hr chapter 7

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Training consists of an organization’s planned efforts to help employees acquire job-related knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors, with the goal of applying these on the job. A training program may range from formal classes to one-on-one mentoring, and it may take place on the job or at remote locations. No matter what its form, training can benefit the organization when it is linked to organizational needs and when it motivates employees. This chapter describes how to plan and carry out an effective training program. We begin by discussing how to develop effective training in the context of the organization’s strategy. Next, we discuss how organizations assess employees’ training needs. We then review training methods and the process of evaluating a training program. The chapter concludes by discussing some special applications of training: orientation of new employees and the management of diversity.

Training Linked to Organizational Needs

The nature of the modern business environment makes training more important today than it ever has been. Rapid change, especially in the area of technology,
requires that employees continually learn new skills. The new psychological contract,
described in Chapter 2, has created the expectation that employees invest in their own career development, which requires learning opportunities. Growing reliance
on teamwork creates a demand for the ability to solve problems in teams, an
ability that often requires formal training.

Finally, the diversity of the U.S. population,
coupled with the globalization of business, requires
that employees be able to work well with people who are
different from them. Successful organizations often take
the lead in developing this ability.
With training so essential in modern organizations,
it is important to provide training that is effective. An
effective training program actually teaches what it is
designed to teach, and it teaches skills and behaviors that
will help the organization achieve its goals. To achieve
those goals, HR professionals approach training through

instructional design and
learning management system

figure 7.1 (189)

instructional design instructional design —a process of systematically developing training to meet specified needs. A complete instructional design process includes the steps shown in Figure 7.1. It begins with an assessment of the needs for training—what the organization requires that its people learn. Next, the organization ensures that employees are ready for training in terms of their attitudes, motivation, basic skills, and work environment. The third step is to plan the training program, including the program’s objectives, instructors, and methods. The organization then implements the program. Finally, evaluating the results of the training provides feedback for planning future training programs. learning management system To carry out this process more efficiently and effectively, a growing number of organizations are using a learning management system Learning management system(LMS),- a computer application that automates the administration, development, and delivery of a company’s training programs. Managers and employees can use the LMS to identify training needs and enroll in courses. LMSs can make training programs more widely available and help companies reduce travel and other costs by providing online training. Administrative tools let managers track course enrollments and program completion. The system can be linked to the organization’s performance management system to plan for and manage training needs, training outcomes, and associated rewards together

Needs Assessment

Instructional design logically should begin with a needs assessment,- the process of evaluating the organization, individual employees, and employees’ tasks to determine what kinds of training, if any, are necessary. As this definition indicates, the needs assessment answers questions in three broad areas: 1. Organization —What is the context in which training will occur? 2. Person —Who needs training? 3. Task —What subjects should the training cover? The answers to these questions provide the basis for planning an effective training program. A variety of conditions may prompt an organization to conduct a needs assessment. Management may observe that some employees lack basic skills or are performing poorly. Decisions to produce new products, apply new technology, or design new jobs should prompt a needs assessment because these changes tend to require new skills.

The decision to conduct a needs assessment also may be prompted by outside
forces, such as customer requests or legal requirements.
The outcome of the needs assessment is a set of decisions about how to address the
issues that prompted the needs assessment. These decisions do not necessarily include
a training program, because some issues should be resolved through methods other
than training.

For example, suppose a company uses delivery trucks to transport anesthetic gases to medical facilities, and a driver of one of these trucks mistakenly hooks up the supply line of a mild anesthetic from the truck to the hospital’s oxygen system, contaminating the hospital’s oxygen supply. This performance problem prompts a needs assessment. Whether or not the hospital decides to provide more training will depend partly on the reasons the driver erred. The driver may have hooked up the supply lines incorrectly because of a lack of knowledge about the appropriate line hookup, anger over a request for a pay raise being denied, or mislabeled valves for connecting the supply lines. Out of these three possibilities, only the lack of knowledge can be corrected through training. Other outcomes of a needs assessment might include plans for better rewards to improve motivation, better hiring decisions, and better safety precautions. The remainder of this chapter discusses needs assessment and then what the organization should do when assessment indicates a need for training. The possibilities for action include offering existing training programs to more employees; buying or developing new training programs; and improving existing training programs. Before we consider the available training options, let’s examine the elements of the needs assessment in more detail.

Organization Analysis

Organization Analysis Usually, the needs assessment begins with the organization analysis. • This is a process • for determining the appropriateness of training by evaluating the characteristics • of the organization. The organization analysis looks at training needs in light of the organization’s strategy, resources available for training, and management’s support for training activities. Training needs will vary depending on whether the organization’s strategy is based on growing or shrinking its personnel, whether it is seeking to serve a broad customer base or focusing on the specific needs of a narrow market segment, and various other strategic scenarios. An organization that concentrates on serving a niche market may need to continually update its workforce on a specialized skills set. A company that is cutting costs with a downsizing strategy may need to train employees who will be laid off in job search skills. The employees who remain following the downsizing may need cross-training so that they can handle a wider variety of responsibilities. For an example of a company where a commitment to training supports corporate strategy, see the "Best Practices" box. Anyone planning a training program must consider whether the organization has the budget, time, and expertise for training. For example, if the company is installing computer-based manufacturing equipment in one of its plants, it can ensure that it has the necessary computer-literate employees in one of three ways. • If it has the technical experts on its staff, they can train the employees affected by the change. • Or the company may use testing to determine which of its employees are already computer literate and then replace or reassign employees who lack the necessary skills. • The third choice is to purchase training from an outside individual or organization. Even if training fits the organization’s strategy and budget, it can be viable only if the organization is willing to support the investment in training. Managers increase the success of training when they support it through such actions as helping trainees see how they can use their newly learned knowledge, skills, and behaviors on the job. 5 Conversely, the managers will be most likely to support training if the people planning it can show that it will solve a significant problem or result in a significant improvement, relative to its cost. Managers appreciate training proposals with specific goals, timetables, budgets, and methods for measuring success.

