HRM: TRAINING AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT

 Definitions and Scope

 G.A. Cole defines training as any learning activity which is directed towards acquisition of specific knowledge and skills for the purpose of an occupation or task. The focus of training is the job or task.

Scope: Scope is the quantity and quality of training. G.A. Cole gives a long list of what determines the quantity and quality of training in organizations. They are

                     Degree of change in the external environment e.g. Technological and environment changes.

 

                     Degree of internal change-new processes, new markets.

 

                     Availability of suitable skills within the existing work force.

 

                     Adaptability of existing work force

 

                     The extent to which the organization supports the idea of internal career development.

 

                     The commitment of senior Management to training as an essential part of economic success.

 

                     The extent to which management sees training as a motivating factor in work.

 

                     Knowledge and skills of those responsible for carrying out the training. 

The quantity and quality of training in an organization depend on its policy towards training. In some organizations, training is adhoc, unplanned and haphazard. Other organizations are careful about training and are systematic about identifying training needs, then designing training activities in a rational manner to meet the needs afterwards to evaluate the results. The knowledge and skills that are or are not available in the public service as a result of training or lack of it are a function of two phenomena. The first is pre-entry training and the second is in-service training.

Training Objectives

 The personnel manager formulates the following training objectives in mind:

 To prepare the employee both new and old to meet the present as well as the changing requirements of the job and the organization.

 To prevent obsolesce

 To impact the new entrants the basic knowledge and skill they need for an intelligent performance of a definite job. 

                     To prepare employees to function more effectively in their present position by exposing them to the latest concepts, information and techniques and developing the skills they will need in their particular fields.

 

                     To build up a second line of competent officers and prepare them to occupy more responsible positions.

 

                     To broaden the minds of senior managers by providing them with opportunities of an interchange of experiences within and outside with a view to correcting the narrowness of outlook that arise from over-specialization.

 

                     To ensure smooth and efficient working of a department.

 

                     To ensure economical output of required quality

 

                     To promote individual and collective morale, a sense of responsibility co-operative attitudes and good relationship. 

Need for Training

Every organization should provide training to all employees irrespective of their qualification, skill, suitability for the job etc. Training is not something that is done once to a new employee; it is used continuously in every well-run establishment. Further, technological changes, automation, require up-dating the skills and knowledge. As such an organization has to retrain the old employees.

 Specifically, the need for training arises due to the following reasons:

 To match the employees specifications with the job requirements and organizational needs. An employee’sspecification may not exactly suit the requirements of the job and the organization irrespective of his past experience, qualifications, skills, knowledge etc.

 Thus management may find deviations between employees’ present specifications and the job requirements and organizational needs. Training is needed to fill these gaps by developing and moulding the employee’s skill, knowledge, attitude, behaviour etc. tune to the time of job requirements and organizational needs.

 Organizational viability and the transformation process. Theprimary goal of most of the organizations is their viability and efficiency. But the organizational viability is continuously influenced by environmental pressures. If the organization does not adapt itself to the changing factors in the environment, it will loose its market share. If the organization desires to adopt these changes, employees must be trained to impact specific skills and knowledge inorder to enable them to contribute to the organization efficiency and to cope with the changing environment. In addition it provides continuity to the organizational process and development, the productivity of the organization can be improved by developing the efficiency of transformation process which in turn depends on enhancement of existing level of skills and knowledge of the employees. The achievement of these objectives mostly depends on the effectiveness of the human resources that the organization possesses. Employee effectiveness can be secured by proper training.

Technological Advances: Every organization, inorder to survive and to be effective, should adopt the latest technology i.e. Mechanization, computerization and automation. Technology alone does not guarantee success unless it is supported by people possessing requisite skills. So, organization should train the employees to enrich them in the areas of changing technical skills and knowledge from time to time.

Organizational complexity: With the emergence ofincreased mechanization and automation, manufacturing of multiple products and by products or dealing in services of diversified lines, extension of operation to various regions of the country or in overseas countries, organization of most companies has become complex.

