Methods of Training

Training method refers to a way or technique for improving knowledge and skills of an employee for doing assigned jobs perfectively.

The organization has to consider the nature of the job, size of the organization & workers, types of workers and cost for selecting a training method.

There are different types of the Training method.

Methods of Training

  1. On-the-job training or internal training
  2. Off-the-job training or external training

The classification of the different types of Training method is shown following chart and explained below;

On-the-job training or internal training

These methods are generally applied in the workplace while employees are actually working.

This form helps particularly to develop the occupational skills necessary to manage an organization, to fully understand the organization’s products and services and how they are developed and carried out.

Following are the on-the-job methods.

  1. Apprenticeship programs.
  2. Job instruction training (JIT).
  3. Planned progression.
  4. Job rotation.
  5. Creation of assistant – to positions.
  6. Temporary promotions.
  7. Committees and junior boards.
  8. Coaching.

Apprenticeship programs

People seeking to enter the skilled trades to become, for example, plumbers, electricians, Ironworkers are often required to undergo apprenticeship training before they are accepted to journeyman status.

Typically this apprenticeship period is from two to five years. During this period, the trainee is paid less than a qualified worker.

These programs put the trainee under the guidance of a master worker.

Job instruction training (JIT)

JIT consists of four basic steps;

  1. preparing the trainees by telling them about the job and overcoming their uncertainties;
  2. presenting the instruction, giving essential information in a clear manner;
  3. having the trainees try out the job to demonstrate their understanding; and
  4. placing the workers into the job, on their own, with a designated resource person, who is ready to provide the required assistance.

Planned progression

It is a technique that gives employees a clear idea of their path of development. They know where they stand and where they are going.

They must know the requirements for advancement and the means of achieving it.

Job rotation

It involves periodically moving people from one job to another.

The purpose of job rotation is to broaden the knowledge of managers or potential managers. It also increases their experiences. Trainees learn about the different enterprise functions by rotating into different positions.

They may rotate through;

(1) non-supervisory work,
(2) observation assignments,
(3) various managerial training positions, and
(4) middle-level assistant positions

Such movement prevents stagnation.

Other reasons for rotating people include compensating for a labor shortage, safety and preventing fatigue.

Creation of assistant – to positions

Assistant-to positions are frequently created to broaden the viewpoints of trainees by allowing them to work closely with experienced managers who can give special attention to the development needs of trainees. Managers can give selected assignments to test the judgment of trainees.

This approach can be very effective when superiors are also qualified trainers who can guide and develop trainees until they are ready to assume full responsibilities as managers.

Temporary promotions

Individuals are frequently appointed as acting managers when, for example, the permanent manager is on vacation, is ill or is making an extended business trip or even when a position is vacant.

When the acting manager makes decisions and assumes full responsibility, the experience can be valuable. In this way, managerial people can be trained up well.

Committees and junior boards

These give trainees opportunities to interact with experienced managers.

The trainees become acquainted with a variety of issues that concern the whole organization. They learn about the relationships among different departments and the problems created by the interaction of these organizational units.

Trainees may be given the opportunity to submit reports and proposals to the committee or the board and to demonstrate their analytical and conceptual abilities.

Coaching

On-the-job training is a never-ending process.

A good example of on the job training is athletic coaching. To be effective, which is the responsibility of every line manager, must be done in a climate of confidence and trust between the superior and the trainees.

Patience and wisdom are required of superiors who must be able to delegate authority and give recognition and praise for jobs well done.

Effective coaching will develop the strengths and potentials of subordinates and help them overcome their weakness.

Coaching requires time, but if done well, it will save time and money and will prevent costly mistakes by subordinates; thus, in the long run, it will benefit all – superior, the subordinates, and the enterprise.

Off-the-job training or external training

Off-the-job training is sometimes necessary to get people away from the work environment to a place where the frustrations and buzz of work are eliminated.

Training is generally given in the form of lectures, discussions, case studies, and demonstrations. This enables the trainee to study theoretical information or be exposed to new and innovative ideas.

Advantages of Off-the-Job Training

Off-the-job training has the following advantages :

  1. It does not disrupt the normal operation.
  2. Trainers are usually experienced enough to train,
  3. It is systematically organized,
  4. Efficiently created programs may add a lot of values.