Person Analysis

Person Analysis Following the organizational assessment, needs assessment turns to the remaining areas of analysis: person and task. The person analysis is a process for determining individuals’ needs and readiness for training. It involves answering several questions: • Do performance deficiencies result from a lack of knowledge, skill, or ability? (If so, • training is appropriate; if not, other solutions are more relevant.) • Who needs training? • Are these employees ready for training? The answers to these questions help the manager identify whether training is appropriate and which employees need training. In certain situations, such as the introduction of a new technology or service, all employees may need training. However, when needs assessment is conducted in response to a performance problem, training is not always the best solution. The person analysis is therefore critical when training is considered in response to a performance problem. In assessing the need for training, the manager should identify all the variables that can influence performance. The primary variables are the • person’s ability and skills, his or her attitudes and motivation, the organization’s input • (including clear directions, necessary resources, and freedom from interference and • distractions), performance feedback (including praise and performance standards), • and positive consequences to motivate good performance. Of these variables, only ability and skills can be affected by training. Therefore, before planning a training program, • it is important to be sure that any performance problem results from a deficiency • in knowledge and skills. Otherwise, training dollars will be wasted, because the • training is unlikely to have much effect on performance. • The person analysis also should determine whether employees are ready to undergo training. In other words, the employees to receive training not only should require additional knowledge and skill, but must be willing and able to learn. (After our discussion of the needs assessment, we will explore the topic of employee readiness in greater detail.)

Task Analysis

Task Analysis The third area of needs assessment is task analysis – • the process of identifying the tasks, knowledge, skills, and behaviors that training should emphasize. Usually, task analysis is conducted along with person analysis. Understanding shortcomings in performance usually requires knowledge about the tasks and work environment as well as the employee. To carry out the task analysis the HR professional looks at the conditions in which tasks are performed. These conditions include the equipment and environment of the job, time constraints (for example, deadlines), safety considerations, and performance standards. These observations form the basis for a description of work activities, or the tasks required by the person’s job. For a selected job, the analyst interviews employees and their supervisors to prepare a list of tasks performed in that job. Then the analyst validates the list by showing it to employees, supervisors, and other subject- matter experts and asking them to complete a questionnaire about the importance, frequency, and difficulty of the tasks. Table 7.1 is an example of a task analysis questionnaire for an electrical maintenance worker. For each task listed, the subjectmatter expert uses the scales to rate the task’s importance, frequency, and difficulty The information from these questionnaires is the basis for determining which tasks will be the focus of the training. The person or committee conducting the needs assessment must decide what levels of importance, frequency, and difficulty signal a need for training. Logically, training is most needed for tasks that are important, frequent, and at least moderately difficult. For each of these tasks, the analysts must identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the task. This information usually comes from interviews with subject-matter experts, such as employees who currently hold the job.

Readiness for Training

Readiness for Training Effective training requires not only a program that addresses real needs, but also a condition of employee readiness. Readiness for training- • is a combination of employee characteristics and positive work environment that permit training. The necessary employee characteristics include • ability to learn the subject matter, favorable attitudes toward the training, and motivation to learn. A positive work environment is one that encourages learning and avoids interfering with the training program.

Employee Readiness Characteristics

Employee Readiness Characteristics To be ready to learn, employees need basic learning skills, especially cognitive ability, which includes being able to use written and spoken language, solve math problems, and use logic to solve problems. Ideally, the selection process identified job candidates also the training associated with that job. However, recent forecasts of the skill levels of the U.S. workforce indicate that many companies will have to work with employees who lack basic skills. For example, they may have to provide literacy training or access to classes teaching basic skills before some employees can participate in jobrelated training. Employees learn more from training programs when they are highly motivated to learn—that is, when they really want to learn the content of the training program. Employees tend to feel this way if they believe they are able to learn, see potential benefits from the training program, are aware of their need to learn, see a fit between the training and their career goals, and have the basic skills needed for participating in the program. Managers can influence a ready attitude in a variety of ways. For example, they can provide feedback that encourages employees, establishes rewards for learning, and communicates with employees about the organization’s career paths and future needs.

Work Environment

Work Environment Readiness for training also depends on two broad characteristics of the work environment: situational constraints and social support. Situational constraints • are the limits on training’s effectiveness that arise from the situation or the conditions within the organization. Constraints can include • a lack of money for training, • lack of time for training or practicing, • and failure to provide proper tools and materials for learning or applying the lessons of training. Conversely, trainees are likely to apply what they learn if the organization gives them opportunities to use their new skills and if it rewards them for doing so. Social support • refers to the ways the organization’s people encourage training, • including giving trainees praise and encouraging words, sharing information about participating in training programs, and expressing positive attitudes toward the organization’s training programs. Table 7.2 summarizes some ways in which managers can support training. Support can also come from employees’ peers. The organization can formally provide peer support by establishing groups of employees who meet regularly to discuss their progress. For example, group members can share how they coped with challenges related to what they learned. Schlumberger, which provides oil field services sets up online "communities of practice," where geologists, physicists, managers, engineers, and other employees around the world can trade knowledge to solve problems. 10 Another way to encourage peer support is for the human resource department or others to publish a newsletter with articles relevant to training, perhaps including interviews with employees who successfully applied new skills. Finally, the organization can assign experienced employees as mentors to trainees, providing advice and support.

