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Evaluation of importance of training and development program

It is often said that an organisation is as good as its people. Employment of highly competent and motivated employees in every organisation is regarded as a must and a fundamental issue. This need has become even more stronger due to the challenges of the fast-paced, highly dynamic and increasingly global economy. Today, almost all companies provide some type of training for their employees which was not the case ten years ago. Therefore to compete and thrive, many organisations are including employee education, training and development as an essential part of their organisational strategy.

By simply considering the quotation which is: “Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This saying is attributed to the wisdom of Confusius who lived in the 5th century BC. It highlighted the importance of training and as well as the outcome, given today’s business climate and the exponential growth in technology with its effect on the economy and society at large, the need for training is more pronounced than ever.

2.1 Training definition

Training which is one of the most crucial factors , is the process of improving the skills, capabilities and knowledge of employees for performing a particular job. It is also regarded as an investment by an organisation in its human resources towards the ultimate aim of empowering employees to perform better and in a more efficient way, without the wastage of resources. According to Mathis & Jackson, ( 2005 ) “Training is a process whereby people acquire capabilities to aid in the achievement of organisational goals”. However ,training is a process that can only be mastered through experience and continuous practice Training is known for a systematic change of behaviour through learning, which occurs as a result of education, instruction, and development and planned experience.

Training forms part of the learning organisation. It is with concerned with the enhancement of performance. Duke (1992) defines a learning organisation very simplistically as ‘an organisation that both learns and fosters learning’. The endeavor involved in this is that the learning organisation is continually expanding to its capacity to create its future. Training must be measurable and it must contribute towards improving both goal achievement and the internal efficiency of the enterprise. Training is a tool that that enable individuals to perform current and future jobs by identifying and developing the key competencies. Training influences the thinking of employees and leads to quality performance of employees. Therefore it is continuous and never ending in nature.

Edward J. Tully (1997) stated in an article entitled understanding the process of training that : “ Training is an attempt to narrow the differences between people as they perform a task”. Moreover, Pfeffer (2000) argued that training can be a source of competitive advantage in many organisations. Therefore, training is defined as a systematic development of knowledge, norms, concepts or attitudes that result in performance improvement, and become part of the learning process and organisational change, employee evaluation and career development.

There are various methods and techniques of delivering training. Training, being a functional division of the personnel department is concerned with the classic training cycle that is the identification of training needs, planning and designing and evaluating training. Training as a strategy for almost all organisations focuses on the training opportunities given to employees to develop and enrich their skills for the continuous improvement of their talents to achieve the organisational corporate objectives and goals.

However, to implement training certain issues must be considered such as:

What categories of employees should be trained?

In what specific areas should employees be trained?

What training methods should be adopted according to the employees requirements to acquire the right skills?

How to evaluate the training programs for current and forthcoming organisational success?

2.2 Philosophy of training

A training and development philosophy of an organisation can be described as the managerial attitude either proactive or reactive or it can be the perception of the importance of its human resources potential to enhance the company’s goal achievement by means of capital investment in the training and development efforts of the company. However in practice tit manifests itself in the presence or absence of a training and development mission, which clearly states the company’s intent of utilizing its human resources potential to the maximum. It is further based on assumptions, principles, and a clearly defined training and development policy.

According to Lusterman, 1985, training became more of a systems approach during the early and middle 1980s that is, training was more direct, task oriented, and on-the-job. During the past decades, many manufacturing companies have felt the need to improve the quality of their products and to become more customer-focused. This is done by adopting approaches like total quality management, company-wide quality control, and continuous quality improvement. In the 1960s and 1970s, measuring performance involved input-output techniques and scorecards. The evaluation of training was simple and based entirely on the outcomes of the employees' efforts. On-the job and task-oriented training was made available through apprenticeship programs primarily for manual and artistic work .

Changes during the past few years have required training at all levels in organisations to make a powerful impact on the nature of organisations and training itself. Training is regarded as playing a vital role in the success of the organisation. Therefore implementation of training at the workplace is regarded as a central part of organisations.

Some organisations adopt a laissez-faire approach whereby employees learn and implement strategies by themselves. However there are firms where training is regarded as an investment for better improvement at the workplace, developing competent employees to deliver high quality work. Moreover the fact that some managers recognize that actual or potential skill shortages can threaten their future prosperity and growth made them more conscious about the need for training be satisfied.

