To put it very simply, training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skill of an employee for doing a particular job.
There is often a gap between what employees actually know and what they should know. Filling this gap of knowledge in doing the job by means of training is an important task of management.
Training is, therefore,
A learning experience in that it seeks a relatively permanent change in an individual that will improve his or her ability to perform on-the-job. Training typically involves changing skills, knowledge, attitudes or social behavior.
Training programs are aimed at maintaining and improving current job performance, while development programs seek to develop skills for future jobs.
Both managers and non-managers may receive help from training and development programs, but the mix of experiences is likely to vary.
Non-managers are much more likely to be trained in the technical skills required for their current jobs, whereas managers frequently receive assistance in developing the skills required in their future jobs particularly conceptual and human relations skills.
Fresh employees have to be trained to help them learn new skills. Since they are likely to be more motivated, new skills and knowledge can be imparted to them easily. On the other hand, training the experienced employees can be problematic.
Their training needs are not always easy to determine, and even if that can be done, they may resent being asked to change their established ways of doing their jobs.
The following four methods can be used by managers to determine the training needs of the employees in their organization or department:
- Performance appraisal: Performance of each employee is measured against the performance standards or objectives established for his or her job.
- Analysis of job requirements: The skills or knowledge specified in the job description are examined and the employees lacking necessary skills or knowledge specified therein are selected for a training program.
- Organizational analysis: The effectiveness of the organization and its success in meeting its goals are analyzed for determining and identifying the area and kind of training required. For example, members of a department with a high turnover rate or low performance record might require additional training.
- Employee survey: Opinions of managers and non-managers are sought about the problems they experience in their work and what actions they deem necessary for solving the problem.
Once the training needs of the organization have been identified, the human resources manager shall have to take the initiative for appropriate training effort. Managers may resort to a variety of training approaches.
The most common of these are on-the-job training methods, including job rotation, in which the employees work on a series of jobs over a period of time, thereby learning a wide variety of skills.
Internship in which job training is combined with related classroom instruction, and apprenticeship, in which the employee is trained under the guidance of a highly skilled senior co-worker, is the two other approaches to meet the training needs of the employees.
Off-the-job training is given outside the work place but efforts are made to stimulate actual working conditions.
This type of training includes vestibule training, in which employees train on the actual equipment and in a realistic job setting but in a building different from their own.
The air is to avoid the on-the-job pressures that might interfere with the learning process.
In behaviorally experienced training, activities such as simulation exercises, business games, and problem-centered cases, are employed so that the trainee can learn the behavior appropriate for the job through role-playing.
Class-room seminars, lectures and films are some of the off-the-job training methods used in employee training.