Training and development

5448 words (22 pages) Essay

11th May 2017 Management Reference this

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Training and development

Human Resource Development (HRD) can be universally recognised as a very effective approach to improve performance within training. Training consists of a variety of experiences that intend to enhance and develop skills and knowledge in order to accomplish organisational objectives, to improve and change organisational aspects within the work place (Bramley 1996; Broad & Newstorm 1992).

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According to Manpower Services Commission (1981) training is a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge, skills, or behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Its purpose in work situation is to develop the abilities of the individuals and to satisfy the current and future needs of the organisation.

In the same way development is a type of progression in which persons may find it more effective when learning through experiences. It is a procedure that helps people make use of the skills and knowledge that their past teachings and training has given them, this helps not only in present jobs but also anything that may come up in the future. It personifies theories and ideas connected with psychological growth, greater immaturity and increased confidence.

According to Ivancevich (2004), training and development are processes that provide (or at least try to) a personnel with information and skills they need in order to understand the organisation and its goals. They are designed to help a person continue to make positive contributions in the form of good performance. Training helps personnel do their current work better while development prepares them for the future. Training is an important process to every personnel. It is a systematic process in which an individual is aided to alter his behaviour in a direction that will achieve the organisation’s goals.

Ivancevich (2004) describes the goals of training as training validity, transfer validity, intra-organisational validity, and inter-organisational validity. Training validity determines if the trainees learn skills or acquire knowledge or abilities during training while transfer validity determines if these learned skills or acquired knowledge or abilities result to improvement on job performance. Intra-organisational validity determines if the job performance of a new group of trainees in the same organisation that developed the program comparable to that of the original training group’s job performance. Finally, intra-organisational validity determines if the validated training program in one organisation can be applied with successful results in another organisation.

Noe (2003) defines training as “planned effort by a company to facilitate personnel’ learning of job-related competencies” including knowledge, skills, or behaviours that are critical for successful job performance. Training helps personnel master knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviours emphasised in training programs and to apply them in their day-to-day activities (Noe 2003).

As argued by Noe (2003), training is a process which not only needs basic skills, which would be skills that are sufficient enough to perform ones job, but also needs skills at an advanced levels which enables a person to use high technological information and share it with other personnel. This would be perfect in order to gain competitive advantage. A good understanding of the customer and the system is also a key aspect within training. Al of these put together collectively defines intellectual capital.

A training initiative which requires generating intellectual capital is a training which goes by the name of high -leverage training. According to Carnevale (1990), high-leverage training, which is linked to strategic business goals and objectives, uses an instructional design process to ensure the effectiveness of training programs, and compares or benchmarks the company’s training programs against other company’s training programs.

According to Richard M. Hodgetts and Fred Luthans (1976), training is a procedure of changing behaviour and attitudes in a way that increases the success of reaching ones targets. According to both theorists culture, customs and work habits of the local people should also be taught in training process. And if all the above mentioned factors along with other factors are considered properly it would boost towards the success of any establishment.

Formal training programs are not seen to be enough in accordance to today’s fast moving world, this is the thought contributed by the author Hall (2004). A few other things the author believes is that in order to uphold certain standards that are commercial and cost effective, the people should be execution experts. A lot of senior executives believe that budget will stay tight, even after a full economic recovery, and that headcount, time. IT support, and other resources will continue to be in short supply.

The opportunity – and demand – for enterprise-wide initiatives to bring about wholesale change will only increase. If you are a leader of learning, your future and the future of your organisation depends on your ability to make significant initiatives happen despite the challenges of day-to-day work. To acquire this you need to become an execution expert. Today’s best-in-class learning professionals operate differently than those who came before them. Their thoughts are focused on 3 areas: business strategy, resources, and execution. (Hall 2004, p65-6).

Two different training methods are identified by the authors (Ferris et al, 2006), the first set of training is described as the routine training which is given to all level of working staff. The other set of training however, is a type of training in which political skills is the main and important component of training and development process and is aimed mainly for senior executives. As the work force moves up the chain of command to higher jobs at wider scales, technical capability is less important and political skill takes its place.

When the centre for Creative Leadership studied why once-promising executives failed on the job, lack of social effectiveness emerged as a leading cause. The political skill which is mentioned quite a bit, is a type of skill that distinguishes successful and efficient managers from those managers who are inefficient. It is also an ability which merges together social intelligence which facilitates and adjusts to situations where differentiation and changes are of demand. In return this helps in developing and advancing the working conditions.

Training and development at individual level:-

To identify each person’s own knowledge, skills and abilities in order to assess each individual and progress them at the pace According themselves. Psychology theorists’ e.g. Likert (1961), Mayo (1933) cited by Younglin (2001) entails that employee satisfaction and well being are related to performance, but in those theories they did not explicitly hypothesize about the appropriate level of analysis, for example individuals, groups or organizations.

Assessments and one to one meetings allow employees to reflect on their own learning needs in relation to their work aims. It also provides well controlled learning experiences linked to professional and administrative needs, goals and job requirements.

Individual levelled training and development is the base and the stepping stone of any needs assessment. All managers have different emphasis on specific needs collaborating with their job description, level of education and intelligence experience and personal choice. Focusing on employees individual needs appraisals makes it easier to compile personal development plans that suit each employee according to their own level of competency.

Training and development at organisational level:-

It is vital for organisations to focus on people’s capability to foresee, adapt and respond to sudden changes in the environment. Training and development will have to join together it with corporate goals. It must be accurate with what the business leaders are trying to achieve.

