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Training - introduction
Training and personal development is an important method for a business to improve the performance of employees.
Training starts with a strategy
It is important that a business provides training that is consistent with the business strategy. The main steps in developing a training strategy are to: - Identify the skills and abilities needed by employees; - Draw up an action plan to show how investment in training and development will help meet business goals and objectives; - Implement the plan, monitoring progress and training effectiveness
Benefits of training to a business
The main benefits to a business of a well-trained workforce are: - Better productivity (and, therefore, lower production / operating costs) - Higher quality - More flexibility - training helps employees develop a variety of skills. Multi-skilling is only possible if the workforce is well trained - Less supervision - lower supervision and management costs if employees can get on with their jobs. This might also improve motivation - through greater empowerment - More successful recruitment and employee retention - businesses with a good reputation for training are likely to find it easier to attract good quality staff - and then keep them - Help in achieving change - businesses with strong training systems and culture find it easier to implement change programmes
What training cannot solve
It is tempting to think that training is the solution to many if not all business problems. However, there are some things that training can rarely solve: these include: - Poor management (although management training might help!) - Poor job design - Ineffective or inefficient equipment, production organization - Recruitment
If training is so important, why do some businesses invest so little in it?
Ideally training should be seen as an investment in the future of the business. It takes time for the effects of training to impact business performance. Some businesses are reluctant to spend on training because: - They fear employees will be poached by competitors (who will then benefit from the training) - A desire to minimize short-term costs - They cannot make a justifiable investment case
Meaning of training
Training is the most important and established function of the personnel programme is to impart training to the new comers. In the modern world of technological changes, the need for training employees is being increasingly recognized so as to keep employees in touch with the new developments, and technology. Every organization must have a systematic training programme otherwise employees will try to learn the job by trial and error method which can prove to be dangerous. Trained workers will operate machines carefully, reduce scrap and wastes.
NEED FOR TRAINING
Training is necessary for existing and new employees. Training increases the skill of the employees. New machines, new tools, new methods and need for increasing the productivity make training still more important.
Training programme should not be started as a fashion by copying other organization as it would simply be wastage of money. The training programme should be undertaken only if the need for the same is felt. Such a need can be assessed for job descriptions. Interviews and records of comparative performance may also indicate need for training. The factors which usually indicate for training are given below:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Chances of frequent accidents. Low quality output. Higher production cost. Employees feeling absence of pride in job resulting in carelessness and gossip. Ignorance of objectives.
Management can discover training need of employees by taking following steps:
1. Sometimes employee performance is below the standard, training is immediately required for such employees. 2. Sometimes certain production problems indicate training needs. These indicators include frequent accidents, low productivity and poor quality, higher production cost, excessive gossip, higher rate of labor turnover and absenteeism, excessive grievance etc. 3. By conducting interviews and giving questionnaires, views of employees and excessive can be obtained regarding training needs. 4. The expansion of business in futures, installation of new plants, new technology etc., require planning of manpower training in advance so that requirements of new job are met well in time.
In case of small scale organization, training will be given by a supervisor or a skilled man, whereas in large organizations, there will either be a full time training officer on training department. The training methods may be:
Lecture method if trainees number is large. Recitation method (if trainees are few) which include question and answer technique. Demonstration method. Conference group and discussion method.
All occupations engaged in converting raw materials into preferred goods, are concerned with design of policies, institutions and behaviors. The process spirals appreciation, action and reappreciation. Thus you work simultaneously from the total and then go in cycles.
Everything is more important in time than anything else, of course, which is exactly what happens when people don’t exhibit the right amount of fortitude in planning on a broad basis.
Engaging resources only in lines of action for which training is a significant variable is one of the first professional responsibilities of a trainer and training. This includes a judgement of whether adequate conditions exist for the likely success of a training programme. In this respect training is like a manufacturing process. Relating these demands clear goals, a plausible strategy for attaining them, and precise specifications for each part of training task, including the resources of time, skill, and facilities required. Contrary to the popular saying, something is often not better than nothing, for “something” may convey a mistaken sense of movement and progress toward a good when in reality no ground has prepared.
For futile training programmes, it is necessary to consider four strategic issues:
1. Action perspective in training strategy. Action
perspective training is a systematic attempt to develop the human resourcesindividual, group, and organizational competencies required to manage present and future tasks and situations. An effective training strategy therefore focuses on making training an effective instrument of action in the field. Training is well spin off action projects, as these projects develop they then, in turn, highlight new gaps in competencies to be filled through training. Training and action are therefore closely linked.
2. Goal setting. After the overall action strategy, it is setting appropriate
goals for training. What are the changes to be effected? Once this question is answered, these follow: what number and types of people require training, and what resources of time, skill, and facilities will be needed for this particular training? In other words, what are training specifications?
3. Planning training specifications. Responsibility is
reversed when the time comes for defining training specifications. The organization has specified the new knowledge, understanding, and skills required for the change it desires. The training system, in turn, has helped to pinpoint those which can be developed through systematic training. How this is to be done, that is, what training designs and methods to use, are strictly the business of the training system. This is the very core of its job.
4. Programming strategy by the Training System.
METHODS OF TRAINING
What is a training method?
A training method is the process, technique or approach which a trainer uses in teaching.
