In order to achieve good results with training and development efforts; the training must consist of an orderly planned sequence of events. The training process is therefore divided into four phases:
1) Assessment of training needs
2) Development of training objectives.
3) The training and development phase.
4) The Evaluation process.
1) ASSESSMENT OF TRAINING NEEDS
This phase of the training provides the information that is necessary for the design of the training program. It involves an analysis of the organization, job analysis and personal analysis.
Organizational analysis involves an examination of the short term and long term goals of the organization. This ensures that the training program developed will suit the organization in the short and long term. The analysis also determines whether there is a positive climate to enable transfer of learning from the program to the job. The analysis also looks into whether training is the best solution to fulfill the identified needs. An alternative to training can be provided by selection and employment of persons who already possess the skill required for the jobs.
The second stage of assessing training needs involves a job analysis. Check notes (earlier) on the topics for details. (Job Specification- check notes). Other ways of determining training needs include; Results of performance appraisals; feedback from customers ;
2) DEVELOPING TRAINING OBJECTIVES
After needs analysis has been completed, a decision must be taken as to whether training is needed.
If a decision is finally taken in favour of training, the training needs must be described in terms of objectives. The objectives provide the input for the design of the training program. They also serve as a measure of success that will be used in the evaluation process.
Objectives can generally be specified in two different forms i.e. learning objectives and performance objectives. Learning objectives state what the trainee will know while performance objective state what a trainee will be able to do.
When setting training objectives the outcomes that are targeted must be defined.
3) THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PHASE
After the training needs have been identified and the objectives specified, a training program can then be developed.
An environment must be developed that is conducive to achieving to achieving the training objectives.
When designing a training program the transfer of learning from the training situation to the work environment is important.
Specific training techniques must be employed in the training process.
The different training techniques can be categorized as experiential and non-experiential and
Experiential techniques are behavioural oriented. They focus on learning by means of concrete experiences. Non-experiential techniques try to stimulate learning through their impact on thought processes.
The experiential technique is often used in organizations are:-
This involves the use of equipment that requires trainees to use the same procedure and actions that are necessary when operating on actual equipment in the work place. They are often used to save costs or when human lives would be at risk e.g. when training pilots, doctors etc.
These are often used in small group situation. A group is provided with a written description of the background to and problems of a real or realistic situation. The group is then expected to organize the information, identify the decision issues, determine a rational solution and develop a plan of action.
Role playing accomplishes learning through observation, imitation, a feedback . It provides the opportunity to practice skills that are transferrable to the work situation. Role playing requires the learner to assume the role of a person in a hypothetical problem situation.
Games are developed to represent the functioning of an organization. After being given information on aspects such as organizational problems, managerial functions and policy decisions, trainees are asked to make input decisions and are then provided with feedback on the consequences of their decisions. Business games are especially used in management training. The more realistic the game is, the more effective it will be, especially in the transfer of learning.
Sensitivity Training (T-groups)
This technique is mainly used for training in human relations and interpersonal skills. Unstructured real life opportunities are provided to study behavior as it occurs during training. Trainees are then able to develop insights into their interpersonal relationship styles.
Non-experimental techniques should be used when needs assessment indicates a knowledge deficiency while experimental techniques should be considered where there’s skill deficiency.
Experiential techniques include:-
- Case studies
- Role playing
- Sensitivity training (T- groups)
- Business games
Non-experimental training techniques include the following:-
- Lecture method
- Audio visual aids
- Programmed instructions and computer aided instructions
The ideal lecture should be a two-way flow of information. Knowledge is transmitted from trainer to trainees. Trainers on the other hand can actively learn from lectured by listening, observing, summarising, questioning and taking notes.
A lecture makes economical use of time because it can cater for large groups but its scope is limited in terms of active participation.
Tape recordings, overhead projectors and closed circuit television may be used in a lecture room or independently by students.
Programmed instructions and Computer based Instruction (PI and CAI)
PI is a form of self-instruction while CAI is the form of application of PI in a computerized format. PI can be contained in instruction manuals.
3) THE EVALUATION PROCESS
The main interest of organizations in training employees is to know what returns training brings to their investment. This can only be determined by evaluating the outcomes of the training.
The FOLLOWING criteria for evaluation of training can be used:
- Reaction of Participants
This is obtained by asking the trainees for their opinions on the program. A questionnaire is developed asking questions about the skills of the trainer, use of training techniques, their delivery styles etc.
Learning is evaluated by means of paper and pen tests. The aim is to determine if principles, facts and techniques that were taught are understood.
- Behavior Change
An assessment can be made to determine if the training has led to changes in behaviour on the job. Measurement of results includes such aspects as improvements in work performance, changes in rates of labour turn over and absenteeism and a reduction in costs.
Summative Versus Formative Evaluation
Trainers are not only interested in the outcomes of training programs; they also want to know what process factors influence the outcome of the training. This information can be obtained by observing the trainees and trainers and by monitoring the training process at certain intervals.
An evaluation that incorporates the mediating factors is called Formative Evaluation while an evaluation that only measures the outcome of a program is called Summative Evaluation
The evaluation must also determine internal validity i.e. whether the results obtained from the training can be ascribed to the program and not to the other factors in the organization. It is also important to determine the external validity i.e. can the training can be generalized to performance in other situations e.g. other groups, other organizations, other work situations.