Skills and Technical Training

Chapter 9

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Emerging Needs in the Workplace
Skilled workers Professional employees Problem solving Decision making Team members Interpersonal skills

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Three Categories of Skills Training
Basic skills/literacy education 

Upgrading reading, writing, and arithmetic

Technical training 

Upgrading a wide range of skills

Interpersonal skills training 

Communication and teamwork
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Categories of Skills and Technical Training
Training Category Basic skills/Literacy Technical Subcategories Remedial/basic education Apprenticeship training Computer training Technical skills/knowledge training Safety training Quality training Interpersonal Communications/interpersonal training Customer relations/services training Sales training Team building/training

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One More Time: The Skills Gap
The difference between the skill requirements of available jobs and the skills possessed by job applicants Some people think that the skills gap is perpetuated by four-year, liberal arts education
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Factors Affecting a Skills Gap
Declining skill levels of many high school and college graduates Growing number of minority and nonEnglish speaking immigrant workers Increased sophistication of jobs

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Basic Skills/Literacy Programs
Prose literacy 

Ability to understand and use information from texts Ability to locate and use information contained in non-textual materials Ability to apply arithmetic operations
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Document literacy 

Qualitative literacy 

In-House Literacy Programs
If schools don t do it, companies must. Two characteristics are common: 


Aptitude tests Small-group or one-on-one tutoring

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Problems with Basic Skills Training Programs
HRD professionals think the lack of literacy is a problem that affects many people. Management tends to think that lack of literacy is a problem, but affects only a few people.

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Federal Support for Basic Skills Training
1983 2000: Job Training and Partnership Act (JTPA)   

Provided funding to private training institutes and industry Problems included fraud and too focused on a narrow population One of 150 federal programs that cost a lot of money and produced little
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Federal Support for Basic Skills Training 2
2000 present: Workforce Investment Act Consolidated more than 70 existing programs Gave greater control at the local level Gave greater accountability to training providers
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Technical Training Programs
Apprenticeship training Computer training Skills/knowledge training Safety training Quality training

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Apprenticeship Training
Provide skills to meet continually changing job requirements Regulated by the Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services (OATELS), formerly called the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training (BAT) Most require: 
 

2000 hours of OJT 144 hours of classroom training Though there may be a lot more hours
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Major Concerns
Learning based on time requirements, rather than competency Programs isolated from other programs Concentrated in blue-collar occupations Little concern for post-apprenticeship period
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School to Work Programs
Vary according to states Combines middle school, high school, and technical/vocational schools Provides: 
 

Trained labor pool Better public image Potential eligibility for tax credits
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Computer Training
Introductory 


Focuses on basic tasks Overcomes fear of computers Specific software used by company Provided as needed for position

Applications 


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Computer Training Issues
Self-Efficacy 

Individual s belief that he/she can successfully perform the task Spontaneity, imagination, and exploratory approach brought to learning

Cognitive Playfulness 

Training Format
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Technical/Skills Training
Most are specific to job, process, or equipment Can be general, such as new policies and procedures on waste disposal

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Different Levels of Skills Training
Entry-level 

Basic skills and procedures Update employee skills Specific skills improvement New equipment/procedure training

Advanced Training 
 

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Safety Training
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
  

Establishes safety standards Conducts safety inspections Grants safety variances as appropriate Cites violations
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Safety Metrics
Lost Work Day Index 

National average is 2.6 days/100 employees/year

OSHA Recordable Rate Lost Time Rate

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Hazardous Communication Standards
Written policy needed Use OSHA posters Material safety data sheets (MSDS) MSDS notebooks available to all Hazardous material labels Train all employees in hazardous materials Prepare safety manual

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Safety Program Needs
Top management support and reinforcement Employee involvement Regular and recurrent safety training Effective safety monitoring

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Safety Training Needs for Production Workers
Recognizing, avoiding and preventing unsafe conditions How to use/handle dangerous machinery, tools, and substances Use of protective clothing, systems, and devices Controlling hazards of any type
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Using Computers for OSHA Training
OSHA clearly states that while CBT can be a valuable tool its use alone does not meet the intent of most OSHA training requirements. employees require access to a qualified trainer. (p. 338)

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Quality Training
Quality providing the product the customer needs when s/he needs it, at a cost the customer thinks is reasonable Need to provide a continuous quality improvement program Employees need to know basic statistics to implement most quality improvement programs
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Quality Improvement Concerns
y The Role Of Management Leadership And Quality Policy y Training y Process Management y Employee Relations y Product/Service Design y Supplier Quality Management y The Role Of The Quality Department y Quality Data And Reporting
SOURCE: Mandal, P., Howell, A. & Sohal, A. S. (1998). A systemic approach to quality improvements: The interactions between the technical, human and quality systems. Total Quality Management, 9, 79 99.