Planning the Training Program

Planning the Training Program Decisions about training are often the responsibility of a specialist in the organization’s training or human resources department. When the needs assessment indicates a need for training and employees are ready to learn, the person responsible for training should plan a training program that directly relates to the needs identified. Planning begins with • establishing objectives for the training program. • Based on those objectives, the planner decides who will provide the training, • What topics the training will cover, what training methods to use, and how to evaluate the training.

Objectives of the Program

Objectives of the Program Formally establishing objectives for the training program has several benefits . First, • a training program based on clear objectives will be more focused and more likely • to succeed. In addition • when trainers know the objectives, they can communicate them to the employees participating in the program. Employees learn best when they know what the training is supposed to accomplish. Finally down the road, establishing objectives provides a basis for measuring whether the program succeeded, as we will discuss later in this chapter. Effective training objectives have several characteristics: • They include a statement of what the employee is expected to do, the quality or level of performance that is acceptable, and the conditions under which the employee is to apply what he or she learned (for instance, physical conditions, mental stresses, or equipment failure). 11 • They include performance standards that are measurable. • They identify the resources needed to carry out the desired performance or outcome. Successful training requires employees to learn but also employers to provide the necessary resources. A related issue at the outset is who will participate in the training program. • Some training programs are developed for all employees of the organization or all members of a team. Other training programs identify individuals who lack desirable skills or have potential to be promoted, then provide training in the areas of need that are identified for the particular employees. When deciding whom to include in training, • the organization has to avoid illegal discrimination. The organization should not—intentionally or unintentionally—exclude members of protected groups, such as women, minorities, and older employees. During the training, all participants should receive equal treatment, such as equal opportunities for practice. In addition, the training program should provide reasonable accommodation for trainees with disabilities. The kinds of accommodations that are appropriate will vary according to the type of training and type of disability. One employee might need an interpreter, whereas another might need to have classroom instruction provided in a location accessible to wheelchairs.

In-House or Contracted Out?

In-House or Contracted Out? An organization can provide an effective training program, even if it lacks expertise in training. As shown in the "Did You Know?" box, many organizations use outside experts to develop and instruct training courses. Many companies and consultants provide training services to organizations. Community colleges often work with employers to train employees in a variety of skills. To select a training service, an organization can • mail several vendors a request for proposal (RFP), which is a document outlining the type of service needed, the type and number of references needed, the number of employees to be trained, the date by which the training is to be completed, and the date by which proposals should be received. A complete RFP also indicates funding for the project and the process by which the organization will determine its level of satisfaction. Putting together a request for proposal is time consuming but worthwhile because it helps the organization clarify its objectives, compare vendors, and measure results. Vendors that believe they are able to provide the services outlined in the RFP submit proposals that provide the types of information requested. The organization reviews the proposals to eliminate any vendors that do not meet requirements and to compare the vendors that do qualify. They check references and select a candidate, based on the proposal and the vendor’s answers to questions about its experience, work samples, and evidence that its training programs meet objectives. The cost of purchasing training from a contractor can vary substantially. In general, it is much costlier to purchase specialized training that is tailored to the organization’s unique requirements than to participate in a seminar or training course that teaches general skills or knowledge. Preparing a specialized training program can require a significant investment of time for material the consultant won’t be able to sell to other clients. Not surprisingly then, in tight economic times, companies have been shrinking the proportion of their training dollars spent on programs prepared by contractors. This has helped them lower the cost per hour of their training programs. 12 Even in organizations that send employees to outside training programs, someone in the organization may be responsible for coordinating the overall training program. Called training administration, this is typically the responsibility of a human resources professional. Training administration includes activities before, during, and after training sessions.

Choice of Training Methods

Choice of Training Methods Whether the organization prepares its own training programs or buys training from other organizations, it is important to verify that the content of the training relates directly to the training objectives. Relevance to the organization’s needs and objectives ensures that training money is well spent. Tying training content closely to objectives also improves trainees’ learning, because it increases the likelihood that the training will be meaningful and helpful. After deciding on the goals and content of the training program, planners must decide how the training will be conducted. As we will describe in the next section, a wide variety of methods is available. Training methods fall into the broad categories described in Table 7.3 : presentation, hands-on, and group-building methods. Training programs may use these methods alone or in combination. In general, the methods used should be suitable for the course content and the learning abilities of the participants. The following section explores the options in greater detail.

Training Methods

see figure 7.3

Training Methods A wide variety of methods is available for conducting training. Figure 7.2 shows the percentage of learner hours delivered to employees by each of several methods: instructor- led classrooms, online self-study, virtual classrooms, and other methods, including workbooks and videos. These other methods are being phased out at most companies as more and more training moves to Internet applications. As a result, today most training programs are taking place in a virtual or face-to-face classroom or using a combination of instructor-led and technology-based methods (blended methods).

Classroom Instruction

Classroom Instruction At school, we tend to associate learning with classroom instruction, and that type of training is most widely used in the workplace, too. Classroom instruction typically involves a trainer lecturing a group. Trainers often supplement lectures with slides, discussions, case studies, question-and-answer sessions, and role playing. Actively involving trainees enhances learning. When the course objectives call for presenting information on a specific topic to many trainees, classroom instruction is one of the least expensive and least timeconsuming ways to accomplish that goal. Learning will be more effective if trainers enhance lectures with job-related examples and opportunities for hands-on learning. For more ideas on creating presentations that meet course objectives, see the "HR How To" box. Modern technology has expanded the notion of the classroom to classes of trainees scattered in various locations. With distance learning, trainees at different locations attend programs online, using their computers to view lectures, participate in discussions, and share documents. Technology applications in distance learning may include videoconferencing, e-mail, instant messaging, document-sharing software, and Web cameras. General Mills uses these virtual classrooms at its smaller facilities, where offering a class on site is not cost-effective. Employees can sign up for online courses about specific products, general technical skills, and work functions such as maintenance procedures. 14 Distance learning provides many of the benefits of classroom training without the cost and time of travel to a shared classroom. The major disadvantage of distance learning is that interaction between the trainer and audience may be limited. To overcome this hurdle, distance learning usually provides a communications link between trainees and trainer. Also, on-site instructors or facilitators should be available to answer questions and moderate question-and-answer sessions.

