Training: Definition, Steps in Training Process

Training is an activity leading to skilled behavior, the process of teaching employees the basic skills they need to perform their jobs. The heart of a continuous effort designed to improve employee competency and organizational performance.

Training typically focuses on providing employees with specific skills or helping those correct deficiencies in their performance.

It is a short-term learning process that involves the acquisition of knowledge, sharpening of skills, concepts, rules, or changing of attitudes and behaviors to enhance the performance of employees.

After an employee is selected, placed and introduced in an organization he must be provided with training facilities so that he can perform his job efficiently and effectively.

So, Training is a social and continuous process of increasing skills, knowledge, attitudes and efficiency of employees for getting better performance in the organization.

Definition of Training

Training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an employee for performing the job assigned to him. Training has been defined by different scholars of management. Some important definitions of training are as under.

According to Garry Dessler, “Training is the process of teaching new employees the basic skills they need to perform their jobs”.

According to Jack Halloran, “Training is the process of transmitting and receiving information related to problem-solving”.

Edwin B. Flippo Said, “Training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a particular job”.

In the words of Dale S. Beach, “Training is the organized procedure by which people learn knowledge and improve skill for a definite purpose.”

In the words of Michael J. Jucius, “Training is a process by which the aptitudes, skills, and abilities of employees perform specific jobs are increasing.”

According to Edwin B. Flippo, “Training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skill of an employee for doing a particular job.”

In simple words, to provide the ability for the employee to perform a specific job is called training. Thus, the art, knowledge, and skill to accomplish a specific job in a specific way are called training. In simple words, to provide the ability for the employee to perform a specific job is called training.

Thus, the art, knowledge, and skill to accomplish a specific job in a specific way are called training. At all levels of organization training and development programs are needed in order to make qualitative improvement in the work of the employees.

Objectives of Training program

The chief aim of formal education for the manager is to increase his ability to learn from experience. The second aim is to increase his ability to help his subordinates to learn from experience.

According to McGregor, there are three different purposes for training.

  1. Acquiring Intellectual Knowledge.
  2. Acquiring Manual Skills.
  3. Acquiring Problem Solving Skills.

Acquiring Intellectual Knowledge

An electrical engineer may need more knowledge than he now possesses about circuit design. A new employee may require knowledge about company policies.

A foreman may require information about the new provisions in the labor agreement. The acquisition of knowledge is a fairly straight-forward process provided the individual wants the new knowledge. It can be made available to him in several ways.

However, if he does not want the knowledge, there is considerable difficulty getting him to learn it. In industry, attempts should be made to create a ‘felt need’ for new knowledge.

Acquiring Manual Skills

The acquisition of a manual skill requires practice or experience accompanied is feedback.

Pure trial and error method learning can be speeded up by guidance but the individual cannot learn unless he performs and receives cues which tell him about the success of his efforts. The necessary effort will be expended only if there is a felt-need on the part of the learner.

Acquiring Problem Solving Skills

Much of the manager’s work is solving problems. These include organizing his own and his subordinate’s activities, planning and a wide- range of other decision-making activities.

These are skills involved in diagnosing problems, interpreting relevant data, assessing alternative solutions and getting feedback concerning the effectiveness of the solution. These skills can be improved and classroom education is one method utilized for this purpose.

As with any skill, practice and feedback are essential for learning. The most widely used classroom method for improving problem-solving skills is the case method. In the hands of a skillful teacher, it can be highly effective.

It has been rightly said that man-to-man coaching on the job constitutes 80% of all training. Besides being timely and related to the concrete day-to-day experience, it has the special advantage of meeting the specific needs of each individual subordinate in the special situation.

Steps in Training Process/Phases of Training

Steps in Training Process/Phases of Training

  1. Decide If Training is Needed.
  2. Determine What Type of Training is Needed.
  3. Identifying Goals and Objectives.
  4. Implementing Training.
  5. Evaluation of the Training Program.

Step 1: Decide If Training is Needed

In order to compete effectively, firms must keep their employees well trained. The first step in the training process is a basic one, to determine whether a problem can be solved by training.

The first step in the Training process is to determine Training needs. The overall purpose of the assessment phase is to determine if training is needed and, if so, to provide the information required designing the training program.

Training is conducted for one or more of these reasons:

  • required legally or by order or regulation,
  • to improve job skills or move into a different position,
  • for an organization to remain competitive and profitable.

If employees are not performing their jobs properly, it is often assumed that training will bring them up to standard. This may not always be the case. Ideally, training should be provided before problems or accidents occur and should be maintained as part of quality control.

The assessment consists of three levels of analysis: organizational, task, and person.

