Understanding the role of trainees in effective training:
A paradigm for effective training


By

Ms. Vijit Chaturvedi
Asst. Professor
Lingaya's University
Department of Business Administration
Faridabad
 


Abstract

Training is amongst a multi-facet function of human resource management which helps in deciding the positive outcomes for an organization .Right from retention of employees to better performance and efficient working it is the training function which builds a positive brand image and brings a sense of commitment since the employees feel they are able to produce as well as learn better. But this can be made true only when it is need based for trainees.

By designing effective and need based training( specifically keeping trainees in focus) program employees learn better ,get motivated to enhance their skill, knowledge and attitude and are able to reproduce the implication of learned skills in improving further thus bringing benefit to both self and organization as a whole. The present paper focuses on keeping trainees as most important component while designing training program. It will help in bringing clarity on role of different trainee related factors on training.

Key Words

Training function, trainee's classification, training outcomes.

Title - Understanding the role of trainees in effective training:  A paradigm for effective training 

Introduction

Training is considered to be the cornerstone in present demanding environment. Irrespective of the nature of industry it is the knowledge, skill and attitude of employees which brings a positive change in the working of organization as well as employees.

Since training is no longer a reactive function, planning and implementing it in its true sense becomes essential.

Training which aims at leading to transfer of learning and thereby promoting development o employees  depends on how minutely and effectively it is been designed. It includes following parameters or factors –

1. Training needs assessment at individual, organizational and task level.

2. Appropriate identification of training objectives

3. Identification of trainees - On the basis of age, experience, expectation, interest and learning capacity

4. Selecting the right trainer -Taking on his experience, expertise, core areas, suitability and expected rapport with audience to give a new direction to trainees.

5. Selection of support tools- Training aids, methods and techniques, venue, study material, special equipments or labs, infrastructure, sitting arrangement, refreshments etc.

6. Preparing training budget –Including directed indirect expenses right from trainers fee to expenses including making of kit, study material , printing cost, refreshments, lunch, interiors, special equipments,. Along with considering the  needs which involve indirect cost including employees absence from routine work during training also becomes a challenges to estimate but does matters to be included in estimating training budget

7. Doing SWOT analysis of training program after training and improving upon if any further remodeling is needed.

Role of trainees in training program

Since it is the end user or the end customer who is the ultimate beneficiary of any function it becomes most significant to see the expectation and relevance of training program for trainees. It is the integration and clarity in between trainer and trainees along with the system that makes training program overall success.

Irrespective of best identified factors and parameters chosen for effective training it is most importantly the selection of right trainees and personal and environmental factors of trainees which is important to focus.

Essential factors to be considered for trainees while designing n effective trainee oriented training program-

1) Understanding level of learners –Since there lies a difference in adult in young  learning the first factor tat needs to be considered is to differentiate their level of understanding as to whether they are young or adult learners .The general characteristic of adult learners is as follows-

* Since as adult learners transfer of learning is a challenging task because adult have some peculiar characteristic that differentiate the pattern of andragogy from pedagogy. They are-Owner of unique personal experience.
* More concerned with short term application of needs.
* Capable and wiling to take additional responsibility.
* Ability to better visualize and construct real life situation.
* Requirement of essential attributes
* Willingness to put extra effort
* Degree of dependence on trainer

2) For any good training what is most significant is a cross communication and 2-way feedback between trainees and trainer so that a rapport can be developed which would facilitate in transfer of learning

3) Open interchange of trainees and trainers profile-It is not only important that trainees should be aware of a trainers profile to acquaint with knowledge skills and experience he has equally important is the fact that an equal focus should be on trainees profile which should be known to trainer so tat he can suit the needs of trainees in bringing suitable changes in designing training module, selection of training technique and assuring proper transfer of learning to trainees at large.

4) Applying and modifying the ADDIE model  as per the trainees –Once a trainer knows the  trainees profile bringing needed change right from Analyzing, Designing, Developing, Implementing and Evaluating (ADDIE) the training module needs a suitable designing and implementation to ensure full proof transfer of learning .

5) Understanding the ways of learning of trainees (Learning styles ) –Since the very purpose of training is transferring knowledge to trainees at maximum it is only possible when a trainer knows the different ways by which trainees learn Based on ways in which trainees learn  the patterns of learning can be categorized into –

a) Affirmative or endorsement of existing learning
b) Building on present level of competencies
c) Learning after de-learning
d) Development of new knowledge or skills
e) Direct input by the trainer
f) Learning through sharing in group
g) Learning through practice and exercise
h) Informal methods of observation
i) Out of session exchange with participants and learners.

6)  Equally important is to consider the categories of learner it can be divided as

Doer
: Like to be actively involved in learning process, want to know how they will apply learning in real world, like information presented clearly and concisely.

Feeler: People-oriented, expressive, focus on feelings and emotions; thrive in open, unstructured learning environment.

Thinker: Rely on logic and reason, like to share ideas and concepts, analyze and evaluate, enjoy independent work.

Observer: Like to watch and listen, tend to be reserved, will take their time before            participating, and thrive on learning through discovery.


Once the category of trainees is known it becomes way for the trainer to select the right training tools for trainees. For e.g. trainees belonging to Doer category practicing, simulation applying concepts related exercise will be better. Similarly for trainees belonging to feelers category Personal Experience, Role plays, Group exercises will be of great help. For training the thinkers' category trainee's tools like Reading, Questioning, and Independent activities helps in better transfer of learning. For observer lecture, group discussion tools are effective.

Thus by identifying the category to which the trainees belong an effective trainer should seek to selection of right training tool for ensuring better transfer ,  retention and implication of learned concepts for trainees .(Refer exercise for evaluating category of learners annexure-1)

6) Monitoring trainees inventory analysis –On a continuous basis it is very important for a trainer to monitor the progression of each step of training program. It includes -

* Assess the needs of learners.
* Design a training plan that meets the needs of learners.
* Develop a training program based on a training plan.
* Implement a training program that a trainer develops.
* Evaluate the training program based on whether the needs of your learners have been met

7) Assessing the change in trainees and providing feedback after training – Post training feedback and communicating the response to the trainees on the basis of tools used for evaluating the performance (eg.questionniare, observation, survey, interview etc) can also be used to make training more effective both for trainees as well as trainers.

8) Analyzing personal attributes of trainees -  both focusing personal and environmental factors of trainees is also essential on the part of trainer while designing an effective need base and result oriented training program for trainees.

It includes-

* Individual goal
* Family situation
* Learning style
* Experience
* Psychological aspects
* Interest

If such information is clearly been made available to the trainer it will become easier  for  him to design an appropriately suitable training program which will focus on better development of  Motivation to learn, Attention, Retention and behavioral reproduction of the learned concepts by the trainees

9) Adoption of mastery approach on part of trainers -The mastery learning approach to training assumes that all participants can master (learn) the required knowledge or skills, provided there is sufficient time and appropriate training methods are used. Effective learning strategies, such as mastery learning, take these differences into account and use a variety of teaching and training methods

The mastery approach also enables the participant to have a self-directed learning experience. This is achieved by having the trainer serve as a facilitator and by changing the concept of testing and how test results are used. Use of right tools to assess performance of employees like competency modeling and behavior modeling should be used.
 

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Source: E-mail January 25, 2011

          

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