THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
In order to ensure that learning actually takes place, work organisations should ensure that the training and development function is carefully planned and co-ordinated. This is usually achieved through a training programme.
We admit that in practice, employees learn whether there is a training and development programme in place or not. Much learning in work organisations, actually takes place through informal work groups, where employees learn from one another. Whereas we recognise the value contributed by informal training in organisations, we wish to strongly recommend that formal work organisations design and administer formal training and development programmes for their employees. The use of formal training and development programmes has a number of advantages.
(1) It commits management to support the training and development function both in terms of funding and actual involvement in all aspects of its successful implementation. Management in an organisation, which does not have a formal training programme in place is freer to neglect its training and development function than an organisation, which has a formal training and development programme.
(2) It is a sign of transparency. An organisation which performs its training and development function according to a formal training programme, reduces to the bare minimum, employee complaints of neglect, favouritism, and discrimination on religious, racial, tribal, or other lines, which managers in many work organisations are commonly accused of.
(2) It is a systematic tool for managing the training function effectively and efficiently. In a large organisation, the training function can be very complex and demanding for the human resources department. If a training programme is in place, it makes the management of training and development easier for the human resources department.
(4) It strengthens career development. A training and development programme clearly shows a schedule of the organisation’s efforts to prepare employees for their career advancement.
In any organisation, training and development is a continuous process that must be managed carefully if it is to bring the desired benefits to the organisation and to the employees. Whereas the actual training may (and usually is) be contracted out to an outside trainer, the training programme must be managed by the organisation itself. The responsibility of designing and managing the organisation's training programme rests with the human resources department.
Large organisations have a training department or section for this purpose, while small organisations can combine the training and development function with other functions in a single job. Successful employee training and development is a result of a well-designed and managed training programme. The training programme must be designed and managed in close collaboration between the human resources department and the other departments, and must be directed at satisfying the needs of the employees’ user departments and the performance needs of the employees involved. Thus a good training and development programme should comprise three main phases: planning, implementation, and evaluation, which we outline in Fig 8.07 and discuss in detail below.
Figure 8-9 Phases of the training programme.
(1) The Planning Phase
In the planning phase eleven main tasks are performed: training needs assessment, setting the objectives, identifying the training methods, identifying the trainees, identifying the trainer, timing, and budgeting, as outlined in Fig. 8-7. Let us now discuss each task briefly.
(a) Training Focus
One of the first steps in preparing for a training programme is to establish its training focus. As we stated earlier, most work organisations are not in the business of training, they are driven to staff training in order to balance their staff’s performance capabilities with job demands and guarantee their organisation’s continued performance and survival. Also, we have already established that training is costly and it interferes with the organisation’s production schedule. It follows therefore, that the organisation cannot possibly train every employee that wishes to be trained. This would be a costly and unuseful investment. Depending on their strategic plans, organisations have priority functions each year. These functions determine the focus of the organisation’s training programme, and constitute the basis of its budget. A training focus may also arise out of practical management concern on the skills that may be lacking in either an organisational level e.g. the board, top, middle, supervisory, or non-managerial levels. A training focus may also be a specific organisational unit e.g. sales, or production department. It is important for the HR specialist to establish the functions, which constitute the focus of the training programme and then proceed to do the training needs assessment for those functions. The training function has a time dimension: it is a set of functions, where training is needed during a particular year, and the focus may well shift to other functions during the ensuing years.
(b) Training Needs Assessment
The TNA as it is usually abbreviated is a diagnostic step, which seeks to answer the basic question: what kind of training the employees and the organisation need. A TNA establishes the current and potential difference between the abilities, which employees should possess, and the abilities, which they possess in order to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently. The difference between the two positions indicates that the employee is adequately qualified, over-qualified, or as it very often emerges, he or she lacks certain skills. These skill deficiencies become the basis of the training efforts. Just as a medical doctor examines a patient before prescribing the medicine, the human resources department must also assess the employees’ training needs before it can organise the appropriate type of training required. In Fig. 8-08 below, we illustrate our definition of training needs in a basic model, which we extend in Fig. 8-09 in order to capture the environmental considerations which influence employee training needs. The environmental variables can be deduced from the reasons why organisations train employees discussed in Section 8.5.
Figure 8-10: A basic model of defining employee training needs.
Figure 8-11: An improved model of defining employee training needs.
The abilities that an employee brings to the organisation cannot be left to remain as they are throughout the life of the organisation. Another way of stating this concept is that employers should not ignore the training function and simply bank on the employees’ abilities at recruitment. In order to enable the organisation to respond adequately to the changing relationships among its sub-systems and the relationships between it and the other organisations in its external environment, the organisation should consistently train and develop its employees. Training and development is thus an unavoidable cost and a permanent core human resources programme for all work organisations. Unfortunately, the majority of privately-owned work organisations in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania particularly those owned by Asians are very poor trainers. They want to consume the abilities, which their employees possess on entry into the organisation. As a personnel manager in one soft drink bottling company in Mbeya town in Tanzania plainly put it:
The Indians do not want to invest in the training of employees. They want to consume the skills the employee possesses on entry into the organisation. If in fact an applicant wants to fail in a recruitment interview, they should desire to be trained as one of the motivating reasons for applying for the job because the answer will be that he or she should go and complete his or her training ambitions first and then come and be recruited, not before! Our general manager makes it quite clear to all employees: he is here to make profits, not to “waste” money training people.
The OB import from the above quotation is that privately-owned work organisations in our region have established a culture in which their managers regard, and their employees are forced to accept that training is a “waste” of valuable time and money. This is a misleading culture indeed as will be clarified in our discussion of the environmental factors, which make employee training and development a permanent function in work organisations.
