Executive Development Programmes help in developing different types of managerial skills and knowledge. Different types of techniques are used to develop various types of managerial skills and knowledge.
Decision making skills: The main job of a manager is to make both planned and routine decisions. His ability to make decisions effectively can be enhanced by developing decision making skills through various techniques.
Here the participant is given a number of business papers such as memoranda, reports and telephone message that would typically come across a manager’s desk. The papers, presented in no particular sequence, call for actions ranging from urgent to routine handling. The participant is required to act on the information contained in these papers. Assigning a priority to each particular matter is initially required.
Case study: This training method that employs simulated business problems for trainees to solve. The individual is expected to study the information given in the case and make decisions based on the situation. If the student is provided a case involving an actual company, he is expected to research the firm to gain a better appreciation of its financial condition and corporate culture. The case method is used in the classroom with an instructor who serves as a facilitator.
Simulations that represent actual business situations are known as business games. These simulations attempt to duplicate selected factors in a specific situation, which are then manipulated by the participants. Business games involve two or more hypothetical organizations competing in a given product market. The participants are assigned such roles as Managing Director, General Manager, Marketing Manager etc. They make decisions affecting price levels, production volume and inventory levels. The results of their decisions are manipulated by a computer programme, with the results simulating those of an actual business situation. Participants are able to see how their decision affects the other groups and vice-a-versa.
A manager can achieve results only when he is able to put individuals on the right track. He must interact with people actively and make them work as a team. Managerial skills in the area of inter-personal relations can be enhanced through various techniques.
Role play: This is technique in which some problem real or imaginary involving human interaction is presented and then spontaneously acted out. Participants may assume the role of specific organizational member in a given situation and then act out their roles. For example, a trainee might be asked to play the role of the employee. The individuals playing the supervisory role would then proceed to take whatever action is deemed appropriate.
Sensitivity training: This is a method of changing behaviour through unstructured group interaction. Sensitivity training is sought to help individuals towards better relations with others. .
In sensitivity training the actual technique employed is T-group (T stands for training). It is a small group of ten to twelve people assisted by a professional behavioural scientist who acts as a catalyst and trainee for the group. There is no specified agenda. He merely creates the opportunity for group members to express their ideas and feelings. Since the trainer has no leadership role to play, the group must work out its own methods of proceeding.
Individuals are allowed to focus on behaviour rather than on duties. As members engage in the dialogue they are encouraged to learn about themselves as they interact with others.
Training is the act of increasing knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a particular job. The major outcome of training is learning. A trainee learns new habits, refined skills and useful knowledge during the training that helps him improve performance. Training enables an employee to do his present job more efficiently and prepare himself for a higher level job. Training thus, may be defined as a planned programme designed to improve performance and bring about measurable changes in knowledge, skills, attitude and social behaviour of employees.
Basically, it is a learning experience that is planned and carried out by the organization to enable more skilled task behaviour by the trainee. Training imparts the ability to detect and correct error. Furthermore it provides skills and abilities that may be called on in the future to satisfy the organization’s human resource needs. Training may be carried out on the job or in the classroom and in the latter case, it may be on site or off site; perhaps in a hotel or a training centre or it may be in a simulated environment that is thought to be similar to the work environment. In any case, trainees are expected to acquire abilities and knowledge that will enable them to perform their jobs more effectively.
Development, in contrast is considered to be more general than training and more oriented to individual needs in addition to organizational needs and it is most often aimed towards management of people. Usually, the intent of development is to provide knowledge and understanding that will enable people to carry out non-technical organizational functions more effectively, such as problem solving, decision making and relating to people.
A wide variety of training programmes are used in different organizations, depending upon requirements and size of their manpower.