Main Objectives Of Training

The training, development and education of employees at all level of hierarchy in an organization are considered as an essential tool in maintaining competitiveness in the international arena. The chance for workplace learning to improve individual and organizational performance has been acknowledged for a very long time. Training is a fundamental component in helping to resolve major organizational or management problem.

Training is an ideal way to learn a job. Today, Management of the skills of the workforce is an essential aspect of doing business, and employee development will likely grow in the future (Noe, 1999). The benefits of employee development extend beyond the actual skills gained and their contribution to an individual’s productivity (Benson, 2002).

Training is the use of systematic and planned instruction activities to promote learning. This approach can be summarized in the phrase ‘learner-based training’. (Armstrong, 2001)

Training has an opposite role to play in accelerating learning: that is, training should be reserved in circumstances justifying a more directed expert-led approach instead of viewing training as a comprehensive and all-pervasive solution for the development of the people. (Reynolds, 2004)

2.1.Learning

Learning is defined as a method of increasing an individual’s ability to take action. (Kim, 1993)

The definitive aim of learning policies and programs of any organisation is to make provision of skilled, knowledgeable and competent workforce necessary to meet present and prospective needs. (Armstrong, 2001)

However, Reynolds et al (2000) explained that there is a need to make difference between learning and training as learning is a process of acquiring new knowledge, skills and capabilities whilst training is one of the actions an organisation can take for the promotion of learning. Similarly, Sloman (2003a) distinguished between learning that ‘lies within the domain of the individual’ and training that ‘lies within the domain of the organization’.

Today, The approach is to focus on the individual learning by ensuring that it happened when needed that is, ‘ just-for-you’ and ‘just-in-time’ learning.

2.2. Definition of Training

In General, Training is defined as a planned and systematic effort to modify or develop knowledge, skills and attitudes through learning experiences, to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. (Garavan et al., 1995; Harrison, 1993; Reid et al., 1994).

The Manpower Services Commission (1981) described training as a designed process aiming at the development of attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through the knowhow of learning in order to achieve performance in an activity or series of activities. The idea behind training in the situation of the work is to increase the capabilities of an individual so as to satisfy the current and prospective needs of the organisation.

Training is the systematic modification of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience. (Armstrong, 1999)

Decenzo and Robbins (1996) defined training as “a learning experience that seeks a relatively permanent change in an individual that will improve the ability to perform on the job”. As well, Decenzo and Robbins pointed out that training bring about changes in skills, knowledge, attitudes, or behaviour.

Many other definitions provided in literature lay emphasis on a current job focus. Being a very popular activity, it appear to cross all the limits including on- the- job training, off- the- job training , training to young employees , adult training, formal and informal training through work experience.

Looking forward critically to the views on training concepts revealed the same thing in appearance what really differs is the alternative of words.

2.3. Aim of Training

The central aim of training is to aid an organisation achieving its purpose by adding value to its key resources, that is, the people it employs. Consequently, to attain the overall effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation, it needs to invest in its people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities.

2.4. The three main objectives of Training pointed out by Armstrong (1999) are as follows:

Training develops the ability of the employee to enhance their performance.

Assist in the growth of the people in the organisation as far as possible, as such its future Human Resources can be met within the organisation,

The learning time for employees starting new jobs on appointment, transfer or promotion are lessened and also ensure that the latter are totally competent as promptly and cost-effectively as possible.

2.5. The need for training is justified in many ways:

Learning can take place through formal training as:

Formal instruction can develop the skill for the work’s requirements.

Various skills are needed for the number of employees which have to be developed quickly so as to meet new demands and cannot be obtain through relying on experience.

In order to ensure that employees meet their responsibilities critical information need to be imparted.

Common learning need has to be met, which can be dealt through training programs.

2.6. The Systematic Approach to training

The influential factors in conflict with the good performance of employees are the inadequacy of training. With simple recruitment, no seriously minded organisation can be staffed by employees having expertise and potentials in variety of discipline desired for the total functioning. Through, a systematic approach to training of the personnel on a continuous basis connects the totality of the workforce towards higher productivity in the organisation.

The Manpower Services Commission (1981, p.59) defined systematic training as “training undertaken on a planned basis as a result of applying a logical series of steps. In practice, the number and description of these steps tends to vary, but in general terms they would cover such aspects as the development of training policy, identification of training needs, development of training objectives and plans, implementation of planned training and validation, evaluation and review of training”.

Typically, the systematic model consists of 5 components: analysis of training needs, design of training curriculum, development of training curriculum, implementation or delivery and finally the evaluation. (Carnevale et al, 1990).