Carefully assessed training needs are the determinants of successful training programmes, i.e. programmes that meet the requirements of both the work organisation and the employees. Training programmes which are not based on a carefully prepared training needs assessment very often do not justify their cost, become either too long or too short, cannot sharply focus on the organisation's and employees' performance needs, and do not yield the expected improvement impact on the organisation's performance. A good training and development programme should be “tailor-made” i.e. it should aim at satisfying the specific performance needs of the employees and the organisation. This can only be possible if the training and development programme is backed up by a careful training needs assessment.
There are two main types of assessing training needs: the organisation-wide, and the job-related assessment. Each type requires separate methods and procedures as we present below.
(i) Organisation-wide TNA
The organisation-wide approach to training needs assessment, also called the macro training needs assessment, is aimed at establishing broad-based objectives such as the investigation of the training requirements of all categories of employees in the whole organisation, or the investigation of a single category of employees in the whole organisation.
An organisation-wide training needs assessment can be conducted by performing the inclusive tasks in the following three steps: preparation, data collection and assessment, and recommendations. These steps are summarised in Fig. 8-7.
Step One: Preparation
At step one, the training officer prepares for the training needs assessment. The preparation stage is important because it determines the quality of the results of the entire training needs assessment. The following tasks are performed: establishing the objectives of the TNA, the time period covered by the TNA, when to submit the TNA, and to whom. Secondly, the training officer should contact all parties involved to inform them about the exercise, ask for their co-operation, and arrange out a suitable time table with them. Finally, the training officer should determine the sources and the kinds of information he or she will use. The likely sources of information for a TNA include the organisation structure, job specifications, company policies, production plans, marketing plans, performance appraisal records, training reports, etc. At this stage, these are sourced and kept ready for the next stage.
Step Two: Data Collection and Analysis
At this step, the training officer gathers information and interprets it. In practice, the training officer, depending on the degree of clarity of the assignment, gathers information that establishes the current level of employee abilities, and the required level of abilities after considering the following factors:
• The external influences i.e. economic variables, legal variables, market changes, difficulty of recruiting staff, etc. That is likely to impact on the organisation’s training needs.
• The organisation’s strategy i.e. by interpreting the organisation’s corporate plan and interviewing management, the training officer acquaints himself or herself with the organisation’s short, medium and long term plans to enable him or her determine how, where, and when investment in training can help the achievement of the organisation’s objectives.
• The internal influences e.g. job design, basic education profile, employee skills inventory, the age profile, will certainly affect the organisation’s training needs.
Figure 8-12: Steps in an organisation-wide TNA
At this stage, the training officer compiles various schedules to facilitate data assessment and interpretation. Below is a typical questionnaire used for gathering information for assessing employee training needs.
GALAXY TRADING COMPANY LIMITED
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TRAINING NEEDS ASSESSMENT
One questionnaire to be completed for each employee. To be completed by the human resources department
1. EMPLOYEE’S PERSONAL PARTICULARS
Surname Middle First
2. JOB PARTICULARS
3. EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
a O-Level (year)
Name of School
b A-Level (year) Name of School
Name of certificate Institution Duration Year of graduation
Name of diploma Institution Duration Year of graduation
e Advance Diploma
Name of diploma Institution Duration Year of graduation
f First Degree
Name of degree (specialisation) Institution Duration Year of graduation
g Masters Degree Name of degree (specialisation) Institution
Duration Year of graduation
Name of degree (specialisation) Institution Duration Year of graduation
3. SKILL QUALIFICATIONS
a Name of skill
Institution Duration Year of graduation
b Name of skill
Institution Duration Year of graduation
c Name of skill
Institution Duration Year of graduation
5. IMPORTED EXPERIENCE
a. Name of Organisation
b. Job c. Experience (no. of years)
6. MANAGEMENT OPINION ON EMPLOYEE’S PERFORMANCE
b Very Good c Satisfactory
d Poor f Very Poor
7. MANAGEMENT WILLING TO RENEW HIS/HER CONTRACT Yes/No
8. ANTICIPATED CHANGES IN STRATEGIC PLAN (by years)
9. ANTICIPATED DEVELOPMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY
10. RECOMMENDATIONS (transfer to training programme/schedule)
Fig.8-8 Sample Training Needs Questionnaire
Step Three: Recommendations
At this step the training officer interprets the information collected and analysed in step two into training needs and ranks the needs on the following bases:
(1) Strikingly critical skill deficiencies.
(2) Relevance of skill needs to organisational performance and survival.
(3) Feasibility of implementation taking into account the basic education and skill constraints to the desired training, funding constraints, immediacy, and current staffing levels. It should not be surprising that the training officer can recommend recruitment as a solution to the identified training needs.
(4) Consistency with the organisation’s training policy.
A report is written and submitted to the authority that requested the training needs assessment.
(2) The Job-related TNA
The job-related approach, also called the micro TNA is aimed at the investigation of the training requirements of specific jobs in the organisation. There are three main approaches to analysing jobs for training purposes: the comprehensive, the key task, and the problem-centred approaches. The results of a job related TNA are usually presented in the form of a job specification. The reader is reminded that the job-related TNA is in effect, a job assessment similar to that discussed in chapter four, only this one is conducted for identifying the training needs in a particular job or jobs.
(i) Comprehensive Assessment
Under the comprehensive approach, all aspects of the job are examined. Every task of the job, such as task objectives, skill requirements, performance standards, and procedures, are carefully analysed in order to come up with the training needs of each job that assist in the choice of the type of training and the appropriate training method.
