Most training is directed at upgrading and improving an employee’s technica skills. Technical training has become increasingly important today for two reasons – new technology and new structural designs in the organization.
Jobs change as a result if new technologies and improved methods. For instance, many auto repair personnel have had to undergo extensive training to fix and maintain rennet models with computer monitored engines, electronic stabilizing systems, GPS, keyless entry, and other innovation. Similarly computer controlled equipment has required millions of production employees to learn a whole new set of skills.
In addition, technical training has become increasingly important because of changes in organizations design. As organization flatten their structures expand their use of teams, and break down traditional departmental barriers, employees need mastery of a wider variety of tasks and increased knowledge of how their organization operates. For instance, the restructuring of jobs at Miller Brewing Co. around empowered teams has led management to introduce a comprehensive business literacy program to help employees better understand competition, the state of the beer industry, where the company’s revenues come from how costs are calculated, and where employees fit into the company’s value chain.
Interpersonal skills: Almost all employees belong to a work unit, and their work performance depends to some degree on their ability to effectively interact with their coworkers and their boss. Some employees have excellent interpersonal skills, but others require training to improve theirs. This includes learning how to be a better listener how to communicate ideas more clearly and how to be a more effective team player.
Problem Solving Skills: Managers, as well as many employees who perform non-routine tasks, have to solve problems in their jobs. When people require these skills but are deficient in them, they can participate in problem solving training. This can include activities to sharpen their logic, reasoning and problem defining skills as well as their abilities to assess causation, develop and analyze alternatives, and select solutions. Problem-solving training has become a basic part of almost every organizational effort to introduce self managed teams or implement quality management programs.
Ethics Training: A recent survey finds that about 75 percent of employees working in the 1,000 largest US corporations receive ethics training. This training may be included in a newly hired employee’s orientation program, made part of an ongoing developmental training program, or provided to all employees as a periodic reinforcement of ethical principles. But the jury is still out on whether you can actually teach ethics.
Critics argue that ethics are based on values, and value systems are fixed at an early age. By the time employers hire people their ethical values have already been established. The critics also claim that ethics cannot be formally taught but must be learned by example.
Supporters of ethics training argue that value can be learned and changed after early childhood. And even if they couldn’t ethics training would be effective because it helps employees to recognize ethical dilemmas and become more aware of the ethical issues underlying their actions. Another argument is that ethics training reaffirms an organization’s expectations that embers will act ethically.
In global economy, employee training is no longer limited to the specific tasks of the job. As more and more position in the information technology and service industries move to India from the United States, any companies are training their Indian employees to improve their cultural skills when dealing with American clients.
Some companies are benefiting from cultural training. Sierra Atlantic’s offices in Hyderabad, for example won a bid with an American firm over an Indian competitor because the Sierra employees were viewed as a better cultural fit. Such successes make it likely that companies with foreign clients will either adopt or continue to use cultural training.