2.7. Models of Training:

2.7.1. ADDIE model

The most common conceptual model for systematic training is the ADDIE model. The ADDIE model presents a systematic process for determining training needs, the design and development of training programs and materials, implementation of the program, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the training (Gagne et al,2005).

The ADDIE model has been evolved through written or oral tradition both formally and informally (Molenda, 2003).

Figure 1-ADDIE Model: Phases, System Functions, and Quality Improvement

Source: Department of the Air Force (2001)

Note: ADDIE = analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate.

The ADDIE illustrated above is one of the revised model.

The model shows that:

Evaluation is the focus of the ADDIE process.

ADDIE is a continuous process with flexibility to enter and reenter various phases when necessary so as to develop, update or revise instruction.

The ADDIE activities take place within and are dependent on system functions.

Cooperation is necessary among personnel performing in the system function and those who design develop and implement instructional systems.

All activities and system function is based on continuous improvement for the overall system.

The entire process of this model is the ADDIE model takes place with the sphere of Quality improvement. ADDIE depends on the mission and job analysis for required data in order to design, develop and implement instruction.

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There are more than 100 different variations of the model; however, almost all of them reflect the generic “ADDIE” process.

2.8. Performance improvement focus Models

There are normally three models related to training for performance improvement. The following three models, performance-based instruction, training for performance system, and training for impact, take a performance improvement focus. They each work from the assumption that it is unlikely that training by itself will improve individual or organizational performance. These models emphasize the analysis and evaluation phases and their connection to the host organization

The performance-base instruction

Training for performance system

Training for impact.

However, these three models work on the assumption that training by itself would not improve the performance of employee or the organisation as emphasize must be on the analysis and evaluation phase.

2.8.1.The performance-base instruction Model

Performance-base instruction (PBI) model was developed by Dale Brethower and Karolyn Smalley in 1998. The PBI model was specially designed to add value to individual’s and organization’s performance through which the gap between the novice and the excellent performance is reduced. Holton et al (2000) stated that the model is learner and organisation centered and seeing that there is an improvement in performance, it hereby adds value to the organization.

Figure 2-Performance-Based Instruction

Source: Brethower and Smalley (1998).

The benefit of this systematic training approach is to enhance the high ratio of benefit to the high ratio of cost as it uses a systematic and efficient development process.

Brethower and Smalley (1998) pointed out the application of the PBI model is put into practice through:

(1) Guided observation,

(2) Guided practice,

(3) Demonstration of mastery.

2.8.2. Training for performance system

The Training for performance system (TPS) model was initially developed by Richard A. Swason in 1978 which have begin with the composition of the ADDIE model as discussed previously and thus have expand one each phase to mitigate rigidity and shortcomings.

Swason(2002) defined the TPS as a “process for the development of human expertise for the purpose of improving individual, organizational and process performance”. Normally, the TPS analyzes the requirement for basic organisational performance and also deal with the development of the expertise in the field of knowledge work and system work.

Figure 3-Training for Performance System ,Source: Swanson (2002).

TPS give rise to a systematic training model with the potential to produce outstanding outcomes in the training environment for all content. Thus this is accomplished in 2 ways:

The traditional 5 phases of training is supported by a solid leadership function.

The basis of leadership includes the tasks of:

Championing the training and development mission and goals of training,

Managing the training and development process,

Ensuring the continuous improvement of the process.

Each phase is divided into two specific steps which further describe the major processes that make up the phase which is backed up by a an easy-to-use support system for every step.

The analysis phases (Swanson, 1996) and the evaluation phase (Swanson, 1996; Swanson & Holton 1999) in the TPS model is emphasis as being the key to success.

2.8.3. Training for impact model

This model links training with the specific goal of an organization. That is, the need that drives the request for training is identified in the organization. This model helps the trainer to document their training efforts.

The Training for impact model states a mandatory need assessment. That is, the business result expected to take place from the improvements are recognized on the front end.

This model helps the Human Resource Development (HRD) professional to focus on the requirement and delivery for the improvement in skills and knowledge whereas, management to focus on the needs required in the working environment to support new skills or knowledge. Then, the results must be measured. (Cowell et al, 2006).

Figure 4-Training for impact

Source: Robinson and Robinson (1989).

Robinson and Robinson (1989) outlined 12 steps of progression through the Training-for-impact model.

Step 1: Identify business need and client: This means that training should help in maximizing opportunities, and thus be more projects driven than curriculum base.

