Employee Training Plans and Identifying Future Training Needs
The current skill levels of existing employees are an important component in the success of any business. HR managers must also be able to identify current skill levels of existing employees as well as effectively train new employees. This data is extremely valuable in determining future training plans, budgeting and scheduling. In this article you will learn how to identify current skill levels of existing employees, a necessary first step in building your training plan. Skill levels are a classification tool that is used to indicate how well an employee is performing at their job and their level of performance. The mean is the average skill level of an employee. The standard deviation is used to quantify the spread in skill levels within an organization. In most cases the standard deviation will be larger than the mean and this fact must be taken into consideration when developing a plan for training employees (Aravindakumar, 2020). This paper will discuss this variance in skill levels, the learning theories that are applicable to the current organization scenario, the employee training design and methods and lastly, measurement of desired outcomes.
In order to determine current skill levels, employees need to take a test or fill out some sort of survey which allows them to self-assess their skillsets. A survey should include questions regarding work experience, skillsets, current job responsibilities and a description of performance on such duties. The only limitation on survey questions is that the survey taker should not be asked to rate their own skillsets. The purpose of this test is to get an idea of the current skill level of employees, not to give them a ranking (Dhondt et al 2019). A skilled worker will be able to manipulate the scores in order to suit their needs. It is important to keep in mind that skill levels are determined by the individual employee, not by any outside measure or criteria. It is generally concluded that skill levels can also reflect a change in job responsibilities, which would make them less useful for determining future training needs of existing employees.
However, skill level can still play a role in determining training needs for current employees. The mean skill level is the most useful number to rank current employees. This number should be the average skill level of all employees in an organization. The standard deviation should be used as a secondary metric in determining employee training plans and identifying future training needs (Dhondt et al 2019).
The learning theories that are applicable to the current scenario include: an experiment-based approach “learning by doing” as opposed to “learning by hearing and/or seeing”. Problem solving through inquiry and research. Active, experiential learning involving reflection. A skill based perspective of learning vs. a content based perspective of learning. A problem-solving approach in which one starts from the situation and moves outwards to the context, considering various possible causes for the given trouble and finally deciding on a course of action to take. Strong emphasis on critical thinking and decision-making (Qi, & Chau, 2018). The skill based approach of learning – in which the learner is aware of the need to develop a varied set of skills and knowledge.
Learners are encouraged to explore ideas and concepts for themselves, and are provided with the means for exploring them. Learning strategies and techniques can be taught that allow learners to access new information through different ways of perceiving, organizing, and framing the materials. Learners are encouraged to look for insights and new understandings in their own experiences from which they can derive new understandings about what they know as well as in Socratic dialogue with different teachers on different subjects. Group work, sharing of learning experiences, and active reflection on the basis of knowledge from outside academic sources are emphasized.
In an experiment-based approach (also called experiential learning) the emphasis is placed on the acquiring of knowledge and skills via experiments (or real life experiences). The experiment-based approach to learning is a combination of observation of the natural environment, empirical investigation, and experimentation with control over variables. This approach to learning was in existence before John Dewey which supports an alternate perspective that learning can take place without teachers or schools (Qi, & Chau, 2018). It also refutes the concept that learning only takes place in schools. Dewey believed that everyday living was a part of a student’s educational experience.
This perspective is not as commonly used or accepted today due to the fact that technology has increased accessibility to such a degree that it has created information overload. However, this approach to learning is proven to be more effective for scholars and professionals. A good example of an experiment-based approach is seen in the creation of Wikipedia as opposed to a more traditional textbook based education system (Qi, & Chau, 2018).
The training design and methods
The training design and methods of instruction I would propose to implement includes the following: Implementation of an assessment center to determine current skill levels. Identify possible future skill needs based on the assessment of current skills. Conduct a training needs analysis and design an individual training plan for each employee based on their future skill needs.
Conduct one-on-one training with current employees to build the necessary skills for their new roles. This method is particularly useful for trainees who are new to the company and have not been trained in the company’s specific needs. It is important to note that this method can only be followed if all employees are willing to undergo training, a very rare situation in today’s work environment (Numonjonov, 2020).
Departmental competency model; In order to identify future skill needs based on organizational needs and responsibilities, a departmental competency model should be implemented. This model will allow managers and HR specialists to more clearly define the job of their departments and employees within the context of skills needed by the company as a whole. It is important to identify the gaps between the current skill level and the potential skill level that a department needs in order to function efficiently as a whole. After this has been done, an organizational assessment should be conducted in order to review policies, practices, procedures and any other aspect of the organization that can be improved or effected by improved training methods.
The development of an individual training plan is necessary if there is a need for increased skills amongst employees. This should be conducted after the competency model is completed and employee training needs are determined. The individual training plans will specifically outline what each employee will learn during their tenure with the company in regards to skillsets needed for their job. Finer levels of training should be conducted with employees who are more likely to be promoted or transferred into other departments. In essence, this training is a part of the employee’s preparation for their new position. This individual training approach also allows for correction and adjustment if the employee does not learn in a manner that was anticipated by senior management (Numonjonov, 2020). The implementation of a learning environment which emphasizes on group work, Socratic dialogue, experiential learning and active reflection provides an environment conducive to the development of team work skills and the ability to problem solve.