The comprehensive approach is suitable in the following circumstances::
(i) The majority of the job tasks are difficult to learn and are unfamiliar to the trainee, and the cost of error is unacceptable.
(ii) The training officer has enough time for a comprehensive assessment.
(iii) The job being analysed will remain constant i.e. it is not likely to be altered in the foreseeable future.
(v) The job does not permit much flexibility i.e. it is very strictly described and its methods of performance have to be learnt.
(ii) Key Task Assessment
The key task approach aims to identify and analyse just the key tasks in a job - not the whole job. The key tasks in a job are those duties in which careful and adequate performance is essential to the success of the job. It is suitable for such jobs as managerial jobs where the job comprises a large number of different tasks, not all of which are critical to effective performance of the job. Or it is suitable for a job, which is changing in emphasis or content such that some of its constituent tasks assume decisive status upon the new job’s success.
(iii) Problem-centred Assessment
Under this approach, the identified problem tasks in a job are analysed so as to help design a suitable training programme to solve the problems. For instance, a university may identify that its lecturers have performance difficulties with teaching skills. The training officer, then concentrates his or her assessment on this aspect of the lecturers’ work in order to come up with a sharper description of the difficulty being faced and which would help in tailor-designing a suitable training programme to alleviate this difficulty.
(c) Setting Programme Objectives
After identifying the training needs, the training officer is now in a position to set the objective of the training programme. Training objectives are clear aims that the training programme intends to achieve. Training objectives should state clearly the desired behaviour expected from the training programme. In effect, training objectives indicate the type of learning expected out of the training programme, and are as a result used eventually as benchmarks for evaluating the training programme.
Training objectives could be general and regular, e.g. accident prevention drills and employee orientation. They could also be aimed at problem solving e.g. removing a particular performance deficiency e.g. supervisory skills aimed at reducing the number of employee grievances; or aimed at causing a change in the organisation’s performance e.g. team building. Whatever their specific aims, training objectives should not be vaguely stated, because vaguely stated training objective can only result in poor learning outcomes. On the other hand, clearly stated training objectives give the trainer and the trainees specific goals to be met by the training programme. Take for example a look at the following clearly stated training objectives:
(i) to increase bottle opening skills for each bar attendants from an average of 2-3 minutes to 2-5 seconds and broken bottles from an average of 12 to 2 per day.
(ii) to increase typing speed from 40 wpm to 60 wpm and average errors from 5 to 1 per page.
It is important to stress, that the objectives of the training programme are actually general statements of the goals that the training programme intends to achieve. In this way the programme objectives are not focused, and neither informative enough. The objectives of the component courses of the programme are more focused and specific goals that the courses intend to make the trainees achieve.
(d) Identifying Programme Content
The contents of a training programme refer to its items or constituent themes, courses, or subjects, which are aimed at enabling the programme to achieve the desired training objectives. The training expert, who will actually conduct the training programme, should decide the contents of a programme. The programme contents must be carefully selected because as long as the trainer is an expert, the contents should determine the success of the programme, and thus justify the organisation’s investment in the programme. Suitable programme contents appeal to the trainees: they convince them to find the programme relevant to their needs and motivate them to learn as planned. Obviously, the contents of a programme influence the trainer in the choice of the training methods.
In constructing a list of programme contents, the trainer, in consultation with the employees’ supervisors, determines the aspects of the job, which need to be emphasised in the programme. The trainer also organises them to guide the selection of suitable training methods.
(e) Selecting the Training Method
After deciding on the contents of the training programme, the next function is to select the method to use. The training method is the vehicle, which carries the contents to the trainees. It is thus a crucial determinant for the success of the training programme, and should be left to the training expert who will conduct the training. Due to their importance in this chapter, we have devoted Section 8.10 to the discussion of the common methods used in conducting training and development programmes.
In selecting a suitable training and development method, the human resources department should be guided by the following criteria:
(i) Cost of the Method
A method should not only be suitable, it should be financially affordable. Some methods are more costly than others but the bottom line is always the effectiveness of the method from the learning effect point of view.
(ii) Programme Content.
As we noted in (c) above, the identified contents of the training programme will influence the choice of the method to be used.
(iii) Number of Trainees involved
The number of participants dictates the method to be used. For instance, job instruction, coaching and apprenticeship demand greater trainee participation and trainer-trainee interaction, and therefore they are not suitable for large groups of trainees. On the contrary lecturing is suitable for large groups.
(iv) Training venue and facilities.
The selected venue and facilities influence the selection of the training method to be used. It is essential that that prior to the start of the programme, the trainer visits alternative venues for conducting the programme and inspects the facilities available at each venue because these will affect his or her choice of the training methods to use.
For example, if the selected training venue for the programme is, as is very common with executive development programmes, an hotel, then it is necessary for the trainer to visit the hotel and inspect the sizes of their conference rooms, type of seats and tables, public address system, whether or not a television set, VCR, overhead projector, video cameras, etc., are available because these facilities will dictate the trainer’s choice of the training methods to use.
(v) Trainee capabilities.
The type of trainees i.e. their level of general education, type of skills, work experience, type of jobs they perform, may affect the trainer’s choice of the methods suitable for use.
(vi) Trainer’s capabilities and preference.
