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Hrm training & development

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Hrm training & development Hrm training & development Document Transcript

  • NATURE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT In simple terms, training and development refers to the imparting of specific skills, abilities and knowledge to an employee. A formal definition of training & development is… it is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge. The need for training & development is determined by the employee’s performance deficiency, computed as follows: Training & Development need = Standard performance – Actual performance. We can make a distinction among training, education and development. Such distinction enables us to acquire a better perspective about the meaning of the terms. Training, as was stated earlier, refers to the process of imparting specific skills. Education, on the other hand, is confined to theoretical learning in classrooms. Table 1. Training and Education Differentiated Training Education Application Theoretical Orientation Job Experience Classroom Learning Specific Tasks General Concepts Narrow / Perspective Broad Perspective Training refers to the process of imparting specific skills. Development refers to the learning opportunities designed to help employees grow. Education is theoretical learning in classroom. Though training and education differ in nature and orientation, they are complementary. An employee, for example, who undergoes training is presumed to have had some formal education. Furthermore, no training programme is complete without an element of education. In fact, the distinction between training and education is getting increasingly blurred nowadays. As more and more employees are called upon to exercise judgments and to choose alternative solutions to the job problems, training programmes seek to broaden and develop the individual through education. For instance, employees in well-paid jobs and/or employees in the service industry may be required to make independent decision regarding there work and their relationship with clients. Hence, organization must consider elements of both education and training while planning there training programmes. Development refers to those learning opportunities designed to help employees grow. Development is not primarily skill-oriented. Instead, it provides general knowledge and attitudes which will be helpful to employees in higher positions.
  • Efforts towards development often depend on personal drive and ambition. Development activities, such as those supplied by management developmental programmes, are generally voluntary. To bring the distinction among training, education and development into sharp focus, it may be stated that “training is offered to operatives”, whereas “developmental programmes are meant for employees in higher positions”. Education however is common to all the employees, there grades notwithstanding. AIMS/OBJECTIVES OF TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT The fundamental aim of training is to help the organization achieve its purpose by adding value to its key resource – the people it employs. Training means investing in the people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities. The particular objectives of training are to: • Develop the competences of employees and improve their performance; • Help people to grow within the organization in order that, as far as possible, its future needs for human resource can be met from within; • Reduce the learning time for employees starting in new jobs on appointment, transfers or promotion, and ensure that they become fully competent as quickly and economically as possible. INPUTS IN TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENTS Any training and development programme must contain inputs which enable the participants to gain skills, learn theoretical concepts and help acquire vision to look into distant future. In addition to these, there is a need to impart ethical orientation, emphasize on attitudinal changes and stress upon decision-making and problem-solving abilities. Skills Training, as was stated earlier, is imparting skills to employees. A worker needs skills to operate machines, and use other equipments with least damage or scrap. This is a basic skill without which the operator will not be able to function. There is also the need for motor skills. Motor skills refer to performance of specific physical activities. These skills involve training to move various parts of one’s body in response to certain external and internal stimuli. Common motor skills include walking, riding a bicycle, tying a shoelace, throwing a ball and driving a car. Motor skills are needed for all employees – from the clerk to the general manager. Employees, particularly supervisors and executives, need interpersonal skills popular known as the people skills. Interpersonal skills are needed to understand one self and others better, and act accordingly. Examples
  • of interpersonal skills include listening, persuading, and showing an understanding of others’ feelings. Education The purpose of education is to teach theoretical concepts and develop a sense of reasoning and judgement. That any training and development programme must contain an element of education is well understood by HR specialist. Any such programme has university professors as resource persons to enlighten participants about theoretical knowledge of the topic proposed to be discussed. In fact organizations depute or encourage employees to do courses on a part time basis. Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) are known to attend refresher courses conducted by business schools. Education is important for managers and executives than for lower-cadre workers. Development Another component of a training and development is development which is less skill oriented but stressed on knowledge. Knowledge about business environment, management principles and techniques, human relations, specific industry analysis and the like is useful for better management of the company. Ethics There is need for imparting greater ethical orientation to a training and development programme. There is no denial of the fact that ethics are largely ignored in businesses. Unethical practices abound in marketing, finance and production function in an organization. They are less see and talked about in the personnel function. If the production, finance and marketing personnel indulge in unethical practices the fault rests on the HR manager. It is his/her duty to enlighten all the employees in the organization about the need of ethical behavior. Exhibit # 1 White Collar Crimes The findings of the KPMG’s fraud survey for 1998, confirm the prevalence of white collar crimes in corporate India. The survey has pegged the loss due to delinquencies at Rs.200 crores but KPMG feels that it is only the tip of the iceberg. According to the study, 66% of the respondents feel that the frauds will increase. Respondents have cited kickbacks and expenses accounts as the most frequent types of internal frauds, and patent infringements, false representation and secret commissions as the most favored external crimes. Among management frauds, window dressing of balance sheets is the hot favorite followed by more creative ones like fudging MIS and giving wrong information.
  • Attitudinal Changes Attitudes represent feeling and beliefs of individuals towards others. Attitude affects motivation, satisfaction and job commitment. Negative attitudes need to be converted into positive attitudes. Changing negative attitudes is difficult because – 1. Employees refuse to changes 2. They have prior commitments 3. And information needed to change attitudes may not be sufficient Nevertheless, attitude must be changed so that employees feel committed to the organization, are motivated for better performance, and derive satisfaction from there jobs and the work environment Decisions Making and Problem Solving Skills Decision making skill and problem solving skills focus on method and techniques for making organizational decisions and solving work-related problems. Learning related to decision-making and problem-solving skills seeks to improve trainees’ abilities to define structure problems, collect and analysis information, generate alternative solution and make an optimal decision among alternatives. Training of this type is typically provided to potential managers, supervisors and professionals. Exhibit # 2 Training inputs at HLL The training and development affords at HLL are designed to develop the following: 1. Helping employees satisfy personal goals through higher level of skills and competencies 2. Facilitating higher contribution at there present jobs and preparing them for the next level of responsibilities 3. Developing individuals and teams to meet the total needs of the organization TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT AS SOURCE OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Companies derive competitive advantage from training and development. Training and development programmes, as was pointed out earlier, help remove performance deficiencies in employee. This is particularly true when - (1) the deficiency is caused by a lack of ability rather than a lack of motivation to perform, (2) the individual(s) involved have the aptitude and motivation need to learn to do the job better, and (3) supervisors and peers are supportive of the desired behaviors.
  • Training & Development offers competitive advantage to a firm by removing performance deficiencies; making employees stay long; minimized accidents, scraps and damage; and meeting future employee needs. There is greater stability, flexibility, and capacity for growth in an organization. Training contributes to employee stability in at least two ways. Employees become efficient after undergoing training. Efficient employees contribute to the growth of the organization. Growth renders stability to the workforce. Further, trained employees tend to stay with the organization. They seldom leave the company. Training makes the employees versatile in operations. All rounders can be transferred to any job. Flexibility is therefore ensured. Growth indicates prosperity, which is reflected in increased profits from year to year. Who else but well-trained employees can contribute to the prosperity of an enterprise? Accidents, scrap and damage to machinery and equipment can be avoided or minimized through training. Even dissatisfaction, complaints, absenteeism, and turnover can be reduced if employees are trained well. Future needs of employees will be met through training and development programmes. Organizations take fresh diploma holders or graduates as apprentices or management trainees. They are absorbed after course completion. Training serves as an effective source of recruitment. Training is an investment in HR with a promise of better returns in future. A company's training and development pays dividends to the employee and the organization. Though no single training programme yields all the benefits, the organization which devotes itself to training and development enhances its HR capabilities and strengthens its competitive edge. At the same time, the employee's personal and career goals are furthered, generally adding to his or her abilities and value to the employer. Ultimately, the objectives of the HR department are also furthered. The Benefits of Employee Training How Training Benefits the Organization: • Leads to improved profitability and/or more positive attitudes towards profit orientation. Improves the job knowledge and skills at all levels of the organization • Improves the morale of the workforce • Helps people identify with organizational goals • Helps create a better corporate image • Fosters authenticity, openness and trust • Improves relationship between boss and subordinate • Aids in organizational development • learns from the trainee
  • • Helps prepare guidelines for work • Aids in understanding and carrying out organizational policies. • Provides information for future needs in all areas of the organization • Organization gets more effective decision-making and problem-solving skills • Aids in development for promotion from within • Aids in developing leadership skills, motivation, loyalty, better attitudes, and other aspects that successful workers and managers usually display • Aids in increasing productivity and/or quality of work • Helps keep costs down in many areas, e.g. production, personnel, administration, etc. • Develops a sense of responsibility to the organization for being competent and knowledgeable • Improves Labour-management relations • Reduces outside consulting costs by utilizing competent internal consultation • Stimulates preventive management as opposed to putting out fires • Eliminates suboptimal behavior (such as hiding tools) • Creates an appropriate climate for growth, communication • Aids in improving organizational communication • Helps employees adjust to change • Aids in handling conflict, thereby helping to prevent stress and tension. Benefits to the Individual Which in Turn Ultimately Should Benefit the Organization: • Helps the individual in making better decisions and effective problem solving • Through training and development, motivational variables of recognition, achievement, growth, responsibility and advancement are internalized and operationalised • Aids in encouraging and achieving self-development and self-confidence • Helps a person handle stress, tension, frustration and conflict • Provides information for improving leadership, knowledge, communication skills and attitudes • Increases job satisfaction and recognition • Moves a person towards personal goals while improving interactive skills • Satisfies personal needs of the trainer (and trainee) • Provides the trainee an avenue for growth and a say in his/her own future • Develops a sense of growth in learning • Helps a person develop speaking and listening skills; also writing skills when exercises are required. Helps eliminate fear in attempting new tasks Benefits in Personnel and Human Relations, Intra-group & Inter-group Relations and Policy Implementation:
  • • Improves communication between groups and individuals: • Aids in orientation for new employee and those taking new jobs through transfer or promotion • Provides information on equal opportunity and affirmative action • Provides information on other government laws and administrative policies • Improves interpersonal skills. • Makes organizational policies, rules and regulations viable. • Improves morale • Builds cohesiveness in groups • Provides a good climate for learning, growth, and co-ordination • Makes the organization a better place to work and live THE TRAINING PROCESS Figure #1 below outline important steps in a typical training process.
