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Re: training and development
Re: training and development - October 8th, 2006
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Training and Development
Q) Meaning and Definition
A business' most important asset is often its people. Training and developing them can be one of the most important investments a business can make. The right training can ensure that your business has the right skills to tackle the future. It can also help attract and retain good quality staff, as well as increasing the job satisfaction of those presently with you - increasing the chances that they will satisfy your customers.
Training and development refer to the imparting to specific skills’ ability and knowledge to an employee. A formal definition of training and development is:
“… it is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitudes or increasing his or her skills and knowledge.”
The need for training and development is determined by the employee’s performance deficiency, computed as follows:
We can make a distinction among training, education and development. Such distinction enables us to acquire a better perspective about the meaning of the terms. Training, as was started earlier, refers to the process of imparting specific skills. Education, on the other hand, is confined to theoretical learning in the classrooms.
TRAINING AND EDUCATION DIFFERENTIATED:
Development refers to those learning opportunities designed to help employees grow. Development is not primarily skill-oriented. Instead, it provides general knowledge and attitudes, which will be helpful to employees in higher positions. Efforts towards development often depend on personal drive and ambition. Development activities, such as those supplied by management development programmes, are generally voluntary.
THE TRAINING PROCESS
(1) ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES:
The first step in the training process in an organization is the assessment of its objectives and strategies. What business are we in? At what level of quality do we wish to provide this product or service? Where do we want to be in the future? It is only after answering these and other related questions that the organization must assess the strengths and weaknesses of its human resources.
(2) ASSESSMENT OF TRAINING NEEDS:
Organizations spend vast sums of money on training and development. Before committing such huge resources, organizations would do well to assess the training needs of the employees. Organizations that implement training programmes without conducting needs assessment may be making errors.
Needs assessment occurs at two levels:
An individual obviously needs training when his or her training falls short of standards, that is, when there is performance deficiency. Inadequacy in performance may be due to lack of skill or knowledge or any other problem. The problem of performance deficiency is caused by absence of skills or knowledge can be remedied by training. Faulty selection, poor job design, uninspiring supervision or some personal problem may also result in poor performance. Transfer, job redesign, improving quality of supervision, or discharge will solve the problem.
Individuals may also require new skills because of possible job transfers. Although job transfers are as common as organizational personal demands vary, they do not necessarily require elaborate training efforts. Employees commonly require an orientation to new facilities and jobs. Recently, however, economic forces have necessitated significant retraining efforts in order to assure continuous employment for many individuals.
Assessment of training needs occurs at group level too. Any change in the organization’s strategy necessitates training groups of employees. For example, when the organization decides to introduce a new line of products, sales personnel and production workers have to be trained to produce, sell and service the new products. Training can also be used when high scrap or accident rates, low morale and motivation, or other problems are diagnosed.
Needs Assessment Methods:
Several assessment methods for are available for assessing training needs. Some are useful for organizational level needs assessment and others for individual needs assessment.
Benefits of Needs Assessment:
Needs assessment helps diagnose the cause of performance deficiency of employees. Causes require remedial actions. There are specific benefits of needs assessment.
Trainers may be informed about the broader needs of the training group and their sponsoring organizations.
The sponsoring organizations are able to reduce the perception gap between the participant and his or her boss about their needs and expectations from the training programme.
Trainers are able to pitch their course inputs closer to the specific needs of the participants.
(3) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRAINING GOALS:
Once the training needs are assessed, training and developmental goals must be established. With out clearly set goals, it is not possible to design a training and development programme and, after it has been implemented, there will be no way of measuring its effectiveness. Goals must be tangible, verifiable, and measurable. This is easy where skill training is involved. For example, the successful trainee will be expected to type 55 words per minute with two or three errors per page. But behavioral objectives like attitudinal changes can be more difficult to state. Nevertheless, clear behavioral standards of expected results are necessary so that the programme can be effectively designed and results can be evaluated.
(4) DEVISING THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Every training and development programme must address the following vital issues:
1. Who are the trainees?
Trainees are selected on the basis of:
Recommendations of the Supervisor
By the HR Department itself
Whatever is the basis, it is advisable to have two or more target audiences. For example, rank-and-file employees and their supervisors may effectively learn together about a new process and their respective roles. It also helps facilitate group processes such as problem solving and decision – making.
2. Who are the trainers?
Training and development may be done by:
Co – workers
Specialists in other parts of the company
Faculty Members at Universities
Who among these are selected to teach, often depends on where the program is held and the skill that is being taught.
3. What Methods and Techniques of Training should be used?
A multitude of methods and techniques is used to train employees. Training techniques are the means employed in the training methods. Training methods are categorized into two groups – on-the-job methods and off-the-job methods. The most commonly used techniques are shown in the table given below.
On-the-Job Method (OJT):
Majority of industrial training is on the job training type. OJT method is mainly adopted while orienting new employees, introducing innovations in products & services and in special skills training. OJT is conducted at the work site and in the context of the job. Often, it is informal, as when an experienced worker shows a trainee how to perform the job tasks.
Off-the-Job Training Method:
Off-the-job training is mainly adopted for orienting new employees, introducing innovations in products and services, special skills training, safety education, creative, technical & professional education and sales, administrative, supervisory and managerial education. The advantages and disadvantages of some of the important techniques of off-the-job methods are listed below:
Lecture is a verbal presentation of information by an instructor to a large audience. This method can be made effective when combined with other means of training.
