A multitude of techniques are used to train employees. Training techniques represent the medium of imparting skills and knowledge to employees. Training techniques are means employed in the training methods. They are basically of two types.
It is the verbal presentation of information by an instructor to a large audience. The lecturer is presumed to possess knowledge about the subject. A virtue in this method is that it can be used for large groups and hence the cost of training per employee is very low. However, this method violates the principle of learning by practice. Also this type of communication is a one-way communication and there is no feedback from the audience because in case of very large groups it is difficult to have interactive sessions. Long lectures can also cause Boredom.
2) Audio Visuals
This is an extension of the lecture method. This method includes slides, OHPs, video tapes and films. They can be used to provide a range of realistic examples of job conditions and situations in the condensed period of time. It also improves the quality of presentation to a great extent.
3) On- the – Job- Training
It is used primarily to teach workers how to do their present jobs. Majority of the industrial training is on the job training. It is conducted at the work site and in the context of the job. Often, it is informal, as when experienced worker shows a trainee how to perform tasks. In this method, the focus of trainer’s focus is on making a good product and not on good training technique. It has several steps; the trainee first receives an overview of the job, its purpose and the desired outcomes. The trainer then demonstrates how the job is to be performed and to give trainee a model to copy. And since a model is given to the trainee, the transferability to the job is very high. Then the employee is allowed to mimic the trainer’s example. The trainee repeats these jobs until the job is mastered.
4) Programmed Instruction (PI)
In this method, training is offered without the intervention of the trainer. Information is provided to the employee in blocks, in form of books or through teaching machine. After going through each block of material, the trainee goes through a test/ answers a question. Feedback in the form of correct answers is provided after each response. Thus PI involves:
· Presenting questions, facts, and problems to the learner.
· Allowing the person to respond
· Providing feedback on the accuracy of the answers
· If the answers are correct, he proceeds to the next block or else, repeats the same.
However it is an impersonal method and the scope of learning is less as compared to other methods of training. Also the cost of preparing books, manuals and machinery is very high.
5) Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)
This is an extension of the PI method. In this method, the learner’s response determines the frequency and difficulty level of the next frame. This is possible thanks to the speed, memory and the data manipulation capabilities of the computer.
It is any equipment or technique that duplicates as nearly as the possible the actual conditions encountered at the job. It is an attempt to create a realistic for decision-making. This method is most widely used in Aeronautical Industry.
7) Vestibule Training
This method utilizes equipment which closely resembles the actual ones used in the job. It is performed in a special area set aside for the purpose and not at the workplace. The emphasis is placed on learning skills than on production. It is however difficult to duplicate pressures and realities of actual situations. Even though the kind of tension or pressure may be the same but the employee knows it is just a technique and not a real situation. Also the employees behave differently in real situations than in simulations. Also additional investment is required for the equipment.
8) Case study
It is a written description of an actual situation in the business, which provokes the reader to think and make decisions/ suggestions. The trainees read the case, analyze it and develop alternative solutions, select the best one and implement it. It is an ideal method to promote decision making skills. They also provide transference to an extent. They allow participation through discussion. This is the most effective method of developing problem solving skills.
The method /approach to analysis may not be given importance. Many a times only the result at the end of the case may be considered and not the line of thinking to approach it. This is a major disadvantage since case studies must primarily be used to influence or mend the attitude or thinking of an individual.
9) Role Playing and Behavior Modeling
This method mainly focuses on emotional (human relation) issues than other ones. The essences are on creating a real life situation and have trainees assumed parts of specific personalities (mostly interchanged roles of boss and subordinate to create empathy for one another). The consequence is better understanding of issues from the other’s point of view. Concept of Behavior Modeling:
· Fundamental psychological process by which new patterns of behavior can be acquired and existing ones can be altered.
· “Vicarious process” learning takes place not by own experience but by observation or imagination of others’ action.
· It is referred to as “copying”, “observational learning” or “imitation” implying that it a behavior is learned or modified through observation of other’s experiences.
· This change may be videotaped and showed to the trainee and he can review and critique it.
· It also helps him see the negative consequences that result from not using the behavior as recommended.
10) Sensitivity Training
It uses small number of trainees usually less than 12 in a group. They meet with a passive trainer and get an insight into their own behavior and that of others. These meetings have no agenda and take place away from the workplace. The discussions focus on why participants behave the way they do and how others perceive them. The objective is to provide the participants with increased awareness of their own behavior, the perception of others about them and increased understanding of group process. Examples: Laboratory training, encounter groups. Laboratory training is a form of group training primarily used to enhance interpersonal skills. It can be used to develop desired behaviors for future job responsibilities. A trained professional serves as a facilitator. However once the training is over employees get back to being the way they are.
11) Apprenticeships and Coaching
It is involved learning from more experienced employee/s. This method may be supplemented with other off-the-job methods for effectiveness. It is applied in cases of most craft workers, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics. This approach uses high levels of participation and facilitates transferability. Coaching is similar to apprenticeships. But it is always handled by a supervisor and not by the HR department. The person being trained is called understudy. It is very similar to on the job training method. But in that case, more stress is laid on productivity, whereas here, the focus is on learning.
In this method skilled workforce is maintained – since the participation, feedback and job transference is very high. Immediate returns can be expected from training – almost as soon as the training is over the desired outcomes can be seen in the trainee.
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