Tr a i n i n g - o n t h e j o b
As the name implies, on the job training involves employees training at their place or work. The most common methods of on the job training are: - Demonstration / instruction; showing the trainee how to do the job - Coaching - a more intensive method of training that involves a close working relationship between an experienced employee and the trainee - Job rotation - where the trainee is given several jobs in succession, to gain experience of a wide range of activities (e.g. a graduate management trainee might spend periods in several different departments) - Projects - employees join a project team - which gives them exposure to other parts of the business and allow them to take part in new activities. Most successful project teams are "multi-disciplinary"
Advantages of on the job training
- Generally more cost effective - Less disruptive to the business - i.e. employees are not away from work - Training an employee in their own working environment, with equipment they are familiar with and people they know can help they gain direct experience to a standard approved by the employer
- Employees may find that they have more confidence if they are supervised and guided as they feel they are doing the job right - Employees may feel more at ease being taught or supervised by people they know rather than complete strangers at an external training course - Managers or supervisors can assess improvement and progress over a period of time and this makes it easier to identify a problem intervene and resolve problems quickly - On the job training is also productive, as the employee is still working as they are learning - As training progresses and the employee begins to feel more confident, this confidence would allow them to work at a higher standard and ultimately be more productive - Training "on-the-job" provides an opportunity to get to know staff they might not normally talk to
Disadvantages of on the job training
- Teaching or coaching is a specialist skill in itself; unless the trainer has the skills and knowledge to train, this would mean that the training will not be done to a sufficient standard - The trainer may not be given the time to spend with the employee to teach them properly, which would mean substandard training has been achieved and learning has only been half done - The trainer may posses bad habits and pass these on to the trainee
Tr a i n i n g - o f f t h e j o b
Off the job training involves employees taking training courses away from their place of work. This is often also referred to as "formal training". Off the job training courses might be run by the business' training department or by external providers. The main types of off the job training courses are: - Day release (where the employee takes time out from normal working hours to attend a local college or training centre) - Distance learning / evening classes
- Revision courses (e.g. in the accountancy profession, student employees are given blocks of around 5-6 weeks off on pre-exam courses) - Block release courses - which may involve several weeks at a local college - Sandwich courses - where the employee spends a longer period of time at college (e.g. six months) before returning to work - Sponsored courses in higher education - Self-study, computer-based training (an increasingly popular option - given that attendance at external courses can involve heavy cost)
Advantages of off-the-job training:
- Use of specialist trainers and accommodation - Employee can focus on the training - and not be distracted by work - Opportunity to mix with employees from other businesses
Disadvantages of off-the-job training:
- Employee needs to be motivated to learn - May not be directly relevant to the employee's job - Costs (transport, course fees, examination fees, materials, accommodation) There are many different ways to train. Indeed, entire books have been written on the ways to deliver training. How can a manager charged with training his or her employees choose an appropriate method? This article defines some of the most common training methods and reviews pros and cons for each one. The method by which training is delivered often varies based on the needs of the company, the trainee, and on the task being performed. The method should suit the audience, the content, the business¡¦ environment, and the learning objective. Ideally, the method chosen will motivate employees to learn, help employees prepare themselves for learning, enable the trainees to apply and practice what they've been taught, help trainees retain and transfer what they have learned, and integrate performance with other skills and knowledge.
Other factors affecting the choice of a training method include: -Age, gender, or level of education of the trainees -Learning styles of the trainees -Number of trainees -Budget -Trainer's skills and training style Common group training methods include:
A lecture is the method learners often most commonly associate with college and secondary education. Yet, it is also considered one of the least effective methods to use for adult learners. In this method, one person (the trainer) does all of the talking. He or she may use handouts, visual aids, question/answer, or posters to support the lecture. Communication is primarily one-way: from the instructor to the learner. Pros: Less time is needed for the trainer to prepare than other methods. It provides a lot of information quickly when it is less important that the trainees retain a lot of details. Cons: Does not actively involve trainees in training process. The trainees forget much information if it is presented only orally.
Demonstration is very effective for basic skills training. The trainer shows trainees how to do something. The trainer may provide an opportunity for trainees to perform the task being demonstrated. Pros: This method emphasizes the trainee involvement. It engages several senses: seeing, hearing, feeling, touching. Cons: It requires a great deal of trainer preparation and planning. There also needs to be an adequate space for the training to take place. If the trainer is not skilled in the task being taught, poor work habits can be learned by the trainee.
Seminars often combine several group methods: lectures, discussions, conferences, demonstrations. Pros: Group members are involved in the training. The trainer can use many group methods as part of the seminar activity. Cons: Planning is time-consuming. The trainer must have skill in conducting a seminar. More time is needed to conduct a seminar than is needed for many other methods.
The conference training method is a good problem-solving approach. A group considers a specific problem or issue and they work to reach agreement on statements or solutions. Pros: There is a lot of trainee participation. The trainees build consensus and the trainer can use several methods (lecture, panel, seminar) to keep sessions interesting. Cons: It can be difficult to control a group. Opinions generated at the conference may differ from the manager¡¦s ideas, causing conflict.
A panel provides several points of view on a topic to seek alternatives to a situation. Panel members may have differing views but they must also have objective concerns for the purpose of the training. This is an excellent method for using outside resource people. Pros: Trainees often find it interesting to hear different points of view. The process invites employees to share their opinions and they are challenged to consider alternatives. Cons: It requires a great deal of preparation. The results of the method can be difficult to evaluate.
During a role play, the trainees assume roles and act out situations connected to the learning concepts. It is good for customer service and sales training. Pros: Trainees can learn possible results of certain behaviors in a classroom situation. They get an opportunity to practice people skills. It is possible to experiment with many different approaches to a situation without alienating any actual customers. Cons: A lot of time is spent making a single point. Trainers must be skilled and creative in helping the class learn from the situation. In some role play situations, only a few people get to practice while others watch.
A case study is a description of a real or imagined situation which contains information that trainees can use to analyze what has occurred and why. The trainees recommend solutions based on the content provided. Pros: A case study can present a real-life situation which lets trainees consider what they would do. It can present a wide variety of skills in which applying knowledge is important. Cons: Cases can be difficult to write and time-consuming to discuss. The trainer must be creative and very skilled at leading discussions, making points, and keeping trainees on track.