The success of training and development efforts in organisations is based on the mostly on the training and development philosophy. An effective training and development program is starts with the needs assessment, involves design and implementation and proceeds to evaluation.

The assumptions on which training and development philosophy should can be as follows:

An employee is not employed and trained so that he or she may leave the organisation after acquiring certain skills and experience.

An employee must be selected on the assumption that he or she will become a lifelong learner.

An employee is an asset that appreciates in value for the organisation.

An organisation is socially responsible for investing in employees by means of training and development.

2.3 Is there a difference between training and development?

Antonacopolou (2001) conceptualises training as an organisational activity, which also comprises development, contrasting this with learning as an individual activity, thereby making a distinction between organisational and individual learning. Warr (2002, p. 154) argues that “job-specific training seeks to improve effectiveness in a current job role, whereas development activities take a longer-term perspective and may extend into career planning and reviews of personal progress”. Laird (1985, p. 11) writes that training “permits employees to perform to a standard whilst development on the other hand refers to ongoing, long-term intervention to prepare people and groups for futures”, whilst Maurer et al. (2002b) distinguish development activity by locating the onus for development firmly with the employees themselves, but considering different beneficiaries. Thus, within the literature training and development appear different. Moreover, development comprises a very broad range of activities, which can be formal or informal (McDowall and Mabey, 2008), may or may not entail an explicit career-relevant element, and may or may not be formally planned and agreed (Rowold and Kauffeld, 2009).

at the present time, where

2.4 Purpose of training and development

Training and development (T&D) emphasizes on altering and improving the knowledge, skills and attitudes of people. In reality training focuses on helping the organisation to achieve its goals and objectives by developing the full effectiveness of the firm’s most important resource which is its people.

The main objectives are to :

Develop the competences of employees and improve their performance at the workplace.

Help the growth of the skills and capabilities of human resources within the organisation for future needs in case of replacements for personnel on leave or who have move up in the organisation.

Motivate the valued employees to learn more and feel committed towards their work-improving the morale of the work force, creating a better corporate image.

Helps in improving upon the quality of work and work-life, hence improving employees’ morale.

Managers with relevant responsibility can play a vital role in employees’ training and development where they identify needs and allocate resources, as well as accept personal responsibility to encourage employees to participate in activities and support them to transfer developed skills (Reid and Barrington, 1994). Survey evidence suggests these managers are considered “very important” to supporting both training and development activities in organisations (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2007).

Zemke (1999, 8) states that ‘training is about giving people the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs - no less and no more’. Training is thus seen as an essential constituent of the enterprise and is a key management tool with which to develop the full success of the organisation’s most important resource : its people. Consequently training must be task and result-oriented, it must focus on enhancing the specific skills and abilities needed to perform the job, it must be measurable , and it must make a real contribution to improving both goal achievement and the internal efficiency of the enterprise.

Another important issue is the need for employee motivation and retention. Through training, employees cease the opportunity to grow and develop job and career enhancing skills. Therefore employees are more motivated towards their jobs and the most able and talented employees are retained since they feel valued in the organisation.

There are different types of training that can be implemented, namely induction training for new employees, remedial training, training for advancement (for promotion purposes), employee development and protection, and apprenticeship

2.5 Training - a cost or investment?

Training can be a great investment and as well as a waste of money when the expected outcome does not occur. It means investing in people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make best use of their natural abilities, (Armstrong, 2001). Training involves a cost to the organisation but it is rather regarded as an investment. The training and development of the human resources is the most important organisational development intervention for the medium and long-term survival of a company. Since training and development is crucial to improve performance, both must be implemented together to achieve better results. Moreover the types of training and development methods used will be most effective in any given situation. Thus the integration of the various performance management techniques, training and employee development strategies are also important. The success of any firm depends on how training is being carried out and existing or newly hired employees are trained. Training is seen as a motivating factor for employees to work harder and feel their importance in the organisation. This is endorsed by (Rowold, 2008) who argues that in a rapidly accelerating rate of technological change it is important to invest in training for employees. However, if managers are going to invest time and money in training, it would be best spent in training in conflict resolution skills, which develop good goal setting planning skills (Hartenian, 2003). Due to the current economic climate organisations are cutting back rather than investing in training

(Kingston, 2009).