Audiovisual Training

Audiovisual Training Presentation methods need not require trainees to attend a class. Trainees can also work independently, using course material prepared on CDs and DVDs or in workbooks. Audiovisual techniques such as overhead transparencies, PowerPoint or other presentation software, and videos or audio clips can also supplement classroom instruction. Some technologies make audiovisual training available as podcasts on portable devices such as PDAs and iPods or other portable audio players. As video-enabled devices become more widespread, the use of video files is likely to grow. At Capital One, employees enrolled in training courses receive iPods. They can download programs on topics such as leadership, conflict management, and customer service. To make the audio programs more engaging, some are written in the format of a radio call-in show. In classroom programs, role-play and other exercises are recorded and then made available for download to trainees’ iPods. 15 Challenges of using podcasts for learning include ensuring that employees know when and how to use the technology, encouraging collaboration and interaction among trainees, and ensuring that employees can obtain the necessary downloads from their particular location and with their mobile device. 16 Users of audiovisual training often have some control over the presentation. They can review material and may be able to slow down or speed up the lesson. Videos can show situations and equipment that cannot be easily demonstrated in a classroom. Another advantage of audiovisual presentations is that they give trainees a consistent presentation, not affected by an individual trainer’s goals and skills. The problems associated with these methods may include their trying to present too much material, poorly written dialogue, overuse of features such as humor or music, and drama that distracts from the key points. A well-written and carefully produced video can overcome these problems.

Computer-Based Training

Computer-Based Training Although almost all organizations use classroom training, new technologies are gaining in popularity as technology improves and becomes cheaper. With computer-based training, participants receive course materials and instruction distributed over the Internet or on CD-ROM. Often, these materials are interactive, so participants can answer questions and try out techniques, with course materials adjusted according to participants’ responses. Online training programs may allow trainees to submit questions via e-mail and to participate in online discussions. Multimedia capabilities enable computers to provide sounds, images, and video presentations, along with text. Computer-based training is generally less expensive than putting an instructor in a classroom of trainees. The low cost to deliver information gives the company flexibility in scheduling training, so that it can fit around work requirements. Training can be delivered in smaller doses, so material is easier to remember. Trainees often appreciate the multimedia capabilities, which appeal to several senses, and the chance to learn from experts anywhere in the world. Finally, it is easier to customize computerbased training for individual learners. Current applications of computer-based training can extend its benefits: • E-learning involves receiving training via the Internet or the organization’s intranet, typically through some combination of Web-based training modules, distance learning, and virtual classrooms. E-learning uses electronic networks for delivering and sharing information, and it offers tools and information for helping trainees improve performance. Training programs may include links to other online information resources and to trainees and experts for collaboration on problem solving. The e-learning system may also process enrollments, test and evaluate participants, and monitor progress. Ritz Camera Centers uses e-learning to build selling skills and keep employees up-to-date on product information. With employees widely dispersed among its stores and working different hours, e-learning makes training available to everyone and verifies (through online quizzes at the end of each module) that employees are learning. 18 • Electronic performance support systems (EPSSs) provide access to skills training, information, and expert advice when a problem occurs on the job. 19 As employees need to learn new skills, they can use the EPSS, which gives them access to the particular information they need, such as detailed instructions on how to perform an unfamiliar task. Using an EPSS is faster and more relevant than attending classes, even classes offered online. The best e-learning combines the advantages of the Internet with the principles of a good learning environment. It takes advantage of the Web’s dynamic nature and ability to use many positive learning features, including hyperlinks to other training sites and content, control by the trainee, and ability for trainees to collaborate.

On-the-Job Training and apprenticeship table 7.4

On-the-Job Training Although people often associate training with classrooms, much learning occurs while employees are performing their jobs. On-the-job training (OJT)- refers to training methods in which a person with job experience and skill guides trainees in practicing job skills at the workplace. This type of training takes various forms, including apprenticeships and internships. An apprenticeship- is a work-study training method that teaches job skills through a combination of structured on-the-job training and classroom training. The OJT component of an apprenticeship involves the apprentice assisting a certified tradesperson (a journeyman) at the work site. Typically, the classroom training is provided by local trade schools, high schools, and community colleges. Government requirements for an apprenticeship program vary by occupation, but programs generally range from one to six years, with each year including 2,000 hours of on-the-job training plus at least 144 hours of classroom instruction. Some apprenticeship programs are sponsored by individual companies, others by employee unions. As shown in the left column of Table 7.4 , most apprenticeship programs are in the skilled trades, such as plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work. For trainees, a major advantage of apprenticeship is the ability to earn an income while learning a trade. In addition, training through an apprenticeship is usually effective because it involves hands-on learning and extensive practice. At its manufacturing facility in Toledo, Ohio, Libbey

Glass has apprenticeship programs in mold making, machine repair, millwrighting,
and maintenance repair. The program develops employees who are open to change,
enables Libbey to use employees rather than outsource work, helps the company
attract ambitious workers, and lets the company tailor training and work experiences
to meet its specific needs.

An internship is on-the-job learning sponsored by an educational institution
as a component of an academic program. The sponsoring school works with local
employers to place students in positions where they can gain experience related to
their area of study. For example, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
(IPFW) has partnered with Sweetwater Sound to expand IPFW’s music technology
program. Sweetwater, which combines recording services at its headquarters with a
giant music retailing business, offers internships to juniors and seniors in the music
technology program. In addition, IPFW and Sweetwater share facilities, and experts
from Sweetwater serve as adjunct professors, teaching film scoring, recording arts, and
other courses.

