Concept of Training and Development in the Work Place
Training is the acquisition of basic skills for efficient performance of specific duties/tasks. It is an organized procedure through which people acquire basic skills for a definite purpose. The purpose is to achieve a change in the job behavior of those trained (Beach, 1980).
According to Erinma et al (2002) training as organizational effort aimed at helping an employee acquire basic skills required for the efficient execution of the functions for which he was hired.
Armstrong (1984) defines training as a systematic development of knowledge, skills and attitude required by an individual to perform adequately on a specific task or job.
Training has also been defined as a learning experience in that it seeks a relatively permanent change in an individual that will improve his or her ability to perform on the job … training involves the charging of skills, knowledge, attitudes or social behavior. It may mean changing what employees know, how they work, or their interaction with their co-workers or their supervisors” (Hamblin, 2002).
According to Ifeanacho (2011) training is any process that aims at inculcating into the employees the desired behaviour and/or attitude to accomplish certain objectives for an organization the need for training exists where there is a lag between employee’s actual performance and the desired performance. Training need may also arise where employees’ skills become out of tune with the existing technology which obviously called for skill up-dating.
Training should be a continuous exercise for any organization that wants to stay innovative and competitive. This is because training helps new employees acquire requisite skills, retools and advances of the specialist skills of more experienced employees and thus help them brace up to the daunting challenges of the globalized world. Training as a continuous process or exercise should incorporate the following.
- Assessing training needs.
- Selecting the most appropriate person to participate in the training effort.
- Designing the most relevant effort to meet job and organizational requirements.
- Conducting the training programme properly.
- Giving a trained personnel opportunity to apply their new skills/knowledge (Udoji, 1976).
Development is more embracing than training and is designed specifically to help both the existing and potential manager and supervisors to develop and/or enhance their decision making and interpersonal skills. It therefore emphasizes personal development, growth and advancement.
According to Ifeanacho (2011), development can be defined as all those job and organizations related activities as well as other extra curricula activities undertaken to express employees to comfortably and conveniently perform additional duties and assume challenging positions in the organizational hierarchy.
According to Piece (2002), development is a systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of competencies, knowledge, experiences and skills, and the development of personal qualities, helpful in the execution of the organization role and task.
Odemegwu (2005) see development as building an appropriate balance and critical mass of human resource base and providing an enabling environment for employees to be fully engaged to make meaningful contribution into the system.
Human capital development is an integral aspect of competencies building, capacity building, development and regeneration that is geared towards:
- Improving task performance.
- Enabling and supporting change implementation.
- Improving the quality of operations.
- Prompting creativity and innovations
- Enhancing the careers/employment prospects of individual employees.
NATURE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
There are basically three systems of training and development that can be utilized by an organization. The methods of training and development to be adopted however depend on the caliber of the personnel to be trained and the objectives an organization wants to achieve. Thus training and development can be categorized unto:
- Employee/operative training
- Management development
- Organization development (Ifeanacho 2011)
This is a training device used for non managerial/supervisorial personnel-craftsmen, artisans, operatives and manual workers at the lower levels. The main aim of this type of training is to increase individual skills and knowledge to perform specific tasks. It involves both on-the-job and off-the-job training methods.
This is the most widely used method of training because it is ideal where job related activities can be learnt in a relatively short period of time. The trainee who is being instructed by his immediate supervisor or an experienced worker learns the basic skills as he performs his normal job. The training process therefore takes place in the productive floor. The trainee acquires the basic skills and knowledge required for efficient performance of his new job through observation and practices (Raymond Noe eta al 2004).
Advantages of the On-The-Job Training
The following advantages accrue to organizations that adopts this system by training
- It is less costly than off-the-job training because it utilizes the existing equipment and facilities.
- Learning takes place in the actual work setting which means that the trainee is using same equipment, machines, materials and other facilities he will use after the training exercise. He is thus being subjected to the same environmental constraints under which he will be expected to perform his duties after training. Hence, there is no adjustment problems.
- On-the-job is simply because there is no division of responsibility between a training department and line supervision. Ifeanacho (2011).
Disadvantages of On-The-Job Training
- The instruction who is usually the trainees, supervisor in co-worker, may not be able to impact the required skills even though he knows the job.
- Impatience on the part of the supervisor, or time constraints may deprive the trainee from acquiring the requisite skill for operational efficiency.
- At times, the supervisor may not be willing to impact the required skills thoroughly, for fear of rivalry or because of bureaucratic politics.
