Training and Development
After completing this chapter, students should be able to:
1. Define training and development.
2. Explain factors influencing T&D.
3. Describe the T&D process.
4. Describe the various T&D methods.
5. Describe training and development delivery systems.
6. Describe management development, mentoring, and coaching.
7. Define orientation and describe the executive orientation concept of onboarding.
8. Identify special training areas.
9. Explain the metrics for evaluating training and development.
10. Describe the Workforce Investment Act.
11. Define organization development (OD) and describe various OD techniques.
HRM in Action: Job Security versus Career Security
In an article in Time magazine entitled “What Will Be the 10 Hottest Jobs? . . . and What Jobs Will Disappear?” the primary jobs identified for extinction included stockbrokers, auto dealers, mail carriers, and insurance and real estate agents. The reason given for the predicted demise of these jobs was that the Internet would eliminate positions in the middle. Other predictions for ultimate career demise included: telephone repair people (wireless technology will take over), computer data entry personnel (voice recognition technology and scanning devices will eliminate the manual effort), and library researchers. 1 The researcher of yesterday pulled journals and books from the shelves, copied pertinent pages, and turned them over to the investigator. Today, the investigator can sit at his or her computer at home and access libraries through the Internet. Automation will also affect the types of jobs needed. Grocery stores will not need as many cashiers, because checkout stands are being automated. FedEx and UPS will not need as many workers, because machines will do more sorting. Not as many loaders will be needed because machines will determine which packages belong on which trucks.
In the above examples, these jobs now identified for extinction were historically very secure careers. In the past, most people remained with one company and career for the majority of their adult years. The term job security implies security in one job, often with one company. Historically, this type of security depended upon an employee doing a good job and keeping out of trouble. 2 , 3 But, for most workers today, this assumption is not valid. As one HR executive stated, “Job security has really become an aberration. No employer can guarantee job security for you. If you depend on things always being the way they are, that’s risky business. You don’t know what’s going to happen.” 4 The old social contract between employers and employees no longer exists. 5 The country has become a free-agent nation, in which employees are no more loyal to companies than companies are to employees. 6 Downsizing, reorganization, refocusing business strategies, and of course, executive betrayal in such companies as Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Andersen changed all the old rules. 7 The decision to leave or stay is based not only on an employee’s career prospects in the present company, but also on how it might prepare him or her to move on elsewhere. 8 Therefore, the way people approached their careers in the past is history. As John A. Challenger, CEO of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said, “The truth is: there are no permanent jobs. Lifetime jobs do not exist. All jobs, in some sense, are temporary and many workers operate as if they could lose their job tomorrow.” 9
Career security is distinctly different from job security; it requires developing marketable skills and expertise that help ensure employment within a range of careers. Career security results from the ability to perform within a broad range of careers well enough to be marketable in more than one job and to more than one organization. Career security is different from job security in that job security implies security in one job, often with one company. With career security, workers are offered opportunities to improve their skills, and thus their employability in an ever-changing work environment. Under this so-called employability doctrine, employees owe the company their commitment while employed and the company owes its workers the opportunity to learn new skills, but that is as far as the commitment goes. Under the employability doctrine, loyalty in either direction is not expected.
The first portion of this chapter is devoted to making a distinction between job and career security. Next, strategic training and development and the factors influencing T&D will be explained. Following this, we examine the T&D process and how training and development needs are determined and objectives established. Then, the numerous T&D methods are discussed and training and development delivery systems are described. Management development, orientation, and the executive orientation concept of onboarding are then discussed. Special training areas are identified, and the means by which T&D programs are implemented are then explained, followed by a discussion of the metrics for evaluating training and development. After that, the Workforce Investment Act is explained, organization development is described and the chapter concludes with a Global Perspective entitled “Learning the Culture of China.”