Many internships prepare students for professions such as those listed
in the right column of Table 7.4 .
To be effective, OJT programs should include several characteristics:

• The organization should issue a policy statement describing the purpose of OJT • and emphasizing the organization’s support for it. • The organization should specify who is accountable for conducting OJT. This • accountability should be included in the relevant job descriptions. • The organization should review OJT practices at companies in similar industries. • Managers and peers should be trained in OJT principles. • Employees who conduct OJT should have access to lesson plans, checklists, procedure • manuals, training manuals, learning contracts, and progress report forms. • Before conducting OJT with an employee, the organization should assess the • employee’s level of basic skills. •


Simulations A simulation -is a training method that represents a real-life situation, with trainees making decisions resulting in outcomes that mirror what would happen on the job. Simulations enable trainees to see the impact of their decisions in an artificial, riskfree environment. They are used for teaching production and process skills as well as management and interpersonal skills. Simulations used in training include • call centers stocked with phones and reference materials, as well as mockups of houses used for training cable installers. Simulators must have elements identical to those found in the work environment. The simulator needs to respond exactly as equipment would under the conditions and response given by the trainee. For this reason, simulators are expensive to develop and need constant updating as new information about the work environment becomes available. Still, they are an excellent training method when the risks of a mistake on the job are great. Trainees do not have to be afraid of the impact of wrong decisions when using the simulator, as they would be with on-the-job training. Also, trainees tend to be enthusiastic about this type of learning and to learn quickly, and the lessons are generally related very closely to job performance. Given these benefits, this training method is likely to become more widespread as its development costs fall into a range more companies can afford

avatars and virtual reality

When simulations are conducted online, trainees often participate by creating avatars,- or computer depictions of themselves, which they manipulate onscreen to play roles as workers or other participants in a job-related situation. Stapoil, a Norwegian oil company, has an oil platform in Second Life that allows trainees’ avatars to walk around it. Stapoil uses the oil platform for safety training. It catches fire, and employees have to find lifeboats to exit the platform safely. Virtual reality -is a computer-based technology that provides an interactive, three-dimensional learning experience. Using specialized equipment or viewing the virtual model on a computer screen, trainees move through the simulated environment and interact with its components. Devices relay information from the environment to the trainees’ senses. For example, audio interfaces, gloves that provide a sense of touch, treadmills, or motion platforms create a realistic but artificial environment. Devices also communicate information about the trainee’s movements to a computer. Virtual reality applications are as diverse as surgery and welding. 26 In the simulated environment being constructed at the Jump Trading Simulation and Conference Education Center at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, doctors will manipulate computerized surgical instruments as they practice new procedures on mannequins. In industry, students learning to weld can practice with a virtual welding system called VRTEX 360, which uses monitors on a virtual welding gun and helmet to gather data for feedback after training exercises are complete. The VRTEX 360 not only offers a safe and economical alternative to real welding projects, but it also is eco-

Business Games and Case Studies

Business Games and Case Studies Training programs use business games and case studies to develop employees’ management skills. A case study is a detailed description of a situation that trainees study and discuss. Cases are designed to develop higher-order thinking skills, such as the ability to analyze and evaluate information. They also can be a safe way to encourage trainees to take appropriate risks, by giving them practice in weighing and acting on uncertain outcomes. There are many sources of case studies, including Harvard Business School, the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia, and McGraw-Hill publishing company. With business games, trainees gather information, analyze it, and make decisions that influence the outcome of the game. For instance, managers at NetApp participated in a game where they assumed the roles of the top executives of an imaginary company (modeled after NetApp). Five-person teams competed to produce the greatest sales and profits as the game presented them with one challenge after another. At the end of the simulation, the participants discussed the impact of the decisions they had made along the way. 27 Games stimulate learning because they actively involve participants and mimic the competitive nature of business. A realistic game may be more meaningful to trainees than presentation techniques such as classroom instruction. Training with case studies and games requires that participants come together to discuss the cases or the progress of the game. This requires face-to-face or electronic meetings. Also, participants must be willing to be actively involved in analyzing the situation and defending their decisions.

Behavior Modeling

Behavior Modeling Research suggests that one of the most effective ways to teach interpersonal skills is through behavior modeling. This involves training sessions in which participants observe other people demonstrating the desired behavior, then have opportunities to practice the behavior themselves. For example, a training program could involve several days of four-hour sessions, each focusing on one interpersonal skill, such as communicating or coaching. At the beginning of each session, participants hear the reasons for using the key behaviors; then they watch a video of a model performing the key behaviors. They practice through role-playing and receive feedback about their performance. In addition, they evaluate the performance of the model in the video and discuss how they can apply the behavior on the job.

