Employee Training and Development - Research Paper Example

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Problem Solving and Decision Making is a systematic process to define and weigh the objectives of the organization. Hence we need to score each of our alternatives against the objectives of an organization to a systematic analysis that would help to select a particular method. …
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Problem Solving and Decision Making is a systematic process to define and weigh the objectives of the organization. Hence we need to score each of our alternatives against the objectives of an organization to a systematic analysis that would help to select a particular method. The fact is, selecting training methods can be hard, particularly when there are a lot of trainees, a lot of money and a lot of your job at stake. That’s why it is required to know about the training methods and then to decide for selecting training methods. Hands-on methods refer to training methods that require the trainee to be actively involved in learning. Generally, we can divide traditional methods of training instruction into two general categories: presentation and hands-on.  Presentation simply refers to those techniques that present information to trainees; these tend to be more passive and less interactive (e.g., lecture).  Hands-on methods involve trainees playing a more active role in the training session; they do things as opposed to just listening or receiving information.  Common hands-on techniques involve role playing and simulations. The most widely used method of off-the-job training continues to be lecture.  Although many people criticize the method because it places trainees in a passive role, it does have many advantages.  First, it is relatively inexpensive.  You can present a large amount of information to large groups of trainees.  It is also an appropriate method for knowledge acquisition.  If trainees need to acquire basic information and facts, the lecture method is generally effective for this purpose. Audiovisual techniques refers to the use of overheads, slides, and videos. These techniques are rarely used alone; they are frequently combined with lecture or discussion.  These techniques are helpful as they can provide a demonstration of something that may be difficult to recreate in person (e.g., such as equipment malfunction; irate customers).  It also allows for a very consistent presentation.  While a lecture may vary across different groups, a video will be exactly the same.  This may be important if trainees need to be instructed in a very standardized fashion.  Additionally, some trainees may learn better by “seeing” rather than “hearing.”  A picture or diagram may convey more meaning to some trainees than the same concept described verbally. Hands-on methods refer to techniques requiring active involvement by trainees.  On-the-job training is a common method.  On-the-job training may be structured or unstructured.  Unstructured OJT is when there is no set procedure for providing training.  Rather, trainees simply learn from more experienced employees.  The problem with this approach is that training may be vastly different across employees.  Some experienced workers, although competent in their job, may lack the skills to be effective trainers.  Structured OJT training is effective as it provides trainees opportunities to learn by doing the very things they will have to do on the job.  The disadvantage is that is requires time from current employees to serve as trainers, which may be a considerable loss of time depending on the complexity of training. An apprenticeship involves on-the-job training and classroom training.  These typically involve training in the skilled trades.  The advantage of this method is that trainees are paid while they learn and their wages are typically indexed to their skill level.  A disadvantage of the technique is that it takes a long time. Self-directed learning refers to learning that is under the control of the trainee.  That is, the trainee controls the pace of the material.  The most common form of self-directed learning is programmed instruction. Programmed instruction refers to a procedure where trainees must complete certain material then move on to the next material.  They are given immediate feedback in that they have to demonstrate or prove they have mastered the material before they can go on to additional material.  The biggest advantage to the technique is that it allows for individual differences, in that trainees will be able to go through the material at their own pace.  A disadvantage of the technique is that since trainees work at their own pace, they are also working by themselves on the material and lack personal contact with other trainees or the trainer. Simulations refer to training that attempts to represent real-life conditions. Simulations allow trainees to try various techniques and see the results of their actions.  The biggest advantage of simulators is that they can mimic actual job conditions and give trainees a chance to practice in real-life conditions when it would not be feasible to do so otherwise.  Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that simulators are usually very expensive and time consuming to prepare.  Note that simulators are not just for teaching people how to drive or fly.  They are often used for teaching management skills.   A case study is a description of how employees or an organization dealt with a difficult situation.  Trainees are then asked to analyze the problem and discuss possible solutions.  This method is based on the idea that employees will learn better if they discover the principles themselves rather than being told what the principles are.  Case studies also will include contextual factors that make the situation or problem more complex, but also more like real-life.  As the correct action is often unknown, case studies also give trainees practice dealing with ambiguity and may allow for a richer discussion of why certain action may or may not be appropriate than one where there is a clear cut answer.  The advantage of this technique is that it provides trainees with realistic solutions and let’s them actively try to discover important principles. The disadvantages are that the case studies may be too dissimilar for trainees’ work situations to be of much use and/or trainees might have difficulty applying what they have learned from a particular case to situations they encounter on the job.   Role plays involve trainees playing particular roles or characters.  Role plays are generally used for training interpersonal skills, such as giving feedback or dealing with customers.  It is generally recommended that a discussion of the role play follow the actual role play so the trainee can gain more insight into their behavior and how one should deal with those types of situations.  Role plays can also be effective at changing attitudes.  Advantage of the method is that it is usually easy to do and gives good practice in interpersonal skills.  Disadvantage is that some employees will feel uncomfortable role playing and may not take the experience seriously.   Behavior modeling is based on Bandura’s social learning theory, which emphasizes how people learn from observing others.  The general procedure follows the following steps as discussed by Goldstein and Sorcher (1974) 1.Trainer brings the attention of the trainees to some key points to be learned in the session 2.A videotape is shown that depicts the enactment of the points to be learned (a videotape is used so that it can be paused and rewound) 3. To further enhance retention, the group of trainees discusses the modeled behavior shown in the video 4. Trainees role play the behaviors to be learned in the presence of the other trainees and the instructor 5. Trainees receive feedback on how well they adopted the learning points in their role play.  Verbal reinforcement is given for successful enactments of the desired behaviors 6. Trainees discuss how they will transfer what they have learned in class to the work situation. Advantages of this method are that it provides good practice of desired behaviors and a discussion of why those behaviors are appropriate.  It shares the same disadvantage as role play in that some trainees may feel reluctant or uncomfortable acting out the behaviors. Choosing a Training Method 1. Identify the type of learning outcome that you want training to influence. 2. Consider the extent to which the learning method facilitates learning and transfer of training. 3. Evaluate the costs related to development and use of the method. 4. Consider the effectiveness of the training method REFERENCES: 1. Raymond A. Noe (2009), Employee Training & Development, Irwin Professional Pub, Canada 2. Clive Shepherd, A process for selecting training methods, retrieved on 2-06-2011 from 3. Training and performance, retrieved on 2-06-2011 from 4. Goldstein, A. P., & Sorcher, M. (1974). Changing supervisory behavior. New York: Pergamon. Read More
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