Be More Than Just Happy in the New Year

January 19, 2022

By Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick

I’d like you to be beyond happy in the new year. What do I mean by this? Many of you know my feelings about Kirkpatrick Level 1 “happy” or “smile” sheets. If not, I’ll share with you there is a whole lot more to Level 1 Reaction than, “Are you happy with the training?” The true Kirkpatrick Level 1 encompasses learner engagement and relevance of the training to actual work, as well as the more traditional measure of customer satisfaction with the training.

I feel the same way about the old saying, Happy New Year. It seems like an empty wish for you to be smiling for the next 365 days: happy in your daily circumstances. I’d like you to be beyond just happy.

“Have a prosperous New Year” is a little better, and I hope you do, but I truly wish for you to have a joyful New Year. Joy is defined as keen pleasure or elation. To create a joyful year, I hope you to go forth with deliberate purpose to improve your life and that of those around you. Even with COVID continuing, there is tremendous opportunity in your work for advancement and for you to be a ray of hope for those who need encouragement.

The New World Kirkpatrick Model shows the importance of going beyond simply evaluating training to contributing to organizational performance and mission accomplishment. The purpose is to not only educate the people you serve but to help them to perform their jobs the very best they can and accomplish the most success possible. It isn’t just about making sure people in training are happy.

Apply the same principles to your work and yourself. Don’t just take each day as it comes, hoping happiness and success will knock on your door. Instead, jump into life and purposefully get involved with the people you train and find out how they are doing on the job. See what stories they have to tell about their successes and challenges in applying what they learned. Use this data to drive more involvement in what happens after training is formally complete. That’s when the real work begins, and that’s when your training graduates need your support most.

I have been around for many years. The more I better myself and leave the lives of others better than I found them, the truer the joy that comes to me. I genuinely wish that you have a similarly Joyous New Year.

If you want to get on the fast track to maximizing performance and results, check out the Kirkpatrick certification process. Just looking for a few tips? Visit our free Learning Center


Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick is the senior consultant for Kirkpatrick Partners. He is a visionary and an expert in training evaluation and the creator of the New World Kirkpatrick Model.

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