  1. Organizational Analysis: It is an examination of the kinds of problems that an organization is experiencing and where they are located within an organization.
  2. Task/Operational Analysis: An operational analysis identifies the kinds of the skills and behaviors required of the incumbents for a given job and the standards of performance that must be met.
  3. Personnel Analysis: The objective of the personnel analysis is to examine how well individual employees are performing their jobs. Training should be given to those who need it. Assigning all employees to a training program, regardless of their skill levels, is a waste of organizational resources and create an unpleasant situation for employees who do not need training. The objectives of training must be clarified, related to the areas identified in the task analysis, and should be challenging, precise, achievable, and understood by all.

Step 2: Determine What Type of Training is Needed

The employees themselves can provide valuable information on the training they need. They know what they need/want to make them better at their jobs. Just ask them!

Also, regulatory considerations may require certain training in certain industries and/or job classifications.

Once the kind of training that is needed has been determined, it is equally important to determine what kind of training is not needed.

Training should focus on those steps on which improved performance is needed. This avoids unnecessary time lost and focuses the training to meet the needs of the employees.

Step 3: Identifying Goals and Objectives

Once the employees’ training needs have been identified, employers can then prepare for the training.

Clearly stated training objectives will help employers communicate what they want their employees to do, to do better, or to stop doing!

Learning objectives do not necessarily have to be written, but in order for the training to be as successful as possible, they should be clear and thought-out before the training begins.

Step 4: Implementing Training

Training should be conducted by professionals with knowledge and expertise in the given subject area.

Nothing is worse than being in a classroom with an instructor who has no knowledge of what they are supposed to be teaching! Use in-house, experienced talent or an outside professional best option.

The training should be presented so that its organization and meaning are clear to employees. An effective training program allows employees to participate in the training process and to practice their skills and/or knowledge.

Employees should be encouraged to become involved in the training process by participating in discussions, asking questions, contributing their knowledge and expertise, learning through hands-on experiences, and even through role-playing exercises.

Actually for making the training program effective the targeted group employee and the using of methods such as On-the-job or Off-the-job training should select first. The capacity and knowledge of trainers and their acceptance by the participants are of secondary importance.

  1. On the job: Training is administered at the actual work site using the actual work equipment
  2. Off the job: Training is administered away from the actual work site. It may be any prominent hall room or auditorium but the required training environment equipment and materials should be available or arranged there.

The training program that results from the assessment should be a direct response to an organizational problem or need. Approaches vary by location, presentation, and type.

Step 5: Evaluation of the Training Program

One way to make sure that the training program is accomplishing its goals is by using an evaluation of the training by both the trainees and the instructors Training should have, as one of its critical components, a method of measuring the effectiveness of the training.

Evaluations of the training program will help employers or supervisors determine the amount of learning achieved and whether or not an employee’s performance has improved on the job as a result.

Assess the program’s success or failures. The credibility of training is greatly enhanced when it can be shown that the organization has benefited tangibly from such programs.

Organizations have taken several approaches in attempting to determine the worth of specific programs.

In this phase, the effectiveness of the training is assessed.

Effectiveness can be measured in monetary or non-monetary terms. It is important that the training is assessed on how well it addresses the needs it was designed to address.

  • Participants Opinions: Evaluating a training program by asking the participants’ opinions of it is an inexpensive approach that provides immediate response and suggestions for improvements. The basic problem with this type of evaluation is that it is based on opinion rather than fact. In reality, the trainee may have learned nothing, but perceived that learning experiences have occurred.
  • The extent of Learning: Some organizations administer tests to determine what the participants in the training program have learned. The pretest, posttest, control group design is one evaluation procedure that may be used.
  • Behavioral Change: Tests may indicate fairly accurately what has been learned, but they give little insight into desired behavioral changes.
  • The accomplishment of Training Objectives: Still another approach to evaluating training programs involves determining the extent to which stated objectives have been achieved.
  • Benchmarking: Benchmarking utilizes exemplary practices of other organizations to evaluate and improve training programs. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of American and recently European and Indian firms engage in some sort of benchmarking.
  • A Case for Simplicity: Value is the measure of impact and positive change elicited by the training.

Advantages of Training Program

Training brings about benefit/ advantages both to the organization and employees. Let us have a look at these:

Advantages to the Organization

Goldstein and Gilliam also outlined six reasons why companies believe that investments in training can help them gain a competitive advantage.