Step 2: Form a collaborative relationship with client: the learning experience and work environment us examined.

Step 3: conduct initial project meeting: This is a key step in the training process.

Step 4: Conduct Performance effectiveness assessment: Front-end assessment is mandatory as it identifies. What gap exists? What should be? What should not be? What is the difference between the two?

Step 5: Conduct cause analysis: In this step the cause of the gap that exists should be identified.

Steps 6 and 7: tabulate, interpret and report results to the client: the HRD manager must present the result in a way to encourage management to take expected action.

Step 8: design the reaction and learning evaluation system: In this step, the reaction evaluation that is, receiving information from participant and learning evaluation that is, assessment of the degree of skill and knowledge which have been learn should be designed.

Step 9: design tracking system: The behavioural, non-observable and operational results should be identified clearly and must be specific to allow measurement.

Step 10: conduct training: maximum impact to the organisation is assured because of the time and efforts devoted in the need assessment.

Step 11: collect, tabulate and interpret evaluation and tracking data: comparison of the date collected with the base data for evaluation of outcome evidence.

Step 12: report to the client: the results from all evaluation with emphasis on tracking studies should be reported. Clients will assist with evaluation and follow up actions.

2.9. The Systematic training process

2.9.1. Training needs analysis

The analysis phase was originally based on the understanding that training was needed and that analyzing the content was the starting point.

Goldstein (1986) described needs assessment as ‘an effort to analyse and diagnose the organization, task and person, to determine if a cure is necessary and what cure is most likely to produce the desired results’. Needs analysis is a systematic attempt to identify current and future organizational problems. (Anderson, 1993; Roscoe, 1995). Training need analysis is a process of determining what ought to be (goals) and assessing the amount of discrepancy between what ought to be and what actually is (needs). (Briggs, Gustafson and Tillman, 1991).

The purpose of a training needs analysis is to close the gap between the actual and desired situations by determining discrepancies in outcomes, placing them in order of priority and selecting the most important for closure or reduction. (Rothwell and Kazanas, 1998).

It is important to carry out training needs analysis before organizing any training activities as it guaranteed the success of the activities. The analysis ensures synergy among the learning need of individual and quest for effectiveness, job performance and strategic organisational development. (Potter et al. 2003)

Normally the TNA refers to the process of examining needs for training in order to determine how they might actually be met. It attempt to define gaps between what people know and can do and what they should know and be able to do.

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To gain a meaningful analysis, it is crucial to use the system approach. Following certain steps will be beneficial as it provide direction and focus in the process. As such, it provides a framework within which to work and to report results to management.

The steps that are normally used to analyse training needs are as follows:

Step 1: Perform a gap analysis

Step 2: Identify priorities and importance

Step 3: Identify causes of performance problems and/or opportunities

Step 4: Identify possible solutions and growth opportunities

Step 5: Present your findings

A Training Needs Assessment is normally conducted so as to determine what the actual performance problem(s) is (are) (Rossett, 1999). However, in some cases, a problem is not due to the of lack in instruction but to deficiencies within the job structure or environment (Clark, 1999).

2.9.2. Designing the training program

The next step consists of designing the training program. It is imperative for organisations to realize while designing the program that is equally important to consider what trainees should know or be able to do after the training is complete.

One thing that should be considered before designing the training program us what the program is to accomplish, that is the objectives. Without knowing what the program is to accomplish it is very difficult to design the program.

2.9.2.1. Determining training objectives and training plan

After the need analysis, it becomes easier to establish training objectives and to determine what the learners must be able to perform after the training program. However, Mckenna and Beech (2002) stated the importance for a sound basis to be established for other elements of Human Resource Management practice such as performance management, reward management combined with training and development. That is, training and development itself cannot help in the total development of employee without the complement of appraisal and motivation.

2.9.2.2. Determine the content

Once, attainable and measurable objectives have been set, it is crucial to determine the content. This can be either a complete training program or ne task only. In the content details of the course content and time, resources required, method of training, who should do the training and who should be trained information should be available.

2.9.2.3. Implementing training

The success of the training program totally depends on how well it is implemented. The establishment of a suitable learning environment is one of the most important elements determining the success of the training provided.

There should be the right provision for the availability of training facilities as such trainers will be able to gain the interest of the audience, maximize understanding and participation.

The method of training used is normally based on the identified needs, training objectives, an understanding on part of the trainees, resources available and the awareness of the learning principle.