Disadvantages of Off-the-Job Training

It is claimed that off-the-job training faces the following limitations:

  1. It is not directly in the context of the job,
  2. It is often formal,
  3. It may not be based on experience,
  4. It is expensive,
  5. Trainees may not be much motivated,
  6. It is artificial in nature.

Methods of Off-the-Job Training are;

  1. Lectures.
  2. Straight lecture.
  3. Discussion method.
  4. Demonstrations.
  5. Seminars and conferences.
  6. Reading, television and video instructions.
  7. Business Simulation.
  8. Cases presentation.
  9. Equipment simulators.
  10. Business games.
  11. Experimental exercise.
  12. Role-playing.
  13. Behavior Modeling.
  14. Computer modeling.
  15. Vestibule training.
  16. Sensitivity Training (T-groups).
  17. Computer-based training.

However, there are also many off-the-job techniques for training and developing employees and managers such as:

Lectures

The lecture is one of the oldest forms of training, second to demonstrate. In the early days, knowledge was transferred through demonstrations.

Lecture may be printed or oral. It is the best used to create an understanding of a topic or to influence attitudes through education or training about a topic.

The lecture is merely telling someone about something. There are variations of a lecture format.

Straight lecture

It is an extensive presentation of information, which the trainee attempts to absorb. The lecture is typically thought of in terms of a person (trainer) speaking to a group about a topic.

It is a short version of a lecture. It has the same features as the lecture but usually lasts less than twenty minutes if done orally.

During a straight lecture, the trainee does little except listen, observe and perhaps take notes. It is useful when a large number of people must be given a specified set of information. The oral lecture should not contain too many learning points unless the printed text accompanies the lecture.

Trainees will forget information provided orally. Short lectures are usually better.

Longer lectures can be effective if the length is due to examples and clarifying explanations. A major concern about the straight lecture method is the inability to identify and correct misunderstandings.

Discussion method

The discussion method uses a lecture to provide trainees with information that is supported, reinforced and expanded on through interactions both among the trainees and between the trainer and trainees.

It provides a two-way flow of communication. Knowledge is communicated from the trainer to the trainees. Quick feedback is ensured.

A better understanding is possible. Questioning can be done by both the trainer and the trainees.

Demonstrations

A demonstration is a visual display of how to do something or how something works. To be effective, a demonstration should, at a minimum, be accompanied by a lecture and preferably by a discussion.

Demonstrations;

  1. Break the tasks to be performed into smaller and easily learned parts;
  2. Sequentially organize the parts of the tasks;
  3. Complete each of the following steps for each part of the task;
  4. Tell the trainees what trainer will be doing so they understand what he will be showing them;
  5. It serves to focus on trainee’s attention on the critical aspects of the task;
  6. Demonstrate the task, describes what trainees are doing while the trainer is doing it;
  7. After demonstrating each part of the task, the trainer explains why it should be performed in that way.

Following steps will increase the value of the demonstration:

  • Ask the trainee to talk through the task before actually doing it;
  • Give the trainee opportunity to do the task and describe what he or she is doing;
  • Provide feedback, both positive and negative;
  • Let the learner practice.

Lectures, Discussions, and Demonstrations: An Analysis

Lectures, discussions, and demonstrations provide a high degree of trainer control over the training process and content. However, as the training becomes more interactive, control shifts more to the trainees.

Trainee questions or answers to questions shape the content of what is covered. The group dynamics help to shape the process used by the trainer in presenting the information.

As the objectives for knowledge acquisition increases, the amount of two way interaction required for learning must also increase. A disadvantage is that it decreases trainer control over what is learned and increases the time required for learning.

The lecture is the most useful when trainees lack declarative knowledge or show attitudes that conflict with the training objectives. The printed or video lecture is more effective because they can be studied in more depth and retained to refresh learning over time.

The discussion method is more effective than the straight lecture for learning higher- order knowledge, such as concepts and principles and for altitude changes.

If the training objective is skill improvement, the demonstration may be appropriate.

However, training objectives often include both knowledge and skill development; that is, knowledge is a prerequisite for the skill. The demonstration is also effective for complex tasks.

The discussion method is more effective than the straight lecture at producing attitude changes. Because attitudes consist of a person’s belief and feelings about an object or event, they can be modified by new learning. The discussion can change employee attitudes by providing new insights, facts, and understanding.

