In this article we will discuss about the methods and techniques adopted for training and development of employees in an organization.
Learn about: A. On the Job Training and Development 1. Job Instruction Training 2. Apprenticeship 3. Coaching/Understudy 6. Mentoring 7. Job Rotation 8. Participation in Deliberations B. Off the Job Training and Development 1. Vestibule Training 2. Lectures and Conferences 3. Syndicate 4. Brainstorming 5. Simulation Training 6. Sensitivity Training.
Also learn about:- 1. On the Job Training 2. Off the Job Training 3. Apprenticeship Training 4. Job Instruction Training 5. Vestibule Training 6. Lecture 7. Coaching 8. Conference and Seminars 9. Job Rotation Training 10. Case Study 11. Sensitivity Training 12. Audio-Visual-Based Training 13. Computer-Based Training 14. Internet-Based Training/Web-Based Training/E-Learning.
Everything you need to learn about the methods of training and development of employees. Training and development methods are means of attaining the desired objectives in a learning situation.
After identifying the needs of training and development, an organization can go for searching training and development methods that will satisfy these needs. Training and development methods can be grouped on the basis of the emphasis which they put on the training and development process.
Training methods are usually classified by the location of instruction. On-the-job training is provided when the workers are given training at the actual work place, off-the-job training, on the other hand, requires that trainees learn at a location other than the real workplace.
This will further help you to learn about:
A: Methods of training and development can be grouped under the following two bases – 1. On the Job Training 2. Off the Job Training.
B: The most common of the various methods used in training and development programmes are described below: 1. Apprenticeship Training 2. On-The-Job Training 3. Job Instruction Training 4. Vestibule Training 5. Lecture 6. Coaching 7. Conferences and Seminars 8. Job Rotation Training 9. Case Study 10. Sensitivity Training 11. Audio-Visual-Based Training 12. Computer-Based Training 13. Internet-Based Training/Web-Based Training/E-Learning.
C: Commonly Used Training and Development Methods are – 1. Simulation 2. Role Play 3. Case Studies 4. Computer Based Training (CBT) 5. Outbound Training.
List of Methods and Techniques used for Training and Development of Employees in HRM
Methods of Training and Development: On the Job and Off the Job Training Methods
Training and development methods are means of attaining the desired objectives in a learning situation. After identifying the needs of training and development, an organization can go for searching training and development methods that will satisfy these needs.
Today, training and development programmes offer something for everyone — from pre-employment preparation for the first job to pre-retirement courses for those who are due for retirement soon.
These training and development methods can be grouped on the following two bases:
1. Training and development methods can be grouped on the basis of level of personnel in an organization because three categories of personnel operatives, supervisors, managers have different training and development needs and, therefore, different training and development methods are suitable for them.
2. Training and development methods can be grouped on the basis of the emphasis which they put on the training and development process.
Thus, training and development methods may be on-the-job oriented like experience on a particular job, job rotation, vestibule school, apprenticeship, etc.; simulation methods like role playing, case study, management game, and in-basket exercise; experiential methods like sensitivity training and transactional analysis; knowledge-based like lectures, seminars, workshops, programmed instructions, etc.
Each of these training and development methods predominantly targets on developing a particular skill set though other skills may also develop to some extent in this process.
Some of these training and development methods can be used on the job while others can be used off the job.
Method # 1. On the Job Training and Development:
On-the-job training and development method is the most common in organizations of any type or size and covers all categories of personnel. It involves ‘learning by doing itself’. In this method, the trainee learns while he is actually engaged in doing a job. This engagement may be on a specific job or there may be job rotation.
For operatives who are engaged in routine and repetitive job, on-the-job training is the most important tool. Initially, an operative requires the help of a trainer to learn how he should proceed in the job performance. Gradually, he learns the methods of doing and gets perfection over these. This concept is applied to managerial personnel too at the initial level.
Subsequently, they may be put on job rotation. Experience is a valuable asset if used wisely. It contributes to better way of doing the things because the person may weed out the undesirable practices over the period of time and may retain only the desirable practices.
However, this process of learning may take lot of time on the part of the person to make distinction between what is desirable and what is undesirable. If he has knowledge of the relevant theories of doing a job, he can do so in much lesser time.
i. Job Instruction Training:
Job instruction training (JIT), also known as training through step-by-step’, involves listing of all necessary steps involved in the job performance with a sequential arrangement of all steps. These steps show what is to be done, how to be done, and why to be done.
JIT involves the following steps:
1. Providing job information to the trainees by emphasizing its importance, general description of the job and duties, and responsibilities involved;
2. Positioning the trainees at workplace and explaining them the various steps involved in job performance and the reasons for these steps;
3. Allowing the trainees to try out work performance on the basis of the steps involved and correcting the errors committed by them;
4. Encouraging the trainees to ask questions about the job performance and satisfying them with further explanation.
Many companies adopt programmed instruction method of JIT in which the learning materials are compiled in the booklet form which the trainees have to read and work accordingly. Sometimes, these instructions are computerized and the method is known as computer-assisted instruction (CAI). These methods are useful for educated operatives.
Apprenticeship as a method of training involves putting trainees (generally called apprentices) under the guidance of a skilled person in the concerned trade for a specified period of time. Apprenticeship in crafts, trades, and technical areas is one of the oldest and the most commonly used method particularly when proficiency in a job is the result of a relatively long period of training.
The areas in which apprenticeship training is offered are numerous ranging from the job of a draughtsman, machinist, printer, tool-maker, engraver, electrician, etc. In the apprenticeship training, a major part of the training time is spent on the productive job. Each trainee is given a programme of assignments according to a pre-determined schedule which provides training in the concerned trade.
In India, the Apprentices Act, 1961 (amended in 1973) makes it obligatory on the part of all employers in the specified industries to place apprentices in the designated trades in terms of standard laid down. During the period of training, each trainee is paid certain amount of stipend as stipulated in the Act. The basic advantage of apprenticeship training is that the organization can build a pool of technically trained personnel with much higher loyalty to it.
