Training & Development When most people think of company training, the first thing that comes to mind is “inconvenience.” Training conjures images of sudden scheduling; disruption of their personal life; travel; long, drawn out sessions and a sense of relief mixed with futility when it is over. Hardly the best mindset for learning! What is Training? Training, by definition, is: 1. To coach in or accustom to a mode of behavior or performance. 2. To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice. 3.
To teach and form by practice; to educate; to exercise; to discipline 4. An activity leading to skilled behavior (15) Training in the workplace is a process whereby people acquire capabilities to aid in the achievement of organizational goals; it provides employees with specific, identifiable knowledge and skills for use in their present job. (12) Why is Training Important? Training is important because many human resource professionals are having a difficult time finding qualified entry level workers who posses the basic reading, writing and reasoning skills needed for today’s workplace. In some cases, employers must complete the basic training that they believe high schools and technical colleges fail to provide. A high school diploma, and sometimes even a college degree, is not an indicator of the skills a person should have. The gap between the well educated, well skilled, and the non-educated, non-skilled is becoming more obvious due to the decline in manual labor jobs.
... * Self-study, computer-based training Training Inputs: * Skills * Education * Development * Ethics * Problem Solving Skills * Decision Making * Attitudinal Changes Importance of Training & Development: * Helps ... , and the use of various training methods, good communication skills, and trainee participation. STEP 4: Evaluate the Training Program This step will determine ...
(10) Training is also important in aiding in underemployment and employee retention. Many students come out of college and are recruited into jobs that aren’t challenging and move them along slowly. They then quit in search for other opportunities. Ongoing training would keep these students interested and learning new and challenging things, also enabling them to move up quicker.
(10) There are many competitive pressures facing organizations today that require them to have employees whose knowledge, and ideas are current, and whose skills and abilities deliver results. Employees who must adapt to the mass amount of changes happening within organizations must be training continually in order to maintain their capabilities. (12) Many companies realize that training and development are integral to competitive business success. They realize that without continual training, organizations may not have employees with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to compete effectively.
With technology ever changing and evolving, training is key in keeping these businesses alive. (12) Training, essentially, is an additional source of business revenue for many organizations. When people are properly trained how to perform job functions, or use products, it increases customer loyalty and satisfaction. What Training is Needed? Since training is designed to help organizations accomplish their objectives, it only makes sense that assessing the organizational training needs would be the first phase in setting their training objectives. The goal is to understand all the business issues driving the need for change.
This phase identifies key measures that training would impact, such as revenue, win rate, new customer relationships or account penetration. It also determines the performance standards for skills, effort or strategic approach. (7) At the same time, assessment explores the challenges facing employees. This can take a variety of forms including surveys, interviews and simulations. Employee’s perceptions of their strengths and weaknesses, together with parallel readings from managers, allow the prioritization of needed training.
(7) This assessment considers employee and organizational performance issues to determine if training can help. It is also very important to consider non-training factors such as compensation, organizational structure, job design, and physical work settings. There are three major sources to the training needs assessment analysis. The first is organization-wide sources. Within this source are grievances, observations, accidents, complaints, waste / scrap , exit interviews, training observations, and equipment use.
... Jobs. Organizations should use team rewards rather than individual rewards when employees work in highly interdependent jobs ... costs. 3. Organizational Rewardsa. Profit-sharing plans pay bonuses to employees based on the ... ESOPs, and other plans that use objective performance measures. b. Use 360-degree ... settings. d. Improved training, goal setting, work incentives, and job specialization have all ...
Secondly are job-based sources, which includes employee knowledge, skills, and abilities, and job specifications. Lastly are individual employee sources, which include tests, questionnaires, records, attitude surveys, assessment centers, and performance appraisals. (12) Once training needs have been identified using appropriate analyses, then training objectives and priorities must be established by identifying a gap analysis, which indicates the distance between where an organization is with it’s employee capabilities and where it needs to be. Training objectives and priorities are then set to close the gap.
Three types of training objectives can be set. Knowledge: Impart cognitive information and details to trainees; . Skill: Develop behavior changes in how jobs and task requirements are performed. Attitude: Create interest in and awareness of the importance of training. Ideally, training needs to be based on organizational objectives. Conducting the training most needed to improve the performance of the organization will produce visible results more quickly.
(12) Types of Training There are many different ways to conduct training. Training can be designed to meet a number of different objectives and can be classified in various ways. First we will look at some different classifications, then we will discuss the different methods of training. Classifications: . Required and regular training: Complies with various mandated legal requirements (e. g.
