TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENTSurvival in a changing environment requires organizations across all sectors to respond in a flexible manner to various technological, political and social changes. Any change in environment requires that a company should adapt itself as per the new requirements. Therefore, the workforce of an organization needs to acquire new knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet the changing needs. And this is where Training and Development comes into play and plays a crucial role in the growth of a Company.Companies for long had not given too much importance to training and development.
This lead to a gap between the talent required and the workforce available. But with increasing technological changes, managers are realizing the significance of training.TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION AND LEARNINGTraining is a planned and systematic effort to enhance the skills, knowledge, abilities of trainees by a learning experience. The purpose of training is to help an individual gain the required knowledge to improve his efficiency and performance. The concept of training needs to be differentiated from learning, education and development.
Learning is the actual process of acquiring these skills. Education is a similar process but it has a broader view as compared to learning. Education is different from training in the sense that education focuses more on the person whereas training is oriented towards the job.
Another distinction regarding training and education is in respect of increasing or reducing individual differences. Training aims at creating a degree of uniformity with respect to the skills required for the job whereas education aims at creating an individual identity and enhancing behaviours that are unique to an individual. Another difference is in the context of subject matter of training and education. Education focuses on theoretical concepts. On the other hand, training enhances the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to improve performance.
Finally, the results of training can be seen in the short term and that of education can be seen on a much longer term Development focuses on the long term need of developing skills in employees keeping in mind future requirements of employees. Training and development together form the total set of activities companies undertake to improve the efficiency of employees. APPROACH TOWARDS TRAININGA systematic approach to training involves a number of sequential steps in the training and development process that aim at achieving the organizational goals. The training program is designed in relation to the goals that an organization has to achieve. The system approach analyzes the purpose, methodology and relevance of the training program.The training process consists of the following steps: 1) Need Assessment a) Organization Analysis b) Job analysis c) Person analysis 2) Designing the Training Program a) Instructional Objectives b) Trainee Readiness and motivation c) Principles of Learning d) Characteristics of Instructor 3) Implementation of Training Program 4) Evaluation of Training Program [pic] Systematic Approach to TrainingCONDUCTING NEED ASSESSMENTThe first step in the training and development process is to identify the need for training by analyzing the organizational, job and individual needs. Keeping in mind the changes in the environment and the organization it is determined in which area training is required, who requires the training and the methods required to achieve the purpose.
The effectiveness of training depends upon conducting proper assessment of the need for training. Since companies spend huge amount of money in training their employees, they should ensure that the training is targeted at the right employees in the right department. Organizations should look for clues such as customer complaints, fall in productivity of employees etc to assess the need for training.
A company should conduct the following three types of analysis to determine the need for training:[pic]Organization Analysis:Firstly, an organization should conduct an analysis of its own needs for training. It should analyze the changes in the environment and its impact on the company to assess any probable need for training. Often changes in the political and social environment affect the organization??™s requirement of enhanced skills and abilities, thereby creating a need for training.
Furthermore, if the company itself has new and innovative plans it should make an assessment of the skills and knowledge required to be successful in those ventures. For example, when an organization goes for diversification or has other expansion plans the need for training arises. Another important change that requires many new skills in employees is merger and acquisitions. Every time a merger takes place extensive training is given to the employees to help them adjust to the new environment and accept the different culture.
Simultaneously, an analysis needs to be done to determine the various resources that the organization has to meet the training requirements.Task Analysis:The second need to be assessed job specific training requirements. It is essential to identify the various knowledge, skills and abilities that are required to perform a specific job effectively. Then, the current skills and expertise of the employees is measured. In case there exists a gap between the skills available and the skills required, training is required to bridge the gap. The content of the training program is decided on the basis of job analysis.Job analysis is a comprehensive process of analysing the tasks that are required to be performed in a job and the knowledge and skills required to perform it effectively. ? Firstly, all the duties and activities to be performed in the job are listed.