Organisations are recognising the importance of training as an investment of time and money that are being devoted to employee training. Human resource development is important as investing in HRD within an organisation can lead to competitive advantage. Increased competition has encouraged many organisations to look at their training.

Moreover for the employer, investments in training and developing people is a means of attracting and retaining human capital as well as getting better returns from those investments. These returns are expected to be improvements in performance, productivity, flexibility and the capacity to innovate that should result from enlarging the skill base and increasing levels of knowledge and competence. Schuller (2000) suggests that: ‘The general message is persuasive: skills, knowledge and competences are key factors in determining whether organisations and nations will prosper.’

Organisations can derive many benefits when they invest in the training of their employees. Hereunder are some of the benefits :

Benefits

Improved quality, few errors and mistakes

Fewer stoppages, injuries and accidents

Rise in productivity, benefits to employees

Better and more harmonious employment relations

Better morale, communication and teamwork

Customer satisfaction, higher sales and profitability

Motivation and interest for changer in innovation

Employability and better prospects

2.5.1 The influence of training on employees’ performance

Training is not always the answer to performance problems. Gupta acknowledges that not all performance problems can be addressed by training. In many cases, non-training interventions are necessary (Gupta 1999). The key is to identify what problems can be attributed to training deficiencies and, once that is accomplished, to insure that the right training is implemented. Without the right training, employees can be the organisation’s biggest liability. Trained effectively, however, they can become your biggest asset (Bartram and Gibson, 2000). Rosner (1999) adds another ingredient for success – support after training. He states, “The most effective programs train workers in new behaviors and then train managers to support employees as they apply learning daily (Rosner, 1999, p.43). Support and endorsement from management can greatly enhance training results. One can conclude that training is not always the answer, and when it is the answer, it has to be the right training.

Recent studies mentioned that training is an essential element for sustainable competitive advantage and survival in the 21st century as it is the process of providing employees with specific skills or helping them to correct deficiencies in their performance (Poh, 2001). It can be defined as development of skills, specifies measurable objectives, and should result in observable change in behavior (Wagonhurst, 2002). Training is a systematic process, which helps people to learn how to be more effective at work by modifying knowledge, skills or attitudes through learning experience to achieve effective performance (Buckley and Caple, 2000). Most of managers give training to their employees for three main purposes (Belcourt,

Wright and Saks, 2000), which are:

(1) To increase productivity or the performance of employees;

(2) To achieve organisational goals; and

(3) To invest in employees to succeed in the unpredictable and turbulent business

environment

The emphasis of training is usually to reduce errors and to improve productivity and safety. So, properly, planned and executed training benefits both the employer and the employees. Well trained employees become more confident in their tasks, which results in fewer mistakes, reduced rework and thus, higher productivity. This also able to reduce the cost associated with time, materials and support activities, improves employee satisfaction and enables for the company to be more competitive in the market.

2.6 Training process

Lingham et al. (2006) suggest that organisations facing rapid changes are being increasingly challenged to develop meaningful training programs for their members as a way to compete and achieve success in a volatile environment. Therefore it is clear that for an organisation to have a competitive edge it needs to link learning to the organisation’s ability to fully understand the changing nature of its competitive forces. In addition, human resource development can contribute to an organisation’s capacity to innovate and change. With appropriate resources allocated to the development of effective training programmes, it can be tremendously effective when meeting the needs of the organisation; and when specially tied to business strategies and goals (Wagonhurst, 2002). So, organizations should give serious attention in designing and evaluating training programmes in striving to meet demands from the management for the profit contributions and participants who want programmes that able to produce results and give benefit not only to the participants but also to the organisations.

The training process consists of the following phases which are the :

Planning phase that is, establishing a training needs analysis.

Selection of a training to developing training programs.

Implementation phase to deliver the training program.

Evaluating the training program.

2.6.1 Training needs analysis

The training needs analysis or assessment is a systematic approach to training. It is used to diagnose present problems and future challenges to be met and also to find out if training is the right initiative to implement to a particular problem the organisation is facing. Training is an “ongoing process of gathering data to determine what training needs exist so that training can be developed to help the organisation accomplish its objectives” (Brown, 2002, p. 569).

