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Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development

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1 Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development
This case study begins with a presentation outlining some of the key concepts involved in training and development. After listening to the presentation, students should read the actual case and then participate in activities chosen by their instructor. Fiona L. Robson 2008

2 Definitions Training refers to the methods used to give new or present employees the skills they need to perform their jobs. Dessler (2007, p. 270) Training and development are processes that attempt to provide employees with information, skills and an understanding of the organization and its goals. Ivancevich (2007, p. 393) The terms “training” and “development” are sometimes used interchangeably by students. Students should be encouraged to demonstrate their understanding of the differences between the terms. ©SHRM 2011

3 Training Benefits Training:
Improves individual, team and organization performance. Supports employee retention strategies. Increases flexibility. Improves customer service. May increase job satisfaction. May decrease errors in the workplace. Training benefits both the organization and its employees. Training is an investment that employers provide to benefit the employee and the organization as a whole. Training interventions can be expensive to implement, so it is important to understand the benefits. Training improves individual, team and organization performance. Adding new skills, knowledge and experience enables employees to improve their performance and become more efficient at what they do. This leads to higher productivity, which benefits the organization as a whole. Training supports employee retention strategies. Employers that invest in training become desirable employers; people want to work for them, which aids recruitment efforts. Similarly, effective training programs improve employee retention; it shows that the employer invests in and values its employees. However, employers must be careful not to spend too much time or money training employees only to have them leave and take their newly acquired knowledge and skills to another organization. Some employers require a departing worker to refund the organization for part or all of college or university course fees if the employee leaves shortly after taking the course. Training increases flexibility. Cross-training allows organizations to assign highly skilled employees to different work areas when needed. This means that if a team member is absent, someone else can do that employee’s job and maintain productivity. Training improves customer satisfaction. Customers are likely to be more satisfied when they interact with skilled employees who can effectively help them. This improves the organization’s reputation and may provide a competitive advantage over rivals. Training may increase job satisfaction. Many employees enjoy learning and having the chance to try new things. This may improve their job satisfaction. It may also encourage employees to seek promotions if they know they will receive the necessary training to do the job. Training may decrease errors in the workplace. Highly trained employees are less likely to make costly errors . ©SHRM 2011

4 When Is Classroom-Based Training Appropriate?
When the desired skills are best taught through formal instruction. When a number of people need to learn skills/knowledge in the same area. When critical information must be communicated to ensure employees meet their responsibilities. Source: Armstrong (2006, p. 576) There are many different training delivery methods, some of which will be explored later in this presentation. We will begin by discussing when it is appropriate to deliver classroom-based training to several groups of employees at the same time. Classroom-based training is appropriate when the best way to share information is through formal instruction, perhaps because the training is related to a new policy or a process that must performed in a precise manner. Classroom-based training is also appropriate when a number of people must be trained at the same time. For example, if a new computer system is to be launched in two weeks, it may be necessary for everyone to receive the training as soon as possible. Classroom-based training is the most cost-effective method in this situation. ©SHRM 2011

5 The Five-Step Training and Development Process
Effective training programs consist of five steps: 1. Needs analysis 2. Instructional design 3. Validation 4. Implementation. 5. Evaluation. Dessler (2007), based on the earlier work of Goldstein The next few slides describe the five stages involved in an effective training and development process. The instructor could develop these slides further by providing a examples for each stage. ©SHRM 2011

6 Step 1: Needs Analysis Identifies the skills needed for employees to perform their jobs. Assesses existing skills. Identifies objectives to close any identified skills gaps. A needs analysis identifies the skills needed for employees to do their jobs, assesses those skills and identifies the steps needed to close any identified skills gaps. Once the needed skills are identified, existing skills must be assessed against the needed skills to show the gaps in existing skills and knowledge. The final stage of this process identifies the objectives needed to overcome the gaps between existing and required skills. ©SHRM 2011

7 Step 2: Instructional Design
At this stage, the content of the course/program is designed. Specific activities are identified. Relevant materials are prepared. A training program should be designed to meet the objectives identified in Stage 1. The trainer can then decide on specific activities that could be used to provide effective training that meets the needs and objectives. This stage also includes preparing learning materials such as presentations, handouts, role play scenarios and case studies, depending on the nature of the training topic. ©SHRM 2011