In order for training to seem more appropriate, its programme will revolve around business related matters for the future. In practice, its achievements will shoulder on developing apparent training objectives from the tactical issues of the business.

Effective managers are created in an environment where there is continuity in the learning manner. A high level of experience, expertise and mind power of the internal as well as external trainers is essential, along with their commitment and capability to maintain a healthy relationship committed to management maturity. The method of learning can often engage unlearning certain behaviours and attitudes. certainly, in relation to organisations (Hamel & Prahalad 1994, cited in Cole, 2000, p268) found that ‘creating a “ learning organisation” is only half the solution. Just as important is creating an “ unlearning organisation”…to create the future, a company must unlearn at least some of its past.’

According to Cole (2000) training and development of workforce is a concern that is faced by more or less all the establishment. The quantity and excellence of training carried out varies a lot from organisation to organisation. Therefore most of the establishments are adapting systematic approach to the training and development of their employees. Organisations use systematic training cycle to perform a logical sequence of activities commencing within the organisations starting with the training policy, assessment of training needs, carrying out training and evaluations.

Cole (2000, p.278) summarises that this training cycle is quite beneficial within an organisation. The systematic approach to training and development arises from the amount of internal and external stress for alteration in the organisation. Firstly in a systematic approach is to develop a policy statement to act as a channel to the organisation’s intentions regarding the weight and track to be given by to training and development. Secondly initialise a set of roles for those in charge for implementing the policy and thirdly to set up a appropriate structure of training posts and procedures, and to allocate adequate funds to the training establishment. As all the steps are followed with completeness then one can focus on the analysis of training needs, evaluation and review of training carried out.

Training policy

Establishments mostly deal with a wide range of policies dealing with human resources. Policies are set by the establishments to develop their employees and to monitor their performance by certain training and development programs and courses, conducted internally or externally.

According to Cole (2000),training focuses on learning needs and are mainly associated to existing responsibilities and duties which are narrowly linked to short, medium and long term business plans and are seen as an key element of an establishment to prove to its consumers, training and development are the key to success of any organisational goals which indicates the overall plan of an organisation, execution of training and development programs provides a direct link to the organisational goals for those who are accountable for the best possible results. Most of the organisations have a extended tradition of raising their own managers and professionals and providing them with in-house courses according to organisational needs. Some of the organisations rely on external management trainings and courses.

Training needs

Needs assessment is the process of determining if training is necessary (Noe 2003) and identifying the organisation’s training needs (Ivancevich 2004) and answering the question of whether training addresses the organisation’s needs, objectives and problems (Arthur et al. 2003). According to Noe (2003), if the needs assessment phase, the first phase in the instructional design process, is poorly conducted, training will not meet the desired outcome or financial benefit for the company, regardless of the training method and the learning environment.

According to Boydell (1985) there are three levels of training needs which are to be studied before putting the programs in to practice. This three-step process consists of organisational analysis, person analysis and task analysis.

There are a few factors linked with organisational analysis, such as when given the company resources is the relevant training appropriate, where is training needed in the organisation, which goals can be accomplished through personnel training, and if to determine as to wether or not training can be used to improve a company’s success ( Noe 2003, Arthur et al. 2003, Ivancevich 2004). When assessed at an organisational level we must see the general weaknesses the organisation has perceived in its priorities and what would be the prescribed remedy that would be required in alteration of the organisational culture. According to Noe (2003), there are three factors to be considered before choosing training as a solution, these three factors being, the company’s strategic direction, managers’ and peers’ support for training activities and the training resources available.(Noe 2003)

Training to some level should help a company achieve its business strategy. If one was to define a business strategy, it is said that this is an approach which refers to a plan that join’s together the company’s goal, policies and actions (Meister 2000). Noe (2003) also mentions that “the strategic role of training influences the frequency and type of training, and how the training function is organised in the company.” (p 42) it is more likely the regularity of training will be higher in companies where training is expected to be a factor in the achievement of the company’s business strategies and goals as a post to those companies where in training is done randomly or unplanned. Also it is said that the higher the strategic role of planning, it is more likely that the company will organise the training purpose using a virtual training organisation or corporate university models. (Noe 2003)

The managers’ and peers’ support for training activities is a critical factor in considering a training programme. To be successful, managers and peers should have a positive attitude in participating a training activity. Furthermore, managers and peers should be willing to provide trainees with information on how they can effectively use knowledge, skill or behaviours learned in the training activity (Bramley 1996).

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To determine the initiation of a training activity it is essential for the company to have all necessary resources. For example if a company decides to hire a consultant for training purposes it is vital for that consultant to provide a high quality level of training. According to Noe (2003), it is advisable that a company use request for proposal (RFP) because it helps to identify the consultants or vendors who qualify for the criteria. RFP includes the type of service the company is seeking, the type and number of references needed, the number of personnel to be trained, the funding for the project, the follow-up process used to determine the level of satisfaction and service, expected date of completion, and the date when proposals must be received by the company (Noe 2003).

Person analysis is a procedure which helps the establishment to identify the personnel and how they need to be trained. The analysis verifies all the necessary personnel readiness for training and development, such as personnel abilities, attitudes, beliefs, and enthusiasm. All these factors are vital for the person to learn from the training activity and apply it to the job. Being ready and fully aware for training also means that the work atmosphere will aid with learning and will not hinder with any kind of performance (Noe 2003). The present abilities (skills, knowledge and attitudes) of each staff member concerned had to be assessed against the higher standards needed to carry out their work satisfactorily and any short falls remedied through training.