Coaching is a learning through on-the-job experience. A manager can learn when he is put on a specific job. He can develop skills for doing the job in a better way over the period of time. However, he can learn better if he is given some guidance either in the form of coaching or understudy.
Coaching involves direct personal instructions and guidance usually with demonstration and continuous critical evaluation and correction. In understudy method, the trainee works normally as assistant under the direction and supervision of a person. Normally, this method is applied by industrialists to develop their family members or sponsored candidates to develop them for occupying key positions in the organization concerned.
The coaching method offers certain advantages. It provides an opportunity to a trainee to develop himself even if formal management development programmes are not undertaken in an organization. It provides quick feedback to the trainee as well as to the trainer where the trainee lacks and what measures can be taken to overcome various shortcomings.
However, coaching system has certain drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks is that trainer’s styles of working, which may not necessarily be suitable, percolate in the trainee. Therefore, if this method is relied on heavily, there is a chance for the development of organizational traditionalism which works as resistant to change. Further, the trainer may be preoccupied with his work and he may not be able to give sufficient time to the trainee concerned.
However, coaching can be an effective management tool if followed properly. To be effective, coaching demands that the superior renders assistance when the trainee needs it. The superior should have the ability to communicate and stimulate the trainee and have patience to develop the trainee.
Coaching will work well if the coach provides a good model with whom the trainee can identify; if both can be open with each other; if the coach accepts his responsibility fully and if he provides the trainee with recognition of his improvement and suitable rewards. A survey by Cedar International, a UK-based personnel consultancy firm, shows that out of 80 per cent of 70 managing directors/personnel managers from blue-chip companies included in the survey shows that coaching is right for their business.
However, 84 per cent of them feel that they lack skills for providing meaningful coaching. The report, further, emphasizes that coaching in the form of team is more effective as compared to individual coaching. People get confidence and move to areas they would not have thought of earlier.
Mentoring is a technique for human resource development which has entered the business field quite recently but it has been in practice in ancient world. For example, in ancient Greek, Odysseus entrusted his friend named Mentor with the responsibility of his son Telemachu’s education and development in his absence.
The relationship between Telemachu and Mentor came to be known as mentoring. Since then, this term has been used to denote development of human beings. This concept has also been followed in India. For example, Chanakya served as mentor to Chandragupta.
The literal meaning of mentoring is to provide wise counselling. As a method of human resource development, in mentoring, a senior manager acts as a friend, philosopher, and guide to a new recruit and provides him the support that the latter needs. The important support that is needed by a new recruit is in the forms of emotional support, teaching, coaching, counselling, and guiding. The mentor provides such support to develop the overall personality of his mentee.
While organizational training takes care of knowledge base and skill set, mentoring complements this by taking care of other aspects of development of the mentee. Many companies use mentoring to develop their employees from initial stage, some prominent ones being Smith Kline Beecham Consumer Healthcare, Cadbury, Hewlett-Packard, McKinsey & Co and so on.
In mentoring, hurdles of the following types may emerge:
1. Lack of time on the part of the mentor.
2. Lack of role clarity of both mentor and mentee in terms of expectations from each other.
3. Lack of information about mentee in terms of his career goals and aspiration.
4. Lack of proper attitudes both on the part of mentor and mentee.
5. Lack of relevant skills on the part of mentor to develop a mentee.
Mentoring as a tool of development of human resources can be made effective if the following conditions exist:
1. Top management support the mentoring process.
2. Mentors take genuine interest in their mentees.
3. Individual ideas are respected.
4. Employees are made to sharpen their skills.
Job rotation, or channel method of development, involves movement of a person from one job to another job, from one plan to another plan on a planned basis. Such movement may be for a period ranging from 6 months to 2 years before a person is established in a particular job or department.
In this case, the movement is not meant for transfer but is meant for learning the interdependence of various jobs so that the trainee can look at his job in broader perspective.
Job rotation may be restricted to different jobs falling within a broad functional area like sales to marketing research, or to sales promotion; or may extend beyond the functional area like movement from marketing to production or vice-versa. Normally, job rotation is useful when it is undertaken in interdependent jobs or functions.
Job rotation as a means for management development offers certain positive contributions. It allows the managers to appreciate the intricacies involved in different jobs and how their own jobs are affected by such intricacies. This way, they can develop more cooperative approach to different functions in the organization.
Further, managers may develop broader horizon and perspective of a generalist rather than the more-narrow horizon of a specialist. It may be mentioned that a generalist uses system frame of reference in arriving at a decision as compared to elemental frame of reference used by a functional specialist. Job rotation develops this system frame of reference.
However, job rotation may have certain drawbacks which must be taken care of while designing such a policy. It may create confusion in the mind of a trainee and he may not be able to understand the rationale of job rotation if not properly counselled. This may affect his performance as well as that of others with whom he works.
Therefore, the trainees must understand the rationale behind job rotation and those moved to different jobs should be helped to learn these thoroughly, view the change as an opportunity for a genuine learning experience.
vi. Participation in Deliberations:
Managerial personnel may be developed through their participation in deliberations and decision making in group form such as committees, task forces, project assignments, etc. Though all these groups are formed for different purposes, they contribute to the development of personnel in similar manner.
These groups are created by taking managers across a number of functional areas to solve particular problems being faced by the organization. In fact, committees of different types, both standing and ad hoc, are found in every organization. Group decision-making process in committees is such that it contributes to the development of participants.
Decision making in committees is through the process of committee deliberations. Normally, group decision-making passes through three stages. First, at the initial stage, the group tires to acquire the largest pool of common information about the facts of the situation.
Second, the group tries to make inferences and evaluation of information and to form common opinions in a general way. Third, it gets around more specific suggestions and solutions to the problem.
After agreement is achieved on the essential facts of the situation, every member is given opportunities to express his views. At this level, there may be emotional tension in deliberations and the chairman should direct the group back to the facts and begin anew from there.