? Then, the steps to be performed by an employee to finish the task are listed. ? After understanding the process, the knowledge and skills required for performing the job are listed. ? This process helps trainers in developing the content of the training program.The job analysis results in a job specification and a job description. A job description is a statement which describes the job, its duties, scope and responsibilities. It contains a Job title, Job identification (which tells the department under which the employee works) as well as the Job duties (a list of duties to be performed). Job specification mentions in detail the qualifications that an employee must have for the purpose of performing the roles and duties of a particular job efficiently.
It includes the skills and knowledge esential for the job, but also the minimum physical and mental fitness essential to perform the job effectively. Finally, a Training Specification is prepared. It tells us the skills that are requied to be taught to a trainee based on the gap between the job specification and the employee??™s current knowledge and skills.Person AnalysisPerson analysis is an important part of need assessment. It seeks to assess which are the employees who need training in a particular area. The training effort and investment will be successful only if it is directed at the right set of people who are in need for training.
It helps an organization in sending only those employees to training who require it rather than sending the entire department. Person Analysis consists of three phases: ? The first step is determining the set of employees the training is directed at,in other words, the Target population. It may include the employees of an organization and in some cases, it may also include people outside the company. ? The second step is assessing the current level of knowledge and skills that the potential trainees possess. It is essential to benchmark the current sets of competencies of the employees.
It will later allow the organization in comparing the skills of employees prior the training and the enhanced skills post training. It helps in evaluating the effectiveness of the training program. ? The third phase includes observing any particular traits of the employees that require training that may influence the content of the training and the methodology to be followed. Aspects like age and experience need to be considered in this phase of Person Analysis.DESIGNING THE TRAINING PROGRAMAfter assessing the need for training it is essential to have a comprehensive training design.
The information obtained from conducting the need assessment should be used effectively to design a training program as per the requirements of the organization and the individuals. There are essentially five steps in designing the required program: 1) Firstly, the strategies that the organization would have agreed on for the training program are used for creating a rough training design. Simulation exercises and case programs are generally used for this purpose. 2) Secondly, the training objectives are broken down into different parts like knowledge to be gained and the skills to be acquired. The objectives of any training program would basically constitute of either knowledge to be gained or skills to be enhanced.
Separating the objectives into two parts would help in identifying the training methods required for the achieving the different objectives. It will also help in understanding the amount of time to be spent on each aspect and the resources required for the same. This is a challenging part of designing the training program as it is not always easy to separate the various objectives.
3) Thirdly, the different training methods to be used are analyzed. Then the resources and time required for meeting the different objectives is decided. Initially, the time and resources required for each activity is assessed. Then, the different components are added together to find out the total resources needed for the entire training program. 4) In the next step various packages are designed that meet the training objectives. The organization is then given the choice to select the package it requires.
The packages could be daily sessions that would be covered during or after working hours. It could also be held only during weekends in non working hours. In other words, the different packages would have different schedules and the organization can choose the package that best suits the needs of the company and its employees. 5) The final step is to fit together all the component events and sequences to form the comprehensive training program.Essentially, during the designing phase, while going through the above steps, focus should be on the following four aspects:[pic]Instructional Objectives:The purpose of conducting need assessment was to determine the purpose of conducting training.
Based on the information collected from the first stage, the objectives of the training program can be stated clearly. The objectives list down the knowledge to be acquired and the skills to be enhanced. It is crucial to list down the desired outcomes of the training program clearly as it will be the basis of deciding the training methods and procedure to be followed. Also, the effectiveness of the training program will eventually be evaluated based on the stated objectives.
The objective could be in the form of a written statement, stating the required changes in attitude or the new skills that are required to be learned by the trainee. It states the improvement in the performance that is expected and the setting of certain performance standards that are to be achieved. The objectives for the trainer may not be the same as that for the trainee.
The training program??™s success is dependent on a proper definition of the training objectives and communicating the same to the trainee. In case of ambiguity regarding the objectives to be achieved it is important to first list the basic objectives to be achieved. Subsequently, the specific behaviour that is to be learned can be stated.The objectives need not be framed by the trainer alone. To an extent, the trainee should be given some autonomy to define his own objectives of learning from the training program. This increases the sense of responsibility on part of the trainee and makes him more committed to the training program.