An indicator of the need for training is poor performance measured by customer complaints, low performance ratings, or on-the-job incidents such as accidents and unsafe behaviour. Job changes are also an indicator of the need for training. Job changes can be improvement of the current level of performances or the need for personnel to complete new tasks. (Noe 2003)

According to Rummler and Brache (1996), factors such as, person characteristics, input, output, knowledge, consequences and feedback control personnel performance. Person’s qualities are what construct the knowledge, skills and abilities of the personnel. The above mentioned factor of input refers to the directives that enable the personnel to know when, what and how to perform but at the same time also, the resources such as equipment, time or budget contributes also to the performance. Output is the standard according to the personnel of how the job is performed. A consequence is an aspect that gives encouragement to the personnel when they perform well. Feedback is the information the personnel receive while they are performing (Noe 2003).

Ivancevich (2004) describes task analysis as the identification of the tasks, knowledge, skills and behaviours that should be covered in a training program. According to Schneier, Guthrie and Olian (1988), there are four steps involved in task analysis. First, select the job or jobs to be analysed. Then, build up a preliminary list of tasks performed on the job. This can be done by interviewing and observing expert personnel and their managers and talking with others who have performed a task analysis.

Third, confirm the preliminary list of tasks by asking several questions regarding the tasks a group of subject matter experts in a meeting or through a written survey. Through this, the management can determine which tasks must be included in the training program. Important tasks that are frequently performed and of moderate to high level of difficulty should be included in the training while tasks that are not important and infrequently performed should not be included. However, since there are tasks that are important but are less frequently performed, managers and trainers should determine whether these tasks should be trained for. (Noe 2003)

The last step is to identify the knowledge, skills or abilities needed to successfully perform the tasks identified. Similar in identifying the tasks to be trained for, knowledge, skills or abilities necessary can be learned through interviews and questionnaires. It is important to know the level of difficulty in learning knowledge, skills and abilities (Bramley 1996).

Ivancevich (2004) points out that these assessment categories are important. However, training assessment should focus on the personnel’ needs because it is at the individual or group level that training is conducted (Ivancevich 2003, p114). According to Kirkpatrick, there are four ways to determine the personnel’ needs for training. These are through observation of the personnel, listening to the personnel, asking the supervisors about their personnel’ needs, and examining the problems the personnel have with regards to their job (Kirkpatrick 1996).

Michalak and Yager (1979) further stresses that by doing this, the manager is actually conducting a performance analysis. There are steps in performance analysis. First step is the evaluation of the personnel performance and determining if there is a behaviour discrepancy in the personnel’ performance. Next, the cost and value of correcting the identified behaviour discrepancy should be determined. Then, determine if the personnel can do the expected job if he wanted to (Ivancevich 2004). Then, establish a standard and communicate this clearly to improve job performance. Then, remove obstacles that might cause behaviour discrepancy. Next, the manager should give the personnel time to practice the skills, knowledge and abilities needed in performing their job. Next, decide if the job should be redesigned.

If all else fails, the managers should take matters to the next level and decide whether to transfer the personnel to another department or to terminate his contract. However, performance analysis may result to a problem in the driving force. Corroborations such as reward, punishment, or discipline may be essential to create stimulus for the whole work force. Performance analysis may also lead to recognising a need for training and development.

However, some organisations avoid doing training needs assessment. According to Schneier, Guthrie and Olian (1988), the possible reasons for this are lack of information on conducting training needs assessment, management scepticism on the effectiveness of training needs assessment, poor planning and lack of time in doing training needs assessment. But Schneier, Guthrie and Olian (1988) stress that training needs assessment should be done because there are many benefits that result from doing this such as improving the training function, tying in with other personnel/human resource management (P/HRM) programs and improving their efficacy, and increasing legal defensibility.

Training Process

Though typically the shortest phase in the training process, the training program itself encompasses a myriad of details which must be thought about carefully in order that a program will run smoothly, remain true to its defined objectives, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. Coordinating the logistics of a training program is a detailed and essential step in planning a successful training program. As Van Wart, Cayer, and Cook (1993, p.235) point out, “careful planning results in substantially fewer problems, headaches, and even disasters.” Countless items such as facilities, room set-up, scheduling, registration, snacks, name tags, audio-visual needs, correspondence with trainees, social events, and the compilation of training materials must be taken into account to insure a successful program. In addition, it is important to plan in advance how to open and close a training session, to avoid awkward transitions and a poor climate during the session (Nadler & Nadler 1994).

Another important consideration is the materials and kit which will be used to communicate information to the participants. Handouts, textbooks, manuals, and other visual aids (VanWart, Cayer, & Cook 1994) enhance the training environment and give participants tangible records of their training to take away and refer to when a refresher is necessary. There should be plenty of materials for all of the participants and extras for those who may register at the last minute. Equipment should be checked to make sure it is in good working condition prior to the program (Nadler & Nadler 1994). And finally, as with most things in life, it never hurts to have a contingency plan.

A training program may incorporate many different types of strategies for communicating information and fostering a learning environment. Lectures, group activities, discussions, videos, games, guest speakers, case studies, presentations, panel discussions, outdoor interventions, and hands-on skill training are but a few examples of the variety of methods which exist for use in training situations.