- It also disrupt production activities since the training takes place during production.
Methods of On-The-Job Training
On-the-job experiential methods include action learning, coaching, mentoring, tutoring, sponsorship, role modeling, job rotation, secondment, special projects, reflective group, task forces, problem solving, team, deputizing, networking and visioning (Woodall and Winstanley, 1998).
However, for our purpose, we shall focus on the following underlisted methods of on-the-job training.
- Job rotation
- In-house workshop
This is a situation where an employee is attached to a supervisor who coaches and instructs him on specific concepts. The supervisor provides guidance and counseling to the trainee in his job related activities. He takes active role in guiding the trainees job related activities through advice, criticism and suggestions in an attempt to enhance his performance and aids his growth and advancement (Ifeanacho, 2011).
This is a situation where an employee understudies his boss with a view to mastering the nitty gritty of his job so that ultimately he will be better place to assume such position when it is vacant (Ifeanacho, 2011).
This is a relationship in which a more experienced employee (mentor) helps less experienced employee (protégé/actor). Mentoring provides two types of functions for the protégé/actor; a psycho-social function (acceptance, encouragement, coaching, counseling) and a career-facilitation function; (sponsorship, protection, challenging assignment, exposure and visibility) (Kram, 1985; Neo, 1988).
This is usually for capacity building and job enhancement usually experts or consultants in various technical areas of needs are invited or engaged to impact requisite knowledge and skills on the trainees. It may span for two or more days depending on the objective of the programme (Molander, 1986).
This is a training technique which requires employees to move from one department to the other in order to acquire experience in the various facets of organizational activities. This system of training is widely utilized by banking establishment in grooming their personnel in the various banking functions (Ifeanacho et al 1997).
According to Ifeanacho (2011), off-the-job training is a situation where training takes place outside the productive floor or work setting. Training therefore, takes place in an artificial settings or classroom set-up. It takes place outside the work environment.
Advantages of Off-The-Job Training
- It does not disrupt production activities a cause work spoilage as much as on-the-job training.
- The instructor, a specialist devotes adequate time and attention in training his subjects (trainees).
Disadvantages of Off-The-Job Training
- The huge costs incurred in the acquisition of additional equipment and facilities for the training exercise.
- Costs incurred in paying the trainees when they are actually not making and direct significant contribution to the productive efforts.
- Since training takes place in an artificial setting, the trainees are likely to have some problems adjusting to, or adopting their learning experience to the actual work situation after the training exercise.
Method of Off-The-Job Training
The underlisted training techniques are examples of off-the-job training:
- Vestibule schools
- Apprenticeship programme
- Special course
This school trains employees for the same type of job as on-the-job training, but it is utilized where on-the-job training is not practicable because a large number of workers need to be trained quickly. Thus, during rapid expansion of employment in some firms, it is used primarily to train a large number of employees quickly. Full time instructions that are well seasoned in teaching techniques are engaged to help the trainees acquire the basic skills (Vicere, 1997).
This type of training programme is designed to enable employees acquire higher level of skills or technical knowledge in specific areas such as plumbing, welding, machinery, carpentry works, mechanical works. The training consists of predetermined schedule of practical work assignments and some related classroom construction in the underlying principles of the trade. Since the training period is long (usually between 2-3 years) and requires continual supervision, it is actually expensive. Hence, it is generally best for large firms with a steady demand for skilled labour and which can afford the expense such programme requires. An apprentice trainee and the employer, stipulates the training period, wage rates and other conditions for the programme.
This training programme is rather education oriented. The trainees are expected to take lectures on shop mathematics, blue print reading etc. teaching machine is used in delivering lectures. This makes it possible for lecturer to be programmed in such a manner as to facilitate understanding and accommodate trainees can therefore learn at their own individual pace. Where lectures are not clear or well understood, the machine can be rewound for clarification.
Management development is a training techniques designed to help executives, develop and utilize their potentials optimally. Executive development is aimed at helping managers acquire and/or enhance their decision making and inter personal skills for efficient execution of their managerial duties.
Knowledge is meaningless unless there is opportunity to apply it, and much knowledge and skill can be acquired by exposure. From the foregoing therefore, management development as defined in the glossary of training term as: “A systematic process of development of effective managers at all levels to meet the requirements of an organization, involving an analysis of the present and future management requirements, assessing the existing and potential skills of managers and devising the best means for their development to meet these requirements” (Graham, 1974).
