Training Definition and Different Phases of Training

Training Definition and Different Phases of Training

Before we talk about the steps of training, let’s talk about training. Training is an essential activity related to the human resources of the organization, which helps the employees to be competent which improves the organizational performance. The main focus of the training is to help the employees equipped with some skills and knowledge or to help them to meet the shortcomings of their performance. Human resource management training has a great importance, which allows individuals to increase their skills, becoming fruitful for the organization. Below is a complete overview, detailing the different methods and steps of training.

Training challenges

Today’s organizations need to improve their performance by updating the skills and knowledge of their employees. The need for training brings up the following challenging questions before managing the company.

01- Is training an effective solution to the current problem?

02- Are the goals realistic and clear?

03- Is training considered as a good investment?

04- Will the training work?

The training process

The internal and external environment of companies is changing from time to time. These changes indicate the need for appropriate adjustment to the organization's work environment. This need for consistency is referred to as the need for training which consists of two questions which are as follows.

01- What are the training requirements of the organization?

02- What should be achieved through training efforts?

So the first step is to identify the training objectives and finally determine the methods by which these objectives can be achieved. There are different methods of training but the management of the organization chooses according to the goals of the training. However, general training should be evaluated consistently to facilitate change that helps the organization achieve its objectives.

Different stages of training

There are four stages of training which are as follows.

  • Evaluation and purpose setting are required
  • Provide training
  • Training methods
  • Evaluation of training

Evaluation and purpose setting required (Part I)

Companies train their employees to compete with each other. In the first step, training requirements are identified and if the requirements exist, training programs are tried to provide the information needed for design. The three-level analysis includes assessment which follows.

01- Organizational analysis

02- Work analysis

03- Personal analysis

  • Organizational analysis
In organizational analysis, their current position as well as a variety of problems are examined.

  • Function analysis
It is also called operational analysis where performance standards must be met with the identification of behaviors and skills required to perform specific job responsibilities.

  • Personal analysis
This analysis tests the performance of specific employees to determine if they need any training. It is not a good decision to provide training to all the employees of the organization and this results in wastage of resources. Staff feel unpleasant situations when training is not required.

The objectives of the training must be clear and relevant to the identified areas. Moreover, these should be precise, capable, challenge-capable and understood by all. In simple terms, when the performance of employees is not up to the required standards, there is a strong need for training to improve performance. There are definitely some things to consider before starting some training programs. These important issues are as follows.

  • The number of staff who lack skills
  • The severity of the skill deficit
  • The importance of skills
  • Degrees to improve skills by training.

Determining training needs

The following are the sources through which training requirements can be determined.

Company records
Customer complaints
New technology
Complaints of employees
Interviews with directors
Customer satisfaction survey

Provide training (second step)

The problems of the organizations are assessed and this results in direct feedback in the form of training programs. The distribution of training programs varies by location:

1- On the Job training - 
Training is provided by actual work equipment in the actual work environment.

2- Off the Job training - 
In this case the training provides other than the actual work site. Specially designed training facilities are used for this purpose.

Method of Training (Phase 3)

Following are the common Methods of Training.

In this method, high portion of factual information is presented to a large number of people (employees) at one time. It is similar to teaching in which material is clearly organized & presented in an understandable manner. In case of lecture, the learners are not actively participated.

Case Method
In this method, the trainees study a given case by themselves & conclude some decisions on their behalf.

The real world is duplicated by complex devices called simulators. In this way artificial working environment is created for the training of employees which resembles the real world environment.

In this method a new employee performs his or her duties under the guidance of a skilled worker.

The internship method is similar to the apprenticeship method for training but the difference is that among the alumni the trainees are working in the position which requires comparatively higher and higher qualifications. Colleges and universities offer internship training to students from different institutions.

Coaching and mentoring
In this method an experienced person is hired by the organization to teach a group of new employees. Counselors or teachers provide training to new employees by improving their work skills, providing emotional support to them, and encouraging them to do better. Training and mentoring are related to job training that employees learn on a one-to-one basis. General coaching is defined as a responsibility in which the owner acquires experience and skills to give useful advice to his new subordinates. Similarly the consultant provides guidance for new employees but he may be posted elsewhere in the organization or even he may be an outsider.

Although group discussions and conferences are used to make decisions on certain issues, they can also serve as training methods because new employees consider them as a forum where they learn new things. Attitudes and behaviors change as a result of group discussions.

In this method, simulators are used that create real-world situations and create similar selective artificial situations for participants to learn strategies and from them.

Role play
In this way, participants respond to the specific problems they face in a particular workplace.

Computer base
Computer based training is still prevalent today where computer technology is used for training with greater memory, speed and flexibility of instructions.

It is a training method that supports computer based training by combining graphics, animation, audio and interactive videos.

Virtual reality
In this training method trainees look at objects from a unique perspective that is not possible in a normal work environment.

Video training
Video tapes are used in this popular training method. Behavior modeling is presented as a videotape illustration where it shows how managements work and work in different situations in the work environment. These video tips actually improve the interpersonal skills of the trainees.

Vestibule training
In this method specific equipment is arranged in separate training locations which is similar to the actual equipment space in the working environment.

All of the above training programs are possible methods of training the staff but they can be effective only when the required knowledge is effectively transferred to the trainees by the trainer. The following are some of the factors that hinder the effective transfer of knowledge.

Don't learn the material
Real life applications are not understood
Lack of confidence
Forgetting material

Evaluation of training (4th stage)

Training programs are considered credible when they reflect some real results on behalf of the organization. Several methods are developed to determine the value of a particular training program. At this evaluation stage of the training process, the effectiveness of the training is measured which can be in both financial and non-financial terms. The most important thing in evaluating the training was that it clearly reflected the need that should be met. Ways to evaluate the training program are given below.

1. Feedback from participants
One way to evaluate the effectiveness of the training is to ask participants to give their views on the training. It is a cheap method that results in advice and feedback for improvement but there is a serious problem with this method that it is not based on truth but on opinion. In other words, there is a possibility that the trainee did not learn anything but pretended that he gained a valuable skilled experience from the training.

2. Learning extension
Some organizations use pre-tests, post-tests, and certain design control groups to evaluate the experience gained by trainees.

3. Behavioral changes
The tests taken by the trainees to evaluate the training may clearly show the learning experiences but the desired behavioral changes cannot be fully confirmed through these tests.

4. Achieve training objectives
Another way to evaluate a training program is to determine the degree to which the stated objectives of the training have been achieved.

5. Benchmarking 
In the case of benchmarking methods, exemplary practices of other organizations are used to evaluate the training programs of the organization. It is estimated that 70% of companies in the United States are involved in benchmarking.

6. A case of simplicity
In this method the training program is evaluated by measuring the value of the positive change and impact of the training.

7. Post Training Performance Method
Measurements of participants' performance in this approach are made after attending a training program to determine the resulting behavioral changes.

8. Pre-post test method
In this method, the performance of the staff is measured before training him. He was then trained and his post-training performance was measured again. Finally both performances were measured to identify the positive effects of training in the form of employee productivity enhancement levels.

9. Control group and pre-post training
This approach develops two employees, including the control group and the experimental group. The actual work performance of both these teams is evaluated. The control team is not trained when passing through the experimental group training program. The final step is to re-evaluate the actual performance of both groups. If the performance of the experimental group is better than that of the control group, it indicates that the training is effective.

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