Measurement of Desired Outcomes
The desired outcome is to train the personnel within ninety days to increase company performance. The plan would be to measure the desired outcomes often and when appropriate as these can change based on many factors. A plan for measurement of outcomes should be developed with specific measurements, frequency, and time frames for each measurement. The desired outcome could also be measured by taking progress reports from all members of the management team within thirty days and then again at sixty days so that a comparison can be made in order to determine how effective the training was in achieving its goals. Calculations for any increases in performance would also be made as a way of determining the effectiveness of the training (Kooij, Kanfer, Betts, & Rudolph, 2018).
The specific training delivered to each department can be measured by conducting surveys at the end of the training conducted at each department. The results will show if any changes were made in employee morale, how future actions are being viewed, and how the employees perceive their supervisors. If a survey is conducted after 90 days of training and there is no change in these issues, then it will be simple to tell that the course selected may not have been effective in achieving its desired outcomes. If an employee is changing the way he or she will be doing things, then it is evident that the training was effective. Activities should be implemented in order to measure your desired outcome. The activities must involve all members of management or another business partner e.g., consultant, peer, or supervisor (Kooij, Kanfer, Betts, & Rudolph, 2018).
. Conducting a survey should be done in order to collect data and not as a concrete measurement of the desired outcome. In order to assess the effectiveness of the training, a qualitative and quantitative analysis should be conducted.
It is essential to define the specific measurements that need to be made throughout the training process. This will ensure that an evaluation of your program will be possible if it is not being met. The training process is a complex situation because it involves two different aspects: trainee progress and management progress. The objectives for training can change based on many factors including: employee experience, employee skills, and results from previous assessments. It is important to review your objectives constantly throughout the process in order to make sure that they are still relevant and still an effective way of achieving your desired outcomes.
Training has become a very important component of employee development as more and more companies are implementing training into their HR practices. One way to assess the effectiveness of your training program is to conduct surveys after the training is completed, ninety days later (Kooij, Kanfer, Betts, & Rudolph, 2018). If no change in any important aspects related to the desired outcomes is observed after this time, then the effectiveness of your program was substandard.
Having an effective system for measuring your desired outcome is essential when developing a training program because it will allow you to make changes if they are not effective or need to be changed. In order to measure the effectiveness of your training program and identify effective practices, one must conduct and implement activities that relate directly with your desired outcome.
In conclusion, the effectiveness of employee training is dependent on many factors including the design, delivery and evaluation of training. Evaluation measures should be developed within ninety days in order to establish a baseline for your training program and identify desired outcomes. These are more likely to be achieved if trainers follow a competency model, conduct an organizational assessment and develop an individual training plan for each employee (Zhou et al 2021). In order to achieve your desired outcome, it is important to measure your progress often and when appropriate as these measurements can change based on many factors. It is important that the measurements made are specific so that evaluation of your program will be possible when it is not being met.
What I have learnt
What have I learned by writing this paper is that the organizational culture of a company is greatly affected by the skills and knowledge of its employees. With this information it can be said that employees play a vital role in the success of a business. Training is an important tool within any business to effectively employ staff, increase their job satisfaction, and meet organizational objectives. To do this type of training right is an intricate process that can be completed by following three key methods; structural development, delivery, and evaluation of training.
Having reliable measurement tools to determine the effectiveness of your program will aid in achieving your desired outcome as well as future desired outcomes that you may have for your organization. In addition, an evaluation of the program is essential to the success of your training and should be conducted ninety days after implementation. By following these steps and creating an effective measurement system a company can achieve its desired outcome in a successful manner.
With this knowledge I have learned that employee training is an important process to achieve desired outcomes within your organization and should be given priority as it will greatly contribute to an organizations success. The effectiveness of the training program is measured by looking at job-related attitude, behaviors and performance. Learning can be measured when there are changes in job related attitudes, behaviors and performance.
Aravindakumar, A. (2020). Managing and utilizing human resources in an organization with reference to higher education. Editorial Board, 9(8).
Dhondt, S., Van der Zee, F., Preenen, P., Kraan, K., & Oeij, P. R. (2019). Dominant technology and organization: Impacts of digital technology on skills. International perspectives and research on the” future of work “, 186-205.
Kooij, D. T., Kanfer, R., Betts, M., & Rudolph, C. W. (2018). Future time perspective: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(8), 867.
Numonjonov, S. D. (2020). Innovative methods of professional training. ISJ Theoretical & Applied Science, 1(81), 747-750.
Qi, C., & Chau, P. Y. K. (2018). Will enterprise social networking systems promote knowledge management and organizational learning? An empirical study. Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 28(1), 31-57.
Zhou, Y., Liu, G., Chang, X., & Wang, L. (2021). The impact of HRM digitalization on firm performance: investigating three‐way interactions. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 59(1), 20-43.
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