Employee training is essential for job success. It can lead to higher production, fewer mistakes, greater job satisfaction, and lower turnover. These benefits accrue to both the trainee and the organization if managers understand the principles behind the training process.
Training and development refer to the imparting of specific skills, abilities, and knowledge to an employee.
Learning-Oriented Guidelines for Employee Training Process
To this end, training efforts must invariably follow certain learning-oriented guidelines:
Modeling is simply copying someone else’s behavior. Passive classroom learning does not leave any room for modeling.
If we want to change people, it would be a good idea to have videotapes of people showing the desired behavior. The model should provide the right kind of behavior to be copied by others.
A great deal of human behavior is learned by modeling others.
Children learn by modeling parents and older children, they are quite comfortable with the process by the time they grow up.
As experts put it. Managers tend to manage as they were managed.
For learning to take place, the intention to learn is important.
When the employee is motivated, he pays attention to what is being said, done and presented, Motivation to learn is influenced by the answers to questions such as: How important is my job to me? Will learning help me progress in the company? etc.
People learn more quickly when the material is important and relevant to them. learning is usually quicker and long-lasting when the learner participates actively.
Most people, for example, never forget how to ride a bicycle because they took an active part in the learning process.
If the behavior is rewarded, it probably will be repeated. Positive reinforcement consists of rewarding desired behavior. People avoid certain behaviors that invite criticism and punishment.
A bank officer would want to do a post-graduate course in fiance if it earns him increments and make him eligible for further promotions.
Both the external rewards (investment, praise) and the internal rewards (a feeling of pride and achievement) associated with desired behaviors compel subjects to learn properly.
To be effective, the trainer must reward desired behavior only. If he rewards poor performance, the results may be disastrous: good performance may quite in frustration, accidents may go up, and productivity may suffer.
The reinforcement principle is also based on the premise that punishment is less effective in learning than reward. Punishment is a pointer to undesirable behavior.
When administered, it causes pain to the employee. he may or may not repeat the mistakes. The reactions may be mild or wild. Action taken to repeal a person from undesirable action is punishment.
If administered properly, punishment may force the trainee to modify undesired or incorrect behaviors.
Related: Key Principles of Employee Training.
People learn best if reinforcement is given as soon as possible after training. Every employee wants to know what is expected of him and how well he is doing.
If he is off the track, somebody must put him back on the rails. the errors in such cases must be rectified immediately.
The trainee after learning the right behavior is motivated to do things in the right way and learn the associated rewards.
Positive feedback (showing the trainee the right way of doing things) is to be preferred to negative feedback (telling the trainee that he is not correct) when we want to change behavior.
5. Spaced Practice
Learning takes place easily if the practice sessions are spread over a period of time. New employees learn if the orientation program is for memorizing tasks, ‘massed‘ practice is usually more effective.
Imagine the way schools ask the kids to say the Lord’s prayer aloud. Can you memories a long poem by learning only one line per day?
You tend to forget the beginning of the poem by the time you reach the last stanza.
For acquiring skills, that spaced practice is usually the best. this incremental approach to skill acquisition minimizes the physical fatigue that deters learning.
6. Whole Learning
The concept of whole learning suggests that employees learn better if the information is explained as an entire process so that they can see how the various actions fit together into the big picture.
A broad overview of what the trainee would be doing on the job should be given top priority if learning has to take place quickly.
Research studies have also indicated that it is more efficient to practice a whole task all at once rather than trying to master the various components of the task at different intervals.
7. Active Practice
Practice makes a man perfect so said bacon. To be a swimmer, you should plunge into the water instead of simply reading about swimming or looking at films of the world’s best swimmers.
learning is enhanced when trainees are provided ample opportunities to repeat the task.
For maximum benefits, sessions should be distributed over time.
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