OFF THE JOB TECHNIQUES
In this article we are discussing off-the-job techniques which are also considered important to fill those gaps because of the fact that on-the-job techniques have their own limitations.
The following are some of the important off-the-job techniques
1. The case study.
2. Incident method.
3. Role playing.
4. Business game.
5. Grid training
The Case Study:
Cases are prepared on the basis of actual business situations that happened in various organizations. The trainees are given cases for discussing and deciding upon the case. Then they are asked to identify the apparent and hidden problems for which they have to suggest solutions.
The situation is generally described in a comprehensive manner and the trainee has to distinguish the significant facts from the insignificant, analyze the facts, identify the different alternative solutions, select and suggest the best. This whole exercise improves the participantâ€™s decision-making skills by sharpening their analytical and judging abilities.
It aims to develop the trainee in the areas of intellectual ability, practical judgment and social awareness. Under this method each employee is developed in a group process.
Incidents are prepared on the basis of actual situation which happened in different organizations. Each employee in the training group is asked to study the incident and to make short-term decisions in the role of a person who has to cope up with the incident in the actual situation. Later, the group studies and discusses the incident and takes decisions relating to incident,
based on the group interaction and decisions taken by each member.
A problem situation is simulated by asking the participants to assume the role of particular person in the situation. The participant interacts with other participants assuming different roles. Mental set up of the role is described but no dialogue is provided.
The whole play may be tape recorded and the trainee may thus be given the opportunity to examine his or her own performance.
Role playing gives the participants vicarious experiences which are of much use to understand people better. This method teaches human relations skills through actual practice. The exemplary role playing situations are: a grievance discussion, employment interview, a sales presentation etc.
Under this method, the trainees are divided into groups or different teams. Each team has to discuss and arrive at decision concerning such subjects as production, pricing, research expenditure, advertising etc., assuming it to be the management of a simulated firm. The other teams assume themselves as competitors and react to the decision. This immediate feedback helps to know the relative performance of each team. The teamâ€™s cooperative decision promotes greater interaction among participants and gives them the experience in cooperative group processes.
It is a six phase program lasting from three to five years. It start with upgrading managerial skills, continues to group improvement, improves inter group relations, goes into corporate planning, develops implementation method and ends with an evaluation phase. The grid represents several possible leadership styles. Each style represents a different combination of two basic orientations concern for people and concern for production.
A conference is a meeting of several people to discuss the subject of common interest. But contribution from members can be expected as each one builds upon ideas of other participants. This method is best suited when a problem has to be analyzed and examined from different viewpoint.
It helps the members develop their ability to modify their attitudes. Participants enjoy their method of learning as they get an opportunity to express their view.
The success of the conference depends on the conference leader. In order to make the conference a success, the conference leader must be able to see that the discussion is thorough and concentrate on the central problem by encouraging all the participants to develop alternatives and present their viewpoints and by preventing domination by a few participants.
The lectures do not give scope for student participation and may sometimes be boring which in turn hinders learning. Skills can be learnt only by doing and therefore lectures are of no use for technical skills.