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Training Practices in Indian Organizations:

An Overview
Dr. Harsh Dwevidi* and Ona Ladiwal**

Today employees no longer are eager to join any new organization where their
knowledge and skills do not get upgraded. Providing opportunities for learning
is being used as a retention tool by large number of organizations. Attracting
and retaining employees have become a challenging task in the competitive
environment. Increase in training budget and providing proper training have
become the strategies of the best companies to magnetize, retain and get
highest quality output from the employees. This article explores the training
practices used by the Indian organizations for effective utilization of its workforce.

T
raining is a planned and systematic attitude to perform their jobs. Chowdhry
attempt to alter or develop (1986) remarked: Training is a process, which
knowledge/skill, attitude through enables the trainees to achieve the goals and
learning experience, so as to achieve objectives of his/her organizations.
effective performance in an activity or range Singh (1995) defined training as the
of activities. It is a very important aspect of process of changing attitudes, improving
any organization. According to Flippo, knowledge and developing skills of the
training is the act of increasing the persons/employees of an organization so as to
knowledge and skill of an employee for doing enable them to perform their jobs effectively.
a particular job. It provides employees with
the knowledge and skills to perform more Role of Training in an Organization
effectively. This allows them to meet present Training is a short-term process utilizing a
job requirements and also prepares them to systematic and planned procedure by which
meet the unavoidable changes that occur in non-managerial personnel learn technical
their jobs. However, training is an knowledge and skills for a definite purpose.
opportunity to learn. What is learned It is the most significant technique of human
depends on several factors, such as the design resource development. It plays quite an
and execution of training, the inspiration important role in achieving the individual
and learning style of the trainees, and the and organizational objectives. It aims at an
learning environment of the organization? organized assessment of the business
Taylor (1961) conceptualized training as environment including the external as well
a means to bring about a continuous as the internal environment, and accordingly
improvement in the quality of work ensures the management of available
performed, it would equip them with resource to improve the individuals
necessary knowledge, skill, abilities and knowledge, skill and capabilities in order to

* Director, R.A.Podar Institute of Management, Jaipur. The author can be reached at harsh_dwivedi1@rediffmail.com
** Lecturer, Swami Keshvanand Institute of Technology Management and Gramothan, Jaipur. The author can be reached
at onaladiwal@gmail.com

2011 IUP. All Rights Reserved.


cope up with the business challenges and Indian organizations have realized the
attain the competitive advantage for significance of corporate training.
organizational excellence. Training is considered as more of a
 Organizational Characteristics that retention tool than as a cost to the orga-
Influence Training: The amount and type nization. Not only have organizations
of training as well as the organization of increased their investment in training
training function in a company are and development practices, but they have
influenced by employee and manager also systematized training policies and
roles; by top management support for practices right from the training need
training; by the companys degree of analysis to training evaluation and
integration of business unit; by its global feedback. Today, human resource is a
presence; by its business conditions; by foundation of competitive advantage for
other human resource management all organizations. Therefore, the training
practices, including staffing strategies and system in the Indian industry has been
human resource planning; by the distorted to create a smarter workforce
companys extent of unionization; and and yield the best results. The optimum
by the extent of involvement in training utilization of human resource is the
and development by managers, target of any company and training is a
employees and human resource staff. tool to increase business outcomes. It is
required in each area of company like
 Modern Training Practices in Various sales, marketing, human resource,
Organization: There are several kinds of relationship building, logistics,
training methods used by trainers in production, etc.
organizations. The designer of a training
Since 2003, for using training function
program needs to recognize each of these
as a strategic business tool, American Society
to determine the best method for
for Training and development (ASTD) gives
meeting the training objectives. Some of
honor to those organizations that show
the methods are lecture method, case
organization-wide achievement. It is proud
study method, conference, in-basket
for the nation that Indian organizations are
method, T-group training, role play
participating and are awarded every year by
exercise, induction training, cross-
ASTD for representing excellence in training
functional training, creativity training,
function. In the year 2008, four
diversity training, refresher training, and
organizations from India were able to get
safety training. Besides, there are various
entry in the winner list of 40 best
innovative and modern training
organizations. These organizations were:
techniques used by renowned Indian
Reliance Industries Limited, Nagothane
companies tabulated in Exhibit. manufacturing division having strength of
 Corporate Training Initiatives in India: 2,157 employees, Infosys Technologies
In the last 10 years, business organizations Limited having 79,016 employees, Wipro
in India have made outstanding progress Limited having 60,000 employee strength,
in terms of their training initiatives. This and ICICI Bank Limited with employee
is mainly due to the boost in competition strength of 40,880. This is an optimistic sign
and because of the entry of multinational which clearly shows that organizations
companies in India, which has required operating in India are also very serious about
them to look for various alternatives to their learning and development function.
develop organizational effectiveness. They are giving priority to this area and are