? Trainee Readiness And MotivationThe training program would be effective only if the trainee is motivated and ready for the training. The readiness of the trainee would depend upon various factors. They should have the minimum qualification and experience in order to benefit from the training program that is being designed for them. The trainer should be able to assess the learning potential of the trainees.The employees can be motivated and made more committed to the training program by making them fill questionnaires that can assess their expectations from the training program and their expected outcomes. It is essential that the employees see the connection between the training effort and the subsequent improvement in their performance. For effective learning to take place, they should have a desire to acquire new knowledge and skills in accordance to the changing environment.
The knowledge level and learning style will differ from individual to individual. This can be determined by various tests and analysing the employee??™s occupational and educational background. Subsequently, the trainees should be classified appropriately keeping in mind the individual differences. Different strategies would be required to enhance the learning of different people. Training workshops and courses of short duration often help employees in improving their learning style.
This improves their concentration level and makes them more attentive during the training process which in turn improves the effectiveness of the training program. It provides the following benefits: ? Enhances the trainee??™s capacity to learn ? Reduces the annoyance associated to new learning processes ? Motivates trainees to learn new methods ? Makes the employee??™s self reliant and reduces the need for help from trainer ? Improves the overall training process ? Principles of Learning:In order to make the training program a success, the trainer must ensure that th training program is deigned in a manner which is understandable to the trainee as well as is able to engage the trainee. It should be interesting enough to grab the attention of the trainee so that he or she is able to assimilate whatever is being taught. Therefore, the principles of learning have to be kept in mind while designing the training program. Some important principles have been mentioned: ? Whole versus Part Learning: There are various tasks that can be divided into sub tasks. The trainer has to make an important decision regarding teaching the entire activity as whole or in parts. Depending on the nature of the task and the intellect of the trainee, the trainer has to take such decisions. Ideally, if a task can be divided into several parts, it should be broken down and the trainee should be taught the different parts in a particular sequence.
This approach enhances learning. In cases where the task cannot be divided, it can be taught as a whole. ? Setting sub goals In order to keep the trainees motivated it is important that the trainer should set sub goals that the trainee has to achieve.
The trainee should also be encouraged to set his own goals. This process of setting sub goals helps the trainer and the trainee in assessing the progress of the training program. It also keeps the employees motivated and committed towards the training process. ? Pictures and Demonstrations The training program should be made as interesting and meaningful as possible to retain the interest of the trainees. Use of pictures and demonstrations by the trainer makes the training more appealing. It also helps the trainee in remembering the various aspects that are being taught.
? Active Participation The trainees should be encouraged to actively participate in the training process by repeating the activities that are being instructed by the trainer. Repetition of the tasks again and again by the trainee will enhance the learning procedure and would enhance the required skills quickly and effectively. ? Feedback As the training process progresses it is essential to give proper feedback at regular intervals. This will reinforce the learning and make the training program effective. It will also ensure that the trainees remain motivated to give their best towards the training program.
It will ensure that the objectives of training are met.CHARACETERISTICS OF INSTRUCTOR:The trainer plays an important role in the entire training program. Therefore, in order for the program to be successful, the trainer should have certain characteristics that make him approachable. He should be sincere towards the training as well as the trainees. He should have a good sense of humour and should have the skill of creating and maintaining interest. He should show enthusiasm throughout the process and should keep the trainees motivated.
He should also have sound knowledge about the subject of training and be able to give clear instructions.IMPLEMENTING THE TRAINNG PROGRAMThe next stage is that of implementing the training program. In this stage the various training methods to be employed are decided. This decision is taken based on the knowledge and skills to be imparted and the nature of the target population. The training methods are decided oookeeping in mind the skill level of the trainees.
Different methods are often used for managerial and non managerial trainees. Some of the most common methods are discussed:[pic] ? Lecture Lectures, consisting of talks or presentations are a common form of training. Its advantage is that it can reach a huge number of people at the same time. It consists of talks by the trainer and may include audios, videos, dvds etc. Participation by the trainees is low.
