Employee Training – Learning the Skills and Behaviours of a Job

     Employee training is the planned effort of an organization to help employees learn the job related behaviours and skills they will need to do their job properly. It is a set of planned activities that the organization will have their employees complete in order to increase their job knowledge and skills and to have them get accustomed to the attitudes and social atmosphere of the company. It will help the employee to be familiar with the goals of the organization and the job requirements.
There are typical steps that go into a training program. These are outlined below.

1) Conduct Needs Assessment:
     A need is described as a “gap” between what is currently known and what will be needed now and in the future. These gaps in knowledge could be between what an organization expects to happen and what actually does, how employees are performing on the job and how the organization desires them to perform, and existing skills and desired skill level.

In order to conduct an assessment there are some analyses that must be done.

* An organizational analyses determines the effectiveness of an organization, where training is needed and under what conditions the training will be conducted.

* A task analysis is used to provide data about a job or group of jobs, and the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities that are needed to achieve optimum performance. This information can come from job descriptions, task analyses, employee questionnaires and interviews, performance evaluation, and observation of the workplace.

* Finally – person analysis analyses how well an individual employee is doing their job and determines which specific employees need training and what kind of training. The methods of this kind of analysis include employee questionnaires and interviews, performance evaluation, skill and knowledge testing and the observation of behaviour and results.

2) Implement Training Methods: Now that the analysis has been done, the training method needs to be chosen. The two most frequently used training methods include:

* Lecture: Lecture involves one-way communication, from instructor to learner – the learner is passive in the process.

* On-the-job-training: This method involves such methods as apprenticeship and mentoring, where the employee is actively engaged in the type of work they will later be doing on their own.

* Programmed instruction: This is a form of instruction that is pre-programmed and then delivered methodologically to an individual. This form of instruction is self-paced – the employee determines how fast they will learn and complete the steps and it is often completed more quickly than group training. It can be delivered via a computer and can be costly to prepare.

* Simulations: This sort of training involves an employee being placed into a simulated situation of what may occur in real on-the-job situations. Techniques include: Case studies where trainees analyze a problem outlined in a report and offer solutions; role playing where simulated roles are acted out; and behavioural modelling where trainees observe proper work behaviour and then role play it.

     Part of the implementation of the training is making sure that the training is actually teaching the employees the skills they will need – this is known as the Transfer of Training. A more technical definition is: the extent to which the knowledge, skills or attitudes learned in the training will be used or applied on the job. There are ways to increase the probability of what employees are being trained will really relate to their actual job behaviour. To do this, one can maximize the similarity between the training situation and the job situation, provide a variety of examples when teaching skills and reward trained behaviours and ideas on the job.

3) Training Evaluation:
     Training evaluation is used to evaluate the reactions of the learners, measure the learning that occurred, assess on-the-job behaviours, identify business results that are due to the training and calculate if the investment in training has had any return in the gains of the company. Business results can be measured in “hard” data and “soft” data. Hard data are measures of productivity, quality, material costs, absenteeism and turnover and customer satisfaction. Soft data is items such as job satisfaction, teamwork, and organizational commitment on the part of the employees.

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