Employee training practices in multinational corporations

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Introduction

Many companies have taken birth during this course of time but most have not impressed to get noticed, at the same time there have been a few who have got noticed and risen to become an empire (INFOSYS, WIPRO etc). The secret behind the success of these companies to have sustained in both the phases (initial stage where companies saw an immature growth, later stages where the industry matured) of the industry growth is because of innovation and effective people management skills employed.

Upon interaction and detailed study of corporate world it comes to our understanding that training plays a very essential part in bridging the gap between the employee skill sets and the skills associated with a particular job.

As the new industry emerged there were other sectors which boomed along with the growth of IT industry namely manufacturing.

During the growth of various industries players in each industry, in order to cope with the competition concentrated on having skilled manpower in their armory, this proved to be a very lethal weapon when they fired (launching new product, implement new technology, use new strategies etc.)

Thus updating their employees with the necessary skill sets and knowledge became an integral part of an employee's tenure in the organization.

In this report let's try and understand on what training and development is all about and various methods adopted by various organizations to achieve the above said.

Definition of Training

Training may be defined as a "Planned program designed to improve performance and bring about measurable changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA) and social behavior of employee." It is as act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a particular job.

Features of Training

  • Unable the employees to deal with the changing jobs and roles.
  • Develop knowledge, skill and attitude for handling jobs most efficiently.
  • Bridges the gap between the current level of employee KSA and the required level of KSA to handle job efficiently.
  • Training is basically job-related and need-based.
  • Short-term activity designed essentially for operatives.

Role of organization in training and development

An organization has a very close relationship with the trainee and the trainer because it is the first contact for both.

The demand for the training in the organization increases when the organization wants;

  • To hire new people - training as a means of training new recruits.
  • To Expand When the company wants to increase its headcount.
  • To increase certain number of staff (in position) by a certain date.
  • To enhance the performance of employees.
  • Organization's name to be a part of training unit.

Traditional and modern approach of training anddevelopment

Traditional approach- Most of the organizations before never used to believe in training. They were holding the traditional view that manager's arc born and not made. There were also some views that training is a very costly affair and not worth. Organizations used to believe more in executive pinching. But now the scenario seems to be changing.

The

modern approach

of training and development is that Indian Organizations have realized the importance of corporate training. Training is now considered as more of retention tool than a cost. The training system in Indian Industry has been changed to create a smarter workforce and yield the best results

Training Options

There are four training options that an organization can consider before providing training to their employees;Outsourcing; Outsourcing exempts the organizations to concentrate on its core business. Also, with the availability of sufficient amount of know-how, proficiency in the market it does not make business sense for organizations to have a separate training division. One approach is to tic up with some reputed training or educational institutes and send employees for training. This way, company gets to avail the required expertise and high-quality training programs and saves money on content development, recruiting, and maintaining training team. The only issue in outsourcing training is that the quality of training has to be frequently tracked so as to ensure the trainer's performance and training effectiveness.

Internal Training: A lot of questions has been raised whether to go in for training outsourcing or setting up an internal division for training. Some companies recruit external trainers and call them to the company site make them use their tools to train employees. This alternative is generally for the new joiners who arc given the fundamental or job-related training in-house and then send outside for higher training.

Product-related Training: The dealer who delivers (he apparatus or installs the system offers the initial training. The user may negotiate with the dealer tor a regular upgradation of product-related know-how or expertise in place of a one-time training. The apparatus dealer may choose to send their trainers or recruit outside trainers.

Independent Professionals: Considering the emerging threats and opportunities, the professionals need to keep themselves updated of the developments. In this option, the responsibility of training is entirely on the individual and a better-trained professional will always have better market worth than others

Training In an organizational setting

Any organization has to opt for some or other type of training for increasing the knowledge and skills of its employee for performing a particular job. Training is mainly job-oriented; it aims at maintaining and improving current job performance. Training is needed to achieve the following purposes in an organization:

  1. Newly recruited employees require to undergoing structured training inputs so as to learn and perform their tasks effectively. The nature of training they receive determines their competencies in handling the job(s) assigned to them.
  2. Imparting need-based training to existing employees for grooming them to handle their current jobs better and to prepare them to handle higher level jobs.
  3. Existing employees require refresher training so as to keep them abreast of the latest developments in the concerned job-related operations. In the face of rapid technological changes, this is an absolute necessity.
  4. Training is also necessary when a person gets transferred from one job to another (job rotation) or when there is enhancement in this job domain (job enlargement).
  5. Training makes employees mobile and versatile. They can be placed on various jobs depending on organizational needs.
  6. Training improves overall job productivity / employee productivity.
  7. Training, when proactively and selectively imparted to employees(s) to prepare them to shoulder higher level jobs, is known as succession planning.