  • Needs assessment Organizational support Organizational analysis Task and KSA analysis Person analysis Developm Training Instructional ent of Validity Objective criteria Selection and design Transfer of Validity instructional programs Intraorgani Training zational Use of validity evaluation models Interorgani zational validity The Training Process NEED ASSESSMENT Needs assessment diagnoses present problems and future challenges to be met through training and development. Organizations spend vast sums of money (usually as a percentage on turnover) on training and development. Before committing such huge resources, organizations would do well to the training needs of their employees. Organizations that implement training programmes without conducting needs assessment may be making errors. For example, a needs assessment exercise reveal that less costly interventions (e.g. selection, compensation package, job redesign) could be used in lieu of training. Needs assessment occurs at two levels-group and individual. An individual
  • obviously needs when his or her performance falls short of standards, that is, when there is performance deficiency. Inadequacy in performance may be due to lack of skill or knowledge or any other problem. The problem of performance deficiency caused by absence of skills or knowledge can be remedied by training. Faulty selection, poor job design, uninspiring supervision or some personal problem may also result in poor performance. Transfer, job redesign, improving quality of supervision, or discharge will solve the problem. Figure below illustrates the assessment of individual training needs and remedial measures. Performance Deficiency Lack of skill or Other Causes Knowledge Non-training Training Measures Figure #2 Needs Assessment and Remedial Measures Assessment of training needs must also focus on anticipated skills of an employee. Technology changes fast and new technology demands new skills. It is necessary that the employee be acquire new skills. This will help him/her to progress in his or her career path. Training and development is essential to prepare the employee to handle more challenging tasks. Deputation to a part- time MBA programme is ideal to train and develop such employees. Individuals may also require new skills because of possible job transfers. Although job transfer common as organizational personnel demands vary, they do not necessarily require training efforts. Employees commonly require only an orientation to new facilities and jobs. Recently however, economic forces have necessitated significant retraining efforts in order to assure continued employment for many individuals. Jobs have disappeared as technology, foreign competition, and the forces of supply and demand are changing the face of our industry. Assessment of training needs occurs at the group level too. Any change in the organizations strategy necessitates training of groups of employees. For
  • example, when the organization decide to introduce a new line of products, sales personnel and production workers have to be trained to produce, sell and service the new products. Training can also be used when high scrap or accident rates, low morale and motivation, or other problems are diagnosed. Although training is not all, such undesirable happenings reflect poorly-trained workforce. Needs assessment methods How are training needs assessed? Several methods are available for the purpose. As shown in the below table, some are useful for organizational-level needs assessment others for individual needs assessment Table #2 Methods Used in Training Needs Assessment Group or organizational Analysis Individual Analysis Organizational goals and objective Performance appraisal Personnel/skill invention Work sampling Organizational climate indices Interviews Efficiency indices Questionnaires Exit interviews Attitude survey MBO or work planning systems Training progress Customer survey/satisfaction data Rating scales Customer survey/satisfaction data Consideration of current and projected changes Issue in Needs assessment Needs assessment, individual or group, should consider several issues as shown in Fig. #1 Organizational Support: Needs assessment is likely to make inroads into organizational life. The assessment tends to change patterns of behavior of employees. When the needs assessment is carefully designed and supported by the organization, disruption is minimized and co-operation is much more likely to occur. Obviously, the analyst needs to take steps to work effectively with all
  • parties and gain the trust and support of the participants in the needs assessment. Organizational Analysis: Having obtained organizational support, the next step in the needs assessment is an organizational analysis, which seeks to examine the goals of the organization (short-term and long-term), and the trends that are likely to affect these goals. The analyst needs to ask and answer the following questions: • Is there a sufficient supply of people? • How does the firm attract, retain and motivate diverse work-force? • How does the firm compete for individuals with the right skills, knowledge abilities and attitudes? • How do employees make the firm competitive, domestically and internationally? • Which are the target jobs that require training? These issues enable the analyst identify skill gaps in people, which training seeks to fill. Organizational analysis seeks to examine the goals of the organization and the trends that are likely to affect these goals. Task and KSA Analysis In addition to obtaining organizational support and making organizational analysis, it is necessary to assess and identify what tasks are needed on each job and which knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) are necessary to perform these tasks. This assessment helps prepare a blueprint that describes the KSAs to be achieved upon completion of the training programme. Person Analysis: This analysis obliviously targets individual employees. A very important aspect of person analysis is to determine which necessary KSAs have already been learnt by the prospective trainee so that precious training time is not wasted repeating what has already been acquired. Also, employed who need to undergo training are identified at this stage. Benefit of Needs Assessment Training programmes are designed to achieve specific goals that meet felt needs. There is always the temptation to begin training without a thorough analysis of these needs. Should this happen, the training programme becomes inappropriate and its administration turn to be perfunctory. There are other benefits of needs assessment are other benefits of needs assessment: 1. Trainers may be informed about the broader needs of the trainees. 2. Trainers are able to pitch their course inputs closer to the specific needs of the trainees. 3. Assessment makes training department more accountable and more clearly linked to other human resource activities, which may make the training programme easier to sell to line manager. Consequences of Absence of Training Needs Assessment
  • The significance of needs assessment can be better understood by looking at the consequence of inadequate or absence of needs assessment. Failure to conduct needs assessment can contribute to: • Loss of business • Constraints on business development • Higher labor turnover • Poorer-quality applicants • Increased overtime working • Higher rates of pay, overtime premiums and supplements • Higher recruitment costs, including advertising, time and incentives • Greater pressure and stress on management and staff to provide cover. • Pressure on job-evaluation schemes, grading structures, payment system and career structure • Additional retention costs in the form of flexible working time, job sharing, part time working, shift working, etc. • Need for job redesign and revision of job specifications • Undermining career paths and structures • Higher training costs Deriving Instructional Objectives The next phase in the training process is to identify instructional objectives. Needs assessment helps prepare a blueprint that describes the objectives to be achieved by the trainee upon completion of the training programme. Instructional objectives provide the input for designing the training programme as well as for the measures of success (criteria) that would help assess effectiveness of the training programme. Below are some sample instructional objectives for a training programme with sales people. • After training, the employee will be able to smile at all customers even when exhausted or ill unless the customer is irate. • After training, the employee will be able to accurately calculate mark down on all sales merchandise. Designing Training and Development Programme Every training and development programme must address certain vital issues (1) who participate in the programme? (2) Who are the trainers? (3) What methods and techniques are to be used for training? (4) What should be the level of training? (5) What learning principles are needed? (6) Where is the programme conducted?