It is normal that for financial reasons or for deliberate preference to use internal resources and facilities, the organisation may wish to run the programme instead of using an external professional trainer. This choice limits the organisation, which is the trainer, to the use of methods, which the resource persons can afford. Such limitations compel the human resources department to prefer to contract out its training programmes to external professional trainers, who may, by the nature of their business, be better equipped in terms of training capabilities but also training facilities. It must be admitted however, that even professional trainers have their own capability limitations and preferences. In a liberalised economy, it is not unusual to find many training firms with eye-catching training names but with half-cooked training “experts” and insufficient training facilities.
(vii) Learning principles.
We have repeatedly emphasised in this chapter, that the purpose of a training programme is to cause a learning outcome in the trainers. The selected learning principles to bring about this outcome have an influence on the trainer’s choice of which methods to use. For instance, if the trainer wishes to emphasise repetition or practice in order to increase skills, the vestibule, coaching, simulation, or apprenticeships may be preferred.
(f) Identifying the Trainees
The identification of trainees involves two elements: first, identification of the job categories where the training needs have been identified. This task is performed by the training needs analyst and is in response to the results of the organisation-wide approach of the training needs analysis. So, the analyst will identify that the trainees are from named job categories or even from named departments or sections. The second task involves the identification of the actual names of the employees who should attend the training programme. The employees’ supervisors perform this task by using guidelines from the human resources department. The following are the main guidelines that govern the selection of employees for training:
(i) Basic Education
The employees’ basic education can determine their admissibility to desired training programmes and in this way affect their selection. A good example in mind are the large numbers of long serving employees in public work organisations including the civil service in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia. Very often, these employees, although repeatedly identified for higher training, cannot be selected for the desired programmes because they lack the stipulated entry qualifications. Such employees are usually remarked “untrainable” in the organisations’ training programmes. Imagine an organisation identifies a supervisor for a training programme to prepare him or her for a managerial job position, whose entry qualifications are a first degree in information technology. The supervisor, who has been doing a good job for the last 22 years only completed form two secondary education. This candidate cannot be admitted to university degree programme although he or she needs the programme and the employer may be willing to pay for it.
(ii) Tenure of Service
How long an employee has been working with the organisation can affect his or her selectability for a training programme in two ways. First, most work organisations stipulate a minimum working period before an employee can be selected for training, e.g. a minimum of two years. Secondly, an employee who has a short period to separation may not be selected for training because unless the learning outcome is urgently required or will be needed only for a brief period, financing such training may not be regarded a prudent expenditure of the organisation’s training resources.
We must remember however that some employers may wish to train an employee in order to enable him or her find a job somewhere else, or even in order to prepare the employee for his or her post employment economic project. We will propose a model in chapter 19 of how employers can prepare employees for their post employment life.
(iii) Employee’s Loyalty and Commitment
Whether we want it or not, management’s decision of which employees go for training is greatly influenced by their opinion of how loyal to the employer and committed to their work the employees are. The logic behind this line of thinking is that an employer sees little sense in developing the capabilities of an employee who is disloyal to his or her employer, and uncommitted to his or her work. It is argued that such an employee has no future in the organisation, so training him or her is wasting resources to develop the performance capabilities of an ungrateful employee who might be leaving or discharged tomorrow.
The counter argument against this line of thinking is that there is justification for training an employee so long as he or she is still on the employer’s payroll. The human resources management concern however, is with the way management determines employee loyalty and commitment. Very often, an employee’s loyalty and commitment are judged from how sheepishly obedient they are to their managers, even where in fact the managers may be unduly authoritarian, unfair, and neglecting to the performance interests of their organisations.
(iv) Government Regulations
The existing government laws and policies in the protection of the underprivileged parts of the population e.g. the disabled and women can also influence selection of employees for training. The objective of the protection efforts is to further the career development of the underprivileged who under an open competition would not be selected for training.
(v) Availability of Employees
Another constraint of selecting employees for training is when and how many management be prepared to release the employees. The selection of employees for training must be looked at not in isolation, but in terms of the performance flows of the work organisation, because the effectiveness of management is appraised from performance output and not from training. The work organisation is primarily in the business of producing, not training its employees. It should be understandable therefore, that managers may delay employees from going for training in order to maintain the continuity of organisational performance.
(vi) Employee Preference
Employee interest is another criterion, which guides the selection of employees for training. Training efforts that are in addition to satisfying the interests of the employees do not yield the intended learning results. The employee interests referred to here, imply whether the employee sees meaning in training and the extent to which the employee is convinced that training contributes to his or her career development.
(vii) Career Development Programme
As we will note in chapter nine, the organisation has a commitment in the career development programme to provide the necessary training to enable an employee to advance in his or her career. So, when an employee is due for promotion, which demands particular skills, he or she deserves to be selected for the appropriate training.
(viii) Union Regulations
The selection of employees for training ought to take into consideration the concerns of the employees’ union in order to avoid unnecessary clashes between management and the union during the implementation of the training programme.
(g) Identifying the Trainer
The human resources department should identify the right trainer for the programme, because, a poor trainer can only produce poor learning results while collecting the “right” payment. The right trainer is not necessarily the cheapest trainer. The following are criteria for selecting the right trainer for your programme:
(i) Qualifications of his or her team members, success experience, training equipment, up-to-date training materials, degree of commitment, ability to create conducive learning environment etc.
(ii) Price of training programme. Whereas the best trainer is not necessarily the cheapest, organisations will not easily go for a very costly trainer.
(iii) Content of training programme. A trainer, who in his or her proposal for conducting a training programme clearly indicates elaborate content details of the programme, will readily convince the client organisation that he or she is the most capable trainer.
(iv) Time. The duration of the training programme quoted by the trainer will influence the client’s choice, because duration is normally a basis of pricing, and a concern of the client in terms of disrupting his or her production schedule.
