TRAINING Essay Example

  • Category:
    Management
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Masters
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    5
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    3454

TRAINING

Department

Introduction

As companies strive to compete at international levels, differentiation in terms of skills and knowledge of the workforce has become a crucial aspect. Research shows that in the United States, firms spend approximately $126 billion every year to train their workforce (Zwick 2006). In other words, learning in the workplace has taken a new significance in the current business world. Many organizations across various industries have taken responsibility to facilitate learning of their workforce. A firm’s strategic advantage is derived from the core competencies, which are achieved by investing in its employees. Investment entails updating their skills as well as compensations. Training of workers improves their skills; therefore, they can undertake more complex tasks, as well as complete tasks better. Despite the shifts in the development of skills, little research has been done linking the role and responsibilities of trainers about quality. In this paper, we will explore the components of a training program, benefits of training to employees and managers, management training, and training evaluation. The paper will also discuss how Tesco’s training and development program has enhanced its growth.

What is Training?

According to Goldstein & Ford (2002), training refers to a systematic process of learning with a primary aim of enhancing an individual, group, and firm effectiveness. Similarly, it may also refer to activities that are carried out to acquire new knowledge and skills for the purpose of individual or team growth. Training is also defined as the act of adding skills and knowledge for performing a particular task. The process involves developing skills that are needed to perform a specific job. Its primary aim is to achieve change in behaviors among the trainee so that they can do their jobs better. Also, it makes new staffs more productive so as they can now take less time to perform similar jobs and is equally essential to old workers when there is a change in technique of performing their job. Training is a continuous process, and thus, management should ensure that training program brings a positive change regarding employee skills, knowledge and behavior.

Components of Training

Training is a process that involves need analysis, setting training objectives, designing training plans, and evaluation of the training activity. Inadequacy in any step may affect the whole training process.

Training Need Analysis

In today’s working environment, staffs need to be skilled in performing tasks in an efficient and effective manner. A training need refers to a condition where there is a gap between current status and what should be regarding required skills and knowledge at a particular time (Clardy 2005). A need gap is considered to be a problem that exists when there is a difference between actual performance and expected performance. Training is necessary, particularly when the employees are not performing to the standards expected. For instance, if an organization realizes that there is a gap between actual level and expected level of performance, this indicates a need for training for the workers. Identification of training need is the initial step in a training process. The needs identification process helps a trainer to ensure that the training program is matched to the training problem. Training need analysis is considered a success when it clearly identifies the group or individual that needs training and the type of training that is needed. In other words, it is unproductive to offer to train to those who do not need it or give a wrong type of training.

Training Plans

Once the training need is identified, the next step is to make a training plan. This is the most significant part of a training program after the training need has been identified. The plan specifies what will be taught, and the way teaching will be done. The plan provides a framework for training. First, the training content is the first step of a training plan.

After training needs, identification and training activities have been decided to solve the problem, an analysis is done to determine the requirements and performance deficiencies. Breaking down the training problem in various phases leads to identifying and understanding the training content.

Training objectives

The last step is identifying specific training requirements to fulfill the identified needs, that is, transferring training needs to objectives using appropriate methods. The main goal of any training program is to increase a firm effectiveness. Training objectives give the exact knowledge that will be transferred from a training program. Training objectives are crucial in a successful training program. Thus, they should be developed appropriately to ensure that the organization knows that they want the workers to improve (Frese, Beimel & Schoenborn 2003). Training objectives should also be measurable so that the employer can determine the effectiveness of training once the program is completed.

The first step in determining training objectives is to divide the needs into smaller units. The small units will then be used to make the goal points of training. When there is a link between the needs and an overall goal of training, it is easier to tracks of what is working or not, and the level of progress among the workers. With a clear set of objectives, it is easier to implement a proper strategy for organization learning (Rogers 2004). Setting training objectives makes it easier for planning and monitoring. Training objectives should also describe important conditions in which employees can demonstrate competence and desired performance levels.

How is Training used in the Workplace?