These include television slides, overheads, video-types, films and LCD Projectors.
c) Programmed Instruction (PI):
Training is offered without the intervention of the trainer. Information is provided to the trainee in blocks, either in a book form or through a teaching machine. PI involves:
1. Presenting questions, facts, or problems to the learner.
2. Allowing the person to respond.
3. Providing feedback on the accuracy of his or her answers.
4. If the answers are correct, the learner proceeds to the next block.
A simulator is any kind of equipment or technique that duplicates as nearly as possible the actual conditions encountered on the job. It is an attempt to create a realistic decision – making environment for the trainee. The advantage of simulation is the opportunity to ‘create an environment’ similar to real situations the managers incur, but without the high costs involved should the actions prove undesirable.
The other techniques of training are:
Leadership games: exercises to teach different styles of leadership.
Skill Games: Tests to develop analytical skills.
Communication Games: exercises to build bias – free listening and talking.
Strategic Planners: Games to test ability to plan ahead.
Team – building games: Exercises requiring collaborative efforts.
Lateral Thinking: thinking randomly to come up with new ideas.
Cross – cultural training: Programmes to teach specifics of varied cultures.
4. What should be the level of learning?
The inputs passed on to trainees in training and development programmes can be taught at three basic levels.
Level I The trainee must acquire fundamental knowledge. This means developing a basic understanding of a field and becoming acquainted with the language, concepts and relationships involved in it. E.g. Orientation Training
Level II The goal is skill development, or acquiring the ability to perform in a particular skill area.
Level III Aims at increased operational proficiency. This involves obtaining additional experience and improving skills that have already been developed.
All the inputs of training can be offered at the three levels. How effectively they are learned depends upon several principles of learning.
5. What should be the Principles of Learning?
Training and development programmes are more likely to be effective when they incorporate the following principles of learning:
Motivation to learn is the basic requisite of making training and development programmes effective. Motivation comes from awareness that training fetches some rise in status and pay. Internal pressures (self-esteem, quality of life, job satisfaction) are the most powerful motivators. At the same time the individual must also have the ability to learn.
Individuals enjoy varying learning stimuli. Ability varies from individual to individual and this difference must be considered while organizing training programmes.
People learn best through practice. The trainee should be given the opportunity to practice what is being taught. Practice is also essential after the individual has been successfully trained.
Reinforcement is anything that
a) Increases the strength of response
b) Tends to induce repetitions of the behavior that preceded the reinforcement.
Reinforcement could be positive and negative. Positive reinforcement strengthens and increases behavior by the presentation of desirable consequences. The reinforcement consists of a positive experience for the individual. Example: if an employee does something well and is complemented by the boss, the probability that the behavior will be repeated will be strengthened.
In negative reinforcement, the individual exhibits the desired behavior to avoid something unpleasant. Example: an employee who does something to avoid incurring a reprimand from his boss. The effect of negative reinforcement is avoidance of learning.
Knowledge of Results (feedback):
Knowledge of results is a necessary condition for learning. Feedback about the performances will enable the learner to know where he or she stands and to initiate corrective action if any deviation from the expected goal has taken place.
Goal setting can also accelerate learning, particularly when it is accompanied by knowledge of results. Individuals generally perform better and learn more quickly when they have goals, particularly if the goals are specific and reasonably difficult.
Schedules of learning:
One of the most well – established principles of learning is that distributed or spaced learning is superior to continuous learning.
Schedules of learning involve:
a) Duration of practice sessions
b) Duration of rest sessions
c) Positioning of rest pauses
All the three must be carefully planned and executed.
Meaning of material:
A definite relationship has been established between learning and meaningfulness of the subject learnt. The more meaningful the material, the better the learning process.
Transfer of Learning:
What is learnt in training must be transferred to the job. The traditional approach to transfer has been to maximize the identical elements between the training situation and the actual job. This may be possible for training skills such as maintaining a cash register, but not for teaching leadership or conceptual skills. Often, what is learnt in a training session faces resistance back at the job. Techniques for overcoming resistance include creating positive expectations on the part of trainee’s supervisor, creating opportunities to implement new behavior on the job, and ensuring that the behavior is reinforced when it occurs.
Though, it is desirable that a training and development programme incorporates all these principles, seldom is such a combination effected in practice.
6. Where to conduct the programme?
A training and development programme can be conducted:
i. At the job itself
ii. On site but not the job – for example, in a training room in the company.
iii. Off the site, such as in a university or college classroom, hotel, a resort, or a conference center.
(5) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME:
Once the training programme has been designed, it needs to be implemented. Implementation is beset with certain problems:
a) Most managers are action oriented and frequently say they are too busy to engage in training efforts.
b) Availability of trainers is a problem. In addition to possessing communication skills, the trainers must know the company’s philosophy, its objectives, its formal and informal organizations, and the goals of the training programme. Training requires a higher degree of creativity than, perhaps, any other personnel specialty.
c) Scheduling training around the present work is another problem.
Programme implementation involves action on the following lines:
a) Deciding the location and organizing training and other facilities
b) Scheduling the training programme
c) Conducting the programme
d) Monitoring the progress of trainees
(6) EVALUATION OF THE PROGRAMME:
The last stage in the training and development process is the evaluation of results. Since huge sums of money are spent in training and development, how far the programme has been successful must be judged or determined. Evaluation helps determine the results of the training and development programme. In practice, however, organizations either overlook or lack facilities for evaluation.
Need for Evaluation:
The main objective of evaluating the training programmes is to determine if they are accomplishing specific training objectives, that is, correcting performance deficiencies. A second reason for evaluation is to ensure that any changes in trainee capabilities are due to the training programme and not due to any other conditions. Training programmes should be evaluated to determine their cost effectiveness. Evaluation is useful to explain programme failure, should it occur. Finally, credibility of training and development is greatly enhanced when it is proved that the organization has benefited tangibly from it.