  • What methods Who are the Fig #3 Steps inthe Who are training Programme and trainees? trainers? techniques? Who are the Trainees? Trainees should be selected on the basis of self nomination, recommendations of supervisors or by the HR department itself. Whatever is the basis, it is advisable to have two or more target audiences. For example, rank-and-file employees and their supervisors may effectively learn together about a new work process and their respective roles. Bringing several What should be target audience together can also facilitate group processes conduct problem What principles of Where to such as the level of learning? the programme? solving and decision making, elements useful in quality circle projects. training? Who are the Trainers? Training and development programmes may be conducted by several people, including the following: 1. Immediate supervisors, 2. Co-workers, as in buddy systems, 3. Members of the personnel staff, 4. Specialists in other parts of the company, 5. Outside consultants, 6. Industry associations, and 7. Faculty members at universities. Who among these are selected to teach, often, depends on where the programme is held and the skill that is being taught. For example, programmes teaching basic skills are usually done by the members of the HR department or specialists in other departments of the company. On the other hand, interpersonal and conceptual skills for managers are taught at universities. Large organizations generally maintain their own training departments whose staff conducts the programmes. In addition, many organizations arrange basic-skills training for computer literacy. Methods and Techniques of Training: A multitude of methods of training are used to train employees. The most commonly used methods are shown in Table #2. Table #2 lists the various training methods and presents a summary of the most frequent uses to which these methods are put. As can be seen from Table #2, training methods are categorized into two groups-{I) on-the-job and (ii) off- the-job methods. On-the-job methods refer to methods that are applied in the
  • workplace, while the employee is actually working. Off-the-job methods are used away from workplaces. Training techniques represent the medium of imparting skills and knowledge to employees. Obviously, training techniques are the means employed in the training methods. Among the most commonly used techniques are lectures, films, audio cassettes, case studies, role playing, video-tapes and simulations. Table #3 presents the list of training techniques along with their ranking based on effectiveness. The higher the ranking (1 is the highest rank), the more effective the technique is. Table # 3 Training Methods and the Activities for which they are used Orienting New Sales, Creative, Employees, Special Administrative, Safety Technical & Introducing, Skills Supervisory & Education Professional Innovations Training Managerial Education In Products Education & Services 1 2 3 4 5 A. On the Job Training Orientation Y N N N N Training Job Y Y N N N instruction training Apprentice Y Y N N N training Internships & N y N Y Y Assistantship Job Rotation Y N N N Y Coaching N Y Y Y Y B. Off the Job Methods Vestibule Y Y N N N Lecture Y Y Y Y Y Special Y Y Y Y Y Study Films Y Y Y Y Y Televisions Y Y Y Y Y Conference Y N Y Y Y or Discussion
  • Case Study N N N N Y Role Playing N N N Y N Simulation Y Y Y Y N Programmed Y Y Y Y 3 Instructions Laboratory N N 3 3 N training Y=Yes; N-No At this point, it is worthwhile to elaborate on important techniques of training. We explain the following-lectures, audio-visuals, on-the-job training, programmed instruction, computer aided instruction, simulation and sensitivity training. Lectures: Lecture is a verbal presentation of information by an instructor to a large audience. The lecturer is presumed to possess a considerable depth of knowledge of the subject at hand. A virtue of this method is that is can be used for very large groups, and hence the cost per trainee is low. This method is mainly used in colleges and universities, though its application is restricted in training factory employees. (See Table #3) Table #4 The Relative Effectiveness of training Methods Training Knowledge Changing Problem Interpersonal Participant Knowledge Method Acquisition Attitudes Solving Skills Acceptance retention Rank Rank Skills Rank Rank Rank Case study 2 4 1 4 2 2 Conference 3 3 4 3 1 5 Lecture 9 8 9 8 8 8 Business games 6 5 2 5 3 6 Films 4 6 7 6 5 7 Programmed 1 7 6 7 7 1 Instruction Role Playing 7 2 3 2 4 4 Sensitivity Training 8 1 5 1 6 3 Television 5 9 8 9 9 9 Lecture Limitations of the lecture method account for its low popularity. The method violates the principle of learning by practice. It constitutes a one-way communication. There is no feedback from the audience.. Continued lecturing is likely to bore the audience. To break the boredom, the lecturer often resorts to anecdotes, jokes and other attention-getters. This activity may eventually overshadow the real purpose of instruction. However, the lecture method can be made effective it if is combined other methods of training.
  • Audio-visual: Visuals Audio-visuals include television slides, overheads, video- types and films. These can be used to provide a wide range of realistic examples of job conditions and situations in the condensed period of time. Further, the quality of the presentation can be controlled and will remain equal for all training group. But, audio-visuals constitute a one-way system of communication with no scope for the audience to raise doubts for clarification. Further, there is no flexibility of presentation from audience to audience. On the job Training (OJT) Majority of industrial training is of the on-the-job- training type. OJT is conducted at the work site and in the context of the job. Often, it is informal, as when an experienced worker shows a trainee how to perform the job tasks. OJT has advantages. It is the most effective method as the trainee learns by experience, making him or her highly competent. Further, the method is least expensive since no formal training is organized. The trainee is highly motivated to learn he or she is aware of the fact that his or her success on the job depends on the training received. Finally, the training is free from an artificial situation of a classroom. This contributes to the effectiveness of the programme. OJT suffers form certain demerits as well. The experienced employee may lack experience or inclination to train the juniors. The training programme itself is not systematically organized. In addition, a poorly conducted OJT programme is likely. to create safety hazards, result in damaged products or materials, and bring unnecessary stress to the trainees. OJT is conducted at the work site and in the context of the job. It is, much time, informal. An experienced worker shows a trainee how to work on the job. Programmed Instruction (PI) This is a method where training is offered without the intervention of a trainer. Information is provided to the trainee in blocks, either in a book of thought a teaching machine. After reading each block of material, the learner must answer a question about it. Feedback in the form of correct answers is provided after each response. Thus, programmed instruction (PI) involves: 1. Presenting questions, facts, or problems to the learner 2. Allowing the person to respond 3. Providing feedback on the accuracy of his or her answers 4. If the answers are correct, the learner proceeds to the next block. If not, he or she repeats the same. The main advantage of PI is that it is self-paced-trainees can progress through the programme at their own speed. Strong motivation is provided to the learner to repeat learning. Material is also structured and self-contained, offering much scope for practice.
  • The disadvantages are not to be ignored. The scope for learning is less, compared to other methods of training. Cost of preparing books, manuals and machinery is considerably high. Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) This is an extension of the PI method. The speed memory and data-manipulation capabilities of the computer permit greater utilization of basic PI concept. For example, the learner's response may determine the frequency and difficulty level of the next frame. CAI is an improved system when compared to the PI method, in at least three respects. First, CAI provides for accountability as tests are taken on the computer so that the management can monitor each trainee's progress and needs. Second, a CAI training programme can also be modified easily to reflect technological innovations in the equipment for which the employee is being trained. Third, this training also tends to be more flexible in that trainees can usually use the computer almost any time they want, and thus get training when they prefer. Not to be ignored is the fact that from CAI is as rich and colorful as modem electronic games, complete with audio instruction displays. A deterrent with regard to CAI is its high cost, but repeated use may justify the cost. Simulation: A simulator is any kind of equipment or technique that duplicates as nearly as possible the actual conditions encountered on the job. Simulation then, is an attempt to create a realistic decision-making environment for the trainee. Simulations present likely problem situation and alternatives to the trainee. For example, activities of an organization may be simulated and the trainee may be asked to make a decision in support to those activities. The results of those decisions are reported back to the trainee with an explanation of what would have happened had they actually made in the workplace. The trainee learns from this feedback and improves his/her subsequent simulation and workplace decisions. The more widely held simulation exercises are case study, role playing and vestibu1 training. Case Study: is a written description of an actual situation in business which provokes, in the reader, the need to decide what is going on, what the situation really is or what the problems are, and what can and should be done. Taken from the actual experiences of organizations, these cases represent to describe, as accurately as possible, real problems that managers have faced. Trainee studies the cases to determine problems, analyses causes, develop alternative solutions, select the best one, and implement it. Case study can provide stimulating discussions among participants as well as excellent opportunities for individuals to defend their analytical and judgment abilities. It appears to be an ideal method to promote decision-making abilities within the constraints of limited data. Role playing: generally focuses on emotional (mainly human relations) issues rather than actual ones. The essence of role playing is to create a realistic
  • situation, as in case study, and then have the trainee assume the parts of specific personalities in the situation. For example, a male worker may assume the role of a female supervisor, and the supervisor may assume the role of a male worker. Then, both may be given a typical work situation and asked to respond as they expect others to do. The consequences are a better understanding among individuals. Role playing helps promote interpersonal relation. Attitude change is another result of role playing. Case study and role playing are used in MDPs Vestibule Training: utilizes equipment which closely resembles the actual ones used on the job. However, training takes place away from the work environment. A special area or a room is set aside from the main production area and is equipped with furnishings similar to those found in the actual production area. The trainee is then permitted to learn under simulated conditions, without disrupting ongoing operations. A primary advantage of vestibule training it relieves the employee from the pressure of having to produce while learning. The emphasis is on learning skills required by the job. Of course, the cost of duplicate facilities and a special trainer is an obvious disadvantage. The advantage of simulation is the opportunity to 'create an environment' similar to real situations the manager incurs, but without the high costs involved should the actions prove undesirable. The disadvantage is (i) it is difficult to duplicate the pressures and realities of actual decision-making non the job and (ii) individuals often act differently in real-life situations than they do in acting out a simulated exercise. Sensitivity Training: Sensitivity training uses small numbers of trainees, usually fewer than 12 in a Group. They meet with a passive trainer and gain insight into their own and others' behavior. Meeting have no agenda, are held away from workplaces, and questions deal with the 'here and now' of the group process. Discussions focus on 'why participants behave as they do, how they perceive one another, and the feelings and emotions generated in the interaction process. The objectives of sensitivity training are to provide the participants with increased awareness of their own behavior and how others perceive them-greater sensitivity to the behavior of others, and increased understanding of group’s processes. Specific results sought include increased ability to empathize with other, improved listening skills, greater openness, increased tolerance of individual difference and increased conflict-resolution skills. The drawback of this method is that once the training is over, the participants are themselves again and they resort to their old habits. Sensitivity training can go by a variety of names-laboratory training, encounter groups, or T- groups (training groups). Table 9.9 shows some more techniques of training.