This returning back to the facts of the problem works as cooling effect on the members and agreement may be arrived at because members may look at the problem in a sounder way.
A committee can be used as a tool of management development like many other tools. A manager can be developed through learning from experience. While experience of a manager on his job may restrict him to know about his job only, committees may widen his knowledge and he can learn how his job is related with others; in what way it affects others and is affected by others. Such type of learning enables him to take an integrated view of solving various problems faced by him.
Method # 2. Off the Job Training and Development:
Off-the-job training and development method is a kind of supplement to on-the-job training and development. In a dynamic environment where things change at a fast pace, new ways of doing things are required which cannot be generated by on-the-job training and development.
Therefore, personnel are required to learn something away from their workplace. Generally, as an individual moves upward in organizational hierarchy, more learning is required through off-the-job training and development. Therefore, there is a need for combining on-the-job and off-the-job training and development.
i. Vestibule Training:
The concept of vestibule is related to a cavity serving as entrance to another, specially a part of railway carriage connecting and giving access to the next. In the context of training, it is known as training-centre training. In vestibule training, the trainees learn pattern of performing the job on the equipment they will use in actual job performance but the training is conducted away from the actual workplace.
Vestibule training is provided to employees when they are required to handle sophisticated machinery and equipment at actual workplace. Vestibule training consists of two parts.
First, there is lecture method which is conducted in class rooms meant for this purpose. The lecture focuses on theoretical framework and principles involved in the job performance.
Second, there is practical exercise based on the theoretical aspects in a workshop which is similar to the shop floor in production department. Many organizations establish training centres to train people for skilled work particularly in production department.
Vestibule training offers various advantages:
1. As the training is provided in a different place, there is lesser distraction of trainees’ attention.
2. Trainees feel more freedom for experimentation as they are away from the actual workplace. They do not have the psychological fear of being criticized from supervisors and co-workers.
3. Since the training is away from the actual production process, it is not affected by the training process.
However, this method of training can be adopted only when there is large number of trainees because it requires additional investment for creating training facilities.
Lectures and conferences are knowledge-based management development methods. In these methods, an effort is made to expose participants to concepts and theories, basic principles, and pure and applied knowledge in any particular area. Basically, these aim at transmission of knowledge pertaining to the relevant area.
While lecture method emphasizes one-way communication, conference method provides opportunity for two-way communication. Many organizations have adopted guided discussion type of conferences for meaningful interaction among participants. In this method, the resource personnel present their ideas and invite discussion on those ideas with a view to assimilate these and to provide way as to how these ideas can be translated into action.
Syndicate method of development has been introduced by Administrative Staff College at Henley-on-Thames. As a method of management development, syndicate refers to a group of trainees and involves the analysis of a problem by different groups with each group consisting of 8-10 members. Each group works on the problem on the basis of briefs and background papers provided by the resource person.
After the preliminary exercise, a group presents its ideas on the issues involved along with other groups. After the presentation of ideas, these are evaluated by group members with the help of the resource person and group members evaluate where they have lacked.
Such exercises are repeated so as to enable the participants to look at the problems in right perspectives. The syndicate method is quite helpful in developing analytical skills in the participants and their approach for understanding others, if conducted properly.
Brainstorming is a technique to stimulate idea generation for decision making. Originally applied by Osborn in 1938 in an American company, the technique is now widely used by many companies, educational institutions, and other organizations for building ideas. Osborn has defined brainstorming simply as ‘using the brain to storm the problem’.
Webster Dictionary defines brainstorming as “a conference technique by which a group attempts to find a solution for a specific problem by amassing all the ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.” For brainstorming, a group of 10 to 15 persons is constituted. The participants should be connected with the problem directly or closely, though they need not necessarily be from the same discipline.
The process in brainstorming goes in the following ways:
1. The problem on which decision is required is given to the group. Problem is stated clearly and precisely so that members of the group can focus their direct attention on it.
2. Each member is asked to give ideas through which the problem can be solved. Here, the emphasis is on quantity of ideas and quality may follow later. The brainstorming session is meant to be a free, frank, and relaxed one to generate maximum number of ideas irrespective of qualities.
Factors inhibiting the idea generation are pushed back. The basic theme behind idea generation is that though a big chunk of ideas collected during the session may not be worthwhile, yet a small percentage of it may provide sufficient useful list to work upon.
3. The members are expected to put their ideas for problem solution without taking into consideration any limitations — financial, procedural, legal, organizational, or otherwise. Such limitations only act as deterrent to free flow of ideas because the participants will limit themselves in these limitations.
4. Idea-evaluation is deferred to a later stage because it does not flow in the direction of idea generation. Hence, any criticism, judgement, or comment is strictly prohibited and the members are told to abstain from it. Anyone violating this, is chided gently in order to generate genial atmosphere for free flow of ideas.
Brainstorming has strong potential for developing creativity in participants because it provokes them to think without any constraints or limitations. It provides opportunity to remove various social and psychological blocks which come in the way of idea-generation and creates favourable atmosphere for imaginative power to fly in unknown and untrodden lands to generate ideas for problem solving.
Simulated method of training involves the duplication of organizational situations in a learning environment. It is a mock-up of real thing. Though there are different methods of training under simulated situations and each of these involves a particular procedure, simulated learning involves the following-
1. In simulation, essential characteristics of a real-life situation are presented in abstracted form as whole characteristics are difficult to be simulated.
2. A simulation often involves a telescopic, or compressing, of time events; a single session may be equated with a month or many months of real-time situations. Further, the events and situations may be presented in brief, leaving out many details.
3. Participants in the training programme are required to do according to the situation prescribed and to see the problem from the perspectives of various roles given in the situations.
4. The role of instructor is quite restricted to allow the trainees to participate fully.
5. After the exercise is over, the instructor provides the feedback to the participants to evaluate themselves and to strengthen themselves by overcoming their weak points.
