Saturday, 6 August 2011

Human Resources Training

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Evaluation of Training Programs

Training is a process whereby people acquire capabilities to aid in the achievement

of organizational goals. Because this process is tied to a variety of organizational purposes,

training can be viewed either narrowly or broadly. (Pg 17, Human Resource Mgmt,

Buy Human Resources Training term paper

Mathis, Jackson , 000)

Training is an area targeted by EEO laws and regulations. The criteria used must be

Job related and must not unfairly restrict the participation of protected-class members. (Pg

0, Human Resources Mgmt, Mathis, Jackson, 000)

Because of the diversity of duties and level of responsibility, the educational

backgrounds of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists vary

considerably. In filling entry-level jobs, employers usually seek college graduates. Many

prefer applicants who have majored in human resources, personnel administration, or

industrial and labor relations. Others look for college graduates with a technical or business

background or a well-rounded liberal arts education.

Many colleges and universities have programs leading to a degree in personnel,

human resources, or labor relations. Some offer degree programs in personnel

administration or human resources management, training and development, or compensation

and benefits. Depending on the school, courses leading to a career in human resources

management may be found in departments of business administration, education,

instructional technology, organizational development, human services, communication, or

public administration, or within a separate human resources institution or department.

Because an interdisciplinary background is appropriate in this field, a combination of

courses in the social sciences, business, and behavioral sciences is useful. Some jobs may

require a more technical or specialized background in engineering, science, finance, or law,

for example. Most prospective human resources specialists should take courses in

compensation, recruitment, training and development, and performance appraisal, as well as

courses in principles of management, organizational structure, and industrial psychology.

Other relevant courses include business administration, public administration, psychology,

sociology, political science, economics, and statistics. Courses in labor law, collective

bargaining, labor economics, labor history, and industrial psychology also provide a

valuable background for the prospective labor relations specialist. As in many other fields,

knowledge of computers and information systems also is useful.

An advanced degree is increasingly important for some jobs. Many labor relations

jobs require graduate study in industrial or labor relations. A strong background in industrial

relations and law is highly desirable for contract negotiators, mediators, and arbitrators; in

fact, many people in these specialties are lawyers. A background in law also is desirable for

employee benefits managers and others who must interpret the growing number of laws and

regulations. A master’s degree in human resources, labor relations, or in business

administration with a concentration in human resources management is highly recommended

for those seeking general and top management positions.

For many specialized jobs in the human resources field, previous experience is an

asset; for more advanced positions, including managers as well as arbitrators and mediators,

it is essential. Many employers prefer entry-level workers who have gained some experience

through an internship or work-study program while in school. Personnel administration and

human resources development require the ability to work with individuals as well as a

commitment to organizational goals. This field also demands other skills people may

develop elsewhere-using computers, selling, teaching, supervising, and volunteering,

among others. This field offers clerical workers opportunities for advancement to

professional positions. Responsible positions sometimes are filled by experienced individuals

from other fields, including business, government, education, social services administration,

and the military.

The human resources field demands a range of personal qualities and skills. Human

resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists must speak and write

effectively. The growing diversity of the workforce requires that they work with or supervise

people with various cultural backgrounds, levels of education, and experience. They must

be able to cope with conflicting points of view, function under pressure, and demonstrate

discretion, integrity, fair-mindedness, and a persuasive, congenial personality.

The duties given to entry-level workers will vary depending on whether they have a

degree in human resource management, have completed an internship, or have some other

type of human resources-related experience. Entry-level employees commonly learn the

profession by performing administrative duties-helping to enter data into computer

systems, compiling employee handbooks, researching information for a supervisor, or

answering the phone and handling routine questions. Entry-level workers often enter formal

or on-the-job training programs in which they learn how to classify jobs, interview

applicants, or administer employee benefits. They then are assigned to specific areas in the

personnel department to gain experience. Later, they may advance to a managerial position,

overseeing a major element of the personnel program-compensation or training, for


Exceptional human resources workers may be promoted to director of personnel or

industrial relations, which can eventually lead to a top managerial or executive position.

Others may join a consulting firm or open their own business. A Ph.D. is an asset for

teaching, writing, or consulting work.

Most organizations specializing in human resources offer classes intended to enhance the

marketable skills of their members. Some organizations offer certification programs, which

are signs of competence and can enhance one’s advancement opportunities. For example,

the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans confers the Certified Employee

Benefit Specialist designation to persons who complete a series of college-level courses and

pass exams covering employee benefit plans. The Society for Human Resources

Management has two levels of certification-Professional in Human Resources, and Senior

Professional in Human Resources; both require experience and a comprehensive exam.

Legislation and court rulings setting standards in various areas-occupational safety

and health, equal employment opportunity, wages, health, pension, and family leave, among

others will increase demand for human resources, training, and labor relations experts.

