Without proper planning of the training process, a lot of money will end up being wasted on unnecessary or obsolete training programs. To ensure that training money is invested wisely requires the same logic used in all management decisions. The manager must:
1) Identify training needs and establish specific objectives and evaluation criteria
2) Design the appropriate training methods and conduct the training
3) Evaluate the results of the training
Step 0ne: Identifying Training Needs
The initial step in a training program is to identify training need s, often termed needs assessment. The needs assessment refers to a systematic, objective identification of training needs. Training needs can usually be determined by consulting with appropriate managerial personnel regarding the results of assessment centers, areas of need revealed through employee performance appraisals and determining managers’ concerns for specific training needs to improve bottom line performance.
Step Two; Designing Training Programs
The second step in a training program is developing training objectives and criteria. The instructional objectives and criteria describe the performance in terms of training. One example of an objective would be the attainment of a specific skill or performing a work task within a certain frame. An example of criteria would be as specified score on test instrument or validation of performing a specific operation flawlessly a number of times. There are two advantages to developing objectives. First the objective provides criteria for evaluating the training program. Second, the objective provides trainers with the specific topics and contents to focus on. This
ensures that training programs are focusing on important topics and goals that have meaning to trainees.
Achieving the objectives and criteria can be accompanied through the selection of an appropriate training approach. The basic techniques include coaching, internship, on-the-job training, apprenticeship, job rotation, job instruction method, mentoring, case method, continuing education, college and correspondences courses, lecturers, role playing, simulation programmed instruction and vestibule training. These training methods can be used to achieve either one or a combination of learning objectives: cognitive, non-cognitive, and psychomotor. Cognitive learning relates to job specifics. It is concerned with facts and method sequences. Non-cognitive is concerned with behaviours : creating and responding to position requirement. Psychomotor involves performing tasks requiring use of hands, feet and body.
Orientation training may be defined as training that introduces new employees to the organization and learning the ropes and familiarize them with the rules procedures, tasks and values of the organization. In general, the orientation process accomplishes the socializing of the new employee. Socializing refers to a new employee learning the norms, values, goals, work procedures and patterns of behaviour that are expected by the organization.
2. In-house Coaching
Coaching requires a person who has the necessary knowledge to instruct other individuals on one-to-one or small group basis. The coast most often is a supervisor, but may be a coworker. Coaching is most often associated with team sports, such as baseball and football, where individual and team skills are developed through practice and critique. Although knowledge of the task is important, an effective coast must also possess the ability to communicate the information to the individual in an efficient manner. The coach and the one being coached must develop a mutual trusting relationship, if this method is to be successful.
Interns usually follow a formalized training program. An internship program usually consists of a series of job assignments over specific time periods designed to prepare person for better job responsibilities. To ensure interns make the necessary progress in their job assignments, daily log of their activities is kept and/or written reports are reviewed by appropriate supervisors. These
jobs are usually channeled through the internship coordinator who oversees the progress and functions as the administrators of the internship program.
In on-one-job training, the employee is placed in the work situation and the supervisor instructs the employee in how the job is done directly at the workstation. On-the-job training has several advantages. First, it is cost efficient. Workers actually produce while they learn. Second it builds motivation and involves a feedback situation. Finally, it minimizes problems of transfers of training. When employees learn in the actual job situation, the skills learned are the ones needed. Although on-the-job training is usually low cost and practical, it does have some disadvantages.
Because training is conducted at the normal production point, trainees may damage equipments, cause excessive waste materials, and involve significantly higher accident rates. Another major disadvantage of on-the-job training centers on the trainer. In the majority of cases, the instructors are either supervisors or experienced line workers. In either case, the trainer may not have the training skills, interest or tie necessary to properly train the new employee. These conditions could produce improperly trained employees who, through no fault of their own, are not performing the job at a high level of productivity and safety.
5. Apprenticeship Training
Among the oldest types of on-job-training is apprenticeship training. This training is commonly used by industries including metalworking, construction, and out repair, where the apprentices are trainee who spent a set of period of time (usually 2 to 3 years) working with an experienced journeyman. When used properly and apprenticeship programs allows the worker to earn wages
while learning in both on-the-job situations. The major disadvantages to apprenticeship training seems the set time period placed on all enrolled in the programs. People have different abilities and learning rates, but all must serve predetermined training period.
In the changing technological environment of the 200s, apprenticeship programs also face new challenges. A trainee may spend several years learning a specific job skill, and then find upon completion of the apprenticeship that these job skills are no longer needed.
Job rotation training involves moving trainees around among different jobs within the organization. This system is often used for management level training and self managed work team programs. Job rotation allows the employee to learn several job skills and a wide range of operations within an organization. Cross-trained personnel also provide greater flexibility for organizations. Cross-trained personnel also provide greater flexibility for organizations when unexpected transfers, absence, promotions, or other replacements may become necessary. Ob rotation usually takes place at the same pay rate. It often occurs when the job is temporally
vacant due to a vacation, illness or termination. The employee benefits from learning a variety of skills. The company benefits from having a group of experienced candidates from whom to choose when vacancies occur.
