Withinthis paper I will evaluate the training program that was used by Fabrics, Inc.
in all of its phases of the trainingprocess model. This will cover from the needs analysis tothe evaluations phase, and I will, also discuss how the company performed inevery phase. The training process model is delicate andfor the training to be effective it is imperative all phases of it be evaluatedso that we know what knowledge, skills, abilities, processes, and practicesneed an area of focus. Trainingprograms have a goal of providing the trainees attending the necessary skills,knowledge, and attitudes that are needed from them to perform at the requested level. A training program that is effective is crucial for any organizationbecause it is clear that the cost is worth the benefit as organizations becomemuch more competitive. In order for big or small organizations tosucceed it is clear that by using all phases of the Training process model intheir training program success is more than a possibility.Background of Fabrics, Inc.
Fabrics,Inc. is a small company thatis experiencing a large amount of growth. As I mentioned above big and small companiesknow the value of how important training programs are for their success as acompany.To put things into perspective the owner of the company was also supervisingabout 40 of its employees.
The company has grown significantly to about 200 people now. The company blew up in in regard to growth which gave great opportunityto some who were promoted to supervisors. While none of this seems bad why was trainingneeds analysis necessary? The ownerstarted to get complaints about how the supervisors were talking to employeesand how they were providing less than ideal customer service. That being said the owner called in for professionals to develop atraining program that will help his nine supervisors in regard to the neededknowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA’s) for them to complete their job at thedesired level of performance.
The owner like almost all of us was hopingfor a quick fix and the consultant knew training was needed but the first stepin all of this was to determine what the exact issues are by utilizing trainingneeds analysis.Needs AnalysisForFabrics, Inc.the training needs were not exactly black and white which is a reason theconsultant recommended that a needs analysis be done. This analysis will look at both”training and non-training needs are identified with this process, so it isincorrect to say it only focuses on training needs.” (Thacker, Blanchard, 2013) That being said needs analysis is a greattool for situations where the issue might lay with non-training issues. For Fabrics, Inc.
The consultant simply started their needs analysis by talking with theowner of Fabrics, Inc. Doing this allowed the consultant to askquestions and kind of get a feel for the company’s direction/goals. The consultant also discussed the processes of the company in regard tothe HR process that is used to promote/transfer people.
As you can imagine the questions about designing jobs, incentives, andreward systems came up as well as a discussion about the daily practices hisemployees make. The analysis that was done Fabrics, Inc. was very useful and revealed thatthe organization did not have a mission or really goals/objectives set. The needs analysis also came to the conclusion after more questions onthe processes that the organization has a few internal factors that need tofirst addressed and then fixed before a training program can be designed. In order to have the company to make progress on improving they need tocreate some type of plan or idea for solving their issues currently at hand. If an organization does not have any objectives/goals and clear cut anddry policies then it is usually difficult for the company to create a trainingprogram that is effective. Additionally I found the part where theconsultant was asking the nine supervisors questions to be extra interestingbecause I honestly expected much more out of their answers.
Questions like “how are problems solved, how are decisions made and whomakes the final decisions” were asked. Basically the consultant came to theconclusion that structure in the workplace pretty much is not in place at all. TrainingDesignEffective HR processesare crucial to how the organization functions. In fact many of the small business havesimilar practices to large organizations and that “effective HR practices havebeen shown to have a positive effect on quality and productivity” (Thacker,Blanchard, 2013) Once the consultantcompleted the needs analysis there were quite a few areas that could have usedsome training. One of those areas was effective feedback. Effective feedback is an essential building block to have the companypromote from within and with that being said effective feedback starts withadequate planning. Adequate planning is critical because if you donot plan for the feedback then you miss the opportunity to give the traineefeedback on what behavior needs to be reinforced or issues to focus on.