Rising health care costs should continue to spur demand for specialists to develop

Creative compensation and benefits packages that firms can offer prospective employees.

Employment of labor relations staff, including arbitrators and mediators, should grow as

firms become more involved in labor relations, and attempt to resolve potentially costly

labor-management disputes out of court. Additional job growth may stem from increasing

demand for specialists in international human resources management and human resources

information systems.

Expected job growth varies by specialty. Many new jobs will stem from increasing

efforts throughout industry to recruit and retain quality employees. As a result, employment,

recruitment, and placement specialists are projected to grow as fast as average. Furthermore,

employers are expected to devote greater resources to job-specific training programs in

response to the increasing complexity of many jobs, the aging of the work force, and

technological advances that can leave employees with obsolete skills. This should result in

particularly strong demand for training and development specialists across all industries.

Demand should continue to be strong among firms involved in management,

consulting, and personnel supply, as businesses increasingly contract out personnel functions

or hire personnel specialists on a temporary basis to meet the increasing cost and complexity

of training and development programs. Demand also should increase in firms that develop

and administer complex employee benefits and compensation packages for other


Demand for human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists

also is governed by the staffing needs of the firms for which they work. A rapidly expanding

business is likely to hire additional human resources workers either as permanent

employees or consultants, while a business that has experienced a merger or a reduction in

its work force will require fewer human resources workers. Also, as human resources

management becomes increasingly important to the success of an organization, some small

and medium-size businesses that do not have a human resources department may assign

employees various human resources duties together with other unrelated responsibilities. In

any particular firm, the size and the job duties of the human resources staff are determined

by the firm’s organizational philosophy and goals, skills of its work force, pace of

technological change, government regulations, collective bargaining agreements, standards

of professional practice, and labor market conditions.

Job growth could be limited by the widespread use of computerized human resources

information systems that make workers more productive. Similar to other workers,

employment of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists,

particularly in larger firms, may be adversely affected by corporate downsizing,

restructuring, and mergers.

Training and development managers and specialists conduct and supervise training

and development programs for employees. Increasingly, management recognizes that

training offers a way of developing skills, enhancing productivity and quality of work, and

building loyalty to the firm. Training is widely accepted as a method of improving employee

morale, but this is only one of the reasons for its growing importance. Other factors include

the complexity of the work environment, the rapid pace of organizational and technological

change, and the growing number of jobs in fields that constantly generate new knowledge.

In addition, advances in learning theory have provided insights into how adults learn,

and how training can be organized most effectively for them.

Training specialists plan, organize, and direct a wide range of training activities.

Trainers conduct orientation sessions and arrange on-the-job training for new employees.

They help rank-and-file workers maintain and improve their job skills, and possibly prepare

for jobs requiring greater skill. They help supervisors improve their interpersonal skills in

order to deal effectively with employees. They may set up individualized training plans to

strengthen an employee’s existing skills or teach new ones. Training specialists in some

companies set up leadership or executive development programs among employees in lower

level positions. These programs are designed to develop potential and current executives to

replace those retiring. Trainers also lead programs to assist employees with transitions due to

mergers and acquisitions, as well as technological changes. In government-supported

training programs, training specialists function as case managers. They first assess the

training needs of clients, then guide them through the most appropriate training method. After

training, clients either may be referred to employer relations representatives or

receive job placement assistance.

Planning and program development is an important part of the training specialist’s

job. In order to identify and assess training needs within the firm, trainers may confer with

managers and supervisors or conduct surveys. They also periodically evaluate training


Depending on the size, goals, and nature of the organization, trainers may differ

considerably in their responsibilities and in the methods they use. Training methods include

on-the-job training; schools in which shop conditions are duplicated for trainees prior to

putting them on the shop floor; apprenticeship training; classroom training; and electronic

learning, which may involve interactive Internet-based training, multimedia programs,

distance learning, satellite training, videos and other computer-aided instructional

technologies, simulators, conferences, and workshops.

The wave of the future of training is breaking on the shore. Its dissolving old ways

of thinking and asking organizations to look at training in a whole new way.

Why? Because much of what organizations did for years in training failed to produce the

desired results, if expected outcomes were defined at all. Yes, results. Its no longer

acceptable to hope an employee learns something or maybe gets entertained at a training

session. The agile, changing organizations that will succeed in the future are thoughtfully

developing their most important resource the people they employ. Several of the trends

highlighted have already attracted attention and followers for a number of years but not all

organizations have caught the wave. Others are just beginning to dissolve traditional training


A training professional who can provide performance consulting is in demand. The

training function is no longer a catalog of classes. Even the best of generic classes is not

positioned to meet the needs of various people and job functions. Interacting with the

potential internal or external customer to learn their needs and then to develop custom

content to help them achieve their desired outcome is the recommended approach. This

requires that the training professional can assess needs and make recommendations about

activities, reading, lessons, classes, work assignments and approaches that will help the

customers create their success. Scheduling a class for the customer will rarely achieve this


To do performance consulting well, trainers need education in organization

development, group process, and various other methods that will help them serve customer

needs. They also need the active support of their managers as their performance becomes

more independent. It is harder for an organization to see the results that are obtained from

consulting engagements and follow-up. In a training session, you have the end of class

sheet ratings to tally and average to get a score. A valid measure? Not entirely, but its

something a manager can see and hold. You can measure the success of performance

consulting and training as the next trend demonstrates, but its harder.