Principles of Evaluation:
Evaluation of the training programme must be based on the following programmes:
a) Evaluation specialists must be clear about the goals and purpose of evaluation
b) Evaluation must be continuous
c) Evaluation must be specific
d) Evaluation must provide the means and focus for trainers to be able to appraise themselves, their practices, and their products.
e) Evaluation must be based on objective methods and standards.
f) Realistic target dates must be set for each face of the evaluation process. A sense of urgency must be developed, but deadlines that are unreasonably high will result in poor evaluation.
There are various approaches to training evaluation. To get a valid measure of training effectiveness, the personnel manager should accurately assess trainee’s job performance two to four months after completion of training.
Two writers have suggested that four basic categories of outcome can be measured.
a) Reaction: evaluate the trainee’s reaction to the programme. Did he like the programme? Did he think it worthwhile?
b) Learning: did the trainee learn the principles, skills and the fact that the supervisor or the trainee wanted him to learn?
c) Behavior: Whether the trainee’s behavior on the job changed because of the training programme?
d) Results: what final results have been achieved? Did he learn how to work on machine? Did scrappage costs decrease? Was turnover reduced? Are productions quotas have been met?
Questionnaires or structured interviews with the immediate supervisors of the trainees are acceptable methods for obtaining feedback on training. The supervisor is asked to rate the former trainee on job proficiency directly related to the training objectives.
Besides, pre-and-post tests be administered to the training groups. Prior to the training, a test related to the training material is applied, and the results of this pre-test are compared with results on the same or similar test administered after the programme has been completed.
Q) Objectives of Training and Development
Staying ahead in today's business world is more challenging than ever. Building trust and promoting teamwork are just two expectations of any business leader.
Training and development programs are designed to keep an organization at the front of its industry maximize performance and energize every level of the organization. Training and Development is also seen to strengthen the tie between employee development and strategic operation objectives.
The objectives of Training and Development are as follows: -
Efficiency: Employees become efficient after undergoing training. Efficient employees contribute to the growth of the organization.
Fewer accidents: Accidents, scrap and damage to machinery and equipment can be avoided or minimized through training. Even dissatisfaction, complaints, absenteeism, and turnover can be reduced if employees are trained well.
Meeting manpower needs: Future needs of employees will be met through training and development programmes. Training serves as an effective source of recruitment. Training is an investment in human resource with promise of better returns in future.
Improves quality: Better-informed workers are likely to make less operational mistakes. Quality of products or services will definitely increase. This can be well measured through the reduction in rejections.
Personal growth: Training programmes also deal with personality development of the employees (through goal setting, motivation, leadership skills, etc.) thus they personally gain through exposure to training programmes.
Obsolescence prevention: Training and development programs foster the initiative and the creativity of the employees and help to prevent the manpower obsolescence, which may be due to age, temperament, or the inability of the person to adapt himself to technological changes.
• Versatility in operations: Training makes the employees versatile in operations. All rounders can be transferred to any job. Flexibility is therefore ensured. Growth indicates prosperity, which is reflected in profits every year.
• Employee stability: Training contributes to employee stability in at least 2 ways. Employees become efficient after undergoing training. Efficient employees contribute to the growth of the organization. Growth renders stability to the work force. Further trained employees tend to stay with the organization.
Q) Effectiveness and Evaluation of Training and Development
Effectiveness of Training
Training and Development programmes are most likely to be effective when they incorporate the following principles
1.Employee Motivation-motivation to learn is the basic requisite to make training and development programmes effective. Motivation comes from awareness that training fetches some rise in status and pay. Motivation alone is not enough; the individual must have the ability to learn.
2.Recognition of individual differences
Regardless of individual differences, and whether a trainee is learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge of a given topic, the trainee should be given the opportunity to practice what he is taught. Practice is essential after individual is successfully trained.
3.Schedule of learning
Duration of practice sessions, duration of rest sessions and positioning of rest pauses are the three schedules, which must be carefully planned and executed for an effective training programme.
Besides, Training can be made effective, if action on the following lines is initiated: -
1.It should be ensured that the management commits itself to allocate major resources and adequate time to training. This is what high performing organizations do. For example XEROX, invest 300 $ million annually or about 2.5% of its revenue on training. Similarly Hewlet Packard spends about 5% of its annual revenue to train 87000 workers.
2.It should be ensured that training contributes to competitive strategies of the firm. Different strategies need different HR skills for implementation. Let training help employees at all levels acquire the needed skills.
3.Ensure that a comprehensive and systematic approach to training exists, and training and retraining are done at all levels on a continuous and ongoing basis.
4.Training can be made effective by making learning as one of the fundamental values of the company. This philosophy should percolate down to all employees in the organization.
5.It should be ensured that there is proper linkage among organizational, operational and individual training needs.
6.And finally to make training effective a system to evaluate the effectiveness of training needs to be prepared so that the shortfalls can be easily looked at.
Why Training Fails?
The benefits of training are not clear to the top management.
The top management hardly rewards the supervisors for carrying out effective training.
The top management rarely plans and budgets systematically for training
The middle management, without proper incentives from top management does not account for training in production scheduling
Without proper scheduling from above, first line supervisors have difficulty in production norms if employees are attending training programmes.
Trainers provide limited counseling and consulting services to the rest of the organization.
Evaluation of Training
Organizations are under pressure to justify various expenses. The training budget is, often, not exempted from this purview. There are a number of questions raised on the value derived from training programmes—both directly and indirectly. Business heads and training managers are under pressure to prove the effectiveness of training
Thus it can be seen,
The last and one of the most important stages in the training and development process is the evaluation of results. Since huge sums of money are spent on training and development. how far the training has been useful must be judged/determined.
Evaluation helps determine the results of the training and development programme.
In practice is however seen, organizations either overlook or lack facilities for evaluation.
Need for evaluation: -
• The main objective of evaluating the training programme is to determine if they are accomplishing specific training objectives, that is correctible performance deficiencies.