It is the “process of collecting information about an expressed or implied organisational need that could be met by conducting training” (Barbazette, 2006). Essentially, information is collected and analyzed so that a training plan can be created. The assessment determines the need for training, identifies what training is needed, and examines the type and scope of resources needed to support a training program (Sorenson, 2002).

According to Rossett (1987), a company conducts a training needs assessment to seek information about the following :

optimal performance or knowledge

actual or current performance or knowledge

feelings of trainees and other significant people

causes of the problems and solutions to the problem

Sorenson (2002) points out that training cannot solve problems caused by poor system design, insufficient resources or understaffing. By conducting an effective assessment, a company verifies that training is the appropriate solution to a performance deficiency. In some cases, increasing an employee’s knowledge and skills may not resolve the problem or deficiency, so training would waste valuable resources and time. A training needs assessment can help determine current performance or knowledge levels related to a specific activity, as well as the optimal performance or knowledge level needed.

Barbazette (2006) suggests that training needs assessment should answer questions such as:

Why conducting a training

Who is involved in the training and who may benefit from it

How can training help in improving performance

What is the best way to adopt the training to achieve better results

When to implement a training program

There are three approaches to conducting a needs assessment namely:

Employee self-appraisal

Self appraisal is a vital part of the performance appraisal process where the employee himself gives the feedback or his views regarding his performance. This is done with the help of a self appraisal form where the employee rates himself on various parameters, about his training needs, if any, his accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, any problems faced and any related difficulty at the workplace. The employee rate his knowledge, skills and abilities to that of his collegues.

Employee self ratings is useful as it helps to review the performance of employees over a certain given time period. It also give an indication of to what extent the desired performance has been achieved and compare it to the actual performance. Having more control over the functions in the organisation that is estimating the effectiveness of the other functions of the organisation such as the recruitment and selection and as well as training and development, implementing initiatives like training and development programs if needed in the future. Sometimes it is crucial in case of promoting the best employee. However employee self appraisal helps employees to better assume their responsibilities and hence enable them to know what work they are supposed to do. In a way this inexpensive approach can reduce grievances at the workplace and hence enhance a cordial relationship between the superiors and the subordinates.

Benchmark behaviours

Benchmarking is the process of comparing one’s business to that of the best ones so as to create new standards or to improve performance-related processes. Therefore any gaps would help in determining the areas where training and development programs are in need. Therefore benchmark behaviours can help to improve communication and the functional processes as well. However benchmarking is a rather tedious process that demands high commitment to succeed.

Simulations

Simulation-based assessments are used to measure hard and soft skills of employees. It is a powerful and practical tool as it involves the usage of a computer software whereby employees are presented with job related situations to deal with different challenges by interacting with virtual characters on the screen. In this way employees’ actions are compared to the most highly competent performers contained in the database and ultimately reports are generated indicating the level of skills, strengths and weaknesses of the employees. By conducting simulation-based assessments, the transition from needs assessment to training becomes straightforward, that is the individual needs for training is known and hence it is easily transmitted to the employees.

Training needs are obtained through:

HR/ Succession planning-this assesses the human resource requirements of the organisation, that is it determines the number of employees required and the strategies to reach suitable staffing levels, and highlights those within the organisation worthy of development.

Critical Incidents-This is obtained through interviewing jobholders, managers, subordinates and customers who provide information on a particular job and the person(s) good at it. The basis of this approach is asking people to think and talk about a recent positive incident and also finding who was involved and what skills/knowledge he / she has demonstrated to contribute to this success.

Management Information System-general information about an employee, the training and the other development activities that he/she has attended determining which training is important for them and those who have not undergone training can be sent on training.

Performance Appraisal Systems-it is regarded as the platform for identifying training needs at the individual level. It provides a link between the qualification and the individual’s skills and competence.

