Training

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Sup­port trans­la­tion: http://amzn.to/1Z7d5oc
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Train­ing







We will now con­sider how people should be trained and the vari­ous tech­niques or strategies that may be used.

The sys­tem­at­ic train­ing cycle

All the people who are involved in train­ing and devel­op­ment at work need to be aware of the key stages in the train­ing pro­cess. This is referred to as the train­ing cycle.

The train­ing cycle

Stage 1: Assess­ing the train­ing needs;
Stage 2: Plan­ning the train­ing;
Stage 3: Car­ry­ing out the train­ing;
Stage 4: Eval­u­at­ing the train­ing.

Assess­ing the train­ing needs

It is import­ant for organ­iz­a­tions to plan the train­ing that employ­ees may need. While there is much to be gained from train­ing in terms of improved skills and pro­ductiv­ity for the work­for­ce, it is nev­er­the­less a costly activ­ity, so it is import­ant to provide train­ing of the right type for the people who need it.

An under­stand­ing of how the indi­vidu­als or groups learn, and their pre­ferred styles of learn­ing, is import­ant to identi­fy first wheth­er train­ing is needed at all. There is little point in design­ing a pro­gram that will suit the indi­vidu­als’ learn­ing styles if there is no need for train­ing.

This stage of the train­ing cycle is referred to as assess­ing train­ing needs. Train­ing needs can be assessed in many ways, but one of the easi­est ways is to exam­ine the job that has to be done and the know­ledge, skills and com­pet­en­cies needed to do it.

Job ana­lys­is needs to be under­taken to estab­lish what is involved in the job. The usu­al res­ult of job ana­lys­is is a job descrip­tion, and a train­ing spe­cific­a­tion can be writ­ten from this.

Once the organ­isa­tion knows the stand­ard of work it needs from the employ­ee, the next stage is to assess the work of the employ­ee con­cerned and see the extent to which they meet those stand­ards. This can be part of the apprais­al pro­cess, where the employ­ee and their man­ager have togeth­er iden­ti­fied an area where fur­ther work is needed.

It could also be assessed by ask­ing the person/people con­cerned what train­ing they feel they need, by using ques­tion­naires, or by an ana­lys­is of mis­takes. If there are any gaps where they do not meet these stand­ards then there is a pos­sible need for train­ing to help to close the gaps, and so a train­ing need has been iden­ti­fied.

Plan­ning the train­ing

Once a train­ing need has been iden­ti­fied, there are a num­ber of choices to be made about how the train­ing should be car­ried out. Firstly, should the train­ing be car­ried out in the organ­isa­tion or by an extern­al organ­isa­tion? Secondly, the train­er needs to con­sider which train­ing tech­niques should actu­ally be used, and thirdly, the train­ing pro­gram needs to be designed.

Train­ing tech­niques

Once the decision has been made about where the train­ing is to take place, it is also import­ant to decide on the most appro­pri­ate train­ing tech­niques to use. The train­ing meth­od used must be chosen to be appro­pri­ate for the par­tic­u­lar train­ing need that has been iden­ti­fied.

E-learn­ing

Train­ers and indi­vidu­al learners now have a choice of using e-learn­ing tech­niques. E-learn­ing includes com­puter-based train­ing and learn­ing, tech­no­logy-based train­ing and learn­ing and web-based train­ing and learn­ing.

It may be integ­rated along­side tra­di­tion­al learn­ing as a sup­port mech­an­ism, or be used totally sep­ar­ately as part of dis­tance learning/open learn­ing course. Some courses are delivered totally by e-learn­ing meth­ods and this makes them eas­ily access­ible to people in any part of the world at any time.

One advant­age is that indi­vidu­als, so long as they have access to the tech­no­logy, should be able to choose when, where and what they learn and this should increase oppor­tun­it­ies for learn­ing. Sup­port is provided by chat rooms, dis­cus­sion groups and on-line tutor­ing with every­one involved able to respond at a time is con­veni­ent.

Oth­er approaches include vir­tu­al classrooms, audio-visu­al con­fer­en­cing and two-way live satel­lite broad­casts provide imme­di­ate feed­back so train­ers and train­ees can inter­act with each oth­er as almost as quickly as they would in a more tra­di­tion­al classroom situ­ation.