(v) Accreditation. Some qualifications can only be recognised if they are acquired from an accredited training institution.
The timing of the training programme involves three elements. First, it involves setting the convenient date when the programme should begin, which is the responsibility of the human resources department after consulting all departments concerned. Secondly, it involves the determination of the duration of the training programme, which is the responsibility of the trainer but under the approval of the human resources department because of the impact it has on the cost of the programme. Thirdly, the timetabling of the programme contents, which is also the responsibility of the trainer.
Among the items for which the human resources department prepares a budget, is training and development. Budgeting for training and development is the organisation’s estimate of its training requirements for a future time period usually a year. The training and development budget then becomes part of the human resources department’s budget for the period. The training and development budget should be considered at two levels i.e. at the corporate level, and for the individual training programme. We are more interested in the latter level.
The following items are normally included in the budget of a training programme:
(i) Outfit Allowances
(ii) Training fees
(iii) Transport and Travelling
(vi) Subsistence allowances
(viii) Incidental Allowances
(ix) Book Allowances
(x) Equipment e.g. television sets, vcr, overhead projectors, video cameras, photo cameras, photocopiers, computers, public address systems, flip chart stands etc.
The training officer needs to budget for the cost of every training programme in order to avoid the disaster of running an under-funded programme or even cancelling it before it is completed. A training and development budget must be carefully formulated and controlled, because it provides the basic assurance that the organisation can conduct its training programme. In formulating and controlling the budget for a training programme, the training officer must consider the following factors:
(i) Adequate training plans.
(ii) The expenses incurred in achieving the training plans must have been identified and estimated.
(iii) The responsibilities for items of expenditure must have been allocated between training specialists and other managers.
(iv) Account classifications must have been made so that expenditure can be allocated to specific cost areas.
(v) Cost information must be recorded accurately and a mechanism for feeding back the collated information must be present so that individuals can take corrective action if and when required.
(ii) Prepare the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
Sigonda pse develop
(iii) Process the Programme for Approval
The last function in the planning phase is to process the programme for approval. This process normally involves sending the proposed programme to the heads of sections, departments and other groups e.g. the trade union, and other participatory fora e.g., workers council, for comments. The comments are carefully analysed and those found useful are incorporated in the draft. Then the draft training programme is presented to the management meeting for approval, before it goes to the board for final approval. After the board’s approval, the programme is an official document of the work organisation and it is ready for implementation.
(2) Implementation Phase
In the implementation phase two main functions are performed: conducting the programme, co-ordination, monitoring and control.
(a) Conducting the programme
Conducting the programme involves executing it in accordance to the functions listed under the planning phase.
If an external trainer conducts the training, then the human resources department must sit with the trainer to discuss all details of the programme in order to spell out the expectations of the organisation and to clarify the responsibilities for each item.
(b) Co-ordination and Control
Normally, the bulk of the responsibilities for running the events is born by the trainer but a member or members of the human resources department remains around throughout to ensure that the programme is advancing according to plan, and to solve unforeseen problems if any.
(c) Monitoring and Control
Sigonda pse develop
(3) Evaluation and Feedback
Training consumes both the organisation’s time and money. It is appropriate therefore that the training programme is evaluated in order to determine how well it was conducted. In theory, the evaluation method should be able to establish that the organisation has derived more-or-less the same value from the amount of money invested in the programme. This is known as the cost benefit approach, which in effect is a comparison of the benefits derived from the programme with the costs invested in it. In practice however, the costs and benefits are both quantitative and qualitative, thus making precise evaluation impossible. Mathis and Jackson recommend the training and development programme to be evaluated at the following four levels, which should be discussed with the trainer in advance so that design and progressive assessment can be made as the programme advances.
(a) Reaction and Learning
Under this level the opinions of the trainees on the overall programme are evaluated. Reaction refers to how the trainees liked the programme. A comprehensive questionnaire is usually administered on the participants at the end of the programme to assess the reaction of the participants.
Learning refers to the extent to which the trainees mastered the facts, principles and approaches that were included in the programme. A sample of a reaction and learning assessment questionnaire used to assess the Institute of Consultancy Applied Research and Extension Studies (ICARES), short training programmes is outlined in Fig 8-11.
ECLYPSE CONSULTING COMPANY
WORKSHOP EVALUATION FORM
Please tick in the appropriate box concerning the various aspects of the workshop indicated below:-
Very Good Good Poor
4. Workshop Organisation
5. Paper Presentation
5. Adequacy of Handouts
6. Relevance of Material
7. Are there any other topics, which you think should have been added to the topics covered? YES ______ or NO ______.
What are they?
8. The three best papers I liked
10. The three best papers I disliked in this workshop. Why?
11. If you have any other suggestions, comments or contributions you wish to make, please write them below:-
We thank you very much for your co-operation.
Fig.8-11: Sample Reaction and Learning Questionnaire
(b) Behaviour and Results
This task is an assessment of whether the training programme has succeeded to cause the desired change in behaviour and results. Change in behaviour in this case means the extent to which the employees’ job behaviour changed as a result of the programme. The behaviour to be changed will have been stated in the objectives of the programme. Results, here refer to the ultimate performance-related benefits derived from the training programme e.g. reduction of turnover, reduction of spoilage, and increase in output.
Both behaviour and results are assessed after the trainee has returned to his or her work place.
