Induction, Training and Employee Development

Induction

Meaning and purpose

The process of induction is meant to induct a new employee into the new social setting of his work. The new employee is introduced to his/her job situation and informed about the rules, working conditions, privileges and activities and other particulars pertaining to the organization.

It is important to give the new employee a good impression on the first day of work. However, the induction programme should not end there. It is also important to have a systematic induction programme, spread over several days, to cover all the ground in the shortest effective time.

Most of the information is likely to be contained in a handbook which is distributed to all employees, and in the case of rank and file workers, the induction programme may consist of brief explanation by a member of the HR department or the supervisor under whom the employee will work.

In the case of supervisory and management employees, induction training may be more elaborate. Some organizations show movies explaining their activities. Others arrange for lectures and presentations on the organization and its practices. In some organizations the new recruits spend anywhere from a day to several months in each department to gain first-hand experience in various types of work.

Effective induction programme

In some organizations, the induction programme is divided into phases. In the first phase, the induction is generally done by a member of the HR department who informs the new employee particulars relating to the organization. In the second phase, induction is done by the supervisor of the department in which the new employee is going to work. He/she informs the new comer about his/her job, duties, responsibilities, importance of his/her job in relation to other jobs etc. Further, he/she is introduced to the rest of the work team.

The induction programme should be drawn up in consultation with all those involved. Depending on the size and complexity of the business, this may include:

  • Senior management
  • Supervisors or line managers
  • HR officials
  • Health and Safety managers
  • Employee or trade union representatives

What induction programme involves

Induction usually involves the new employees meeting and listening to different people talk about various aspects of the business. Other methods include written information, audio-visual aids and group discussion.

The following items are generally covered in the induction programme:

  • Introduction to the business/department and its personnel/management structure
  • Layout of buildings (factory/offices)
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Relevant personnel policies, such as training, promotion, health and safety
  • Business rules and procedures
  • Arrangement for employee involvement and communication
  • Welfare and employee benefits and facilities

Follow-up

An informal “follow-up” talk between the section/department manager and the new employee during the first few weeks could be advantageous as it would remove any doubts and misunderstandings the employee may have. It will also ensure that the manager concerned is able to spot any errors or deficiencies in the new employee’s work and correct them immediately. He/she may also give practical help and advice. This is likely to result in establishing a good working relationship between the manager and the new employee – thus ensuring efficiency and productivity of the new employee for the benefit of the organization.

Training and development

After the candidates have been selected for various jobs, and induction programme has been completed, there is need for the management to provide for their training and development. This is because the efficiency of an organization depends greatly on the training and development of personnel. Particularly these days, when the process and techniques of management have become quite complicated, there is a great need in management for arranging training and development of its personnel.

Generally, the terms ‘training’ and ‘development’ are used as though they are synonymous. There are differences in the contexts and techniques of employee training and development. Training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a particular job. It imparts specific skills for specific purposes. It is mainly job-oriented. Training is given to both old and new employees throughout their stay in the organization. In contrast, development includes the process by which managers and executives acquire not only skills and competency in their present jobs but also capacities for future managerial positions.

Need and benefits of training

  • Training programme helps in increasing the quantity and quality of output.
  • It helps each individual member to utilize and develop his/her full potential.
  • Employees feel that they are being taken care of by the management, and this leads to an in increase in their morale.
  • By training, the worker is enabled to make the most economical and best use of the materials and equipment. This results in reduced cost of production.
  • Trained employees need less supervision. Because of this, the supervisor can increase his span of management. This results in reduced cost of supervision.
  • As training helps in building the second line of competent officers, there will be competent replacement for more responsible positions.
  • The availability of trained personnel ensures long term stability and flexibility in the organization.
  • As managers are exposed to the latest concepts, information and techniques, they become better qualified. By this, they increase their market value and earning power.

Types of training programmes

All training programmes designed by the organizations can be of any one of the types stated below:

Job training

The purpose of job training is to increase the knowledge of workers about the jobs with which they are concerned so that their efficiency and skill of performance are improved. In job training, workers learn correct methods of handling machines and equipment, avoiding accidents, removing bottlenecks etc.

Refresher training

At the time of initial appointment, employees are formally trained for their jobs, but with the passage of time, they may forget some of the methods which were taught to them or some of the methods or all of them may have become out-dated because of technological development. Hence refresher training is arranged for existing employees in order to enable them to refresh and improve their knowledge.

Promotional training

Many organizations have adopted a policy of filling some of the vacancies at higher levels by promoting existing employees. When existing employees are promoted in an organization, they are required to shoulder new responsibilities. For this, they require training so that they may not experience any difficulty to shoulder the responsibilities of the new position to which they have been promoted.

Training and development methods

There are a large number of training and development programmes meant for different types of employees at different levels. Broadly speaking, the various training and development methods can be classified into the following two categories:

On-the-job methods

  • Specific job training
  • Apprenticeship training
  • Coaching and understudy programme
  • Job rotation
  • Special projects and task forces

Off-the-job methods

  • Special courses and lectures
  • Conferences
  • Case studies
  • Simulation – role playing
  • Sensitivity training

Characteristics of a good training programme

Many organizations, even though they have a large training staff and spend a large amount on training programmes, don’t get good results. In order to ensure that the training programmes are effective and the organizations get good results from them, the following principles may be observed:

  • Determination of training needs: The management should first decide the training needs of employees and then select a method of training that is most effective.
  • Relevance to job requirements: Training programmes must be related to the requirements of the job for which they are intended.
  • Allowance for individual differences: There are differences in ability, learning capacity and interest of trainees so the management should consider these factors while designing the training programmes.
  • Training programme should be result oriented: Management should avoid “training for the sake of training,” and show greater interest in the benefits of training programmes.
  • Suitable incentives: There should be incentives to the trainees to make them take training programmes seriously.
  • Management support: Top managers should take interest in and support the training programmes. Subordinates cannot be expected to take the training programmes seriously if their superiors themselves are not serious about them.

