Detailed Work Plan
Submitted By: Pooja Purohit
Registration Number: 24792
Guide: Mr. YogeshA.Chati
Choice of Option:
I will be working on Option 1 wherein I will prepare a Study Report bringing out the Training Requirements of various Category/Departments in my Organization.
About the Organization
My Organization XXXX Group is India’s leading retailer and understands the soul of Indian consumers. As one of India’s retail pioneers with multiple retail formats, it connects a diverse and passionate community of Indian buyers and sellers. Around 300 million customers walk into the stores each year and choose products and services supplied by over 30,000 small, medium and large entrepreneurs and manufacturers from across India. And this number is set to grow.
XXXX Group operates multiple retail formats in both value and lifestyle segment of the Indian consumer market. Headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra; the company operates over 17 million square feet of retail space, has over 1500 stores in more than 300 cities in India and employs over 40,000 people. It caters to the needs of Indian customers in Food & FMCG, Electronics and Consumer Durables, Home Fashion, Insurance, Supply Chain and Apparels segments. XXXX Group helps India shop, save and realize dreams and aspirations to live a better quality of life every day. It is amongst the largest retail companies of India.
To develop Skill Development programs for the Organization, it is essential to understand the Hierarchal Structure and what would be the Training requirements for each set of people involved at different levels. The layout of organization hierarchy is shown in figure 1
There are three types of training need that have to be analyzed:
Organizational Analysis-These training and development needs are associated with the competence of individuals in their jobs, what those individuals do in their jobs, and what they should do to ensure that the organization is able to meet its objectives.
Task Analysis – This is an analysis of the job and the requirements for performing specific work and tasks associated with that profile. This analysis seeks to specify the main duties and skill level required. This helps ensure that the training which is developed will include relevant links to the content of the job.
IndividualAnalysis-These training needs are analyzed at individual level. People at each level might have certain training requirements to upgrade their skillset. This will also include interpersonal skills development.
Development program would include both Technical skills and Behavioral competencies required to build an efficient workforce and bridge the skill gap.
A Training Need Identification will have to be conducted to get an insight about the need of Training and accordingly sessions/ Workshops can be planned.
In order to identify skill gaps, various methods can used. For e.g. Holding discussion with the Managers, conducting surveys and interviews, Observation at Store level and understanding the goals and requirements of the employees for self-development.
Accordingly a Career Progression plan can be designed to equip the employees with essential knowledge, skills and attitude required to do their job with ease and efficiency thereby increasing the productivity and sales of the organization. Figure 2 describe the cycle of progression of an employee.
Career Development process
Training is a set of a systematic processes designed to meet learning objectives related to trainees’ current or future jobs. These processes can be grouped into the following phases; needs analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. The phases are sequential, with the outputs of the previous phases providing the inputs to those that follow. Figure 3 depicts the phases and their relationships. Training delivery methods consist of the techniques and materials used by trainers to structure learning experiences. Different training delivery methods are better or worse at achieving various learning objectives. During the design phase (see Figure 3) the different methods are examined to determine their appropriateness for the learning objectives. Once appropriate methods have been identified, they are applied to the training plan in the development phase.
There are three categories of learning objectives: knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs). Knowledge objectives are of three types: declarative, procedural, and strategic. Declarative knowledge is the person’s store of factual information. Procedural knowledge is the person’s understanding about how and when to apply the facts. Strategic knowledge is used for planning, monitoring, and revising goal-directed activity. Skill reflects one’s proficiency at specific tasks such as operating a piece of equipment, giving a presentation, or making a business decision. Attitudes are beliefs and/or opinions about objects and events and the positive or negative affect (feelings) associated with them. Attitudes affect motivation levels, which in turn influence a person’s behavior. Most training programs have learning objectives for knowledge, skill, and attitudes; these programs need to combine several methods into an integrated whole because no single method can do everything well.
When developing the training plan, there are a number of considerations. Training is something that should be planned and developed in advance.
The considerations for developing the training program are as follows:
Agenda Time Duration
Need Assessment 40 days
Store Visits Collecting and Analyzing data Preparing Budgets for all the 50 stores 5 days
Working on Content Development Step by Step Sequential and simultaneous Development
as per Training need analysis and need basis-
Preparing career progression plan for employees 15 days
Developing the Training Calendar in accordance with Business needs and availability of employees Coordinating with respective stores for sending nominated participants Training Delivery 45 days ( Due to more Number of participants, the number of batches may vary that may increase the training days)
Analyzing the percentage of people trained and measuring Effectiveness 15days
Evaluating the Training interventions and the Impact of Training Case Study Analysis 15 days
Total number of days required 180 days
Needs assessment and learning objectives: This part of the framework development considers what kind of training is needed in the organization. Once I determine the training needed, I can set the learning objectives to measure at the end of the training.