8.10 Training and Development Cost
The list of benefits outlined in section 8.05 obviously convinces the organisation and the union that training and development should be taken seriously, though some of the advantages are difficult to assess. In all work organisations, training and development costs enormous sums of money. This fact should be recognised not only by the organisation, but also by its employees and their union as well. The question that follows is: whether these costs are justifiable. In order to enrich our appreciation of the important place and role of training and development, and thus the justification of its costs in organisational performance let us take a brief look at the costs, which an organisation incurs in the training and development programme.
The training costs of an organisation are the costs, which are deliberately incurred by the organisation to facilitate the learning process in the organisation. Examples of training costs include:
(a) Salaries, wages, benefits, and incentives of training officers and their direct support staff.
(b) Part of the managers’ salaries, wages, benefits for the period of couching staff.
(c) Capital costs of setting up the organisation’s training centre.
(d) Running costs of the training centre i.e. water, electricity, telephones, paper, etc.
(e) Training aids e.g. projectors, films, books, poster, cameras, television video, etc.
(f) Repairs and servicing for the above listed equipment.
(g) Consultancy fees paid to training consultants.
(h) Training fees paid to training institutions where the organisation’s employees are enrolled.
There are three main approaches of examining the cost of an organisation’s training and development programme, the budget , the opportunity cost, and the learning cost approach.
(1) The Budget Approach
The budget approach assumes that the organisation’s training efforts are itemised, budgeted for, and their expenditure appropriately recorded. In theory, this is possible in large organisations, which have a large number of employees, and an accounting system specifically designed to accommodate the accounting of such specialised expenditure as training and development.
In practice however, this approach is not used in many work organisations, because of three main reasons. First, most organisations do not maintain a separate budget for training and development mainly because they do not see the benefits of having such a highly specialised accounting system. In such work organisations, the expenditure on training and development comprises a few items or is deliberately designed to include training and development items under other headings. Secondly, the nature of training costs is such that they are incurred in the day to day running of the business, and as such, they are difficult to identify and record in the financial statements.
(2) The Opportunity Cost
Another way of looking at the cost of training and development is not to look at the financial expenditure incurred, but the opportunity cost involved. Economists argue that the opportunity cost of an item i.e. how much the organisation would lose if it did not spend on training and development, is a more realistic measure of its cost. For instance, if by paying T. Shs.85,000 each for its four sales managers to go for a ten-week marketing seminar, the organisation looses business work T. Shs.1,000,000 then the opportunity cost of the marketing seminar is not T. Shs.85,000 x 4 = T. Shs.340,000 but T. Shs.1,000,000, which the organisation loses by sending its sales managers to the seminar.
The opportunity cost approach is theoretically convincing, but practically unuseful for computing training and development costs.
(3) Learning Costs
Under the learning cost approach, an organisation looks at training and development in terms of the costs that it is forced to incur as a direct result of its employees learning their jobs (=learning costs) considering how these costs can be minimised by expenditure on training (training costs). Simpler stated, this method involves the minimisation of learning costs by using training costs.
Learning costs include salaries paid to the employees when they are learning their jobs, the cost of raw materials wasted, lost sales, or the cost of incorrect decisions made as managers learn, and the cost of interference in others’ work which is caused by learners as they ask for help and guidance. Both learning and training costs should be minimised in order to achieve the efficiency of the training function.
In practice, whereas training costs can be identified they are not fully accounted for in the form of an elaborate accounting system. This shortcoming can best be understood as part of the general weakness of evolving an acceptable human resources accounting system which we will address later in chapter twenty. There are varying attempts to act for and report on human resources training and development expenditure in various organisations for instance in the form of a training and development budget, getting the key training and development items such as training consultants fees, training fees, tools and equipment of setting up and running a training centre approved and controlled by the human resources department. We have no intention of creating the impression that these efforts constitute a complete recording and reporting system for training and development costs.
Management teams appear to be content with having this partial recording and reporting of training and development costs. Insufficient attempt is made to account and report on the cost of mistakes made by inadequately skilled employees, capacity under utilisation due to skill inadequacies, and others so that they can form bases for decision making.
We appreciate that an elaborate and sophisticated costing system may be unnecessary for small work organisations but this is certainly necessary for large organisations where the size of training and development expenditure is considerable. We sum up and guide, that an organisation’s training and development cost should be treated as an investment in human resources, which should be justified by the level of organisational performance.
8.11 Approaches to Training
The training approach used in this chapter so far, is known as the traditional or systematic approach. This approach is distinct from the strategic approach, which is a modern training approach used by successful organisations with a sharp focus on the strategic thrust and the enhancement of their competitiveness.
(a) Traditional Approach
The traditional approach to training is based on the following assumptions advanced by Birkenbach.
(i) The control for training efforts lies with the human resources department (training section) and managers of user departments. This assumption conditions employees to believe that the responsibility for their personal development lies with the human resources department and their managers.
(ii) Employees should be removed from their workstations and be sent to “venues” for training. This assumption conditions employees to believe that learning takes place outside the workplace.
(iii) Training needs analyses must always be conducted in order to determine the right types of training for the right employees.
(iv) At the end of the training sessions, employees have “completed the learning exercise.
Thus the traditional approach emphasises the activities discussed in Section 8.10 on contents of the training and development programme. Critics of this method believe that it does not address future job conditions. They say that whereas training efforts are intended to equip employees with capability to deal with an uncertain future, the training itself is based on past information from needs analysis, competency analysis, performance records, problems etc.
(b) Strategic Approach to Training
The strategic approach to training assumes that all work organisations learn. Some learn faster than others, and some deliberately use new knowledge more rapidly to strengthen their competitive advantage. Strategic training also believes that training should be based on the future because a conducive environment should be created in which all organisational members access opportunities to learn and take charge of their personal development. Strategic training is closely related to the concept of virtual training organisations (VTO’s).
