Most training takes place on the job. The prevalence of on the job training can be attributed to its simplicity and its usually lower cost. However, on the job training disrupt the workplace and result in an increase in errors while learning takes place. Also, some skill training is too complex to learn on the job and should take outside the work setting.
What are some the typical methods used?
Many different types of training methods are available. For the most part, however, we can classify them as on the job or off the job training. We have summarized the more popular training methods in Exhibit.
Exhibit Typical Training Methods
Sample on the Job Training Methods
Job rotations: Lateral Transfers allowing employers to work at different jobs. Provides good exposure to a variety of tasks
Working with a seasoned veteran, coach, or mentor. Provides support and encouragement from an experienced worker. In the trades industry, this may also be an apprenticeship.
Sample off the job training methods:
Classroom lectures: Lectures designed to convey specific technical, interpersonal, or problem solving skills.
Films and videos: Using the media to explicitly demonstrate technical skills that are not easily presented by other training methods.
Simulation methods: Learning a job by actually performing the work (or its simulation). May include case analyze, experiential exercise, role playing and group interaction.
Vestibule Training: Learning tasks on the equipment that one actually will use on the job but in a simulated work environment.
How can managers ensure that training is working? It is easy to generate a new training program, but if the training effort is not evaluated, any employees training efforts can be rationalized. In Jindal Iron and Steel Company shop floor workers are routinely moved and trained for different jobs. When they switch roles, the company foots the bill for re-training. Employees can get and allowances of Rs 10,000 once in two years to pay for two years tuition fees. This increased awareness and training efforts have helped increase shop floor productivity per worker by 275 tons in just three years. But such a claim cannot be made unless training is properly evaluated.
Can we determine how training programs are typically evaluated? The following approach is probably generalized across organizations: Several managers, representatives from HRM, and a group of workers who have recently completed a training program are asked for their opinions. If the comments are generally positive, the program may get a favorable evaluation and the organization will continue someone decides, for whatever reason, that it should be eliminated or replaced.
The reactions of participants or managers, while easy to acquire are the least valid; their opinions are heavily influenced by factors that have little to do with the training’s opinions are heavily influenced by factors that may have little to do with the training’s effectiveness – difficulty entertainment value, or the personality characteristics of the instructor. However, trainees’ reactions to the training may, in fact, provide feedback on how worthwhile the participants viewed the training to be. Beyond general reactions, however, training must also be evaluated in terms of how much the participants learned; how well they are using their new skills on the job (did their behavior change?); and whether the training program achieved its desired results (reduced turnover, increased customer service etc).
Determining Whether Training is needed
1) Is there a need for training?
2) What are the organization’s strategic goals?
3) What tasks must be completed to achieve organizational goals?
4) What behaviors are necessary for each job holder to complete his or her job duties?
5) What deficiencies, if any do job holders have in terms of skills, knowledge or abilities required to exhibit the essential and necessary job behaviors?