Though it is not possible to simulate the real life exactly in the learning situations, simulated training provides participants an opportunity to learn which may be useful in their actual work situations. The training aids to develop diagnostic and decision-making skills in particular. There are four commonly adopted simulated training methods- role playing, in- basket exercise, case study, and management game.
a. Role Playing:
Role playing, as a method of learning, was introduced by Moreno, a Vatican psychiatrist. He introduced the terms ‘role-playing’, ‘role-reversal’, ‘psychodrama’, and a variety of specialized terms, with emphasis on learning human relations through insight into one’s own behaviour and its impact on others. Role playing as a method of learning involves human interaction in imaginary situation.
In drama and play, actors play various roles. While playing these roles, they assume themselves as the persons whose role they play. Similar is the case in role playing training. Role playing technique is used in groups where various individuals are given the roles of different managers who are required to solve a problem or to arrive at a decision.
Thus, it is spontaneous acting in a situation involving two or more persons under training situation. Dialogues grow spontaneously as the role playing proceeds. Since people perform different roles every day in their real life, they are experienced in role playing and with certain amount of imagination, they can project themselves into role other than their own. At the end of the role playing session, there is critique session in which trainees are given feedback about their role playing.
Role playing helps the trainees to develop better perspective in performing their jobs because they may see the jobs from different angles. It also develops sensitivity among trainees which is quite helpful in maintaining better human relations. This training method provides immediate feedback about one’s role during the training session which helps him in developing better understanding. However, role-playing training is not quite suitable at higher management level.
b. In-Basket Exercise:
In-basket exercise is a simulation technique designed around the “incoming mail” of a manager. A variety of situations is presented in this exercise which would usually be dealt by a manager in his typical working day. One method of this exercise is to present mails of various types to a trainee whose reactions on these are noted. A slight variation in this method may be in the form of incident method.
In this method, the trainee is given certain incidents and his reactions are noted down. Some trainees may even play surprise roles which interrupt the manager and give him two or more simultaneous problems more like real on-the-job pressures. Through the feedback of his behaviour, the trainee comes to know his behavioural pattern and tries to overcome the one which is not productive or functional. Thus, he can learn techniques of giving priorities to various problems faced by him.
c. Case Study:
Case study is one of the most frequently used pedagogical tools in management education and development.
Case method of learning has the following objectives:
1. The description of real business situation to acquaint the learner with the principles and practices obtained in work setting;
2. Introduction of realism into formal instruction;
3. Demonstration of various types of goals, problems, facts, conditions, conflicts, and personalities obtained in organizational settings;
4. Development of decision-making ability; and
5. Development of independent thinking but cooperative approach to work in team situations.
A case is a description of a situation involving problems to be solved. However, the case may not have as complete information about the problems as a reader wishes. The amount of detail required would make the case too long to read and too detailed to analyze. In fact, this is the reality with the decision making in actual business operations.
Managers seldom have enough information because- (i) it is not available, or (ii) it is not available at appropriate time, or (iii) to acquire the information is too costly. The result is that managers make decisions on the basis of information at hand and after making reasonable assumptions about the unknowns. So with cases, the analyst must work the information he has and must make reasonable assumptions.
Further, a case may have information of varying importance; some may be very useful, some partially useful, and some may not be useful at all. This is similar with the actual practice. A manager may be bombarded with the information and he must find out what is relevant or irrelevant to him. Thus, case also provides an opportunity to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.
A case may be presented either in structured form or in unstructured form. In a highly structured case, there are leading questions at the end that indicate a focus and predetermine the direction with which the discussion will go. The basic value of a structured case is that the discussion can get off to a quick start, but there is always the danger of oversimplification of problems and prescription of pet solutions.
In such a situation, the group process is adversely affected. The session in the class room can degenerate into a question answer session between instructor and participants. In unstructured case, the facts are given but there are no leading questions to suggest the major issues involved in the case.
The participants search, through the process of analysis, what problems to choose as focus. This helps them to learn how to get on the real problems in a given situation.
Learning through case method involves analysis of the case to identify problems involved, identifying alternatives for the solution of the problems, evaluation of these alternatives, and to arrive at a decision to solve the problems; case discussion in group to put one’s viewpoints and appreciate others’; and written analysis to focus more sharply on what has been discussed.
The role of instructor in case discussion should be non-directive. At the end of the case discussion, the instructor presents his own view on the case and provides feedback to the trainees about their performance.
Case method of development is important if it is handled properly. Often trainees do not take it seriously in the guise that they have solved many such problems in their real life situations, or the instructor may not handle the case properly, or there may not be appropriate cases.
In order to make learning meaningful through case method, the following points should be observed:
1. The participants should have sufficient theoretical background about the issues involved in a case so that they utilize the concepts in suggesting solution of the problems. Providing solution to the problems in a case based on common sense does not serve any purpose.
2. There should be use of appropriate cases during the training session. Appropriateness of cases should be linked to the level of maturity of the participants and their background in terms of education and experience.
3. The case should have as much details as possible, particularly on those aspects which are significant in arriving at major decisions. Further, case should be thought- provoking one so that the participants may come forward with their ideas and solution.
d. Management Game:
Management game, or business game, is another popular technique which is used at management education level or at management development level, which is involvement-oriented process for skill development, particularly analytical and group processes.
Management game is a form of simulation which involves a sequential decision-making exercise structured around a hypothetical model of an organization’s operations in which participants assume roles in managing the operations. There may be different types of management games based on the type of skills they inculcate.
These are skill games — to develop analytical skills, communication games — to develop biased-free listening and talking, team-building games — to develop skills for collaborative efforts, and strategic games — to develop skills to plan ahead. Usually, the last type of game is more popular.
A game involves the participation of two or more teams depending on the situation with each team having 4 to 7 participants. In a computer-run game, the number of teams can be increased to 10-15 or even more, but in a manual game, the number of teams is kept low, usually 4-6 to manage the computational work. Each competing team is given a company to operate in the light of the situations provided in the game.