Trainees participate in a reality-based, interactive activity where they imitate actions required on the job. It is a useful technique for skills development. Pros: Training becomes more reality-based, as trainees are actively involved in the learning process. It directly applies to jobs performed after training. Simulations involve yet another learning style, increasing the chance that trainees will retain what they have learned. Cons: Simulations are time-consuming. The trainer must be very skilled and make sure that trainees practice the skills correctly. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
Projects require the trainees to do something on the job which improves the business as well as helps them learn about the topic of training. It might involve participation on a team, the creation of a database, or the forming of a new process. The type of project will vary by business and the skill level of the trainee. Pros: This is a good training activity for experienced employees. Projects can be chosen which help solve problems or otherwise improve the operation. Trainees get first-hand experience in the topic of the training. Little time is needed to prepare the training experience. Cons: Without proper introduction to the project and its purpose, trainees may think they are doing somebody else¡¦s work. Also, if they do not have an interest in the project or there is no immediate impact on their own jobs, it will be difficult to obtain and maintain their interest.
Common individual training methods include:
Trainees discover the competencies on their own using such techniques as guided exercises, books, and research. Pros: Trainees are able to choose the learning style that works the best for them. They are able to move at their own pace and have a great deal of ownership over their learning. Cons: Trainees can easily get side-tracked and may move slower than the trainer desires. It is also more difficult to measure the employee¡¦s progress.
Content for the training experience comes primarily from a videotape or computer-based program. Pros: It is easy to provide this training and the trainer can follow-up with questions and discussion. It is also easy to assure that the same information is presented to each trainee.
Cons: It is expensive to develop. Most trainers choosing this option must purchase the training from an outside vendor, making the content less specific to their needs.
This is the most common method of training. The trainee is placed on the job and the manager or mentor shows the trainee how to do the job. To be successful, the training should be done according to a structured program that uses task lists, job breakdowns, and performance standards as a lesson plan. Pros: The training can be made extremely specific to the employee's needs. It is highly practical and reality-based. It also helps the employee establish important relationships with his or her supervisor or mentor. Cons: Training is not standardized for employees. There is often a tendency to have a person learn by doing the job, providing no real training.
A mentor can tutor others in their learning. Mentors help employees solve problems both through training them in skills and through modeling effective attitudes and behaviors. This system is sometimes known as a buddy system. Pros: It can take place before, during, or after a shift. It gives the trainee individual attention and immediate feedback. It also helps the trainee get information regarding the business culture and organizational structure. Cons: Training can be interrupted if the mentor moves on. If a properly trained mentor is not chosen, the trainee can pick up bad habits.
When choosing from among these methods, the trainer must decide which one best suits the trainees, the environment, and the investments available. Many trainers will choose to combine methods or vary them. Others will select a single method that works best for them and never vary. With so many options, a trainer is limited only by his or her creativity.
Methods of training - The right method
This module lends itself to a lively presentation by the trainer. The trainer must be capable of demonstrating personally the methods of training selected for special attention. These methods are believed to be the most appropriate for use in training in food control practices including GMPs and HACCP. It is acknowledged that case studies also have their use, but considerable time is required in their preparation. The trainer should spare no effort to make this module effective. The methods are the tools the trainees will use when they became trainers. It is essential that the presentation of the module provide them with a base for effective training, on which the trainees can build by practising to improve performance.
Ask participants to give a five- to seven-minute mini-lecture on a subject of their own choice that is related to food quality control. Instruct the participants to prepare a point outline on the subject of their lecture for use during their presentation.
THE DIFFERENT METHODS OF TRAINING
You have a choice of the following methods to prepare for effective training: Lecture Lecture/discussion Skill lesson On-the-job training (the four-step method) There are other methods of training, but their effective use is specific to special training situations and will not be discussed in this lecture. Some of those methods include: Role play Assignment Case study Training games
Group exercises Programmed learning
SELECTING THE RIGHT METHOD
All the resources at your command must be used to make your instruction real and vital for your trainees. The number and types of training methods you use during any presentation depend on many factors, and you must therefore have answers to the following questions before you decide how you will present your material. What is the ability and level of knowledge of the group? How many trainees are in the group and why are they there? How much time do you have to prepare your material? Can you cover your topic fully in the time available? What aids do you require? Do you have the experience to use these aids with confidence? Are you aware of the limitations of aids? Your method of presentation will depend on the answers to these questions.
Use When the group is large - say 30 or more When knowledge or understanding is to be imparted by an expert When a body of factual information has to be communicated in a short time When information is not readily available to group members
Delivery Essentials of good delivery: Words must all be clear Words must be spoken at a suitable pace Pauses should occur at logical places Variety should be used: emphasizing important points in a deliberate manner, connecting parts and using illustrations in a conversational way Preparation and lecture notes Preparation is important. The lecturer's notes need to be designed to facilitate efficient delivery. Distinction is needed between lecture outlines (showing matter only) and lecture notes (showing method and matter). Notes may be too brief. The lecturer may then improvise, and he or she may be vague or may forget important elements. On the other hand, notes may be too extensive. The lecturer will then read them, and this is undesirable. Given an outline of the material, prepare the notes by asking these questions: What is it safe to assume that the listeners know? What are they likely to find difficult? Hence, what will require special care or illustration? What will the illustrations (in detail) be? Can they be misunderstood or misinterpreted? What demonstrations will be appropriate? Will everyone see clearly? (Demonstrations are used to illustrate really important points. The more important the point, the more spectacular the demonstration should be.)