  1. Increased efficiency of employees: An effective training program can make the employees of the company work in an effective manner. With training, people gain confidence and this confidence is seen in the output and results.
  2. Reduced supervision: An employee needs to be supervised when he works. When the employee has got sufficient training the amount of supervision required is less as mistakes are less. This reduces the workload of the supervisor.
  3. Less amount of wastage: The amount of wastage by an employee reduces a lot due to training and therefore if we take an account of the amount of wastage we find that the company has saved a lot of money.
  4. Reduced turnover: Proper training improves the chances of obtaining promotions and employees are happy because they have better opportunities. This will be lowering employee turnover intention and hence labor turnover in the company
  5. Helps in better functioning of the organization: Training always benefits employees, whether old or new. In the case of new employees, training helps them a lot. This is because new employees may not be aware of the functioning of the organization and training helps them to gain knowledge and insight into the working of the company.
  6. Better labor-management relations: Labor-management relations are very essential for any organization. When companies introduce training programs and prepare employees for future jobs and promotions they send out a message to the unions that they are interested in employee welfare. Due to this the unions also adopt a positive attitude and labor-management relations improve.

Advantages to the Employee

Contributing to the debate on the general benefits of employee training and development, McNamara (2008) stated numerous benefits.

A training program has the following advantages. Advantages to the Organization are:

  1. Self-confidence: Training leads to an increase in employee self-confidence. The person is able to adjust to his work environment and doesn’t feel humiliated in front of his seniors. This confidence leads to chances of better efforts in the future of the employees.
  2. Increased motivation levels: Training brings a positive attitude among employees and increases the motivation levels of the employees in the organization, thereby improving the results of the organization.
  3. High rewards: An effective training program helps an employee to take the benefit of the reward systems and incentives available in the company. Thus the employee is able to get these rewards, which in turn increases his motivation levels.
  4. Group efforts: An effective training program not only teaches an employee how to do his work but also trains him to work as a part of the group. Thus training program improves group efforts.
  5. Promotion: Effective training program increase performance and increase the chances of obtaining promotions. Many employees, even opt for a certain program so that they can help the employee improve his chances of promotions and obtaining higher positions in the organization.

Principles of Training

The training must be a continuous process; must be planned systematically in order to accomplish the desired results efficiently; must result in benefits both to the organization as well as employee( Planty, McCord, and Efferson, 1948).

According to Littlefield, C. I. and Rachel, R., in order for the training program to be effective, the following principles must form the basis for training programs:

  1. Training is most effective when the learning experience occurs under conditions that are identical to the actual conditions that occur on the job.
  2. Training is most effective if the supervisor, who is training the employees, is made responsible for the progress of the candidate and overall results of the training program.
  3. Training is most effective if the learner is given helpful, friendly and personal attention and instruction. This would create self-confidence in the employee and the desire to do better.

Identifying the Training Needs

Training needs analysis seeks to answer the questions, who if any, need training?

And what training do they need?

The questions may be very simple ones, but getting good answers to these questions constitute one of the most difficult steps in the total training process.

A training need exists when an individual lacks the knowledge or skills required for the execution of an assigned task satisfactorily.

The purpose of a training needs identification exercise, therefore, is to identify the gap between required and the actual competencies so as to determine the kinds of training that would help bridge the gap.

It is important to assess whether there is a need for training.

Two elements need consideration in carrying out a training needs analysis such as the job requirements and the person requirements.

At the same time, Robbins and Decenzo suggest that management can determine the training needs of an employee by answering four questions:

  1. What are the organization’s goals?
  2. What tasks must be completed to achieve these goals?
  3. What behaviors are necessary for each job incumbent to complete his assigned tasks?
  4. What deficiencies, if any, do incumbents have in the skills, knowledge or attitudes needed to perform the necessary behaviors?

These questions demonstrate the close link between human resources planning and determination of training needs. Based on the determination of the organization’s needs, the type of work that is to be done, and the type of skills and knowledge necessary to complete the work, a training program should be followed naturally.

Need for Training Policy

To ensure consistency in training and development function, the HR department of each organization develops a suitable training policy, defining the scope, objective, philosophy, and techniques. Such a training policy serves the following purposes:

  1. It defines what the organization intends to accomplish through training;
  2. It indicates the type of persons to be responsible for training functions;
  3. It identifies the formal and informal nature of training;
  4. It spells out the duration, time and place of training;
  5. It indicates the need for engaging outside institutions for training;
  6. It embraces and includes training in relation to the labor policies of the organization.

Methods for Determining Training Needs

HRM experts have identified the different methods for the identification of training needs.

These methods are briefly discussed below:

  1. Observation and analysis of job performance;
  2. Management recommendations;
  3. Staff conferences and recommendations;
  4. Analysis of job requirements;
  5. Consideration of current and projected changes;
  6. Surveys, reports, and inventories;

Once it has been determined that training is necessary, training goals must be established. Management should state what changes or results are sought for each employee.