• Secondly training programme should be evaluated to determine their cost effectiveness. Evaluation is useful to explain programme failure, if it occurs.
• And finally the credibility of training and development is greatly enhanced when it is proved that the organization has benefited tangibility from it.
Principle of evaluation
Evaluation of training programme must be based ob following principles
1. The evaluation specialist must b clear about the goals and purposes of evaluation.
2. Evaluation must be continuous.
3. Evaluation must be specific.
4. Evaluation must provide the means and focus for trainers to be able to appraise themselves
5. Evaluation must be based on objective methods and standards.
6. Realistic target dates must be set for each phase of the evaluation process. A sense of urgency must be developed, but deadlines that are unreasonably high will result in poor evaluation.
Criteria for evaluation.
HR professionals should try to collect four types of data while evaluation training programmes.
I. Measures of reaction.
Reaction measures reveal trainees’ opinions regarding the training programme.
Learning measures assess the degree to which trainees have mastered the concepts, knowledge and skills of the training.
III. Behavioural change
Behavior indicates the performance of the learners.
IV. Organizational results
The purpose of collecting organizational results is to examine the impact of training on the work group or the entire company.
Techniques of evaluation
Several techniques of evaluation are being used in organizations. It may be stated that the usefulness of the methods is inversely proportional to the ease with which the evaluation can be done.
The following are the techniques of evaluation: -
1.Experimental and control groups.
Each group is randomly elected, one to receive training and the other not to receive training.
The random selection helps to assure the formation of the groups quite similar to each other. Measures are taken of relevant indicators of success. (E.g.-words typed per minute, pieces produced per hour etc) before and after training for both groups.
If the gain demonstrated by the experimental group is better than those by the control group, the training programme is labeled as successful.
2.Longitudinal or time series analysis
Measurements are taken before the programme begins and are continued during and after the programme is completed. These results are plotted on a graph to determine whether changes have occurred and remain as a result of training effort. To further validate, that change has occurred as a result of training and not another variable, a control group can be included.
In order to conduct a thorough evaluation of a training programme, it is important to assess the costs and benefits associated with the programme. This is a difficult task, but it is useful in convincing the management about the usefulness of the training.
Some of the costs that should be measured for a training programme include needs assessment costs, salaries of training department staff, purchase of equipment, programme development costs, trainers cost during the training period.
The benefits to be compared to the costs are rupee payback associated with the improvement in trainee’s performance, their behavioral change and the longevity of the period during which the benefit would last.
Q) Follow – Up of Training
Following-up is the last step in the training process. Here, the training program is already completed and the trainees go back to their departments or positions and start doing the work assigned. However, the management feels that training / development is a means and not the end in itself. Training is essentially for achieving certain objectives. Management will like to know actual results / benefits of training. For this, follow-up of training in the form of evaluation training is essential. Management spent huge amount of money on training of employees and this expenditure should give positive return in terms of higher efficiency, productivity, high morale, cordial industrial relations and so on. For this, critical evaluation of training program is essential. This indicates the effectiveness of the training. Even suitable modification / improvement in the training program is possible after analyzing the results available from such evaluation. In brief, evaluation helps determine the results of training and development program. Unfortunately, many organizations overlook this important step in the training process. In some companies, suitable facilities required for evolution of training are not available.
Follow-up is the key to ensuring that interventions improve performance. Various follow-up approaches in the work place are used to support trainers, supervisors, service providers and others responsible for implementing the performance improvement interventions.
The follow up technique will increase the probability that learning and behavior changes will "stick" back on the job. These techniques are easy to use, don't require large amounts of time or organizational integration and cost very little. They can be added on to existing training or designed with new training.
On the whole, follow–up action is required to ensure implementation of evaluation report at every stage of training.
Q) Importance of Training and Development
Training and development programmes help remove performance deficiencies in employees. This is particularly true when
(1) The deficiency is caused by a lack of ability rather than a lack of motivation to perform
(2) The individual(s) have the aptitude and motivation needed to learn to do the job better, and
(3) Supervisors and peers are supportive of the desired behaviors.
There is greater stability, flexibility and capacity for growth in an organization. Training contributes to employee stability in at least two ways. Employees become efficient after undergoing training. Efficient employees contribute to the growth of the organization. Growth renders stability to the work force. Further, trained employees tend to stay with the organization. They seldom leave the company. Training makes the employees versatile in operations. All rounder can be transferred to any job. Flexibility is therefore ensured. Growth indicates prosperity, which is reflected in increased profits from year to year. Nobody else but well trained employees can contribute to the prosperity of an organization.
Accidents, scrap and damage to machinery and equipment can be avoided or minimized through training. Even dissatisfaction, complaints, absenteeism, and turnover can be reduced if employees are trained well.
Future need of employees will be met through training and development programmes. Organizations take fresh diploma holders or graduates as apprentices or management trainees. They are absorbed after course completion. Training serves as an effective source of recruitment. Training and development is an investment in human resources with a promise and it serves as an effective source of recruitment. Training and development is an investment in HR with a promise of better returns in future.
A company’s training and development pays dividends to the employee and the organization. Though no single training programme yields all the benefits, the organization which devotes itself to training and development enhances its HR capabilities and strengthens its competitive edge. At the same time, the employee’s personal and career goals are furthered, generally adding to his or her abilities and value to the employer. Ultimately, the objectives of the HR department are also furthered.
How to identify training needs?