What new terms will be introduced? What unusual names? Mark these in the notes. They will need to be written on a blackboard, whiteboard, chart or overhead transparency. What precisely should everyone know at the end of the lecture? (This is really a reexamination of the outline and a restatement of the important points.) Structure Introduction: Statement of aims Relation of this lecture to those that came before and are to follow Establishment of goal (which gives purpose and direction) by linking aims with participant needs Outline of thoughts that are to be developed Body of lecture: Step-by-step building up of subject matter Logical development A few well-developed steps, strongly made (more effective than many steps) Appropriate use of aids and questions to stimulate student interest and activity Appropriately spaced summaries of material covered Conclusion: Summary of lecture material Restatement of the relationship of this lecture to others in the series Reference to additional material that should be read or seen
Setting of any assignments
Disadvantages Lecturer bombards students with considerable information (saturation may occur) Participants sit passively without interaction
Use When the group is small - say 20 or less When the members know one another well enough to risk making errors When the material is of a kind that can be assimilated readily, at least in part, or when there is some prior knowledge of it
Discussion The most useful starting point for the discussion is the question. Some uses of questions: At beginning of lecture: to find out what trainees already know and to discover opinions During lecture: to find out whether the participants understand and are following the lecture End of lecture: to recapitulate and test the participants' knowledge and understanding Desirable features of questions: They should be clear They should be brief They should lead to some constructive statement rather than to a nod or a grunt They should stimulate thinking, rather than suggest the answer
Pitfalls Repeating the answer (Do not repeat. Move on.) Holding a dialogue with a single answerer (Bring in the group, e.g. "Would anyone like to add to that?") Trampling the incorrect answerer Asking too many questions (Adults do not like to be cross-examined.) Letting the discussion take too long (Guide it carefully. Remember the objective of your discussion.) Structure Introduction Body of lecture Discussion Conclusion
THE SKILL LESSON
Aims To teach correct and safe job methods To develop confidence in job performance To achieve accuracy and speed To encourage conscientious effort
Structure Introduction Development (body of skill lesson) Demonstration by trainer (complete) Demonstration and trainee practice of each stage, in sequence Practice of demonstrated job skill Conclusion
ON-THE-JOB TRAINING (THE FOUR-STEP METHOD OF INSTRUCTION)
Step 1 Prepare the worker Put the worker at ease State the job and find out what the worker already knows about it Stimulate the worker's interest in learning the job Place the worker in the correct position Step 2 Present the operations Tell, show and illustrate one important point at a time Stress each key point Instruct clearly, completely and patiently, but teach no more than the worker can master
Step 3 Try out the worker's performance Have the worker do the job, and correct errors Have the worker explain each key point to you as he or she does the job again Make sure the worker understands, and continue until you are certain of this Step 4 Follow up Put the worker on his or her own Designate to whom he or she should go for help Check frequently Encourage questions Taper off extra coaching and reduce follow-up Example of an on-the-job training session: training workers in the correct method of hand washing Workers in fish processing units must maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness. In order to educate the workers in better hygienic practices, the correct hand washing method is one of the topics demonstrated in fish processing units. The main objective of washing hands is to avoid contaminating the material with organisms from the hands. Unwashed hands transmit microorganisms. It is therefore essential that hands be washed thoroughly. The following procedure for washing hands is recommended: Wet palms and arms, from the elbow down, with fresh water Apply soap Work lather on and around fingers, nails and arms from the elbow down Rinse palms and hands with fresh water
Wipe palms and hands dry using a clean towel
Evaluating Training Method
THE NEED FOR EVALUATION
It is not good enough for a trainer to feel self-satisfied with his or her training performance without evaluating it. All effective trainers not only evaluate or measure the degree of success of their course, they also evaluate their personal performance at the conclusion of each session or at least at the end of each training day. Neglecting to make any attempt at evaluation reflects disinterest and lack of professionalism and is symptomatic of a non-caring attitude. Evaluation is a must; it is an integral part of effective training. Purpose To improve training by discovering which training processes are successful in achieving their objectives (to "sort out the good from the bad") Evaluation affects learning If we set examinations at the end of a course we affect the nature of learning If we study trainees' job behaviour after a course we have generally changed their job behaviour Since testing affects learning we can use it as a training aid Two aspects of evaluation Course evaluation Trainer evaluation (self-evaluation)
GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION
Break evaluation into clear, achievable steps: Evaluating reaction How well did the trainees enjoy the session(s)/course? Find out how well the trainees liked a particular training session or sessions or the course as a whole Does not include measurement of learning Evaluating learning What principles, facts and techniques were learned? Written test questions, oral test questions, skill tests Avoid questions like "Have you learned anything?" Evaluating behaviour What changes in job behaviour resulted from the training? Best evaluated through appraisal by on-the-job supervisors Remember: good trainers have on-the-job experience; they know the best way of doing things Evaluating results What were the tangible results of the training in terms of improved job performance? Some types of training results are easily measured (e.g. typing) Others are not easily measured (where management and attitudes are involved)
METHOD EVALUATION QUESTIONNAIRES
>Determine what you want to find out >Use a written comment sheet covering the steps above >Obtain honest reactions by making the form anonymous >Allow trainees to write additional comments not covered by questions Two model method evaluation questionnaires are included. Model 1 is intended for evaluation of a complete training course. Model 2 can be used to evaluate either a specific training session or module or the overall training course.
TRAINER SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR USE BEFORE THE SESSION
Preparation Do the notes show clearly the limited, definite scope of this training session? Is my session planned to enable my specific purpose to be fully accomplished? Have I allowed for an adequate introduction; a presentation with participant activity; and a recapitulation which will clinch the chief points? Have I arranged for all necessary equipment/materials and teaching aids? Introduction Will this step excite the interest of the trainees from the start - is it original or linked strongly with an emotion-stirring activity, or some matter of topical or personal interest? Will it pave the way for what is to follow so that the presentation will not discourage or bore by excessive difficulty? Will it provoke curiosity and interest for what is to come, generating a need which will be satisfied?
Does it provide adequate revision of what has gone before?
