Procedures to determine training needs

New employees have to learn new skills, and since their motivation is likely to be high, they can be acquainted relatively easily with the skills and behavior expected in their new position. On the other hand, training experienced employees can be problematic. The training needs of such employees are not always easy to determine and when they can be, the individuals involved may resent being asked to change their established ways of doing their jobs.

Managers can use four procedures to determine the training needs of individuals in their organization or subunit:

1. Performance appraisal: Each employee’s work is measured against the performance standards or objectives established for his or her job.
2. Analysis of job requirements: The skills or knowledge specified in the appropriate job description are examined, and those employees without necessary skills or knowledge become candidates for training program.
3. Organizational analysis: The effectiveness of the organization and its success in meeting its goals are analyzed to determine where differences exist. For example, members of a department with a high turnover rate or a low performance records might require additional training.
4. Employee Survey: Managers as well as non managers are asked to describe what problems they are experiencing in their work and what actions they believe are necessary to solve them.

Once the organization’s training needs have been identified, the human resources manager must initiate the appropriate training effort. Managers have available a variety of training approaches. The most common of these are on-the-job training methods, including job rotation, in which the employee, over a period of time, works on a series of jobs, there by learning a broad variety of skills; internship, in which job training is combined with related classroom instructions and apprenticeship, in which the employee is trained under the guidance of highly skilled co-workers. Sony uses a variety of these approaches to meet the training needs of its employees.

Off-the-job training takes place outside the workplace but attempt to stimulate actual working conditions. This type of training includes vestibule training, in which employees train on the actual equipment and in a realistic job setting but in a room different from the one in which they will be working. The object is to avoid the on-the-job pressures that might interfere with the learning process. In behaviorally experienced training activities such as simulation exercises, business games, and problem centered cases are employed so that the trainee can learn the behavior appropriate for the job through role playing. Off-the-job training may focus on the classroom, with seminars, lectures and films, or it may involve computer assisted instruction (CAI), which can both reduce the time needed for training and provide more help for individual trainees.

Management Development Programs:

Management development is designed to improve the overall effectiveness of managers in their present positions and to prepare tem for greater responsibility when they are promoted. Management development programs have become more prevalent in recent years because of the increasingly complex demands on managers and because training managers through experience alone is a time consuming and unreliable process. The investment for many companies in management development is quite large. For example, for years, IBM has required a minimum of 40 hours of human resources management training for all new managers.

Similar levels of training continue after this initial involvement. Some companies, however, do not rely on costly formal training approaches. Managers at Exxon for example prefer to nurture new talent by providing practical job experience. Thus executives at all levels are dispatched to key positions around the world to broaden their outlook and home their judgment.