32 HRM Review, Vol. XI, No. 7, 2011


Exhibit: Modern Training Techniques
Modern Training Techniques Hallmarks
1. Ice Breakers Games to get team members know each other.
2. Leadership Games Exercise to teach different styles of leadership.
3. Skill Games Tests to develop analytical skills.
4. Communication Games Exercises to build bias-free listening and talking skills.
5. Strategic Planners Games to test the ability to plan ahead.
6. Team Building Games Exercises requiring collaborative efforts.
7. Role Reversal Games Brings out ideas that are not often expressed.
8. Doubling Brings out ideas that are not often expressed.
9. Tag Teams One role played alternately by two participants.
10. Mirroring Training with an external perspective.
11. Monodrama Insight into a given situation.
12. Shifting Physical Positions Highlighting communication problems.
13. Structured Role Playing Role play with predetermined objectives.
14. Multiple Role Playing Providing a conman focus of discussion.
15. Built-in-tension Teaching the importance of resolving matters.
16. Shadowing Working under a senior to watch and learn.
17. Outward Bound Training Adventure sports for teams.
18. 9+1+23 Self-assessment by a leader of leadership skills.
19. Lateral Thinking Thinking randomly to come up with new ideas.
20. Morphological Analysis Listing of alternative solutions to problems.
21. Gordon Technique Steering a discussion to crystallize solution.
22. Attribute Listening Isolation, selection and evaluation of a problem.
23. Cross-cultural Training Programs to teach specifies of varied cultures.
Source: Business Today, January 7-21; 96

able to integrate it their organizational goals. on value creation for its multiple
In fact, the top management is taking interest stakeholders. Its core values are integrity,
in mentoring and leadership. For example, leading change, excellence, respect for
Narayana Murthy of Infosys is now acting as individual learning and sharing. This is one
Chairman of the board as well as Chief of the companies that believes in the
Mentor. In this way, they prepare the next trusteeship concept of management.
generation leaders for the company. To increase the knowledge and skills of
employees, this group has established a center
Aditya Birla Group
in Navi Mumbai known by the name
In all multinational companies of India, Gyanodaya. Gyanodaya has been envisioned
Aditya Birla Group is the most renowned. It as a hub, the backbone of a process that
is truly a value-based company and its vision sharpens the groups competitive edge.
and mission are rooted in Indian values. The Closely linked to the vision of the group is
group is driven by performance ethic pegged the Gyanodaya vision: To be at the core of
Training Practices in Indian Organizations: An Overview 33
an effective learning network that, as a participants; 215 external trainers; 50
strategic business partner, harnesses internal managers as faculty; and a customer
knowledge and intellectual capital, to rating of 3.73 on a 4-point scale.
contribute to Aditya Birla Groups vision of
Infosys
being a premium conglomerate.
Infosys Technologies Ltd. headquartered in
There are two ways of learning at this Bangalore, provides Information Technology
center: (IT) consulting and software services to
1. G-learning which takes place at clients globallyas partners to
Gyanodaya. The training calendar is conceptualize and realize technology-driven
accessible to employees via Aditya Disha, business transformation initiatives. It is very
the group-wide intranet. Participants can essential for the company to upgrade its
choose the program that they would like workforce regularly to compete in the global
to participate in. market. Retention of employees is the biggest
2. E-learning where learning is just a click challenge for every company. To overcome
away. The training program of Gyanodaya this challenge, Infosys provides training and
is classified as: development opportunities to its employees
right from the start. The company has bagged
 Multi-tier Program: In this program, the many awards from ASTD as the worlds best
need of individual is fulfilled at different company for providing best training and
aspects. Training is provided in the aspect development opportunities to the
of leadership for young and general employees. The company is known best for
managers. its Global Business Foundation School which
 Functional Program: Sales and customer runs the program for all fresh engineering
satisfaction are the ultimate goal of any graduates who join Infosys and prepare them
profit-making organization. To fulfill this for the technical and environmental
goal, Gyanodaya organizes this program. opportunities present in the market. The
In this program, skills are developed for Global Business Foundation School has
better sales and marketing. Besides this, various centers all over the world.
the program focuses on the supply chain
Infosys U
management.
Infosys has achieved awards for its Global
 Role-specific Program: The role of an Education Center which was set up in 2005.
individual is very important for the This center provides training not only in
success of any team. In this aspect, technical skills but also in soft skills. It also
Gyanodaya organizes program to develop provides leadership program to new entrants
the competencies for individuals like to develop leadership qualities. New
marketing-head, unit-head, HR-head. engineering recruits undergo a 14.5 weeks
 Business-focused Program: This training Initial Learning Program operated by the
program is designed for generating company. This aims to transform engineers
awareness regarding the current practices, from diverse disciplines into software
needs, and issues to a particular business. professionals and initiates them into the
Infosys way of life.
The Gyanodaya Scorecard
Since its inception in January 2000, Training Activities at Infosys
Gyanodaya has notched up many After joining Infosys, induction is given to
achievements: 190 learning events; 3,920 the employees, addressed by NR Narayana