These four factors form part of the toolkit of managers for environmental scanning. Training is not always the solution to all problems in an organisation therefore there is a need to examine non-training options as well which can be as follows:

Improving the methods of work or procedure documentation

Communication briefings

Use of technology

Redesigning the job

Changing personnel

The main methods of training needs analysis are:

Analysis of business and human resource plans

Job analysis

Analysis of performance reviews

Training surveys

Attitude Surveys

Exit interviews

2.6.2 Specifying Training needs

Having undertaken an organisation-wide TNA, it is likely that the number of training needs identified cannot be met at once due to limited resources. Hence, it is important to classify them in an order of importance and immediacy. After the needs have been anlysed ,concrete measurable training objectives should be laid down. These are the objectives that you want the trainees to achieve after the training programmes. It will provide the focus for both trainees and trainer and also provide a benchmark against which the effectiveness of the programme can be assessed. The organisation should determine what precisely is the performance gap through the groundwork of a job specification. By determining which training is the most important in the time being, the trainer will be able to provide a SMART training programme and hence have a clear view where it is heading and how to proceed. The more precisely the training need can be specified, the more focused can be the training. The job specification sets out the competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) against the key tasks of employees and it includes the standards and measures against which performancecan be assessed. The performance gap can also be investigated through various techniques,namely: observation, interviews, self-complete questionnaires and desk research.

2.6.3 Training into action

A firm must prepare a training specification which is defined as the blueprint or detailed plan for the training required to meet the gap in the performance and for measuring its effectiveness. There is also a need to choose the right trainer to develop the skills of the trainees and meet their needs. The training provided in the work setting or outside can be formal, informal or both.

The training methods are:

On- the-job training (OJT) is another delivery approach of training, which

takes place at normal workplace and makes the job itself part of the instruction given and a means of acquiring practical skills (Bas, 1989; Tews and Tracet, 2008). workers in low – paid jobs have less opportunity for on –the – job training as compared to workers in higher – paid jobs (Isik, Gordon, Karlene and James, 2008). Consistent with Lin and Tremblay (2003) study showed that workers who are higher educated are more likely to receive on – the – job training.

Distance Learning

This is undertaken by the individual with infrequent face-to-face contact with learners or tutors. It may consists of individual working,using printed materials, making use of technology components such as the internet, video, CD's, tapes, and other forms of technology to accomplish learning.

Shadowing

Job shadowing is one of the most common of all training techniques for new employees. It involves spending a period of time with an experienced expert, observing everything that he or she does that is related to the work that is expected to be accomplished as part of the daily routine of the job that is assigning the new hire to an established employee for learning the general job responsibilities, observing how the tasks are carried out, and getting some insight into methods that allow for efficient handling of the job. This can help build up the confidence of the new employee.

Computer-based Training

Computer-based training (CBT) is any course of instruction whose primary means of delivery is a computer. A CBT can be used to teach almost any feasible subject, but it is chiefly popular for computer-related studies. People often take advantage of CBT to learn how to run a particular computer application, such as Microsoft Excel , or to learn a computer programming language, such as Visual Basic.

Simulation

It is designed to try to replicatethe essential aspects of the job thatare needed for learning and transfer of learning.

Lecture

They are usually a one-way presentation to a group. They can be structured,or planned talk accompanied by visual aids.

Outdoor development programmes

They are dynamic open-air exercises, usually carried out in teams.

Reading

It can be both directed(learners are given prescribed lists of articles or books to go through) or self-directional.

Examples of informal training are:

Coaching

Coaching is assisting one individual in achieving personal or professional goals in an accelerated manner. By nature, it is very similar to athletic coaching -- the coach supports the client in manifesting his/her highest potential and in attaining agreed-upon goals. Coaches are hired to assist someone in changing jobs, clarifying a vision, improve communication skills, realize a dream, grow a small business, climb the corporate ladder. Therefore,a coach encourages, confronts, challenges, questions, and above all, consistently honors, respects, and unconditionally supports a client in growing and achieving his or her goals.

Mentoring

Mentoring is usually a formal or informal relationship between two people. It has been identified as an important influence in professional development in both the public and private sector. The war for talent is creating challenges within organisation not only to recruit new talent, but to retain talent. Benefits of mentoring include increased employee performance, retention, commitment to the organisation, and knowledge sharing.