These situations include nature of market environment, nature of facilitating and restraining factors, factors which may affect decisions, number of time periods, and duration of each time period. Each team makes its own decisions at the initial period in the light of its strategy to suit the situation.
When the instructor announces the results of decisions of different teams of the initial period, each team takes a particular stand in the light of this feedback which may be either same or different. This exercise is repeated a number of times with additional inputs from the instructor at each time. Feedback to the participants is provided after certain gap of time during which calculation and compilation of teams’ decisions are worked out.
If designed and conducted properly, management games contribute in the development of participants in the following ways:
1. There is usually great excitement arid enjoyment in playing games by the participants. This helps them to retain what they have learned through games.
2. Management games develop various skills in participants, particularly diagnostic and decision-making skills and group interaction skills. The participants learn how to operate in competitive environment, as each team competes for the same outcomes which may be in the form of win-lose situations.
Sensitivity training (also known as laboratory or T-group with T standing for training) evolved from the group dynamics concept of Kurt Lewin, and the first sensitivity training session was held in 1946 in State Teachers College, New Britain, USA.
Since then it spread to numerous training centres in USA and other countries. Sensitivity training is a small-group interaction process in the unstructured form which requires people to become sensitive to others’ feelings in order to develop reasonable group activity.
The objectives of sensitivity training are as follows:
1. To make participants increasingly aware of, and sensitive to, the emotional reactions and expressions in themselves and others.
2. To increase the ability of participants to perceive, and to learn from, the consequences of their actions through attention to their own and others’ feelings.
3. To stimulate the clarification and development of personal values and goals consonant with a democratic and scientific approach to problems of personal and social decisions and actions.
4. To develop achievement of behavioural effectiveness in participants.
5. To develop concepts and theoretical framework for linking personal values and goals to actions consistent with these inner factors and situational requirements.
Sensitivity training focuses on small group (T-group) with number of members ranging from ten to twelve. Based on the sources from where these members are drawn, there may be three types of T-group- stranger-lab, cousin-lab, and family-lab.
In the stranger-lab, all participants are from different organizations and they are strangers to each other. In cousin- lab, all participants are from the same organization but from different units. They may know each other but not too well. In family-lab, all participants are from the same unit and know each other quite well.
The sequential events which are followed in a T-group run as follows:
1. In the beginning, there is an intentional lack of directive leadership, formal agenda, and recognized power and status. This creates a behavioural vacuum which the participants fill with enormously rich projections of traditional behaviour.
2. In the second phase, the trainer becomes open, non-defensive, and empathetic and expresses his or her own feelings in a minimally evaluative way. However, the major impact on each participant comes from the feedback received from here-and-now behaviour of the other group members.
3. In the third phase, interpersonal relationships develop. The members serve as resources to one another and facilitate experimentation with new personal, interpersonal, and collaborative behaviour.
4. The last phase attempts to explore the relevance of the experience in terms of “backhome” situations and problems.
The above sequence of events is more relevant for stranger-lab. For cousin-lab and family lab, some adjustment is made in the above sequence and more attention is given to intergroup linkage in the form of interfacing of diagnostic surveys, interviews, and confrontation sessions dealing with a variety of policy, problem-solving, and interpersonal issues.
Sensitivity training has attracted a lot of appraisal as it has both positive and negative consequences.
In general, sensitivity training contributes in the following directions:
1. Sensitivity training results in more supportive behaviour, more sensitive people and more considerable managers.
2. Participants to the training programme become more open and self-understanding.
3. Communication is improved a lot and leadership skills are-well developed.
4. It provides an opportunity to gain insight into personal blind spots and participants become aware of the group norms, role flexibility and sense of belongingness.
Any behavioural training is double-edged sword. It may contribute positively if handled properly; it may damage if handled improperly.
For example, those who criticize sensitivity training, offer the following reasons:
1. Many participants of sensitivity training have reported a feeling of humiliation, manipulation, and decline in self-confidence, and psycho-logical damage.
2. It incites anxiety with many negative impacts like causing the people to be highly frustrated, unsettled, and upset.
3. Participants’ increased sensitivity may be a continuing source of frustration and problem if they return to their workplace in which openness, trust, and sensitivity they were trained to espouse is frowned upon or repulsed.
From the above discussion, it appears that problems in sensitivity training emerge because of two reasons. First, some problems emerge in the training process itself specially if it is not conducted properly. Second, problems may emerge because of the mismatch between the person so trained and the nature of work environment. Therefore, the work environment should also be suitably changed.
Methods of Training and Development – Top 13 Methods Used in Training and Development Programmes
The methods of training have undergone substantial changes during the course of time. The most common type of training that has come to exist from ancient and mediaeval periods down to the present has been apprenticeship and craft training.
With the spread of industrialisation, advancements in technology, diversification of products, improvements in production processes, substantial changes in the composition of workforce and changing needs of organisations and their strategies, the types and methods of training have also undergone numerous changes.
In practice, T&D programmes today vary from organisation to organisation based primarily on organisations’ specific needs and objectives, types of employees intended to be covered and accessibility to the training aids, devices and facilities.
The more common of the various methods used in training and development programmes are described below:
Method # 1. Apprenticeship Training:
Apprentice training essentially involves formal instructions and on-the-job training. Formal instructions may be given in the classroom or at the work-place before the employee starts working. The major responsibility for imparting such training has traditionally been on the master craftsman who may require the apprentice to be a helping hand initially.
The apprentice learns by observing the manner of doing the job by the master craftsman or else he may be allowed to work on the job under his supervision. The process continues till the new employee is able to do the job independently. This type of training has traditionally been more appropriate for developing skills of craftsmanship such as that of weaver, carpenter, plumber, machinist and fitter.
During the course of time, the coverage of trades under apprenticeship training has considerably enlarged. The Apprentices Act, 1961 in India requires the specified categories of employers having requisite training infrastructure to engage prescribed number of apprentices in their establishments.