, Occupational safety, EEO) and serves as training for all employees (new employee orientation).
Job / technical training: Enables employees to perform their jobs, tasks, and responsibilities well (e. g. , product knowledge, technical processes and procedures, customer relations).
Interpersonal and problem solving training: Addresses both operational and interpersonal problems and seeks improved organizational working relationships (e. g.
... of new information is learned by employees about the job or organization during this period. For many employees, this was a period in which ... was voluntary. New employees go through a training program, and on the job training. During this time, job satisfaction seemed high. After training, and a period ...
, interpersonal communication, managerial / supervisory skills, conflict resolution).
Developmental and innovative training: Provides a long term focus to enhance individual and organizational capabilities for the future (e. g. , business practices, executive development, organizational change) (12) Informal training Informal training is rather casual and incidental. Typically, there are no specified training goals as such, nor are there ways to evaluate if the training actually accomplished these goals or not. This type of training and development occurs so naturally that many people probably aren’t aware that they ” re in a training experience at all.
Informal training occurs through interactions and feedback among employees. Most of what employees know about their jobs they learn informally from asking questions and getting advice from other employees and their supervisors, rather than from formal training programs. Examples are informal discussions among employees about a certain topic, book discussion groups, and reading newspaper and journal articles about a topic. Probably the most prominent form of informal training is learning from experience on the job, this is referred to as OJT, or on-the-job-training. On the job training is a bit more intensive than normal informal training as it does require some bit of planning.
The supervisor conducting the training must be able to both show and teach the employees what to do. On the job training is most effective if a logical progression of stages is used. The stages are as follows: . Prepare the learner Put them at ease Find out what they know Get them interested. Present the information Tell, show, question Present one point at a time Make sure they know. Trainees practice Trainees perform tasks Ask questions Observe and correct Evaluate mastery.
Do follow-up Put them on their own Check frequently Reduce follow-up as performance improves (12) On the job training is by far the most commonly used form of training because it is flexible and relevant to what employees do. However, it has its problems. Often times those doing the training may have no experience in training, no time to do it, and no desire to participate. Another problem tends to be bad habits or incorrect information being passed on to the employee who is in training. If the person training has not been properly trained themselves, this can lead to a domino effect of sorts. In these circumstances, the employee will not be adequately trained and some serious problems can arise, such as the employee being “set up to fail.” Done correctly, on the job training can be very effective and can be the most valuable type of training, because on the job training teaches the actual knowledge skills and abilities needed for the actual job the employee will be doing.
... , and casual interviews. But I have never experienced a real job interview. Before, I was really intimidated by the ... not limited to only job interviews. It can ... the chance to prepare for job interviews as early as now since the skills learned in the seminar are ... it was our own language. True enough, a job interview is so crucial that one must really ...
Another form of informal training is cross training. Cross training is also known as inter departmental training. Employees train in other areas of the organization. This is a valuable tool as it broadens horizons, keeps employees interested and challenged.
Cross training is a very valuable retention tool. When employees have the opportunity to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities within the company, it makes them more marketable both within the organization and outside the organization. Organizations who promote this kind of employee growth have a much lower turn over ratio. Employees don’t feel like they have to go outside the organization to better themselves; they feel like the organization cares about their success and this is a very powerful motivation tool. This technique achieves the following objectives: .
Prevents stagnation. Offers a learning and professional development opportunity. Improves understanding of the different departments and the company as a whole. Leads to better coordination and teamwork. Erases differences, animosity and unhealthy competition. Increases knowledge, know-how, skills and work performance.
Improves overall motivation. Leads to the sharing of organizational goals and objectives. Sending people to work in another department at a moment’s notice is not what cross training is about. This has to be an effective planned process.
Employees must ‘buy’ into the idea, be encouraged to give feedback and make suggestions for improvement. They become ‘partners’. Departmental communications meetings can be used to share lessons learned. When employees think, ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the lawn’ they soon realize their mistake after exposure to other departments.
The objectives of my learning experiences at London South Bank University, first year, ... business environment unit. I need to overcome this experience as for my pathway choice on Multimedia Computing ... business systems unit was very useful. As I experienced issues within my work and reading through the ... seminar hours. From my semester one, group task experience, I was working with students who I didn’ ...
They return to their job with a better attitude. (12) Cross training can be used to ‘shake up’s upervisors or employees who have lapsed into poor performance. Upon being moved to a different position or department, albeit temporarily, they hear ‘warning bells’, shape up and usually return to their positions as exemplary performers. Depending on the budget at hand and the objectives to be achieved, the time for cross training can vary from one day to a week or more. Details must be coordinated with the receiving department head. The trainee is incorporated within the department’s activities for the duration of the cross training: briefings, meetings, or obligations.