Body Is the instruction broken up into steps of reasonable length? Will each step offer maximum trainee participation and activity? Will each step win trainee interest and attention? Will each step offer some way of evaluating the trainees' comprehension before the next step is undertaken? If there is a written exercise to be done, have I something useful ready to occupy the quicker trainees so that slower ones may finish comfortably? Is there adequate provision for holding the interest of the strongest trainees and giving them worthwhile activity? Have I allowed for a period of relief for trainees and myself after a period of intense concentrated work? Conclusion Will this step adequately recall and test the vital points of the session? Have I timed my session so that there is time for this important step? Chalkboard summary Will my chalkboard or whiteboard summary show what I expect to appear on the chalkboard at the end of the session? Is the arrangement (use of colour, diagrams, etc.) attractive? Have I thought out ways of obtaining the maximum help from the chalkboard with a minimum loss of contact with my group during the session? Are there any parts of the chalkboard that I should not use because they are not clearly visible because of poor lighting, shining sun, etc.? How will arrangement of any other visual aids fit in with my use of the chalkboard?
General Are there any other aids that will assist me? What rabbits have I ready to pull out of a hat if interest flags? Have I taken into consideration the intellectual level of the group, the time of day the session will take place and interruptions? Have I thought out how this session will fit into the general syllabus for the group? Am I sure of the correct pronunciation of unusual words that I will be using during the lesson? Am I sure of my subject-matter and of the correctness of the questions I intend to use? Am I sufficiently familiar with my questions and steps to be able to carry on the session at maximum effective speed without allowing the thin edge of the wedge of inattention to be inserted?
TRAINER SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR USE AFTER THE SESSION
Voice Was my voice clearly audible in all parts of room? Was it restrained enough not to irritate trainees or disturb other session leaders? Did I vary the speed, pitch, volume and tone so as to give maximum interest to whatever I said? Manner >Was my manner reasonable, brisk and alert? > Did I sincerely convey a sense of earnestness and enthusiasm for what I was instructing? > Was my manner reasonably pleasant and general without being affectedly so?
Group management Did I get off to a clean brisk start, stimulating the group from the beginning? Did I stand in such a position that I could be seen and heard by all trainees? Did I keep all trainees under my eye and control whenever necessary? Did I take steps to see that no trainee disturbed the work of the group or failed to take adequate part in the session? Did I see that at the beginning of the lesson the floor and chalkboards were clean, the desks in order, the windows open and the class settled and ready? Did I have the trainees pulling with or against me? Did I refuse to be sidetracked? Questioning Were my questions audible to all trainees? Were most questions easy enough for all trainees to be able to attempt an answer? Were there some particularly stimulating questions? Where the response to a question was unsatisfactory, did I take measures to improve the response (e.g. reframing the question) rather than waste a good question by immediately giving an answer? Did my questions follow rapidly without hesitation and uncertainty? Did I insist on answers being given loudly and clearly? Did I refrain from unnecessarily repeating answers? Did I distribute questions widely, encouraging weak trainees?
General Did I cover the steps of my session adequately? Was my recapitulation or other final step unhurried? Did I maintain my aim throughout the session? Did I keep as far as possible to the plan of my lesson? Did my trainees and I enjoy the session? What did the trainees gain from this session? What have I learned by leading this session?
METHOD EVALUATION/REACTION QUESTIONNAIRE
To assist in the planning of future courses it would be of great value if you would complete the sections that follow. Please be frank with your responses. Remember, only your honest reactions will enable adjustments and improvements to be made. The questions asked may not cover all of the aspects about which you wish to comment. For that reason a space headed "General comments" has been provided, and it is hoped that you will use it if appropriate. Conditions Were you comfortable? What improvements, if any, do you suggest for the accommodation of future courses? Were the seating arrangements satisfactory? Could you see and hear satisfactorily?
Were the morning and afternoon sessions well balanced?
Presentation Were all sessions presented in a clear and interesting way? Were there any sessions that left you confused or uncertain? Please specify. Do you think trainers could have done more to improve their presentations? If so, what? Were the lengths of sessions satisfactory? Did the aids used help sustain your interest and understanding? Name any particular aid that impressed you.
Instructions You have just completed the training. Now we would like you to tell us about your feelings on what has just been presented. This information is valuable in helping us make following training sessions more interesting and useful to you. Below you will find a number of questions dealing with the just completed training session. Most questions can be answered by circling a number on the scale to the right of the question. Where a written response is required, please write your reply clearly in the space provided. Please consider your responses carefully and answer truthfully. Everything you say will be held in strictest confidence. The information will be used only to help us make this training activity more responsive to your needs.