The duration of training for trade apprentices varies from 6 months to 4 years depending upon the requirements of the trade. In mid-2010, the Act covered 254 groups of industries and identified about 300 thousand seats to be filled. Employers are free to employ or not to employ the apprentices trained under the scheme.
Besides, many employers in the country such as Tata Motors Ltd. and TISCO have their own comprehensive programmes for apprenticeship training. In the USA, the Department of Labour has the National Apprenticeship System which promotes a variety of apprenticeship programmes.
Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Karyakram launched by the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2014 inter alia has envisaged an ambitious programme for rejuvenating and expanding apprenticeship training and skill-development activities in the country.
The Karyakram seeks to revamp the existing apprenticeship scheme and provides for “Apprentice Protsahan Yojna” and appointment of “National Brand Ambassadors” for rewarding the most promising of the students passing out of the ITIs. The Ministry of Labour and Employment has decided to take steps to co-ordinate the programme with companies for not only placement of students but also setting up such institutes and tailoring training courses to their needs.
While inaugurating the programme, Prime Minister Modi stated that “Shramev Jayate” initiatives were an essential of the “Make in India” vision, as they would pave the way for skill-development of youth in a big way, and even create an opportunity for India to meet the global requirement of skilled labour/ workforce in the years ahead.
Method # 2. On-the-Job Training:
Under on-the-job training, a new employee learns the job by actually doing it, but normally under the supervision of, and with instructions from, an experienced employee, an instructor or his supervisor. It essentially involves coaching or understudy. The effectiveness of the method depends largely on the competency of the trainer to teach. This method is more useful for training semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
Method # 3. Job Instruction Training:
Job instruction training is teaching the employee the method of performing his job step-by-step. The steps involved are in two main areas – (i) how to get prepared for instructing and (ii) methodology of instructing. The specific steps in getting ready to instruct comprise the following – having a time-table, breaking down the job, making everything ready and properly arranging the workplace.
The steps in methodology in order are the following – preparing the worker to receive the instruction, presenting the operation, starting performance and follow-up. This type of training was extensively adopted by the War Manpower Commission in the USA during the Second World War.
Method # 4. Vestibule Training:
Vestibule training is off-the-job training. It is conducted outside the work premises. Usually in a special institution. A number of vestibule institutions have cropped up to provide such training. Option for this type of training emerges where the job is difficult and complex, and there is the apprehension of spoilt work, damage to machine and equipment and slowing down of production causing loss to the organisation.
Besides, it is preferred where it is necessary to train a number of employees within a short period. An advantage of the method is that new employees become accustomed to doing the job before their working on the assigned job. Moreover, they are relieved of the tension and pressure which they might have to face under the actual job situation.
Simulation is a form of vestibule training which is imparted away from the location of the actual job. Under it, a replica representing the job situation and the manner of doing it is created through the use of simulation devices. These devices may be simple or complex.
Use of computers and other software devices have been of considerable help in the creation of situation identical to that of the actual job environment. It is particularly useful in training technical personnel and managers. Role-playing, business games and in-basket training also involve simulations.
In role-playing, the participants are required to play specified roles of functionaries under pretention. A particular topic is chosen for the purpose. The participants play the role of each functionary in turn, and the rest take down notes about the quality of the performance of the role player. At the end, the group holds discussions and evaluates their respective performances.
ii. Business Games:
In business games, the participants play games in teams on specific business situations in such areas as profit, marketing of products or some other index of accomplishments. The competing teams take their own decisions which are evaluated at the end of the game. Thus, the method encourages learning in an environment of competition.
iii. In-Basket Training:
This method is also a simulation in which the participants are encouraged to distinguish between more urgent and ordinary matters from the several business papers before them and to take necessary steps based on the urgency involved. In this way, they are enabled to choose the papers which need immediate attention and action.
Method # 5. Lecture:
The method involves giving oral instructions and supplying information in a classroom environment with or without aids such as black-board and slides. The method is useful in imparting training to a large group of trainees, particularly supervisors, within a short period. Although the method has outlived much of its utility, it has some advantages especially when it is delivered with the use of suitable audio-visual devices.
Method # 6. Coaching:
Coaching involves direct personal instruction and guidance to a small group of trainees or an individual by a competent and experienced instructor. It is usually associated with extensive demonstrations and regular evaluation of expertise acquired. Based on such evaluation, necessary corrections are made to rectify the deficiencies. Coaching is usually entrusted to the immediate supervisor or an experienced manager.
Method # 7. Conferences and Seminars:
Conference is an old method of imparting training, but it has come to exist with modifications even today. In this method, a common problem facing an organisation or its functionaries is selected for discussions and making suggestions by the participants. A conference may be split into small groups (commonly known as buzz sessions).
These small groups report back to the main conference with their conclusions. The ideas brought forward by the participants are then pooled together and a consensus is arrived at in regard to the solution of the problem. The video conferencing of today is also a form of the conference method.
Many companies, professional associations and academic institutions organise seminars from time to time on specific topics relevant to the acquisition of knowledge particularly by managerial personnel. These seminars have contributed much towards acquisition of additional expertise and sharing of experiences.
Method # 8. Job Rotation Training:
In job rotation training, an employee has to move from job to job at planned intervals so that he might gain experience of doing different jobs. This method of training is more useful for the rank-and-file of operatives and lower levels of supervisors and for jobs which are simple and can be easily learnt.
Method # 9. Case Study:
In a case study, trainees are given a detailed description of a specific situation. The situation selected is usually concerned with a real problem the organisation or the management is facing. Trainees are required to study the problem, identify the reasons and suggest measures for its solution.
In many cases, a case study is usually conducted in a classroom or in an enclosed space, where the trainees are helped by a facilitator. Case study enables a systematic investigation of the relations between several related factors in a single situation or a case.
Method # 10. Sensitivity Training:
Sensitivity training lays emphasis on developing participants’ behavioural expertise, especially in a team setting. The major thrust of the method is on – (i) helping participants improve their understanding of human behaviour, (ii) enabling them to understand the process in which people relate to each other and making them capable to evaluate and judge them, (iii) developing participants’ personal awareness of the impressions they create and (iv) promoting their sensitivity to the feelings and opinions of others.