A more sophisticated form of cross training is job rotation, which usually involves extended periods, from one month to six months. With job rotation, the employee’s role is of a different nature. He is not considered as a trainee, but is responsible for certain job functions, for which he has to prove himself. Sometimes job rotation is planned, and other times it is not. Regardless the approach, job rotation is a widely used training and development technique. When opportunities for advancement are scarce, job rotations may be beneficial in rekindling enthusiasm and developing employee’s talents.
Most of the times, these rotations are lateral moves. The best lateral moves do one of the following: . Move the person into the core business. Provide closer contact with customers. Teach new skills or perspectives Both cross-training and job rotation create a team of workers who are more knowledgeable, can easily replace each other when needed and who gain new confidence regarding their professional expertise. These two techniques lead to great motivation throughout the company.
(12) Cascading training is another form of informal training. This type of training rarely ever is effective. The concept is simple and rather seductive to most managers. Simply send one employee to training, and have that employee come back and train the others.
... work motivators, increasing job satisfaction, and ultimately decreasing employee turnover rates. Keywords: job satisfaction, employee turnover, employee satisfaction, employee retention, work motivation, employee motivation, employee engagement, retention ... be exhibited through compensation or promotion; however, recognition, a form of reward, can be achieved through verbal or written communication ...
The only way this technique can work is if the material is very simple or intuitive. For instance, training someone as to what the new dress code is. This is simplistic enough that the training can be brought back by anyone with little chance of error. If the training is more complex, and especially if it is conceptual rather than technical, there are a whole series of risks in having an employee carry the training back to her colleagues. Here is an example of 6 different things that can go wrong when you rely on cascading training: 1. Given the hectic pace of the work environment, the meeting in which the employee is to train her colleagues might never happen.
2. The meeting may happen, but one employee is on vacation, another can’t attend – so a significant amount of people may not get training whatsoever. 3. This model assumes that the employee assimilated 100 percent of the material presented. That is highly unlikely.
Some people would dispute this, but in reality, even an intelligent, motivated participant in a conceptual course can only hope to learn about 60 percent of the material the first go through. 4. This model assumes that the employee is as good a trainer as the trainer himself was. Once again, this is highly unlikely.
The employee is an employee; the trainer is a trainer. The positions require different skill sets, and it is somewhat unfair to the employee to expect her to display a skill set that is only a very peripheral part of her job. 5. The employee will be doing her training without the tools of a professional training session: videos, case studies, group exercises, feedback, and a controlled, dedicated, training environment. 6.
Suppose that the training course was eight hours long, the employee will typically be given a one hour slot in a department meeting to present the training. If the material could be learned in an hour, then the course would have been an hour long in the first place. At best, the employees will come out one-eighth trained. (8) In general, the difference between attending a training course and having someone tell you what was in it is exactly the same as the difference between seeing a movie and having someone tell you what it was about. It is almost always a better management decision to just send to a training course, all the people who need the skill or the knowledge that is being taught. It is very rare that cascade training is truly effective.
(8) One-on-one training is another form of informal training. This is typically referred to as mentoring. Mentoring is a relationship in which experienced managers aid individuals in the earlier stages of their careers. This type of relationship provides an environment for conveying technical, interpersonal, and organizational skills from the more-experienced to the less-experienced person. Both employees benefit with this type of training. The employee benefits from the knowledge and insight of the more experienced employee, and the more experienced employee benefits from sharing his wisdom to a budding employee.
There are potential problems with this type of training as well. If the more experienced employee is not happy with his job, he may unintentionally sabotage the training of the less experienced employee. Generally and employee has more than one mentor during their career so one bad experience may not necessarily be a predictor of the outcome. Having several mentoring relationships can help a less experienced employee gain several points of view, and several different skill sets and methods.
There are four stages to having a successful mentoring relationship. 1. Initiation 2. Cultivation 3. Separation 4.
Redefinition In the initiation stage, the less experience employee admires the senior employee’s competence, and recognizes him as a source of guidance. The senior employee realizes the junior employee is someone with potential and is coach able. In the cultivation stage, the junior employee gains self-confidence, values, and styles of operation. The senior employee provides challenging work, coaching, visibility, protection, and sponsorship. In the separation stage, the junior employee experiences independence but has feelings of anxiety and loss at times. The senior employee knows when to being to move away.
