Training is most effective when it is planned implemented and evaluated in a systematic way. Unplanned uncoordinated and haphazard training efforts greatly reduce the learning that can be expected. Table below shows three major components of a systematic approach to training:
1) Determining training needs
2) Identify training objectives
1) Select training methods
2) Conduct training
1) Compare training outcomes against criteria
Training needs assessment:
Training efforts must aim at meeting the requirements of the organization (Long term) and the individual employees (short term). This involves finding answers to questions such as: Whether training is needed? If yes, where it is needed? Which training is needed? Once we identify training gaps within the organization it becomes easy to design an appropriate training program. Training needs can be identified through the following types of analysis as shown in Table.
Organizational analysis: It involves a study of the entire organization in terms of its objective its resources the utilization of these resources in order to achieve stated objectives and its interaction pattern with environment. The important elements that are closely examined in this connection are:
Analysis of objectives: This is the study of short term and long term objectives and the strategies followed at various levels to meet these objectives.
Resource utilization analysis: How the various organizational resources (human, physical and financial) are put to use is the main focus of this study. The contributions of various departments are also examined by establishing efficiency indices for each unit. This is done to find out comparative labor costs, whether a unit is under manned or overmanned.
Environmental scanning: Here the economic, political, socio-cultural and technological environment of the organization is examined.
Organizational climate analysis: The climate of an organization speaks about the attitudes of members towards work, company policies, supervisors etc. Absenteeism turnover ratios generally reflect the prevailing employees’ attitudes. These can be used to find out whether trainings efforts have imported the overall climate within the company or not.
Task or role analysis: This is a detailed examination of a job, its various operations and conditions under which it has to be performed. The focus here is on the roles played by an individual and the training needed to perform such roles. The whole exercise is meant to find out how the various tasks have to be performed and which kinds of skills, knowledge, and attitudes are needed to meet the jobs needs. Questionnaire, interviews, reports, tests, observation and other methods are generally used to collect job related information from time to time. After collecting the information an appropriate training program may be designed paying attention to (1) performance standards required of employees (2) the tasks they have to discharge, (3) the methods they will employ on the job and (4) how they have learned such methods etc.
Person analysis; Here the focus is on the individual in a given job. There are three issues to be resolved through manpower analysis. First, we try to find out whether performance is satisfactory and training is required. Second, whether the employee is capable of being trained and the specific areas in which training is needed. Finally, we need to state whether poor performers (who can improve with requisite training inputs) on the job need to be replaced by those who can do the job. Other options to training such as modifications in the job or processes should also be looked into. Personal observations performance reviews, supervisory reports, diagnostic tests help in collecting the required information and select particular training options that try to improve the performance of individual workers.
To be effective, training efforts must continuously monitor and coordinate the three kinds of analyses described above. An appropriate program that meets the company’s objectives, task and employee needs may then be introduced. Further, the training needs have to be prioritized so that the limited resources that are allocated to fill training gaps are put to use in a proper way.