Needs assessment diagnoses present problems and future challenges to be met through training and development. Organizations spend vast sums of money (usually as a percentage on turnover) on training and development. Before committing such huge resources, organizations would do well to assess the training needs of their employees. Organizations that implement training programmes without conducting needs assessment may be making errors. For ex- ample, a needs assessment exercise might reveal that less costly interventions (e.g. selection, compensation package, job redesign) could be used in lieu of training. Needs assessment occurs at two levels group and individual. An individual obviously needs training when his or her performance falls short of standards, that is, when there is performance deficiency. Inadequacy in performance may be due to lack of skill or knowledge or any other problem. The problem of performance deficiency caused by absence of skills or knowledge can be remedied by training. Faulty selection, poor job design, uninspiring supervision or some personal problem may also result in poor performance. Transfer, job redesign, improving quality of supervision, or discharge will solve the problem. Figure illustrates the assessment of individual training needs and remedial measures.
Assessment of training needs must also focus on anticipated skills of an employee. Technology changes fast and new technology demands new skills. It is necessary that the employee be trained to acquire new skills. This will help him/her to progress in his or her career path. Training and development is essential to prepare the employee to handle more challenging tasks. Deputation to a part-time MBA programme is ideal to train and develop such employees. Individuals may also require new skills because of possible job transfers. Although job transfers are common as organizational personnel demands vary, .hey do not necessarily require elaborate training efforts. Employees commonly require only an orientation to new facilities and jobs. Recently, however, economic forces have necessitated significant retraining efforts in order to assure continued employment for many individuals. Jobs have disappeared as technology, foreign competition, and the force of supply and demand are changing the face of our industry.
Assessment of training needs occurs at the group level too. Any change in the organization’s strategy necessitates training of groups of employees. For example, when the organization decides to introduce a new line of products, sales personnel and production workers have to be trained to produce, sell and service the new products. Training can also be used when high scrap or accident rates, low morale and motivation, or other problems are diagnosed. Although training is not a cure-all, such undesirable happenings reflect poorly trained work force.
Needs Assessment Methods: How are training needs assessed? Several methods are available for the purpose. As shown in Fig. 9.4, some are useful for organizational-level needs assessment and others for individual needs assessment.
Group or Organizational Analysis
Organizational goals and objectives
Personnel/ skill inventories
Organizational climate indices
MBO or work planning systems
Customer survey/satisfaction data
Consideration of current and projected changes
Benefits of Needs Assessment: As was pointed above needs assessment helps diagnose the causes of performance deficiency in employees. Causes require remedial actions. This being a generalized statement, there are certain specific benefits of need& assessment. They are:
1. Trainers may be informed about the broader needs of the training group and their sponsoring organizations.
2. The sponsoring organizations are able to reduce the perception gap between the participant and his or her boss about their needs and expectations from the training programme.
3. Trainers are able to pitch their course inputs closer to the specific needs of the participants.
Q) Give the meaning and definition of performance appraisal and its objectives?
In simple terms, appraisal may be understood as the assessment of an individual’s performance in a systematic way, the performance being measured against such factors as job knowledge, quality, and quantity of output, initiative, leadership abilities, supervision, dependability, co-operation, judgment, versatility, health, and the like. Assessment should not be confined to past performance alone. Potentials of the employee for future performance must also be assessed.
A formal definition of performance appraisal is:
“It is the systematic evaluation of the individual with respect to his or her performance on the job and his or her potential for development.”
A more comprehensive definition is:
“Performance appraisal is a formal, structured system of measuring and evaluating an employee’s job related behaviors and outcomes to discover how and why the employee is presently performing on the job and how the employee can perform more effectively in the future so that the employee, organization, and society all benefit.”
The second definition includes employee’s behavior as part of the assessment. Behavior can be active or passive. Either way behavior affects job results. The other terms used for performance appraisal are: performance rating, employee assessment, employee performance review, personnel appraisal, performance evaluation, employee evaluation, and merit rating. In a formal sense, employee assessment is as old as the concept of management, and in an informal sense, it is probably as old as mankind. Nor performance appraisal is done in isolation. It is linked to job analysis.
Objectives of performance appraisal.
Data relating to performance assessment of employees are recorded, stored, and used for several purposes. The main purposes for employee assessment are:
1) To effect promotions based on competence and performance
2) To confirm the services of probationary employees upon their completing the probationary period satisfactorily.
3) To assess the training and development need of employees.
4) To decide upon a pay raise.
5) To let the employees know where they stand insofar as their performance is concerned and to assist them with constructive criticism and guidance for the purpose of their development.
6) To improve communication. Performance appraisal provides a format for dialogue between the superior and the subordinate, and improves understanding of personal goals and concerns. This can also have the effect of increasing the trust between the rater and the ratee.
7) Finally, performance appraisal can be used to determine whether HR programmes such as selection, training, and transfer have been effective or not.
Q. What is the Performance Appraisal process?
The employee performance appraisal enables you to identify, evaluate and develop an individual's performance. It is a tool to encourage strong performers to maintain their high level of performance and to motivate poor performers to do better.
Other important benefits of a formal appraisal process are:
• Validation of hiring practices — are the right people in the right positions?
• Provision of an objective measuring tool on which compensation decisions, and promotions can be based
• Identification of training needs — individually, departmentally and organizationally
• Identification of employees who have the potential for advancement or who might be better suited in other areas of the organization
1. Objectives Of An Appraisal:
1. Promotion, separation, and transfer decisions
2. Feedback to the employee regarding how the organization viewed the employee's performance
3. Evaluations of relative contributions made by individuals and entire departments in achieving higher level organization goals
4. Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of selection and placement decisions, including the relevance of the information used in the decisions within the organization
5. Reward decisions, including merit increases, promotions, and other rewards
6. Ascertaining and diagnosing training and development decisions
7. Criteria for evaluating the success of training and development decisions
8. Information upon which work scheduling plans, budgeting, and human resources planning can be used
2. Establish Job Expectations:
Goals should be realistic, i.e., practical and achievable. Realistic goals provide a "balance" between what is hard and what is easy to achieve. Goals should motivate people to improve and to reach for attainable ends. For a goal to be motivational, the person must feel that the goal can be achieved. Impossible goals de-motivate and defeat the goal-setting process. Likewise, easy goals do not motivate any more than unattainable goals. You should review your goals on a quarterly or semi-annual basis to check your progress and to make any necessary adjustments.