7.The Job Instruction Method
The Job Instruction Method (JIM) is formalized on-the-job training method where the employee follows as series of written instructions to complete a procedure or to operate machinery. These written instructions may be provided by the manufacturer of the equipment or by skilled company employees. The JIM is effective for repetitive situations. Programmed Instruction (PI) provides the employee with short segments of information who then respond to selected questions. If the answer is correct, the employee moves on to newer, more complicate segments of information. If the answer is wrong, the employee returns to the previous short segments of information and tries again. Because this approach is self-correcting, it is fast, and, for some individuals, is more effective learning tool.
8. Computer Assisted Instruction
One popular method of training is programmed instruction or computer-assisted instruction. This involves a self-taught, self-paced learning system, usually using computers, which eliminates the need for an instructor. Material is presented to trainees in written form, or by computer programs through a series of self-paced steps. Each step consists of factual material to be mastered, which
is directly followed by a question. The trainees’ responses are immediately verified after each question. If the replies are correct the trainees proceed to the next item. If the responses are incorrect, the question is repeated. Computer aided instruction offers the advantage of individualized training. Trainees progress at their own pace, receive immediate feedback, and are active, as opposed to passive learners. The potential of computer-aided instruction is limited only by the amount of training needs, and is becoming one of the most popular training methods.
Mentoring establishes a formal relationship between junior and senior colleagues or between a person with superior knowledge and a less experienced employee. It is similar to a parent-child relationship in that one provides guidance and tutorship in the ways of career success, including sponsorship, coaching, and protection of the colleague, exposure to important contacts and assignments of challenging work. A mentor can be an important aid in the development of the junior person, and may also be valuable for improving the job involvement and satisfaction of the mentor. The mentor begins by determining the employee’s job and the direction of the subsequent career path. Together, the mentor and the employee should develop career goals based on abilities and company
promotional opportunities. One approach is both parties to maintain a diary of events both and agreement of the progress attained.
An evaluation format should be established at the start of the mentoring program. This can be as simple as both parties discussing progress or evaluation by other managers of the employee, or more formal committee reviews at various points in the program.
10. The Case Method
The case method is as useful tool in classroom training sessions. Because the case is usually a generalized version of an actual job situation, it provides authentic data and the opportunity to suggest appropriate corrective action. Each trainee reads a case report which describes an organizational situation, then, in a term, they discuss problems, and present differing viewpoints and a plan of action.
11. Off-the-Job Training
Aside from initial orientation and on-the-job apprenticeship most other industry training probably occurs away from the actual job location. These programs may be taught by staff professional trainers and consultants, or university faculty. Off-the job training provides a variety of training, which would not otherwise be available to smaller companies. Programs can be designed to meet training needs without being restricted by the lack of organization resources. Typically, off-the-job training creates an environment for learning. Employers not only need to know the training needs of their employees, but also need to understand their learning preferences. Once the training program is completed, if the employee can continue self-directed learning, then it becomes cost-effective to teach and demonstrate learning style theory. One approach to transfer of training is to provide a mentor in the workplace to reinforce what has been learned. This way, the learning experience continues in the workplace.
12. Continuing Education
Continuing education courses may be offered by colleges or professional organizations. They are usually of short duration and take place away from the organization. Topics range from self improvement and learning particular skills to maintaining a desired level of professionalism (such as in nursing or accounting). College and correspondence courses include educational, vocational and technical. As a result of their broad range, they provide a valuable supplement to a company’s training program. From the company’s viewpoint, problems that occur include the course content many not satisfy the organizations specific needs and employees progress is difficult to monitor.
Step Three: The Evaluating Of Training
Evaluating involves gathering information on whether trainees were satisfied with and learned from the training. The evaluation considers several areas: was the designated need or objective met and the specified criteria satisfied? Was the teaching method selected effective for the individual to learn? And finally, will the evaluation assist the instructor to be more effective in the teaching role? The answer to the first area of concern – whether the designated needs were met and the specific criteria satisfied – involves both the trainee and the trainee’s supervisor. Some type of test will often measure the trainee’s accumulating of knowledge. However, the key area is whether the training received by the employee translates back of the job to increase effectiveness.
This knowledge is possessed by the supervisor who should be surveyed through some form of written appraisal after the trainee has trainee has returned to the job for an appropriate time period. Whether the selected teaching method was effective will be the result of summating the trainee’s test scores and the supervisors rating of whether the employee is now more effective on the job. The final area of concern is the effectiveness of the instructor. The same evaluation data used in the previous appraisals can be used here also, although the analysis will be somewhat different. The student test scores and the supervisor’s evaluating need to be reviewed for possible areas of course weakness and curriculum deficiencies. After determining these effects, these effects, the instructor can determine the appropriate changes at the teaching level to increase effectiveness. In conclusion, for an organization or a company to maintain success, it must employ a systematic approach to training and developing employees. The purpose of training includes:
1. Orienting new employees
2. Improving productivity
3. Developing employee skill levels
4. Enhancing job competency
5. Solving organizational problems.
6. Developing promotable employee from within the organization
In any organization, commitment to training must start at the top, customer service is the key to success, and all employees are trained to focus on customer satisfaction. The true key to successful change is employee involvement and commitment. Other employee training resources include interactive web-based training and the virtual university.