Training is a systematic process of transferring technical competencies to the workforce to ensure they perform better. The trainees acquire technical skills by going through a training program. Training is a good opportunity whereby employees can expand their knowledge base.

Employees

Training provides benefits to employees as well as the organization that makes the cost and investment of training worthwhile. Tamkin et al. (2004) noted in their study that training activities strengthened the performance of the employees. For instance, some employees have some weaknesses in their work skills; a training program can help them to strengthen the skills to meet the required standards. Training helps to improve employee skills and knowledge so that the can perform their work effectively and efficiently.

Additionally, employees who receive training perform the jobs better. Learning helps the employees to become more aware of safety practices and proper procedures for performing tasks. Training also has an impact on employees’ confidence as they have a better understanding of their roles. Training also improves individual technical skills. For instance, Davis & Yi (2004) experiment on how to improve computer skills among a group of 300 participants using a behavior modeling training, found that training can change an individual skills because it enhance their knowledge levels. Rehearsing a task mentally allowed the trainees to increase their knowledge of task performance.

A training program also ensures that workers have consistent knowledge and skills. Consistency in training is relevant for organization policies and procedures. Workers are expected to be aware of the firms’ regulations and procedures such as administrative tasks, safety practices, and so on. Training also enables consistency in performance, for example, Driskell et al. (2001) study of 79 U.S. Navy technical school trainees during a computer-based task where they participated in stress-exposure training program. The results indicated that training was crucial as trainees performed well under stress or when performing tasks. Therefore, the stress training program helped to maintain performance consistency.

An organization that offers training programs to its employees is perceived to values its workforce. Training helps to create a supportive workplace. Employees can access the training they would have otherwise sought in another place. Research indicates that employees who feel appreciated feel more satisfied with their jobs (Rolf & Udai 2000). Training also increases communication among all levels of an organization, thus eliminating any deficiency in all processes.

Managers

Training offers benefits to organization managers. A study conducted by Collins & Holton (2004) to compare training and no training showed an increase in knowledge outcomes and expertise outcomes. In this study, knowledge outcome was measured suing self-reports and standardized measures, while expertise outcomes were evaluated using peer ratings and behavioral measures.

Managers will spend less time supervising the employees. Training reduces the need for supervision. Trained staffs are more self-reliant while performing their roles because they understand what they are supposed to do compared to nontrained staffs. Under such circumstance, minimal supervision is needed.

A manager can identify talent, an individual who may be prepared to handle responsible position within the company. Research shows that newer talent may increase a firm performance. Therefore, providing training programs to employees ensure they put best efforts that are necessary for the growth of a company.

How to train a Manager

In today’s business world, successful managers are improving their team development skills as a way of improving the performance of their teams (Keith & Frese 2008). Management training helps managers to practice the skills that they may require. Taking a management training program will enable the managers to create confidence, empowered, inspired, and enthusiastic teams.

Modern organizations are working to develop a culture that supports growth by putting more resources into managerial roles training programs. In fact, line managers’ role is to handle employees, thus influencing the performance of both individuals and teams in their workplace. Literature has shown that low-level managers have more impact on how the workers view their job, and overall organization (Nixon 2004). For this reason, training line managers can help retain employees. Management training programs will help managers to effectively direct workers and improve working environment.

Management training helps managers to develop assertive, analytical, diplomacy and time management skills. Assertiveness helps a manager to resolve problems and delegate duties. Such managers can lead a workforce without raising their voice. Assertive manager communicates their messages in a respectful and firm manner. Analytical skills help a manager to think critically, and thus their decisions will be made upon a solid foundation. In most cases, such managers achieve the desired goals. Analytical skills also help a manager to identify gaps in a particular strategy. They will also be clear in what they do and communicate to the team clearly. A manager must maintain a healthy working environment where the workers feel challenged to perform better. Thus, a manager must ensure that he or she understand teams needs, wants, and desires. Management training helps them to understand the aspect of time management and its significance to business. Campbell (1999) indicates that time management helps by planning allocation of resources effectively ensuring that all projects are carried out.