The most popular training and development techniques used by organizations can be classified as either on the job training and off the job training. (DeCouza et al, 1996)

On the job training

This is the most widely use method of training as it is simple and less costly to operate. It is normally conducted at the work site and in context of the actual job. Here, there is a close collaboration between the trainer and learner. There are 3 common methods used for on the job training are: learning by doing, mentoring, and shadowing and job rotation.

Off the job training

Off the job training involves employees taking training course away from their place of work. It might also be provided by the organsation training department or by external providers.

The training methods are:

Lectures

Demonstration

Role play

Case study

Demonstration

2.9.3. Evaluation of training program

A review of literature on evaluation of training was conducted to identify methods of effectiveness evaluation for training programs. Upon checking the effectiveness of training, Kenny et al (1992) stated that both during and after the completion of the training, it must be reviewed by training officers, the line manager and if required by the trainee also. Evaluation helps to measure the cost benefits of the training program not only based on the achievement of its laid down objectives.

Phillips (1991) defined evaluation as a systematic process to determine the worth, value, or meaning of something whereas, Holli and Calabrese (1998) defined evaluation as contrast of an observed value or a standard quality or criteria of comparison. Therefore, Evaluation is the process of forming value decision about the quality of programs, products, and goals.

2.9.3.1. Methods of training effectiveness evaluation

Training can be evaluated in several ways. Beardwell and Holden (1993) have cited some of these methods as follows:

Questionnaires : this is the most common approach of obtaining responses about the training program from the trainee.

Tests : An important evaluation program for measuring learning. This help to show the change in skills, knowledge or ability of the trainee attribute from the program. These are common on formal courses.

Structured exercises : this provides the opportunities to apply the learned skills and techniques under observation of evaluators.

Interviews : this is a direct way of gathering information from trainees. This can be formal and informal; individual or group, face to face or by telephone.

2.9.3.2. Approaches to evaluation of training

Upon the definition of evaluation, the Kirkpatrick Model was the most commonly reported model. Phillips (1991) pointed out that the Kirkpatrick Model was one of the most well known frameworks for the classification of evaluation areas. This was confirmed by America Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in 1997 when carrying a survey on human resource development.

2.9.2.3. The Kirkpatrick Model:

Level one : reaction

Level two : Learning

Level three : Behavior

Level 4 : Results

Level one: Reaction

Normally, stakeholder’ reactions provide useful insight into factors that contribute to learner motivation and satisfaction but do not directly measure training results. Typically, reaction data includes the “learn ability” data collected from trainees and “teach ability” data collected from trainers.

Level 2: Learning

The determination of the learning gain is an essential measure. Did the training programs achieve its objectives? Have the trainees mastered the knowledge, skills and attitudes at which the training was directed? If the training does not result in learning, training has no value to an organization. However, there are ample evidences that learning from training is often quickly lost or not transferred to the job in a way that improves employee performance. Therefore, measuring learning alone does not provide adequate evidence of training’s value to the organisation. (Collins, 2002; Dionne, 1996).

Level 3: Behaviour

It is argued the trainee work performance is the most meaningful and critical factor in judging the training effectiveness. That is, it determines the extent to which changes in behaviour and job performance have occurred as a result of the training event and also involves both the employees’ and managers’ evaluation of changes in job related activities.

Level 4: Results

Finally, the impact of the training event on the organisation performance is measures as it is views as many or equals to more important than individuals’ work performance. However, organisational performance can only be achieved through individual performance.

2.10.Training and Employee’s Performance

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Overview

The quality of the workforce and their development through training are key factors in determining long term profitability and the optimum performance of organisations. Therefore, to hire and retain quality employees, it is crucial to invest in their development of their skills, knowledge and abilities so that the individual and eventually the organization’s performance can increase. Traditionally, training is given to new employees only. However, this is a mistake as ongoing training for existing employees helps them to adjust to changing job requirement quickly.

Figure 5-Bramley’s individual model of training

Source:Swart et al(2005)

The model in general assumes that employee knowledge, skills and attitudes will change by the adoption of a training program; however, this does not always end in that way. If the employee believes, there is an improvement in his knowledge and skills; then it may be safe to also assume that, there will be an increase in the person’s individual performance. Through training the person’s competencies will be reinforced and will enable him or her to execute the tasks assigned effectively and efficiently. As a result, according to the model, there will be an increase in the overall performance of the organization.

Nevertheless, individual job performance is also influenced by the culture and the structure of the organization, by the job design, the reward systems used to motivate employees and the power and politics that exist in the organization and the group processes. Individuals may not achieve their goals and thus not perform well, due to problems associated with the reasons above and not necessarily due to lack of skills.