Training Policy

Every organization should have a declared training policy, which is understood and supported by employees at all levels. Training can be abortive it" there is no commitment on the part of those being trained. Training should not be seen by employees as a penalty but as an opportunity for them to further their knowledge and expertise both in their own and the organization's interest. The climate needs to be created in which they are eager to seize such opportunities and in their enthusiasm may well be able to identify some their own needs.

The Need for Training

Good communications and consultation arc essential for efficient operation in any organization. However, their impact is often diminished by a lack of skill or knowledge on the part of the participants. It is important, therefore, to provide both managers and employees with training in the skills and techniques required for communication and consultation.

Training can help employees better understand the information they are given and can encourage them to play a fuller part in the way the organization conducts its affairs. Training courses in particular can be a useful way of giving employees factual information about their employment because they necessarily include a substantial clement of explanation and provide opportunities for questions to be answered.

Managers have an important role to play in communicating and consulting and good training can enable them to:

Ø become more aware of the importance of good communication and consultation practice

Ø understand their roles and responsibilities as communicators

Ø Support those who are less outspoken and improve their ability to communicate.

Training is particularly important for supervisors who have important communications responsibilities but often limited experience. Communication and consultation skills should have a place in any development program for them as well as for other managers.

Trade unions should also ensure that they provide adequate training for their representatives to enable them to take a full part in employee communications and consultation.

Wherever possible training should be participative and trainees should be encouraged to exchange views, take part in discussions and share ideas and experiences. Such participation not only makes for more effective training but also helps to foster the idea of employee involvement which is an underlying principle of consultation and communication.

It is good practice to evaluate periodically the effectiveness of any training undertaken.

Why training need analysis?

Training need analysis is conducted to determine whether resources required are available or not. It helps to plan the budget of the company, areas where training is required, and also highlights the occasions where training might not be appropriate but requires alternate action corporate need and training need arc interdependent because the organization performance ultimately depends on the performance of its individual employee and its sub group.

Organizational Level - Training need analysis at organizational level focuses on strategic planning, business need, and goals. It starts with the assessment of internal environment of the organization such as, procedures, structures, policies, strengths, and weaknesses and external environment such as opportunities and threats.

After doing the SWOT analysis, weaknesses can be dealt with the training interventions, while strengths can further be strengthened with continued training. Threats can be reduced by identifying the areas where training is required. And. opportunities can be exploited by balancing it against costs.

For this approach to be successful, the HR department of the company requires to be involved in strategic planning. In this planning HR develops strategies to be sure that the employees in theorganization have the required Knowledge. Skills, and Attributes (KSAs) based on the future KSAs requirements at each level.

Individual Level - Training need analysis at individual level focuses on each and every individual in the organization. At this level, the organization checks whether an employee is performing at desired level or the performance is below expectation. If the difference between the expected performance and actual performance comes out to be positive, then certainly there is a need of training.

However, individual competence can also be linked to individual need. The methods that arc used to analyze the individual need are:

  • Appraisal and performance review
  • Peer appraisal
  • Competency assessments
  • Subordinate appraisal
  • Client feedback
  • Customer feedback
  • Self-assessment or self-appraisal

Operational Level - Training Need analysis at operational level focuses on the work that is being assigned to the employees. The job analyst gathers the information on whether the job is clearly understood by an employee or not. He gathers this information through technical interview, observation, and psychological test: questionnaires asking the closed ended as well as open ended questions, etc. Today, jobs arc dynamic and keep changing over the time. Employees need to prepare for these changes. The job analyst also gathers information on the tasks needs to be done plus the tasks that will be required in the future.

