The Development of a Training Program

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Trainers and employers need to work together when deciding on a training course based on the needs of the organisation.

So, the question of whether in-house trainers or outside experts should conduct training needs to be answered.

Many fortune 500 companies provide their employees with in house training centres, as well as their own university for initial and continuous education. Companies like Xerox, Good Year Tyres, Kodak, Mahindra and Mahindra have these facilities to train prospective staff members and current staff alike. Other organisations that partner with academic institutions offer employee exchange programmes.

Regardless, the prerequisites for creating a training program remain the same. Creating a conducive learning environment is followed by choosing training methods and techniques.

Designing an environment to accommodate all learners is difficult. Some people learn experientially, others through lectures. It’s important to know what your preferences are and where you may fit best when designing the environment of any given training program.

One factor that must be weighed when developing a training program is the trainability of its participants. The trainer has to make sure employees are willing to learn and sit through a training program.

Sensitivity training that is not well-regarded by many can be especially challenging. Trainability also implies the employee has a desire to learn, and there is real motivation in addition to simply being instructed how to do so. Prior to starting the learning process for sensitivity training, it’s important that employees are aware of what will take place from an information session.

Training design has many components to consider that help the trainer adapt the training sessions according to specific employee needs:

1. Assessing Training Needs – The organization must create an appropriate learning environment so the trainers can assess the training requirements and determine what type of educational activities should take place. Appropriate educational activities are based on observation and analysis of the existing conditions in the company.

2. Training Delivery System – The system should be flexible and allow other training methods to take place as well. Trainer-Centred Learning is a style that focuses on one form of delivery, but it can incorporate elements from many other styles as well. Competency Centered Training makes use of feedback from employees and their managers during the training process and is especially suitable for adult learners.

3. Evaluation of Learning – The trainer must evaluate learning throughout all phases of the program. This allows them to see if employees are meeting targets, performing well in certain areas, or just generally understanding what’s being taught. A Training Needs Analysis form is commonly used as a feedback tool to gauge performance in different departments and how well the training program is meeting its objectives.

4. Training Evaluation – It’s important that a trainer assess the overall effectiveness of their training just like any other type of project or product. A Training Needs Analysis form allows trainers to critically look at the design, delivery, and results of a given instructional program.

5. Needs Assessment – The final step is to determine training needs and how the organization will go about meeting those needs. It’s important that trainers are aware of their own personal preferences, as well as what types of trainability exist in an organisation or company. By obtaining this type of knowledge it becomes easier for them to deliver a successful training program to employees.

To meet the training needs of today’s companies and their staff, an employee exchange programme or online learning environment could be the solution.

As part of a successful sensitivity training program, managers can gauge how effectively their staff is performing with employee evaluation forms. You may find that you need to repeat any sessions that are not as successful as the rest.

In order to meet training objectives, a trainer must be able to create an environment conducive to learning. This includes providing opportunities for feedback and self-analysis from employees as well. The ideal teaching method should also be consistent with company culture and employee expectations so that trainability is maximized and there is a high rate of success in employee learning.

Training should also be specific to your company’s needs and focus on skill gaps as well as career development. Too often, training sessions are not effective because they are too general in nature or fail to take into account the different needs of employees. For instance, management may be more motivated by profit and therefore their training should focus on strategies for cost-cutting and efficiency. Whereas hourly employees may be motivated more by different factors such as job security or a promotion, which would require a different approach to motivating them.

In other words, and for the sake of simplicity, there are five main steps to take when planning an effective sensitivity training program:

  Assess Training Needs – The trainer should carefully observe the work environment to determine what types of training programs would be most beneficial. This is known as a Training Needs Analysis and can be used to evaluate the current skills employees are currently being taught in different departments or projects.

  Plan a Program – Once the teacher has developed an understanding of his or her audience’s needs, they can begin to create a course outline and design a training program. This includes objectives, the types of activities to be used, and how long it should last.

  Deliver Training – The trainer must deliver the course according to their outline and the time allowed. It’s important that training is delivered in an engaging yet informative way so that employees are encouraged to learn about their responsibilities.

  Assess Performance – After the training has been completed, it’s important to assess how well employees have performed and what type of feedback they’ve provided. A Training Needs Analysis form can help a trainer determine whether or not their teaching methods were successful and if changes should be made in order to enhance future programs.

  Make Changes – Much like any other type of training, it’s important that a teacher incorporate any changes into their future course outlines. Past sessions can be used as sample templates for future trainings while feedback from current employees should also be considered.

Training needs can change over time so it is critical to observe how employee performance has changed and what type of training programs would benefit them the most.