Excellence Through Management of Spiritual Resources

Life energy learning Systems
phone : 9818635599
Email : info@skchakrabarty.com

TRAINING SYSTEM EFFECTIVENESS

Organizations have started realizing the importance of giving training to their employees. In today’s dynamic, complex and highly competitive environment, the only resource left with the organizations to create differentiation is to exploit the inner potentials of their employees. Such potentials are unique and cannot be copied easily. Systematic efforts made by any organization to stimulate such potentials of their employees and to put it towards organizational excellence can well be considered as competitive advantage. The age of treating capital, technology, structure, system and even managing information as a competitive advantage is gradually surpassing. Along with the blessings of information technology, the curse is that everything is copied easily and known to everyone thereby placing organizations at par sooner or later.

The realization that, developing the human resource is the only way left towards competitive advantage is not misplaced. It seems that it is the only advantage ‘X’ organization can make use of, in the near future, before we can discover anything else. The first stage is the realization of importance of developing human resource. Many conservative organizations have reluctantly started accepting this hard fact. Provisions are being made on the training and development of human resources. To-day there is widespread practice of giving trainings to the employees in organizations. Unfortunately many of them perceive this process as a quick fix solution. Give training in the one hand and get the result on the other hand. Alas! Only if it could have happened! Employees are human beings. We cannot employ the concept of input-process-output so straight in case of human employees as we can do in case of machines.

Yes, there is confusion. The logical questions before any organization are:

  • How do we ensure that development of human resource has taken place to justify the resources spent on them?
  • Considering that there is some development within employees, how do we measure the extent of it so as to make a cost-benefit analysis?
  • The development manifested within the employees is going to last for how long? Is it only temporary or permanent?

To my understanding, addressing this whole issue will involve the following questions which will span through the stretch of input-process- output continuum of the training system.


INPUT
  • Have we made proper training requirement analysis of the employees engaged at different functions?
  • Have we been able to identify the specific training inputs required to be delivered to the employees in consonance with their functions?
  • Have we been able to standardize such inputs which can take care of desired level of development, considering the environmental demands as well as the organizational culture and priorities?

The Training requirement analysis

One of the most important functions of training department is to make an elaborate analysis of the training requirements of staff engaged in different functions. The different areas of training may be as under:

  • Subject training: This part of the training shall involve the knowledge of activities to be carried out by the employee. I shall not separate this input as technical knowledge. Every activity whether to run a machine or to behave with a human being requires technical knowledge. Rather I would say this part is easier to perform because the cause and effect relationship is well established. The only requirement here is to understand the procedure and to follow it. It is desirable to jot down work flow and job sheet for each function to be carried out by the employee and to explain it logically to them.
  • Interpersonal relationship: No employee can work isolated confined only to his work area. The work area will involve interrelation with other people within the department as well as with other departments. To-day’s organizations will thrive only with more integration within the department, inter department and with external agencies. So, there is need for realizing, understanding and developing the skills for dealing with and managing connected people better for effective delivery of results expected from the employees. Accordingly, there is need for identifying the training areas to develop people management skills. This area is more technical, because the cause and effect relationship is not so clear. It is more difficult to influence a human being than to run a machine. There is a tendency to ignore or undermine this area because the results are not so obvious. On the other hand if we think intensively, organizations are moving because of human correlation, cooperation and combined efforts. The machines will move in the right direction only at the end of many human planning, interactions and coordination.
  • Intrapersonal development: People may agree or disagree; the ultimate force of human being doing any activity is lying within himself. Without stimulating the driving force within human beings, we cannot expect things to happen. The inner force of human being himself is the architect of what he is going to deliver. Unfortunately, we, the human beings are unaware of those inner forces lurking within us. Also the cause and effect relationship here is the most unpredictable. The result is that the organizations ignore it. In one hand they disregard this most important aspect of human development and on the other hand they expect the best of results from the employees. In today’s environment, we need to create more delicate differentiation which is possible only by stimulating employees to be more creative. This is probably the most technical area. Therefore there is a need for analyzing and devising training inputs for managing and developing self. There is a caution here. We tend to think that this is an area beyond management and falls within the domain of so called spiritualism. The crude, matter of fact management people denounces and avoids it, although unknowingly he himself is subjected to it. Rather than being lost into spiritual domain, we need to explore and stimulate human forces within, remaining connected to its application in managing self, managing others and ultimately managing organization. We need to create a fine blend of mixing spiritual aspects with management principles.