Long accepted as a good example of the right way to measure training success,

Donald Kirkpatricks (17) four levels of training evaluation,are hard for organizations to

do, so especially level three and four evaluation is infrequent. The first level measures the

learners reaction to the training program. The second level measures the learning that has

occurred. Third level training evaluation measures the changes in behavior the participants

exhibit on the job as a result of the training program. Level four measures the results of the

training program as these results affect the organizations bottom line.

Training professionals who want to stay in business and add value to their

organization are evaluating training processes and programs. According to

the Learning Resources Network, 77 percent of organizations use reaction measures; 6

percent use learning evaluations; 15 percent measure behavior change; and eight percent

measure results. All of the measures of effectiveness are increasingly used to assess training.

Organizations that are maximizing the potential of the money they invest in learning

processes are asking about measurable outcomes.

Trainers have the platform skills needed for effective training

delivery, but people who work in your line organization have the knowledge about and

control of the work processes. In fact, if its the boss doing the training, employees are likely

to learn the subject matter. Trainers are increasingly asked to impart training skills to people

who are experts in subject matter. So, training others to train is a desired competency. With

non-trainers training, the training professional needs to hone his skills in locating resources,

needs assessment, training design and development, and performance consulting. These are

the competencies you will increasingly use as a training professional.

According to a report by the Learning Resources Network, currently, 80 percent of

instruction is by live teachers, but about six percent of that is remote, mostly online.

Computer-based training with no live instructor accounts for 1 percent of training. About

percent is by on-the-job, self-study or other means.

Currently, most computer-based training is via CDs. More training is provided via

Intranets than the Internet, but expect both of these delivery systems to expand in the future.

The key is that multiple ways of delivering training are available to meet the needs and

preferences of any employee. If youre not exploring methods of delivering training that

utilize CDs, the Intranet, the Internet, and subject matter experts, youre limiting your

potential to serve the needs of your organization.

As performance management systems and individual development plans replace the

traditional appraisal system, increasingly your training customer will be the individual

employee. This is amplified by the number of ways in which you can deliver training. In

addition to classes, individual employees will learn through cross-training, stretching work

assignments, lateral moves to different jobs, reading, facilitated sessions, and other methods.

Development plans are increasingly individualized which requires that the objectives of any

training experience are individualized. Youll see less department-wide sessions and fewer

company-wide classes offered. As strategically important as people are for your future, youll

give individual employees the opportunity to grow. Or, the employees you most want to

keep will find an organization that will.

Immediately applying the new information learned in a training experience allows

the employee to practice new behaviors. Giving employees information months or even

years before they need it will ensure training failure. Youll see more training provided in

response to individual development plans just when the employee needs the training.

Do thorough needs and skills analysis to determine the real need for training. Make

sure the opportunity you are pursuing or the problem you are solving is a training issue. If

the employee is failing in some aspect of her job, determine whether you have provided the

employee with the time and tools needed to perform the job. Does the employee clearly

understand what is expected from her on the job? Ask yourself whether the employee has the

temperament and talent necessary for their current position; is the job a good skill, ability,

and interest fit?

Provide information for the employee about why the new skills, skill enhancement,

or information is necessary. Make certain the employee understands the link between the

training and his job. You can enhance the impact of the training even further if the employee

sees the link between the training and his ability to contribute to the accomplishment of the

organization’s business plan and goals. It’s also important to provide rewards and

recognition as a result of successful completion and application of the training. People like

completion certificates, for instance. One company I know lists employee names and

completed training sessions in the company newsletter. This contextual information will help

create an attitude of motivation as the employee attends the training. It will assist the

employee to want to look for relevant information to apply after the session.

Provide training that is really relevant to the skill you want the employee to attain or

the information he needs to expand his work horizons. You may need to design a session

internally if nothing from training providers exactly meets your needs. Or, seek out

providers who are willing to customize their offerings to match your specific needs. It is

ineffective to ask an employee to attend a session on general communication when their

immediate need is to learn how to provide feedback in a way that minimizes defensive

behavior. The employee will regard the session as mostly a waste of time or too basic; their

complaints will invalidate potential learning. Whenever possible, connect the training to the

employee’s job and work objectives. If you work in an organization that invests in a self-

development component in the appraisal process, make sure the connection to the plan is


Design or obtain training that has clearly stated objectives with measurable outcomes.