Experiential Programs

Experiential Programs To develop teamwork and leadership skills, some organizations enroll their employees in a form of training called experiential programs. In experiential programs-, participants learn concepts and then apply them by simulating the behaviors involved and analyzing the activity, connecting it with real-life situations. Example In France, some businesses are signing up their managers to attend cooking schools, where they whip up a gourmet meal together. Jacques Bally, who works for a school run by one of France’s top chefs, says cooking is a great way to learn teamwork: "It’s like in any squad, everyone is responsible for playing their part; they have their own tasks but a common objective—and if they want to eat in the end, then they have to get the meal ready." Experiential training programs should follow several guidelines. A program should be related to a specific business problem. Participants should feel challenged and move outside their comfort zones but within limits that keep their motivation strong and help them understand the purpose of the program. Adventure learning One form of experiential program, called adventure learning, uses challenging, structured outdoor activities, which may include difficult sports such as dogsledding or mountain climbing. Other activities may be structured tasks like climbing walls, completing rope courses, climbing ladders, or making "trust falls" (in which each trainee stands on a table and falls backward into the arms of other group members). The impact of adventure learning programs has not been rigorously tested, but participants report they gained a greater understanding of themselves and the ways they interact with their co-workers. One key to the success of such programs may be that the organization insist that entire work groups participate together. This encourages people to see, discuss, and correct the kinds of behavior that keep the group from performing well. The "HR Oops!" box shows one potential limitation of adventure learning. Before requiring employees to participate in experiential programs, the organization should consider the possible drawbacks. Because these programs are usually physically demanding and often require participants to touch each other, companies face certain risks. Some employees may be injured or may feel that they were sexually harassed or that their privacy was invaded. Also, the Americans with Disabilities Act (discussed in Chapter 3) raises questions about requiring employees with disabilities to participate in physically demanding training experiences

Team Training

Coordination training

Team leader training

Team Training A possible alternative to experiential programs is team training, which coordinates the performance of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. An organization may benefit from providing such training to groups when group members must share information and group performance depends on the performance of the individual group members. Examples include the military, nuclear power plants, and commercial airlines. In those work settings, much work is performed by crews, groups, or teams. Success depends on individuals’ coordinating their activities to make decisions, perhaps in dangerous situations. Ways to conduct team training include cross-training and coordination training. In cross-training • team members understand and practice each other’s skills so that they are prepared to step in and take another member’s place. In a factory, for example, production workers could be cross-trained to handle all phases of assembly. This enables the company to move them to the positions where they are most needed to complete an order on time. Coordination training • trains the team in how to share information and decisions to obtain the best team performance. This type of training is especially important for commercial aviation and surgical teams. Both of these kinds of teams must monitor different aspects of equipment and the environment at the same time sharing information to make the most effective decisions regarding patient care or aircraft safety and performance. To improve the performance of its ramp employees, United Airlines arranged for them to attend Pit Instruction & Training, near Charlotte, North Carolina. The training program uses a quarter-mile racetrack and pit road to train NASCAR pit crews, but it also provides team training to companies that want their teams to work as efficiently together as a NASCAR pit crew. In United’s training program, the ramp workers actually work on race cars—changing tires, filling gas tanks, and so on. The trainers take videos, time them, and deliver feedback on their performance as they face challenges such as staff shortages or a parking spot strewn with lug nuts. The goal is for the ramp workers to develop skills in organizing, communicating, and standardizing their work. 32 Training may also target the skills needed by the teams’ leaders. Team leader training • refers to training people in the skills necessary for team leadership. For example, the training may be aimed at helping team leaders learn to resolve conflicts or coordinate activities.

Action Learning

Action Learning Another form of group building is action learning- In this type of training, teams or work groups get an actual problem, work on solving it and commit to an action plan, and are accountable for carrying out the plan. Ideally, the project is one for which the efforts and results will be visible not only to participants but also to others in the organization. The visibility and impact of the task are intended to make participation exciting, relevant, and engaging. Example At General Electric, action learning has included projects aimed at analyzing the market potential of various countries with fast-developing markets. To heighten the learning, organizations can get their best leaders involved as mentors and coaches to the participants. The effectiveness of action learning has not been formally evaluated. This type of training seems to result in a great deal of learning, however, and employees are able to apply what they learn because action learning involves actual problems the organization is facing. The group approach also helps teams identify behaviors that interfere with problem solving.

Implementing the Training Program:
Principles of Learning

Learning permanently changes behavior. For employees to acquire knowledge and
skills in the training program and apply what they have learned in their jobs, the
training program must be implemented in a way that applies what we know about
how people learn. Researchers have identified a number of ways employees learn
best. Table 7.5 summarizes ways that training can best encourage learning. In general,
effective training communicates learning objectives clearly, presents information
in distinctive and memorable ways, and helps trainees link the subject matter to
their jobs.

Employees are most likely to learn when training is linked to their current job experiences and tasks. There are a number of ways trainers can make this link. Training sessions should present material using familiar concepts, terms, and examples. As far as possible, the training context—such as the physical setting or the images presented on a computer—should mirror the work environment. Along with physical elements, the context should include emotional elements. In the earlier example of training store personnel to handle upset customers, the physical context is more relevant if it includes trainees acting out scenarios of personnel dealing with unhappy customers. The role-play interaction between trainees adds emotional realism and further enhances learning. To fully understand and remember the content of the training, employees need a chance to demonstrate and practice what they have learned. Trainers should provide ways to actively involve the trainees, have them practice repeatedly, and have them complete tasks within a time that is appropriate in light of the learning objectives. Practice requires physically carrying out the desired behaviors, not just describing them. Practice sessions could include role-playing interactions, filling out relevant forms, or operating machinery or equipment to be used on the job. The more the trainee practices these activities, the more comfortable he or she will be in applying the skills on the job. People tend to benefit most from practice that occurs over several sessions, rather than one long practice session. 36 For complex tasks, it may be most effective to practice a few skills or behaviors at a time, then combine them in later practice sessions. Trainees need to understand whether or not they are succeeding. Therefore, training sessions should offer feedback. Effective feedback focuses on specific behaviors and is delivered as soon as possible after the trainees practice or demonstrate what they have learned. 37 One way to do this is to videotape trainees, then show the video while indicating specific behaviors that do or do not match the desired outcomes of the training. Feedback should include praise when trainees show they have learned material, as well as guidance on how to improve. Well-designed training helps people remember the content. Training programs need to break information into chunks that people can remember. Research suggests that people can attend to no more than four to five items at a time. If a concept or procedure involves more than five items, the training program should deliver information in shorter sessions or chunks. 38 Other ways to make information more memorable include presenting it with visual images and practicing some tasks enough that they become automatic. Written materials should have an appropriate reading level. A simple way to assess readability —the difficulty level of written materials—is to look at the words being used and at the length of sentences. In general, it is easiest to read short sentences and simple, standard words. If training materials are too difficult to understand, several adjustments can help. The basic approach is to rewrite the material looking for ways to simplify it. • Substitute simple, concrete words for unfamiliar or abstract words. • Divide long sentences into two or more short sentences. • Divide long paragraphs into two or more short paragraphs. • Add checklists (like this one) and illustrations to clarify the text. Another approach is to substitute video, hands-on learning, or other nonwritten methods for some of the written material. A longer-term solution is to use tests to identify employees who need training to improve their reading levels and to provide that training first.