Below is a list of TNI methods that can be used to collect data on training needs. I will preferably use a combination of TNI methods to gather information which can then be analyzed and used to develop appropriate and relevant training programs at each level of the hierarchy to minimize the skill gap.
1 Needs Analysis TechniquesThere are various sources to gather information and data concerning organizational needs. Whatever type of data gathering technique is chosen for the identification of determining the organization needs it must be reiterated that the information needs to be accurate and relevant.
The most common techniques for collecting information for organization needs analysis is:-to search current and active records and analyzing the information from sources such as performance appraisals or training records;-to interview individual’s concerning their skills;-to utilize group interviewing techniques;-observing candidates in their workplace and determining their skills by observing them;-or using specific information gathering tools such as the Delphi Technique or the Nominal group technique;-using questionnaires;-analyzing competency assessments; and
2 Searching Current and Active Records: Performance AppraisalsWhen conducting an audit in the workplace one of the best places to obtain the necessary information for assessing the skills of learners is reviewing performance appraisals — it is a good instrument for determining individual needs particularly with regard to training and development. Obviously the performance appraisals need to be accurate to utilize this data gathering source.
3 InterviewsOne-on-one interviews are a very effective way of gathering information on employee needs and issues. Interviews are one of the easiest tools to use and are quick for gathering the relevant data that one needs. Interviews can either be done face-to-face or telephonically. Interview questions should be prepared prior to the interview and structured in a way to correspond to a list of questions predetermined. Interviews allow information to be gathered directly but if information needs to be gathered from numerous people it could be very time consuming and not as effective of other manners in time utilization.
Interviews are not just useful for gathering information from employees but also from various stakeholders. Stakeholder interviews can also be conducted, with senior managers, executives and outside clients. These interviews can complement the employee interviews, and provide authentic and realistic input into the data gathering process.The interviews should therefore be designed to build up a picture of employee’s activities and working environments, which can then be used to determine how they canprovide greater assistance and support to the organization.
Workplace observation is a very holistic technique that will identify patterns of work and environment issues that are impossible to gather using techniques such as surveys or focus groups. Workplace observation will also identify the resources that employees use to support their work. In general, workplace observation is a good way to provide a broader context for more detailed research, such as one-on-one interviews. Hence, I will plan visits to all the major stores of West region. This will help me identify floor level training requirements and also give me an opportunity to meet and interview the Store manager about his expectations and training gaps that have to be filled so as to increase the productivity of both the employees and stores.
4 ObservationObservation incorporates both quantitative (quantitative research focuses on gathering large amounts of data in terms of percentages, averages and statistics — it focuses on short focused questions that can be answered simply usually by a grading system of 1-5 or similar technique) and qualitative (qualitative research is a searching type of research — trying to find out much as possible. The questions are in-depth and require responses that require in-depth thoughts on a particular subject)
In a workplace scenario observation is a good way to gather information because the employee is able to be observed in their working environment and observing the employee is a good way to gather data.
In observation, it should be done in an inconspicuous manner where the person being observed does not see the observer directly observing them for more accurate analysis.
If used correctly this method is a direct method of obtaining facts, especially if a checklist or table observing the results is used. The disadvantage with this type of data gathering method is that the person being observed can change their behavior when being observed.
5 Contextual InquiryContextual inquiry combines interviews with observation. This is a combination of employee interviews and workplace observation that involves exploring issues with an employee member, while situated within their normal working environment.
By conducting the interview ‘in context’, it becomes possible to see the resources used by employees when conducting work activities. The interviewer can also ask the employees member to show them how they complete specific activities within their work environment.
This technique is very effective at identifying issues with currently-available information sources and tools.
6 The Delphi TechniqueThe Delphi technique is a group decision-making technique designed to provide group members with each other’s ideas and feedback, while avoiding some of the problems associated with interacting groups. The members of the group do not have to be face-to-face but are asked to respond to a questionnaire and send their responses to a coordinator. Once all the questionnaires have been received from the members the coordinator then sends them to every member for review. Each member is allowed to comment and analyze the others comments and then participants either vote for the best solution or the coordinator comes up with a consensus of opinion based on all comments received from the participants. This technique is not that easy to administer and it can be time consuming trying to gather and then resend all the information for review but it is a good qualitative data gathering information which can be used to make relevant decisions with regard to training needed in an organization.
7 Nominal groupsNominal groups are a group of individuals who are well versed about a particular subject and with an assistance of a convener are asked to respond to various questions on a subject. The participants are asked to prioritize the ideas and suggestions by the group — in a ranking order. The convener gathers the information and it allows all answers to represent the group’s preferences and the group is also allowed to vote to rank or rate the responses.