Types of Training

A. On-site training

Ø On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training (OJT) is one of the best training methods because it is planned, organized, and conducted at the employee's worksite. OJT will generally be the primary method used for broadening employee skills and increasing productivity. It is particularly appropriate for developing proficiency skills unique to an employee's job - especially jobs that are relatively easy to learn and require locally-owned equipment and facilities.

Morale, productivity, and professionalism will normally be high in those organizations that employ a sound OJT program.

An analysis of the major job requirements (identified in the position description and performance plan) and related knowledge, skills, and abilities form the basis for setting up an OJT plan. To be most effective, an OJT plan should include:

  • The subject to be covered.
  • Number of hours.

Ø Apprentice Training

Apprenticeship is the process of learning a skilled occupation through both on-the-job training (practical, paid experience) and learning the related technical knowledge in a classroom. You must be 18 years old, or be 16 years old with parental approval.

The length of training varies from one to six years, depending on the occupation. Training is given under the guidance of experienced master workers.

Apprenticeship training is a method that combines actual work experience with classroom related instruction and produces a worker skilled in the occupation, who is capable of exercising independent judgment and who subscribes to the highest standards of professional conduct. There is a written agreement between the apprentice and the employer, which acknowledges their joint commitment to the training process. This agreement is approved by the New York State Department of Labor. Registration of your apprenticeship training program guarantees that your workforce will be consistently trained at the highest skill levels, that your program will be nationally recognized, and that you are entitled to the benefits of registered apprenticeship under Department of Labor laws and regulations.

Mentoring principles and techniques

Rather than simply give the answers, the mentor's role should be to help the mentors' find the answers for him/here. While giving the answers is usually better than giving no help at all, helping the mentor to find the answers for him/herself provides far more effective mentoring, because the process enables so much more for the mentored in terms of experience of learning. Give someone the answers and they learn only the answers; instead mentors need to facilitate the experience of discovery and learning. The mentor should therefore focus mentoring effort and expectations (of the person being mentored especially, and the organization) on helping and guiding the mentored to find the answers and develop solutions of his/her own.

If a mentor tells a mentored what to do, then the mentored becomes like the mentor, who is neither right nor sustainable, and does not help the mentored to find his/her own true self. The mentor's role is to help the mentored to find his/her own true self: to experience their own attempts, failures and successes, and by so doing, to develop his/her own natural strengths andpotential.(his relationship between a parents and a child. If a parent imposes his or her ways, methods and thinking upon a child, the child becomes a clone of the parent, and in some cases then falsifies his or her own true self to please and replicate the model projected by the parent. The true self might never appear, or when it begins to, a crisis of confidence and purpose occurs as the person this to tend and liberate his or her true self.

Ø Job Rotation

This kind of training involves the movement of trainee from one scat to another, thus helping him to have a general understanding of how the organization functions. Apart from releasing boredom, job rotation allows workers to build rapport with a wide range of individuals within the organization, facilitating future cooperation among departments. This personnel strategy offers a great amount of flexibility for organizations when transfers, promotions or replacements become Inevitable.

Job relation may pose several problems, especially when (he trainees arc rolled on various jobs at frequent intervals. In such a case, trainees do not usually spend long enough in any single phase of the operation to develop a strong degree of expertise. For slow learners, it does not give enough room to integrate resources properly. Trainees can become confused when they are exposed to rotation, with contrasting style of operation.

Ø Refresher Training

The purpose of this training is to make the trainee undergo the steps / activities of the job with some updated inputs so as to brush up the knowledge of the trainee on the basic principles and theory. By organizing short term courses, which incorporate the latest developments in a particular field, the company may keep its employees up-to-date and be ready to take the emerging challenges. It is conducted at regular intervals by taking the help of outside consultants who specialize in a particular subject/process.

Ø Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a practical exercise to stimulate creativity in a group, and is a very useful training technique. Brainstorming is based on the premise that it is possible to generate more ideascollectively than the sum of the ideas, which would be produced individually. This arises from the interaction among members, which enables once member to trigger off new ideas in another.

