Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Describe the basic training process

The quality of employees and their development through training and education are major factors in determining long-term profitability of a small business. If you hire and keep good employees, it is good policy to invest in the development of their skills, so they can increase their productivity.Training often is considered for new employees only. This is a mistake because ongoing training for current employees helps them adjust to rapidly changing job requirements.

Purpose of Employee Training and Development Process in HRM

Reasons for emphasizing the growth and development of personnel include:

•    Creating a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may
leave or move up in the organization.

•    Enhancing the company’s ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a
sufficiently knowledgeable staff.

•    Building a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the
company’s competitive position and improves employee morale.

•    Ensuring adequate human resources for expansion into new programs.

Research has shown specific benefits that a small business receives from training and developing its workers, including:

•    Increased productivity.

•    Reduced employee turnover.

•    Increased efficiency resulting in financial gains.

•    Decreased need for supervision.

Employees frequently develop a greater sense of self-worth, dignity and well-being as they become more valuable to the firm and to society. Generally they will receive a greater share of the materialgains that result from their increased productivity. These factors give them a sense of satisfaction through the achievement of personal and company goals.

The model below traces the steps necessary in the training process:

•    Organizational Objectives

•    Needs Assessment

•    Is There a Gap?

•    Training Objectives

•    Select the Trainees

•    Select the Training Methods and Mode

•    Choose a Means of Evaluating

•    Administer Training

•    Evaluate the Training

Your business should have a clearly defined strategy and set of objectives that direct and drive all
the decisions made especially for training decisions. Firms that plan their training process are more
successful than those that do not. Most business owners want to succeed, but do not engage in
training designs that promise to improve their chances of success. Why? The five reasons most
often identified are:

Time – Small businesses managers find that time demands do not allow them to train employees.

Getting started – Most small business managers have not practiced training employees. The training process is unfamiliar.

Broad expertise – Managers tend to have broad expertise rather than the specialized skills needed for training and development activities.

Lack of trust and openness – Many managers prefer to keep information to themselves. By doing so they keep information from subordinates and others who could be useful in the training and development process.

Skepticism as to the value of the training – Some small business owners believe the future cannot be predicted or controlled and their efforts, therefore, are best centered on current activities i.e., making money today.

A well-conceived training program can help your firm succeed. A program structured with the company’s strategy and objectives in mind has a high probability of improving productivity and other goals that are set in the training mission.

For any business, formulating a training strategy requires addressing a series of questions.

•    Who are your customers? Why do they buy from you?

•    Who are your competitors? How do they serve the market? What competitive advantages
      do they enjoy? What parts of the market have they ignored?

•    What strengths does the company have? What weaknesses?

•    What social trends are emerging that will affect the firm?

The purpose of formulating a training strategy is to answer two relatively simple but vitally important questions: (1) What is our business? and (2) What should our business be? Armed with the answers to these questions and a clear vision of its mission, strategy and objectives, a company can identify its training needs.

Identifying Training Needs

Training needs can be assessed by analyzing three major human resource areas: the organization as a whole, the job characteristics and the needs of the individuals. This analysis will provide answers to the following questions:

•    Where is training needed?

•    What specifically must an employee learn in order to be more productive?

•    Who needs to be trained?

Begin by assessing the current status of the company how it does what it does best and the abilities of your employees to do these tasks. This analysis will provide some benchmarks against which the effectiveness of a training program can be evaluated. Your firm should know where it wants to be in five years from its long-range strategic plan. What you need is a training program to take your firm from here to there.Second, consider whether the organization is financially committed to supporting the training efforts. If not, any attempt to develop a solid training program will fail.

Next, determine exactly where training is needed. It is foolish to implement a company-wide training effort without concentrating resources where they are needed most. An internal audit will help point out areas that may benefit from training. Also, a skills inventory can help determine the skills possessed by the employees in general. This inventory will help the organization determine what skills are available now and what skills are needed for future development.

Also, in today’s market-driven economy, you would be remiss not to ask your customers what they
like about your business and what areas they think should be improved. In summary, the analysisshould focus on the total organization and should tell you (1) where training is needed and (2) where it will work within the organization.

Once you have determined where training is needed, concentrate on the content of the program.
Analyze the characteristics of the job based on its description, the written narrative of what the
employee actually does. Training based on job descriptions should go into detail about how the
job is performed on a task-by-task basis. Actually doing the job will enable you to get a better feel
for what is done.

Individual employees can be evaluated by comparing their current skill levels or performance to the organization’s performance standards or anticipated needs. Any discrepancies between actual and anticipated skill levels identifies a training need.