In the redefinition stage, the junior employee responds with gratitude for the early years. The relationship sometimes becomes a friendship. The senior employee continues to be a supporter and takes pride in the younger employee’s accomplishments. Mentoring can be a very valuable training tool for both employees involved. It nourishes a relationship both professional, and a lot of time personal. In this type of informal training, the employee gains valuable insights that they would never be able to get in a formal, classroom type setting.
(12) Informal training is less effective than formal training if one should intentionally be learning a specific area of knowledge or skills in a timely fashion. Hardly any thought is put into what learning is to occur and whether that learning occurred or not. However, this form of training often provides the deepest and richest learning because this form is what occurs naturally in life. Some types of informal training are much more effective than others, but there are situations in which a formal setting may be required. Formal Training Formal training is based on some standard ‘form’. Formal training generally includes declaring certain learning objectives, or an extent of knowledge, skills or abilities that will be reached by learners at the end of the training.
It uses a variety of learning methods to reach the objectives and then applies some kind of evaluation activities at the end of the training. Formal training involves carefully proceeding through the following phases: . Assessing what knowledge, skills and /or abilities are needed by learner. Designing the training, including identifying learning goals and associated objectives, training methods to reach the objectives, and means to carefully evaluate whether the objectives have been reached or not. Developing the training methods and materials. Implementing the training.
Evaluating whether objectives have been reached or not, in addition to the quality of the training methods and materials themselves (12) A systematic approach to formal training is goal-oriented, with the results of each phase being used by the next phase. Typically, each phase provides ongoing evaluation feedback to other phases in order to improve the overall system’s process. Not all formal methods are systematic. Some courses, workshops, and other training sessions have goals, methods and evaluation, but they are not aligned, or even integrated. The methods, in total, do not guide the learner toward achieving the training goal. The evaluations are too often of how a learner feels about the learning experience, rather than of how well the learning experience achieved the goal of the training.
We will discuss the evaluation process later in this paper. Now we will discuss the different types of formal training. Classroom, or instructor-led training is the most common type of formal training. Employer-conducted short courses, lectures, and meetings usually consist of classroom training, whereas numerous employee development courses offered by professional organizations, trade associations, and educational institutions are examples of conference training.
(12) A very important factor of classroom training is to recognize that adults in classroom training have different expectations and learning styles than do younger students. Classroom training usually has a strict schedule. It must be planned out, with goals and objectives specified before hand in order to be effective. There are usually handouts, power point presentations, overheads, or some other form of supplemental material aside from the instructor lecture. (12) A number of large firms have established their own “universities” to offer classroom and other training as part of curriculum for employees. This is very much the same in classroom training in that someone other than the learner specifies the training goals will be met in training, how those goals will be met and how evaluation will occur to verify that the goals were met.
This form of learning is probably the most recognized because it includes the approach to learning as used in universities, colleges and training centers. This form of learning typically grants diplomas and certificates. (12) Blended learning is when you mix and match the training methods used to achieve the right blend. One example is classroom training, succeeded by on-the-job training. Blended learning has become quite sophisticated, particularly in a distance-learning context. A typical university course is likely to include print materials, audio cassettes, TV broadcasting, small group tutorials, telephone and postal tutoring, not to forget the summer school.
What computers added to the mix is a new and extremely sophisticated channel of communication that’s ideal for connecting learners to interactive materials, other learners, and their tutors. (14) The reason why blended learning is important is because it is simply impossible to achieve all types of learning objectives for all types of learners using one method alone. The aim of blended learning is to extend and improve on what is already being done. Blended learning is the most logical and natural evolution of our learning agenda. It suggests an elegant solution to the challenges of tailoring learning and development to the needs of the individuals. It represents an opportunity to integrate the innovative and technological advantages offered by online learning with the interaction and participation offered in the best of traditional learning.
(14) Cooperative training is much like blended learning in that it mixes classroom training with on-the-job training. This type of training takes several forms. One method helps individuals move into jobs while still in school, or upon completion of formal schooling. This is referred to as school-to-work transition. Another form of cooperative training is called an internship. This method usually combines job training with classroom instruction schools, colleges, and universities.
Internships offer advantages to both employers and interns. Interns get real-world exposure, a line on their resumes, and a chance to examine a possible employer closely. Employers who hire interns get a cost-effective source that includes a chance to see an intern at work before making a final hiring decision. (12) Yet another form of cooperative training is apprentice training. An apprenticeship program provides an employee with on the job experience under the guidance of a skilled and certified worker. Certain requirements for training, equipment, time length, and proficiency levels may be monitored by a unit of the U.