Nominal groups can be asked to give their perspective on problems in an organization, solutions to a given problem, job requirements or tasks, key competencies for a job, or issues facing the target population or organization.
The questions asked of the nominal group should be clear and open to diverse views. Narrow questions will limit the value of the answers and compromise the results of the session. It is best to test the question on a few members of the target population to gauge their reaction and ensure that it will provide the desired type of response.
The usual format for nominal groups follows the following four steps: Step 1: Silent generation of ideas: For a few minutes, participants work quietly and independently answer the question in writing, generating as many ideas as possible.Step 2: Round-robin reporting of ideas: A list of ideas is generated, as each person in the group provides in turn one idea from his or her own list.Step 3: Discussion and clarification: In this step the participants discuss the ideas put forward, clarify their meaning and explain why they agree or disagree with them. No judgments are made at this point.Step 4: Importance rating and prioritizing: Members of the group prioritize the ideas.
8 QuestionnairesThe questionnaire is a popular way to gather information with regard to training needs. The questionnaire uses a predetermined set of questions to be asked to the participants to determine their views on knowledge requirements. Questionnaires use open-ended or closed question. The advantage of questionnaires is that the questioner can determine the size of the sample, as well as determining how that data will be analyzed and participants can answer the questionnaire in their time. It is also a way to confidentially discover what participants are thinking and feeling with regard to their training needs.
Most questionnaires use a combination of questions such as:-Alternative choice questions-Multiple choice questions-Ranking questions-Fill in the blanks-Open-ended questions
It needs to be remembered should questions be asked in an improper way the desired answers will not be given and it can make the questionnaire irrelevant.But when the questionnaire is used properly with well phrased questions, a questionnaire will provide reliable information with regards to participants needs specifically with regard to training skills, problem areas, perceptions and attitudes as well as opinions.
9 SurveysSurveys are commonly used throughout an organization to gather the input of employees. The advantage of surveys is that they can be quickly and widely distributed. But the disadvantage of surveys is that they are often not the most effective way of gathering meaningful results. Surveys are useful and are effective in determining current satisfaction levels but they are often not very useful in giving good concrete ideas on how to improve various aspects of the organization.
It is important to take care when constructing survey questions. As much as possible, the questions should be specific, focusing on the recent experiences of the survey respondent, rather than on collecting broader opinions or perceptions about the site.
It is also important to communicate the results of the survey back to participants (and the organization as a whole), and to be seen to act on the findings.
Surveys should never be used as the sole mechanism to gather employees input, and should always be complemented with other techniques.
10 Document ReviewA document review of analysis is used to determine problems that might be linked to training and development in an organization. This method is usually used in conjunction with other data gathering methods to clearly find out where the problems exist. The focus can be narrow because of the information needed.
11 Focus GroupsFocus groups are used to focus discussion on a particular topic in a group setting. The advantage of focus groups is that there is the ability to gather input from larger numbers of stakeholders. It is important however, that focus groups are handled carefully in order for them to truly glean meaningful results.
In focus groups, the group dynamic needs to be closely managed, to ensure that a small number of individuals do not try and take over the sessions. Wherever possible, employees at the same level should be involved in the focus groups because having a more senior employees involved can discourage more open discussions, and can reduce the amount of useful data that is gathered. An advantage of focus groups is that they are able to explore current issues and problems.
Consideration of learning styles: Making sure to teach in a variety of learning styles is important as it leads to better understanding and absorption of subject matter by the participants.
Delivery mode: What is the best way to get the message across? Is web-based training more appropriate, or should mentoring be used? Can vestibule training be used for a portion of the training while job shadowing be used for some of the training, too? Most training programs will include a variety of delivery methods. Instructor Led Trainings and classroom trainings can also be planned for imparting knowledge based trainings. Training delivery methods needs to be rigorously considered at the training zone and the people to be trained are scattered. Hence different training methods need to be applied considering Training Budget, Number of people to be trained and vast geographical location.
Training Delivery Methods and Duration
The various training delivery methods can be divided into cognitive and behavioral approaches. Cognitive methods provide information orally or in written form, demonstrate relationships among concepts, or provide the rules for how to do something. They stimulate learning through their impact on cognitive processes and are associated most closely with changes in knowledge and attitudes. The lecture, discussion, e-learning and, to some extent, case studies are cognitive methods. Though these types of methods can influence skill development, it is not their strength.