Wright and Geroy (2001), argued to ensure training effectiveness, certain issues must be taken into account. Management style may need to change and training also, has to fit with the culture of the organization. Some companies may offer training programs that, the organization itself is not prepared to accept the ensuing changes. Besides, Eisenberger et al. (1986) proposed that employees are more likely to become committed to an organization, if they believe that the organization is committed to them and management should make efforts to create a positive work environment. Managers, also have the responsibility, to ascertain which factors inhibit effectiveness and make the appropriate decisions, to ameliorate the situation (Swart et al., 2005).

Although in theory training seems to increase organizational performance, in actuality the evidence for such a claim is scant. Bartel (1994), in a survey

2.11. Performance Management

Definition of performance management

Fisher et al (2003) defined performance management as the integration of performance appraisal systems with broader human resource systems as a means of aligning employees’ work behaviors with organizational goals. Performance management should be an ongoing, interactive process that is designed to enhance employee capability and facilitate productivity.

2.11.1Criteria for assessing employees’ performance

Productivity

Productivity can be said to be the raison d’être of management. According to Armstrong (1999) productivity represents the output of goods and services that can be obtained from a given input of employees.

The sources of productivity gains includes (Schiller, 2002)

Higher skills- increase in the skills of labour

More capital- An increase in the ratio of capital to labor

Improved management- better use of available resources in the process.

Technological advancement- development and use of better capital equipment.

Training leads to the development of higher skill and thus impacts on employee performance. The focus is that employee will not perform better at work no matter how hard they try and regardless of how they want until they know what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it(Zaccarelli, 1997).Productivity is one of the most important elements for assessing employee performance.

Motivation and Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction refers to an employee’s overall assessment of his or her work and work-related experiences, which is influenced by an individual’s values, ideals and belief.( Baron, 1976; Chan et al., 2004). Research has been reporting job satisfaction as an important predictor of several critical negative and positive work outcomes. Job satisfaction is a very important motivator for employees’ performance and has been found to inversely relate to turnover.(Mak and Sockel, 1999; rust et al.,1996). On the other hand, the offering talented employees training to retain them on their current job function and allowing them to learn to new skills can be utilized to improve employee satisfaction within the organisation (Rice et al, 1991). Evidence suggest that suggests that training is more likely to have a positive impact on employee satisfaction where the employers develop formal, structured approaches to training that link skill formation to job tenure, career progression, recognition and rewards (Heyes and stuart,1994). Therefore, these factors lead to the employee being happy and thus performance better.

Level of customers’ satisfaction

There is a positive relationship between happy employees and satisfied customers. It would seem that if people feel good about their jobs, their happiness would be reflected in the quality of their work and in positive feedback from their customers. People are an integral part of customer relationship management as it is not just about technology. However, unless the employee is trained and empowered to manage the customer base within the correct organisational structure there will be an impact on the success of the implementation. Employees need to work at the levels of their abilities and have responsibilities commensurate with these if they are not to feel under-utilized – which can lead to dissatisfaction. ‘Staff members who manage customers are usually capable of much more than they are asked to do. That is why policies that empower your staff to manage customers better work so well’ (Stone et al., 2000).

Degree of Coordination

Coordination is a part of all organizations that have a certain degree of specialization or differentiation among their parts, commanding some sort of coordinated effort across them. A mechanism of coordination can be considered any administrative tool used for achieving integration among different units within an organization. Coordination as compared with control should be less direct and less costly (Cray, 1984). The greater the level of interdependence within the organization, the greater the need for integration. Employees are assessed on the relationship between department and colleagues. Relationship management is very crucial in any orgnisation as it is a social arrangement where all people work together to achieve common goal.

Commitment towards the organisation

Commitment is a very important concept as it helps to enhance performance of employees. Employees who feel committed to their organisation are more valued and thus perform better. As such investing in people is one important aspect which leads to organisational commitment. “Employee may view an effective training experience as an indication that the company is willing to invest in them and cares about them; this, training may enhance their commitment to the organization”(Tannenbaum et al., 1991)

Conclusion

Stone, M., Woodcock, N. and Mactynger, E. (2000) ‘Customer Relationship Marketing’, Kogan Page, London.

Cray, D. (1984), “Control and coordination in multinational corporations”, Journal of International Business Studies, pp. 85-98.

Zaccarelli, H. E. (1997) Improving Employee Performance: Effective Training Strategies and Techniques. London: Kogan Page 19

Beardwell, N. and Holden, B. (1993), Managing for Success, 2nd ed. England:

Prentice Hall Publisher


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