Ascertain that the content leads the employee to attaining the skill or information

promised in the objectives. With this information in hand, the employee knows exactly what

they can expect from the training session and is less likely to be disappointed. They will also

find ways to apply the training to the accomplishment of real workplace objectives.

You should provide information for the employee about exactly what the training session

will involve. Explain what is expected of the employee at the training session. This will help

reduce the person’s normal anxiety about trying something new. If they know what to

expect, they can focus on the learning rather than their potential discomfort with the


You should make clear to the employee that the training is their responsibility and they

need to take the training seriously. They are expected to apply themselves to the training

process before, during, and after the session. This includes completing pre-training

assignments, actively participating in the session, and applying new ideas and skills upon

returning to work.

Make sure that internal or external training providers supply pre-training

assignments. Reading or thought-provoking exercises in advance of the session promote

thoughtful consideration of the training content. Exercises or self-assessments, provided

and scored in advance of the session, save precious training time for interaction and new

information. These ideas will engage the employee in thinking about the subject of the

session prior to the training day. This supplies important paybacks in terms of their

interest, commitment, and involvement.

Train supervisors and managers either first or simultaneously so they know and

understand the skills and information provided in the training session. This will allow the

supervisor to model the appropriate behavior and learning, provide an environment in

which the employee can apply the training, and create the clear expectation that they

can expect to see different behavior or thinking as a result of the training. An executive,

who has participated in the same training as the rest of the organization, is a powerful

role model when he is observed applying the training.

Train managers and supervisors in their role in the training process. The average

supervisor has rarely experienced effective training during his career. Even more rare is

the supervisor who has worked in an environment that maximized transfer of training to

the actual workplace. Thus it is a mistake to believe that supervisors automatically know

what must happen for effective training to take place. The HR professional can coach

supervisors about their role. Provide a handy tip sheet that explains in detail the

organization’s expectations of the supervisor in support of effective training. At one

General Motors location, the education and training staff provided a three-hour class

called, “The Organization and the Training Process.” The session was most effective in

communicating roles and responsibilities to supervisory staff.

Ask supervisors to meet with employees prior to the training session to accomplish

the establishment of what is expected and what will be reviewed . Discuss with the

individuals what they hope to learn in the session. Discuss any concerns they may have

about applying the training in the work environment. Determine if key learning points

are important for the organization in return for the investment of their time in the

training. Identify any obstacles the employee may expect to experience as they apply the


In one mid-Western university, the Director of Human Resource Development,

created a new training series for supervisory staff members. She began the process with

focus groups that included both prospective participants and supervisors to identify the key

skills and ideas needed from the training. She consulted with outside experts to determine

content. She observed training programs and met with other university HRD Directors to

compare notes before developing the training. She formed a university-wide advisory

committee to review and assist with the training design and delivery.

Then, working with internal and external vendors, she developed the objective-based

training sessions. Managers of trainees are required to attend an initial meeting which

introduces training session content and the role of the manager in supporting the training

efforts. Gradually, more and more managers are attending the complete training as well.

She piloted sessions with the first couple of training groups. Sessions were

redesigned based on feedback. Trainers present relevant examples and activities during the

sessions. The participants fill out multi-page evaluations that provide feedback about

content, learning, and the effectiveness of the sessions. These are due within a week and not

required at the end of the session so participants have time for thoughtful review. Training

redesign is an ongoing process based on feedback.

A couple of months after the sessions, the HRD Director meets with employees who

participated to assess their satisfaction and learning over time. She also meets with their

supervisors to assess whether the employees are applying the skills in the workplace. She is

working to provide actual testing and 60 degree feedback to strengthen the training transfer

component of the program. This proactive stance results in having the proper training with

the employees having the positive participation.

With todays technology, training has become more advanced with computerized tools,

more CD-Rom programs, interactive classes, and websites.


Mathis, Robert L., Jackson, John H., 000, Human Resource Management

Susan Heathfield,00, About Human Resources Guide

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,00, Occupational Outlook Handbook,

Workforcetools (www.workforcetools.com) Tips and articles related to HR.

HRIM MALL (www.hrimmall.com) The internet portal to human resources on the Web.

HR Management (trax.to/HR ) This site has monthly issues related to HR.

Big Dogs HR Link Page (www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/hrdlink.html) This page contains general Human Resource subjects, such as 60 degree feedback, communications, and mentoring.

Trainingzone (www.trainingzone.co.uk) More than 8,050 organizations are networked through the UKs largest interactive community for Training and HR professionals.

Mediational Training Institute International (www.mediationworks.com) This site contains resources for the prevention, management, and resolution of workplace conflicts and disputes in business, government, health care, and non-profit organizations.

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