Beary (1994) suggests that trainers should use questions in training to serve as icebreakers, determine knowledge levels and attitudes, stimulate discussion, share knowledge, make transitions, and build teams. Harris (1994) puts forth his P.R.A.C.T.I.C.A.L. model for “better-than-average presentations” which calls for attention to be paid to: Partnerships, Rhetorical questions, the Ability to be spontaneous, Conversational style, Tone of voice, Involvement, Creativity, Acute relevance, and Lucidity. Harris also provides four verbal tools which can be used to vary presentations through language. Analogies, alliteration, plays on words, and rhymes can be useful ways to draw attention to material which may require ‘spicing up’. A trainer would certainly want to consider his or her audience before using some of these tools. A group of firemen may not be impressed by rhyming skills, while a group of writers might find it very refreshing.

Kaeter (1994) suggests several ways to create a “training culture,” which, she explains, will enhance the environment and may even help a trainer to deal with the ever-present resistant trainee. Her ideas include: researching the situation in advance, making knowledge relevant to those situations, facilitating rather than lecturing, making a clear link between the person, the job, and the goals of the organisation, not ignoring resistant participants, deflecting attacks by drawing in the group, and being available after training for questions and one-on-one discussions. Given that in almost every training situation, there will be one or two individuals who are resistant to the ideas being presented, (or to the very idea of being at a training program) it is important to create a culture which deals proactively with resisters and allows learning to occur for everyone.

In addition to those presented here, there are hundreds of other useful approaches to conducting effective training programs. The important thing to recognise is that each method and strategy has inherent strengths and weaknesses, and that there is not one method or strategy whose use will result consistently in a flawless training program. A combination of methods, strategies, and techniques makes for a rich, diverse, cooperative, and instructive training situation.

In any training situation, it is important to appreciate the variety of ways that people learn, and to use techniques, which will meet the needs of a diverse group of learners (Armstrong 1988). While some individuals may learn kinaesthetically, others may be more receptive to visual or auditory techniques. A trainer must design his or her program to incorporate elements which will be useful to all types of learners, also taking into consideration the “knowledge, skills, abilities, and motivation that trainees bring to the training situation.” (VanWart, Cayer, & Cook 1994, p 139)

According to Bramley (1996), learning situations should be sequenced so that various styles of learning are integrated into the whole. A useful model, based on adult experiential learning, is the Kolb (1984) cycle of learning (see Figure 2). This model requires that activity in all four stages take place for effective learning to occur. Training which is designed with a variety of learning styles in mind will greatly encourage trainees to incorporate the knowledge into their own way of thinking, and transfer the training into the workplace.

After logistics and strategies are determined, the designer must decide the most appropriate method for gathering evaluations and feedback from the participants. This step can be used to identify opportunities for further training, to enhance learning, to identify problems and possible solutions, to assess the impact of the training, and to monitor changes in thinking related to the training (Brinkerhoff & Gill 1994).

Such information can be obtained through observation of reactions to training programs, through learning reviews provided by participants (Bramley, 1996), or through pre and post-testing of skills, attitudes, and behaviours. In addition, there are a variety of questionnaire types which can be utilised for evaluations. Regardless of the type of questionnaire, which is used, however, it is crucial to gather feedback from as many of the participants as possible, to give them a forum for providing the most honest and detailed feedback possible, and to take future action based on the responses (Kirkpatrick 1996).

Another valuable method of gaining feedback from participants is to speak with them individually, perhaps at some point during the program, or in a scheduled meeting or discussion group held shortly after the program takes place. It is vital to remember that changes in attitude do not necessarily equals change in behaviour. While information about attitudes may drop light on trainees’ immediate reactions and learning, such information alone is not necessarily a good indicator of long term changes in behaviour or overall results of training. As demonstrated by this study, it is important to collect a variety of data at several differing intervals, in order to gain the best understanding of the training and the outcomes of it.

Evaluation of Training

The final stage of the systematic training process is the evaluation of training. This can be done by comparing the results, especially the benefits, with the objectives of the training program set in the assessment phase (Ivancevich 2004). As mentioned in the introduction chapter, many companies are increasingly concerned if training adds value to organisations and training departments are continuously justifying the effectiveness of training (Phillips 1996; Holton 1995). Preskill (1997) asserts that the most appropriate method to determine the effectiveness of training is through training evaluation. As Jones (2006, p.42) said, “It is essential for HRD practitioners to use the training evaluation method in order to determine whether an organisation receives a significant return on investment in terms of human resources, time and money.”

There are many reasons as to why training evaluation should be done. Evaluation can be a tool for informing the trainees of their progress, modifying and improving programs and instructor performance, and providing evidence to managers that problems and issues have been addressed and solved (Laird 1985). Training effectiveness is also a measure of the training department’s credibility (Kirkpatrick 1996). Other benefits brought about by doing training evaluation are increased confidence in the trainers’ claim, increased legitimacy of the training function in organisations, justification for continued support, valuable feedback for improving training methods (Phillips 1996, Jones 2006).

Noe (2003 p98-9) summarises these reasons in the following: to identify the program’s strengths and weaknesses; to evaluate whether the content, organisation and administration of the program contribute to learning and the use of training content on the job; to identify which trainees benefited most or least from the program; to gather data to assist in marketing the program to determine the financial benefits and costs of the program; to compare the costs and benefits of training and non-training investments; to compare the costs and benefits of different training programs to know which training program is best to use.

As with any other evaluation process, criteria should be established for easier evaluation. Ivancevich (2004, p77) points out the three types of criteria — internal, external, and participant’s reaction. However, participant’s reaction can be included in the internal criterion. The internal criteria are concerned with the content of the training program. The external criteria are concerned with the ultimate goal of the program.

