Verizon Communication Inc.’s Training Program Evaluation

Introduction

Organizations can derive considerable competitive advantage by investing in training and development. Employee training and development help organizations to eliminate performance deficiencies amongst their workforce. Moreover, training and development contributes towards the improvement of employee stability. Organizations in different economic sectors are increasingly facing a major challenge emanating from a high rate of employee turnover. Consequently, firms’ management teams have turned their focus on improving the rate of employee retention. Employee training and development is one of the elements that organizations are increasingly considering in their quest to deal with the pertinent employee retention challenges. Hayes (2007) asserts that employee training and development can effectively lower the ever-increasing rate of employee turnover in addition to improving organization performance through increased job satisfaction and employee productivity.

In the course of its operation, Verizon Communication Incorporation has implemented an employee-training program. Its management has appreciated the importance of implementing an employee-training program towards the development of its competitive advantage with regard to human capital. In 2012, Verizon Corporation was ranked first based on the effectiveness of its training program by the Training Magazine (Verizon, 2012). According to Henderson, Bernard, and Sharp-Light (2007), it is fundamental for firms’ management teams to undertake a comprehensive program evaluation. This paper describes the evaluation plan to be implemented in evaluating the Verizon Corporation’s employee training program.

Pre-planning

Evaluation entails a purposeful, careful and systematic data collection and analysis with the objective of assessing the impact and effectiveness of a particular project. Program evaluation helps in ensuring accountability and identifying areas in the program that need improvement and change. Prior to implementing the evaluation program, a comprehensive pre-planning will be undertaken to ensure that effective preparation for the evaluation process is in undertaken. The pre-planning process will entail the incorporation of a number of stakeholders. Some of the stakeholders who will be incorporated in the evaluation program include a number of employees and heads of the Human Resource Development [HRD] department. The selected stakeholders will constitute the evaluation steering committee.

A number of key evaluation questions will be developed to guide the evaluation process. The questions formulated will take into account the process of training, its impacts and outcomes, and the implications for the training program that the firm might implement in the future. The resources that will be utilized to undertake the evaluation process will also be considered. The resources will entail the evaluation budget and any other support that might be required from the firm’s management team. An evaluator to undertake the evaluation process will be selected. Finally, a draft for the evaluation plan will be developed. The plan will entail elements such as who will undertake the evaluation, what will be evaluated, the process of evaluation, and the period for the evaluation process.

The pre-planning process is important in ensuring that the evaluation of the program is undertaken successfully. This aspect emanates from the fact that pre-planning will aid in gathering all the necessary information and data necessary to undertake the program evaluation process comprehensively (Hayes, 2007).

Method of data collection

A number of issues have to be considered in the process of data collection. These issues relate to the source of data, amount of data required, and form of data coupled with its reliability and accuracy. In the process of collecting data to evaluate the Verizon Communication Incorporation training program, several data collection methods will be used. One of the methods entails conducting a survey by administering open-ended questionnaires. The open-ended questionnaires will be designed by formulating a number of questions on the training program, which the target respondents will be required to answer according to their knowledge. The decision to use open-ended questionnaires hinges on the need to ensure that the respondents do not limit their response to the questions asked.

In addition to survey, data collection will also be conducted using structured face-to-face interviews. The interviews will be conducted specifically on a small sample of respondents who will be selected through random sampling in order to avoid any form of bias. Data collection will also be undertaken by incorporating a focus group in order to attain in-depth information regarding the impact of the employee-training program on the firm’s performance. Wholey, Hatry, and Newcomer (2010) opine that focus groups are very effective in developing a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. The focus group will be formed by selecting a number of managers and supervisors from the firm. The managers and supervisors will aid in gathering accurate information. In a bid to eliminate the bias associated with using focus group due to incorporating a facilitator, effective selection of the facilitator will be undertaken.

The establishment of a good rapport between the interviewer and the respondent will be paramount prior to conducting the interview. Additionally, an interview guide will be incorporated in order to ensure that the exercise is conducted in an organized and consistent manner.

The researcher appreciates the importance of establishing a social interaction with the respondents in a bid to provide explanations of the study. Questionnaires will be distributed one day prior to the scheduled date of interview. This move will enable the respondents to be more acquainted with the research.

Timeframe for the evaluation process

Considering the high rate at which the communication industry is changing due to technological innovation, Verizon Communication Incorporation has found it necessary to undertake continuous employee training as aforementioned. Consequently, it is paramount for the firm’s management team to incorporate an effective evaluation of the training program. In a bid to achieve this goal, it is important for the firm to set a period within which the training program should be assessed. As one of the stakeholders in the organization’s training program, the following time frame is proposed. The time frame will be set in accordance with a number of training objectives.

Evaluation element Frequency
Changes in the level of employee productivity Every 6 months
Change in employee effectiveness and efficiency in executing their tasks. Weekly
Level of employee creativity and innovativeness Every 6 months

Benefits of the evaluation process to the organization

Through evaluation, the firm will ensure that its training program aligns with the intended objective by identifying possible deviations that might arise in the course of implementing the training program. As a result, the necessary adjustments will be undertaken in order to improve the outcome. The evaluation process will also enable the firm to develop a strong relationship with the employees. For example, the firm will be in a position to understand the employees’ training needs effectively. Consequently, a high level of employee satisfaction will be developed and thus improve the firm’s productivity and competitiveness.

Reference List

Hayes, J. (2007). Evaluating a leadership development program. Organization Development Journal, 25(4), 89-94.

Henderson, N., Bernard, B., &Sharp-Light, N. (2007). Resiliency in action: Practical ideas for overcoming risks and building strengths in youth, families and communities. Ojai, CA: Resiliency in Action Inc.

Verizon. (2012). Verizon’s employee training programs ranked tops in the US. Web.

Wholey, J., Hatry, H., & Newcomer, K. (2010). Handbook of practical program evaluation. Ohio, OH: John Wiley & Sons.