Conversely, behavioral methods allow the trainee to practice behavior in a real or simulated fashion. They stimulate learning through experience and are best at skill development and attitude change. Equipment simulators, business games, role plays, the in-basket technique, behavior modeling and, to some extent, case studies are behavioral methods. Both behavioral and cognitive methods can be used to change attitudes, though they do so through different means. On-the-job training is a combination of many methods and is effective at developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes, but is best at the latter two.
Figure 3Model of the Training Process
The lecture is best used for creating a general understanding of a topic. Several variations in the lecture format allow it to be more or less formal and/or interactive. In the pure lecture, communication is one way—from trainer to trainees. It is an extensive oral presentation of material. A good lecture begins with an introduction that lays out the purpose, the order in which topics will be covered, and ground rules about interruptions (e.g., questions and clarification). This is followed by the main body of the lecture in which information is given. The topic areas should be logically sequenced so that the content of preceding topics prepares trainees for the following topics. The lecture should conclude with a summary of the main learning points and/or conclusions.
During the pure lecture trainees listen, observe, and perhaps take notes. It can be useful in situations in which a large number of people must be given a limited amount of information in a relatively short period; however, it is not effective for learning large amounts of material in a short time period. Thus, an effective lecture should not contain too many learning points. Trainees will forget information in direct proportion to the amount of information provided. Because the pure lecture provides only information, its usefulness is limited; when the only training objective is to have trainees acquire specific factual information, better learning can be achieved at less cost by putting the information into text. This allows trainees to read the material at their leisure and as often as necessary to retain the material. The only added value provided by the lecture is credibility that may be attached to the lecturer or the focus and emphasis provided by trainer presentation skills. Another major benefit of the lecture is that it is interactive, and that trainees can ask questions or have the presenter change the pace of the lecture if necessary.
The discussion method uses two-way communication between the lecturer and the trainees to increase learning opportunities. This method uses a short lecture (20 minutes or less) to provide trainees with basic information. This is followed by a discussion among the trainees and between the trainees and the trainer that supports, reinforces, and expands upon the information presented in the short lecture. Verbal and nonverbal feedback from trainees allows the trainer to determine if the desired learning has occurred. If not, the trainer may need to spend more time on this area and/or present the information again, but in a different manner.
Questioning (by trainees or the trainer) and discussions enhance learning because they provide clarification and keep trainees focused on the material. Discussions allow the trainee to be actively engaged in the content of the lecture, which improves recall and use in the future. Trainee questions demonstrate the level of understanding about the content of the lecture. Trainer questions stimulate thinking about the key learning points.
The pure lecture is most useful when trainees lack declarative knowledge or have attitudes that conflict with the training objectives. The discussion method is more effective than the pure lecture for learning procedural and strategic knowledge because of the discussion and questioning components. If the training objective is skill improvement, neither the lecture or discussion method is appropriate.
Both the lecture and discussion method are useful for changing or developing attitudes, though the discussion method is more effective. The lecture, and especially the discussion, modify employee attitudes by providing new insights, facts, and understanding.
Many companies have implemented e-learning, which encompasses several different types of technology assisted training, such as distance learning, computer-based training (CBT), or web-based training (WBT). Distance learning occurs when trainers and trainees are in remote locations; typically, technology is used to broadcast a trainer’s lecture to many trainees in many separate locations. Distance learning provides many of the same advantages and disadvantages as the lecture method. Distance learning can be much less expensive than paying for trainees in multiple locations to travel for a lecture, but it may reduce motivation to learn because of the remoteness of the trainer.
Computer-based training and web-based training are virtually similar. With this type of training, content is delivered through the computer, using any combination of text, video, audio, chat rooms, or interactive assessment. It can be as basic as reading text on a screen or as advanced as answering quiz questions based on a computerized video that the trainee has viewed. The difference between CBT and WBT is that, with CBT, the training program is stored on a hard-drive, a CD-ROM, or diskette. This means that it is not easy to update and may be more difficult for employees to access. Conversely, WBT is housed online through either a company’s intranet or through the World Wide Web. This increases accessibility of training; employees may even be able to train from their home computers. Additionally, updates to content are quick and relatively easy. For example, if an error in the training content is found, one update on the training program housed on a server updates the content for every trainee who accesses it after that point. For a change to be made to CBT, new CD-ROMs or diskettes would have to be produced.