  • Exhibit # 3 Training goes Techno-Savvy In today’s electronic world, the World Wide Web (WWW) is all pervasive. The internet and intranet are changing the face of training and learning. Using a PC, a modem and a web browser, it has become possible to learn online. Web-based courses through distance learning are virtual. An employee can simply connect to the Internet study the syllabus options available, and enroll for the courses electronically. He or she can then receive a. course work online and even take tests and advance to the next level-all from his or her own house. Global giants like Motorola and Ford Motor are reaping the benefits of virtual learning. Employees of Motorola have access of self-paced computer based training (CBT) material through the firm's Intranet Motorola offers nearly one hundred online courses, mostly in information technology. Virtual learning presents its own challenges. The biggest being an infrastructure to connect the entire organization across the seven seas. Web servers, ISDN lines, laptops, and personnel computers are the basic requisites. But these facilities will payoff in the long-run. Firms investing in virtual learning technologies can slash their training budgets by 30 to 50 per cent Learning through the web can be very convenient for' employees. There are no fixed schedules or limitations of time. One can attend the course at home, in the evening when one is at leisure, or while traveling to work. The learners do not have to depend on the trainer's availability. It is not just the technical programs: soft skills can also be learnt electronically. One firm used a CDROM manual to impart soft-skills like performance management, coaching, and interviewing skills. The CDROM based training was supplemented with shared learning via teleconferencing, where managers discussed key learning’s and asked for clarifications. Face to face, role-playing exercises were added for the human touch. One advantage of computer-based soft-skills training is that it helps maintain anonymity in situations that may be discomforting for trainees. For example, role- playing exercises, may call for sharing personal information with strangers. This can be avoided in a virtual-learning setting, till the time the learner becomes more open and flexible. It reads like who is who in using virtual learning. Motorola and Ford are only the two. There are others too. IBM, for example, has a virtual university, IBM Global Campus, to provide its employees continuous skills-driven-Learning opportunities via the corporate intranet across the globe. Federal Express has turned to interactive multimedia for a more effective training
  • system. Employees have the facility to get training via personnel computers during regular working hours at any time convenient to them. Texas Instrument has been using satellite-based and CBT for a long time. The firm's satellite broadcast links employees in countries all over the world, including Germany, Italy, France, England, Japan, and India. Boeing delivers interactive training to its 22,000 managers globally through a communication service that uses the satellite broadcast technology. One application of the service was a short strategic planning skills course for employees in Boeing offices in US, Japan, Australia, and Western Europe. The course participants viewed the workshops on monitors in corporate conference rooms as well as on large-screen video-projection equipment in auditoriums. The online training was supplemented with small-group work with a site facilitator, presentations via satellite from Boeing experts, workbook exercises, and audio interaction with instructors. Boeing reported savings of $ 9 million in travel costs alone. Table #5 Techniques of Training Technique Description Ice Breakers Games to get team members know each other Leading Games Exercise to each different styles of leadership Skill Games Test to develop analytical skills Communication Games Exercise to build bias free listening and talking Strategic planners Games to test ability to plan ahead Team building games Exercise requiring collaborative effort Role reversal Exercise to teach plurality of view Doubling Bring out the ideas that are not often expressed Tag Teams One role played alternately by two participant Mirroring Training with external perspective Monodrama Insight into a given interaction Shifting physical position highlighting of communication problems Structured role playing Role play with predetermined objective Multiple role playing Providing a common focus of discussion Built-in-tension Teaching the importance of resolving matter Shadowing Working under a senior to watch and learn Outward bound training Adventure sports for teams 9 + 1 + 23 Self-assessment by a leader of leadership skills Lateral Thinking Thinking randomly to come up with new ideas Morphological Analysis Listing of alternative solution to problems Gordon Technique Steering a discussion to crystallize solutions Attribute Listening Isolation, selection and evaluation of a problem Cross-Cultural Training Programmes to tech specifics of varied cultures
  • What should be the Level of Learning? The next question in designing training and development programme is to decide on the level of learning. As was pointed out earlier, the inputs passed on to trainees in training and development programmes are education, skills, and the like. In addition, there are three basic levels at which these inputs can be taught. At the lowest level, the employee or potential employee must acquire fundamental knowledge. This means developing a basic understanding of a field and becoming acquainted with the language, concepts and relationships involved in it. The goal of the next level is skills development, or acquiring the ability to perform in a particular skill area. The highest level aims at increased operational proficiency. This involves obtaining additional experience and improving skills that have already been developed.34 All the inputs of training can be offered at the three levels. How effectively they are learned depends on several principles of learning. Learning Principles: Training and development programmes are more likely to be effective when they incorporate the following principles of learning: 1. Employee motivation, 2. Recognition of individual differences, 3. Practice opportunities, 4. Reinforcement, 5. Knowledge of results (feedback), 6. Goals 7. Schedules of learning, 8. Meaning of material, and 9. Transfer of learning. Motivation to learn is the basic requisite to make training and development programmes effective. Motivation comes from awareness that training fetches some rise in status and pay. Motivation alone is not enough. The individual must have the ability to learn. Ability varies from individual to individual and this difference must be considered while organizing training programmes. Regardless of individual differences and whether a trainee is learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge of a given topic, the trainee should be given the opportunity to practice what is being taught. Practice is also essential after the individual has been successfully trained. It is almost impossible to find a professional cricket player who does not practice for several hours a day. Practice can be a form of positive reinforcement. Reinforcement may be understood as anything that (i) increases the strength of response and (ii) tends to induce repetitions of the behavior that preceded the reinforcement. Distinction may be made between positive reinforcement and
  • negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement strengthens and increases behavior by the presentation of desirable consequences. The reinforcement (event) consists of a positive experience for the individual. In more general terms, we often say that positive reinforcement consists of rewards for the individual and, when presented, contingent upon behavior, tends to increase the probability that the behavior will be repeated. For example, if an employee does something well and is complimented by the boss, the probability that the behavior will be repeated will be strengthened. In negative reinforcement, the individual exhibits the desired behavior to avoid something unpleasant. An example might by an employee who does something to avoid incurring a reprimand from his or her boss. If an employee who had the habit of coming late to work, assuming this as an unpleasant experience, the employee might begin to come on time to avoid criticism. Thus, the effect of negative reinforcement is avoidance of learning. Knowledge of results is a necessary condition for learning. Feedback about the performance will enable the learner to know where he or she stands and to initiate corrective action if any deviation from the expected goal has taken place. There are certain tasks for which such feedback is virtually mandatory for learning. A crane operator, for example, would have trouble learning to manipulate the controls without knowing how the crane responds to control actions. Goal setting can also accelerate learning, particularly when it is accompanied by knowledge of results. Individuals generally perform better and learn more quickly when they have goals, particularly if the goals are specific and reasonably difficult. Goals that are too difficult or too easy have little motivational value.37 further, goals will have better motivational value if the employee has a scope for participation in the goal-setting process. Probably one of the most well-established principles of learning is that distributed or spaced learning is superior to continuous learning. This is true for both simple laboratory tasks and for highly complex ones. Schedules of learning involve (i) duration of practice sessions, (ii) duration of rest sessions, and (ill) positioning of rest pauses. All the three must be carefully planned and executed. A definite relationship has been established between learning and meaningfulness of the subject learnt. The more meaningful the material, the better is the learning process. What is learnt in training must be transferred to the job. The traditional approach to transfer has been to maximize the identical elements between the training situation and the actual job. This may be possible for training skills such as maintaining a cash register, but not for teaching leadership or conceptual skills. Often, what is learned in a training session faces resistance back at the job. Techniques for overcoming resistance include creating positive expectations on the part of trainee's supervisor, creating
  • opportunities to implement new behavior on the job, and ensuring that the behavior is reinforced when it occurs. Commitment from the top management to the training programme also helps in overcoming resistance to change. Though, it is desirable that a training and development programme incorporates all these principles, seldom is such a combination effected in practice. Conduct of Training: A final consideration is where the training and development programme is to be conducted. Actually, the decision comes down to the following choices: 1. At the job itself 2. On site but not the job-for example, in a training room in the company 3. Off the site, such as in a university or college classroom, hotel, a resort, or a conference centres Typically, basic skills are taught at the job, and basic grammar skills are taught on the site. Much of interpersonal and conceptual skills are learnt off the site. Implementation of the Training Programme: Once the training programme has been designed, it needs to be implemented. Implementation is beset with certain problems. In the first place, most managers are action-oriented and frequently say they are too busy to engage in training efforts. Secondly, availability of trainers is a problem. In addition to possessing communication skills, the trainers must know the company's philosophy, its objectives, its formal and informal organizations, and the goals of the training programme. Training and development requires a higher degree of creativity than, perhaps, any other personnel specialty. Scheduling training around the present work is another problem. How to schedule training without disrupting the regular work? There is also the problem of record keeping about the performance of a trainee during his or her training period. This information may be useful to evaluate the progress of the trainee in the company. Programme implementation involves action on the following lines: 1. Deciding the location and organizing training and other facilities. 2. Scheduling the training programme 3. Conducting the programme 4. Monitoring the progress of trainees. Evaluation of the Programme: The last stage in the training and development process is the evaluation of results (see Fig. #1). Since huge sums of money are spent on training and development, how far the programme has been useful must be judged/determined. Evaluation helps determine the results of the training and development programme. In practice, however, organizations either overlook or lack facilities for evaluation.