The process of brainstorming demands discipline by the group and not to succumb to the temptation to pass judgment on ideas as soon as they arc read out. The subject of the session having been decided, the members are required to write down a many ideas as possible for dealing with the problem without attempting to evaluate them. They should let the ideas flow freely and write them down even if they at first seem impractical.

After a suitable period of time, each member reads out his list and the other member's arc asked not to criticize, however impractical a suggestion might be. A combined list is produced and the group is then encouraged to evaluate each item. The cross-fertilization that lakes place at this stage leads to the development of new ideas, which may or may not be directly related to the original ones. How the process develops from this point depends on the purpose of the exercise. The final list of ideas is prepared by taking cues from all members who are totally practical suggestions and acceptable to all concerned in the group.

B. Off- Site Training

Ø Lectures/Seminars

A lecture is the method learners often most commonly associate with college and secondary education. Yet, it is also considered one of the least effective methods to Use for adult learners. In this method, one person (the trainer) does all of the talking. He or she may use handouts, visual aids, question/answer, or posters to support the lecture. Communication is primarily one-way: from the instructor to the learner.

Pros:

Less time is needed for the trainer to prepare than other methods. It provides a lot of information quickly when it is less important that the trainees retain a lot of details.

Cons:

Docs not actively involve trainees in training process. The trainees forget much information if it is presented only orally.

Ø Role Playing

During a role play, the trainees assume roles and act out situations connected to the learning concepts. It is good for customer service and sales training.

Pros:

Trainees can learn possible results of certain behaviors in a classroom situation. They get an opportunity to practice people skills. It is possible to experiment with many different approaches to a situation without alienating any actual customers.

Cons:

A lot of time is spent making a single point. Trainers must be skilled and creative in helping the class learn from the situation. In some role play situations, only a few people get to practice while others watch.

Ø Simulations

Trainees participate in a reality-based, interactive activity where they imitate actions required on the job. It is a useful technique for skills development.

Pros:

Training becomes more reality-based, as Trainees arc actively involved in the learning process. It directly applies to jobs performed after training.

Simulations involve yet another learning style, increasing the chance that trainees will retain what they have learned.

Cons: Simulations arc time-consuming. The trainer must be very skilled and make sure those trainees practice the skills correctly. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Ø Computer based training

Content for the training experience comes primarily from a videotape or computer-based program.

Pros:

It is easy to provide this training and the trainer can follow-up with questions and discussion. It is also easy to assure that the same information is presented to each trainee.

o Cons: It is expensive to develop. Most trainers choosing this option must purchase the training from an outside vendor, making the content less specific to their needs.

Conclusion

Finally when we have reached the last stages of our journey to understand and interpret the training practices adopted by organizations, it comes to our understanding that training is a very essential part in any organization for its development along with its employees, basically it is them who run the organization at the end of the day.

Employees in any organization arc considered as a vital asset, who arc initially chosen from a select group of individuals aspiring to serve the organization, after selecting the right candidate for the right job, they are given adequate training to make them familiarized with the job, upon which they resume their jobs. During their journey in that particular organization, periodic training sessions are held to extract more mileage from them.

During this journey we have also encountered many individuals working for organizations who share similar views on the cost and time incurred to organize periodic training sessions, but ultimately only the knowledge and the skill set possessed by an employee through these training sessions took over (he cost and time factors.

In the present day competitive world every organization is trying to make a mark for itself by trying to be unique in their own way which in turn would be beneficial to maintain their stature in the market and the society. In trying to attain the uniqueness organizations go all guns blazing in using their manpower in the most effective and efficient way. Ultimately that is where they look back if a new technology or strategy has to be implemented.

In order to achieve above said, organizations have to keep updating their employees about new technology which exists and the ones in the years to come by means of training sessions at additional cost. This in turn becomes an investment for the organization called Return on Investment.

Return on Investment: when an organization invests on its resources (employees) it expects some return out of its investments which would be more than the amount invested.

Return on Investment: when an organization invests on its resources (employees) it expects some return out of its investments which would be more than the amount invested.

There are two way handshake happening between the organization and their employees where one on side the organization believes in empowering its employees with skills and knowledge to achieve its objectives and on the other side aspiring employees accept the training program given to them with an objective to scale up in their respective careers hence the objectives of organizations and employee arc met on a single platform.

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