Topic discussed:_____________________ I. Content
1. Relevance of the topic to your job Not relevant Relevant 1 1 3. Level of instruction 4. Lecture coverage 5. Time allotment 6. Emphasis on details 7. Organization and direction 8. Treatment of the topic 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 Very clear 5 Too advanced 5 Very comprehensive 5 Too long 5 Too detailed 5 5 Practical 5 2. Clarity of the module's objectives Not clear Too basic Inadequate Too short Too brief
Disorganized Well organized Abstract
9. Additional comments you may have on these or other aspects of the content of this training module/session __________________________________ __________________________________
II. Training aids and handouts
1. Effectiveness of training aids Not effective 1 2. Readability of ____________________* 3. Clarity of message of ____________________* 4. Appeal of ____________________* 5. Usefulness of ____________________* 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 Very effective 5 5 Very clear 5 5 Useful 5
Not readable Very readable Not clear
Not appealing Very appealing Not useful
* Here you would insert the names of instructional aids used: handouts, slides, videos, overhead transparencies, etc. 6. Additional remarks you may have on these or other aspects of the teaching methods, aids, and handouts used in the training session Instructor effectiveness
1. Mastery of the subject Not knowledgeable 1 2 3 4 Knowledgeable 5 Excellent 4 4 4 5 Excellent 5 Receptive 5 not Encouraged 4 4 4 5 Excellent 5 Too fast 3 5 Clear
2. Ability to transfer/communicate information and Very poor knowledge effectively 1 3. Ability to arouse and sustain interest 4. Openness to ideas of trainees 5. Encouragement of trainee participation 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 Very poor Not receptive Did encourage 1 6. Time management 7. Speed in talking 8. Clarity of speech 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 Very poor Too slow Not clear
9. Additional remarks on these or other aspects of the instructor's effectiveness _________________________ _________________________ IV. General 1. Please state the three most important ideas or concepts that you have learned from this session _________________________ _________________________ 2. Suggestion(s) to improve the session _________________________ _________________________ V. Training logistics/administration
1. Quality of the meals Very poor Very good 1 2 3 4 5
2. Quality of accommodation 3. Quality of transportation
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Survey Brief - 1 METHODS OF TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE “IN THIS BUSINESS, YOU ARE WHAT YOU KNOW! Keeping your skills and abilities up-to-date in today's on-demand environment is a critical component to your success. IBM now makes it easy for you to enjoy the technical training you need to maintain that edge!” IBM email, August 2005 Virtually all modern organizations accept that a well-trained workforce is a critical success factor. American organizations spend more than $62 billion per year on formal training of their employees. It is impossible to estimate the full costs of the additional informal training that occurs. Ability to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) is among the most important skills that many employees need. Yet there is more speculation than wellgrounded, factual knowledge about the kinds of training regarding work-related computing to which most employees are exposed. This report utilizes a recent, empirical survey of American workers to provide information about this issue. Training for work-related computing comes in a variety of forms, ranging from formal, scheduled classroom instruction to spur-of-the-moment sessions with a co-worker to selfbased trial and error efforts. Both organizations and individual workers make choices regarding the selection of training methods. In this report we explicate the modes of training being utilized by employees. We also analyze the linkages between these various training modes and the organizational, technical and individual characteristics associated with each employee. The main issues addressed are the factors which influence the types of training methods used within organizations and the factors which influence choice of training by individual workers. This report utilizes the results of a survey of 1200 individuals in twelve metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States.1 The survey was conducted by telephone during the period April to July, 2004. It is a part of the larger Project POINT (People, Organizations, and Information Technology) conducted by researchers at the Center for Research on the twelve MSAs selected were chosen to represent the more sophisticated areas of the U.S. as regards technology use (number of households with computers) and internet infrastructure (access to broadband). They are: Portland, ME, Boston, MA, Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ, Washington, DC-MD-VA, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, Austin-San Marcos, TX, Des Moines,
IA, Fort Collins-Loveland, CO, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, Olympia, WA, San Francisco, CA, and Orange County, CA. Within each MSA, a total of 100 respondents were interviewed (using random digit dialing techniques). The overall response rate for the survey was 42%, with MSAs varying from a low of 32% (Middlesex-SomersetHunterdon, NJ), to a high of 51% (Portland, ME).
Survey Brief - 2 Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO) located at the University of California, Irvine. Project POINT focuses on how ICTs, especially the Internet, are transforming people’s lives in the home and workplace. The goal of Project POINT is to empirically explore and understand the linkages between information and communication technologies and behavioral changes in individuals and groups. The sample is more representative of white-collar workers, that is, workers engaged in non-manual labor and includes only those who use (desktop or laptop) computers for workrelated purposes at least 5 hours per week and work for at least thirty hours per week. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the sample are engaged in occupations generally classified as managerial or professional (See Table 1). Only 5% are engaged in occupations classified as production workers. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents are between 35-55 years of age. A full 38% of the respondents have a college degree and 30% have a graduate degree, while only 8% have no more than a high school education.
Table 1: Characteristics of the Sample Gender Age Educational level Male 48 Female 52 18-24 years 4 25-35 19 35-44 30 45-54 28 High school or less 8 Trade/vocational school 2 Some college 22 College graduate 38
Occupation classification [SOC] Management, professional & related 64 Service occupations 4 Sales & office occupations20 Natural construction maintenance 3 resources, and
55 and over Graduate degree 30 19
Production, transportation & material moving 2
Not classified 9
Survey Brief – 3 Types of Training Training can be characterized on a number of dimensions. Two important dimensions are the degree to which there is interaction with others during training (which we term personal versus interpersonal), and the degree of formality of the training. If we create a taxonomy of training modes based on these two dimensions, we can identify the four modes of training. We expect that both the degree of interaction and the degree of formality of workplace training will be affected differently by characteristics of the organization, the worker’s sociotechnical environment, and the individual characteristics of the worker. We expect that both individuals and organizations have preferences for particular types of training modalities. However, we also expect that many organizations and individuals use several training methods rather than relying on a single method. In the survey, the respondents were asked to indicate whether, during the past three years, they had: 1) attended instructor-led classes or workshops for work-related computing; 2) engaged in any training sessions for computing with a supervisor or co-worker; 3) done any computing training using online computer or software training programs; and/or 4) learned to use computers and software for work through self-training with user manuals, instruction sheets, or “trial and error.” Table 3 displays the percent of respondents engaging in each of the four types of training modes:
Table 3. Percent Participating in Training Method In Past Three Years Attended instructor-led classes or workshops Training sessions for computing by a supervisor or co-workers Used online computer or software training programs Self-trained using manuals and “trial and error”. 55 58 34 83
Survey Brief – 4 More than four-fifths of the respondents have engaged in self-training in the use of workrelated computing by using manuals, or ‘trial and error,’ while only one-third of the respondents have used any type of e-learning during the past three years. Relatively equal percentages of respondents – more than half of all workers -- have been trained in an instructor-led class or workshop or have been trained by a supervisor or co-worker. It is perhaps surprising that the less formal methods of training (self-training via trial and error or peer training) have been utilized by more employees than the formal methods (instructor-led classes or e-learning), since these latter modes receive the bulk of attention in discussions of training. In Table 4, the respondents are classified in terms of all the possible combinations of the four types of training that they might have experienced during the past three years. Since 83% of the respondents reported using manuals and trial and error as training methods, we have attempted to create some useful distinctions among categories. Thus we report the percent of respondents who used only this method but ignore self-training for establishing the percentage of workers with the combinations of instructor-led, co-worker/supervisorbased, and online training reported. The most frequent training method continues to be self-training with 21% of the respondents reporting this as the only mode of training received during the past 3 years. Table 4. Frequency of Multiple Training Methods In Past Three Years Report no training in past 3 years Self-training using manuals and “trial and error” only Instructor-led classes only Co-worker/supervisor-led classes only On-line computer or software training programs Both instructor-led and co-worker/supervisor led classes Both instructor-led classes and online programs Both co-worker/supervisor-led training and online programs Instructor-led, co-worker/supervisor-led classes and online programs 5 21 16 10 6 15 10 3 14
However, forty-one percent of the employees engage in more than one training method. Also very noteworthy is the low 6% of the respondents who rely solely on online computer or software training programs. This is at odds with the reports that many organizations are currently attempting to transition rapidly to extensive reliance on such e-training. For nearly all contemporary workers, online computer or software training
programs appear to be augmented with other types of training. Also significant is the fact that only 5% of the employees report no
Survey Brief - 5
Training on work-related computer use during the past three years. This is more consistent with the widespread emphasis on the importance of enhancing the computerbased skills of the workforce. Using the taxonomy about one-third of the respondents relied solely on formal methods (32%) of training in the past 3 years, another one-third (31%) utilized only informal methods, and another one-third employed both formal and informal methods. “Interpersonal” training with an instructor, co-worker, or supervisor is the training mode for 41% of the respondents, while 27% engage primarily in solitary (“personal”) modes, and another 27% engage in both interpersonal and personal modes of training. Empirically, for purposes of further analysis, we identify four major training methods in use by our sample: 1. Interpersonal instruction method either within a classroom with instructor or in the work unit with supervisor-co-worker (41%), 2. Interpersonal instruction supplemented with e-learning/software training modules (27%), 3. Self-training methods, with reliance on trial and error or training manuals (27%) 4. No training (5%). In the remainder of this report we will look at the associations of these four patterns of training with selected organizational, sociotechnical, and individual characteristics.
Survey Brief – 6
Size of organization:
The size of an organization is an important feature because in some respects it is indicative of a number of factors. Such issues as complexity as well as availability of resources are coupled closely with the size of an organization. Organization size is associated with modes of training and particularly the use of on-line training modules (Table 5 and Figure 1). A significantly larger proportion of employees in large organizations have used on- line computer training in the past three years than in either small or medium-sized organizations. Additionally, a significantly higher proportion of respondents in small organizations rely on selfhelp only, in comparison to the proportion in large organizations. Table 5. Organization Size with Modes of Training Size of Small(0-49 Organization emps.)(n=321) Medium (50-249 emps.) (n=155) 7.1 44.5 28.4 20.0 Large (250+ emps.)(n=513) Total (n=989)
No training in past 3 years(%) Instructor/Coworker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer training also used (%) Self-training only (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.000
6.2 34.9 22.1 36.8
5.5 40.2 39.4 15.0
6.0 39.1 32.1 22.9
Survey Brief – 7
Since formal methods of training tend to be a higher investment than informal methods, we expect that those organizations that are high on fostering skill development among their employees will likely have more instructor-led courses and e-learning opportunities. Indeed we do find a significant difference . In those organizations reported to emphasize skill development, there is a higher proportion of employees participating in organized training sessions either within a classroom setting or with co-workers or supervisors. In addition there is a higher proportion (35%) who also have used online computer or software training modules. Where organizations are reported as low on fostering employee development of skills, a significantly higher proportion of the respondents report engaging in only self-training, that is, using manuals and trial and error. Employees in organizations promoting skill development are only about one-half as likely to have no training or to rely only on self-training as those in organizations that do not encourage skill evelopment.
Table 6. Organization Encourages Skill Development with Modes of Training Degree of Low(n=103) organization Encourages Skill Development No training in past 3 years(%) Instructor/Coworker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer training also used (%) Self-training only (manuals, trial and error) (%)
10.7 35.9 22.3 31.1
6.5 36.0 34.9 22.6
4.6 42.0 34.7 18.7
5.4 40.6 33.6 20.4
Survey Brief – 8
With the advent of cheaper and more powerful computer equipment coupled with increased emphasis on networking within organizations, many organizations are moving towards the digitization of all documents and becoming a ‘paperless organization.’ Organizations vary on the extent to which they have achieved this goal. We expect that in more paperless organizations, the greater use of on-line training materials also would occur. In Table 7/Figure 3 is the relationship between training method and the degree to which an organization has been able to achieve a paperless environment. In organizations which score low on this measure, only 28% of the workers have accessed on-line computing training, while in high paperless environments a full 40% have used this type of training in the past three years. It appears that the drive towards a paperless environment encompasses not only the operational materials of an organization, but also spills over into a greater incidence of e-learning as well. Table 7. “Paperless Organization” with Modes of Training. Degree low(n=354) Medium High (n=490) Total Organization (n=344) (n=1188) Is Paperlessa No training in 5.4 6.1 4.5 5.2 past 3 years(%) Instructor/Co42.1 43.3 37.1 40.4 worker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer 27.7 30.5 40.2 33.7 training also used (%) Self-training only 24.9 20.1 18.2 20.7 (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.004 aIn my company, all forms, reports and information are handled electronically rather than on paper.