  • Need for Evaluation: The main objective of evaluating the training programmes is to determine if they are accomplishing specific training objectives, that are, correcting performance deficiencies. A second reason for evaluation is to ensure that any changes in trainee capabilities are due to the training programme and not due to any other conditions. Training programmes should be evaluated to determine their cost effectiveness. Evaluation is useful to explain programme failure, should finally, credibility of training and development is greatly enhanced when it is proved that the organization has benefited tangibly from it. Principles of Evaluation: Evaluation of the training programme must be based on the principles: 1. Evaluation specialist must be clear about the goals and purposes of evaluation. 2. Evaluation must be continuous. 3. Evaluation must be specific. 4. Evaluation must provide the means and focus for trainers to be able to appraise themselves, their practices, and their products. 5. Evaluation must be based on objective methods and standards. 6. Realistic target dates must be set for each phase of the evaluation process. A sense of urgency must be developed, but deadlines that are unreasonably high will result in poor evaluation Criteria for Evaluation: The last column in Fig. 9.1 contains a number of potential goals 1. Training validity: Did the trainees learn during training? 2. Transfer validity: What has been learnt in training, has it been transferred on the job enhanced performance in the work organization? 3. Intra-organizational validity: Is performance of the new group of trainees, for which the training programme was developed, consistent with the performance of the original training group? 4. Inter-organizational validity: Can a training programme validated in one organization be used successfully in another organization? These questions often result in different evaluation techniques. Techniques of Evaluation: Several techniques of evaluation are being used in organization may be stated that the usefulness of the methods is inversely proportional to the ease with which evaluation can be done. One approach towards evaluation is to use experimental and control groups. Each group is randomly selected, one to receive training (experimental) and the other not to receive training (control). The random selection helps to assure the formation of groups quite similar to each other. Measures are taken of the relevant indicators of success (e.g. words typed per minute, quality pieces produced per hour, wires attached per minute) before and after training for both groups. If the gains demonstrated by the experimental groups are better than those by the control group, the training programme is labeled as successful.
  • Another method of training evaluation involves longitudinal or time-series analysis. Measures are taken before the programme begins and are continued during and after the programme is completed. These results are plotted on a graph to determine whether changes have occurred and remain as a result of the training effort. To further validate that change has occurred as a result of training and not due to some other variable, a control group may be included. One simple method of evaluation is to send a questionnaire to the trainees after the completion the programme to obtain their opinions about the programmes worth. Their opinions could through interviews. A variation of this method is to measure the knowledge and/or skills that employee possess at the commencement and completion of a training. If the measurement reveals that the results after training are satisfactory, then the training may be taken as successful. In order to conduct a thorough evaluation of a training programme, it is important to assess the cost and benefits associated with the programme. This is a difficult task, but is useful in convincing the management about the usefulness of training. Some of the costs that should be measured for a training programme include needs assessment cost, salaries of training department staff, purchase of equipment (computers, videos, handouts), programme development costs, evaluation costs, trainers' costs, rental facilities and trainee wages during the training period. The benefits to be compared with the cost are rupee payback associated with the improvement in trainees' performance, their behavioral change, and the longevity of the period during which the benefits would last Closed-loop System Referring to Figure #1, it may be observed that the model suggests that a training programme should be a closed-loop system in which the evaluation process provides for continual modification of the programme. The information may become available at several stages in the evaluation process. For example, an effective monitoring programme might show that the training programme has not been implemented as originally planned. In other instances, different conclusions might be supported by comparing data obtained from the evaluation of training. In addition, even when the training programme achieves its stated objectives, there are always developments that can affect the programme, including the new training techniques or characteristics of trainees. Obviously, the development of training programme needs to be viewed as a continuously evolving process.
  • E-LEARNING E-learning refers to the use of Internet or an organizational intranet to conduct training on-line. E-learning is becoming increasingly popular because of the large number of employees, who need training. Take Wipro, for example, out of its 17,500 employees, 2,500 are on site and 15,000 employees are in off-shore centers at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Delhi. How to organize training for all these? Wipro also has a policy of subjecting any employee for a two-week training every year. E-learning helps Wipro considerably. Similarly, at Satyam nearly 80% of the 9,000 employees are logged into the in-house learning management system for various courses. Infosys has almost 10% of its total training through e-Learning. E-learning has come a long way from its early days when it was used extensively for technical education such as learning new languages and familiarization with new technologies. Today, firms are introducing soft skill modules as well. Satyam uses e-learning modules on management provided by Harvard Manage Mentor Plus. Satyam has even tied up with Universitas 21-a consortium of 16 international universities and Thomson learning-for an on-line MBA. It is not that e-learning replaces traditional training system. In fact, e-learning becomes more effective when blended with traditional learning methods. Many firms use e-Learning as a prerequisite before classroom training popularly called blended training, a combination of electric learning with classroom approach. Routine training such as orientation, safety and regulation compliance is best handled in classrooms. Learning that requires discussion, tutoring and team-work can go on-line, though it might also stay in the classroom. Requisites for E-Learning: E-Learning does not simply mean putting existing courses and materials on a website. Following requisites need to be provided before launching learning on-line: • Sufficient top management support and funding needs to be committed to develop and implement e-Learning • Managers and HR professionals need to be "retrained" to accept the idea that training is being decentralized and individualized. • Current training methods (compared to e-Learning) are not adequately meeting organizational training needs. • Potential learners are adequately computer literate and have ready access to computers and the Internet • Sufficient number of learners exists and many of them are self-motivated to direct their own learning. Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Learning: E-Learning is advantageous in as much as it is self-paced, allows for consistency and incorporates built-in guidance and help. There are problems nevertheless. E-Learning tends to cause
  • trainee anxiety, as many may not be ready to accept or have access to computers and Internet. Table #6 brings out the advantages and disadvantages more comprehensively. Table #6 Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Learning Advantages Disadvantages • It is self paced. Trainees can • May cause trainee anxiety proceed on their own time • It is interactive, tapping multiple • Not all trainees may be ready for e- trainee senses Learning • Allows for consistency in the • Not all trainees may have easy and delivery of training uninterrupted access to computers • Enables scoring of • Not appropriate for all training services/assessments and content (e.g. leadership, cultural appropriate feedback change) • Incorporates built-in guidance and • Requires significant upfront 'cost helps for trainees to use when and investment needed • It is relatively easy for trainers to • No significantly greater learning update content evidenced in research studies • Can be used to enhance instructor- • Requires significant top led training management support to be successful Success Factors It is worth pointing out that organizations using e-Learning exhibit a number of common success factors: • Cultural change has taken place about how training and learning happens and is delivered; • E-Learning is closely aligned to the needs of the business; • E-Learning is closely "blended" with other types of training such as classroom activities and is not used to wholly replace other activities; • Learning needs that drive the technology rather than the other way around; • E-Learning has ongoing support from a senior level and is marketed effectively throughout the organization; • A range of people with different skills are involved, including expert trainers, facilitators, champions of e-Learning and specialist web and graphic designers IMPEDIMENTS TO EFFECTIVE TRAINING There are many impediments which can make a training programme ineffective. Following are the major hindrances: Management Commitment is Lacking and Uneven Most companies do not spend money on training. Those that do, tend to concentrate on managers,
  • technicians and professionals. The rank-and-file workers are ignored. This must change, for, as a result of rapid technological change, combined with new approaches to organizational design and production management, workers are required to learn three types of new skills: (i) the ability to use technology, (ii) the ability to maintain it, and (ill) the ability to diagnose system problems. In an increasingly competitive environment, the ability to implement rapid changes in products and technologies is often essential for economic viability Aggregate Spending on Training is Inadequate Companies spend minuscule proportions of their revenues on training. Worse still, budget allocation to training is the first item to be cut when a company faces a financial crunch. Educational Institutions Award Degrees but Graduates Lack Skills This is the reason why business must spend vast sums of money to train workers in basic skills. Organizations also need to train employees in multiple skills. Managers, particularly at the middle level, need to be retrained in team-playing skills, entrepreneurship skills, leadership skills and customer-orientation skills. Large-scale Poaching of Trained Workers Trained workforce is in great demand. Unlike Germany, where local business groups pressure companies not to poach on another company's employees, there is no such system in our country. Companies in our country, however, insist on employees to sign 'bonds of tenure' before sending them for training, particularly before deputing them to undergo training in foreign countries. Such bonds are not effective as the employees or the poachers are prepared to pay the stipulated amounts as compensation when the bonds are breached. No Help to Workers Displaced because of Downsizing Organizations are downsizing and de-layering in order to trim their workforces. The government should set apart certain fund from the National Renewal Fund for the purpose of retraining and rehabilitating displaced workers. Employers and B Schools Must Develop Closer Ties B Schools are often seen as: responding to Labour-market demands. Business is seen as not communicating its demands to B Schools. This must change. Businessmen must sit with Deans and structure the courses that would serve the purpose of business better. Organized Labour can Help Organized Labour can playa positive role in imparting training workers. Major trade unions in our country seem to be busy in attending to mundane issues such bonus, wage revision, settlement of disputes, and the like. They have little time in imparting training to their members. HOW TO MAKE TRAINING EFFECTIVE? Action on the following lines needs to be initiated to make training practice effective:
  • 1. Ensure that the management commits itself to allocate major resources and adequate time to training. This is what high-performing organizations do. For example, Xerox Corporation, in the US invests about $ 300 million annually, or about 2.5 per cent of its revenue on training. Similarly, Hewlett-Packard spends about five per cent of its annual revenue to train its 87.OC: workers. 2. Ensure that training contributes to competitive strategies of the firm. Different strategies need different HR skills for implementation. Let training help employees at all levels acquire the needed skills. 3. Ensure that a comprehensive and systematic approach to training exists, and training and retraining are done at all levels on a continuous and ongoing basis. 4. Make learning one of the fundamental values of the company. Let this philosophy percolate down to all employees in the organization. 5. Ensure that there is proper linkage among organizational, operational and individual training needs. 6. Create a system to evaluate the effectiveness of training. (Evaluation of training has been discussed above.)
