May 15, 2005 9:30 PM  By

Training can generate huge leaps in productivity, but don’t make the mistake of considering it a cure-all, advises Sam Shriver, president of Cary, NC-based Performance Impact. Writing in Training magazine, Shriver cautions that few correlations exist between the dollars spent on training and the movement of the productivity meter. What really matters, he says, is finding out which measures of training provide the best idea of how much was actually learned. Shriver cites training guru Donald Kirkpatrick’s four-tiered system for evaluating the return on a learning investment: 1) Did learners like the learning experience? 2) Did learners really learn anything? 3) Are learners using what they learn when they get back to work? 4) Has the collective learning experience affected organizational productivity? Shriver notes that limited resources usually preclude exploring all four measures, but if the answer to questions one and three is “yes,” the return on training is worth the time and money spent on it.