    Keeping in view all these three areas of training, organizations need to standardize the topics of training for different people. Many a times our expectations from training get belied because we fail to analyze the training needs. Also in many cases training inputs are given as a package decided by the training department personnel according to their understanding of important topics. It is not a bundle of knowledge. Rather a logical sequence of gradual understanding of the subject matter is what required to be delivered. If we compare the understanding of the growth of a tree with that of the understanding of a subject matter, we need to first talk about the root then the stem, trunks, leaves and then flowers. The subject inputs of training should also be developed accordingly. Contrary to this, today training departments are more tempted to talk about the hot topics being talked about widely in the market ignoring the foundation ideas behind it. Also it has become a fashion for the trainers to mention about hot topics and sometimes twisted topics going beyond simplicity.

    Therefore there is need for carefully identifying the training topics and content meticulously for guidance of the trainer. Organizations may even standardize those topics and contents according to the needs of their employees at different functions rather than leaving it to the whims of the trainers.

The delivery process

This is probably the most important aspect of a training system. It is not merely delivering information and knowledge to the participants. It is not merely throwing a stone but throwing the stone in a trajectory so that it can hit the target.
The trainer must neither overdo nor there be under delivery. There must have a relationship between the trainees’ purpose of being trained, level of understanding, usefulness to work area, expectations and interest with the contents and delivery process involved in the training session.

People most of the time talk of theoretical and practical contents in the training delivery, undermining the importance of theoretical contents. It is many a times misplaced thinking. Merely talking about what is to be done in a specific situation without giving the theoretical background will create parrots who does not know what to do in an altered situation. Delivering theory is not bad provided it is within the boundaries of requirement and most of all it has been delivered practically touching the logic and understanding of participants. The broad guidelines to ensure the above aspects are as follows:

  • Trainer must understand and identify the purpose of training, the broad functions of the trainees and what transformation is being expected within the trainees by the specific training.
  • What is the understanding level of the trainees and are they aware of the impact of this training on them? How they are expected to become different in their thinking and efficiency level after this training? The trainer should be able to highlight the individual development the trainees will have after undergoing the training so as to create their interest in the training process.
  • Depending upon the subject matter of the training session, selective use of audio, video and kinesthetic should be applied.
  • The interaction and involvement of trainees is of prime importance in a training process. Sometimes the comments are given that the participants were not interactive. Barring a few remote situation (which I have never seen), this is not true. Interaction on the part of the trainees do not flow from the trainees, rather the trainer must have the ability to stimulate participants to interact. The interaction and involvement of trainer and trainees must reach up to a crescendo where both are full of joy. After all, the joy of a training situation arrives when the subject matter is intimately perceived by the trainees and they discover it to be closely related to them.
  • It is an effective practice to specify the practical steps the trainees need to remember and follow in their day to day working after the training is over. Understanding of the subject matter through a well delivered training session will justify following the brief practical steps to be followed by them afterwards. To ensure that the training activity does not go waste this briefing process is of utmost importance. I will impress upon this fact that in most of the cases this process is not done and the whole training goes waste. Because the trainees do not know at that stage, what they should put into practice in their day-to-day life derived from the training. Rather than saying, what they are expected to learn from the session, they should be conveyed what they must put into practice.
  • Ensuring that the trainees are following the practical steps as mentioned above will answer to our first question (How do we ensure that development of human resource has taken place to justify the resources spent on them?). Once an employee is back from the training session say after about a fortnight or so, an extended process of interaction need to be initiated by the HR personnel/departmental head to ensure that the participants are trying to follow the steps. By this process they may also have an understanding of the impact of training.
    Here is a tree that we have planted and nourished it to grow. More than the tree itself, the person who have planted and nourished the tree has the responsibility and interest to ensure the growth.
    In most organizations, the whole process ends once the ritual of training is completed. The following section elaborates further on this.
  • As mentioned above, the training process is a:
  • Stimulation process whereby the inner potentials of the trainee comes into surface.
  • The trainee gets the justification and motivation to put the derived knowledge into practice But the process does not end here. This is just the beginning. Just as a plant cannot grow only by sowing the seed and initial watering and it requires a continuous environment of light, shadow, water, fertilizer etc. Similarly, the lecture delivered in the class room does not manifest change within the employee permanently. It is only the beginning.

