This paper discusses an important topic of human resource management and that is training of the employees. This caries great importance as it serves twin purposes which are that it helps in the career development of individuals and simultaneously is really healthy for the growth of an organization. First of all training is defined with preciseness yet with clarity. Then an overview is given about the need, importance and finally the sequence of events followed during the process of training. An exceptional stress is laid upon the evaluation of the training that has been given to the employees to measure its effectiveness.
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Later in the paper on-the-job training, the most popular method of training is discussed in detail. This method of training is critically analyzed also arguing for and against for the use of this technique in most organizations for training employees. By keeping the entire debate in focus finally the paper concludes that, by following a simple system, managers responsible for on-the-job training can greatly improve the effectiveness of their training efforts.
Training is the process of increasing the knowledge and skills for doing a particular job. It is an structured method by which people acquire knowledge and skills for a definite purpose. It basically bridges gap between job requirement and present competence of an employee.
Need of Training
Training is required on account of the following reasons:
Job requirement: Employee selected for a job might lack the qualifications required to perform the job effectiveness.
Technological changes: Technology is changing very fast. Now automation and mechanization have are being increasingly applied.
Organization viability: In order to survive and grow an organization must continually adopt itself to the changing environment.
Internal mobility: Training becomes necessary when an employee moves from one job to another due to promotion and transfer.
Importance of Training
Training is the process of imparting knowledge, skills and aptitude to perform desired job. A well planned and well executed training program can provide the following advantages:
It helps in improving the level of performance and hence results in higher productivity.
Uniformity of work methods and procedures helps to improve the quality of product or service
A systematic training program reduces the cost and time drawn in learning.
Good training helps in economical use of materials and machinery.
It reduces supervision.
It lowers the rate of accidents.
It boosts the morale of employees to perform the task/job efficiently.
Process of Training
Identifying training needs: Process of training starts with identifying the need of training.
Training objectives: the next step is to set training objectives in concrete terms and to decide the strategies to be adopted to achieve these objectives.
Designing training program: An appropriate training policy is very important to meet the objectives. It consists of rules and procedures concerning training.
Imparting training: Here employees are given training as per their requirements.
Evaluating: Here the effectiveness of training is evaluated.
Assessment of the usefulness of training is done to make sure that it is gainful, to identify needs to modify what is being provided, to discover new needs and redefine priorities and most importantly to ensure that the objectives of the exercise are being met.
There are various methods employers use to actually deliver the training. The most popular method is on-the-job training.
ON THE JOB TRAINING
On-the-job training (OJT) is one of the paramount training methods because it is planned, organized, and conducted at the employee’s workplace. On-the-job training is usually the principal method used for augmenting employee skills and escalating output and efficiency. It is mainly suitable for developing expertise distinctive to an employee’s job, chiefly those positions whose work is relatively easy to learn and require locally-owned equipment and facilities.
Self-esteem, high yield, and professionalism are always high in those organizations that employ a logical and reasonable on-the-job training program.
On analyzing the most important requirements that are highlighted in job descriptions and specifications form the basis for setting up an on-the-job training plan. To be most effective, an on-the-job training plan should include:
The area under discussion;
Allocation of time to it each day;
anticipated closing date; and
Evaluation will be conducted in what manner.
A coach should be assigned to each employee involved in on-the-job training to make it successful. All coaches are accountable and responsible for carefully planning the training and also conducting it effectively. On-the-job training is one of numerous ways by which a company might opt to impart the knowledge and skills its employees require.
Every company has its own employment needs. These are dependant on the size of the company, diverse skills and information necessary to carry out particular jobs. Companies use a mixture of strategies to have a labor force which has the essential job training. This helps them to carry out all the required job functions. Structured academic learning or vocational training is the few methods usually used. On-the-job training inevitably forms some part of all teaching programs, no matter which of the tactic is used to train the employees.
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It is said that on the job training is an important example of an investment in human capital. Like any other investment it has initial costs and returns to these expenditures occur in future periods. These future returns are measured by increased productivity of the worker during subsequent periods of employment. (Baron.J., 1997, On the Job Training, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Kalamazoo, MI.)
ON THE JOB TRAINING – ADVANTAGES
Conducting training in an external environment is being avoided by many companies. An inclination towards training employees within their own working environment can be seen clearly. This way they use those tools and equipment which they will be using in future to carry out their specific role in the organization. This preference is proved by Walter who introduced “the Task analytical training system (TATS) model is a performance-based approach to develop, implement, and evaluate a structured on-the-job training program that can be applied to a variety of manufacturing settings.” (1996, October, pg:1)
The employee is given specific job training and they practice under the administration of more qualified staff. This way they gain confidence in their work. The trainer directs them how to perform the task appropriately and gives feedback immediately by pointing out any errors. This allows a new trainee to be incorporated simply and quickly into the company, in addition to the job training being modified to distinctively suit the needs of the company.
Furthermore, on-the-job training makes sure that the employee is actually working as it is learning. This leads them to being further dynamic and proficient. From a financial perspective, for the company it’s a very cost effective method of imparting knowledge and skills that are according to the company’s wants.
ON THE JOB TRAINING – DISADVANTAGES
On-the-job training isn’t always as effectual as it should be. There are many reasons to it.
Firstly, it’s not sufficient that the employee just passes on the skills and knowledge required for the particular job.
A major fact is that teaching and training is also a skill which people should have to be qualified. If they are not and are still giving training to the workforce, then this will be ill-planned and would be delivered in a way that will confuse the trainee. He won’t be able to grasp the concepts, therefore revealing the poor standard of the training. To both the company and to the trainee themselves this will be counter-productive. Often, on the job training is given in a hasty manner, so that employees start working up to the mark early and to save company’s money. This also does not give time to the trainer to establish the skills injected in plus doesn’t allow sufficient time for feedback. Consequently on the job training turns into a waste of time. One of the pivotal mistakes a trainer can make is trying to get too much information absorbed in a short period of time.
One aspect should be kept in mind that trainees are going to take long time to be able to perform the tasks as the company expects. The trainers can do the job blindfolded because this also has come due to many years of experience and unending hard work.
If a company brings in an external trainer who is well equipped with all necessary tools but is completely unfamiliar with the company’s operations and equipment then it has made a big mistake. Though from a financial point of view it might be cost effective but external hiring isn’t always necessarily helpful. An external trainer sometimes hands over bad habits to the trainee without realizing what they are doing. This should be avoided by strict vigilance.
So all that we have found out by this research is, that training is an essential part of human resource management. Moreover, on-the-job training is the best method as it is economical, simple and effective and everybody can do it. It doesn’t need wide-ranging budgets, complex training courses, devoted training staffs or absence from the workplace. Its effectiveness can be significantly enhanced by applying a methodical approach.
“Importantly, each on-the-job model has its own merits and weaknesses but they all serve the same purpose of providing the trainees with the opportunity to “practice and learn by doing”.
“If all I do is hear, I will forget
If I hear and see, I will remember
If I hear, see and do, I will understand”.” (Confucius,. 2005, April 17)
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