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Total Quality Management
Fundamental Skills: 


Employees must be able to work in teams Employees must be able to collect, analyze, and evaluate quantitative data

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Two Phases for Quality Training
Quality Awareness training managers in concept of quality improvement In-depth Training: 

Process skills 
Work coordination, problem solving, conflict resolution 

Quality skills 
Techniques and tools to improve quality
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Seven Basic Quality Tools
Process Flow Analysis Cause-and-Effect Diagram Run Chart Statistical Process Control (SPC) Scattergram Histogram Pareto Chart
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Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Most processes demonstrate variation in output Important to determine if variation is normal or abnormal Focuses on identifying and correcting abnormal variations

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Needs for Quality Training
Must be comprehensive 

Include both process and quality skills

Needs continual and positive follow-up Training is not enough! You need management commitment, employee involvement, rewards, and integrated performance evaluation
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Reasons for Poor Transfer to the Workplace
Resistance to change Unclear objectives Few rewards to use new skills

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Quality Training and ISO 9000
International quality standards Three phases 


Document writing Implementation 
Includes company-wide training 

Systems effectiveness assessment

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ISO 9000 Training Requirements
Training needs identification process Training documentation Ready for inspection every 6 12 months

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Interpersonal Skills Training
Skills needed to work with other people: 
  

Communication Customer relations Selling Teamwork

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Most Common Interpersonal Skills Training
Team building Listening skills Delegation skills

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Why Interpersonal Skills Training is Needed
Increased use of team-based approach to accomplishing work Entrants into workforce lack needed skills 

High school, college and graduate-level Global economy
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Increasingly multicultural workplace 

Sales Training
Goals: Increased team productivity Lower turnover Enhanced communication within and between all organizational levels Better morale Increased self-management of sales teams Better customer relations
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Customer Relations/Service Training
Introduce customer service training throughout organization Train frontline personnel in interpersonal skills and operational practices Train service managers in coaching and enforcing service standards Provide incentives
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Team Building/Training
Increased use of teams as basic organizational element Two sets of team-related skills: 

Task Skills skills needed for accomplishing a team s work objectives Process Skills how to work in a team and maintain team relationships 

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Four Models of Team Building
Model Goal Setting Emphasis Setting objectives and developing individual and team goals An increase in teamwork skills (mutual supportiveness, communication, sharing ideas) Identification of major problems in the team Team-member objective Involved in action planning to identify ways to achieve the goals that have been set Develop trust in each other and confidence in the team

Interpersonal Relations

Problem Solving

Become involved in action planning for the solution of problems, as well as implementing and evaluating the solutions Achieve better understanding of their and others respective roles and duties within the team

Role Clarification

Increased communication among team members regarding their respective roles within the team

SOURCE: Salas, E., Rozell, D., Mullen, B., & Driskell, J. E. (1999). The effect of team building on performance: An integration. Small Group Research, 30, 309 329.

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Variables to Increase Team Effectiveness
Variable Team Structure Definition The extent to which: Team members understand and are committed to team goals Team roles are clearly defined Group norms are in place Team Spirit A team has confidence in its ability to be effective Team members invest energy on behalf of the team Social Support Workload Sharing Communication within the Group Team members have positive interactions and provide support for one another Work is equally divided among team members Team members give and receive information Team members manage conflict in a healthy manner
SOURCE: Werner, J. M., & Lester, S. W. (2001). Applying a team effectiveness framework to the performance of student case teams. HRD Quarterly, 12(4), 385 402.

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Role of Labor Unions in Training
Joint Training Programs 

Most common are safety and health, job skills, communication skills, and displaced worker assistance

Many other programs are job- and company-specific

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Professional Development and Education
Earning and maintaining licensure and certification in a field of work Periodic need for continuing education

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Providers of Continuing Education
Colleges and universities Professional associations Company-sponsored continuing education efforts

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Colleges and Universities
Substantive expertise available Courses might be tailored to job/profession Organizations can choose instructors College credit may be earned

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Professional Associations
Conferences, workshops, meetings Journals, magazines, newsletters Pre-certification and post-certification workshops

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Company-Sponsored Continuing Education
Corporate universities Programs are organization specific Staff can be in-house, out-of-house and retirees Can incorporate latest technology into training

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HRD s Roles in Continuing Education (CE)
Enabler foster effective distribution of CE throughout organization Resource Provider tuition aid, compensation for travel expenses, professional fees Monitor assess CE to ensure professional development process is working as desired
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Summary
Need for skilled workers is increasing Entry-level personnel need basic and literacy training Global economy and multicultural issues need to be addressed Professional growth must be supported Need to be proactive in the face of changing technology
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