8 Step 3: Validation The program is tested with a small group of employees. Feedback may result in changes to the content and activities used in the program. Once course content, delivery method and learning materials have been finalized, the program should be piloted with a small employee group. This group should provide structured feedback on the elements of the proposed course. This feedback should be considered to make improvements to content, format, structure or materials before the program is presented to the target group. ©SHRM 2011

9 Step 4: Implementation The target group participates in the actual training session. After feedback has been incorporated into the redesign, the actual training event can take place. This may be a one-day (or partial day) event or take place over a number of days or weeks. The format should be relevant to the content. ©SHRM 2011

10 Step 5: Evaluation The program’s success is evaluated.
Following program delivery, the training should be evaluated by the participants. There are different levels of evaluation, depending on the nature of the course and the feedback required by the instructor. ©SHRM 2011

11 Training Methods Lectures Case studies Workshops Simulated training
E-learning (via the Internet) Role plays Coaching There are a number of different training methods available to trainers: Lectures tend to be a one-way process where the trainer provides the information. Some trainers may prefer a more interactive approach, where the students contribute to the lecture and answer questions. Case studies allow students to apply their knowledge based on an organizational example by reading the case study and answering questions. This can be a good way to progressively build knowledge through a series of cases. Workshops are more interactive than lectures because they require students to use learning aids as well as to listen to the instructor. Learning aids may include the use of computers or other relevant equipment. This is a chance for students to apply the theory in actual practice. Simulated training allows students to practice skills and knowledge in a safe environment. An example may be training airplane pilots on simulated plane rather than an actual one. E-learning allows students to access resources online (or on a CD or equivalent medium) and work through the training at their own pace. Several training methods may be included with e-learning, such as case studies and simulations. In role plays, students assume a role and interact with each other to understand different perspectives. This can be very useful to practice skills such as customer service skills or dealing with difficult situations. Coaching is a more individual process where an individual receives tailored input to meet their needs. ©SHRM 2011

12 Choosing the Most Appropriate Training Method
Consider the following: Training topic Cost Time available Number of participants Skills and knowledge of the trainer Availability of materials Ability to meet the program’s goals and objectives Timing of the training: how urgent is it? When choosing on the most appropriate training method, consider the following: The training topic. If the topic is very practical in nature, the training should reflect this (e.g., a lecture would not be the most appropriate way to develop interpersonal skills). Cost plays a role, particularly for smaller organizations. If the training budget is small, training is more likely be provided in-house and led by employees. In-house trainers may also use off-the-shelf products rather than more expensive custom-designed ones. Employees’ time is very precious and must be considered. It is unlikely that managers would be able to take large blocks of time away from their jobs. For hourly employees, time away from their jobs may have a negative effect on productivity and customer service. If a large number of employees require the same training, a cost-effective method is one that can be delivered simultaneously to a large number of participants. If only one or two people require training, it may be more appropriate to send them outside of the organization. Trainers are likely to have preferred training methods. If they are subject-matter experts, their preference should be considered. Organizations that have a robust stock of training materials are more likely to use them than commission new custom-made materials; this is particularly true for IT training, where training resources are often included with the software. It is critical that training methods are chosen to allow trainers and trainees to meet the goals and objectives of the program (which may be to develop skills, gain knowledge or a combination). This must be considered when designing a training program. If there is an urgency in delivering the training, consider outsourcing it to a group that can provide it quickly, rather than waiting for new materials to be designed. ©SHRM 2011

13 Key Decisions Who will design and deliver the training? Will it be done internally or externally? Which training methods will be used? What are the goals and objectives of the training? Where and when will it be held? How will it be evaluated? There are several key considerations when designing a training program. The HR director or director of training must decide if there is anyone in the organization with the capability and resources to conduct the training or whether the training should be outsourced. There are advantages to both approaches, so this must be considered on an individual basis. Training goals and objectives must be clear to both the trainer and trainees in order to measure the effectiveness of the training and to ensure that it addresses an identified skills and or knowledge gap. Part of the training evaluation should assess the extent to which goals and objectives have been met. There are practical considerations as well—for example, where the training will be held (at the office or an external venue). There are advantages to using an external venue—there is likely to be less interruption and employees may be better able to focus on the training. On the negative side, it can be harder to apply learning when it takes place outside of the workplace. Timing is also important. Ideally, training should take place at a time when it would have the least effect on productivity. ©SHRM 2011

