Training is a hallmark of good management

Training: The process of teaching new employees the basic skills they need to perform their jobs.

Immediately after the orientation, training should begin. Training means giving new or present employees the skills they need to perform their jobs. This might mean showing a new Web designer the intricacies of your site, a new sales person how to sell your firm’s product, or a new supervisor how to fill out the firm’s weekly payroll sheets. It might involve simply having the current job holder explain the job to the new hire or at the other extreme a multi week process including classroom or classes.

In any case, training is a hallmark of good management and a task that managers ignore at their peril. Having high potential employees doesn’t guarantee they’ll succeed. Instead they must know you want them to do and how you want them to do it. If they don’t, they will improvise or do nothing productive at all.

Training’s Strategic Context:

Training used to focus mostly on teaching technical skills, such as training assembles to solder wires. Today, as one trainer put it: “We don’t just concentrate on the traditional training objectives anymore. We sit down with management and help them identify strategic goals and objectives and the skills and knowledge needed to achieve them. Then we work together to identify whether our staff has the skills and knowledge and when they don’t that’s when we discuss training needs”. In other words, the firm’s training programs must make sense in terms of the company’s strategic goals.

Thus, when Wisconsin based Signicast Corp. decided to build a new, high tech plant, Terry Lutz, the firm’s president, knew Signicast would need a new type of employee to run that plant and new screening and training programs to hire and train them.

Performance management:

Taking an integrated goal oriented approach to assigning training, assessing, and rewarding employees performance.

Training also plays a key role today in the performance management process. Performance means taking an integrated, goal oriented approach to assigning, training, assessing and rewarding employee’s performance. Taking a performance management approach to training means that the meaning effort must make sense in terms of what the company wants each employee to contribute to achieving the company’s goals.

These emphases on strategic, performance management oriented training help explain why training is booming. Companies spent about $ 826 per employee for training in one recent year and offered each about 28 hours of training. Training has a fairly impressive record of influencing organizational effectiveness scoring higher than appraisal and feedback and just below goal setting in its effect on productivity. One survey found that establishing a linkage between and organizational performance was the number one pressing issue facing professionals. Training experts today increasingly use the phrase workplace learning and performance in lieu of training to underscore training a dual aims of employees learning and organizational performance.

The Five step Training and development Process:

Training programs consists of five steps:

1) The first or needs analysis step identifies the specific job performance skills needed, assesses the prospective trainees and develops specific measurable knowledge and performance objectives based on any deficiencies.
2) In the second step, instructional design, you decide on, compile and produce the training program content including work books exercises and activities. Here you’ll probably use techniques like those discussed, such as on the job training and computer assisted learning.
3) There may be a third, validation step, in which the bugs are worked out of the training program by presenting it to small representative audience.
4) The fourth step is to implement the program, by actually training the targeted employees group.
5) Fifth is an evaluation step, in which management assesses the program’s success or failures.

Most employers probably do not (and need not) create their own training materials (Step 2 above) since many materials are available online and offline. For example, the professional development site offers web based courses for employees. The Association or training and Development ( list training vendors. Many firms, including American Media Inc. of West des Moines, Iowa provide turnkey training packages. These include a training leader’s guide, self study book, and video for improving skills in areas such as customer service, and appraising performance.