These goals should be tangible, measurable and verifiable. Goals should be clear to both, management and employee. Both should know what is expected from the training effort.

What Is the Difference between Training and Education?

Training and education are majorly one and the same, the difference is that training is undertaken to acquire a particular skill while education aims at increasing one’s knowledge about something.

We were to go to school to get an education but y we can get training anywhere relevant to what we want to be trained at.
Training and education are both different facets of learning.

At first, it may be difficult to tell the difference between them, especially in today’s school system, but there are major differences in training and education. Their purpose, history, and methodology are all vastly different.

The training was originally practiced through guilds. Youngsters would be apprenticed to a master baker or builder and work under him in order to learn his trade. This was considered the proper method of learning for the lower and middle classes.

Education has its origins in the medieval university system. Young men from wealthy families would complete a course in theology or philosophy before studying his chosen profession. The theory of education also played a large role in the concept of the Renaissance man.

AttributeEducationTrainingDetermining Factors
Purpose of the Learning ExperienceAcquire or deepen mindset or professionAcquire new skills and knowledgeDo 1 want to be transformed into a different person or just be more skillful?
Evidence of Learning SuccessCourse grades, GPA

Testing,

Certification, Job Performance

How will others and 1 know 1 was successful with my learning experience?
CredentialsDegrees, Graduate CertificatesCertificates and LicensesDo 1 want to get a degree or a certificate?
Difficulty to LearnHarderEasierAm 1 ready to undertake a lengthy and hard learning process or can 1 just do something quickly?
Length of the Learning ProcessOne to three yearsTypically from one to five days or several weeksHow long do 1 expect the learning process to take?
Persistence of the Learning OutcomeLasts a lifetimeShort half-life, five years on averageHow long should 1 expect the results of this learning to last or remain current?
Style of LearningDraw out, mentoring by an instructorDrill in, developing skills, habits, practiceWhat can 1 expect my educational experience to be like?
Behavior After Learning Took PlaceActing after deep thought and analysis; broadActing out of new habits and skills, narrowHow will 1 behave after this learning experience?
ChangeSkillful at thinking Transformational deeper, more radicalSkillful at doing, shallower, more superficialWhat kind of change am 1 looking for?
End ResultMakes you different from others, thoughtful and mindful, educatedMake you the same as others with the same training measure upWhat am 1 looking for as an end result of mine? learning experience?
Institutions, Providing, Learning, ExperienceColleges and UniversitiesIn-house seminars, training companies, self-taughtWhere can 1 obtain this learning experience?
ExamplesColleges courses and degree programsTraining seminars, job trainingWhat are some examples of education and training?

Conclusion

In the age of globalization, knowledge is becoming a reliable source of sustained competitive advantage. It is becoming a basic capital and the trigger of development.

Modern organizations, therefore use their non-HR resources (money, time, energy, information, etc.) for permanent training and development of their human resources.

Since the organizational knowledge is largely located inside the human mind, i.e. the head of employees, as carriers of knowledge and activities, human resources are becoming the key factor of business success.

Organizational development is always conditioned by human knowledge and skills. This is why; contemporary organizations pay more and more attention to the development of their employees.

Thus, employee education and training are becoming an optimal answer to complex business challenges, and the management of the human resource is taking a central role in modern management.

Employees are hired based on their current knowledge. New employees may not be able to perform their assigned job satisfactorily. As time goes on knowledge becomes obsolete.

Often they must be trained to the duties they are expected to do. Even the experienced employees in a new job need the training to improve their performance.

Through the process of employee training and development, the management of human resources provides constant knowledge innovation, creates conditions for mutual knowledge and experience exchange, and proactive behavior- in this way contributing to competitive advantage and satisfaction of all participants in business procedures.

Training is not a luxury; it is a necessity if companies are to participate in the global electronic marketplaces by offering high- quality products and services.

Training is the process of providing required skills to the employee for doing the job effectively, skillfully and qualitatively. Training of employees is not continuous, but it is periodical and given in specified time. Generally, training is given by an expert or professional in the related field or job.

Thus, training is a process that tries to improve skills or add to the existing level of knowledge so that the employee is better equipped to do his present job or to mold him to be fit for a higher job involving higher responsibilities. It bridges the gap between what the employee has’& what the job demands.

Training is required at every stage of work and for every person at work. To keep one updated with the fast-changing technologies, concepts, values, and environment, training plays a vital role.

Training programs are also necessary for any organization for improving the quality of the work of the employees at all levels. It is also required when a person is moved from one assignment to another of a different nature.

Taking into account this context, this chapter aims at providing insight into the concept, need and methods of training, also areas of evaluation of training, retraining, and dimensions of organizational learning.