Lectures, discussions, and demonstrations are good at capturing trainee’s attention, at least in the short run. They show some strength in the area of retention, especially discussion and demonstrations.

Seminars and conferences

Conference programs may be used in internal or external training.

During conference programs, managers or potential managers are exposed to the ideas of speakers who are experts in their fields. A careful selection of topics and speakers will increase the effectiveness of this training device.

Conferences can be made more successful by including discussions. Two-way communications allow participants to ask for clarification of specific topics that are particularly relevant to them.

Reading, television and video instructions

Another approach to training and development is the planned reading of relevant and current management literature. This is essentially self-development.

A manager may be aided by the training department, which offer develops a reading list of valuable books. This learning experience can be enhanced through discussion of articles and books with other managers and the superior.

Management and other topics are featured in television programs. Moreover, videotapes on a variety of subjects are available for the usage in the university or company classrooms.

Business simulation

Any training activity that explicitly places the trainee in an artificial environment that closely mirrors actual working conditions can be considered a simulation.

Training games and simulations are designed to reproduce or simulate processes, events, and circumstances that occur in the trainee’s job.

Trainees can experience these events in a controlled setting where they Can develop their skills or discover concepts that will improve their performance. Simulation activities include case exercises,

equipment simulators, experiential exercises, complex computer modeling, role play, and vestibule training.

Cases presentation

Case studies attempt to simulate decision-making situations that trainees might find on the job. The trainee is usually presented with a written history, key elements and the problem of a real or imaginary organization or subunit. A series of questions usually appears at the end of the case.

Typically, trainees are given time to digest the information individually. If time permits, they are also allowed to collect additional relevant information and integrate it into their solutions.

Once individuals arrive at their solutions, they may meet in small groups to discuss the different diagnoses, alternatives, and solutions generated.

Then the trainees meet with the trainer, who facilitates and directs further discussions. The trainer should convey that no single solution is right or wrong, but many solutions are possible. The learning objective is to get trainees to apply known concepts and principles and discover new ones.

Equipment simulators

Equipment simulators are mechanical devices that require the trainee to use the same procedures, movements, or decision process, they would use with equipment back on the job.

Simulators train airline pilots, air traffic controllers, taxi drivers, etc. it is important that simulators be designed to replicate, as closely as possible, the physical aspects of the equipment operating environment trainees will find on their job site.

Business games

Business Games are simulations that attempt to represent the way industry, company, and a subunit of a company function. They are based on a set of relationships, rules, and principles derived from theory or research.

However, they can also reflect the actual operations of a given department in a specific company.

Trainees are provided with information describing a situation and are asked to make decisions about what to do. The system then provides feedback about the impact of their decisions and they are asked to make other decisions.

This process continues until some predetermined set of the organization exists or a specified number of trials are completed.,

For example, if the focus is on the financial state of a company, the game might end when the company reached a specified profitability level or when the company must declare bankruptcy.

Business games involve an element of competition, either against other players or against the game itself. Some of the purposes for which businesses games have been developed and used are listed below :

  • Strengthen executive and upper management skills,
  • Improve decision-making skills at all levels,
  • Demonstrate principles and concepts,
  • Integrate separate components of training into an integrated whole,
  • Develop leadership skills,
  • Explore and solve complex problems in a safe, simulated setting.
  • Improve the application of total quality principles and develop skill in using quality tools.

Experimental exercise

Experimental exercises are usually short, structured learning experiences where individuals learn by doing.

For example, an experimental exercise could be used to create a conflict situation where employees have to experience a conflict personally and work out its resolution.

After completing the exercise, the trainer typically discusses what happened and introduces the theoretical concepts to help explain the members’ behavior during the exercise.

Role-playing

Role-playing is a training technique in which trainees act out roles or parts in a realistic management situation.

The aim is to develop trainees’ skills in areas like leadership and delegating. It is an enactment or simulation of a scenario in which each participant is given a part to act out.

Trainees are provided with a description of the context-usually a topic area, a general description of the situation, a description of their roles and the problem they face. Role plays may be structured, and spontaneous.

(i) Structured role

Structured role plays provide trainees with more detail about the situation as well as more detailed descriptions of each character’s attitudes, needs, opinions, and so on. This type of role play is used primarily to develop interpersonal skills such as communication, conflict resolutions and group decision making.

