• April 10th, 2016

Complete the career planning exercise on pg. 235 of your textbook.

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Complete the career planning exercise on pg. 235 of your textbook. D2L made me set a time limit so I set it for 4 hours. That should be plenty of time to finish this exercise completely and correctly.

Chapter 11 Lecture Notes—Employee Training and Development

Typically managers offer training opportunities using the following approaches:

Smorgasboard—offering a broad array in hope that almost everyone will get some benefit.
Bandwagon—Offer courses that are being offered in other organizations.
Crisis—respond to an immediate need (think sexual harassment).
Excursion—do not head in any direction, but seem interesting.

Most often, someone comes to the organization with a “great” set of training sessions and tries to convince the manager that they are needed, even when the manager hasn’t assessed the need to such training prior to the visitor coming.

What should happen is that training and employee development must be integrated into the real needs of agencies and employees.

The systematic approach to training described by the text follow these steps:

Needs Assessment

Basically, training should be based on what the organization or employees need, not what some particular training officer or consultant has to offer or is interested in. For example, as new technologies develop, succession planning can show which employees will need specific technological courses they will need to take in order to keep up with the advances.

Additionally, performance evaluations can show which employees need more training. Sometimes training is a better motivator than discipline for poor performing employees.

Four basic questions help determine whether training is needed:
1. Is the problem one of lack of skills, knowledge, or ability? IF the answer is yes, then training could be a remedy.
2. Do the employees have the preparation and the intelligence and/or skills required for the training program? If not, then little would be accomplished.
3. Will the organization be receptive to the skills or approaches that participants can bring back from the training?
4. Is the perceived problem better resolved through a transfer of personnel, through reorganization, or other approaches?
Training can also fill other, not as obvious, needs. For example, conferences, seminars, etc, can help employees form networks which can help development. Employees often value training programs as rewards. Especially, if they involve travel, hotel stays, and some form of compensation.

Curriculum Development

Basically the take-home here is that training should flow in a natural way from the needs assessment. In other words, the methods used to train should be appropriate for the type of training needed. One type of training is “on-the-job” programs utilizing the demands and resources of daily work, and things like internships where an individual is placed in a temporary position so as to learn and observe. Off-the-job programs also include conferences, workshops, seminars, etc.

Training Execution

The first task is to select the participants. This should have already been done through the needs assessment. Additionally, training should be focused around the right instructors. This may be difficult sometimes due to things like schedule conflicts or financial considerations. The most common way for indentifying good instructors has been informal networks between managers. One final note here, it’s important to make sure that the selection process for employees is fair.

Program Evaluation

The most common approach to evaluate the usefulness of a training program is probably the most useless, the questionnaire. Generally, these result in positive evaluations and do a poor job measuring how training actually results in better productivity, etc. A better evaluation would do the following:
1. Identify what was learned.
2. Identify what changes in job behavior resulted.
3. Identify what happened to agency performance (impacts on costs, outputs, and goal accomplishment).
Each of these requires a different methodological approach.

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