Evaluation of Different Training and Development Methods and Their Practicality in the Workplace

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Training has been defined as ‘a planned effort by a company to facilitate employees’ learning of job-related competencies. These competencies may include knowledge, skills, or behaviours that are critical for successful job performance.’ While Development refers to any form of formal education, job experiences, relationships and assessments of personality and abilities that can aid in the performance of an employee in current or future jobs. (Noe 2007) Training and development methods consists of different techniques and materials used by trainers to structure learning experiences, and different delivery methods are better suited for achieving certain learning objectives. Reid (2007) argued that when determining a learning strategy for employees in an organisation, four decision criteria that must be taken into account. Firstly, the training technique needs to be compatible with the objectives. Secondly, transfer of learning has to take place which means that the employees need to be able to apply the learnt skills at the workplace. In order for this to occur, the training and development programme needs to be structured in a way that would ensure maximum retention for the employee. Thirdly, available resources such as the cost of the techniques, cost of accommodation for running internal and external courses and also the HRD budget. And lastly, learner-related factors i.e. the preferred learning style of the employees, motivation of the learner as well as age and size factors of the trainees. There are various training and development methods and they can be categorised under different main headings: Instruction and coaching on-the-job: This technique uses more experienced and skilled employees to train the less skilled and experienced employees. It can also be useful in training newly hired employees, orienting transferred or promoted employees to their new jobs or cross-training people within departments in a workplace. Examples of this type of techniques include coaching, job instruction technique or job delegation or job rotation.

Coaching: This is a process where a trainer works with employees to motivate and also to help develop their skills. It can be one-one guidance or an instruction on how to improve their work performances in specific areas. This is slightly different from other on-the-job techniques because it focuses on trainees that have been on the job for some time. Examples of a coach may include managers or supervisors who may help the employee to identify and use the different learning opportunities that occur in the course of normal work. In order for this technique to prove effective, the trainer must be skilled both in how to perform the tasks and how to train others to do the tasks i.e. a ‘train-the-trainer’ training has to be conducted. According to CIPD 2010, the most effective learning and talent development practices are in-house development programmes (56%) and coaching by line managers (51%). An advantage of this technique is that it could also be useful for the coach in terms of developmental experience as well as for the learner . Compared to other methods, it is both cost and time effective in delivering training to employees. However, the trainer may possess some bad habits which could be transferred to the learner, it is therefore important that a structured program is effective when conducting on-the-job training has an unstructured one could lead to poorly trained employees.

Planned in-house learning experiences: This could be seen as part of developing the employee within the workplace either in the same department or in other departments. Opportunities for planned in-house activities are sometimes deliberately created or may be planned to assist day-to-day running of departments. This could include techniques such as mentoring where the mentor is seen as a ‘role model’ for the employee. Mentoring can be said to be an interpersonal relationship between a senior (trainer) and a...
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