Survey Brief – 9
Leading edge organizations:
Another measure of technological sophistication is the degree to which an organization attempts to be on the ‘leading edge’ in computer hardware and software. Intuitively, we would expect that the more an organization attempts to be leading edge the more likely that part of its collection of training methods will be online computer training and software modules. Figure 4 displays the relationship between this indicator of technological sophistication and method of training (see also Table 8). The association between these two measures is interesting. There is little difference in the participation level of workers in instructor/co-worker/supervisor-based training sessions based on the degree to which the organization tries to be leading edge. Nonetheless, there is a steady progression in the greater use of on-line computer training and software from organizations that are low on an emphasis on the use of leading edge technology to those that are high (24% versus 39%). Conversely, selftraining is substantially lower as the organization is more leading edge in its applications of ICTs. Table 8. Degree Organization is Leading Edge in Computing with Modes of Training. Degree low(n=348) Medium High (n=514) Total Organization (n=325) (n=1187) Is leading Edgea No training in 6.9 4.0 4.9 5.2 past 3 years(%) Instructor/Co41.1 39.7 40.1 40.3 worker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer 23.6 36.0 39.1 33.7 training also used (%) Self-training only 28.4 20.3 16.0 20.8 (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.000 aMy company always attempts to be on the leading edge in computer hardware and software.
Survey Brief – 10
Dependency on computing:
Organizations can be characterized in terms of the degree to which the organization is dependent on computing for doing business. Whether a organization is more or less dependent on computing to complete its business is not statistically associated with the type of training modalities provided to its employees . However, there are visible, if slight, tendencies for greater computing dependency to be related to a higher incidence of on-line training and lower levels of interpersonal training. Table 9. Degree Organization is Dependent on Computing with Modes of Training. Degree low(n=436) Medium High (n=505) Total Organization (n=220) (n=1188) Dependent on Computinga No training in 6.0 5.0 4.8 5.3 past 3 years(%) Instructor/Co42.3 40.0 38.8 40.4 worker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer 30.0 34.1 36.6 33.6 training also used (%) Self-training only 21.6 20.9 19.8 20.7 (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.530 aWhen the computers are down, my company cannot do its business at all.
Survey Brief – 11
Reliability of computing hardware environment:
It might be predicted that if an organization’s computing environment is not very reliable, the focus will be on stabilizing basic computing operations rather than on training of any kind. This would result in a reliance on selftraining or very low overall levels of training. Our data do not reveal a systematic, statistically significant pattern between reliability and modes of training. However, there are some notable differences in the data. As expected, no training is almost twice as likely for employees in low reliability environments, as is on-line training. Interpersonal training tends to be more common on these low reliability settings . Table 10. Reliability of Organization’s Computing Environment with Modes of Training. Degree low(n=89) Medium High (n=906) Total Organization’s (n=196) (n=1191) Hardware Environment is Reliable No training in 9.0 4.6 5.1 5.3 past 3 years(%) Instructor/Co47.2 40.8 39.6 40.4 worker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer 19.1 32.7 35.1 33.5 training also used (%) Self-help only 24.7 21.9 20.2 20.8 (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.092 aI can count on the computer systems I use to be “up” and available when I need them.
Survey Brief -12
Provision of computing services:
How computing services are organized in a organization can have major effects on the modes of training provided to employees. For the workers studied here the highest proportions of workers having had instructor-based training over the past three years are in the more centralized service provider environments, with slightly less workers in the more decentralized departmental service provision situations and even less so when computer services have been outsourced (Table 21 and Figure 17). In contrast, a significantly higher proportion of the workers who are engaged in self-help training methods or have had no training at all in the past three years are in organizations where computing services are provided by a third-party. Table 11. Computing Service Provision with Modes of Training. Provision computing services of Information Information Outside systems dept. systems provider(n=217) (n=563) specialists in work unit(n=230) 3.6 43.3 38.4 14.7 5.7 41.3 35.2 17.8 7.4 38.2 30.0 24.4 Total (n=1010)
No training in past 3 years(%) Instructor/Coworker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer training also used (%) Self-training only (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.008
4.9 41.8 35.8 17.5
Survey Brief -13
Centrality of computer use:
The more central computing is to the worker’s job, the more likely online training will be used. There is once again a striking progression in the proportion of the respondents who utilize online training methods as we move from low use to high use of computing during working hours . In contrast, self help training actually declines as the level of computer-related work increases. Table 12. Centrality of Computing with Modes of Training. Percent computer work use Less than 50-75% of Over 75% of Total for half of work work(n=340) work time (n=1149) time(n=398) (n=411) 5.8 42.2 29.6 22.4 4.1 44.1 32.6 19.1 4.9 36.7 40.1 18.2 5.0 40.8 34.3 19.9
No training in past 3 years(%) Instructor/Coworker/Supervisor based training (%) On-line computer training also used (%) Self-training only (manuals, trial and error) (%) X2(p)=.051
Summary and Conclusions
The primary determinants of type of training methods available to respondents are more related to characteristics of the organization than to individual characteristics of the worker. Organizational context does make a difference in the type of training methods provided to employees. Larger organizations tend to provide more formal modes of training than smaller organizations where employees are more likely to engage in selftraining. We also find that those organizations which emphasize skill development provide more varied training opportunities than those organizations which do not. In addition, those organizations which are focused on being leading-edge are significantly more likely to offer on-line training than the more conventional-thinking organizations. On-line training is also more likely in organizations where there is a higher degree of instability in the software environment. Individual characteristics such as age, educational level, number of years working in the current position are not associated with different modes of training. While gender is shown to be associated, once we control for type of job, it is no longer statistically significant, except for the professional & related category. In the main, then, individual characteristics are not a good predictor of type of training method selected. The stronger relationship with organizational characteristics rather than worker characteristics makes sense in that it is the organization which chooses the methods to be used in training its employees. While the individual worker may be able to decide whether or not to participate in the training, the actual choice of method is not available. We are not able to test this proposition directly since the current survey does not collect information about all the training methods available to the employee, but rather only the training methods in which the employee has participated in the past three years. Nevertheless, we do find associations which point towards training method choices aligned with organization strategy or characteristics. Further research is needed to determine how successful these training methods are in creating value for the organization and specifically whether the design of training methods should take into account more directly individual worker characteristics.
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