  • Newspaper Article on Training & Development On August 4th 2006 Finance and marketing are passé -the function that really rocks India Inc is training. Corporate Dossier takes you deep inside the massive in-house training departments created by knowledge corporates, to find how they are powering their growth Training fires the corporate engine At the SEEPZ, Andheri , office of TCS in Mumbai, Dilip Kumar Mohapatra, 56, global head for learning and development , is occupied these days with something very unusual for people his age — computer games. Okay, we’re exaggerating. Mohapatra’s team is actually developing an online game that will be part of the induction kit for new hires, and will familiarise TCS inductees around the world — Buffalo, New York to Hangzhou, China — with the culture of the company. “The challenge is to get everyone on to the common global TCS culture,” says Mohapatra. To get a sense of this challenge, consider that the software major’s workforce across 34 countries adds up to 71,200 people from 53 nationalities. And with 2,500 new people being recruited every month, training has to find creative ways to keep pace. Up north in Gurgaon, BPO player IBM Daksh is taking training equally seriously — its training group is christened the Talent Transformation Business Unit (TTBU, and is run like a separate business with its own finance controller , quality head, an administration and transport wing, and a dedicated HR representative. It is even held accountable for output measures of its trainees, such as voice quality, rejection rates, cost of delivery and customer satisfaction metrics. “We believe that training is the most important lever to deliver high quality talent, with a direct impact on client satisfaction. That explains our disproportionate focus on this function,” says Pavan Vaish, COO, IBM Daksh.
  • While TCS and IBM Daksh are not the only ones — others like Infosys, Wipro, Genpact and ICICI Bank, face similar challenges of hiring and training people on a large scale — they are perfect examples of how the in-house training department has become crucial, in fact, core to the growth and success of India’s new age behemoths. And it shows in the investments being made by these companies into training infrastructure and resources. Infosys has a staggering $125 million annual outlay for training and development, while TCS too invests a comparable figure on training. Accenture’s global spends on training and development has been $546 million (for September-August 2005). Need of the Hour In the knowledge economy, it’s no longer enough to put your employees through the occasional training module a few times a year. Companies looking to operate and compete in a global market need to constantly skill and reskill their people, and training is becoming a 24/7/365 affair, cutting across geographies and time restrictions. To deliver this training on this scale and frequency, technology is key — media-rich content, video-on-demand, chat and online self-tutorials have ensured that most of the learning for employees takes place at the place, and time, of their convenience. “Technology has made training asynchronous,” says TV Mohandas Pai, director HR, Infosys, where 30% of training is now IT enabled. For ICICI Bank’s 27,800 employees — a bulk of them at the operational level — e-learning is a way of life when it comes to skill up gradation. “For us the classroom is the most inefficient way (to train),” says HR head K Ramkumar, whose training team conducts 190 e-learning programmes annually. What’s interesting is that by bringing in the convenience of anytime, anywhere learning, companies have managed to put the some of the onus of learning onto employees. This is further re-inforced by linking training hours completed, to the
  • individual’s overall performance score. “The responsibility of gaining competency has been shifted to the learner, since competencies are now closely aligned with appraisals,” says MP Ravindra, VP- Education & Research, and Infosys. But nowhere does training assume greater importance than in the BPO industry. With thousands of fresh graduates handling customer queries, there’s an ongoing need to equip them with the necessary soft and specialized skills. Says Aashu Calapa, executive VP, HR at ICICI One-Source, “40% of our recruits are fresh graduates, and with most jobs being customer-facing ones, clients are paranoid about the quality of people we employ.” Periodic and, often, frequent changes in the global business environment, have put greater pressure on training departments to bring employees up to speed on the latest rules and regulations in their clients’ industries. Calapa recalls that OneSource associates were once required to write two tests for a UK-based client — one on the data protection act and other on the money laundering act, and to pass they had to score 18 out of 20 points. Also, with BPO companies looking to move up the value chain, people need to be coached in new skills. “Traditional training was just about behavioral and technical training,” says Rahul Varma, head HR (India), Accenture. “Now, it includes cultural and value training, understanding your own as well as your clients’ organization, as well as the industry in which one is working. There is also a need to get people ready for potential jobs that we may want them to take up.” Changing From the Inside-Out The really big shift, of course, is that from being a HR support function, training has moved on to becoming an independent entity within the organization. “Our supply chain is mission critical to us,” says Piyush Mehta, senior VPHR , Genpact. “When you keep training as part of HR, it gets buried. To give it the importance of an independent function, we treat it as one.” And it shows — last
  • year, Genpact spent close to $8 million on training, and has 313 trainers along with 70 part-time specialists who also conduct domain-specific training for its 25,000-strong workforce across the world. Monitoring of training quality is just as important. IBM Daksh has been working with IBM’s research labs to develop a tool called Sensei, a performance evaluation grid that assesses voice quality and generates a statistical score. It’s being tested and will be rolled out later this year. Lyndon J D’Silva , VP, Talent Transformation Business Unit, IBM Daksh, says, “We believe the only way to produce quality output is to quantify it.” It also has eight people dedicated to R&D in training, who conduct research and refine training methods, after feedback from trainers and business units. With scalability becoming an problem, D’Silva believes technology will increasingly be training’s best bet. Rapid scaling up in IT and ITES companies is also putting pressure on the training machinery, and like most other business functions, training is faced with a talent shortage. “Trainers are definitely scarce — in numbers, and in capabilities,” says Varma. While many companies are outsourcing part of their requirement of trainers, others believe in growing them internally, since the best trainers are line managers and executives who have spent time and understand the business first hand. Runaway Train Accenture follows what it calls a ‘leaders teaching leaders’ approach for technical training, while cross-cultural and communication training is outsourced to vendors. At ICICI Bank, senior executives are required to spend time training others, and this helps decide whether they get on the ‘Leadership Talent List’ of potential fast trackers. Infosys links training to individuals’ performance. Trainers are also required to keep updating their skills and knowledge, and most companies have structured ‘train-the-trainers’ programmes in place. Having a global presence helps in leveraging training resources and sharing expertise across continents. TCS rotates its training faculty between the Indian and overseas locations, and even brings down people from other countries here. “This way, cross-culturalisation happens better,” says Mohapatra. New Challenges It’s clear that the quality of the internal training capability will be among a key driver of business success in the future. Not surprisingly, investment in training infrastructure is a priority for most HR heads and CEOs, and coping with scale is a big issue. “Expanding the talent pool, managing incidental changes in the training modules and scalability are the challenges the training department faces today,” says Ravindra. Expanding internal resources is one way. Building external partnerships with educational institutions is another — so companies like
  • TCS, Infosys, and Accenture have been developing joint programmes for training people at these institutions before they join the company. TCS runs an Academic Interface initiative, wherein its own faculty teaches at academic institutes, and this helps in better branding for the company, as well. Mohapatra lists globalization and M&As as the two biggest tests of his training department’s effectiveness in the future — in terms of integrating a globally diverse workforce into a single platform, and ensuring a seamless merger of cultures during acquisitions . The existing model of training also needs to adapt with changing business needs from time to time. For instance, TCS’s Learning & Development group is currently working on a project (codenamed Pygmalion) to develop training programmes and tools for a new cadre of people that the company has never hired before — plain graduates. For others like ICICI Bank, who’re in the retail banking and finance business, the challenge is in extending the in-house training capabilities to a larger pool of Direct Sales Associates (DSAs) outside the company and make them compatible with the company culture. Ramkumar says work is on for a certification process whereby outside partners will be remunerated according to their assessment scores after training. BPO firms like ICICI One-Source have mooted the National Assessment of Competence (NAC) programme, a joint certification and assesment programme with Nasscom to expand the employable talent base for the industry. If it works, this initiative could enable training departments to focus on building higher end competencies in fresh inductees from day one. “We’re clear that training is one of the pillars that we’re going to build our future on,” says Calapa.
  • On July 31st 2006 Infosys plans largest training centre… Infosys to set up world's largest training hub… MYSORE: Software major Infosys plans to invest Rs.809 crores ($176 million) on expanding its global education centre in the next one year, company executives said. Over the next one year, the NASDAQ-listed firm planned to set up a new 9,000- seat training facility here, which would enable training of 13,500 individuals in a single sitting, they said. An additional 7,750 hostel rooms were under construction, making it a total of 10,000 rooms. "When fully completed it will house five food courts, one employee care centre, one multimedia centre making it undoubtedly the largest training facility in the world," an official said. The company's Mysore campus is spread over 335 acres and it currently has 6,378 employees. It has three million square feet of built up area, and work is in progress to build another 3.2 million square feet. Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Monday inaugurated the company's fourth software development block here, set up with an investment of Rs.85 crores. It can seat 2,500 people.