2.7 Planning training programs

2.8 Training evaluation and assessment

Evaluation is regarded as a necessary and essential element for organisations so as to influence the learning and guarantee the efficient use of resources (Lingham et al 2006). It involves collecting information on the results obtained in order to analyse, evaluate and improving the quality. An evaluation can be used to demonstrate a clear and reliable connection between the effectiveness of training and organisational strategic goals. Training evaluation remains an important issue both within the manufacturing and services sector due to the increased drive to improve the skills and knowledge of the workforce and thus improve performance.

One of the key challenges for HRD professionals is to evaluate training and it is a difficult challenge. This is confirmed by (Collins, 2002) who describes the evaluation task as “daunting”. HRD professionals should devise methods to measure the outcomes from training so that organisations can become competitive in an ever competitive market place. (Collins, 2002) states that the challenge is huge for HRD because, for the evaluation to be meaningful for the organisation, the assessment’s type and intensity depend on the objectives of the management development effort and the organisation’s culture. It is apparent that HRD can make a contribution to an organisation and improve performance.

Thus, in the process of developing training programs it is recommended and thus crucial to include the evaluation process. Despite the importance of the evaluation phase, it is one of the most neglected aspects of training, engaging employees in the process of effective learning. This is endorsed by (Lingham et al 2006). Burrow and Berardinelli (2003) state that “little is receiving as much attention in training today as evaluation. Organisations are recognising both the importance of training in the significant investments of time and money that are being devoted to employee training”.

Assessment

Assessment is the efficient gathering of information about the thing to be evaluated. It is related to the learning or performance of an individual learner. Organisations try to assess the performance of the individuals prior to certain criteria or standards set at the beginning of the training. Wong and Wong (2003) points that assessment has sometimes been seen as an activity like justifying the resources invested.

2.8.1 Purpose of training evaluation / assessment

The aim of evaluation is to assess change in knowledge and as well as reactions to the training, as described by (Mann and Robertson, 1996). Evaluation is not just about measuring reactions to the training offered. However, research has showed that those participants who had a positive reaction to the training did not necessarily perform better with the new skills or knowledge. The aim therefore for evaluation should be to measure change in knowledge, the right transfer of knowledge and learning to the workplace. However, Darby (2007) specifies that training evaluations have their own foundation in the business world-the need to monitor the effectiveness of training and diminishing the factor of dissatisfaction on the employees’ part.

According to research, there are four purposes for evaluation. The first purpose is proving that the training has certain outcomes and consequences. The second is improving the quality of a training program by analysing results obtained from the evaluation. The third purpose is helping trainees recognise what has been gained from the training, whether the learning process was fruitful or not. The final purpose is controlling the training initiative implemented. These purposes will have varying importance to different stakeholders within the training cycle.

2.8.2 How to evaluate ?

Training needs be evaluated several times during the process. Moreover, trained employees as well must be evaluated in relation to the skills planned and whether the training program has been successful. The reactions of the participants are known, how much they have learned, whether they have use the skills and knowledge obtained, and whether the trainining and development program contributes in improving the organisational effectiveness

If the goals of the training program is not successful, appropriate corrective measures must be taken. Timely and cognitive evaluation will lead to the achievement of the goals planned in the evaluation process.

2.8.3 Models and Frameworks of evaluation

The models of evaluation helps in the improvement and effectiveness of training. Table 1 shows the various models and frameworks of evaluation brought forward by the various authors.

Table 1 : Models of training program evaluation (TO BE PUT IN ANNEX)

Model/ Framework

Criteria

1

Kirkpatrick”s four level

(1959a, 1959b, 1960a, 1960b)

Reactions, Learning, Behaviour and Results

2

Hamblin’s five level

(1974)

Reactions, Learning, Job behaviour, Organisation

3

Training Effectiveness Evaluation system

(Swanson & Sleezer, 1987)

Satisfaction, Learning, job/ organisation performance, Financial performance

4

Brinkerhoff Six-Stage Model (1987, 1989)

Goal setting, HRD program design, Program Implementation, Immediate outcomes, Intermediate or usage outcomes, Impacts and worth

5

Input, Process, Output Inputs (trainee

Model (Bushnell, 1990)

qualifications, materials, facilities), Process (ISD steps), Outputs (short-term Outcomes (long-term Results)

6

Richey (1992)

Trainee characteristics, Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour

7

Kaufman, Keller, Watkins’ Five level (1994)

Enabling, Reaction, Acquisition, Application, Organisational outputs, Societal outcome

8

Training Efficiency and Effectiveness Model (Lincoln & Dunet, 1995)

Analysis,Development,Delivery, Results

9

Holton’s HRD Evaluation Research And Measurement Model (1996)

Learning, Individual performance, Organisational results

Source: BASSI, J.L. AND RUSS-EFT, F.D., 1997. Assessment, development and measurement. Alexandria: American Society for Training and Development.

