HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
LESSON 7: TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
For most organizations today, meeting the bottom is all about controlling the cost of
your human resources. Other than compensation, the greatest impact on the cost
of people, is the money that is spent on training and development. Yet, it is a very
hard area to make cuts in since training is a major tool used to ensure that your
resources are productive, and development ensures that they continue to be so as
they grow within your organization. Managing the cost of training is easier when
your training is necessary, effective and adds value to your people.
1. outline the systems approach to training and development
2. explain how to do a needs assessment
3. describe the principles of learning and their impact on training
4. explain how to use different training methods for different training purposes
5. discuss the importance of evaluating training
6. describe special training programs that are currently popular
Topics will include:
•systems approach to training
•the needs assessment
•designing the training program
•trainee readiness and motivation
•principles of learning
•characteristics of instructors
•implementing the training program
•evaluating the training program
•special training programs
TEXT READING: Pages 295 - 345
Once an employee has been selected to work for your organization, the next step is
to integrate them into your workforce as quickly as possible to make them HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
productive, and then to keep them productive as time goes on. This lesson will
describe the systems approach to training and the principles of learning that make
Training can happen at any point in the employee’s career – at the beginning to
introduce them to new processes, or in the future when the need to update skills
and abilities is identified.
As mentioned in the introduction, training is expensive, so organizations trying to
be competitive and/or meet the needs of shareholders have to manage training like
any other investment in the organization.
Training has to do with providing the skills and knowledge needed to do the current
job, while development is to prepare for future jobs.. Figure 7.1 on p. 297 shows
the degree of investment made by companies in training, both in terms of who gets
training and how much training they receive.
Systems Approach to Training
Regardless of whether the training you are providing is 1 day or 1 month, it is
important that you consider whether the training will contribute to organizational
outcomes, and will assist staff in becoming proficient. It makes sense in all cases
to follow a systems approach to training to ensure that your investment is well
made. Figure 7.2 on p. 299 in the text shows the systems approach to training.
Note that it involves four phases that are interrelated:
1) needs assessment (needs analysis)
2. THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT
This first step basically identifies the need for training, what kind and at what level.
There are 3 parts to a needs assessment:
Organization analysis looks at the organization as a whole – where is it going that
will create the need for training. It considers environmental trends, organizational
goals, and current resources (technological, financial, and human).
Task Analysis HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
Task analysis looks at the work itself. This type of analysis would look at one or a
group of jobs, identify the tasks required by the job, and how someone would
acquire the skills to do those tasks. This information should be supported by job
analysis and job descriptions. At this level you will also see competency
assessments which focus primarily on decision-oriented and knowledge-intensive
jobs, but does the same thing; identifies the skills and knowledge required to do
that work. Highlights in HRM 7.2 on p. 303 shows an example of a competency
assessment used for designing training programs for public health professionals.
At this level, the needs analysis is directed towards a single person. For a new
person entering an organization, you will tend to see all three. However, for
someone who has been with the organization for some time, and whose work is not
changing, this level of analysis is usually linked to a performance appraisal.
A training needs assessment is often not done because it is viewed as a time
intensive exercise. However it is a step that should not be skipped; otherwise you
could be wasting your money. See Figure 7.3 on p. 300 for a representation of the
3 parts. Highlights in HRM 7.1 on p. 301 provides some tips on how to rapidly
assess training needs.
3. DESIGNING THE TRAINING PROGRAM
Once training needs have been determined, the next step is designing the training
program. There are 4 areas to consider:
(1) instructional objectives
(2) trainee readiness and motivation
(3) principles of learning, and
(4) characteristics of instructors.
Once you understand the needs that need to be met, it is important to sit down and
determine what your objectives will be for your training, that is, what is it that you
want to achieve. This is a very important step because it guides the design of the
training – what should be presented, how the material should be divided, the
techniques that might be used to transfer the learning, etc.
When writing instructional objectives, there are basically 3 questions to answer for
each part of training:
What is the performance I’m looking for trainees to demonstrate? What should
they be able to do when this portion of the training is over. HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
What conditions will I put in place? Under what conditions should they be able to
What criteria will I use to measure the success of their performance? Am I
interested in speed (how fast they do it), accuracy (the quality of their work), how
many they get done (quantity) or that they demonstrate some knowledge or skill
while they are doing it (without looking at their notes, while standing on one foot).
e.g. You are training new mechanics on how to install spark plugs. You know the
open the hood, locate the spark plugs, remove the spark plugs, clean them, assess
each one to see if it is still good or not, put the spark plugs back ensuring you
replace the ones that were defective, close the hood, start the car to test that it is
When you design your course, you break the material into modules. The first one is
“opening the hood”. Since different cars have different opening mechanisms, you
want the trainee to be able to open the hoods of any car they are working on, and
you don’t want them to stop to look up the car in most cases. Your objective will
describe what you want the trainee to be able to do at the end of this part of
training. Both of you will use it to determine success:
The trainee will be able to open the hood (performance) of 10 of the most
popular cars (criteria) without asking the trainer for assistance or looking
at their notes. (condition)
Trainee Readiness and Motivation
Both trainee readiness (the maturity and experience of the trainee), and trainee
motivation may affect the success of your trainees. There are six things that you
can do to resolve this situation:
1. Use positive reinforcement.
2. Eliminate threats and punishment.
3. Be flexible.
4. Have participants set personal goals.
5. Design interesting instruction.
6. Break down physical and psychological obstacles to learning.
Principles of Learning
Adult learners have a different set of principles when they learn, than children do.