The main features of sensitivity training are – (i) formation of T-group (training group) of small size, (ii) openness of agenda, (iii) the role of the trainer confined mainly to drawing the attention of trainees on the on-going process, and examining their behaviour without being actively involved and (iv) enhancing their personal satisfaction from relationships with others.
Method # 11. Audio-Visual-Based Training:
This type of training involves the use of audio-visual aids such as films, DVDs, projectors and similar devices which generally supplement oral instructions. A number of organisations also maintain video- recording system depicting important operations and processes and play back these to their employees whenever needed. Telephones and cell-phones also often serve as useful tools for sharing information.
Method # 12. Computer-Based Training:
Computer-based, training has also come into extensive use in training and development programmes of many organisations. The focus of this method is primarily on individuals. The device is applied to train employees engaged in a variety of activities, including those related to services, accounting, marketing, manufacturing, communication and so on.
The speed and memory of computers have made it possible for individuals to acquire knowledge and expertise within a short time and in a convenient way. Some computer-based specific training techniques are PI (Programme Instruction), CMI (Computer Managed Instruction), ITS (Intelligent Tutoring Systems) and ICAI (Intelligent Computer-Assisted Instruction).
Method # 13. Internet-Based Training/Web-Based Training/E-Learning:
Internet has brought about a rather revolutionary change in the techniques of training and development. The numerous websites available on Internet are important sources of information and knowledge, and their dissemination and exchange. As instruments of training, Internet facilities are available any time and at any place in different parts of the world. The learning acquired through Internet is commonly known as E-learning.
The animation video, demonstrations and details of a specific job make the learning interesting as well as convenient. The management can utilise Internet for T&D purposes in two ways. First, it may have its own online facilities relating to the courses contemplated for employees’ training and development. Second, it may require the employees to attend programmes arranged by training-providers, who are often known as vendors.
In addition to the T&D methods described above, a few others such as internship and sabbaticals have also been in use. Internship, which is essentially a recruitment method, allows employees to integrate theoretical knowledge acquired in classroom with practices on the job. Sabbaticals are temporary leaves of absence particularly for senior managers and executives to make studies and acquire knowledge and experience of their choice.
In practice, organisations make use of a combination of T&D methods simultaneously. The particular methods selected for the purpose are ordinarily based on the requirements of the job, the types of employees to be trained and the skills and expertise intended to be developed. Generally speaking, the nature, contents and the methods of T&D for the rank-and-file of employees, supervisors, managers and top executives vary.
Methods of Training and Development – Commonly Used Methods of Training: Simulation, Role Play, Case Studies, Computer Based Training (CBT) and Outbound Training
Broadly the training and development methods could be classified in to:
(a) On the Job Training – Training that is given during the job at the job-site itself is known as On-the-Job Training (OJT)
OJT methods may involve:
i. Apprenticeships (work-study under trained instructor).
ii. Shadowing (A senior worker non-intrusively observes a junior worker’s work).
iii. Observational learning.
iv. Self-directed learning programs.
vi. Safety drills (for safety training).
(b) Off-the-Job Training – Training that is given away from the job location, is known as off the job training.
Commonly Used Training and Development Methods:
Replicating a real job like situation in the training room is known as simulation. Simulations help in making training content and environment closer to actual job conditions, thereby increasing its relevance. Simulations assist trainees in improving their skills and understand application of their learning
Role play is a powerful and significant learning opportunity based on practice (Robinson). The importance of role play as a training method is in the fact that it is a very interactive method and creates greater degree of involvement among participants. Role plays help uncover hidden habits and invites constructive criticism and comments. They enhance practical learning and an opportunity for participants to use their creativity.
Case studies are descriptions of problems in organizations and strategies to deal with those problems. Case study improves the analytical and logical thinking of employees and helps them approach the problem from a unique perspective. It also engages participants in coming out with suggestions and actions required to solve the problem at hand.
4. Computer Based Training (CBT):
Computer Based Training (CBT) is high tech training involving delivery of training via CD-ROMs intranets, internet, virtual classrooms etc. CBT may/ may not require an instructor’s assistance. CBT is interactive and self-paced. It allows multiple iterations and can combine practice. Computer based training can mix audio, video, graphics, animations, text etc. to create video simulations or virtual tours and experiences for the trainees.
Outbound Training methods involving adventure camping, trekking etc are mostly used as group/team training techniques in areas of decision making, team building and leadership. The participants are taken to resort or to an adventurous location and are given a series of activities to do that requires them to collaborate and work synergistically.
Other training methods include:
b. Group discussions
c. Self-study manuals
d. Games, etc.
Methods of Training and Development – With Merits and Demerits
Training and development methods are usually classified by the location of instruction. On-the-job training is provided when the workers are given training at the actual work place, off- the-job training, on the other hand, requires that trainees learn at a location other than the real workplace.
Method # 1. On-The-Job Training and Development:
On-the-job training is basically “learning by doing”. The trainee learns under the supervision and guidance of the superior or an instructor at the work place. The employee gets the training by observing and handling the job.
Various methods used to provide on the job training are:
(i) Job Instruction Training (JIT).
(iv) Job Rotation.
(v) Committee Assignments.
(i) Job Instruction Training:
It is appropriate for repetitive, routine and motor skills jobs. The trainee receives and overview of the job its purpose and its desired outcomes with a clear focus on the relevance of training. The trainer demonstrates the job in order to give the employee a model to copy. The trainer shows step-by-step the right way to handle the job. The employee is permitted to copy the trainers way. They repeat the instructions until they correct the deficiencies.
(a) Learns fast by practice and observation.
(b) Economical, no special setting is required.
(c) Gains confidence by actually working with the supervisor.
(a) Trainee needs to be a quick learner.