E-learning is an alternative to classroom-based training, and it can provide a number of advantages. E-learning can:
reduce trainee learning time, by allowing trainees to progress at their own pace
reduce the cost of training, particularly by reducing costs associated with travel to a training location
provide instructional consistency, by offering the same training content to employees worldwide
allow trainees to learn at their own pace thereby reducing any boredom or anxiety that may occur
provide a safe method for learning hazardous tasks with computer simulations
increase access to training to learners in locations around the world
E-learning is effective at developing declarative and, in particular, procedural knowledge. It can be useful in developing some types of skills and for modifying attitudes. E-learning develops declarative knowledge through repeated presentation of facts, using a variety of formats and presentation styles. It can do an excellent job of describing when and how to apply knowledge to various situations. Procedural knowledge is developed by allowing trainees to practice applying the knowledge to various situations simulated by the software. This training delivery method is valuable because it can automatically document trainee’s responses, interpret them, and provide appropriate practice modules to improve areas of weakness.
Using e-learning, skill development is limited by the software’s ability to mimic the trainee’s job environment and context. For some situations, such as training employees in the use of word processing, spread sheet, and other computer-based software, e-learning is an appropriate choice for teaching skills. Here, the tasks and situations trainees will face on the job are easily simulated by the training software. On the other hand, it is very difficult to develop CBT software that realistically simulates interaction between two or more people or a person and an object in a dynamic environment. Other methods must be utilized for these situations.
E-learning can be effective at developing or modifying attitudes. The factual relationships among objects and events, and the consequences of particular courses of action, can be portrayed in many ways with e-learning technology. How objects, events and their relationships are perceived can be altered by the visual and textual presented in a CBT. However, since the objects and events are simulated, rather than real, the emotional or affective side of attitudes may not be activated. In addition, there is no opportunity during e-learning to discuss attitudes with others in a setting where a trainer can monitor, direct, and reinforce the discussion to support the desired attitude(s). This may be one reason many adult learners indicate a preference for e-learning to be combined with some form of instructor-based training. Trainees often prefer blended training, which is when both computer and face-to-face training are combined, and it is used by many organizations.
Simulations are designed to mimic the processes, events, and circumstances of the trainee’s job. Equipment simulators, business games, in-basket exercises, case studies, role playing, and behavior modeling, are types of simulations.
Equipment simulators are mechanical devices that incorporate the same procedures, movements and/or decision processes that trainees must use with equipment back on the job. Among those trained with this method are airline pilots, air traffic controllers, military personnel, drivers, maintenance workers, telephone operators, navigators, and engineers. To be effective the simulator and how it is used must replicate, as closely as possible, the physical and psychological (time pressures, conflicting demands, etc.) aspects of the job site. To facilitate this, the equipment operators and their supervisors should be involved in the simulation design and pre-testing. This reduces potential resistance to the training and, more importantly, increases the degree of fidelity between the simulation and the work setting.
Business games attempt to reflect the way an industry, company, or functional area operates. They also reflect a set of relationships, rules, and principles derived from appropriate theory (e.g., economics, organizational behavior, etc.). Many business games represent the total organization, but some focus on the functional responsibilities of particular positions within an organization (e.g., marketing director, human resource manager). These are called functional simulations. Games that simulate entire companies or industries provide a far better understanding of the big picture. They allow trainees to see how their decisions and actions influence not only their immediate target but also areas that are related to that target.
Prior to starting the game trainees are given information describing a situation and the rules for playing the game. They are then asked to play the game, usually being asked to make decisions about what to do given certain information. The trainees are then provided with feedback about the results of their decisions, and asked to make another decision. This process continues until some predefined state of the organization exists or a specified number of trials have been completed. For example, if the focus is on the financial state of a company, the game might end when the company has reached a specified profitability level or when the company must declare bankruptcy. Business games involve an element of competition, either against other players or against the game itself. In using them, the trainer must be careful to ensure that the learning points are the focus, rather than the competition.
The in-basket technique simulates the type of decisions that would typically be handled in a particular position such as a sales manager or operations manager. It affords an opportunity to assess and/or develop decision-making skills and attitudes. To begin the exercise, trainees are given a description of their role (a current or future job) and general information about the situation. Trainees are then given a packet of materials (such as requests, complaints, memos, messages, and reports) which make up the in-basket. They are asked to respond to the materials within a particular time period (usually 2 to 4 hours). When the in-basket is completed, the trainer asks the trainee to identify the processes used in responding to the information and to discuss their appropriateness. The trainer provides feedback, reinforcing appropriate decisions and processes or asking the trainee to develop alternatives. A variation is to have trainees discuss their processes in a group format moderated by the trainer. Here the trainer should attempt to get the trainees to discover what worked well, what didn’t and why.
