The Process Of Personnel Management – Training And Development

Training And Development

Training programs are directed towards maintaining and improving current job performance, while development programs seek to develop skills for future jobs.

Training programs are mainly concerned with the technical aspects of the job and therefore are usually directed at employees. Development programs are mainly for managers.

(a) Training

Training varies from highly informal assessments to highly structured programs due to the different calibre of people existing in an organization the training needs will vary with each group of people.

Training of employees can be effected with different approaches which are either internal or external.

Internal approaches to training

These are programs carried out within the environs of the organization and conducted for the organization. Examples are:

i. Orientation—this is the process of introducing new employees to the organization and to their specific jobs.
ii. Development by Level—training is provided as an individual rises from level to level. It follows the promotional path and becomes more and more oriented towards development of managerial rather than technical skills. It is advantageous in that :

• the method is logical as it follows a promotional path, one only trains when the training is needed;
• since training deals with immediate performance needs trainees are highly motivated and
• training is not wasted on individuals who never rise.

iii. Job Rotation—this requires an employee to spend a certain amount of time in each of the various key departments. The objective is to show what each department does and how it relates to the organization as a whole.

Advantages:

1. Trainees can be evaluated and the manager decides whether or not he wants him.
2. Trainees get the feel of different jobs and decide which suits them best.

Limitations:

1. The exposure provided by rotation may not be long enough to prove the employee’s effectiveness.
2. Expensive, as trainees are inexperienced and thus not working properly.

iv. Apprentice Training—this method involves making the learner work as an understudy of an experienced worker for a fixed period of time after which he is expected to work alone.

v. Coaching—an informal person-to-person counselling that cannot be standardized. For it to work the subordinate must have confidence and trust in the coach. It is a method disliked by insecure superiors.

vi. Acting Capacity—the trainee temporarily works in a senior position mainly when the superior is on vacation or absent due to other reasons.

vii. Assistant to- Positions—the trainee works under close supervision of an experienced employee who may assign him some duties. It is an excellent method only if the superior is a good teacher and has the skill to counsel the employee.

viii. Committee and Junior Boards—the trainee is appointed to some committee set up for a given task. Members of the committee comprise experienced employees and the less experienced one gets the opportunity to interact with the experienced ones and to get a feel of how things are done.

External Approaches

These approaches are generally used to supplement internal programs. They are normally conducted by consultants, universities, colleges and other professional bodies. The programs may be conducted through traditional classroom lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, etc. They are useful when skill or knowledge needed is highly specialised and organisations may have no one with in-depth knowledge of the subjects.

Guidelines For Successful External Programs

1. Should include all personnel, senior and subordinate.
2. The program should be evaluated regularly to justify its usefulness.
3. It must be actively supported by top management.
4. Emphasis should be placed on results not on the training activities.
5. Training needs should determine the methods or programs.
6. The theory and practice must be integrated.
7. Training should be rewarded.


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