  • Daily News & Analysis Online learning gets a thumbs-up from corporates On August 16th 2006 BANGALORE: Indian software service firms spend six to eight weeks in training fresh recruits before deploying them on projects. With more projects on hand and hiring in thousands, software companies are looking at innovative ways to maximize the productivity of their employees and ensure faster deployment. Now, online learning companies are focusing on building content that aims to help IT firms save training time and costs on employees. “The speed at which technology firms can develop, modify and deploy the e- learning content is the key parameters for improving quality of the employee talent,” Sanjeev Fadnavis, associate vice-president, business development, at Harbinger Knowledge Products told DNA Money. According to analysts, the Indian corporate e-learning market is estimated at $10-20 million with a potential to grow at 150%. The technology sector has been among the early adopters of online education, with its focus on constant training of employees and using learning as a retention tool. In order to capture this huge segment, several players are building specialized tailor-made e-learning courses for tech firms in the country. Bangalore-based Liqwid Krystal, for example, has designed a solution that allows aspirants for software jobs to write a programme in an online test and assess their capability of building codes, unlike the traditional theory-based tests. “The proficiency of the candidate on various programmes could be assessed better,” Liqwid Krystal CEO Anand Adkoli said. Liqwid Krystal has tied up with Viswesvaraya Technical University in Karnataka and Andhra University in the neighboring state to train over 90,000 engineering students through the module, including in business and soft skills. “It is important for knowledge-driven companies to develop and protect intellectual property, which provides competitive and business advantage. The learning should be constant,” Brain League chief knowledge officer Kalyan C Kankanala said.
  • Brainleague and Edutech have joined hands to provide e-learning on intellectual property rights with a focus on research units across the country. But there is a word of caution for firms that adopt e-learning without a clear focus on their business. “E-learning can also be a disaster if it is not managed correctly. It is not a panacea; it is a means to an end. To be successful, online learning has to have the right fit with the organization. It should not be chosen because it is fashionable,” Nasscom has said. On August 9th 2006 Most agencies have developed their own training methods tailored to suit the nature of their work. GroupM has an internal training department called Aspire MGuruKool, which prepares modules to hone functional and managerial skills. “Our training programmes encompass strategizing, planning and buying, and help develop work and soft skills, in addition to competency-based training, which involves understanding the media business,” informs Rashmi Deshpande of Group M. Agencies generally rope in internal and external faculties (from India and abroad) for training. “Most faculties are specialized and bring to the table expertise in a particular area. So, for planning and strategizing, we may call someone from HLL, while for soft skills we may bring someone from IIM – Bangalore,” says Deshpande. JWT conducts functional workshops for senior-level staff, level-wise workshops to upgrade skills and middle-management workshops. “These workshops see lectures, brainstorming and a time-bound deliverable action plan,” says Sapna Srivastava. Ashish Bhasin informs that a team of four from the US and the UK recently trained 25 people in Lintas India on the Worldwide Planning Tool Kit. These 25 people will, in turn, train others to bring about a cascading effect. “We are getting the best practices when required, and at the same time exporting knowledge. A lot of fresh knowledge is created in India in areas like rural marketing, design, etc that we are ready to export,” says Bhasin. Lintas, meanwhile, has set up its own North-point Centre of learning to empower managers with updated knowledge and decision-making skills. Some of these programmes are often modeled on those developed by parent companies. Says Deshpande: “All media companies under WPP exchange training programmes on modules, content, role etc. We sometimes adapt and
  • sometimes share best practices with others.” For its part, O&M has an HR and Training leadership group in Asia Pacific that plans regional programmes and oversees training plans. Young talent is given more opportunity to grow as well. O&M nominates those who have worked for 3-4 years for the regional programme ‘Adopt a Country’, which is held thrice a year across different Asia-Pacific centres. A buddy is chosen and the two buddies get an opportunity to visit each other’s country. The programme is intended to help youngsters build networks across different regions, work on projects together and develop a sense of belonging. GroupM has a programme called Fast Trackers for young achievers, where youngsters are put through a lot more grind in terms of opportunities, sent to different regions, allowed to work with bigger clients and groomed to take on additional responsibilities. Lowe sends two people, typically one planner and one creative or servicing person, for its ‘global young achiever’ forum, which is held once a year. High fliers and the crème de la crème of the talent pool can also look forward to attending special workshops. JWT nominates its top-level staff (those identified to head offices) for its international programme ‘Sam Meek’, and introduced a top achiever’s programme in December 2005. O&M sends its senior staff for the regional senior management development programme (SMDP), a five-module programme spread over 15 months. And Lowe has introduced programmes like ‘media training for non-media’, ‘IMAG Training for non-IMAG’ and ‘advertising workshop for non-advertising’.
  • Case Study: Article Training Employees of IBM through E-Learning “E-learning is a technology area that often has both first-tier benefits, such as reduced travel costs, and second-tier benefits, such as increased employee performance that directly impacts profitability." - Rebecca Wettemann, research director for Nucleus Research In 2002, the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) was ranked fourth by the Training magazine on it’s “The 2002 Training Top 100”. The magazine ranked companies based on their commitment towards workforce development and training imparted to employees even during periods of financial uncertainty. Since its inception, IBM had been focusing on human resources development: The company concentrated on the education and training of its employees as an integral part of their development. During the mid 1990s, IBM reportedly spent about $1 billion for training its employees. However, in the late 1990s, IBM undertook a cost cutting drive, and started looking for ways to train its employees effectively at lower Costs. After considerable research, in 1999, IBM decided to use e-Learning to train its employees. Initially, e-Learning was used to train IBM's newly recruited managers. IBM saved millions of dollars by training employees through e-learning. E- Learning also created a better learning environment for the company's employees, compared to the traditional training methods. The company reportedly saved about $166 million within one year of implementing the e- learning program for training its employees all over the world. The figure rose to $350 million in 2001. During this year, IBM reported a return on investment (ROI)’s of 2284 percent from its Basic Blue e-Learning program. This was mainly due to the significant reduction in the company's training costs and positive results reaped from e-learning. Andrew Sadler, director of IBM Mindspan Solutions, explained the benefits of e-learning to IBM, "All measures of effectiveness went up. It's saving money and delivering more effective training,' while at the same time providing five times more content than before." By 2002, IBM had emerged as the company with the largest number of employee's who have enrolled into e-Learning courses. However, a section of analysts and some managers at IBM felt that e-Learning would never be able to' replace the traditional modes of training completely. Rick Horton, general manager of learning services at IBM, said, "The classroom is still the best in a high-technology environment, which requires hands-on laboratories and teaming, or a situation where it .is important for the group to be together to take advantage of the equipment."
  • Though there were varied opinions about the effectiveness of e-Learning as a training tool for employees, IBM saw it as a major business opportunity and started offering e-learning products to other organizations as well. Analysts estimated that the market for e-Learning programs would grow from $2.1 billion in 2001 to $33.6 billion in 2005 representing a 100 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). BACKGROUND NOTE Since the inception of IBM, its top management laid great emphasis on respecting every employee. It felt that every employee's contribution was important for the organization. Thomas J. Watson Sr. (Watson Sr.), the father of modern IBM had once said, "By the simple belief that if we respected our people and helped them respect themselves, the company would certainly profit." The HR policies at IBM were employee-friendly. Employees were compensated well - as they were paid above the industry average. in terms of wages. The company followed a 'no layoffs' policy. Even during financially troubled periods, employees were relocated from the plants, labs and headquarters, and were retrained for careers in sales, customer engineering, field administration and programming. IBM had emphasized on training its employees from the very beginning. In 1933 (after 15 years of its inception), the construction of the 'IBM Schoolhouse' to offer education and training for employees, was completed. The building had Watson Sr.'s 'Five Steps of Knowledge' carved on the front entrance. The five steps included 'Read, Listen, Discuss, Observe and Think.' Managers were trained at the school at regular intervals. To widen their knowledge base and broaden their perspectives, managers were also sent for educational programs to Harvard, the London School of Economics, MIT and Stanford. Those who excelled in these programs were sent to the Advanced Managers School, a program offered in about forty colleges including some in Harvard, Columbia, Virginia, Georgia and Indiana. IBM's highest-ranking executives were sent to executive seminars, organized at the Brookings Institutions this program typically covered a broad range of subjects including, international and domestic, political and econQll1ic affairs. IBM executives were exposed to topical events with a special emphasis on their implications for the company. In 1997, Louis Gerstner (Gerstner), the then CEO of IBM, conducted a research to identify the unique characteristics of best executives and managers. The research revealed that the ability to train employees was an essential skill, which differentiated best executives and managers. Therefore, Gerstner aimed at improving the managers' training skills. Gerstner adopted a coaching methodology of Sir John Whitmore, which was taught to the managers through training workshops.
