Occasionally I come across a "case study" for an Emotional Intelligence training program that concerns me. Generally there is a very thorough write-up explaining the program process, including rolling out the program to the organization. However, what concerns me is the program "results" that are shared. They have a tendency to indicate that the program was well-accepted and include other "feel good" program results. In this case it appears the ultimate result was that participants were aware of their reactions.

Learning of these kinds of results made me recall an experience from my engineering job with a manufacturing organization that produces and markets globally. The organization had three courses for its professionals: Management Development I, II and II. The courses each lasted for an entire week and were held off-site at the company's training facility. Of course I had heard many good things about the program prior to attending: great food, good topics, entertaining and enjoyable time.

Because I was a new-hire at the time, I was not invited to attend for several months. I had high expectations of learning techniques to enhance management skills such as giving performance feedback, establishing objectives, conducting appraisals and more. But I was disappointed. We didn't learn how to do any of those tasks so integral to good management. Instead we talked about them and discussed them. Yes it was interesting. I had a good time participating and ate some excellent meals. But I did not leave the program with a set of valuable skills.

With my engineering background I tend to want to make things that work. I didn't see why developing a training program should be approached any differently than designing a product. It should work and deliver the desired results. In other words, you need to first determine what objective or goals you want to achieve as a result of implementing the program. Then you design the training to provide practice and feedback in performing as desired.

As a result, evaluating program effectiveness goes beyond just accepting that people liked it or they found it interesting. Four levels of measurement that are typically recognized include the following:
Level One - Did the instructor, facility, materials, etc. assist in the learning?
Level Two - Did the program include ample practice of techniques/skills taught?
Level Three - Are participants using what they learned back on the job?
Level Four - Is there an impact on the company as a result of applying what was learned?

So if we review the studies that typically are shared and evaluate them against the four levels, we find that the results typically fall into the first and perhaps some of the second level of measurement (i.e., program was well accepted and increased participant self-awareness). But the ultimate benefit lies in the last two levels of evaluation: Level Three and Four. This economy demands that companies get the most value for their investment. Executives want to see more sales, lower turnover, higher customer satisfaction, increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, increased employee commitment, higher quality, fewer errors.

The companies that reported their level one and two results may well have achieved higher level results, but failed to measure for results at those levels. They need to show that their program is delivering valuable-added benefits to individuals, customers and the organization.

Author's Bio: 

As a professional Emotional Intelligence speaker, trainer, consultant, coach and author, Byron Stock delivers a high-energy emotional intelligence training programs, that target today's issues. Describing himself as "A Recovering Engineer," Byron focuses on results, helping people enhance their Emotional Intelligence. To learn more about Byron's practical, user-friendly techniques, visit byronstock.com to download a free excerpt of his "how to" book, Smart Emotions for Busy Business People.