Many training evaluation models were developed. The most popular of which is Donald Kirkpatrick’s (1994) four-level evaluation criterion. According to thi

Training and development

Human Resource Development (HRD) can be universally recognised as a very effective approach to improve performance within training. Training consists of a variety of experiences that intend to enhance and develop skills and knowledge in order to accomplish organisational objectives, to improve and change organisational aspects within the work place (Bramley 1996; Broad & Newstorm 1992).

According to Manpower Services Commission (1981) training is a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge, skills, or behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Its purpose in work situation is to develop the abilities of the individuals and to satisfy the current and future needs of the organisation.

In the same way development is a type of progression in which persons may find it more effective when learning through experiences. It is a procedure that helps people make use of the skills and knowledge that their past teachings and training has given them, this helps not only in present jobs but also anything that may come up in the future. It personifies theories and ideas connected with psychological growth, greater immaturity and increased confidence.

According to Ivancevich (2004), training and development are processes that provide (or at least try to) a personnel with information and skills they need in order to understand the organisation and its goals. They are designed to help a person continue to make positive contributions in the form of good performance. Training helps personnel do their current work better while development prepares them for the future. Training is an important process to every personnel. It is a systematic process in which an individual is aided to alter his behaviour in a direction that will achieve the organisation’s goals.

Ivancevich (2004) describes the goals of training as training validity, transfer validity, intra-organisational validity, and inter-organisational validity. Training validity determines if the trainees learn skills or acquire knowledge or abilities during training while transfer validity determines if these learned skills or acquired knowledge or abilities result to improvement on job performance. Intra-organisational validity determines if the job performance of a new group of trainees in the same organisation that developed the program comparable to that of the original training group’s job performance. Finally, intra-organisational validity determines if the validated training program in one organisation can be applied with successful results in another organisation.

Noe (2003) defines training as “planned effort by a company to facilitate personnel’ learning of job-related competencies” including knowledge, skills, or behaviours that are critical for successful job performance. Training helps personnel master knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviours emphasised in training programs and to apply them in their day-to-day activities (Noe 2003).

As argued by Noe (2003), training is a process which not only needs basic skills, which would be skills that are sufficient enough to perform ones job, but also needs skills at an advanced levels which enables a person to use high technological information and share it with other personnel. This would be perfect in order to gain competitive advantage. A good understanding of the customer and the system is also a key aspect within training. Al of these put together collectively defines intellectual capital.

A training initiative which requires generating intellectual capital is a training which goes by the name of high -leverage training. According to Carnevale (1990), high-leverage training, which is linked to strategic business goals and objectives, uses an instructional design process to ensure the effectiveness of training programs, and compares or benchmarks the company’s training programs against other company’s training programs.

According to Richard M. Hodgetts and Fred Luthans (1976), training is a procedure of changing behaviour and attitudes in a way that increases the success of reaching ones targets. According to both theorists culture, customs and work habits of the local people should also be taught in training process. And if all the above mentioned factors along with other factors are considered properly it would boost towards the success of any establishment.

Formal training programs are not seen to be enough in accordance to today’s fast moving world, this is the thought contributed by the author Hall (2004). A few other things the author believes is that in order to uphold certain standards that are commercial and cost effective, the people should be execution experts. A lot of senior executives believe that budget will stay tight, even after a full economic recovery, and that headcount, time. IT support, and other resources will continue to be in short supply.

The opportunity – and demand – for enterprise-wide initiatives to bring about wholesale change will only increase. If you are a leader of learning, your future and the future of your organisation depends on your ability to make significant initiatives happen despite the challenges of day-to-day work. To acquire this you need to become an execution expert. Today’s best-in-class learning professionals operate differently than those who came before them. Their thoughts are focused on 3 areas: business strategy, resources, and execution. (Hall 2004, p65-6).

Two different training methods are identified by the authors (Ferris et al, 2006), the first set of training is described as the routine training which is given to all level of working staff. The other set of training however, is a type of training in which political skills is the main and important component of training and development process and is aimed mainly for senior executives. As the work force moves up the chain of command to higher jobs at wider scales, technical capability is less important and political skill takes its place.

When the centre for Creative Leadership studied why once-promising executives failed on the job, lack of social effectiveness emerged as a leading cause. The political skill which is mentioned quite a bit, is a type of skill that distinguishes successful and efficient managers from those managers who are inefficient. It is also an ability which merges together social intelligence which facilitates and adjusts to situations where differentiation and changes are of demand. In return this helps in developing and advancing the working conditions.

Training and development at individual level:-

To identify each person’s own knowledge, skills and abilities in order to assess each individual and progress them at the pace According themselves. Psychology theorists’ e.g. Likert (1961), Mayo (1933) cited by Younglin (2001) entails that employee satisfaction and well being are related to performance, but in those theories they did not explicitly hypothesize about the appropriate level of analysis, for example individuals, groups or organizations.

Assessments and one to one meetings allow employees to reflect on their own learning needs in relation to their work aims. It also provides well controlled learning experiences linked to professional and administrative needs, goals and job requirements.

Individual levelled training and development is the base and the stepping stone of any needs assessment. All managers have different emphasis on specific needs collaborating with their job description, level of education and intelligence experience and personal choice. Focusing on employees individual needs appraisals makes it easier to compile personal development plans that suit each employee according to their own level of competency.

Training and development at organisational level:-

It is vital for organisations to focus on people’s capability to foresee, adapt and respond to sudden changes in the environment. Training and development will have to join together it with corporate goals. It must be accurate with what the business leaders are trying to achieve.

