In an organisation, the requirements of different levels are not the same so the training requirements also differ. The following chart depicts such requirements:
|CEO||CEOs attend global conferences in order to gather information about the developments happening in the world.|
|Senior Managers||External training companies are hired to impart quality training. Senior managers are trained on how to tackle subordinates and bring profitability to their organisation. They are also given training in leadership.|
|Managers||Managers are imparted in-house training by training experts. These training experts are themselves trained to perform their job efficiently. Since managers deal with employees directly, they need to have the capability of motivating and controlling masses. Leadership qualities are a must at this stage also.|
|Salaried staff||The lower level staff members are imparted departmental training. Each department has its own working system and the training depends on it.|
|Non-salaried staff (such as contractors and vendors)||Contractors and vendors also play an important part in the success of an organisation and as such, it becomes necessary to train them also. Such people are given on-the-job training.|
Similarities/differences: Training for CEOs is completely different from other stakeholders of an organisation. Senior managers and managers need to have efficient leadership qualities and as such, their training (of leadership aspect) is similar. Senior managers need to manage their subordinates (managers), whereas the managers have to deal with the lower level employees; this demands extra skills. The lower level employees do not need any leadership qualities but need to have technical expertise so that the desired output is achieved. As such, they need to be trained in the technical aspects. Teamwork is also an important aspect that they should be taught. The non-salaried staff members need to be trained to follow the company policies.
CEOs incorporate the gathered information in business so that working is at par with competitors and the business is able to sustain the stiff competition. Incorporating training methods into business helps senior managers to develop team spirit among employees, which in turn increases productivity. Effective leadership qualities assist the managers in inculcating team spirit among the employees and getting maximum output; effective leadership leads to success. Appropriate training helps the employees to adopt latest technology and/or methods in their day-to-day working. This results in better quality output that is at par with the global requirements. On-the-job training helps such people to perform their functions according to the requirements. This helps in streamlining all the functions of an organisation.
Organisations around the globe adopt various methods to gather information from employees about their perceptions of working conditions.
Questionnaires: This is one of the most commonly used methods to know the need of training within organisations. The training department sends questionnaires to all managers of different departments asking them to give their perceptions about training requirements.
Interviews: Face-to-face interviews are also among the most commonly used methods for gathering such information. Employees who leave for good are often interviewed about their experience while in the organisation. Departing employees can give unbiased opinion because they are not afraid of any backfiring; such information can be very useful
Observation: By observing employees’ behaviour, managers are able to measure their level of satisfaction. During assessments, trained assessors observe employees’ behaviour and evaluate it in accordance to the job profile (McConnell 2003).
Trainer/trainee feedback: Once a training session is over, the trainees and trainers are required to answer a questionnaire that gives their perception about the training. Trainers can use such information to add/delete training topics.
Customer comments: Customers are significant stakeholders and their views matter a lot to businesses. Based on such comments, the concerned department can include new training lessons for employees that might improve customer service.
Training audits: In addition to the trainer/trainee feedback, the training department also conducts annual audits in which its performance is gauged. Employees who have undergone training are asked to send their comments on the efficacy of the imparted training.
Achievement of awards by trainees: Employees who perform well during training sessions are awarded for their achievements in order to boost their morale.
In order to have a perfect training evaluation, it is necessary to have an effective training as well. Evaluation of a training session may be divided into two segments:
Fulfilment of the training needs: While evaluating, it is important to understand the extent to which the training session has been able to meet the requirements. It is also necessary to know whether the participants’ objectives have been met or not. Another important aspect to be understood is the knowledge that the participants have gained and the commitments that they have made.
Implementation of action plans: Training is imparted so that employees may incorporate the gained knowledge in their working style. As such, it is important to know the extent to which the employees have been able to adopt the new action plan. Employees need their superiors’ support in incorporating new methods, so it is also necessary to know whether line managers are offering the required support or not. Finally, the effect of the new action plan on the overall performance needs to be gauged (Rae 2004).
The reasons for adopting training at various levels of an organisation may be different such as to increase sales, streamline production, inculcate team spirit, and utilise information technology in an efficient manner. It is understood that training is imparted when a need for the same is experienced. Accordingly, there are certain expectations from the proposed training sessions. These two points need to be fulfilled if training has to be successful.
So it is important to evaluate the efficiency of training considering both the aspects. If the objectives of the training are not met, there is no point in conducting a training session. Similarly, if the action plan of the training is not implemented, the whole exercise will be a waste of time, energy and money. Experienced and knowledgeable trainers are a must to make training sessions effective and beneficial for the organisation.
McConnell, J H 2003, How to identify your organization’s training needs, American Management Association, New York.
Rae, L 2004, Training programme evaluation. Web.