explored. Recommendations for practice include increasing training department staff members' knowledge of evaluation theories and techniques, as well striving to make training evaluation a priority for the organization as a whole. Among the recommendations for future research is the execution of a qualitative study to be conducted through in-depth interviews with selected respondents to explore in greater detail the relationships between organizational characteristics and the implementation of higher levels of evaluation.
Gomez, Angela Kay (2005). An analysis of the evaluation practices of employer-sponsored training in the financial services industry. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from