In order for training to seem more appropriate, its programme will revolve around business related matters for the future. In practice, its achievements will shoulder on developing apparent training objectives from the tactical issues of the business.

Effective managers are created in an environment where there is continuity in the learning manner. A high level of experience, expertise and mind power of the internal as well as external trainers is essential, along with their commitment and capability to maintain a healthy relationship committed to management maturity. The method of learning can often engage unlearning certain behaviours and attitudes. certainly, in relation to organisations (Hamel & Prahalad 1994, cited in Cole, 2000, p268) found that ‘creating a “ learning organisation” is only half the solution. Just as important is creating an “ unlearning organisation”…to create the future, a company must unlearn at least some of its past.’

According to Cole (2000) training and development of workforce is a concern that is faced by more or less all the establishment. The quantity and excellence of training carried out varies a lot from organisation to organisation. Therefore most of the establishments are adapting systematic approach to the training and development of their employees. Organisations use systematic training cycle to perform a logical sequence of activities commencing within the organisations starting with the training policy, assessment of training needs, carrying out training and evaluations.

Cole (2000, p.278) summarises that this training cycle is quite beneficial within an organisation. The systematic approach to training and development arises from the amount of internal and external stress for alteration in the organisation. Firstly in a systematic approach is to develop a policy statement to act as a channel to the organisation’s intentions regarding the weight and track to be given by to training and development. Secondly initialise a set of roles for those in charge for implementing the policy and thirdly to set up a appropriate structure of training posts and procedures, and to allocate adequate funds to the training establishment. As all the steps are followed with completeness then one can focus on the analysis of training needs, evaluation and review of training carried out.

Training policy

Establishments mostly deal with a wide range of policies dealing with human resources. Policies are set by the establishments to develop their employees and to monitor their performance by certain training and development programs and courses, conducted internally or externally.

According to Cole (2000),training focuses on learning needs and are mainly associated to existing responsibilities and duties which are narrowly linked to short, medium and long term business plans and are seen as an key element of an establishment to prove to its consumers, training and development are the key to success of any organisational goals which indicates the overall plan of an organisation, execution of training and development programs provides a direct link to the organisational goals for those who are accountable for the best possible results. Most of the organisations have a extended tradition of raising their own managers and professionals and providing them with in-house courses according to organisational needs. Some of the organisations rely on external management trainings and courses.

Training needs

Needs assessment is the process of determining if training is necessary (Noe 2003) and identifying the organisation’s training needs (Ivancevich 2004) and answering the question of whether training addresses the organisation’s needs, objectives and problems (Arthur et al. 2003). According to Noe (2003), if the needs assessment phase, the first phase in the instructional design process, is poorly conducted, training will not meet the desired outcome or financial benefit for the company, regardless of the training method and the learning environment.

According to Boydell (1985) there are three levels of training needs which are to be studied before putting the programs in to practice. This three-step process consists of organisational analysis, person analysis and task analysis.

There are a few factors linked with organisational analysis, such as when given the company resources is the relevant training appropriate, where is training needed in the organisation, which goals can be accomplished through personnel training, and if to determine as to wether or not training can be used to improve a company’s success ( Noe 2003, Arthur et al. 2003, Ivancevich 2004). When assessed at an organisational level we must see the general weaknesses the organisation has perceived in its priorities and what would be the prescribed remedy that would be required in alteration of the organisational culture. According to Noe (2003), there are three factors to be considered before choosing training as a solution, these three factors being, the company’s strategic direction, managers’ and peers’ support for training activities and the training resources available.(Noe 2003)

Training to some level should help a company achieve its business strategy. If one was to define a business strategy, it is said that this is an approach which refers to a plan that join’s together the company’s goal, policies and actions (Meister 2000). Noe (2003) also mentions that “the strategic role of training influences the frequency and type of training, and how the training function is organised in the company.” (p 42) it is more likely the regularity of training will be higher in companies where training is expected to be a factor in the achievement of the company’s business strategies and goals as a post to those companies where in training is done randomly or unplanned. Also it is said that the higher the strategic role of planning, it is more likely that the company will organise the training purpose using a virtual training organisation or corporate university models. (Noe 2003)

The managers’ and peers’ support for training activities is a critical factor in considering a training programme. To be successful, managers and peers should have a positive attitude in participating a training activity. Furthermore, managers and peers should be willing to provide trainees with information on how they can effectively use knowledge, skill or behaviours learned in the training activity (Bramley 1996).

To determine the initiation of a training activity it is essential for the company to have all necessary resources. For example if a company decides to hire a consultant for training purposes it is vital for that consultant to provide a high quality level of training. According to Noe (2003), it is advisable that a company use request for proposal (RFP) because it helps to identify the consultants or vendors who qualify for the criteria. RFP includes the type of service the company is seeking, the type and number of references needed, the number of personnel to be trained, the funding for the project, the follow-up process used to determine the level of satisfaction and service, expected date of completion, and the date when proposals must be received by the company (Noe 2003).

Person analysis is a procedure which helps the establishment to identify the personnel and how they need to be trained. The analysis verifies all the necessary personnel readiness for training and development, such as personnel abilities, attitudes, beliefs, and enthusiasm. All these factors are vital for the person to learn from the training activity and apply it to the job. Being ready and fully aware for training also means that the work atmosphere will aid with learning and will not hinder with any kind of performance (Noe 2003). The present abilities (skills, knowledge and attitudes) of each staff member concerned had to be assessed against the higher standards needed to carry out their work satisfactorily and any short falls remedied through training.