Executive/management development is necessary for long run success of an organization. This is achieved through acquisition of managerial skills, technical know-how, insight and positive attitude to effectively and efficiently manage an organization. According to Flippo (1981) the following skills are pre-requisite for executive thorough performance:
- Decision making skills
- Inter-personal skills
- Job knowledge/technical skills
- Organization knowledge
- General knowledge
- Specific individual needs
Decision Making Skill
Decision making is a very critical function of executive in formal organizations. The survival, sustainability and success of any project-oriented organization in a knowledge driven economy depends to a large extent in the executive capability in taking rational decisions/actions at any point in time. For decision making, the following developmental programmes can help executives in increasing or enhancing their decision making skills.
- In basket executive development programme.
- Business games training programme
- Case study
In basket executive development programme
This device is popularly used in developing serving/potential executives decision making skills and analytical abilities. It is a situation where the executives trainees, are fed with detailed data/information about a simulated firm – its organizational structure, key personnel, its products and customers. They are then provided with an in-basket of assorted memorandum.
Skills that can be acquired from the exercise include:
- Situational judgement in being able to recall details establish priorities.
- Exhibiting courtesy/diplomacy or tact in written notes, in scheduling and presiding over meetings, addressing sensitive issues etc.
- Willingness and ability to take rational decisions.
This is a competitive simulation where teams of trainee are required to engage in interactive session meet, discuss and arrive at decisions on issues relating to production, purchasing, marketing, finance etc. It offered the trainees opportunity to make decisions in a simulated competitive situation. It helps trainee to develop or enhance their critical and analytical abilities, Ifeanacho (2011).
This is a situation where the trainees acquire knowledge, experience and skills by critically studying and analyzing practical life cases of a number of firms, or simulated cases of non-existing firms to identify the factors they contended with, how they contained them and how they tapped the opportunities at their disposal. The knowledge gained from the exercise, will help the trainee to analyze the past and present activities of their operations formulating action plans to minimize the impinging forces; making effective forecast that will ensure continual survival and growth of the business operations, Drunker (1954).
Executives need to develop or enhance their human relations skills to be able to sensitize/mobilize their subordinates towards the attainment of the corporate goal. Acquisition of the skills helps them in enlisting unflinching support and total commitments of their subordinates in organizational related issues. The skills can be developed through the under listed developmental techniques.
- Role playing
- Sensitivity training
- Transactional analysis
- Structured insight
- Role Playing
This is a training techniques that requires trainees to behave in the way they think is characteristics not of themselves but of the individuals whose roles they are playing, the trainees might act on situations concerning dismissal negotiations with trade union or difficult customers or take other organizations related decision exactly the way they think their immediate supervisors for example could have handled them.
- Sensitivity Training
The trainees are required to interact with one another and discuss issue of importance to them. The group sessions often continue for several days and the interactional processes consequent on these help them to be aware of their behavior. In other words it helps them appreciate the shortcomings and how others perceive them, so that efforts will be made to relate more effectively to people.
The training exercise is geared towards providing the trainees with:
- Increased awareness of their own behavior and what others think of them.
- Increased tolerance for individual indifference.
- Greater concern for other and
- Improved social skills.
- Transactional Analysis
This developmental programme focuses on understanding three ego states possessed by people. Drawing from the views of Berne (1950) as cited in Ewurum (1998), people exhibit various behavioural patterns in different/various situations. At times they act like parents (paternalistically), at other times they act like children (immaturely or irratimally) and at other times they act like adults (ratimally). Inter-personal relation is analyzed in the light of these ego states: parents, adult and child.
- Structured Insight
This technique involves collecting data on certain executives, and on the basis of the data collected, they are them compared with some model of behavior. This comparison therefore, provides insights to where the trainees have lapses or deficiencies. Then make up training can be designed to take care of the inadequacies.
Executives are expected to possess technical skills. They are expected to know the nitty-gritty of their jobs, such skills are acquired through understudy, coaching already discussed.
Executive developmental activities are geared towards providing them with knowledge about the whole activities of the organization they are working for. Developmental techniques necessary to acquire organizational knowledge necessary to acquire organizational knowledge are: position rotation, multiple management.
- Special readings
- Conference, seminar, workshop
Conferences, Seminars and Workshop
These methods of development offered the participant opportunity of participating in well organized seminars, conferences and workshops, sponsored by universities and other reputable institutions. In such gatherings, papers are presented by intellectuals and discussions are centered on them.
