Saturday, December 3, 2011

MSDM: Employee Training

The Managerial Perspective
As the opening vignette suggests, successful organizations and managers view employee training as an investment in their people, not an expense. This chapter examines key training issues and the training process, identifies the major types of training available, and explores how to evaluate the effectiveness of training.
Core Issues
The Men’s Warehouse training program illustrates some of the important training issues facing today’s organizations. Specifically:
·         How can training keep pace with a changing organizational environment?
Should training take place in a classroom setting or on the job?
·         How can training be effectively delivered worldwide?
·         How can training be delivered so that trainess are motivated to learn?
Differentiating Training and Development
            Although training is often used in conjunction with development, the terms are not synonymous. Training typically focuses on providing employees with specific skills or helping them correct definciencies in their performance. In contrast, development is an effort to provide employees with the abilities the organization will need in the future.
Effective Training: A Consideration of Challenges
The training process brings with it a number of questions that managers must answer. These are:
·         Does Training Provide the Solution?
A fundamental objective of training is the elimination or improvement of performance problems. However, not all performance problems call for training. Performance deficits can have several causes, many of which are beyond the worker’s control and would, therefore, not be affected by training.
·         Training Goals: Clear and Realistic?
To be successful, a training program must have clearly stated and realistic goals. These goals will guide the program’s content and determine the criteria by which its effectiveness will be judged. Unless the goals are clearly articulated before training programs are set up, the organization is likely to find itself training employees for the wrong reasons and toward the wrong ends.
·         Training as a Business Investment
Although training can be expensive, it can also pay off in more capable and loyal workers. A key finding of the survey was that the greater the investment in employee training, the more profitability the firm. Interestingly, the study statistically controlled for past profitability. Thus, the relationship between training and profitability does not appear to be due to firms with more profitablehistories having more dollars to put into training.
·         Can training Be Effective?
Designing effective training remains as much an art as a science, because no single type of training has proved most effective overall.
The Training Process
Poor, innappropriate, or inadequate training can be a sorce of frustation for everyone involved. To maximize the benefits of training. Managers must closely monitor the training process. The training process consists of three phases: (1) needs assessment, (2) development and conduct of training, and (3) evaluation.
Assessing Needs
The overall purpose of the needs assessment phase is to determine if training is needed, and if so, to provide the information required to design the training program. Needs assessment consists of three levels of analysis: organizational, task, and person.
The Objectives of Training
The objectives for a training program should be based on the assessment phase. Each objective should relate to one or more of the KSAs identified in the task analysis and should be challenging, precise, achievable, and understood by all.
Conducting Training
The training program that results from assessment should be a direct response to an organizational problem or need. Training approaches vary by location, presentation, and type.
LOCATION OPTIONS Training can be carried out either on the job or off the job. In the very common on-the-job training (OJT) approach, the trainee works in the actual work setting, usually under the guidance of an experienced worker, supervisor, or trainer. Job rotation, apprenticeships, and internships are all forms of OJT.
PRESENTATION OPTIONS Trainers use a variety of presentation techniques in training sessions. The most common presentation techniques are:
·         Slides and videotapes Slides and videotapes provide consistent information and, if done well, can be interesting and thought provoking.
·         Teletraining A training program that can be useful when trainees are dispersed across various physical locations is teletraining.
·         Computers Computered-based training can range from the use of a CD-ROM to training over the internet. A number of companies are still exploring what type of computer-based training works best for them. However, web-based training is fast becoming the training method of choice.
·         Simulations Particularly effective in training are simulation, devices or situations that replicate job demands at an off-the-job site.
·         Virtual Reality VR uses a number of technologies to replicate the entire real-life working environment rather than just several aspects of it, as do simulations.
·         Classroom Instruction and Role-Plays Although widely viewed as “boring”, classroom instruction can be exciting if other presentation techniques are integrated with the lecture.
TYPES OF TRAINING We focus here on the types of training that are commonly used in today’s organizations:
·         Skills Training
·         Retraining
·         Cross-Functional Training
·         Team Training
·         Creativity Training
·         Literacy Training
·         Diversity Training
·         Crisis Training
·         Ethics Training
·         Customer Service Training
Assessing the Effectiveness of Training
In the evaluation phase of the training proces, the effectiveness of the training program is assessed. Companies can measure effectiveness in monetary or nonmonetary terms. Whatever the terms, the training should be judged on how well it addressed the needs it was designed to meet.
Training and Legal Issues
            Like all other HRM functions. Training is affected by legal regulations. The major requirement here is that employees must have access to training and development program in a nondiscriminatory fashion. Equal opportunity regulations and antidiscrimination laws apply to the training process, just as they do to all other HR functions.
Employee Orientation and Socialization
It is possible, though difficult to prove, that the most important training opportunity occurs when employees start with the firm. At this time managers have the chance to set the tone for new employees though orientation,  the process of informing new employees about what is expected of them in the job and helping them cope with the stresses of transition. Orientation is an important aspect of the socialization stage of the staffing process as briefly discussed in chapter 5.
            A realistic job preview (RJP) is probably the best method of creating appropriate expectations about the job. As its name indicates, an RJP presents realistic information about the demands of the job, the organization’s expectations of the job holder, and the work environment.


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