Good Research Paper About The Effectiveness OF Training In Organizations
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The Effectiveness of Training in Organizations
There is an increased need for training and development in modern organizations. This need emanates from various demands in the current market that include the maintenance of market superiority, the enhancement of employees’ knowledge and skills, increasing productivity and many other demands. Training is usually the recommendable method for enhancing the productivity of not only individual employees but the entire organization. It is also viewed as a means of communication the goals and objectives of an organization to new personnel. Research indicates that the training consume a significant portion of the entire organization’s budget. Given the huge importance, the potential impact and the cost of training in organizations, it is crucial that both researchers as well as managerial practitioners in organizations understand the relationship between the training process itself and its effectiveness in an organization. This paper is aimed at exploring how the training process brings about positive changes in an organization and how the process can be designed to be effective. In a nutshell, this paper will study how training increases employees and organizational performance. The paper will utilize a variety of sources of sources including books and scholarly articles that have been written by various authors throughout the years and that discuss the effectiveness of training in an organization. The paper hopes to come to a viable conclusion that can potentially be adopted by modern organizations, and that can aid in the process of achieving organizational goals and objectives.
According to Khan et al. (2011), human resource is the most important feature of an organization. It is the backbone and the principal resource of any organization. Modern organizations invest a lot in human resource capital because it is understood that the performance of the human resource will ultimately determine the performance of the entire organization. Performance is a key multidimensional construct of an organization and is aimed at achieving results (Khan et al., 2011). Performance also has a strong link to an organization’s strategic goals. In fact, performance is the key aspect when it comes to the achievement of an organization’s goals. Increased performance means increased efficiency and effectiveness, and this facilitates the achievement of organizational goals (Khan et al., 2011). However, the major question is how employees can be more effective and efficient in their functions in order to increase productivity and stimulate growth in an organization. This is where training comes in.
As mentioned previously, the main objective of training is to improve the performance of employees and to align new employees with organization goals. According to Ford (2014), training is considered to be effective if it brings about positive changes in an organization in terms of improved performance and productivity. This is the main reason why organizations invest a lot on the training and development process. However, training does not always result in improved performance in an organization. In fact, there is increasing evidence that the returns of the training process often fail to outweigh the costs meaning that some organizations incur losses (Ford, 2014). An organization may dedicate a significant portion of its budget to the training of both new and existing employees with the hope that there will be increased performance and productivity at the end (Ford, 2014). This may not necessarily come to fruition and the huge amount of capital that the organization pumped into the training process may be lost. This is obviously a sad aspect, and this is why planning for the training process is mandatory in order to ensure that the design adopted is one that is likely to bring about visible results.
For training to be effective and for the organization to reap the full benefits of training, the design of the process must be planned for very carefully (Tannenbaum & Yukl, 1992). The design of this training process should be according to the employees’ needs. According to Tannenbaum & Yukl (1992), most often, many organizations usually design the training process in a manner that is not consistent with the needs of the employees. In addition, many organizations fail to consider the views and opinions of the employees when designing the training process. This often results in a training design that not only fail to meet the needs of the employees, but one that does not enjoy the full support of the employees (Tannenbaum & Yukl, 1992). Such training is usually not effective and does not result in increased performance and productivity. This kind of training that does not result in increased performance and productivity is simply a waste of time and money.
The need for an appropriate training design is further highlighted by Ford (2014). It is important first to define the organizational training needs by identifying the weak areas where training is bound to bring about improvement (Ford, 2014). There are various areas of organization operations which could be subjected to the training process. These range from machinery operation, customer relations, conflict resolutions, time management among others. This should then be followed by the proper definition of both long term and short term goals of an organization. Identifying the long term and short terms goals of an organization helps in identifying the design of training that facilitates the achievement of those goals. Goals may be general or specific in nature (Kontoghiorghes, 2001). For example, some of the most common goals in many organizations include market dominance, improved productivity, enhanced and superior customer relations and services and others.
When it comes to designing an effective training process, it is also important to develop distinctive training modules for different employees. This is because different employees require different training procedures and a harmonized training process may not necessarily be effective and beneficial to all employees (Kontoghiorghes, 2001). It is crucial to craft individual modules of training, that are based on the defined goals and needs of the organization. However, there are some training modules that can be disseminated to all employees (Kontoghiorghes, 2001). These, for example, include those based on soft skills such as time management and adherence to company policies. Others such as equipment operation are job specific and training on such should only be directed to the employees who are directly involved in performing such duties and who will be directly impacted by this knowledge (Kontoghiorghes, 2001).
The other important aspect is time. Every training process should adhere to a strict time schedule. A time schedule does not only refer to the duration of the training process but also refers to the hours or days when the process will take place (Arthur et al., 2003). For instance, some organizations may choose to conduct the training during business hours or after business hours, during slow business hours and so on. Either way, the time selected should be appropriate to ensure that the process is effective and does interfere with normal functioning of the organization (Carroll et al., 1972). This is why many organizations often prefer to conduct the training process during the after-business hours. Finally, training must be conducted by skilled personnel (Carroll et al., 1972). An organization may choose to hire training personnel from outside the organization or from within the organization. The personnel selected whether from within or from outside the organization should be well knowledgeable on the organizational policies, goals, and objectives as well as the needs of the employees (Arthur et al., 2003). This will enable them to conduct the training process in an effective manner that will result in positive changes in the organization such as increased productivity, increased market share and superiority, improved customer and employee relations among many other positive aspects.