An indicator of the need for training is poor performance measured by customer complaints, low performance ratings, or on-the-job incidents such as accidents and unsafe behaviour. Job changes are also an indicator of the need for training. Job changes can be improvement of the current level of performances or the need for personnel to complete new tasks. (Noe 2003)

According to Rummler and Brache (1996), factors such as, person characteristics, input, output, knowledge, consequences and feedback control personnel performance. Person’s qualities are what construct the knowledge, skills and abilities of the personnel. The above mentioned factor of input refers to the directives that enable the personnel to know when, what and how to perform but at the same time also, the resources such as equipment, time or budget contributes also to the performance. Output is the standard according to the personnel of how the job is performed. A consequence is an aspect that gives encouragement to the personnel when they perform well. Feedback is the information the personnel receive while they are performing (Noe 2003).

Ivancevich (2004) describes task analysis as the identification of the tasks, knowledge, skills and behaviours that should be covered in a training program. According to Schneier, Guthrie and Olian (1988), there are four steps involved in task analysis. First, select the job or jobs to be analysed. Then, build up a preliminary list of tasks performed on the job. This can be done by interviewing and observing expert personnel and their managers and talking with others who have performed a task analysis.

Third, confirm the preliminary list of tasks by asking several questions regarding the tasks a group of subject matter experts in a meeting or through a written survey. Through this, the management can determine which tasks must be included in the training program. Important tasks that are frequently performed and of moderate to high level of difficulty should be included in the training while tasks that are not important and infrequently performed should not be included. However, since there are tasks that are important but are less frequently performed, managers and trainers should determine whether these tasks should be trained for. (Noe 2003)

The last step is to identify the knowledge, skills or abilities needed to successfully perform the tasks identified. Similar in identifying the tasks to be trained for, knowledge, skills or abilities necessary can be learned through interviews and questionnaires. It is important to know the level of difficulty in learning knowledge, skills and abilities (Bramley 1996).

Ivancevich (2004) points out that these assessment categories are important. However, training assessment should focus on the personnel’ needs because it is at the individual or group level that training is conducted (Ivancevich 2003, p114). According to Kirkpatrick, there are four ways to determine the personnel’ needs for training. These are through observation of the personnel, listening to the personnel, asking the supervisors about their personnel’ needs, and examining the problems the personnel have with regards to their job (Kirkpatrick 1996).

Michalak and Yager (1979) further stresses that by doing this, the manager is actually conducting a performance analysis. There are steps in performance analysis. First step is the evaluation of the personnel performance and determining if there is a behaviour discrepancy in the personnel’ performance. Next, the cost and value of correcting the identified behaviour discrepancy should be determined. Then, determine if the personnel can do the expected job if he wanted to (Ivancevich 2004). Then, establish a standard and communicate this clearly to improve job performance. Then, remove obstacles that might cause behaviour discrepancy. Next, the manager should give the personnel time to practice the skills, knowledge and abilities needed in performing their job. Next, decide if the job should be redesigned.

If all else fails, the managers should take matters to the next level and decide whether to transfer the personnel to another department or to terminate his contract. However, performance analysis may result to a problem in the driving force. Corroborations such as reward, punishment, or discipline may be essential to create stimulus for the whole work force. Performance analysis may also lead to recognising a need for training and development.

However, some organisations avoid doing training needs assessment. According to Schneier, Guthrie and Olian (1988), the possible reasons for this are lack of information on conducting training needs assessment, management scepticism on the effectiveness of training needs assessment, poor planning and lack of time in doing training needs assessment. But Schneier, Guthrie and Olian (1988) stress that training needs assessment should be done because there are many benefits that result from doing this such as improving the training function, tying in with other personnel/human resource management (P/HRM) programs and improving their efficacy, and increasing legal defensibility.

Training Process

Though typically the shortest phase in the training process, the training program itself encompasses a myriad of details which must be thought about carefully in order that a program will run smoothly, remain true to its defined objectives, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. Coordinating the logistics of a training program is a detailed and essential step in planning a successful training program. As Van Wart, Cayer, and Cook (1993, p.235) point out, “careful planning results in substantially fewer problems, headaches, and even disasters.” Countless items such as facilities, room set-up, scheduling, registration, snacks, name tags, audio-visual needs, correspondence with trainees, social events, and the compilation of training materials must be taken into account to insure a successful program. In addition, it is important to plan in advance how to open and close a training session, to avoid awkward transitions and a poor climate during the session (Nadler & Nadler 1994).

Another important consideration is the materials and kit which will be used to communicate information to the participants. Handouts, textbooks, manuals, and other visual aids (VanWart, Cayer, & Cook 1994) enhance the training environment and give participants tangible records of their training to take away and refer to when a refresher is necessary. There should be plenty of materials for all of the participants and extras for those who may register at the last minute. Equipment should be checked to make sure it is in good working condition prior to the program (Nadler & Nadler 1994). And finally, as with most things in life, it never hurts to have a contingency plan.

A training program may incorporate many different types of strategies for communicating information and fostering a learning environment. Lectures, group activities, discussions, videos, games, guest speakers, case studies, presentations, panel discussions, outdoor interventions, and hands-on skill training are but a few examples of the variety of methods which exist for use in training situations.