3. Design An Appraisal Programme:
(i) Formal versus Informal approach?
• Many organizations encourage a mixture of both formal and informal approach. The formal approach is used as the primary evaluation, where as the informal approach is used more for performance feedback.
(ii) Who are the raters?
• Immediate supervisors, specialists from the hr department, subordinates, peers, committees, clients, or a combination of many.
(iii) What problems are encountered?
• Leniency, severity, bias
(iv) How to solve the problems?
• Train the raters and appraisers
(v) What should be evaluated?
• Quality, quantity, timeliness, cost effectiveness, need for supervision, interpersonal impact.
(vi) When to evaluate?
• Once in three months, once in six months or once a year
4. Appraise Performances:
Use methods of appraisal such as psychological appraisals, assessment centers, ranking method, performance tests and observations, essay method etc.
The formal performance appraisal process is one of assessing, summarizing and developing the work performance of an employee. The performance appraisal process should include at least two meetings convened by the supervisor with the employee.
5. Performance Interview:
Once appraisal has been made of employees, the raters should discuss and review the performance with the ratees, so that they receive feed back about where they stand in the eyes of the superiors. Feedback is necessary to effect improvement in performance. Performance interview has 3 goals:
(i) To change the behavior of employees whose performance does not meet organizational requirements or their own personal goals
(ii) To maintain the behavior of employees who perform in an acceptable manner
(iii) To recognize superior performance behaviors so that they will be continued
6. Use Appraisal Data For Appropriate Purposes:
The Hr department must use the data and information generated through performance evaluation. The employers offer significant rewards to employees in the form of:
(i) Money to purchase goods and services, for luxury
(ii) Opportunities to interact with other people in a favorable working environment
(iii) Opportunities to learn grow and make full use of their potential etc.
Data & information outputs of a performance will be useful in the following areas of HRM:
(i) Remuneration administration
(ii) Validation of selection programmes
(iii) Employee training & development programmes
(iv) Promotion, transfer & lay-off decisions
(v) Grievance & discipline programmes
(vi) HR planning
Q)Methods of Evaluation of Performance Appraisal
Numerous methods have been devised to measure the quantity and quality of employee’s job performance. Each of the methods discuss could be effective for some purposes for some organization as different organizations different methods. Broadly all the approaches can be classified into past oriented and future oriented.
This is the simplest and most popular method of appraising employee performance. The typical rating-scale system consists of several numeric scales, each representing a job-related performance criterion such as dependability, initiative, output, attendance, attitude and the like. Each scale ranges from excellent to poor. The rater checks the appropriate performance level on each criterion, then computes the employee’s total numerical score. The number of points scored may be linked to salary increases, whereby so many points equal a rise of some percentage.
Rating scales offer the advantages of adaptability, relatively easy use and low cost. Nearly every type of job can be evaluated with the rating scale, the only requirement being that the job performance criteria should be changed. This way a large number of employees can be rated in a short time, and the rater does not need any training to use the scale.
The disadvantages of this method are several. The raters biases are likely to influence the evaluation, and the biases are particularly pronounced on subjective criteria such as co-operation, attitude and initiative. Furthermore, numerical scoring gives an illusion of precision that is really unfounded
Man to Man comparison method:
This technique was used by the US army, during the first world war. By this method certain factors are selected for the design by the rater for each factor. A scale of man is also created for each selected factor. Each man to be rated is compared with the man in the scale, and certain scores for each factor are awarded to him. So, instead of comparing a “whole man” to a “whole man” personnel are compared to the key man in respect of one factor at a time. This method s used in job evaluation and is called the factor comparison method. In performance appraisal it is not of much use because the designing of scales is a complicated task.
360-degree system of appraisal
Where appraisal are made by peers, superiors, subordinates and clients it is called 360-degree system of appraisal. First developed at GE, US in 1992, the system has become popular in our country too. GB (India), Reliance Industries, Crompton Greaves, Godrej soaps, Infosys, Thermax and Thomas Cook are using the method with greater benefits. The Arthur Anderson survey (1997) reveal the20% of the organizations use the 360-degree method. Here, besides assessing performance, other attributes of the assesse- talents, behavioural quirks, values, ethical standards, tempers and loyalty are evaluated by people who are best placed to do it.
Peers are in a better position to evaluate certain facts of job performance which the subordinates or supervisors cannot do. Such facts include contribution to work group projects, interpersonal effectiveness, communication skills, reliability and initiative. Closeness of the working relationship and the amount of personal contacts place peers in a better position to make accurate assessments. Unfortunately, friendship or animosity may result in distortion of evaluation. Further, when reward allocation is based on peer evaluation, serious conflicts among co-workers may develop. Finally, all the peers may join together to rate each other high.
The Management by objectives concept which was conceived by Peter Drucker, reflects a management philosophy which values and utilizes employee contributions.
MBO wroks can be described in four steps:
1) The organization, superiors and subordinates together or just the superiors alone establish the goals of the employee. This goal usually the desired outcome to be achieved and it can be used to evaluate performance.
2) Second step involves setting the performance standard for the subordinates in a previously arranged time period. As subordinates perform, they know fairly well what there is to do, what has been done, and what remains to be done.
3) Then the actual level of goal attained is compared to the goals agreed upon. The evaluator figures out why the goals were not met and accordingly determines training needs.
