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Training effectiveness – a study on pre training and post-training effectiveness


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  • 1. International Journal of ManagementVolume 1 • Issue 1 • May 2010 • pp.104-110 IJM ©IAEM TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS – A STUDY ON PRE-TRAINING AND POST-TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS S. Ganesan 1, Dr. V. Badrinath 2, Dr. N. Panchanatham 3Abstract: Training is a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge or skill behaviourthrough new learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity orrange of activities (MSC, 1981). In 20th century it was considered the machines andtechnology were the most important assets for organization, but in 21st century it isconsidered that the skilled employees are the best assets to organization (PeterDrucker, 1999). Training is essential to facilitate improved performance and everyoneseems to have one opinion on the best way to train (Berthelsen, 2002). Even thoughthe employees are experienced in the organization with their existing jobs, due toseveral factors like technology upgrade, obsolescence of products etc, they must be ina position to go for new trainings time to time to update the knowledge and skills. The organizational culture provides a sense of identity for employees and thisidentity increase the employee’s retention and satisfaction (Eskildsen & Nussler,2000). Trainings in organizations have an extensive history of research regardingactive training, learner driven training and impact of training on performance. Thewise organizations always assess the market situation, plan and priorities the trainingrequirements for their employees (Berthelsen, 2002). This article is an attempt to findthe gap in the competency level of employees even though they are in the same jobover several years, and this competency gap is mainly due to redundant technology,obsolescence and lack in technology updates etc. From an employee point of view,competencies were seen as assets tradable for higher salaries (Rita, 2002). The resultsof this article proved significant increase in their knowledge shift to higher level. 1 Training Manager & Research Scholar. 2 Dean, School of Management, SASTRA University, Thanjavur – 613 401, India. 3 Professor & Head, Department of Business Management, Annamalai University – 608 002, India
  • 2. International Journal of ManagementIntroduction: Training has been defined as “a method of enhancing human performance”(Silberman, 1998). In this competitive world it is very important for organization tohave skilled & talented employees to achieve sustainable growth. The talent of theemployees includes in depth knowledge in the subject matter, up to date skills toperform the work, motivated attitude to perform the job. The performance of theemployee depends upon their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Engineering industriesfacing continuous demand to produce more with less input, better quality productsand services in shorter production cycles. Increasing demand, technology upgrade, obsolete technology, energy efficientand environment friendly technology are some of the main reasons forcing theemployees to update their existing knowledge and skills to achieve sustainable resultsfor the organization.Training is important to improve the performance of employees (Rummler andBrache, 1990), impacting general growth of employees (Swanson, 1994), andrecruiting and retaining the best employees (Olesen, 1999). Large size organizations do have their own training and development centers toupdate the knowledge, skills and attitudes of their employees time to time. But thenew skills, knowledge available in the market must be updated to trainers of suchorganizations to give the opportunity for them to train their employees. This can beachieved by means of external specialized trainers with specialized skills, knowledge.The training is usually a short-term activity comparing the teaching, which is usuallylong-term activity. 105
  • 3. International Journal of ManagementMethodology: The key to effective training is designing learning activities so the participantsacquire knowledge and skills rather than receiving them (Silberman, 1998). Trainingsare designed to emphasize the importance of building upon the learner’s priorexperiences while integrating new concepts and promoting improved self-efficacy(Berthelsen, 2002). A reputed global engineering company with around 44000 strongemployees across the world and present in over 160 countries with more than 100production plants across the world involved in conducting external training for theircustomers across the world made an attempt to find the employee competency gap intheir specialized field of work. The organizational support to employees through training to acquire newknowledge, self empowerment to do better work and recognition for their best resultswill impact positively on employee commitment towards their job, retention and jobsatisfaction. A group of Fertilizer, power, food processing, refining, watertransmission and petrochemical industries were selected for this project and specificskills related technical trainings had been given to 129 employees. The qualificationof employees ranging from diploma level to engineer level and having the industrialexperience ranging from 1 year to 32 years in their respective industry. During eachtraining a pre-training and post-training evaluations were carried out. Thecharacteristics of adults as learners (Cross, 1981) that consists of two variables,personal and situational characteristics respectively. In this study the personalcharacteristics are taken to test the hypothesis. The personal characteristics includeaging, life phases and developmental changes. 106