A VTO employs strategic training methods. It is more results-centred, flexible in time schedules, and a cost-effective training institution than traditional institutions with physical buildings, large grounds and facilities. It uses future work principles and networking with established virtual training organisations to produce learning results for a larger public and by using a small asset base.
VTO operations emphasise three main principles: first the employee’s personal growth is the primary responsibility of the individual himself/herself. Secondly, the most powerful learning happens at the employee’s workstation, and finally, employee development is hinged on the manager/employee relationship not on the trainer/employee relationship.
Also VTO operations recognise five main competencies: strategic direction, product design, structural versatility, product delivery, and accountability for results as illustrated by McIntosh in Fig 8-15, where he compares the characteristics of a traditional with those of a virtual training organisation.
A traditional department: A virtual training organisation:
• Leaves objectives unstated or vague
• Assumes that class participants are its only
• Limits offerings to predetermined list
• Continues to supply products that
are no longer useful
• Organises its offerings by courses
• Tries to mandate training
Cleo import Gerber p.459
Fig.8.15 Methods of Training and Development
In this section we will review the methods that are commonly used for human resources training and development. It is useful to point out two things from the start. First, anyone of these methods may be applied to both training and development. For instance, shop floor employees and supervisors may attend a video presentation on managerial skills organised by the human resources department. To supervisors, the presentation is training, because it trains them how to perform their present job better. To shop floor employees, the presentation is development, because it develops them to become managers. Thus the video presentation has achieved two different objectives: training for the supervisors, and development for the shop floor employees. Secondly, no one of these methods is always the most suitable.
Let us now proceed to critically review the methods, which are used either on or off the job.
(1) Job Instruction
Job instruction is training that is conducted directly on the job, i.e. the trainer and the trainee are both on the job. This is why it is also called on-the-job training, usually abbreviated as OJT. It is used to teach employees practically how to perform their job. The trainer could be either a professional trainer, but very often, the supervisor or a selected fellow employee.
Job instruction usually involves five main steps. First the trainee receives an overview briefing of the job i.e. its purpose and desired outcomes. Briefing is usually done away from the job premises, i.e. in an office, but it could just as well be done in the premises of the relevant job. Secondly, in the job premises, the trainer demonstrates the actions of the job to the trainee, with the intention of providing him or her with a model to copy. Thirdly, the trainer allows the trainee to perform the job, imitating the trainer's model. This stage is performed in the trainer's presence and under his or her close supervision. At this stage, the trainer offers expert guidance, correcting any mistakes made by the trainee in order to give him or her feedback. Then fourthly, the trainee is allowed to repeat the imitation fairly more independently, until he or she masters the job. Fifthly, the trainee is allowed to perform the job on his or her own, with the trainer visiting him or her occasionally in order to clarify any remaining queries and reinforce the trainee's confidence.
Job instruction is the most commonly used method in the training of non-managerial employees in most industrial organisations.
ON-THE-JOB TRAINING METHODS
OFF-THE-JOB TRAINING METHODS
Figure 8.12: Classification of Training Methods
(2) Job Rotation
Some organisations, notably commercial banks in many African countries, have a tradition for training their employees to master a large variety of jobs. So, from the orientation stage employees are called trainees, and are moved from one job to another before they are finally fixed on a particular job. This method of training is known as job rotation. Each move in job rotation is normally preceded by job instruction.
Job rotation has four main advantages. First, it makes the employee versatile i.e. capable of performing more than one job. An organisation whose employees are versatile possesses a useful backup resource, which it can deploy during vacations, absences, and abrupt employee resignations. Secondly, job rotation improves the transferability as well as the promotability of the employee. Thirdly, job rotation reduces employee turnover, by giving the employees consistent anticipation for promotion and transfer. Fourthly, it enables employees to get a wide view of the organisation’s performance processes, which increases their appreciation of inter-process demands and expectations that increases their ability to perform according to others’ demands and expectations.
But job rotation could have four disadvantages . First, it is costly and time-consuming to the organisation. Secondly, trainees spend a short time on each job during the rotation period, under conditions of expecting to move on, such that they do not feel sufficient sense of commitment and accountability for their actions, which is a risk to the quality of goods and or services, which the organisation produces. Thirdly, the critics of this method argue, that by attempting to make each employee a "jack of all trades", it probably ends up making them "masters of none". Fourthly, this method has been heavily criticised by college graduates that it frustrates them by subjecting them to junior tasks.
Apprenticeship is a training method, which involves learning from an expert employee or employees. This method may be supplemented by classroom training away from the job, where the apprentices attend formal training programmes in or outside their organisation.
Apprenticeship training is used as part of vocational training programmes in Tanzania and in Zambia. After attending the first part of their programme as full time students at vocational training colleges, trainees are attached to experienced employees in work organisations for a certain period of time. During this period, they work under close guidance and supervision of their "masters", as their trainers are called, until they master their work. The performance record during the apprenticeship period is treated as an integral part of the vocational training programme. Apprenticeship training is popular with university programmes as well. Again in Tanzania and Zambia, medicine and law graduates are required to take a one-year internship programme after their formal university education before they can be employed as qualified medical doctors or lawyers.
Apprenticeship training has a number of advantages to the trainee. First, it involves high learner participation and therefore accelerate the apprentice's learning speed. Secondly, apprenticeship exposes the learner to real job experience, which accords him transferability of knowledge between theory and practice. Thirdly, apprenticeship gives the learner ample opportunities to repeat the tasks he is taught and thus faster mastery of the job. Fourthly and lastly, the close interaction between the apprentice and the master enables the apprentice to receive prompt feedback, which he may use to reinforce correct job behaviour as well as rectify incorrect job behaviour if any. As can be seen from Fig. 8-13 below, apprenticeship training is used worldwide as a very popular method of training.