4) The last step is establishing new goals and, possibly, new strategies for goals not previously attained. If the goals were succeeded the subordinate may have larger involvement in setting of his next goal otherwise the superior may have to do it alone.
However, this method has been criticised for not being applicable to jobs with little or no flexibility, such as assembly-line work. It works well with managerial personnel and employees who have a fairly wide range of flexibility and self control in their jobs. And if this method is linked to employee rewards, the they are more likely to take up less challenging goals so that they are more likely to achieve them. Also if the rewards are semi annual or annual, then the employees may take up short term goals and neglect the important long term goals. L&T follows MBO style of evaluation
Mainly used for executive hiring, assessment centers are now being used for evaluating executive o supervisory potential. An assessment centre is a central location where managers may come together to have their participation in job related exercises evaluated by trained observers. The basic idea is to evaluate managers over a period of time, say one to three days, by observing and evaluating their behaviour across a series of selected exercises or work samples. Assesses are requested to participate in-basket exercises, work groups (without leaders), computer simulations, role playing, and other similar activities which require the same attributes for successful performance, as in the actual job. After recording their observations, the raters meet and discuss these observations. The decision regarding the performance of each assessee is based upon this discussion of observations. Self evaluation and peer evaluation are also thrown in for final rating.
Q)What are the uses of Performance Appraisal?
• Suitable Placement: Performance appraisal is useful for evaluating performance of subordinates and also for understanding their potentials. This information is available progressively and can be us purposefully for assigning duties to employees as per their merits and potentials. Thus, placement of staff and periodical adjustment in the placement can be made scientifically.
• Assistance in Self-improvement: Performance appraisal gives the details of plus points and weaknesses of employees. In addition, they are given guidance for removing their weaknesses and also for making their plus points more conspicuous. In brief, performance appraisal assists the employees in self-development. This is possible through performance feedback to every employee periodically.
• Incentive to Grown and Develop: Performance appraisal acts as an incentive to employees to improve their performance, develop new qualities and secure higher positions in the org. the employee with merit may be given special increments or promotion to higher position. This motivates others to improve their performance and qualities for similar benefits.
• Effective training programme: performance appraisal suggests the drawbacks and other weaknesses of employees. It is possible to remove such common weaknesses and deficiencies of employees by adjusting their training programmes accordingly.
• Introduction of Sound Personnel Policies: transfers, promotions, wage rates and dismissal are the different areas of personnel management. These personnel policies are directly connected with the performance appraisal of employees. Such policies become fair, impartial and acceptable to emp. When they are based on performance appraisal.
• Cordial Employer-Employees Relation: performance appraisal avoids or at least minimizes grievances of employees as regards promotions, transfers, increments etc. Employees develop a sense of confidence that injustice will not be done to any employee as performance appraisal system is based on sound principles. Management is also not in a position to make partiality/ favouratism when performance appraisal records are maintained properly and used when required.
• Human Resource Planning and Development: performance appraisal facilitates human resource planning and development. It suggests the type of manpower available. It is also possible to train or develop the existing manpower as per the future needs of the enterprise. This is possible through training and exec. Development programmes.
• Employee Communication: performance appraisal facilitates direct communication with the employees through appraisal interview and post appraisal interviews. Such communication guides emp. And also provides more info. to the mgmt. regarding the expectations and feelings of the employees.
• High Employee Morale: scientific and impartial appraisal gets the support from the employees. They feel that the mgmt. gives due importance to them and is genuinely interested I their career development and well being, this creates positive impact on the mental make-up of employees. They treat mgmt. as their friend, guide and well wisher. This raises the morale.
Q)The meaning of Pay Structure
A company's pay structure is its method of administering its pay philosophy. The two leading types of pay structures are the internal equity method, which uses a tightly constructed grid to ensure that each job is compensated according to the jobs above and below it in a hierarchy, and market pricing, where each job in an organization is tied to the prevailing market rate.
A company needs job descriptions for positions such as executives, managers, technologists, entry-level people, and the like, so that people know where they fall within the organization. A pay structure helps answer questions about who's who, what each person's role is, and why people are compensated differently. It also helps human resources personnel administer fairly any given pay philosophy. For example, a company might want to pay everyone at market; or pay some people at market and some above it. Opportunities for incentives are also dealt with in the pay structure. For example, people with strategic roles will have opportunities for higher incentives.
In most organizations wage and salary rates are still assigned to jobs. The relationships between the pay for jobs involve pay structure decisions. Although organizations often make pay level decisions (how much to pay) and pay structure decisions (pay relationship) at the same time, these decisions and the process by which they are reached require separate treatment.
Actually, wage structures represent wage relationships of all kinds. Analysis of wage differentials of any kind (geographic, industry, community, or occupation) deals with wage structure issues. But because our primary focus is on pay decisions in organizations, our concern is with pay differences between jobs. In fact, determining the pay structure of an organization may be usefully described as putting dollar signs on jobs. Decisions on wage relationships among jobs within an organization are largely within the control of its decision makers. Wage level decisions are usually influenced more by forces external to the organization than are wage structure decisions.
Some organizations pay for skills possessed by employees rather than for the jobs employees hold. The rationale is usually serious and continual skill shortages experienced by the organization. But most organizations measure employee contributions first in terms of the jobs employees hold. One interesting analysis of organizational compensation decisions is that pay structure decisions are intended to achieve retention of employees through prevention of dissatisfaction and encouragement of employee cooperation. Pay level decisions, in this analysis, are intended to attract employees. To this analysis could be added the statement that wage structure decisions are intended to encourage employees to make a career with the organization and to accept training in preparation for higher-level jobs.
• Lower-range — pay is between minimum pay and mid-range, is appropriate for employees in the learning and development phase of their job; this range is typically for employees new to a position and whose competencies are not yet fully developed. Entry level pay falls in this range.