Oth­er train­ing tech­niques

- Lec­ture: this is suit­able when a large amount of inform­a­tion needs to be given to a large num­ber of people at the same time. The inform­a­tion can be pre­pared in advance but a dis­ad­vant­age is the lack of pre­par­a­tion from the audi­ence;
 — Role play: here a small group of people have the chance to act as if they were in a real work situ­ation. They have a problem/situation to deal with which would be sim­il­ar to a situ­ation that they might exper­i­ence at work. They can prac­tice their responses and receive help and sup­port from the train­er and from oth­ers in the group. This can help in devel­op­ing aware­ness of inter­per­son­al skills and can give con­fid­ence, as there is an oppor­tun­ity to prac­tise skills in a pro­tec­ted envir­on­ment where it does not mat­ter if mis­takes are made. There can some­times be a prob­lem if the role play is not taken ser­i­ously or if train­ees are too nervous or embar­rassed to per­form their roles;
 — Group dis­cus­sion: this can lead to a free exchange of know­ledge, ideas and opin­ions on a par­tic­u­lar sub­ject among the train­ees and the train­er with the oppor­tun­ity to air vari­ous view­points. It can be use­ful when there are vary­ing opin­ions about an issue, or a range of ways in which as situ­ation could be handled. There is a danger that the train­ees may wander too far from the sub­ject if it is not handled skill­fully by the train­er, and that import­ant points may not get dis­cussed;
 — Video or film: these can be used to show a real situ­ation, or to give inform­a­tion to sev­er­al people at once. They can show examples of good and bad use of inter­per­son­al skills to a large num­ber of people at once and be used as the basis for a group dis­cus­sion. They do not demand much involve­ment from the audi­ence although the train­er could add to this by use of dis­cus­sion or ques­tions after each show­ing;
 — Pro­ject: nor­mally a task is set by the train­er which will give an individual/group gen­er­al guidelines to work to, but will also leave a great deal of scope for them to show creativity/initiative. This is a good way of stim­u­lat­ing creativity/initiative but, in order to do so, the pro­ject has to be about some­thing that will interest the train­ee;
 — Case study: a case study is a his­tory of some event/situation in which rel­ev­ant details are sup­plied for the train­ee to get an over­all pic­ture of the situation/organisation. Train­ees are then asked to dia­gnose the prob­lems or sug­gest solu­tions. A case study provides the oppor­tun­ity to exam­ine a situ­ation in detail yet be removed from the pres­sures of the real work situ­ation. This allows for dis­cus­sion and provides oppor­tun­it­ies to exchange ideas and con­sider dif­fer­ent options. Since a case study can lim­it the num­ber of factors/issues that should be dis­cussed, it may some­times seem too easy and train­ees may not fully appre­ci­ate that in the real-life situ­ation there may be oth­er more com­plex issues to take into account;
 — Com­puter-based train­ing: this allows the train­ee to work at their own pace through a series of questions/exercises using a com­pu­ter­ized train­ing pro­gram. The train­ee get imme­di­ate feed­back from the com­puter pro­gram and can cov­er a range of work in a short space of time, going back over exer­cises if neces­sary and learn­ing at a time that is con­veni­ent for them. Train­ees can learn without the need for a train­er to be present, although since some train­ees may be nervous of the tech­no­logy or may exper­i­ence dif­fi­culties, it is nor­mal to have easy access to help/advice via tele­phone;
 — Guided read­ing: a series of recom­men­ded read­ing is provided on top­ic, per­haps graded accord­ing to dif­fi­culty. The train­ee is able to work at their own pace through this. Since the read­ing has been selec­ted by someone else to high­light points on that sub­ject, this can save the train­ee time, since they know that the mater­i­als will be rel­ev­ant to the sub­ject. It doesn’t encour­age the train­ee to research fur­ther around the sub­ject or seek mater­i­als for them­selves;
 — In-tray exer­cise: train­ees are given a series of files, memos and let­ters sim­il­ar to those that they might have to deal with in a real work situ­ation. They need to decide on the appro­pri­ate action to take and the pri­or­ity for action. This gives an oppor­tun­ity for train­ees to exper­i­ence the sort of issues that can arise, but it is import­ant that the con­tents of the in-tray are real­ist­ic;
 — On line dis­cus­sion groups;
 — Audio or video con­fer­en­cing.