Country % of Apprentices
New Zealand 2.7
Figure . 8-13: Percentage of Labour Force Engaged in Apprenticeship in Selected Countries
Coaching as a method of learning has similarities with apprenticeship. Many organisations use this method to train and develop their employees. Coaching is usually less formal than apprenticeship in that it is provided when required rather than being part of a formally drawn programme. The trainee’s boss, usually by a supervisor, carries out coaching.
Coaching provides the learner the advantages of participation, knowledge transference, and the feedback provided by the coach. Because coaching is rather informal it usually carries the disadvantages of interruptions from the coach's substantive business, and lack of seriousness from the trainee. Coaching as discussed here should be distinguished from football team coaching which is in fact job instruction learning.
Lecturing involves a uni-directional presentation of learning material where the presenter speaks, makes limited use of visual and audio aids, allows limited interaction with the participants, and the participants listen and make notes. As we are saying, lecturing is mainly one-way communication from the speaker to the listeners. It relies on communication to impact the learning process.
The advantages of using lecturing are first that the presenter can communicate everything he wishes to communicate within the shortest time. Secondly, the trainer can organise his presentation in the desired logical sequence. However, since it relies on communication, lecturing has the disadvantages of being less effective as a learning method as a result of low participation, transference, feedback, and repetition. Skilful trainers are able to improve the effectiveness of lecturing by punctuating their lectures with questions, discussions, and audio-visual presentations such as, filmstrips, flip charts, and transparencies.
(6) Video Presentations
Video, television, and slide presentations as methods of learning, have great similarities with lecturing. In the place of a human being, under this method the participants are treated to an audio-visual presentation from a screen. The advantages of using this method include time economy, logical organisation of what is to be presented, plus amusement. Participants are said to prefer video presentations to lectures.
Some organisations are concerned with the disruption that other training methods inflict on their normal operations. So they set up facilities and equip them with tools and equipment similar to those that trainees would find at their jobs. These facilities are known as vestibules. They use these vestibules for their training and development programmes.
Because of their similarity with the real working environment, vestibules have the advantages of high transference, repetition, and participation. It must however be mentioned that vestibules are expensive to set up, and they become idle productive facilities in times when the organisation does not have training and development programmes in session. Vestibules are very common in hotel training programmes.
(8) Role Plays
Role-playing is a technique of asking trainees to assume a desired identity and role. For instance, in a skill building workshop, a supervisor and a manager may be asked to switch roles. Then both would be given a typical work problem and asked to respond as each would expect the other to do. Each one would be in a position to see him or her as others see him or her in the real work place.
Role-plays have the advantages of high participation, relevance, feedback, and transference. Role-plays are a useful method in attitude changing and interpersonal skills development programmes.
(9) Behaviour Modelling
Behaviour modelling is another training method, which is used by work organisations to change the behaviour and attitudes of their employees. Modelling behaviour means imitating, matching or copying behaviour through the process of observing an ideal person.
Trainees may learn a new behaviour by observing the new behaviour or model behaviour and then being drilled by imitating it. The model behaviour could be videotaped. Then, the trainer and the trainee play it back, watch it and critique it. During the playback, the trainee is able to see the positive and negative consequences that face the person who does not master and use the model behaviour. In this way the trainee gets the benefit of feedback.
Behaviour modelling has the advantages of high relevance, transference, repetition and feedback. It is often used in training managers on the correct skills for performance appraisal interviews and disciplining interviews.
(10) Case Studies
Studying a case involves analysing a real or hypothetical phenomenal situation where trainees learn the actions that other people have taken under the circumstances of the case. Besides learning the details of the case, the trainees get opportunities to employ their technical analytical principles during the analysis and discussions, and thus develop their decision-making skills.
Good case writing is a highly specialised job. But the selection of cases that suit the training requirements of a target group is a manifestation of a good trainer. Well-written cases are meaningful and similar to the desired work situation. In this way, they enjoy the advantages of relevance and transference. Cases have the additional advantage of drawing high participation from the trainees.
The author's MBA students will recall his repeated caution that meaningful case analysis and discussion can only be underlied by a mastery of the technical principles relevant to the case area. For example, students who know nothing about the function of human resources performance appraisal cannot do meaningful analysis and discussion in the case on the subject. Guided case discussion provides the trainee with the advantages of both feedback and repetition.
Case studies are very useful for management training and development programmes.
Simulation involves is normally available in two forms: mechanical simulation, and computer games. A mechanical simulator is a facility that replicates the major features of the trainee’s actual work situation. As an example, Werther and Davis describe a driving simulator, which is used in the training of drivers.
Games are commonly used to train managers and other levels of business personnel. Under this method players take one role e.g. manager and the computer takes the other role e.g. union. The trainee and the computer may then bargain on such items as salaries and benefits. Business and management games can be bought from the software markets.
Self-study involves a trainee's independent learning from carefully prepared instructional material. This method is particularly useful where employees are geographically dispersed, but also where the learning requires little interaction either among the trainees or between the trainees and the trainers. Examples of self-study materials are computer programmes learning materials on floppy disks, which are growing in importance among home users today.
Self-study provides learners with advantages of high participation, repetition, relevance and feedback. The method has the disadvantages of low transference and the likelihood of dishonest trainees looking up for provided answers instead of working them
19th August 2005