Responsibilities of Managers and Employees Trainers

A workplace trainer plays many roles to ensure that training is effective. A trainer can play the role of trainer, provider, consultant innovator, and manager. A trainer role mainly involves direct training, helping people to learn, giving feedback as well as changing the training structure to meet different trainees’ needs (Harrison 2002). It may involve teaching in a classroom, workshop, small group or supervising an individual project to influence trainees learning experiences.

The provider role involves designing, maintain and conducting programs. In this category, a conduct trainer training needs analysis, setting training, design the program; select an appropriate method, and evaluating the program.

As a consultant, a trainer role is to analyze the training problem so that they can assess various solutions and recommend appropriately, some of which training is involved. As a consultant, a trainer coordinates with line managers to identify any performance problems among the workers and to advise the managers on possible training solutions, advising training managers on training goals and objectives, and ensuring that evaluation is carried out.

A trainer may also act as an innovator. In this case, a trainer focuses on helping the organization to manage change and handle performance problems. As an innovator, a trainer helps the managers to cope with change, identifying the place where training will be conducted, identifying the source of power in the firm so that it can be used to bring about change, and giving advice on how training can help in the change process.

Finally, the role of a manager in training is mainly to plan, organize and control training activity. As a manager, a trainer set the goal and plans of training. Also, manager links with other managers heading various functions to discuss training contributions in improving performance. The manager training activities are designed properly, acquire the resources required, and monitor the quality of training.

Training Evaluation

Training cannot be complete without an evaluation of the outcomes. Since training is costly and time-consuming, it is necessary to assess its effectiveness in achieving training objectives. Kraiger (2002) proposed a training evaluation decision-based model. This model frames decisions on how to measure the impact of training depending on training goal and objectives. The model also emphasizes that modifying evaluation measures to meet the needs of the intended individual or group. The evaluation model includes assessment of the training program, changes in the individual or team, and changes in the organization due to its lack of rigor, it continues to be used because it emphasizes on the significance of solid designs. The model contains an internal referencing strategy, in which trained skills changes are compared with nontrained skills. Also, how different people react to training is another strategy that can be used to improve training design and delivery. According to Morgan & Casper (2000) study of government employee training reactions, they found there are two significant factors of training, which is an effect of training and perceived the utility of training. Morgan & Casper (2000) highlighted the need to distinguish between effective and utility reactions as utility reaction is perceived to be more related to learning compared to effective reactions.

Training evaluation provides important information regarding its effectiveness and appropriate design for future training programs. A company can thus monitor a training program and monitor or modify similar programs in future. Another theoretical structure was proposed by Brown (2005), which consisted distinct factors such as technology satisfaction, relevance, and enjoyment about trainee effect. Studies have reported the model to be effective in evaluating training. One of the studies showed the relationship between training utility and training transfer decreased with an increase in training and evaluation. Organizations are calling for the establishment of benefits of training, especially because training is usually outsourced.

In other words, benefits of training should not only be maximized, but also, these impacts should be documented. Evaluation of training is also associated with increased perceived benefits to both the participants and the trainers. Therefore, a good training evaluation method should consider the intended purpose of evaluating, the need for the participants, and utility reactions.

A Case Study of Tesco Training and Development

Tesco is the largest retailer in Britain and third largest globally. Currently, it has over 2200 store in the UK. The company continues to grow and so has its workforce. The company has a wide market, and thus requires flexible and trained personnel that recognize customers need (Whitelock 2003). Tesco’s staff performs a wide range of roles such as customer service, managerial roles, warehousing, office-based, and logistics. Tesco recognizes that improving skills and knowledge are vital for the growth of the company.