Beary (1994) suggests that trainers should use questions in training to serve as icebreakers, determine knowledge levels and attitudes, stimulate discussion, share knowledge, make transitions, and build teams. Harris (1994) puts forth his P.R.A.C.T.I.C.A.L. model for “better-than-average presentations” which calls for attention to be paid to: Partnerships, Rhetorical questions, the Ability to be spontaneous, Conversational style, Tone of voice, Involvement, Creativity, Acute relevance, and Lucidity. Harris also provides four verbal tools which can be used to vary presentations through language. Analogies, alliteration, plays on words, and rhymes can be useful ways to draw attention to material which may require ‘spicing up’. A trainer would certainly want to consider his or her audience before using some of these tools. A group of firemen may not be impressed by rhyming skills, while a group of writers might find it very refreshing.

Kaeter (1994) suggests several ways to create a “training culture,” which, she explains, will enhance the environment and may even help a trainer to deal with the ever-present resistant trainee. Her ideas include: researching the situation in advance, making knowledge relevant to those situations, facilitating rather than lecturing, making a clear link between the person, the job, and the goals of the organisation, not ignoring resistant participants, deflecting attacks by drawing in the group, and being available after training for questions and one-on-one discussions. Given that in almost every training situation, there will be one or two individuals who are resistant to the ideas being presented, (or to the very idea of being at a training program) it is important to create a culture which deals proactively with resisters and allows learning to occur for everyone.

In addition to those presented here, there are hundreds of other useful approaches to conducting effective training programs. The important thing to recognise is that each method and strategy has inherent strengths and weaknesses, and that there is not one method or strategy whose use will result consistently in a flawless training program. A combination of methods, strategies, and techniques makes for a rich, diverse, cooperative, and instructive training situation.

In any training situation, it is important to appreciate the variety of ways that people learn, and to use techniques, which will meet the needs of a diverse group of learners (Armstrong 1988). While some individuals may learn kinaesthetically, others may be more receptive to visual or auditory techniques. A trainer must design his or her program to incorporate elements which will be useful to all types of learners, also taking into consideration the “knowledge, skills, abilities, and motivation that trainees bring to the training situation.” (VanWart, Cayer, & Cook 1994, p 139)

According to Bramley (1996), learning situations should be sequenced so that various styles of learning are integrated into the whole. A useful model, based on adult experiential learning, is the Kolb (1984) cycle of learning (see Figure 2). This model requires that activity in all four stages take place for effective learning to occur. Training which is designed with a variety of learning styles in mind will greatly encourage trainees to incorporate the knowledge into their own way of thinking, and transfer the training into the workplace.

After logistics and strategies are determined, the designer must decide the most appropriate method for gathering evaluations and feedback from the participants. This step can be used to identify opportunities for further training, to enhance learning, to identify problems and possible solutions, to assess the impact of the training, and to monitor changes in thinking related to the training (Brinkerhoff & Gill 1994).

Such information can be obtained through observation of reactions to training programs, through learning reviews provided by participants (Bramley, 1996), or through pre and post-testing of skills, attitudes, and behaviours. In addition, there are a variety of questionnaire types which can be utilised for evaluations. Regardless of the type of questionnaire, which is used, however, it is crucial to gather feedback from as many of the participants as possible, to give them a forum for providing the most honest and detailed feedback possible, and to take future action based on the responses (Kirkpatrick 1996).

Another valuable method of gaining feedback from participants is to speak with them individually, perhaps at some point during the program, or in a scheduled meeting or discussion group held shortly after the program takes place. It is vital to remember that changes in attitude do not necessarily equals change in behaviour. While information about attitudes may drop light on trainees’ immediate reactions and learning, such information alone is not necessarily a good indicator of long term changes in behaviour or overall results of training. As demonstrated by this study, it is important to collect a variety of data at several differing intervals, in order to gain the best understanding of the training and the outcomes of it.

Evaluation of Training

The final stage of the systematic training process is the evaluation of training. This can be done by comparing the results, especially the benefits, with the objectives of the training program set in the assessment phase (Ivancevich 2004). As mentioned in the introduction chapter, many companies are increasingly concerned if training adds value to organisations and training departments are continuously justifying the effectiveness of training (Phillips 1996; Holton 1995). Preskill (1997) asserts that the most appropriate method to determine the effectiveness of training is through training evaluation. As Jones (2006, p.42) said, “It is essential for HRD practitioners to use the training evaluation method in order to determine whether an organisation receives a significant return on investment in terms of human resources, time and money.”

There are many reasons as to why training evaluation should be done. Evaluation can be a tool for informing the trainees of their progress, modifying and improving programs and instructor performance, and providing evidence to managers that problems and issues have been addressed and solved (Laird 1985). Training effectiveness is also a measure of the training department’s credibility (Kirkpatrick 1996). Other benefits brought about by doing training evaluation are increased confidence in the trainers’ claim, increased legitimacy of the training function in organisations, justification for continued support, valuable feedback for improving training methods (Phillips 1996, Jones 2006).

Noe (2003 p98-9) summarises these reasons in the following: to identify the program’s strengths and weaknesses; to evaluate whether the content, organisation and administration of the program contribute to learning and the use of training content on the job; to identify which trainees benefited most or least from the program; to gather data to assist in marketing the program to determine the financial benefits and costs of the program; to compare the costs and benefits of training and non-training investments; to compare the costs and benefits of different training programs to know which training program is best to use.

As with any other evaluation process, criteria should be established for easier evaluation. Ivancevich (2004, p77) points out the three types of criteria — internal, external, and participant’s reaction. However, participant’s reaction can be included in the internal criterion. The internal criteria are concerned with the content of the training program. The external criteria are concerned with the ultimate goal of the program.

Many training evaluation models were developed. The most popular of which is Donald Kirkpatrick’s (1994) four-level evaluation criterion. According to thi

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