Specific Individual Needs
- Special assignment
- Committee assignment
Special Assignment or Committee Assignment
The trainees are given opportunity to serve in a particular committee. The membership enables them to participate in vital but often controversial issues in an organizations. The fact that they are obliged to critically analyse one another’s view points and jointly make recommendations to the authority that constituted them, helps them to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge for thorough performance of managerial functions.
REASONS FOR TRAINING
Sometimes training is a routine for some organizations e.g. banking institutions usually require that their newly recruited executive trainees be sent on training programme to acquire the basic skills to enable them execute their functions efficiently. More often, however, training becomes necessary as a result of changes in organizational activities and observed undesirable behavior of some employees, for example;
- The installation of computers or other sophisticated equipment may require new or improved skills.
- Negative attitude to work.
- A change in work methods.
- A change in the product line which may require acquisition of new skills not only in the production methods but also in the marketing functions of the organization.
- Low productivity
- High incidence of accidents
- Excessive absenteeism rate
- Labour shortage necessitating upgrading of some employees;
- Excessive complaints and insubordination.
PURPOSE OF TRAINING
According to Beach, (1980), the following benefits accrue to organizations that design training programmes for this labour force;
- Improved performance
When employees acquire skills and knowledge, it enables them improve their performance on their job related activities.
Acquisition of the required skills and knowledge makes employee have confidence in his ability to perform. He believes that he has control of his environment and is well equipped to meet the challenges consequent on the business environment. A trained employee therefore derives intrinsic satisfaction from the job.
- Management Succession
A system training programme helps to ensure that an organization has a reservoir of well equipped personnel to take over from senior managers as they leave the organization by natural wastage such as retirements, death, redundancy resignation and dismissal.
- Attitude Formation
The attitudes of employees to work, organization’s policies, their superiors, or even their colleagues is very likely to affect their performance. Training helps them to acquire desirable attitudes and to unlearn undesirable ones.
- Reduced Supervision
Acquisition of the relevant skills consequent on training programme helps employees to discharge their functions with unblemished efficiencies. Trained personnel therefore, is likely to require less supervision in his area of operation.
- Reduced industrial accident:
Industrial accidents more often than not are as a result of employee’s inadequacies, rather than deficiencies in equipment and working condition. Proper training in both job skills and safety attitudes contribute tremendously to the reduction of accident rate in organization.
- Reduction in labour turnover
An employee who cannot perform is usually frustrated by his failure and is more likely to abandon his job than those who are performing up to the expected standard. Proper training help to equip employees with the necessary job skills and attitudes that enable them derive psychological satisfaction from their jobs and ultimately reduces the possibility of incessant labour turnover.
- Better co-ordination
Training facilitates co-ordination of men and materials. It enables employees understand the expectations and objectives of the organization. Training makes them appreciable that they can only attain. Their individual objectives by working collectively to achieve the corporate goal. This will give rise to goal congruency, and consequently, everyone pulls in the same direction.
EVALUATION OF TRAINING
The benefits of a training programme to an organization can always be determined using the following suggested methods by Humblin, (2000).
- Reaction level:
This level evaluates the initial reaction of the trainees to the training programme. It includes their feelings towards the training exercise generally. The questions to be asked include; how do the trainees react to the training exercise. Do they find the training interesting? Their responses to the above questions among others are good indications to the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of the training programme. If the training exercise does not make any impact on them, the training office or management should find out reasons in forming such behavior and take corrective measures on time.
- Learning Level:
Evaluation at this level involves determining what the trainee have learnt, that is, the specific skills, and knowledge acquired from the exercise.
- Job Behaviour
This measures the extent to which the employees have applied their acquired skills in performing their jobs. If the training is administered on-the-job, then there is likely to be no difference between learning and job behavior. If, however, it is off-the-job, then it is important to ascertain the extent to which the trainees have transferred their skills and knowledge to their jobs.
- Organizational Level:
Evaluation here involves determining the extent to which the training exercise has improved the functioning of the organization with regards to output and the morale of the workers.
- Ultimate Value
Management examines the total costs incurred as well as the benefits accruing to an organization as a result of the training programme where the benefits derived from such training exceeds the costs incurred, the training exercise is effective and should be continued, otherwise, it is not a worthwhile venture.
Training and development therefore, is quite crucial for a firm’s survival and growth especially in the face of challenging and highly competitive dynamic business world. Many employees are found to be performing below expectations because of lack of requisite skills and failure on the part of management to identify and adequately take care of their inadequacies. Training should as a matter of fact, be given top priority in an organizations schedule of activities.