Friday, May 6, 2011

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT (T&D) METHODS

There are several T&D methods available. The use of a particular method depends which method accomplishes the training needs and objectives. Training methods can be classified into two categories:

I. On-the-Job Methods

This refers to the methods of training in which a person learns a job by actually doing/performing it. A person works on a job and learns and develops expertise at the same time.

1. Understudy

In this the employee is trained by his or her supervisor. The trainee is attached with his or her senior and called understudy or assistant. For example, a future manager might spend few months as assistant to the present manager.

2. Job rotation

This refers to shifting/movement of an employee from one job to another on regular intervals.

3. Special projects

The trainees' may ask to work on special projects related with departmental objectives. By this, the trainees will acquire the knowledge of the assigned work and also learn how to work with others.

4. Experience

It refers to learning by doing. This is one of the oldest methods of on-the-job training. Although this is very effective method but it also very time-consuming and wasteful. Thus it should be followed by other training methods.

5. Committee assignment

In this, the trainees become members of a committee. The committee is assigned a problem to discuss and make recommendations.

6. Coaching

In this, the supervisor or the superior acts as a guide and instructor of the trainee. This involves extensive demonstration and continuous critical evaluation and correction.

II. Off-the-Job Methods

These methods require trainees to leave their workplace and concentrate their entire time towards the training objectives. These days off-the-job training methods have become popular due to limitations of the on-the-job training methods such as facilities and environment, lack of group discussion and full participation among the trainees from different disciplines, etc. In the off-the­job methods, the development of trainees is the primary task rest everything is secondary. Following are the main off-the-job training methods:

1. Special courses and lectures

These are the most traditional and even famous today, method of developing personnel. Special courses and lectures are either designed by the company itself or by the management/professional schools. Companies then sponsor their trainees to attend these courses or lectures. These are the quick and most simple ways to provide knowledge to a large group of trainees.

2. Conferences and seminars

In this, the participants are required to pool their thoughts, ideas, viewpoints, suggestions and recommendations. By attending conferences and seminars, trainees try to look at a problem from different angles as the participants are normally from different fields and sectors.

3. Selected reading

This is the self-improvement training technique. The persons acquire knowledge and awareness by reading various trade journals and magazines. Most of the companies have their own libraries. The employees become the members of the professional associations to keep abreast of latest developments in their respective fields.

4. Case study method

This technique was developed by Harvard Business School, U.S.A. It is used as a supplement to lecture method. A case is a written record of a real business situation/problem faced by a company. The case is provided to the trainees for discussion and analysis. Identification and diagnose of the problem is the aim in case study method. Alternate courses of action are suggested from participants.

5. Programmed instruction/learning

This is step-by-step self-learning method where the medium may be a textbook, computer or the internet. This is a systematic method for teaching job skills involving presenting questions or facts, allowing the person to respond and giving the learner immediate feedback on the accuracy of his or her answers."

6. Brainstorming

This is creativity-training technique, it helps people to solve problems in a new and different way. In this technique, the trainees are given the opportunity to generate ideas openly and without any fear of judgement. Criticism of any idea is not allowed so as to reduce inhibiting forces. Once a lot of ideas are generated then they are evaluated for their cost and feasibility.

7. Role-playing

In this method, the trainees are assigned a role, which they have to play in an artificially created situation. For example, a trainee is asked to play the role of a trade union leader and another trainee is required to perform the role of a HR manager. This technique results in better understanding of each other's situation by putting foot in other's shoes.

8. Vestibule schools

Large organisations frequently provide what are described as vestibule schools a preliminary to actual shop experience. As far as possible, shop conditions are duplicated, but instruction, not output is major objective." A vestibule school is operated as a specialised endeavor by the personnel department. This training is required when the amount of training that has to be done exceeds the capacity of the line supervisor; a portion of training is evolved from the line and assigned to staff through a vestibule school." The advantage of a vestibule school is specialisation.

9. Apprenticeship training

This training approach began in the Middle Ages when those who wanted to learn trade skill bound themselves to a master craftsman and worked under his guidance. Apprenticeship training is a structured process by which people become skilled workers through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

10. In-basket exercise

In this technique, the trainees are provided background information on a simulated firm and its products, and key personnel. After this, the trainees are provided with in-basket of memos, letters, reports, requests and other documents related with the firm. The trainee must make sense out of this mass of paperwork and prepare memos, make notes and delegate tasks within a limited time period."

11. Business games

Business games involve teams of trainees. The teams discuss and analyse the problem and arrive at decisions. Generally, issues related with inventories, sales, R&D, production process, etc. are taken up for consideration.

12. Behaviour modeling

This is structured approach to teach specific supervisory skill. This is based on the social learning theory in which the trainee is provided with a specific model of behaviour and is informed in advance of the consequences of engaging in that type of behaviour.

13. Sensitivity (T-group) training

In this type of training, a small group of trainees consisting of 10 to 12 persons is formed which meets in an unstructured situation. There is no set agenda or schedule or plan. The main objectives are more openness with each other, increased listening skills, trust, support, tolerance and concern for others. The trainers serve a catalytic role. The group meets in isolation without any formal agenda. There is great focus on inter-personal behaviour. And, the trainer provides honest but supportive feedback to members on how they interacted with one another.

14. Multiple management

This technique of training was first introduced by McCormick, President of McCormick & co. of Baltimore in 1932. He gave the idea of establishing a junior board of directors. Authority is given to the junior board members to discuss any problem that could be discuss in senior board and give recommendations to the senior board. Innovative and productive ideas became available for senior board.

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