Identifying Training Needs

Tesco is opening new stores in a new location, and thus must adapt to different customers need (Poulter 2005). Employees need skills and knowledge of their customer profiles to select clearly products that they stock in their stores. Also, in some cases, technical competencies are necessary to serve the customers. Therefore, when employees have a wide range of skills are more productive. Tesco evaluates employees’ performance regularly to identify any possible skills shortages. Evaluation helps managers and staff to decide whether they possess the needed skills to perform their work. Employees can also apply for training to suit their needs. In Tesco, managers in various departments can spend together to learn from one another, this makes its operation more efficient.

Training

The company has a structured and flexible training program to suit every employee need. This allows trainees to take part in training to enhance their skills to do their jobs better. Tesco uses two methods to train its workforce. First method is on-the-job training, where the employees are trained while performing their work through mentoring, coaching, and job rotation. This method helps the employs to know team members and feel part of the team. This method is considered cheap, the manager can monitor progress and help when a problem arises; the staffs are still working, and can put learning into practice.

Second method is off-the-job training, which is mainly used to train new skills and developing personnel in areas such as planning, communication, and team building. In Tesco, the employees attend external courses run by qualified Tesco training staff. Tesco also has the A-level Options program that is used to train new employees to managerial positions. New employees meet with another trainee to learn about the company goal.

Training Evaluation

Tesco has several tools to monitor and evaluates their training program. The 360-degree appraisal is a method where all stakeholders have the opportunity to assess the employee performance and provide feedback. For instance, a distribution manager gets feedback from their team, human resource, and other staffs. This method helps to identify if training was a success or the need for further development. Tesco also used another approach, for example, employees are asked to write things they think are correct and what they would do better. The employees are then requested to indicate the actions they would take to improve where they could do better.

Conclusion

Training is an important managerial function. A training program involves training need analysis, setting training objectives, training plan evaluation of training. Training needs may be identified through a task, human resource, and organizational analysis. Setting training objective is also necessary to know what knowledge will be transferred to training. Training is used in the workplace to enable the employees to work effectively. Evaluation of any training program is essential to enhance perceived benefits of training for both the participants and the trainers (Huint & Saks 2003). Tesco expansion relies on their committed and flexible employees to deliver high-quality services and meet the company’s objectives. The company also has developed a structured training program to enhance employees’ skills and knowledge for its continuing growth.

References List

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Campbell, M 1999, Learning pays and Learning Works, London: National Advisory Council for education and Training Targets.

Clardy, A 2005, ‘Reputation, goodwill, and loss: entering the employee training audit equation’, Human Resource Development, vol. 42, pp. 79–304.

Collins, DB & Holton, EF 2004 ‘The effectiveness of managerial leadership development programs: a meta-analysis of studies from 1982 to 2001’, Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol.15, pp. 217–48.

Davis, FD & Yi, MY 2004 ‘Improving computer skill training: behavior modeling, symbolic mental rehearsal, and the role of knowledge structures’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 89, pp. 509–23.

Driskell, Hall, J & Salas, E 2001 ‘Does stress training generalize to novel settings’? Human Factors, vol. 42, pp. 99–110.

Frese, M, Beimel, S, & Schoenborn, S 2003, ‘Action training for charismatic leadership: two evaluations of studies of a commercial training module on inspirational communication of a vision’, Perspective Psychology, vol.56, pp. 671–97.

Goldstein, IL & Ford, JK 2002, Training in Organizations, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Harrison, R 2002, Learning and Development, CIPD Publishing, London.

Huint, H & Saks, AM 2003, ‘Translating training science into practice: a study of managers’ reactions to post training transfer interventions’, Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol.14, pp. 181–98.

Kraiger, K 2002, Decision-based evaluation. In Creating, Implementing, and Maintaining Effective Training and Development: State-of-the-Art Lessons for Practice, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Keith, N & Frese, M 2008, ‘Effectiveness of error management training: a meta-analysis’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 93, pp. 59–69.

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Nixon, B 2004, Creating a cultural revolution: the 21st century challenge for HRD Training Journal, Ely.

Poulter, S 2005, ‘2billion Tesco’, Daily Mail, London (UK).

Rogers, S 2004, Power To The People Managers People Management, London.

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