While it would certainly be ideal of supervisors in even the largest firms could tap into their companies’ packaged training programs to train the new people that they hire, the fact is that many times they cannot. You often hire and are responsible for the performance of a new employee only to find that your company provides little or no specialized training for this person, beyond the new person’s introductory orientation.
If so, you have several options. First, for either the individual manager or small business owner there are literally hundreds of suppliers of pre-packaged training solutions. These range from self study programs from the American Management Association Media, Karol Media, and Business Advantage Inc. Similarly, reviewing trade journals such as Occupational Hazards (www.occuptional-Hazards.com) will provide you with information on numerous specialized pre-packaged training program suppliers (in this case, for occupational safety and health).
Small and medium sized companies may also want to take advantage of the new trend towards outsourced learning. Major consulting firms such as Accenture, and IBM Global Services can obtain increased returns to scale by providing training solutions to multiple clients. A number of employers are now productively outsourcing their companies’ entire learning functions to them.
Third, you can create your own ‘costless’ training program, using the following process.
Set training Objectives>
First, write down your training objectives. For example, your objective might be to reduce scrap, or to get new employees to speed up within two weeks.
Write detailed Job Description>
A detailed job description is the heart of any training program. It should list the daily and periodic tasks of each job, along with a summary of the steps in each task.
Develop an Abbreviated Task analysis Record Form>
For practical purposes, the individual manager or small owner can use an abbreviated version of the Task Analysis Record Form containing just four columns. In the first, list asks including what is to be performed in terms of each of the main tasks, and the steps involved in each task. In column B, list performances standards in terms of quantity, quality, accuracy and so on. In column C, list trainable skills required, things the employee must know or do, to perform the task. This column provides you with specific knowledge and skills such as “keep both hands on the wheel” that you want to stress. In the fourth column, list aptitudes required. These are the human aptitudes such as mechanical comprehension, and so on that the employee should have to be trainable for the task and for which the employee can be screened ahead of time.
Develop a Job instruction sheet>
Next develop a job instruction sheet for the job. A job instruction training sheet shows the steps in each task as well as key points for each.
Prepare Training Program for the Job>
At a minimum, your training package should include the job description, abbreviated Task Analysis Record Firm, and job instruction sheet, all collected in a training manual. The latter should also contain a summary of the training program’s objectives, the three documents mentioned earlier and listing of the trainable skills for the trainee. The manual might also contain an introduction to the job and an explanation of how the job fits with other jobs in the plant or office.
You also have to make a decision regarding which media to use in your training program. A simple but effective on-the-job training program using current employees or supervisors as trainers requires only the materials we just described. However, it could turn out that the nature of the job or the number of trainees requires producing or purchasing special audio or visual tapes or disk, a Power Point slide presentation, or more extensive printed materials.