S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeships train people for jobs in skilled crafts such as carpentry, plumbing and welding. They usually last two to five years depending on the occupation. (12) Outsourcing is a form of formal training whereby the organization secures an external source of training. There is a much higher cost involved with outsourcing.
Most outsourcing occurs with vendors and suppliers; organizations hire them to train on the equipment or software that they are providing. Some companies will provide certifications once the training is complete. This certification provides employees items to put on their resumes should they decide to change jobs. They also benefit employers, who can use the certifications as job specifications for hiring and promoting purposes.
Seminars and conferences are another form of formal training. Employers generally pay a discounted price to send several employees to a seminar of conference. Some conferences can be put on by the organization itself, but many are put on by an external company specializing in whatever the material is that will be covered. Seminars and conferences are generally very content specific. There is a topic to be covered and certain objectives to be met. They are usually a day to a week in length, several hours long at the very minimum and the speaker is a professional in the topic being covered.
The last form of formal training I will cover is employee development plans. The plans identify performance goals, how the goals will be reached, when they will be reached, and who will verify their accomplishment. Formal training can be highly effective for helping learners gain desired areas of knowledge and skills in a timely fashion. A drawback is that learners can become somewhat passive, counting on the ‘expert’ to show them what they should be doing and when. Subject matter retention can also be a drawback. Many times the learner is concentrating on other things, such as when they will get out of the class, therefore only retaining about 60% of the material covered.
Self-Directed Training Self-directed training includes the learner making the decisions about what training and development experiences will occur and how. Self-directed training seems to be more popular as of late. Note that one can pursue a self-directed approach to informal or formal training. For example, self-directed, informal training might include examples of informal training listed above (book discussion groups, etc. ), as long as the learner chose the activities and topics themselves, either for professional or personal reasons. Self-directed, formal training includes the learner’s selecting and carrying out their own learning goals, objectives, methods and means to verifying that the goals were met.
E-Learning is a very popular method of self-directed training. E-Learning is defined as the use of the Internet or an organizational intranet to conduct training on-line. Many people are familiar with the Internet, which has dramatically altered the way people do business, locate information, and communicate. An intranet is similar to the Internet, but is a private organizational network behind firewall software that restricts access to authorized users, including employees participating in e-learning. E-learning does not simply mean putting existing training courses and materials online, rather, it is meant to meet strategic training needs. Certain criteria to consider before adopting e-learning include the following: (12) (5).
Sufficient top management support and funding are committed to developing and implementing e-learning. Managers and HR professionals must be retrained to accept the idea that training is being decentralized and individualized. Current training methods, compared to e-leaning, are not adequately meeting organizational training needs. Potential learners are adequately computer literate and have ready access to computers and the internet. Trainees attending pre-scheduled training programs are geographically separated, and travel time and costs are concerns.
Sufficient numbers of trainees exist and many trainees are self-motivated enough to direct their own learning-learning is the latest development in the evolution of training delivery. However, there are still many obstacles to overcome. There are advantages and disadvantages to e-learning as listed below. Advantages.
Self-paced; trainees can proceed in their own time. It is interactive, tapping multiple trainee senses. Allows for consistency in the delivery of training. Enables scoring of exercises and assignments and the appropriate feedback. Incorporates built-in guidance and help for trainees to use when needed. Is relatively easy for trainers to update content.
Can be used to enhance instructor-led training Disadvantages. May cause trainee anxiety. Not all trainees may be ready for e-learning. Not all trainees may have easy and uninterrupted access to computers. Not appropriate for all training content (e. g.
, leadership, cultural change).
Requires significant upfront cost and investment. No significantly greater learning evidenced in research studies. Requires significant top management support to be successful For some companies, e-learning is essential in meeting compliance, and it can even help a company to achieve compliance more quickly. Pulling employees from current job responsibilities can hugely interfere with the everyday business of a company. E-learning is a strategy that allows organizations to both save money by keeping their employees where they are needed, and not overlook the special training needs and requirements of its employees.
(12) (5) By streamlining educational content, reducing travel costs and allowing organizations to more quickly implement training programs, e-learning is emerging as the most effective solution to educate employees in meeting regulatory compliance as well as keeping them abreast of general training needs. (5) Standard operating procedures, otherwise known as SOP’s, are another form of self-directed learning. Most organizations have a set of standard operating procedures for every department, and sometime every different job. These should be very detailed, giving an employee step by step instructions in how to do their job.
SOP’s are effective in such cases that an employee is perhaps out sick, and someone else needs to cover their job. However, used alone as a training tool, this is not as effective as some of the earlier mentioned training tools. Training is detrimental to new employees. If this tool is used alone, and no other training is given, this can actually lead to a high turn over rate.