1. Define training and development.
Training and development (T&D) is the heart of a continuous effort designed to improve employee competency and organizational performance. Training provides learners with the knowledge and skills needed for their present jobs. Showing a worker how to operate a lathe or a supervisor how to schedule daily production are examples of training. On the other hand,development involves learning that goes beyond today’s job and has a more long-term focus. It prepares employees to keep pace with the organization as it changes and grows. T&D activities have the potential to align a firm’s employees with its corporate strategies. Some possible strategic benefits of T&D include employee satisfaction, improved morale, higher retention, lower turnover, improved hiring, a better bottom line, and the fact that satisfied employees produce satisfied customers. 10
In virtually every market, customers are demanding higher quality, lower costs, and faster cycle times. To meet these requirements, firms must continually improve their overall performance. Rapid advances in technology and improved processes have been important factors in helping businesses meet this challenge. However, the most important strategic competitive advantage for any firm is its workforce, one that must remain competent through continuous workforce development efforts. Organizations spend over $50 billion every year on formal T&D programs. 11 Recently, the average annual expenditure per employee for training rose to $955 but averaged $1,368 per employee in large organizations. 12 To many, this may seem like a tremendous amount of money. However, successful organizations realize that well-structured and significant employee T&D programs correlate strongly with long-term strategic success.
Improved performance, the bottom-line purpose of T&D, is a strategic goal for organizations. 13 Toward this end, many firms have become or are striving to become learning organizations. A learning organization is a firm that recognizes the critical importance of continuous performance-related T&D and takes appropriate action.
A learning management system moves beyond delivering tactical training projects to initiating learning programs aligned to strategic corporate goals. 14 Once undervalued in the corporate world, training programs are now credited with strengthening customer satisfaction, contributing to partnership development, enhancing research and development activities and, finally, reinforcing the bottom line. Being recognized as a company that encourages its employees to continue to grow and learn can be a major plus in recruiting. 15 In a learning organization workers are rewarded for learning and are provided enriched jobs, promotions, and compensation. 16 Organizations with a reputation of being a learning leader tend to attract more and better-qualified employees. 17
In a recent study of training professionals, approximately 80 percent responded that they plan to expand their training and development efforts to meet expected company growth. 18 What accounts for the increased interest? In its annual coverage of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” each of the top 10 on the list was rated highest in the areas of learning and growth opportunities. 19 On nearly every survey, training ranks in the top three benefits that employees want from their employers and they search for firms that will give them the tools to advance in their profession. Remember the discussion at the beginning of this chapter, when it was stated that “With career security, workers are offered opportunities to improve their skills, and thus their employability in an ever-changing work environment.” It is clear that T&D is not merely a nice thing to provide. It is a strategic resource; one that firms must tap to energize their organizations in the twenty-first century.
HR Web Wisdom: American Society for Training and Development
The homepage for the American Society for Training and Development is presented. Visit the Press Room to get current information on training and development topics.
1. Explain factors influencing T&D.
There are numerous factors that both impact and are impacted by T&D. These issues are discussed next.
For T&D programs to be successful, leadership support at the top is required. Henry Goldman, managing director of the Goldman-Nelson Group in Huntington Beach, California, can attest to this. His boss, the CEO of Goldman-Nelson, was adamant that the firm’s 24 vice presidents understand a new initiative. Goldman asked him to give a short speech at an introductory session so attendees would know that the new program was important to the chief executive. On the day of the program launch, however, the CEO did not show up to give the presentation. The message to the vice presidents was clear; the CEO did not think the change was important enough for him to become an active participant. The result: the change never got off the ground. 20 Without top management support, a T&D program will not succeed. The most effective way to achieve success is for executives to take an active part in the training and provide the needed resources.
In addition to top management, all managers, whether they are specialists or generalists, should be committed to and involved in the T&D process. The primary responsibility for training and development lies with line managers, from the president and chairman of the board on down. T&D professionals merely provide the technical expertise.
Perhaps no factor has influenced T&D more than technology. The computer and the Internet, in particular, are dramatically affecting the conduct of all business functions. As emphasized throughout this chapter, technology has played a huge role in changing the way knowledge is delivered to employees, and this change is constantly being extended.
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