  • 4. International Journal of ManagementAnalysis and Discussion: Any proactive engineering company will identify the organization’s prioritiesand plans training to address those needs (Rita, 2002). A technical training inindustrial machinery vibration diagnostics methodology has been conducted for 39selected people who are working in fertilizer production plant and power productionplant. Organizational training includes the areas of personnel development, technicalskills development and interpersonal skills development (Rita, 2002). The experienceof people attended the training range from one year to thirty years. The mean averageindustrial experience of the employee is 8 years. Two days condensed format traininghas been given for these selected people. Prior to training pre-training evaluation hasbeen carried out. The results shows, even though they are well experienced in theirfield, the technical knowledge is well below the best industrial standard. The pre-training evaluation marks mean average is 19%. The main reason for this is due tocontinuous development in engineering technology, new techniques in industrialproduction and implementing electronics in mechanical field to automate theindustrial process, which were not adopted by the company, thus lagging in theknowledge. After two days training, the post-training evaluation mean average is74%. As mentioned by Silberman (1998), training is a method of enhancing humanperformance. In another instance there was a root cause analysis of rolling elementbearings training has been arranged by a fertilizer plant-training department, throughan external training provider and the training was conducted onsite for selected 24attendees from mechanical maintenance. They all are Oman nationals and havingminimum qualification of higher diploma in mechanical engineering. The averageindustrial experience of the attendee is 3.6 years. Pre-training evaluation result showsthe mean average score by attendees are 10%. This is a very clear indication of poor 107
  • 5. International Journal of Managementknowledge transfer during their induction and in-plant training. After successfulcompletion of two days intensive training in root cause analysis of rolling elementbearings, the post-training evaluation result shows significant improvement of 72 outof 100 marks. The employers are constantly searching for the key to retention, employeesatisfaction and improved productivity (Rita, 2002). There was a public trainingarranged by world leader bearing manufacturer, in which there were 33 attendeesparticipated to acquire latest knowledge in the field of rotating equipment machineryalignment by using laser alignment technique. This is the latest advancement in thisfield improves the quality of work over 95%. The people who have attended thistraining are from different countries (India, Philippines, Oman and Bahrain) and theaverage industrial experience is 7 years. They are from different industrialbackground includes fertilizer plant, power production and aluminium smelter plants.Pre-training score shows mean average of 14% and post training average score showsaverage of 70%. Training sessions are planned to improve productivity, to increase technicalknowledge and skills and to adopt new technologies available in the market toproduce efficiently (Rita, 2002). In a fertilizer plant, the internal training departmentdecided to send its 28 technicians for lubrication management system training. In anyprocess plant, it is very significant that the lubrication management plays a vital rolein machinery health monitoring and improving machinery availability. The averageexperience of the attendee is 3.8 years. Pre-training evaluation results are rangingfrom 0 – 40 mark out of 100. It is evident that the lubrication is treated as blood forthe machines, hence it is very important to manage the machinery lubrication at righttime. But the lack of knowledge in this field results in higher machinery failures. Post-training evaluation the marks mean average is 70 out of 100. 108
  • 6. International Journal of ManagementConclusion: It is always challenging to motivate employees to learn new skills and possesshigh levels of satisfaction and to increase retention (Rita, 2002). Based on above casestudies conducted in various industries like power generation, fertilizer production,water transmission it is evident that the knowledge of employees can be improved byproviding appropriate trainings time to time. The degree of learning and satisfactionthrough the training by the trainees is mainly based on the learning environment,trainer behavior and training methodology (Rita, 2002). This is mainly due to thetechnological advancement, new innovations in the engineering field etc. Thusemployee training at right time provided by right people (external source or internalsource) is really an investment to the company never being expenditure for thecompany.References: 1. Cross, K. P. (1981). Adults are learners. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 2. Drucker, Peter F.. Management Challenges of the 21st Century. New York: Harper Business, 1999. 3. Eskildsen, J., and Nussler, M. L. (2000). The managerial drivers of employee satisfaction and loyalty. Total Quality Management 11(4), 581 – 589. 4. MSC – Manpower Service Commission (1981), Glossary of Training Terms, Third Edition, HMSO, London. 5. Olesen, M. (1999). What makes employees stay? Training and development, October 48 – 52. 6. Rita Tworek Berrhelsen., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, December 2002. 109
  • 7. International Journal of Management 7. Rummler, G. A., and Brache, A. P. (1990). Improving performance: How to measure the white space on the organization chart. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 8. Silberman, M. (1998). Active training: A handbook of techniques, designs, case examples and tips. San Francisco: Josey-Bass Pfeiffer. 9. Swanson. R. (1994). Analysis for improving performance: Tools for diagnosing organizations and documenting workplace expertise. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 110