New employees need to go through some sort of new employee orientation, and they need to have interaction with other employees. If an SOP is written correctly, an employee who is at least familiar with the company should be able to sit down and perform the basic functions of the job the SOP was written for. Effective Training In order to achieve long-term results through training, we must broaden our vision to include people development as part of our strategic planning. Although training covers a broad range of subjects under the three main categories (skills, attitude, knowledge), using the term ‘training’ without linking it to ‘development’ narrows our concept of the training function and leads us to failure. When we limit our thinking, we fall into the trap of: .
Classifying people into lots and categories. Thinking of ‘trainees’ as robots expected to perform a job function. Dismissing the individual characteristics of people and the roles they play. Focusing only on ‘what needs to be done’ without adequately preparing the trainees involved to accept and internalize what is being taught. We are dealing with human thoughts, feelings and reactions, which must be given equal, if not more attention than to the skill itself. We thus create a double-focus: people development and skills training.
These two simultaneous objectives will give us the right balance and guide our actions to reach our goal. To clarify our training and development objectives, and identify our criteria for success, we must ask ourselves a few questions: . Do we expect an automatic, faultless job performance? . Does attitude count? . Does goodwill count? . Do loyalty and dedication count? .
Does goal-sharing count? . Does motivation count? . Do general knowledge and know-how count? . Do people-skills count? . Does initiative count? .
Does a learning attitude count? . Does a sense of responsibility count? . Do team efforts count? . Do good work relations count? .
Does creative input count? . Do we want employees to feel proud of their role and contribution? How can we expect such qualities and behavior if we consider and treat our personnel as ‘skills performers’? However, we could achieve the desired results if we address the personal development needs of the employees involved. When we plan for both ‘training’ and ‘development’, we achieve a proper balance between the needs of the company and those of the trainees. The synergy created takes us to new levels, to a continuing trend of company growth.
In order to accomplish all of this, you have to have a strategic training plan. The framework for developing a strategic training plan contains four major stages… Strategize: HR and training managers must first work with management to determine how training will link strategically to the strategic business plan, with an eye toward employee and organizational performance improvement. Plan: Planning must occur in order to deliver training that will provide positive results for the organizations and its employees. As part of planning, the objectives and expectations of training should be identified and specific, measurable learning objectives created in order to track the effectiveness of the training. Organize: Then, the training must be organized by deciding how training will occur, obtaining the resources needed, and developing the training interventions.
All these activities culminate in the actual training. Justify: Finally, measuring and evaluating the extent to which training meets the objectives set will legitimize training efforts. Past mistakes in training can be explicitly identified in this phase. Learning from these mistakes provides and effective way to improve future training (12) The benefits to strategic training are numerous. It enables training and HR professionals to get intimately involved with the business, partner with operating managers to help solve their problems, and make significant contributions to organizational results. It also helps prevent trainers from chasing fad or the hottest new training gimmick.
In order for training to be effective, learning concepts, legal issues, and different approaches to training have to be considered. Working in an organization should be a continual learning process, and learning is the focus of all training activities. There are several different approaches to learning, but learning is a very complex psychological process. Several things have to be considered when you are designing a training program. 1. Learner readiness.
For training to be effective, the learners have to be ready to learn. This means that they must have the basic skills necessary for learning and the motivation to learn. The basic skills needed are fundamental reading and math proficiency, and sufficient cognitive abilities. It was mentioned earlier that many high schools and technical colleges fail to provide the basic skills. A high school diploma, and sometimes even a college degree, is not an indicator of the skills a person should have. Employers attempting to deal with the lack of basic employee skills can approach the problem in several ways: .
Offer remedial training to people in their current workforce who need it. Hire workers they know are deficient and then implement specific work-place training. Work with schools to help better educate people for the job 2. Motivation to Learn. A persons desire to learn training content is referred to as motivation to learn and is influenced by multiple factors. We will discuss motivation later in this paper.
3. Learning Styles. Trainers need to consider individual learning styles. For example, auditory learners are ones who learn best by listening to someone else tell them about the training content. Then there are tactile learners, who must get their hands on and use the training resources.
There are also visual learners who think in pictures and figures and need to see the purpose and process of training. If this is addressed, multiple training methods can be designed and be much more effective. (12) Content and context is very important in delivering effective training. The content must be relevant to the objective, and it must be presented in a way to hold the trainees interest.
Context includes all the intangible feelings that constantly swirl around the classroom throughout the training. For example: . How emotionally safe was the environment to explore trainees’ differences of opinion? . What did the trainer do to validate trainees’ important contributions? . How were philosophical or logistical conflicts resolved? These are all examples of training context. If context goes bad, then even the best trainers will have a difficult time being effective.