34 HRM Review, Vol. XI, No. 7, 2011


Murthy by an audio visual presentation. employees. The main goals of the program
During the program, the new hires are are to emphasize working in teams,
groomed to shed their campus frivolousness develop networking and bonding,
and assume their new roles as professionals develop trust and explore risk-taking. The
and corporate citizens. In the induction company has also established Essar
program, the core values of company are learning center at Hazira which organizes
presented before the employees. In the around 400 formal training programs per
company, technical as well as soft skills have year on subjects ranging from
its own significance. The main focus of the industrialized operations, general
company is always on developing technical management, and logistics management.
skills but they also give emphasis on various The company runs different types of
skills like leadership qualities, global learning programs for employees, like
business etiquette, interpersonal skills, they have individual learning program in
communication skills, management skills, which an individual is responsible for his
analytical skills, decision making, etc. own learning. E-modules are provided by
Learning Management System (LMS)
Syndicate Bank
regarding technical and management
Training is one of the most important aspects to employees to make them aware
interventions for developing human about latest management and technical
resource. For this, Syndicate Banks first step
skills.
is to analyze the training needs of the
employees. For the analysis of training needs  Accenture: An organization has to be a
they adopt scientific methods. The second learning organization for survival in the
step is to make a tailored training program present era of liberalization, privatization,
for senior officials of the bank. In this two and globalization. Therefore, knowledge
institutes play a major roleSyndicate is the only core competence of
Institute of Bank Management (SIBM) and organizations for coping with changes. In
Apex Training Institute of the Bank of this line with the above philosophy,
Manipal. among other like institutionalizing
learning centers in divisions, Accenture
The training centers of the bank are
has also introduced the program Leaders
present in the major cities of India like
teaching leaders. In this program,
Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai,
Accenture leaders share their past
Ernakulum, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. These
experiences for the betterment of the
centers are well-equipped with all the latest
working styles of the present employees.
technology and facilities, and are responsible
Its education programs have been well-
for providing training to the junior level
known and appreciative around the
officers and workmen employees. (Syndicate
business world. For the bright future of
Bank Annual Report, 2007-2008, p: 32)
the employees, Accenture provides its
 Essar Corporate University (ECU): Essar global portal My learning in which
is a very prestigious and renowned group, 20,000 online courses are available. For
awarded by ISTD in 2009 for its this kind of activities, Accenture won
innovative training practices. It is famous prestigious awards such as the CLO
for its ECU which is a virtual learning Magazine Gold Award for Leading Business
organization and takes various steps for Change. When a new entrant joins the
the training and development of the company, the candidate is guided and

Training Practices in Indian Organizations: An Overview 35


mentored by leaders and colleagues under Conclusion
a well-defined mentoring program. As seen from the industrial examples
discussed above, the new trend in the
IBM corporate world is to emphasize more on
IBM is a company that gives value to the applying systematic approach to training and
learning and development of its employees development in order to achieve higher level
since 1915. It has a separate and distinct IBM of organizational effectiveness. It is found
education department which was established that training function is predominantly
to train and develop employees. IBM is structured as an integral part of human
known for the use of e-learning programs to resource department though some
address its learning solutions. The learning organizations have separate training
approaches used in IBM programs are departments. Organizations attempt to link
learning from interaction, simulation or business strategy and training. Corporate
games, collaborative learning, etc. IBM is also India too has predictable training initiatives
well-known for its program IBM as strategic priority rather than reactive
Connections. The goal of this learning approach, and it is used as a means to
empowerment program is to bring new hires transform in order to survive in the
to classroom for collaboration and competitive world.
networking, rather than having them gather
for a less-than-engaging lecture. Reference # 12M-2011-07-04-01

36 HRM Review, Vol. XI, No. 7, 2011