Different employee training & development methods

Every organization needs well-adjusted, trained and experienced people to perform its activities. As jobs in today’s dynamic organizations have become more complex, the importance of employee education has increased. Employee training is a learning experience, it seeks a relatively permanent change in employees that their improves job performance. Training involves changing skills, knowledge, attitudes, or behavior. This may means changing what employee know, how they work, or their attitudes toward their jobs, coworkers, managers, and the organization.

Managers, with HRM assistance, decide when employees need training and what form that training should take.

A.    On-the-Job Training Methods

1. Job instructions:

  • It is received directly on the job, and so it is often called “on-the-job” training (OJT).
  • It is used primarily to teach an employee how to do their current jobs.
  • A trainer, supervisor, or coworker serves as the instructor.

OJT includes several steps:

  1. The trainee receives an overview of the job, its purpose, and its desired outcomes, with an emphasis on the relevance of the training.
  2. Trainer demonstrates the job to give the employee a model to copy.
  3. Employee is allowed to mimic the trainer’s example.
  4. Demonstrations by trainer and practice by the trainee are repeated until the job is mastered.
  5. Employee performs the job without supervision.

2. Job rotation:

  • Job rotation involves moving employees to various positions in the organization to expand their skills, knowledge and abilities.
  • It can be either horizontal or vertical.
  1. Vertical job rotation is promoting a worker into a new position.
  2. Horizontal job rotation is short-term lateral transfer.

Benefits:

  • It is excellent method for broadening an individual’s exposure to company operations and for turning a specialist into a generalist.
  • Increase the individual’s experience
  • Allows an employee to absorb new information
  • Reduce boredom
  • Stimulate the development of new ideas.
  • Provide opportunities for a more comprehensive and reliable evaluation of the employee by supervisors.

3. Assistant-To Position:

  • Assistant-to positions allow employees with potential to work under and be coached by successful managers.
  • Working as staff assistants, perform many duties under watchful eye of a supportive coach.
  • Benefits:
    • Employee experience a wide variety of management activities
    • Groomed for the duties of next higher level position

4. Committee assignments:

  • Committee assignments provide opportunities to an employee for:
  1. Decision-making
  2. Learning by watching others
  3. Becoming more familiar with organizational members and problems

Temporary committee:

  • Act as a taskforce to delve into a particular problem, ascertain alternative solutions, and recommend a solution.
  • Temporary assignments can be interesting and rewarding to the employee’s growth.

Permanent committee:

  • Increases the employee’s exposure to other members of the organization
  • Broadens his/her understanding
  • Provide an opportunity to grow and
  • Make recommendations under the scrutiny of other committee members

5. Apprenticeships and Coaching:

  • Apprenticeships involve learning from a more experiences employee or employees.
  • It may be supplemented with off-the-job classroom training.
  • Assistantships and internships are similar to apprenticeships because they use high levels of participation by the trainee and have high transferability to the job.
  • Coach attempts to provide a model for the trainee to copy.
  • It is less formal than an apprenticeship program because there are few formal classroom sessions.
  • Coaching is handled by the supervisor or manager not by HR department.
  • Manager or another professional plays the role of mentor; give both skills and career advice.

B. Off-the-Job Training Methods

1. Lecture Courses & Seminars:

  • Traditional forms of instructions revolve around formal lecture courses and seminars.
  • Helps the individuals acquire knowledge and develop their conceptual and analytical abilities.
  • Many organizations offer these in-house, through outside vendors, or both.
  • Lecture courses and seminars benefit from today’s technology and are often offered in a distance-learning format.
  • Feedback and participation can be improved when discussion is permitted along with lecture process.
  • Benefits:
    • Relative economic method

2. Vestibules:

  • Learning tasks on the same equipment that one actually will use on the job but in simulated work environment.
  • Separate areas or vestibules are setup with equipment similar to that used on the job.
  • This arrangement allows transference, repetition, and participation.
  • Benefits:
    • Not disrupting normal operations

3. Role Playing and Behavior modeling:

  • Role-playing is a device that forces trainees to assume different identities.
  • For example, a male worker may assume the role of a female supervisor and a female supervisor may assume the role of a male worker. Then both may be given a typical work situation and told to respond, as they would expect the other to do.
  • It is used to diversity training, to change attitudes and also helps to develop the interpersonal skills.
  • Behavior can be learned, modified and altered through this method where individual is either “matching” or “copying” or  “imitating”, through the observation of some other individual.
  • It is an “observational learning” technique.
  • Learning takes place not through experience but through observing the others’ behavior.
  • The re-creation of the behavior may be videotaped so that trainer and the trainee can review and critique it.
  • Trainer and trainee observe the positive and negative consequences; the employee receives vicarious reinforcement that encourages the correct behavior.

4. Simulation:

  • Simulation refers to any artificial environment that attempts to closely mirror an actual condition.
  • Learning a job by actually performing the work
  • May include case studies/case analysis, experimental exercises/decision games and role-plays and group interactions and are intended to improve decision-making.
  • It is similar to vestibules, except that the simulator more often provides instantaneous feedback on performance.
  • Benefits:
    • Opportunities to attempt to create an environment similar to real situations manager face, without high costs for poor outcomes.
  • Disadvantage:
    • Difficult to duplicate the pressures and realities of actual decision-making on the job,
    • Individuals often act differently in real-life situations than do in simulated exercise.

4.1. Case-study:

  • Take actual experiences of organizations, these cases represent attempts to describe, as accurately as possible, real problems. Trainees study these cases to determine problems, analyze causes, develop alternative solutions, select what they believe to be the best solution, and implement it.
  • If cases are meaningful and similar to work-related situations, it means transference is there.
  • Participation can also increased by discussing these cases.
  • Benefits:
    • Provide stimulating discussions among participants
    • Excellent opportunities for individuals to defend their analytical and judgmental abilities.
    • Improving decision-making abilities within the constraints of limited information.

4.2. Decision Games/ role-playing:

  • Played on computer program,
  • Player makes decision, and computer determines the outcome in the context of the conditions under which it was programmed.
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to make decisions and to witness the implications of their decisions for other segments of the organization.
  • Role-playing allows participants to act out problems and to deal with real people.

5. Self-study & Programmed Learning:

  • Carefully planned instructional materials can be used to train and develop employees.
  • It is computer programs or printed booklets that contain a series of questions and answers.
  • After reading and answering a question, the reader gets immediate feedback. If right, the learner proceeds; if wrong, the reader is directed to review the accompanying materials.
  • Programmed materials provide learner participation, repetition, relevance, and feedback.
  • It ranges from manuals to prerecorded cassettes or videotapes.
  • Benefits: It is useful when employees are dispersed geographically or when requires little interaction.

6. Outdoor Training:

  • Outdoor training typically involves challenges, which teach trainees the importance of teamwork/working together.
  • It typically involves some major emotional and physical challenge.
  • Purpose is to see how employees react to the difficulties that nature presents to them. Do they “freak”? Or are they controlled and successful in achieving their goal?
  • Benefits: It reinforced the importance of working closely with one another, building trusting relationships, and succeeding as a member of a group.

About Abey Francis

Abey Francis is the founder of MBAKnol - A Blog about Management Theories and Practices - and he's always happy to share his passion for innovative management practices. You can found him on Google+ and Facebook. If you’d like to reach him, send him an email to: [email protected]
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