Designing the training programme

Designing the training programme with clearly defined objectives is a vital step in the entire gamut of training activities. Training is a means to achieve an end. It is not an end in itself. Unless the objectives are clearly defined and programmes designed in such a way that it leads to achievement of the objectives set out, it will only be a wasted effort. The linkage between the design and the objectives must be carefully thought out by the HR coordinator before announcing a programme. The following points are to be ensured for the success of a training programme:

  • The trainer: The choice of faculty is critical to the success of any training programme. The HR coordinator must ensure that the selected trainer has the necessary general, technical and specialized knowledge of the subject, that his experience and skills are reflected in handling the training sessions, adapting his training style, generating interest in the subject being dealt with and that he/she possesses the personality characteristics and attitudes such as openness to new ideas, observation power, a questioning mind and willingness to experiment.
  • The trainees: It should be ensured that the trainees have the necessary background, experience, intellectual and physical capabilities, diagnostic and application skills and personality characteristics required. Care should be taken so as to avoid too much disparity in the group.
  • The curriculum: The curriculum should be designed for the optimal utilization of resources available towards the achievement of the programme objective.
  • The training material: Care should be taken to ensure that the relevance and suitability of training material and the media of presentation to the subject under consideration. Write-ups or standard handouts for a particular topic should be suitably indexed to avoid duplication of effort.
  • The methods and techniques: The training methods and techniques should contribute to maintaining interest and high degree of participation, and are capable of including a transfer of knowledge and skills.
  • The timing and sequencing: It should be ensured that the timing and sequencing of sessions are suitable with regard to the training objectives.
  • Location: In selecting a venue for the training, the adequacy of the room ventilation, relative freedom from noise and disturbances and overall comfort should be sought. It should be ensured that the location is worth the cost and that the surroundings are suitable to create a good training environment.
  • The physical facilities and training equipment: The availability of certain basic facilities e.g. overhead/LCD projector, smart board should be ensured.

As a large number of activities have to be coordinated, it is advisable that the programme coordinator keeps a check-list for an effective follow-up. A suggested list is given below:

Item

Due date

Remarks

Special points to note

1. Date of the Programme

 

 

 

2. Course Approval

 

 

 

3. Last date for receipt of nominations

 

 

 

4. Programmes:

Preparation:

Printing:

Distribution:

 

 

 

5. Enrolment:

Circular:

Receipt:

Reminder:

 

 

 

6. Speakers:

Selection:

Confirmation:

Reminder:

 

 

 

7. Handouts draft preparation:

Printing:

 

 

 

8. Accommodation – Booking
(including drinks, food)

 

 

 

9. Training equipment

 

 

 

10. Miscellaneous preparation:

– pens

– name cards

– board markers, flip charts

 

 

 

Post-training work:

1. Faculty – payment

– Thank you note

2. Evaluation Processing

 

 

 

Check-list – Internal Training Programme

Evaluation of training

It is a systematic evaluation and assessment of information for deciding how best to utilize available resources in order to achieve organizational objectives.

Why evaluation?

Training is done with specific objectives. Hence evaluation of training is a must. It is necessary in order to determine:

  • if the developmental objectives were achieved;
  • if the method of instruction was effective;
  • if the best and the most economical training activities were organized and implemented.

The importance of training evaluation is shown in the following diagram which shows the sequence of training activities.

Evaluation helps to tell us about the quality of the training on the one hand and the effect that it has created on the learners, on the other hand. Systematic evaluation can point out the weaknesses in the programme, so that they could be corrected in the future programmes. It can also indicate the extent to which learners have learned what has been taught in the training sessions, the extent to which they have transferred their learning to the work situation and the results yielded thereafter.

Criteria for evaluation of training

Any evaluation begins with the criteria which depend on the objectives. Some of the criteria could be:

  • Reaction of trainees – whether the participants liked or disliked the programme.
  • Learning – whether the concepts, ideas and principles of the training were intellectually assimilated by the participants.
  • Behavioural changes – whether the training caused people to alter their behaviour on the job.
  • Impact on organizational effectiveness – whether the modified behaviour caused positive results, such as an increased output, improved quality and lower costs.

Techniques of evaluation

Evaluation at any stage should be made keeping in mind the objectives set before the programme. Tests should be administered to assess the effectiveness of the training programme. Testing workers is better than subjective judgment in decisions regarding the value of training. Tests are of the value to:

  • Instructor – because they supply one of the most important sources of information as to how the instructor (as well as the trainee) is meeting the objectives of the unit of instruction.
  • Trainee – since what progress the trainee is making assists in the diagnosis of the areas of the difficulty, helps distinguish between the relevant and the irrelevant, and can provide incentives towards greater effort.
  • HR manager – who uses tests to evaluate the capability of the instructor, teaching methods and materials and whether the training activities help in the attainment of the goals and objectives of the business.
  • Top management – because of the value test results have in preparing reports on the effectiveness of the entire training and development operation.