This leads to growth in the number and kinds of employees and layers in the organizational hierarchy. This in turn creates the problems of co-ordination and integration of activities at various levels. This situation calls for training in the skills of co-ordination, integration and adaptability to the requirements of growth, diversification and expansion. Companies constantly search for opportunities to improve organizational effectives. Training is responsible for much of the planned change and effectiveness in an organization as it prepares the people to the change agents and to implement the programmes of effectiveness.

Change in the Job Assignment:  Training   is   also   necessary when the existing employee is promoted to higher level in the organization and when there is some new job or occupation due to transfer, advanced disciplines, techniques or technology.

Training is also needed to:

Increase productivity

  Improve quality of the product/service

 Help a company to fulfil its future personnel needs

  Improve organizational climate

 Improve health and safely.

  Prevent obsolesce

  Effect personal growth

Minimise the resistance to change

        Pre-Entry Training

 Pre-entry training is the training an employee undergoes before he or she joins a service of an organization. This is done to ensure some appreciable level of pre-entry knowledge and skills to enable the new entrants to acclimatize and fit-in in his or her present position.

The Liberal Arts School of Thought

 The liberal school of thought assumes that “— the best administration are those who have had a general liberal education which makes for flexibility of mind, imagination and breath of outlook. To a large extent, in the initial years of the Nigerian Civil Service it was guided by this school of thought. The requirement for entry into the administrative class of the Nigerian Civil Service was mainly a liberal arts degree of not lower than a second class. It was believed that this entry qualification was sufficient to take one through the career wings to the topmost position – that of a head of service withou t any other form of training.

The Science -Oriented School of Thought

 In this school of thought, it is maintained that administration is not all art but also science. This being the case, principles can be deduced from its practice which can be taught and learnt. This school believes that a student with a liberal arts degree can be given specialist training in the technicalities of administration. Such training combined with internship opportunities can qualify young people for a career in administration. This school of thought argues that it is possible to provide vocational training in administration – subjects covered in su ch a training being determined by what an administrator actually does. Such courses include Administrative Law, Budgetary Theory and Practice, Personnel Administration, Purchasing and Handling of Supplies etc. The aim of this type of training is to produce generalist.

But the shortcoming of this type of training is that the generalists it produces, fits only into government administrative work and nothing else.

Professionals with Administrative Training

 This is the third school of thought whose aim is to turn the expert in one field or the other into an administrator inorder to broaden their knowledge and scope of work. The bulk of non-clerical public jobs necessarily calls for technical knowledge in some field or the other. By character, experts view issues from a narrowness of their expertise. Given some administrative training, the narrowness is minimized.

 In Nigeria in recent times, the second and third school of thought are now the guide posts for administrative training. Apart from the limited number of people who opt to read Public Administration as a first degree course, quite a number come from the Social Sciences. But those in the core and Medical sciences with a diploma in Administration are likely to function more effectively as a Permanent Secretary.

    In-Service Training

 In-service training starts from the application of the knowledge which an employee brings into the service on the job to which he is assigned. It continues and includes making older employees more efficient in the performance of their present duties and even to equip them to qualify for the advancement in one or more direction.

 Here you shall be availed of the forms and methods of in-service training:

 a)   Group Training: Most of the pre-entry trainings discussedabove are done in groups. However within the organization, conferences and seminars are held, field trips are undertaken. These are all training sessions. This type of training could be very profitable for both the subordinate and the supervisor. Initial induction courses where large numbers of people are involved take this format. 

(b) On –The – Job Instruction: This is the commonest form oftraining especially for the new entrants. The superior goes round to the work desk or bench and gives instruction on how a particular work is done.

(c)              Manuals and Bulletins: These are essential study materials thatare given out in the work place. Handbooks, procedure manuals or periodic bulletins, made attractive and readable are a great method of training in an organization. In Nigeria, the work of administration – the handling of personnel manuals, the most important being the civil service rules Handbook. No administrator, however long he has been in service that has a table that lacks these documents. They are the administrator’s companion. 

(c)              Correspondence Courses: This is an equivalent of distancelearning.

 

(d)              Use of Audio-Visual Aids: These includes such media as stillpictures, models, specimens posters, maps, charts, film strips, and motion pictures. 

Source National Open University of Nigeria

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