2.8.4 An example of a model used

Hamblin’s five level model (1974) is devised from the Kirkpatrick’s model. It is the most widely used evaluation approach as it is more explicit compared to the Kirkpatrick’s model. It is in a hierarchical order which is reactions lead to learning, learning leads to behavior, behavior leads to organisation. Throughout the research the Hamblin model will be used to assess the achievement and the improvement of future effectiveness of training programmes at Arvani Ltd. The modern training programmes are seen to be performance-oriented and based on the principles of learning. The aim of which is to achieve behavioural change to meet defined oranisational job needs. Evaluating training interventions with regard to lerning, transfer, and organisational impact involves a number of complexity factors which are associated with the dynamic and ongoing interactions of the various dimensions and attributes of organisational and training goals, trainees, training situations, and instructional technologies. Many different evaluation methods have been suggested and used to accomplish this goal. Evaluation can take many forms. These are described below.

Level 1

Reaction level

The reactions of participants in regard to the training program offered. The skills provided to them are achieved and whether they were satisfied with the training.

Level 2

Immediate level

The outcomes are assessed whereby if skills and knowledge are acquired and if the training process was successful.

Level 3

Intermediate level

The behavior of employees are evaluated. The changes in behavior relate to any change in trainees in related in the training program.

Level 4

Ultimate level

The level of job performance and in a whole the organisational improvement due to training is assessed.

Level 5

Cost/benefit analysis

The return on investment is measured in this phase. The financial benefit obtained by the organisation due to the effectiveness of the training program given to the trainees.

2.9 Organisational effectiveness

Training is one of the most important and reliable human resource techniques to enhance organisational and employee productivity (Bhatti and Kaur, 2009). To accomplish organisational tasks and improve employee performance, training programs should be designed in such a way that they create a win-win situation for both organisations and employees.

Moreover, ( Lingham et al 2006) further argue that the effectiveness of training should be based on the learner’s ability to apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes obtained in the training course. In order for training to be considered an investment, it must be held accountable like other investments made by the organisation, and must demonstrate that the decisions and actions taken are relevant and profitable. In other words, the actual contribution made by training to the organisation’s results must be ascertained. Evaluation is the key tool for this purpose. Thus, the evaluation of training is directly linked with the organisation’s quality systems, as the information it provides enables training results to be identified, possible deficiencies to be analysed and improvements to be made.

People are motivated to achieve certain goals and will be satisfied if they achieve these goals through improved performance. They may be even more satisfied if they are then rewarded by extrinsic recognition or an intrinsic sense of achievement. This suggests that performance improvements can be achieved by giving people the opportunity to perform, ensuring that they have the knowledge and skill required to perform, and rewarding them by financial or non-financial means when they do perform. It can also be argued that some people may be complacently satisfied with their job and will not be inspired to work harder or better. They may find other ways to satisfy their needs.

The role of the managers responsible for individuals’ training and development decisions needs to be considered actively in an overall training and development strategy, as they appear to have a key role in fostering a good learning climate. Secondly, it is important that any expectations are made explicit and transparent, thereby adhering to principles of organisational justice. This will allow employees to play a role, and to be more committed and more satisfied with the process (McDowall and Fletcher, 2004). Lastly, the differences in perceptions highlight another implication, which is the need to demonstrate the value of both training and development activities to the organisation.

2.10 Conclusion

Training programs are especially important when knowledge, skills and attitudes are required to open a new frontier of professional performance. In this literature review, the training and development is evaluated in such a way to have an explicit comprehension of the effectiveness of training and its contribution to the organisational performance is assessed. The different phases in the training process are mentioned. Moreover, this chapter has also describes the various evaluation frameworks. In a whole the training programs are essential in the achievement of objectives both individually and at an organisational level.

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