(II) Spontaneous role

Spontaneous role plays are loosely constructed interactions in which one of the participants plays himself while the others play people with whom the first trainee interacted in the past. This type of role play focuses on attitudes and is used to develop insight into one’s own behavior and is impacting on others rather than to develop specific skills.

Behavior modeling

Behavior modeling uses the tendency for people to observe others learn how to do something new. This technique is most frequently used in combination with some other techniques. The modeled behavior is typically videotaped and then watched by the trainees.

The behavior modeling process can be summarized as follows:

  • Define the key skill deficiencies;
  • Provide a brief overview of relevant theories;
  • Specify key learning points or critical behaviors to watch for;
  • Use an expert to model the appropriate behaviors;
  • Encourage trainees to practice the appropriate behaviors in a structured role play;
  • Provide opportunities for the trainer and Other trainees to give reinforcement of appropriate imitation of the model’s behavior;
  • Ensure the trainee’s supervisor reinforces appropriate demonstration of behavior on the job.’

Computer modeling

Complex computer modeling simulates the work environment by programming a computer to imitate some of the realities of the job. It is widely used by airlines in the training of pilots.

The computer simulates the number of critical job dimensions and allows learning to take place without the risk or high costs that would be incurred if a mistake were made in a real life-flying situation.

An error during a simulation offers an opportunity to learn through one’s mistakes. A similar error under real-life conditions might cost a number of lives and the loss of a multimillion-dollar aircraft.

Vestibule training

In vestibule training, employees learn their jobs with the requirement they will be using but the training is conducted away from the actual workplace. While expensive, vestibule training allows employees to get a full feel for doing tasks without real-world pressures. It minimized the problem of transferring learning to the job since vestibule training uses the same equipment the trainee will use on the job.

Sensitivity Training (T-groups)

Sensitivity training, also called T-group, is basically a technique for management development. It is concerned with the real problems existing within the group itself. It is not an imagined problem existing outside the organization. It is not a program of teaching skills or improving the understanding of participants.

In this program, an attempt is made to change the attitude and behavior of people in the group. It is used in building team efforts. This is done by introspection, self-criticism, and open arguments and through free and frank discussion so that one comes to know how others feel about him and his behavior.

It is a means of providing a mirror in which one can see his mental makeup, attitude, and behavior towards others. This will provide the best method of motivation for self-development. The objective of this training includes:

  • Better insight into one’s own behavior and the way one appears to others;
  • A better understanding of group processes;
  • Members learn more about themselves, especially their weakness and emotional stability;
  • Development of skills in diagnosing and intervening group processes;
  • Find a better method and means of behavior for effective interpersonal relationships without the aid of power over others.

T-group is a small discussion group without any leader. Trainer raises a question and encourages open discussion, which is unstructured. The focus is about feeling and mutual respect.

Here group members interact and then receive feedback on their behaviors from the trainer and the group members, who express their opinions freely and openly. The feedback may be positive and negative.

An example may make it clear.

“Mr. Rahim, I do not get a good feeling when you approach the topic the way you just did. Could we talk about it”?

Rahim may accept this comment and resolve to change his behavior. But he may also feel hurt and withdraw from the group.

The T-group process may;

  • Lead to personal anxieties and frustrations.
  • Lead to a mental breakdown.
  • It may make managers hypersensitive, which make them unable to take a hard decision for fear of hurting another.

But if properly managed, it can result in collaborative and supportive behavior. The following guidelines can help reduce potential harm and increase effectiveness:

  • Participants in T-group should be voluntary;
  • They should be screened and those who could be harmful should be expelled from this experience.;
  • Trainers should be carefully evaluated and their competence clearly established;
  • Potential participants should be informed about the goals and the process before they commit themselves to sensitivity training.

Computer-based training

Many companies are implementing computer-based training as an alternative to classroom training to accomplish the goal. Some of the reasons for this shift are demonstrated in the following beliefs, many companies hold about CBT:

  • Reduces trainee learning time
  • Reduces the cost of training
  • Provides instructional consistency
  • Affords privacy of learning
  • Allows the trainee to master learning
  • In a safe method for learning hazardous tasks • Increases access to training.