• Mid-range — pay is appropriate for employees who are fully proficient in their job. This is the target market-based competitive pay for employees who are fully competent, possess the full skill set necessary to perform their job well, meet job expectations, and consistently demonstrate skills needed and fulfill responsibilities and duties.
• Upper-range — pay is appropriate for employees who serve as role models, exhibiting an exceptional skill set and consistently exceeding all job expectations. These employees exemplify the best way of doing their job, go the "extra mile," share their knowledge, and leverage their strengths to benefit the Organisation.
Q)The Meaning of Pay Level
The compensation and benefit level is the average compensation paid to employees. This has two implications. The first is external: how does the organization compare with other organizations? This question is a strategic one of how the organization wishes to position itself in the marketplace. The second implication is internal. The average compensation is a reflection of the total compensation bill of the organization. Labor is one of the claimants on organizational resources. The size of the compensation and benefits bill is a reflection of who gets what within the organization.
The decision on compensation levels (how much will the organization pay?) may be the most important pay decision the organization makes. A potential employee's acceptance usually turns on this decision, and a large segment of the employer's costs are determined by it.
Compensation decisions are typically micro (individual) or macro (total organization) focused. Although organizations are under no constraint to separate these decisions, a course of study should. In practice, most unsophisticated organizations make the decision on compensation level (how much to pay) and compensation structure (relationships to competitors) at the same time. More administratively advanced organizations realize that individual decisions within a proper administrative structure are more consistent, fair, and cost-effective over time.
The compensation level decision may be considered the most important one for individuals. In terms of both employee attraction and cost considerations, it is often considered by most managers as a primary consideration. Also, it seems essential to recognize that compensation level decisions can never be completely separate from job-mix, hiring standards, personal decisions, and internal labor markets/relationships. For these reasons, compensation level decisions are typically the focus of a manager’s attention. From the organization’s perspective, however, one individual’s compensation decision typically goes unnoticed at the end of the year. Structure decisions (and the level of those structures) are what show up on an income statement.
The term compensation level simply means the average compensation paid to workers at some level of analysis, e.g. the job, the department, the employing organization, an industry, or the economy. The importance of the compensation level decision to organizations rests on its influence in getting and perhaps keeping the desired quantity and quality of employees. If the compensation level is too low, the applicant pool may dry up and recruitment efforts may meet with little success. Equally serious, some employees (often the best ones) may leave. At the extreme, the organization may experience difficulties with state and federal regulatory bodies administering minimum compensation laws and prevailing wage laws. Also, the organization may be confronted with concerted organizing drives if no union is present, or pressing compensation demands from existing unions. It is less apparent, but equally real, that a low compensation level may attract only less efficient workers, with the result that labor costs per unit of output rise.
If, on the other hand, the compensation level is too high, equally undesirable results are likely. The competitive position of the organization may suffer. Turnover rates may drop below some desirable minimum so that the organization tends toward inflexibility or stagnation. Also, if compensation and salary levels are too high during periods of compensation controls by federal authorities, trouble may be forthcoming from these officials. Frequently, compensation and benefit level decisions are hidden in the type and structure of benefit, fringe, and retirement plans.
Changes in compensation levels have the most drastic effects on total payroll. Of course, other compensation decisions have payroll effects, but usually not nearly as great. Substantial sums of money can be involved, and for this reason alone an organization must pay close attention to compensation levels (both competitively and internally).
Nor are employees and their representatives any less concerned with compensation level decisions. It is here that the absolute amount of the compensation or salary rate is determined. Also, it is here that unions exert their major effect, and here that member loyalty is built or lost.
Finally, consumers and the general public have major interests in compensation level decisions, the consumer because wages are a major element in prices, and the general public because wages and salaries represent the major portion of national income. Also, too frequent or too drastic changes in compensation levels affect the health of our economy.
Q) Explain the Concepts of wages.
While evolving the wage policy, three concepts of wages are generally considered, namely,
1. Minimum Wages,
2. Fair Wages, and
3. Living Wages.
Minimum wage is the one that provides not merely the bare sustenance of life but also for the preservation of the efficiency of the worker. For this purpose, the minimum wage must also provide for some measure of education, medical requirements and amenities. Minimum wage may be tied by an agreement between the management and the workers, but is usually determined through legislation. This is more so in the unorganized sector where labour is unionised. In the fixation of minimum wages, besides the needs of workers, other factors like ability of the concern to pay, nature of the jobs, and so on, are also considered.
Fair wage is understood in two ways. In a narrow sense, wage is fair if it is equal to the rate prevailing in the same trade and in the neighbourhood for similar work. In a wider sense, it will be fair if it is equal to the predominant rate for similar work throughout the country and for traders in general. Irrespective of the way in which fair wage is understood, it can be fixed only by comparison with an accepted standard wage. Such a standard can be determined with reference to those industries where labour is well organized and has been able to bargain well with the employers.
Living wage is a step higher than fair wage. Living wage may be described as one which should enable the wage earner to provide for himself and his family not on the bare essentials of life like food, clothing and shelter, but a measure of frugal comfort including education for children; protection against ill health; requirements of essential social needs; and/or measure of insurance against the more important misfortunes including old age. A living wage must be fixed considering the general economic conditions of the country. The concept of living wage, therefore, varies from country to country. In the more advanced countries, living wage itself forms the basis for the minimum wage.
In India, minimum wage is determined mainly for sweated industries under the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. Fair wage is fixed for other industries considering prevailing rates of wages, productivity of labour, capacity of the employer to pay, level of national income and other related factors.
Tribunals, awards and wage boards play major role in fair wage fixation. Many people are of the opinion that living wage is a luxury for a developing country like India and can therefore be deferred.
Re: training and development
Re: training and development - October 8th, 2006
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