Designing a Training Programme
Changes in the internal and external situations are inevitable and thus, training becomes a continuous process. The general purpose of any training process is to train employees to be able to look for and respond to changes in a successful way. Training process usually involves following steps:
1. Identifying training needs
The technological changes taking place is the main cause of identification of the training needs in an organization. Earlier the people were acquiring training through apprenticeship and vocational courses, which are not sufficient in the modern era of industrialization. It is necessary to identify the training needs because of the following reasons:
i. Adaptation of new techniques in an organization and introduction of modern working methods. For example, computerization of the office as has been done in Railway bookings or Airlines bookings.
ii. Poor performance by the workers as reflected by low output, lack of initiative, incompetence, bad decisions. This requires systematic training of the work force.
iii. Wide gaps between what workers should be doing and what they are doing.
iv. Analyzing of the strengths and weaknesses of an organization may reveal the areas of weakness which need to be handled seriously.
Training needs can be identified through the following types of analysis:
i. Organizational analysis
It involves a study of the entire organization in terms of its objectives, it resources and 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:
a) 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.
b) Resource utilization analysis
The allocation of human and physical resources and their efficient utilization in meeting the operational targets should be analyzed. In order to examine the need for training, the following questions need to be answered:
- Whether adequate number of personnel is available to ensure the fulfillment of the goals?
- Whether the personnel performance is upto the required standards?
c) Environmental scanning
Here the economic, political, socio-cultural and technological environment of the organization is examined.
d) 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 employee attitudes. These can be used to find out whether training efforts have improved the overall climate within the company or not.
ii. Task of role analysis
This is 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 our how the various tasks have to be performed and what kind of skills, knowledge, and attitudes are needed to meet the job needs. Questionnaires, 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 programme may be designed, paying attention to
a) Performance standards required of employees
b) The tasks they have to discharge
c) The methods they will employ on the job
d) How they have learned such methods etc.
iii. Manpower analysis
The quality of manpower required by the organization has to be carefully analyzed. It has to be done in the light of both internal and external environment of the organisation. The economic, social, technological and political environment of the organization should be properly scanned to determine the quality of human resources desired. To achieve these quality standards, specific training needs should be determined on the following lines:
a) Specific areas where individuals need training,
b) The capability of present workforce to learn new skills and behaviours,
c) The time frame within which training must be imparted, and
d) Job designing and redesigning, introduction of new work method and technology.
2. Setting training objectives
Once the training needs are identified the next step is to set training objectives in concrete terms and to decide the methods to be adopted to achieve these objectives. The overall aim of any training programme is to increase organizational effectiveness. However, each training programme must also have specific objectives. Training objectives can be of three types. The most basic training takes place through orientation programmes. The second type of training objective is problem solving. The focus is on solving a specific problem instead of providing general information area. The final objective is innovation. Here the emphasis is on changing the mindset of workers, supervisors and executives working at various levels.
3. Organization of Training Programme
Every training programme includes trainees, trainers, a training period and training material. These constituents of training are discussed below:
a) Selection of the trainees
It is necessary to decide who is to be trained- new or old employees, unskilled or semi-skilled workers, supervisors or executives. The type and methods to be used will depend upon the type of persons to be trained. It is necessary to create a desire for learning. The employees will be interested in training if they believe that it will benefit them personally. A climate conducive to leaving can also be created through physical and psychological environment. Physically an appropriate location, adequate space, proper lighting and ventilation, adequate furniture and audio visual aids are necessary. Psychological environment consists of involvement and participation, freedom of social interaction, open communication, friendly and helpful trainers, provisions for measuring learner’s progress etc.
b) Preparation of instructors
The success of a training programme depends to a great extent upon the instructors or the resource persons. The trainer must know both the job to be taught and how to teach it. He should have an aptitude for teaching and should employ the right training techniques.
c) Determination of training period
The length of the training period depends upon the skill to be acquired; the trainee’s learning capacity and the training methodology used. For instance, a simple indoctrination programme for clerks may require an hour a day over a period of one week, while a course in computer programming may be given two hours a week for 15 weeks. The use of effective and visual material usually helps to reduce the training time. To maintain interest and secure maximum accomplishment, no single session should last longer than two hours.
d) Training methods and material
There are several on-the-job and off-the-job training methods. On-the-job training is provided when the workers are taught relevant knowledge, skills and abilities at the actual workplace whereas off-the-job training requires that trainees learn at a location other than real workplace. The choice of any method depends upon the specific objectives of the training programmes.
4. Evaluation of Training
Training is indispensable for both the organization and the individuals working therein. It is a very costly and time-consuming process. It is essential to determine its effectiveness in terms of achievement of specific training objectives. Individuals like to know how much they learnt or how well they are doing. Self-graded tests and programmed learning kits provide necessary feedback to a person on his progress on a particular subject. This principle does not necessarily mean frequent testing, but the more immediate the feedback on learning the more motivating it is likely to be. Evaluating of training would provide useful information about the effectiveness of training as well as about the design of future training programmes. It will enable an organization to monitor the training programmes and also to modify its future programmes of training. The evaluation of training also provides useful data on the basis of which relevance of training and its integration with other functions of human resource management can be examined.