    The next required process is the creation of a culture within the organization which makes the participants subjected to an environment of continuous learning process which is bound to be a sequence of trial and error.

    The very expectation of getting desired result only by training without providing the necessary opportunities and environment is a folly. Our expectation of comparatively permanent change within the employees is possible only when we complete this process.

The Training Process

The entire training process can be diagrammatically represented as under.

The Trainer Efficiency

a. The trainer is the change agent. He is the conveyor of organizational purpose and is the stimulator of the participants. He acts as an engine to bring forth the driving forces from within the participants. So, there is a need on his part to completely understand the organizational purpose behind the training. He has to frame the subject matter and its delivery accordingly.

b. The trainer needs to understand the level of understanding and motivation of the participants. Accordingly, he needs to plan his delivery of lecture or demonstration. The voice modulation, pitch, delivery, use of teaching aids, methods of training should be able to create a useful output for receipt as an input by the participants. To that end, every word uttered, every gesture communicated and every activity demonstrated is of vital importance which is going to create an impact on the trainees.

The Training Effect

a. What input a trainee is going to receive depends largely on the trainer efficiency. At the same time since the participants may be of different levels in respect of their understanding and motivational level, the trainer has to deliver accordingly. Ultimately what is perceived by the participant from whole process of training is going to be an output of the training process for him. The process is very intricate and cannot be seen even by the trainer. The challenge has to be met out with questioning, interacting, practicing, emphasizing and reemphasizing


The Training assimilation process

The training assimilation process will extend beyond the training environment. The stimulated ideas and motivation generated in the training situation needs to be validated in trainee’s work environment. The trainee now needs to be getting exposed to the appropriate work situation where he may use those ideas. If the organization cannot give that exposure, the training is wasted. As stated earlier, this is the stage where the practical steps to be followed is of vital importance. Organizations need to put in place such practices and procedures to ensure it.


The Training Effects assimilated in the organization

After all the organization provides training to the employees, so that the trainees get developed and ultimately contribute to the overall achievement of the organizational goals. Therefore, the question of utilizing the trained and developed employee in suitable job lies on the organization. The Human Resource department of an organization need to ensure that the trained employee is getting the suitable job related to his/her competence. The purpose may be to replace an existing position, to fill up a vacant position, to fill up the gap due to promotion of other employee, occupying a new position after promotion or even to work more efficiently in the existing assignment, there must have a strategic planning for deriving benefit out of the training process. Only then the effectiveness of training will be visualized.


Conclusion

The following points need to be emphasized as described in the above observation:

  • Training and developing employees is the most effective strategy for create differentiation in to-day’s competitive environment.
  • There must have proper training requirement analysis at the branch level as well as at the organizational level. This must be in consonance with the organizational objectives.
  • The topics and contents of the subject matter of training must be developed objectively and not on subjective considerations. These should be standardized for guidance of the trainer.
  • The training delivery process must be in accordance with the subject matter and trainee’s level of understanding so as to give the best of stimulation.
  • For each topics of training the practical steps to be followed by the trainees should be evolved for their guidance.
  • There should have a post training follow up system to ensure that the employees are following the steps as suggested as also whether at all they are getting the opportunity to practice those steps.
  • There should have gradual change in the organizational culture, systems and processes so that the employees may feel the relevance of their training. There must have a creation of learning organization. The employees need to feel that they are supposed to follow what they have learnt and they are getting an environment for that.
  • The organization must have a planned purpose behind training employees rather than making it a ritual which must be reflected in its process, culture and commitments.


S.K Chakrabarty

Life Energy Learning Systems

Faridabad

www.skchakrabarty.com
swadesh.bestlife@gmail.com, 09818635599