Measuring Results of Training

Measuring Results of Training After a training program ends, or at intervals during an ongoing training program, organizations should ensure that the training is meeting objectives. The stage to prepare for evaluating a training program is when the program is being developed. Along with designing course objectives and content, the planner should identify how to measure achievement of objectives. Depending on the objectives, the evaluation can use one or more of the measures shown in Figure 7.3 : trainee satisfaction with the program, knowledge or abilities gained, use of new skills and behavior on the job (transfer of training), and improvements in individual and organizational performance. The usual way to measure whether participants have acquired information is to administer tests on paper or electronically. Trainers or supervisors can observe whether participants demonstrate the desired skills and behaviors. Surveys measure changes in attitude. Changes in company performance have a variety of measures, many of which organizations keep track of for preparing performance appraisals, annual reports, and other routine documents in order to demonstrate the final measure of success shown in Figure 7.3 : return on investment.

Evaluation Methods and transfer of training

Evaluation of training should look for transfer of training- or on-the-job use of
knowledge, skills, and behaviors learned in training.

Transfer of training requires that
employees actually learn the content of the training program and that the necessary
conditions are in place for employees to apply what they learned. Thus, the assessment
can look at whether employees have an opportunity to perform the skills related
to the training. The organization can measure this by asking employees three questions
about specific training-related tasks:

Evaluation Methods Evaluation of training should look for transfer of training- or on-the-job use of knowledge, skills, and behaviors learned in training. Transfer of training requires that employees actually learn the content of the training program and that the necessary conditions are in place for employees to apply what they learned. Thus, the assessment can look at whether employees have an opportunity to perform the skills related to the training. The organization can measure this by asking employees three questions about specific training-related tasks: 1. Do you perform the task? 2. How many times do you perform the task? 3. To what extent do you perform difficult and challenging learned tasks? Frequent performance of difficult training-related tasks would signal great opportunity to perform. If there is low opportunity to perform, the organization should conduct further needs assessment and reevaluate readiness to learn. Perhaps the organization does not fully support the training activities in general or the employee’s supervisor does not provide opportunities to apply new skills. Lack of transfer can also mean that employees have not learned the course material. The organization might offer a refresher course to give trainees more practice. Another reason for poor transfer of training is that the content of the training may not be important for the employee’s job. Assessment of training also should evaluate training outcomes, that is, what (if anything) has changed as a result of the training. The relevant training outcomes are the ones related to the organization’s goals for the training and its overall performance. Possible outcomes include the following: Information such as facts, techniques, and procedures that trainees can recall after the training. • Skills that trainees can demonstrate in tests or on the job. • Trainee and supervisor satisfaction with the training program. • Changes in attitude related to the content of the training (for example, concern • for safety or tolerance of diversity). • Improvements in individual, group, or company performance (for example, greater • customer satisfaction, more sales, fewer defects).

Training is a significant part of many organizations’ budgets. Therefore, economic
measures are an important way to evaluate the success of a training program.

Training is a significant part of many organizations’ budgets. Therefore, economic measures are an important way to evaluate the success of a training program. Businesses that invest in training want to achieve a high return on investment —the monetary benefits of the investment compared to the amount invested, expressed as a percentage. For example, IBM’s e-learning program for new managers, Basic Blue, costs $8,708 per manager. 39 The company has measured an improvement in each new manager’s performance worth $415,000. That gives IBM a benefit of $415,000 − $8,708 = $406,292 for each manager. This is an extremely large return on investment: $406,292/$8,708 = 46.65, or 4,665 percent! In other words, for every $1 IBM invests in Basic Blue, it receives almost $47. For any of these methods, the most accurate but most costly way to evaluate the training program is to measure performance, knowledge, or attitudes among all employees before the training and then train only part of the employees. After the training is complete, the performance, knowledge, or attitudes are again measured, and the trained group is compared with the untrained group. A simpler but less accurate way to assess the training is to conduct the pretest and posttest on all trainees, comparing their performance, knowledge, or attitudes before and after the training. This form of measurement does not rule out the possibility that change resulted from something other than training (for example, a change in the compensation system). The simplest approach is to use only a posttest. Use of only a posttest can show if trainees have reached a specified level of competency, knowledge, or skill. Of course, this type of measurement does not enable accurate comparisons, but it may be sufficient, depending on the cost and purpose of the training.

Applying the Evaluation

Applying the Evaluation The purpose of evaluating training is to help with future decisions about the organization’s training programs. Using the evaluation, the organization may identify a need to modify the training and gain information about the kinds of changes needed. The organization may decide to expand on successful areas of training and cut back on training that has not delivered significant benefits. At the Mayo Clinic, evaluation of training for new managers helped the organization select the most cost-effective method. Mayo had determined that new managers needed training in management skills. Coaching would be more expensive than classes, but would it be more effective? The organization tried both forms of training with two test groups of managers. Then it assessed trainees’ satisfaction with the program and the managers’ knowledge and performance after the program. There was no statistically significant difference in these measures between the two groups, so Mayo decided to proceed with the less costly method, classroom training. 4

Applications of Training
Two training applications that have become widespread among U.S. companies are
orientation of new employees and training in how to manage workforce diversity.