Selection of Trainees

Once you have decided what training is necessary and where it is needed, the next decision is who should be trained? For a small business, this question is crucial. Training an employee is expensive, especially when he or she leaves your firm for a better job. Therefore, it is important to carefully select who will be trained.

Training programs should be designed to consider the ability of the employee to learn the material and to use it effectively, and to make the most efficient use of resources possible. It is also important that employees be motivated by the training experience. Employee failure in the program is not only damaging to the employee but a waste of money as well. Selecting the right trainees is important to the success of the program.

Training Goals

The goals of the employee training program should relate directly to the needs determined by the
assessment process outlined above. Course objectives should clearly state what behavior or skill
will be changed as a result of the training and should relate to the mission and strategic plan of the
company. Goals should include milestones to help take the employee from where he or she is today
to where the firm wants him or her in the future. Setting goals helps to evaluate the training
program and also to motivate employees. Allowing employees to participate in setting goals
increases the probability of success.

Training Methods

There are two broad types of training available to small businesses: on-the-job and off-the-job
techniques. Individual circumstances and the “who,” “what” and “why” of your training programdetermine which method to use.

On-the-job training is delivered to employees while they perform their regular jobs. In this way,
they do not lose time while they are learning. After a plan is developed for what should be taught,
employees should be informed of the details. A timetable should be established with periodic
evaluations to inform employees about their progress. On-the-job techniques include orientations,
job instruction training, apprenticeships, internships and assistantships, job rotation and coaching.

Off-the-job techniquesinclude lectures, special study, films, television conferences or
discussions, case studies, role playing, simulation, programmed instruction and laboratory
training. Most of these techniques can be used by small businesses although, some may be too

Orientations are for new employees. The first several days on the job are crucial in the success of new employees. This point is illustrated by the fact that 60 percent of all employees who quit do so in the first ten days. Orientation training should emphasize the following topics:

•    The company’s history and mission.

•    The key members in the organization.

•    The key members in the department, and how the department helps fulfill the mission of
      the company.

•    Personnel rules and regulations.

Some companies use verbal presentations while others have written presentations. Many small businesses convey these topics in one-on-one orientations. No matter what method is used, it is important that the newcomer understand his or her new place of employment.

Lectures present training material verbally and are used when the goal is to present a great deal
of material to many people. It is more cost effective to lecture to a group than to train people individually. Lecturing is one-way communication and as such may not be the most effective way to train. Also, it is hard to ensure that the entire audience understands a topic on the same level; by targeting the average attendee you may under-train some and lose others. Despite these drawbacks, lecturing is the most cost-effective way of reaching large audiences.

Role playing and simulation are training techniques that attempt to bring realistic decision making situations to the trainee. Likely problems and alternative solutions are presented for discussion. The adage there is no better trainer than experience is exemplified with this type of training. Experienced employees can describe real world experiences, and can help in and learn from developing the solutions to these simulations. This method is cost effective and is used in marketing and management training.

Audiovisual methods such as television, videotapes and films are the most effective means of providing real world conditions and situations in a short time. One advantage is that the presentation is the same no matter how many times it’s played. This is not true with lectures, which can change as the speaker is changed or can be influenced by outside constraints. The major flaw with the audiovisual method is that it does not allow for questions and interactions with the speaker, nor does it allow for changes in the presentation for different audiences.

Job rotation involves moving an employee through a series of jobs so he or she can get a good feel for the tasks that are associated with different jobs. It is usually used in training for supervisory positions. The employee learns a little about everything. This is a good strategy for small businesses because of the many jobs an employee may be asked to do.

Apprenticeships develop employees who can do many different tasks. They usually involve several related groups of skills that allow the apprentice to practice a particular trade, and they take place over a long period of time in which the apprentice works for, and with, the senior skilled worker. Apprenticeships are especially appropriate for jobs requiring production skills.

Internships and assistantships are usually a combination of classroom and on-the-job training. They are often used to train prospective managers or marketing personnel.

Programmed learning, computer-aided instruction and interactive video all have one thing in
common: they allow the trainee to learn at his or her own pace. Also, they allow material already
learned to be bypassed in favor of material with which a trainee is having difficulty. After the
introductory period, the instructor need not be present, and the trainee can learn as his or her time
allows. These methods sound good, but may be beyond the resources of some small businesses.

Laboratory training is conducted for groups by skilled trainers. It usually is conducted at a neutral site and is used by upper- and middle management trainees to develop a spirit of teamwork and an increased ability to deal with management and peers. It can be costly and usually is offered by larger small businesses.


1. Discuss the purpose of employee training and development.

2. Analyze the necessary steps in training process.

3. Explain on how to identify the training needs.

4. Describe the Training methods.