Case studies are most often used to simulate strategic decision-making situations, rather than the day-to-day decisions that occur in the in-basket. The trainee is first presented with a history of the situation in which a real or imaginary organization finds itself. The key elements and problems, as perceived by the organization’s key decision makers, may also be provided. Case studies range from a few pages in length to more than a hundred. Trainees are asked to respond to a set of questions or objectives. Responses are typically, though not always, in written form. Longer cases require extensive analysis and assessment of the information for its relevance to the decisions being made. Some require the trainee to gather information beyond what was in the case. Once individuals have arrived at their solutions, they discuss the diagnoses and solutions that have been generated in small groups, large groups, or both. In large groups a trainer should facilitate and direct the discussion. The trainer must guide the trainees in examining the possible alternatives and consequences without actually stating what they are.
Written and oral responses to the case are evaluated by the trainer. The trainer should convey that there is no single right or wrong solution to the case, but many possible solutions depending on the assumptions and interpretations made by the trainees. The value of the case approach is the trainees’ application of known concepts and principles and the discovery of new ones. The solutions are not as important as the appropriateness with which principles are applied and the logic with which solutions are developed.
The role play is a simulation of a single event or situation. Trainees who are actors in the role play are provided with a general description of the situation, a description of their roles (e.g., their objectives, emotions, and concerns) and the problem they face.
Role plays differ in the amount of structure they provide to the actors. A structured role play provides trainees with a great deal of detail about the situation that has brought the characters together. It also provides in greater detail each character’s attitudes, needs, opinions, and so on. Structured role plays may even provide a scripted dialog between the characters. This type of role play is used primarily to develop and practice interpersonal skills such as communication, conflict resolution, and group decision making. Spontaneous role plays are loosely constructed scenarios in which one trainee plays herself while others play people that the trainee has interacted with in the past (or will in the future). The objective of this type of role play is to develop insight into one’s own behavior and its impact on others. How much structure is appropriate in the scenario will depend on the learning objectives.
Whether structured or spontaneous, role plays may also differ based on the number of trainees involved. Single, multiple, and role-rotation formats provide for more or less participation in the role play. In a single role play, one group of trainee’s role plays while the rest of the trainees observe. While observing, other trainees analyze the interactions and identify learning points. This provides a single focus for trainees and allows for feedback from the trainer. This approach may cause the role players to be embarrassed at being the center of attention, leading to failure to play the roles in an appropriate manner. It also has the drawback of not permitting the role players to observe others perform the roles. Having non-trainees act out the role play may eliminate these problems, but adds some cost to the training.
In a multiple role play, all trainees are formed into groups. Each group acts out the scenario simultaneously. At the conclusion, each group analyzes what happened and identifies learning points. The groups may then report a summary of their learning to the other groups, followed by a general discussion. This allows greater learning as each group will have played the roles somewhat differently. Multiple role plays allow everyone to experience the role play in a short amount of time, but may reduce the quality of feedback. The trainer will not be able to observe all groups at once, and trainees are usually reluctant to provide constructive feedback to their peers. In addition, trainees may not have the experience or expertise to provide effective feedback. To overcome this problem, video tapes of the role plays can be used by the trainee and/or trainer for evaluation.
The role-rotation method begins as either a single or multiple role play. However, when the trainees have interacted for a period of time, the role play is stopped. Observers then discuss what has happened so far and what can be learned from it. After the discussion, the role play resumes with different trainees picking up the roles from some, or all, of the characters. Role rotation demonstrates the variety of ways the issues in the role play may be handled. Trainees who are observers are more active than in the single role play since they have already participated or know they soon will be participating. A drawback is that the progress of the role play is frequently interrupted, creating additional artificiality. Again, trainees may be inhibited from publicly critiquing the behavior of their fellow trainees.
Behavior modeling is used primarily for skill building and almost always in combination with some other technique. Interpersonal skills, sales techniques, interviewee and interviewer behavior, and safety procedures are among the many types of skills that have been successfully learned using this method. While live models can be used, it is more typical to video tape the desired behavior for use in training. The steps in behavior modeling can be summarized as follows:
Define the key skill deficiencies
Provide a brief overview of relevant theory
Specify key learning points and critical behaviors to watch for
Have an expert model the appropriate behaviors
Have trainees practice the appropriate behaviors in a structured role play
Have the trainer and other trainees provide reinforcement for appropriate imitation of the model’s behavior
Behavior modeling differs from role plays and games by providing the trainee with an example of what the desired behavior looks like prior to attempting the behavior. While this method is primarily behavioral, steps 2 and 3 reflect the cognitively oriented learning features of the technique. Feedback to the trainee is especially powerful when video is used to record both the model’s and the trainee’s performance. Through split screen devices, the performance of the model and the trainee can be shown side by side. This allows the trainee to clearly see where improvements are needed.