Andragogy is related to adult learning while pedagogy refers to the education of
children. Think of children as blank slates. Their life experiences are minimal and
they tend to view learning quite differently from adults. Some adult learning
principles are: HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
1. Goal Setting: Adults tend to set goals for themselves which focus them and
may increase their level of interest, understanding, and effort directed toward the
2. Meaningfulness of Presentation: The training material should be arranged in
a logical and meaningful way. Think about the spark plugs above. It makes little
sense to show someone how to install a spark plug if they can’t open the hood of
3. Modelling: As they say, “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” Modeling
demonstrates the desired behavior or method to be learned.
4. Individual Differences: People learn at different rates and in different ways,
and you need to see your trainees as individuals.
5. Active Practice and Repetition: Most of us learn to do a task through practice.
Think about learning to tie your shoes. We (well me anyway) had to do it over and
over until it became a natural thing to do. And reinforcement was very important
to encourage me to continue until I got it right.
6. Whole-versus-Part Learning: Should you do your training in parts or should
you train the whole job at the same time. Generally the more complex the job is,
the more it benefits from dividing the training into parts.
7. Massed-versus-Distributed Learning: Fatigue can cause a loss of learning
during a training session. Therefore, it is normally advisable to divide the training
session into segments. The length of the sessions will depend on the complexity of
the material and the type of task to be learned.
8. Feedback and Reinforcement: Behavior modification is a technique that
operates under the principle that if you reward positive behaviour, it is more likely
to reoccur than if you do not reward the behaviour.
Characteristics of Instructors
We often talk about the adult learner and how they learn best, but it is also
important to understand the skills that an effective trainer brings to the process.
Knowledge of subject – if you are not the subject matter expert, it might not
make sense to learn the material. For technical training, the use of a co-trainer
from the operation allows the blend of training and technical expertise
Adaptability – no matter how well you plan a training session, you need to be
prepared to change your agenda, and sometimes the material mid stream e.g. you
might have a very tight agenda but you are being taken off track because trainees
cannot let go of something that is occurring the workplace. Tell the trainees that HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
you are going to set aside 30 minutes to talk about the topic, at which time, the
matter has to be put to rest. Even though the 30 minutes is not planned, including
it lets the rest of the session go on.
Sincerity – be sincere and don’t say it if you don’t mean it – adult learners aren’t
fooled and this will affect your credibility
Sense of humour – people learn better when the atmosphere is easy going – do
use humour, but remember, never tolerate discriminatory jokes or those made at
the expense of others
Interest – you need to be really interested in your trainees. One of the ways you
show this interest is making yourself available – before and after the session and
Gives clear instructions – giving clear instructions is not as easy as it looks.
Don’t assume that people understand your nuances. Develop your instructions in
writing in advance. Give a copy to the group, or post them clearly. Review them
before people begin.
Provides individual assistance – not everybody learns at the same rate, but
don’t assume that because people don’t pick it up right away, that they will never
get it. Your job is to make the connections for them, knowing that people have
different learning styles. Be available and try to understand what the barrier is to
learning. You may have to change the way you are training to ensure that your
message is getting across.
Enthusiasm – when you are enthusiastic about your training, you will see that you
will win over even the diehard naysayer – but be sincere.
4. IMPLEMENTING THE TRAINING PROGRAM
Not all training methods are suitable for all learning. Some are better suited to
what we call soft skills e.g. conflict management, negotiation, giving feedback.
Others are more suited for the transfer of knowledge and skills. While the book
divides this into non-managerial and managerial, many organizations today
understand that soft skills such as listening, providing feedback and managing
conflict are useful at all levels of the organization.
Rather than dividing these methods into the 2 types, we will discuss the methods
On-the-Job Training: On-the-job training (OJT) is probably the most common
method of training and is used by large and small organizations alike. The benefit
of OJT is the fact that someone who is experienced in the work is there to guide the
new learner. Highlights in HRM 7.3 on p. 311 outlines the steps to take in doing
OJT. HRM1283 Training and Development Donna Verity and Chris Carella
Apprenticeship Training: Apprenticeship training programs have long been used
to train individuals in the crafts. Plumbers, electricians, and carpenters have
apprenticeship programs of varying length. These programs combine both
classroom and OJT. Generally an arrangement is made between industry and the
Cooperative Training, Internships, and Governmental Training: Colleges and
universities often engage in these programs as a result of agreement with business
or government. Like apprenticeship, theses programs combine classroom
instruction with practical OJT, but are not focused on the trades. Internship
programs jointly sponsored by colleges, universities and a variety of organizations
are an excellent opportunity for the trainee to get real experience within
organizations who would normally not hire them because of a lack of experience.
Highlights in HRM 7.5 on p. 314 outlines how to maximize internship opportunities.
Classroom Instruction: This method is used primarily to provide knowledge
based learning and most commonly uses lectures, tapes and films.
Programmed Instruction: Computer tutorials are a common example of
programmed instruction. This method allows individual trainees to learn at their
own pace by providing them with material and tests that they complete on their
own, and then decide if they are ready for the next portion. This method is best
used for knowledge based learning.
Audiovisual Methods: Videotapes/DVDs and videoconferencing all allow for
learners to view information or the trainer. Tapes and DVDs are good for both
knowledge and skills based training as the trainee can see things like the steps in a
process, or can watch how someone handles a particular situation.
Videoconferencing allows training to happen “face to face” where this might not be
possible otherwise because of numbers or geography. Camcorders also permit
trainers and trainees to view themselves right away and to get immediate feedback
about progress toward learning objectives.
Computer-Based Training: Trainees interact with the computer to learn the
training information. Computer-based training (CBT) has many advantages of the
programmed instruction method, and the material to be learned can be updated
E-Learning: It c