It has been shown that one of the aspect of training that facilitates effectiveness is on the job training. On the job training assists employees to gain more knowledge and skills about their specific jobs in a practical manner (Khan et al., 2011). It differs from theoretical learning as employees learn from practical experience as they continue with their duties in the organization. It is, in fact, better that theoretical training which focuses more on the theoretical aspects. It saves time as is cost effective when compared to bookish or theoretical training (Khan et al., 2011). Current research indicates that modern organizations are orientating towards on the job training as it has been shown to be more effective. Employees have a higher change of acquiring more knowledge and skills through on the job training and they also have a higher chance of applying these to their job scenario through this type of training.
The effectiveness of a training process cannot be taken at face value and must be evaluated. This is, in fact, a mistake that many managers make. They assume that a training process will automatically result in improved performance and productivity and many do not conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the training process. Different authors have suggested different methods of evaluating the effectiveness of a training process. Some of the results of the training may be seen with the human eye while other results may only exhibit themselves after a comprehensive evaluations process. Some of the results of training that are for instance directly visible include improved customer relations, an upbeat attitude among the employees in the workplace, better time management (decreased lateness and on time deliveries) among others (Carr, 1999). Others results of the training process that proves that it has been effective may only exhibit themselves after a comprehensive evaluation process. This may, for example, include the financial performance of the company and its share of the total market (Carr, 1999). Therefore, it is crucial that an organizational conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the training process to indicate whether the process has been effective and to detect any deficiencies within the design so that they can be rectified (Carr, 1999).
As mentioned, various authors have studied and suggested various instruments of evaluation. One instrument that has been suggested by Shane and Lafferty (2004) is the course management index, often abbreviated as CMI. This instrument is used for measuring the effectiveness of the training process from a lifecycle viewpoint. This viewpoint makes sure that the management tracks the training event progress from the initial perceptions of the participants to their reaction to both the delivery and content of the training process. The instrument also measures or assesses the degree to which participants of the training process acquired the desired skills and knowledge and the degree to which participants applied the knowledge and skills gained to their job (Shane and Lafferty, 2004). This instrument also tracks or assesses the cost of delivering as well as developing the training event. The CMI uses an index approach and through this, it allows the combination of quantitative and qualitative information and at the same time allows for the quantification of both and through this, it is able to obtain an overall score for each training process or event (Shane and Lafferty, 2004). In simple terms, the major measures of the CMI can be summarized as the baseline measures, the delivery/design measures, the skill development/knowledge acquisition measures, the learning application measures and finally the financial measures.
The research reviewed above shows that training brings about a positive effect to an organization in terms of performance and productivity. However, it has been shown that not all training processes are effective, and there are several factors that determine the effectiveness of a training process. One of these factors is the training design which has been shown to have a huge effect on the effectiveness of training and the overall organization performance. It has also been shown that on the job training is one of the most recommendable designs of the training process, and it is often highly effective. It has also been shown that the training process must be aligned with the needs of the employees as well as the goals and objectives of the employees. A training process is not likely to be effective if it’s not aligned with these two elements. The paper has also shown that a training endeavor can only be proven to be effective after a comprehensive evaluation process that assess whether the intentions and goals of the training process were achieved in the end.
However, there seems to be a deficiency of research on the role of employees in the training process apart from the being the subject of the process for itself. For instance, there is not much research on how employees can ensure that the training is effective. This is obviously an area that should be exposed to more research in the future.
Khan, R. A. G., Khan, F. A., & Khan, M. A 2011. Impact of Training and Development on Organizational Performance, Global Journal of Management and Business Research, vol 11, no.7.
Tuzun, I. K 2005. General overview of training effectiveness and measurement models, Journal of Commerce & Tourism Education Faculty, vol 1, pp. 144-156.
Arthur Jr, W., Bennett Jr, W., Edens, P. S., & Bell, S. T 2003. Effectiveness of training in organizations: a meta-analysis of design and evaluation features, Journal of Applied psychology, vol 88, no. 2, p. 234.
Carr, W. F 1999. Designing an effective training evaluation process. SHRM Whitepaper, vol 24, no. 3.
Kontoghiorghes, C 2001. Factors affecting training effectiveness in the context of the introduction of new technology—a US case study. International Journal of Training and Development, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 248-260.
Tannenbaum, S. I., & Yukl, G 1992. Training and development in work organizations, Annual review of psychology, vol 43, no. 1, pp. 399-441.
Carroll, S. J., Paine, F. T., & Ivancevich, J. J 1972. The relative effectiveness of training methods—expert opinion and research, Personnel Psychology, vol 25, pp. 495–510.
Kozlowski, S. W., Brown, K. G., Weissbein, D. A., Cannon-Bowers, J. A., & Salas, E 2000. A multilevel approach to training effectiveness: enhancing horizontal and vertical transfer.
Ford, J. K 2014. Improving training effectiveness in work organizations. Psychology Press.
Shane B and Lafferty Patricia 2004. Effectiveness of Training and Development, The Journal of Public Sector Management, vol 34, no. 1.
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