Simulations are not good at developing declarative knowledge. Some initial level of declarative and procedural knowledge is necessary before a simulation can be used effectively. Although some knowledge development can occur in simulations, usually other methods are required for this type of learning. Simulations provide a context in which this knowledge is applied. Improving the trainees’ ability to apply knowledge (i.e., facts, procedures, and strategies) is the focus of simulations. Simulations do a good job of developing skills because they:
simulate the important conditions and situations that occur on the job
allow the trainee to practice the skill
provide feedback about the appropriateness of their actions
Each of the different formats has particular types of skills for which they are more appropriate:
Mechanical, machine operation, and tool-usage skills are best learned through use of equipment simulators.
Business decision-making skills (both day to day and strategic), planning, and complex problem solving can be effectively learned through the use of business games.
The in-basket technique is best suited to development of strategic knowledge used in making day-to-day decisions.
Case studies are most appropriate for developing analytic skills, higher-level principles, and complex problem-solving strategies. Because trainees do not actually implement their decision/solution, its focus is more on what to do (strategic knowledge) than on how to get it done (skills).
Role plays provide a good vehicle for developing interpersonal skills and personal insight, allowing trainees to practice interacting with others and receiving feedback. They are an especially effective technique for creating attitude change, allowing trainees to experience their feelings about their behavior and others’ reactions to it.
On The Job Training (OJT)
The most common method of training, on-the-job training (OJT) uses more experienced and skilled employees to train less skilled and experienced employees. OJT takes many forms and can be supplemented with classroom training. Included within OJT are the job-instruction technique, apprenticeships, coaching, and mentoring. Formal OJT programs are typically conducted by employees who can effectively use one-on-one instructional techniques and who have superior technical knowledge and skills. Since conducting one-on-one training is not a skill most people develop on their own, train-the-trainer training is required for OJT trainers. In addition to training the trainers, formal OJT programs should carefully develop a sequence of learning events for trainees. The formalized instructional process that is most commonly used is called the job-instruction technique.
Job Instruction Technique (JIT)
The JIT focuses on skill development, although there are usually some factual and procedural-knowledge objectives as well. There are four steps in the JIT process: prepare, present, try out and follow up.
Prepare. Preparation and follow up are the two areas that are most often ignored in OJT programs. Preparation should include a written breakdown of the job. Ignoring this step will prevent the trainer from seeing the job through the eyes of the trainee. When the trainer is very skilled there are many things he does on the job without thinking about them. This can result in their being overlooked in training without a systematic analysis and documentation of the job tasks prior to beginning training.
Once the tasks have been documented, the trainer must prepare an instructional plan. Here, the trainer must determine what the trainee currently knows and does not know. This is the needs analysis phase of Figure 1. Interviewing the trainee, checking personnel records and previous training completed are among the many ways of determining what KSAs the trainee currently has. This is compared to the KSAs the trainee needs to perform the tasks. The instructional plan is then completed focusing on the trainee’s KSA deficiencies.
Immediately prior to the training, the trainee should be provided with an orientation to the OJT/JIT learning process. The orientation should help trainees understand their role and the role of the trainer. The importance of listening effectively and feeling comfortable asking questions should be emphasized. The trainee should become familiar with the steps in the JIT process so he or she knows what to expect and when it will occur.
Present. In this stage of JIT there are four activities: tell, show, demonstrate, and explain. When telling and showing, the trainer provides an overview of the job while showing the trainee the different aspects of it. The trainer is not actually doing the job, but pointing out important items such as where levers are located, where materials are stored, and so on. The trainer then demonstrates how to do the job, explaining why it is done that particular way and emphasizing key learning points and important safety instructions. The components of the job should be covered one at a time, and in the order they would normally occur while performing the job.
Try Out. The trainee should be able to explain to the trainer how to do the job prior to actually trying to do the job. This provides a safe transition from watching and listening to doing. When the trainee first tries out the job the trainer should consider any errors to be a function of the training, not the trainee’s learning ability. When errors are made they should be used to allow the trainee to learn what not to do and why. The trainer can facilitate this by questioning the trainee about his actions and guiding him or her in identifying the correct procedures.
Follow Up. During follow up the trainer should check the trainees’ work often enough to prevent incorrect or bad work habits from developing. The trainer should also reassure the trainee that it is important to ask for help during these initial solo efforts. As trainees demonstrate proficiency in the job, progress checks can taper off until eventually they are eliminated.
Coaching is a process of providing one-on-one guidance and instruction to improve the work performance of the person being coached in a specific area. It differs from other OJT methods in that the trainee already has been working at the job for some time. Usually, coaching is directed at employees with performance deficiencies, but it can also serve as a motivational tool for those performing adequately. Typically the supervisor acts as the coach. Like the OJT trainer, the coach must be skilled both in how to perform the task(s) and how to train others to do them. The amount of time supervisors devote to coaching activities steadily increased during the 1990s and will likely represent more than 50 percent of supervisors’ time by the new millennium.