Feedback that is provided to the trainees needs to be useful genuineinformation that is meant to further the employee’s future at the organization. Some learning objectives foreffective feedback are for supervisors to conduct almost an assessment onthemselves to see where their feedback skills are at. Supervisors should also learn new techniques and abilities for whengiving feedback during performance reviews to employees. Supervisors need to also learn different ways of delivering feedbackbecause the delivery of feedback will not always be positive. Learning objectives are key to atrainer because they are the process part of the model and sets the “type ofbehavior that will demonstrate the learning, the conditions under which thebehavior must occur, and the criteria that will signify that a sufficient levelof learning has occurred.”(Thacker, Blanchard, 2013) That beingsaid at the end of the training program managers should know that feedbackshould be focused for positive outcomes and goal oriented. The design aspect seemed pretty good because itidentified objectives of the training program and also included why trainingwas need, who would get the training and obviously the training objectives. Looking at the design component I did not see much as far as addressingwhen or really where the training is going to happen.
It also did not go into detail about the length of the training that wouldbe provided or how it was being paid for.This is a big piece that was missed because a trainer should be prepared in allaspects to best assist the trainees. Additionally motivation was addressed. Motivation is a huge part in learning because if you are unmotivated itis unlikely that you will learn much of anything. When I was in the Marine Corps motivation wasalmost a core value in that place.It was demanded from you to have motivation if you wanted to succeed in thatorganization. This info is a must have for the trainerbecause it assists him/her in creating material that will provide the traineeswith necessary knowledge, skills, and abilitiesthey need to perform their job at the desired level of performance that isbeing request from them.
Development/Implementation The main goal for the development stage is to create theinstructional approach. To do this you need to have a focus oncompleting the training objectives that were created back in the design phase. It is clear that all phases are connected to each other and should bemeasured in the same way as evaluation is. This will be discussed in more detail later. Every single item that will be needed to complete training should beidentified in this phase. The consultant already mentioned aninstructor’s manual or something like a technical publication. Something else that you see almost everywhere on your fist day is atrainee’s manual. A trainee manual is a great tool for trainingand it can give trainees a broad idea of what to expect for training.
This is ideal because it can reduce anxiety. Reducing anxiety is crucial for the trainee to promote the positive transferof knowledge from training instruction. The training manual can also act almost as atable of contents to the trainee so they know what is coming.
It is a great tool every organization should use because a lot of themwill include self-assessments throughout the course of training. My current employer had self-assessments at the beginning, middle andend of each block of training.Evaluation Evaluation will always be a critical part to anyorganization because “it can be used to specify a number of key features forthe implementation (input) and evaluation (outcomes) of training programs.” (Arthur, Bennett, Edens, Bell, 2003) Fabrics, Inc had two types of training whichwas process and outcome.
Process evaluationlooks at things such as the trainer, time during training, and what wasactually discussed in every section. (Blanchard, Thacker,2013) As far as outcome is concernedthey used a reaction questionnaire for the trainees as well as for the trainer. A lot of the times the trainees will have atest as way to measure knowledge and what was actually retained from thetraining provided. My current employerhas weekly quizzes to evaluate our training on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Macguideline changes. For Fabrics, Inc thetraining pretty much focused on the supervisors and to provide them thenecessary KSAs to effectively communicate with their employees and to providebetter customer service. When your training ismostly focused on knowledge delivery the most common way is to provide a test. Similar to what my employer does a test is agreat way to measure what the trainees actually absorbed. This gives you a better idea on how theyutilize the new information.
Once evaluation iscompleted the results should be carefully reviewed and measured to determinethe success of the training provided to the trainees. Usually the results will show what learningwas retained and how it benefits the organization as whole in regard to aspectslike customer service, production or loan quality. It is also crucial to consider that do theseresults benefit the organization when compared to how much they cost.
Thecost/benefit is an important area that should be closely looked at.ConclusionTrainingneeds analysis is not just for big companies. Training needs analysis is crucial for all companies,especially small companies experiencing a rapid growth. It is essential for them to create trainingprograms that allow them to be competitive and promotes growth. In our example for Fabrics, Inc. theowner realized rather quickly the growth they experienced triggered for atraining needs analysis of the company.
Training programs provide the employees of acompany the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to them for them tocomplete their job at the desired level of performance. How effective the training program is dependson many factors such as the trainer, resources, and their ability to follow theTraining model. It is imperative thatthe trainers follow each step of the training process model to highlight theeffectiveness of the process. If training is notdone correctly and a phase or two is left out then the organization is justwaiting time, money, and resources.