Orientation of New Employees

Applications of Training Two training applications that have become widespread among U.S. companies are orientation of new employees and training in how to manage workforce diversity. Orientation of New Employees Orientation Training designed to prepare employees to perform their jobs effectively, learn about their organization, and establish work relationships. Many employees receive their first training during their first days on the job. This training is the organization’s orientation program—its training designed to prepare employees to perform their job effectively, learn about the organization, and establish work relationships. Organizations provide for orientation because, no matter how realistic the information provided during employment interviews and site visits, people feel shock and surprise when they start a new job. 41 Also, employees need to become familiar with job tasks and learn the details of the organization’s practices, policies, and procedures. The objectives of orientation programs include making new employees familiar with the organization’s rules, policies, and procedures. Table 7.6 summarizes the content of a typical orientation program. Such a program provides information about the overall company and about the department in which the new employee will be working. The topics include social as well as technical aspects of the job. Miscellaneous information helps employees from out of town learn about the surrounding community. At Randstad North America, a staffing services company, orientation for new staffing agents takes place over 16 weeks. To get basic facts about their job, new employees use online resources, while classroom instruction focuses on understanding the Randstad culture. District managers give presentations on the company’s culture, job expectations, selling, performance, and bonus plans. Trainees shadow more experienced co-workers, and managers provide coaching. The company credits this orientation program with enabling agents to increase sales by $4 million. 42 Orientation programs may combine various training methods such as printed and audiovisual materials, classroom instruction, on-the-job training, and e-learning. Decisions about how to conduct the orientation depend on the type of material to be covered and the number of new employees, among other factors

Diversity Training

Diversity Training In response to Equal Employment Opportunity laws and market forces, many organizations today are concerned about managing diversity—creating an environment that allows all employees to contribute to organizational goals and experience personal growth. This kind of environment includes access to jobs as well as fair and positive treatment of all employees. Chapter 3 described how organizations manage diversity by complying with the law. Besides these efforts, many organizations provide training designed to teach employees attitudes and behaviors that support the management of diversity, such as appreciation of cultural differences and avoidance of behaviors that isolate or intimidate others. Training designed to change employee attitudes about diversity and/or develop skills needed to work with a diverse workforce is called diversity training. These programs generally emphasize either attitude awareness and change or behavior change. Programs that focus on attitudes have objectives to increase participants’ awareness of cultural and ethnic differences, as well as differences in personal characteristics and physical characteristics (such as disabilities). These programs are based on the assumption that people who become aware of differences and their stereotypes about those differences will be able to avoid letting stereotypes influence their interactions with people. Many of these programs use video and experiential exercises to increase employees’ awareness of the negative emotional and performance effects of stereotypes and resulting behaviors on members of minority groups. A risk of these programs—especially when they define diversity mainly in terms of race, ethnicity, and sex—is that they may alienate white male employees, who conclude that if the company values diversity more, it values them less. 43 Diversity training is more likely to get everyone onboard if it emphasizes respecting and valuing all the organization’s employees in order to bring out the best work from everyone to open up the best opportunities for everyone. Programs that focus on behavior aim at changing the organizational policies and individual behaviors that inhibit employees’ personal growth and productivity. Sometimes these programs identify incidents that discourage employees from working up to their potential. Employees work in. groups to discuss specific promotion opportunities or management practices that they believe were handled unfairly. Another approach starts with the assumption that all individuals differ in various ways and teaches skills for constructively handling the communication barriers, conflicts, and misunderstandings that necessarily arise when different people try to work together. 44 Trainees may be more positive about receiving this type of training than other kinds of diversity training. Finally, some organizations provide diversity training in the form of cultural immersion, sending employees directly into communities where they have to interact with persons from different cultures, races, and nationalities. Participants might talk with community members, work in community organizations, or learn about events that are significant to the community they visit. Pepsi addresses behavior change at the highest level of the organization. Senior executives are assigned to be sponsors for specific employee groups, including African Americans, Latinos, Asians, women, white males, women of color, disabled employees, and employees who are gay, lesbian, or transgendered. The executives are responsible for understanding the needs of their assigned group, for identifying talent, and for mentoring at least three of these employees. 45 Although many organizations have used diversity training, few have provided programs lasting more than a day, and few have researched their long-term effectiveness. 46 The little research that exists on the subject has provided no support for a direct link between diversity programs and business success, but there is evidence that some characteristics make diversity training more effective. 47 Most important, the training should be tied to business objectives, such as understanding customers. The support and involvement of top management, and the involvement of managers at all levels, also are important. Diversity training should emphasize learning behaviors and skills, not blaming employees. Finally, the program should help employees see how they can apply their new skills on the job, deliver rewards for performance, be tied to organizational policies and practices that value diversity, and include a way to measure the success of the training. An example of a company that gets it right is Sodexho USA, a food and facilities management company, which provides diversity training at all levels. Senior executives participate in classroom training reinforced with community involvement and mentoring relationships. They learn how valuing diversity helps the company meet business challenges, and they are assessed for meeting targets to hire and promote a diverse group of employees, as well as for participation in training, mentoring, and community outreach. Managers can participate in learning labs that address topics such as cross-cultural communications and generational differences in the workplace. Employees have opportunities to learn diversity-related skills relevant to their jobs, such as how to sell to diverse clients or how to recruit diverse employees. Significantly, Sodexho also makes an effort to measure the results of these programs. It has found, for example, that its mentoring program has made a measurable difference in the productivity and retention of female employees and employees of color.

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