Different approaches to training needs assessment

What is need assessment?

“A training need exists when an employee lacks the knowledge or skill to perform an assigned task satisfactorily. It arises when there is a variation between what the employee is expected to do on the job and what the actual job performance is.”

To pinpoint the range of training needs and define their content, the HR department uses different approaches to needs assessment.

1. Survey:

  • Survey the potential trainees to identify specific topics about which they want to learn more.
  • It suggests that trainees are more likely to be receptive to the resulting programs when they are viewed as relevant.
  • The group’s expertise may be tapped through a group discussion, a questionnaire, the Delphi procedure, or a nominal group meeting.

2. Group recommendation:

The group’s expertise may be tapped through a group discussion, a questionnaire, the Delphi procedure, or a nominal group meeting.

i. Group discussion:

  • Resembles face-to-face interview technique, e.g., structured or unstructured, formal or informal, or somewhere in between.
  • Can be focused on job (role) analysis, group problem analysis, group goal setting, or any number of group tasks or themes (e.g., “leadership training needs of the board”).
  • Uses one or several of the familiar group facilitating techniques: brainstorming, nominal group process, force fields, consensus ranking, organizational mirroring, simulation, and sculpting.
  • Advantages:
  1. Permits on-the-spot synthesis of different viewpoints.
  2. Builds support for the particular service response that is ultimately decided on.
  3. Decreases client’s “dependence response” toward the service provider since data analysis is (or can be) a shared function.
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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.
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Development of Human Resource in an organization

Benefits/ Advantages of Human Resource Devolopment:

  • Development of current employees reduces the company’s dependence on hiring new workers.
  • If employees are developed, the job openings are more likely to be filled internally.
  • Promotions and transfers also show employees that they have a career, not just a job.
  • The employer benefits from increased continuity in operations and from employees who feel greater commitment to the firm.
  • Increase the productivity of employees.
  • It helps in the career development of organization and employees too.

Human resource development is also an effective way to meet several challenges, includes:

1. Employee obsolescence

  • Obsolescence results when an employee no longer possesses the knowledge or abilities needed to perform successfully.Or
  • It may results from a person’s failure to adapt to new technology, new procedures, and other changes. The more rapidly the environment changes, the more likely it is that employees will become obsolete.
  • Employers are reluctant to take strong action and fire obsolete employee, particularly employees who have been with the company a long time.
  • Proactively assessing the needs of employees and giving them programs to develop new skills can avoid employee obsolescence.
  • If these programs are designed reactively, after obsolescence occurs, they are less effective and more costly.
  • When an employee reaches a career plateau, obsolescence may be more likely.
  • A career plateau occurs when an employee does well enough no to be demoted or fired but not so well that s/he is likely to be promoted.
  • Motivation to stay current may be reduced when an employee realizes that s/he is at career plateau.
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Introduction to Organization Devolopment

Organizations change from time to time. Changes with respect to continuous improvements, diversity, and work process engineering require the organization to move forward through a process called organizational development.

Organization Development:

Definition: Organization development is a process that addresses system wide change in the organization.

Change agent:

  • Change agents are individuals responsible for fostering the change effort and assisting employees in adapting to changes
  • They are may be internal employees, or external consultants.

What is change?

Organization development efforts support changes that are usually made in four areas:

  • The organization’s systems
  • Technology
  • Processes
  • People

Two metaphors clarify the change process.

The calm waters metaphor: It describes unfreezing the status quo, change to a new state, and refreezing to ensure that the change is permanent. Kurt Lewin describes the status quo can be considered an equilibrium state. Unfreezing, necessary to move from this equilibrium, is achieved in one of three ways:

  1. The driving forces, which direct behavior away from the status quo, can be increased.
  2. The restraining forces, which hinder movement from the existing equilibrium, can be decreased.
  3. The two approaches can be combined.

Lewin’s three steps process treats change as a break in the organization’s equilibrium state. The status quo has been disturbed, and change is necessary to establish a new equilibrium.

The white-water rapids metaphor: The white-water rapids metaphor recognizes today’s business environment that is less stable/dynamic and not as predictable/uncertain.

Organization Devolopment Methods:

  • Organizational development facilitates long-term organization-wide changes.
  • Its focus is to constructively change attitudes and values among organizational members so that they can more readily adapt to and be more effective in achieving the new directions of the organization.
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Cross-cultural preperation in employee training programmes

“Cross-Cultural Preparation is the process of educating employees (and their families) who are given an assignment in a foreign country”.

Cross cultural preparation educates employees (expatriates) and their families who are to be sent to a foreign country To successful conduct business in the global marketplace, employees must understand the business practices and the cultural norms of difference countries.

Steps in cross-cultural preparation.

To prepare employees for cross-cultural assignments, companies need to provide cross-cultural training. Most U.S companies send employees overseas without any preparation. As a result, the number of employees who return home before completing their assignments is higher for u.s. companies than for European and Japanese companies. U.S companies lose more than $2 billion a year as a result of failed overseas assignments.

To succeed overseas, expatriates (employees on foreign assignments)need to be.

  1. Competent in their areas of expertise.
  2. Able to communicate verbally and nonverbally in the host country.
  3. Flexible, tolerant of ambiguity, and sensitive to cultural differences
  4. Motivated to succeed, able to enjoy the challenge of working in other countries and willing to learn about the host country’s culture, language and customs.
  5. Supported by their families..

Research suggests that the comfort of an expatriate’s spouse and family is the most important determinant of whether the employee will complete the assignment. This suggests that cross-cultural training may be effective only when expatriates personalitics predispose them to be successful in assignments in other cultures.

The key to a successful foreign assignment appears to be a combination of training and career management for the employee and family.… Read the rest

Factors influencing wage and salary structure of an organization

The wage policies of different organization vary some what. Marginal units pay the minimum necessary to attract the required number of kind of labor. Often, these units pay minimum wage rates required by labor legislation, and recruit marginal labor. At the other extreme, some units pay well about going rates in the labor market. They do so to attract and retain the highest caliber of labor force. Some managers believe in the economy of higher wages. They feel that, by paying high wages, they would attract better workers who will produce more than average worker in the industry. This greater production per employee means greater output per man hour. Hence, labor costs may turn those existing in firms using marginal labor. Some units pay high wages because of a combination of a favorable product market demand, higher ability to pay and the bargaining power of trade union. But a large number of them seek to be competitive in their wage programme, i.e., they aim at paying somewhere near the going rate in the labor they employ. Most units give greater weight to two wage criteria, viz, job requirements and the prevailing rates of wages in the labor market. Other factors, such as changes in the cost of living the supply and demand of labor, and ability to pay are accorded a secondary importance.

A sound wage policy is to adopt a job evaluation programme in order to establish fair differentials in wages based upon differences in job contents. Beside the basic factors provided by a job description and job evaluation, those that are usually taken into consideration for wage and salary administration are:

  • The organizations ability to pay
  • Supply and demand of labour
  • The prevailing market rate
  • The cost of living
  • Living wage
  • Productivity
  • Trade unions bargaining power
  • Job requirements
  • Managerial attitudes and
  • Psychological and sociological factors
  • Levels of skills available in the market

The organizations ability to pay: Wage increases should be given by those organizations which can afford them.… Read the rest