  • However, after some time, Gerstner realized that the training workshops were not enough. Moreover, these workshops were not 'just-in-time.' Managers had to wait for months before their turn of attending the work shops came. Therefore, in most of the cases, during the initial weeks at the job, the employees did not possess the knowledge of critical aspects like team building. IBM trained about 5000 new managers in a year. There was a five-day training program for all the new managers, where they were familiarized with the basic culture, strategy and management of IBM. However, as the jobs became more complex, the five-day program turned out to be insufficient for the managers to train them effectively. The company felt that the training process had to be continuous and not a one-time event. Gerstner thus started looking for new ways of training managers. The company specifically wanted its management training initiatives to address the following issues: • Management of people across geographic borders • Management of remote and mobile employees • Digital collaboration issues • Reductions in management development resources • Limited management time for training and development • Management's low comfort level in accessing and searching online HR resources The company required a continuous training program, without the costs and time associated with bringing together 5000 managers from all over the world. After conducting a research, IBM felt that online training would be an ideal solution to this problem. The company planned to utilize the services of IBM Mindspan Solutions to design and support the company's manager training program. This was IBM's first e-learning project on international training. ONLINE TRAINING @ IBM In 1999, IBM launched the pilot Basic Blue management training program, which was fully deployed in 2000. Basic Blue was an in-house management training program for new managers. It imparted 75 percent of the training online and the remaining 25 percent through the traditional classroom mode. The e-Learning part included articles, simulations, job aids and short courses. The founding principle of Basic Blue was that 'learning is an extended process, not a one-time event." Basic Blue was based on a '4- Tier' blended learning model'. The first three tiers were delivered online and the fourth tier included one- week long traditional classroom training. The program offered basic skills and knowledge to managers so that they can become effective leaders and people- oriented managers.
  • The managers were provided access to a lot of information including a database of questions, answers and sample scenarios called Manager QuickViews. This information addressed the issues like evaluation, retention, and conflict resolution and so on, which managers came across. A manager who faced a problem could either access the relevant topic directly, or find the relevant information using a search engine. He/she had direct access to materials on the computer’s desktop for online reading. The material also highlighted other important web sites to be browsed for further information. IBM believed that its managers should be aware of practices and policies followed in different countries. Hence, the groups were foremen virtually by videoconferencing with team members from all over the world," In the second tier, the managers were provided with simulated situations. Senior managers trained the managers online. The simulations enabled the managers to learn about employee skill-building, compensation and benefits, multicultural issues, work/life balance- issues and business conduct in an interactive manner. Some of the content for [his tier was offered by Harvard Business School and the simulations were created by Cognitive Arts of Chicago. The online Coaching Simulator offered eight scenarios with 5000 scenes of action, decision points and branching results. IBM Management Development's web site, Going Global offered as many as 300 interactive scenarios on culture clashes. In the third tier, the members of the group started interacting with each other online. This tier used IBM's collaboration tools such as chats, and team rooms including IBM e-Learning products like the Team-Room, Customer-Room and Lotus Learning Space. Using these tools, employees could interact online with the instructors as well as with peers in their groups. This tier also used virtual team exercises and included advanced technologies like application sharing, live virtual classrooms and interactive presentation: on the web. In this tier, the members of the group had to solve problems as a team by forming virtual groups, using these products. Hence, this tier focused more on developing the collaborative skills of the learners. Though training through e-Learning was very successful, IBM believed that classroom training was also essential to develop people skills. Therefore, the fourth tier comprised a classroom training program, own as 'Learning Lab.' By the time the managers reached this tire, they all reached a similar level of knowledge by mastering the content in the first three tiers. Managers had to pass an online test on the content provided in the above three tiers, before entering the fourth tier. In the fourth tier, the managers had to master the information acquired in the above three tiers and develop a deeper understanding and a broader skills set. There were no lectures in these sessions, and the managers had to learn by doing and by coordinating directly with others in the classroom. The tremendous success of the Basic Blue initiative encouraged IBM to extend training through e-Learning to its-sales personnel and experienced managers as
  • well. The e-Learning program for the sales personnel was known as 'Sales Compass,' and the one for the experienced managers, as 'Managing@ IBM.' Prior to the implementation of the Sales Compass e-Learning program, the sales personnel underwent live training at the company's headquarters and training campuses. They also attended field training program, national sales conferences and other traditional methods of training. However, in most of the cases these methods proved too expensive, ineffective and time-consuming. Apart from this, coordination problems also cropped up, as the sales team was spread across the world. Moreover, in a highly competitive market, IBM could not afford to keep its sales team away from work for weeks together. Though Sales Compass was originally started in 1997 on a trial basis to help the sales team in selling business intelligence solutions to the retail and manufacturing industries, it-was not implemented on a large scale. But with the success of Basic Blue, Sales Compass was developed further. The content of the new Sales Compass was divided into five categories including Solutions (13 courses), industries (23 courses), personal skills (2 courses), selling skills (11 courses), and tools and job aid (4 aids). The sales personnel of IBM across the globe could use the information from their desktops using a web browser. Sales Compass provided critical information to the sales personnel helping them to understand various industries (including automotive, banking, government, insurance etc) in a much better manner. The information offered included industry snapshot, industry trends, market segmentation, key processes, positioning and selling industry solutions and identifying resources. It also enabled the sales people to sell certain IBM products designed for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Intelligence (BI), and so on. Sales Compass also trained the sales personnel on skills like negotiating and selling services. Like the Basic Blue program, Sales Compass also had simulations for selling products to a specific industry like banking, about how to close a deal, and so on. It also allowed its users to ask questions and had links to information on other IBM sites and related websites. Sales Compass was offered to 20,000 sales representatives, client relationship representatives, territory representatives, sales specialists, and service professionals at IBM. Brenda Toan (Toan), global skills and learning leader for IBM offices across the world, said, "Sales Compass is a just-in-time, just-enough sales support information site. Most of our users are mobile. So they are, most of the times, unable to get into a branch office and obtain information on a specific industry or solution. IBM Sales Compass provides industry-specific knowledge, advice on how to sell specific solutions, and selling tools that support our signature selling methodology, which is convenient for these users."
  • IBM also launched an e-Learning program called 'Managing @ IBM' for its experienced managers, in late 2001. The program provided content related to leadership and people management skills, and enabled the managers to meet their specific needs. Unlike the Basic Blue program, this program enabled managers to choose information based on their requirements. The program included the face-to-face Learning Lab, e-learning, and Edvisor, a sophisticated Intelligent Web Agent. Edvisor offered three tracks offering various types of information. By implementing the above programs, IBM was able to reduce its training budget as well as improve employee productivity significantly. In 2000, Basic Blue saved $16 million while Sales Compass saved $21 million. In 2001, IBM saved $200 million and its cost of training per-employee reduced significantly - from $400 to $135. E-learning also resulted in a deeper understanding of the learning content by the managers. It also enabled the managers to complete their classroom training modules in lesser time, as compared to the traditional training methods used earlier. The simulation modules and collaboration techniques created a richer learning environment. The e-learning projects also enabled the company to leverage corporate internal knowledge as most of the content they carried came from the internal content experts. IBM’s cost savings through E-Learning Program Saving in 2000 (in US $million) Basic Blue 16.0 Going global 0.6 Coaching simulators 0.8 Manager Quick-Views 6.6 Customer-Room 0.5 Sales Compass 21.0 E-LEARNING AT IBM - FUTURE PLANS The e-Learning projects of IBM had been successful right from the initial stages of their implementation. These programs were appreciated by HR experts of IDM, and other companies. The Basic Blue program bagged three awards of 'Excellence in Practice' from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) in March 2000. It was also included among the ten best 'world-class implementations of corporate learning' initiatives by the "E-Learning across the Enterprise: The Benchmarking Study of Best Practices" (Brandon Hall) in September 2000. IBM continued its efforts to improve the visual information in all its e-Learning programs to make them more effective. The company also encouraged its other employees to attend these e-learning programs. Apart from this, IBM planned to
  • update these programs on a continuous basis, using feedback from its new and experienced managers, its sales force and other employees. IBM used e-Learning not only to train its employees, but also in other HR activities. In November 2001, IBM employees received the benefits enrollment material online. The employees could learn about the merits of various benefits and the criteria for availing these benefits, such as cost, coverage, customer service or performance using an Intranet tool called 'Path Finder.' This tool also enabled the employees to know about the various health plans offered by IBM. Besides, Pathfinder took information from the employees and returned a preferred plan with ranks and graphs. This application enabled employees to see and manage their benefits, deductions in their salaries, career changes and more. This obviously, increased employee satisfaction. The company also automated its hiring process. The new tool on the company's intranet was capable of carrying out most of the employee hiring processes. Initially, IBM used to take ten days to find a temporary engineer or consultant. Now, the company was able to find such an employee in three days. IBM also started exploring the evolving area of 'mobile learning' Analysts felt that for mobile sales force of IBM, m-Learning was the next ideal step (after e- Learning). IBM leveraged many new communication channels for offering its courses to employees. IBM also started offering the courses to its customers and to the general public. In early 2002, American Airlines (AA) used IBM's e- Learning package, which enabled its flight attendants to log on to AA's website and complete the 'safety and security training' from any place, at any time. The content included instruction clips, graphics, flash animation, and so on. This made the airlines annual safety training certification program guides more effective. Shanta Hudson-Fields, AA's manager for line training and special projects, commented, "The full service package that IBM offers has allowed us to develop an effective online course for our large group of busy attendants. In addition to providing a flexible training certification experience for our attendants, American has also brought efficiency and cost savings to our training processes using IBM's e-Learning solution." The company had trained 24,000 flight attendants by November 2002.