Usually they are invited to ask questions in the end. ? Learning Packages At times learning packages are provided to the trainees particularly in cases wherer distance learning is applicable. The learning package may consist of case studies and assignments and other reading material that may assist the trainees in a particular area.
A variant of the same is programmed instructions that that use computers to divide the content into sequential parts that require a constant response from the trainee. It tests the learning by the trainee as and when the training progresses by making the trainee answer questions after a part is completed. ? Computer based training E learning is being increasingly used in the training process. Computer Based Training (CBT) is convenient and cost effective. A wide variety of topics can be covered through intranets and extranets. It is more convenient than classroom teaching and latest technology makes it every bit as interactive as classroom teaching through virtual training.
Also, e learning enables the trainees to learn at their own pace and convenience rather than depending on the trainee. ? Simulation/Role Play In simulation exercises, the real work situation is simulated and the trainees perform tasks as they would in the real work environment. The trainees would be given a task and instructions to perform the task. The trainees are required to follow the instructions and solve the given situation and perform the task as they would do in the real workplace. In role plays, the trainees assume the roles different people in the workplace and act their part in solving a given problem. Role plays are effective as they teach an employee is considering issues from a different perspective. It teaches them how to handle people and situations. ? On the Job Training One of the most effective method of training is on-the-job training.
It provides the trainee the actual experience of working in a real work situation. By actual practice on the job the trainees can learn the knowledge and skills effectively. An eploye can perform the actual job and learn from his or her own mistakes. This enhances learning and thus is effective. ? Seminars and Conferences Seminar and conferences are also used for teaching a large number of people simultaneously. It is effective for communicating new ideas and for discussing new issues that concern the trainees. ? Management Games An interesting way of teaching is through management games.
Here, the trainees are given a hypothetical organization and are required are required to run the business by taking various decisions concerning the organization. The consequences of such decision can be analyzed through computer software. It is being increasingly used in the training process as it is an effective method of learning for managers.ADVANTAGES OF VARIOUS TRAINING METHODS[pic][pic]EVALUATION OF TRAINING PROGRAMThe final step is evaluating the training program to assess its effectiveness. The following four criteria are used: 1) Reaction Level:The first criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of training are assessing the trainee??™s reactions.
Feedback should be taken from them to know the level to which they were satisfied with the training process. 2) Learning Level:Apart from observing the reaction of trainees it is essential to see the actual learning by the trainees. The enhanced knowledge and skills should be tested and compared to standards set in the beginning. This would measure the improvement made due to the training process. 3) Behaviour:It is essential that the knowledge and skills the trainees have acquired during the training should be transferred to the job as well. The skills learned should be applied in the job.
Only then can the training be considered successful. For this the trainers can teach various strategies to ensure that the learning is applied. 4) ResultsThe training effectiveness is also measured in terms of the value it adds to the organization. A company would like to know the return it receives for the investment it makes in training and development of its employees. The value addition could be in the form of improved performance of employees, increase in productivity, and higher job satisfaction.BENEFITS OF TRAININGEffective training and development programmes present numerous benefits to both the individual and the organization.
1) Job Satisfaction:Training efforts by an organization help in increasing internal and external job satisfaction of an employee. By enhancing their knowledge, skills and abilities an employee is able to perform efficiently in his work. This increases his internal satisfaction. Better performance in work often results in increase in salary and promotion prospects. This enhanced career prospects gives an employee external satisfaction.
2) Benefits to Organization:The organization benefits in the form of: a) Increase in employee productivity b) Reduction in wastage c) Less number of accidents d) Lower labour turnover e) Lower absenteeism f) Greater customer satisfaction 3) Change Management:Continuous and effective training prepares employees for the ever changing environment. Training and development enhances the skills of employees which keeps them updated about the latest technology and helps them adapt to changing environment efficiently. It also removes the uncertainty and resistance associated with change and helps employees in accepting change quickly.