(b) Trainee may damage equipment, waste Materials, cause accidents.
(c) Machinery is engaged for training which may disturb rest of employees.
Coaching is a kind of daily training and feedback given to employees by immediate supervisors. It involves a continuous process of learning by doing. In coaching, the supervisor explains appropriate ways of doing things, makes clear why actions were taken, states observations accurately, offers alternatives and suggestions and also follows-up.
Mentoring is a relationship in which a senior manager in an organization assumes the responsibility for grooming a junior person. A mentor is a teacher, supporter counselor and facilitator for a young employee. The main objective of mentoring is to help an employee attain psychological maturity and effectiveness and get integrated with the organization.
(a) There is an excellent opportunity to learn.
(b) Constant guidance helps the mentee to be on track, using facilities to good advantage.
(a) It may create feeling of jealously among other workers who are not able to show equally good performance.
(b) If mentors from strong bond with trainees, favouritism may result this can have a demoralizing effect on other workers.
(iv) Job Rotation:
Job rotation involves the movement of trainee from one job to another. The purpose of job rotation is to provide trainees understanding of different functional areas.
(a) Improves participant’s job skills, job satisfaction.
(b) Provides opportunities to network within the organization.
(c) Offer faster promotions and higher salaries to quick learners.
(a) Increased workload for participants.
(b) Constant job change may produce pressure and stress.
(c) Costs may shoot up as inexperienced trainees commit mistakes.
(v) Committee Assignments:
In this type of training trainees are asked to solve an actual organizational problem. The trainees have to work together and offer solution to the problem. It boosts team spirit among the trainees. This training is given to enhance experience and problem solving skills.
The above on-the-job methods are cost effective. Workers actually produce while they learn. Since immediate feedback is available they motivate trainees to observe and learn right way of doing things. On-the-job methods may cause disruptions in production schedules. Experienced workers cannot use the facilities that are used in training. Poor learners may damage machinery and equipment.
Method # 2. Off-The-Job Training and Development:
Under this method, the trainee is separated from the job situation and devotes whole time on learning.
The various methods are:
(i) Vestibule training.
(ii) Role playing.
(iii) Lecture method.
(v) Programmed instructions.
(vi) Apprenticeship Training
(i) Vestibule Training:
In this method, the actual job condition is duplicated at the training centre. Material, file and equipment those that are used in actual job performance are also used in the training. It is often used to train clerks, bank tellers, typists etc. The duration of this training ranges from a few days to a few weeks.
(a) As training is given in a separate room, distractions are minimized.
(b) Trained instructor, who knows how to teach, can be more effective.
(c) The correct method can be taught without interrupting production.
(d) The trainee can practice without fear of supervisor and observation by coworkers.
(e) It is efficient method of training a large number of employees of the same
(f) Kind or work at the same time.
(a) Additional investment; in equipments is necessary.
(b) The training situation is somewhat artificial.
(c) Separation of training from the supervisory responsibility may lead to problems in the organization.
(ii) Role Playing:
In role-playing, trainees act out a given role in an imaginary situation. It helps in developing interpersonal interactions and relations. Role playing primarily involve employee-employer relationships – discussing a grievance procedure, disciplining subordinate or a salesman making a representation to a customer.
(a) Learning by doing is emphasised.
(b) Trainee interest and involvement is high.
(c) Develops interactional skills.
(d) Brings about desired changes in behaviour and attitudes.
(a) Unless someone states the criteria for Behavior, role playing loses its objective.
(b) The practice the trainee gets in interpersonal relations could be faulty in actual real life situation.
(iii) Lecture Method:
Lecture method is regarded as direct method of instruction. The instructor organizes the material and gives it to a group of trainees in the form of a talk. It is most simple ways of importing knowledge to the trainees, especially when facts, concepts, attitudes, theories and problem-solving abilities are to be taught. Lecture method can be enlivened with discussions, demonstrations and audio-visual aids.
(a) Can be used for very large groups which are to be trained within a short time, thus reducing the cost.
(b) Simple and efficient.
(c) Through it more material can be presented within a given time than by any other method.
(a) The learners are passive instead of active participants.
(b) The attention of the trainees cannot be held for long-time.
In this method, the trainer delivers a lecture and involves the trainee in a discussion so that his doubts about the job get clarified. It lays emphasis on small group discussions, on organized subject matter, and on the active participation of the members involved.
(a) Excellent method for the development of conceptual knowledge.
(b) Problems are analysed and examined from different viewpoints
(c) Because participants develop solutions and reach conclusion, they willingly accept them.
(a) Limited to a small group of 15 to 20 persons.
(c) Irrelevant issues often become part of discussion.
(v) Programmed Instruction:
A programmed instruction involves breaking, down, subject-matter to be learned, into meaningful units and then arranging them in a carefully planned, logical and sequential programme. The trainee goes through these units by answering questions or filling the blanks. E.g. – teaching a foreign language.
(a) Trainees learn at their own pace.
(b) Immediate feedback is available.
(c) Active learner participation takes place at each step.
(a) Instructors are not key part of training programme.
(b) It is expensive and time-consuming.
(c) Advanced level cannot be reached until lower level information has been acquired.
(vi) Apprenticeship Training:
Most craft workers such as plumbers, carpenters, fitters, electricians are trained through formal apprenticeship programme. Apprentices are trainees who spend a prescribed amount of time working with an experienced guide or trainer. In this method, theoretical instructions and practical learning are provided to trainees in training institutes. In India, the government has established Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for this purpose. A major part of training time is spent on-the- job productive work.
(a) A skilled workforce is maintained.
(b) Trainee acquires skills which are valuable in the job market.
(c) Combines theory and practice.
(a) Expensive and time-consuming.
(b) Uniform period of training is offered to trainees, and people have different learning abilities, slow-learners may become frustrated.
(c) Trainees spend good time learning specific skills, but may find on completion that it is no longer appropriate in these days of rapid changes in technology.
This method involves both on-the-job and off-the-job instructions.