The first step in making good training great is building rapport. Good rapport helps establish the necessary positive emotional climate, which facilitates effective learning. The second step is to focus on presence and manner. Trainers should also do what it takes to appear confident, secure, relaxed, friendly, and approachable. Employees often need to be reminded of the lighter, more positive aspects of work. The ext step is to eliminate negative emotions.
Trainers need to be upbeat and show passion and excitement. Any behavior that conveys negative emotions will prevent natural trust from emerging. Positive role modeling is very important. The next step is to avoid defensive communication. This is any communication that conveys judgment, superiority, certainty, control, or insensitivity. Such communication represents attitudes that are a turn-off to everyone and simply encourage further negative emotions.
There are several other simple things that can be done to add context to your training session. (3).
Learn names. Acknowledge the group.
Recognize the different readiness levels. Use humor. Be totally available. Plan out most important points. Be flexible, understanding, and forgiving. Create value.
Share personal insights and experiences. Reinforce positive behavior. Take advantage of teachable moments. Serve both sides of the brain. Remember what it is like on the other end (3) Motivation in Training Motivation is probably one of the biggest issues in training. As stated above, motivation is influenced by several factors.
Motivation comes from within, from a person’s own psyche, the innermost recesses of the soul. Secret desires and deep-rooted needs which motivate, ‘push’ us towards their satisfaction. What a manager can do is create an environment in which employees can feel motivated. Many people go through life obscuring their intrinsic nature, unaware of their ‘true calling’, their ‘motivations’. People abandon early dreams to deal with life’s realities and change. They feel they have to conform to society, family, the corporate world and other circles, each of which dictates its code of conduct: how to think, feel, eat, speak, behave and dress.
Their true selves disappear, and get buried. It is only by triggering and bringing out into the light people’s intrinsic nature, gifts and secret desires, that we give them the opportunity to feel motivated. This is no attempt at playing the psychologist, but a rough explanation of some basic precepts. However deep and complex human nature is, all humans share basic needs that must be addressed, ranging from shelter to more sophisticated drives. In his hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow shows the gradual escalation of workers’ drives and motivations in this pyramid: (12).
Ego. Social Needs. Safety Needs. Physiological Needs Applied to workers, it translates as follows: Physiological Needs Basic physical needs: the ability to acquire food, shelter, clothing and other basics to survive Safety Needs A safe and non-threatening work environment, job security, safe equipment and installations Social Needs Contact and friendship with fellow-workers, social activities and opportunities Ego Recognition, acknowledgment, rewards Self-Actualization Realizing one’s dreams, using one’s gifts, talents and potential.
Once basic needs are satisfied, people want more. Progress is the essence of human nature. When people’s basic needs are addressed, their mind and soul, free of threat and insecurity, open up to some of their innermost drives. People are often confused between ‘superficial wants’ and ‘inner drives’s ome individuals are in pursuit of material luxury, while others pursue their thirst for knowledge, artistic expression, a need to lead or help others, play the hero or shine in society.
We cannot play the role of psychologists or psychoanalysts. However, it benefits the company if we discover who every worker is, his / her drives, special gifts, abilities, hopes and plans for the future. If we take time to discover this, understand what makes this person tick, we will be able to utilize this worker in the position, which is the best fit, a step ahead towards employee motivation. We must also clarify management values, design and implement effective policies and techniques. Every employee has a need for self-expression, entertains plans for professional development and career advancement, wishes to be accepted, feel respect towards management and pride in his / her work, receive acknowledgment and reward, be listened to and trusted.
Through strategic communications (including meetings) our duty is to share with employees’ company goals, market, industry and business information and future plans, and invite employees to give feedback. We must learn how to place people in a role where they can use their abilities and make progress towards the realization of personal goals. Misplacement’s can cause a company substantial financial loss due to turnover, accidents, lawsuits, rebates, refunds, loss of customers and sales. We must learn how to create a corporate culture and a supportive work environment. This is done through leadership and management excellence, a human approach, effective human resources strategies, positive discipline, fair and just treatment to all, clearly defined policies, career and personal development training programs (including cross-training and job rotation), career pa thing, organizational communications, tools to facilitate communication, team assignments, reward programs, objective appraisals, adequate pay, benefits and company activities.
Training Evaluation The final step in the training process is the evaluation. This is how you measure training. Evaluation compares the post-training results to the objectives expected. There are several levels of evaluation… Reaction.