The coaching process, viewed from the coach’s perspective, generally follows the outline below. Note the similarities between JIT and this process.
Understand the trainee’s job, the KSAs and resources required to meet performance expectations, and the trainee’s current level of performance.
Meet with the trainee and mutually agree on the performance objectives to be achieved.
Mutually arrive at a plan/schedule for achieving the performance objectives.
At the work site, show the trainee how to achieve the objectives, observe the trainee’s performance, and then provide feedback.
Repeat step 4 until performance improves.
Mentoring is a form of coaching in which an ongoing relationship is developed between a senior and junior employee. This technique focuses on providing the junior employee with political guidance and a clear understanding of how the organization goes about its business. Mentoring is more concerned with improving the employee’s fit within the organization than improving technical aspects of performance, thus differentiating it from coaching. Generally, though not always, mentors are only provided for management-level employees.
Budget: How much money do I have to spend on each training program? As the budget allotted to me is fixed, I have to wisely utilize the same keeping in mind the number of employees in each store that needs to be trained. The budget has to be divided as per number of employees to be trained and store size.
Delivery style: Will the training be self-paced or instructor led? What kinds of discussions and interactivity can be developed in conjunction with this training?
Audience: Who will be part of this training? Do they have a mix of roles, such as accounting people and marketing people? What are the job responsibilities of these individuals, and how can I make the training relevant to their individual jobs? This aspect will be more clear post TNI as the training needs would have been identified and simultaneously the employees who need to undergo training will also become clear.
Content: What needs to be taught and what will be the sequence and flow of the information needs to be pre decided for smooth and effective delivery.
I will have to have discussions with HR, Operations team and other teams in category to build and structure the training material well.
Timelines: How long will it take to develop the training? Is there a deadline for training to be completed? Certain training programs might have to be developed on priority basis while others will have to be a bunch of workshops quarterly designed so that the progress can be analyzed post completion.
Communication: How will employees know that training is available to them? It is essential to keep all the Area managers and HR executives in loop so that messages are circulated to all the employees about the existing and in-pipeline development plans available for them. This creates an enthusiasm among the employees about new Training interventions coming up and also builds their trust in the Brand which is promoting its employees learning plans as well.
Measuring effectiveness of training: How will you know if your training worked? What ways will you use to measure this? An effective tool to measure training effectiveness post training, needs to be developed. There are various methods to measure the effectiveness of Training programs.
This is where Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model can help me objectively to analyze the effectiveness and impact of training, so that I can improve it in the future.
The Four Levels
Level 1: Reaction
This level measures how the trainees (the people being trained), reacted to the training. Obviously, you want them to feel that the training was a valuable experience, and you want them to feel good about the instructor, the topic, the material, its presentation, and the venue.
It’s important to measure reaction, because it helps to understand how well the training was received by the audience. It also helps to improve the training for future trainees, including identifying important areas or topics that are missing from the training.
Level 2: Learning
At level 2, I will measure what the trainees have learned. How much has their knowledge increased as a result of the training?
When planning the training session, I will maintain a list of specific learning objectives: these will be the starting point for my measurement. Keep in mind that we can measure learning in different ways depending on these objectives, and depending on whether we are interested in changes to knowledge, skills, or attitude.
It’s important to measure this, because knowing what the trainees are learning and what they aren’t will help to improve future training programs.
Level 3: Behavior
At this level, I will evaluate how far the trainees have changed their behavior, based on the training they received. Specifically, this looks at how trainees apply the information.
It’s important to realize that behavior can only change if conditions are favorable. For instance, imagine I skip measurement at the first two Kirkpatrick levels and, when looking at the group’s behavior, I determine that no behavior change has taken place. Therefore, I may then assume that the trainees haven’t learned anything and that the training was ineffective.
However, just because behavior hasn’t changed, it doesn’t mean that trainees haven’t learned anything. Perhaps their boss won’t let them apply new knowledge. Or, maybe they’ve learned everything I have taught, but they have no desire to apply the knowledge themselves. That’s why all the levels of Training evaluation are equally important to identify what can be the actual cause of Training inefficiency and how has been the impact of the overall training program.
Level 4: Results
At this level, I will analyze the final results of the training. This includes outcomes that management or the organization have determined to be good for business, good for the employees, or good for the bottom line.
Kirkpatrick’s model is great for trying to evaluate training in a “scientific” way, however, so many variables can be fast changingthat analysis at level 4 can be limited in usefulness.
Most importantly, organizations change in many ways, and behaviors and results change depending on these, as well as on training.
Yogesh Chati,Pooja Purohit