The reaction level can be evaluating by conducting surveys or using questionnaires. The problem with this type of evaluation is that it often times misrepresents the actual quality of the training. Reaction is usually based on how well the trainee liked the trainer, rather than how it benefited them… Learning.
Learning levels can be evaluated by measuring how well trainees have learned facts, ideas, concepts, theories, and attitudes. Tests on the training material are commonly used for this purpose. Tests can be given both before and after the training course as a way to measure how much they have learned. However, learning enough to pass a test does not mean the employee will retain the training content months later, or that it will change job behaviors… Behavior. Evaluating training at the behavioral level means measuring the effect of training on job performance through interviews, and observing job performance.
The problem here is that behaviors are very difficult to measure and are not necessarily predictive of future performance… Results. Results can be measured by the effect of training on the achievement of organizational objectives. Most results are concrete, such as productivity, turnover, quality, time, sales, and cost; thus making this the easiest and most predictive form of evaluation. Evaluation can be done by comparing records both before and after the training. (12) There are several other ways to evaluate training.
Cost benefits analysis are often times done to determine first of all if the training is worth the cost, and secondly to determine if it was worth the cost. This is done by comparing the cost of the training, to the benefits one would get from it. Another method of evaluating training is doing a return on investment. Some examples of return on investment would be fewer accidents, improved productivity, fewer errors, and increased sales. Conclusion Training is very important in making any organization successful. Far too often people are provided inadequate training, and sent into the workplace.
They struggle along, work hard, don’t see results, grow discouraged, and quit. The process then starts all over again. If people are being trained properly, this won’t happen. Many companies use the excuse that they can’t afford training but I believe it is ethically wrong to hire someone, and not offer them training to succeed. This is called setting them up to fail. Setting employees up to fail is very costly in many ways.
The turn over rate will grow out of control, the reputation of the company will suffer and the cost of training will ultimately have to be put into the budget if there is any hope of recovering. The benefits to training are endless. The corporate culture will be enhanced, employee morale will be high, jobs will be done efficiently; there will be less error, accidents and complaints. Training can be done on virtually every topic ranging to the job specific to company policy, to equipment and safety training. Training and Development represents a complete whole that triggers the mind, emotions and employees’ best work performance. It is not only business managers and owners who must do this shift in thinking, but Human Resources Directors and Training Managers (whose title should be ‘Training and Development’ Managers).
By their actions, they should offer a personal example, coaching and guiding all the people in an organization to think ‘beyond training’ and invest efforts in people’s professional development and personal development. Contrary to what some managers think; people do not quit a place of work as soon as they have grown personally and professionally through training and development programs – at least they do not do so for a long while. They become loyal to their employer and help him / her grow business-wise, which offers them more opportunities. They chart their own course for career advancement within the broader framework of organizational growth. References (1) Anderson, Mary Alice (2003, August) Jump-starting Staff Development.
A step-by-step guide to promoting professional growth. School Library Journal p 36-37 (2) Cannell, Mike (2003, May) Smart Training for Small Companies. People Management Vol 9 p 20 (3) Cott ringer and Van Sloan (2003, June) Good Training Made Great by Building Rapport. Corrections Today p 80-93 (4) Chase, Landy (July 14, 2003) Scrimping on training is a sign on bad management. New Orleans City Business. Better Selling p 16-17 (5) Driscoll, Margaret (2003, June) How E-Learning Can Facilitate Rapid Compliance.
Bank Systems & Technology Industry Insight p 44 (6) Gillette, Becky (2003, July-August) Return on investment: fewer accidents, improved productivity. Focus. Employee Development & Training. p 19 (7) Gottenkieny, Charles (2003).
Proper training can result in positive ROI. Selling Aug 2003 p 9, 1 p.
(8) Hubbard, Andrew (2003, June) Cascading Training. Mortgage Banking Training p 106 (9) Hubbard, Andrew (2003, july) Free Form Training. Mortgage Banking July 2003 pg 100 (10) Jeter, Lynne W, (2003, July, August) Lack of basic skills far too prevalent in the workforce. Focus. Employee Development and Training.
p 16 (11) Keep, Ewart (2003, April) The Trouble With Training. People Management. Viewpoint p 27 (12) Mathis and Jackson (2003) Human Resource Management Tenth Edition. Southwestern Publishing. Ch 9 & 10 p. 270-333 (13) Mosher, Diana (2003, July) Learning Curve.
Contract July 2003 Vol 45 p 93 (14) Thorne, Kaye (2003) Blended Learning. Kogan Page Publishing (15) Webster’s Dictionary.