14 Meeting Learners’ Needs: Performance Management Training
What is the employees’ existing knowledge of the performance management system? Do employees have a positive perception of performance management? Are there any special educational needs? What are the employees’ preferred learning styles? This slide looks specifically at a training session for a new performance management system, since this is the basis of this case study. As part of the analysis stage, the trainer should consider trainee needs to meet their expectations about the training. The trainer should assess employees’ existing knowledge level about the new performance management system. This will eliminate spending time on information employees already know or mistakenly assuming more knowledge than they actually have about the topic. Trainees can find it very frustrating if the program is not geared toward the appropriate level. Understanding existing perceptions of performance management is particularly important in this specific case study because negative past experiences may affect employees’ willingness to participate. The trainer must know if there are negative feelings toward the topic of the training so he or she can consider strategies to develop more positive attitudes and behaviors. The trainer must also know about any disabilities or special educational needs so that he or she adjust the material, if necessary. This may include providing handouts with a larger typeface for someone with a visual impairment. Learning styles are also important to understand, because the trainer must include activities and materials to appeal to people with different learning styles. This will help engage participants in the process. ©SHRM 2011

15 Learning Styles One of the most frequently used tools to identify learning styles is that of Honey and Mumford (1996). They identified four styles: Activists Reflectors Theorists Pragmatists Learning styles are not necessarily exclusive; a person can be classed as both a theorist and pragmatist. Please refer to the information on the slide. ©SHRM 2011

16 Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles
Activists enjoy new challenges and participate happily in new experiences. Reflectors observe experiences from different perspectives. They collect data from different sources and reflect on it before coming to their own conclusions. Please refer to the information on the slide. ©SHRM 2011

17 Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles
Theorists tend to be perfectionists and like to be well-informed. They prefer logical theories rather than subjective information. Pragmatists are keen to try out new approaches to see if they work in reality. Please refer to the information on the slide. There are many tools available on the Internet if the students want to learn about their own learning styles. ©SHRM 2011

18 The Importance of Evaluating Training
Ensures objectives are met or if additional training is required. Assesses the training’s effectiveness. Helps identify modifications for future training programs: Content Training methods Training provider Location Duration Allows for a cost/benefit analysis. Supports the business case for training. Training evaluation is important for a number of reasons, as shown on this slide. First, evaluating training helps ensure that the training objectives were met. The evaluation might also highlight the need for further training. Evaluation can also be used to assess criteria specified by the organization. This may include the quality of training, the quality of the training materials and the appropriateness of the location. Feedback should be used meaningfully to inform future programs rather than being filed away. Feedback may inform decisions on: Content. Training methods. Training provider. Location. Duration. A cost/benefit analysis should be undertaken to look at the viability of the training. The analysis may also make a business case for future training. ©SHRM 2011

19 Four Levels of Evaluation: Kirkpatrick (1994)
Level 1: Reaction How did participants react to the training? Measures overall satisfaction with the program. Level 2: Evaluating learning To what extent were learning objectives met? What new knowledge was gained? What new skills can be demonstrated? Please refer to the information on the slide. ©SHRM 2011

20 Four Levels of Evaluation: Kirkpatrick (1994)
Level 3: Evaluating behavior To what extent were behaviors changed when employees returned to the workplace? Level 4: Evaluating results What added value was gained as a result of the program? Please refer to the information on the slide. ©SHRM 2011

21 Southwood School Case Study: Overview
State high school in the United Kingdom. Established nearly 40 years ago. 800 students aged 120 staff: 80 teachers. 40 support staff (non-teaching staff). Average staff retention rate: 72 percent. Average length of service: 5+ years This slide provides some background on the organization featured in the case study. ©SHRM 2011

22 Training and Development at Southwood School
Students leave school one hour early each week to give teachers time for continuing professional development (CPD), including training sessions. Most sessions are delivered in-house. Senior teachers usually deliver the sessions based on materials provided by the Government Department for Education and Skills. As you can see from the slide, the Southwood School is committed to providing training for their employees by allowing teachers to engage in training on a regular basis and within their normal working hours. Training is mostly provided in-house. Teachers tend to take part in the same training, but the school will fund external training events where a compelling argument is presented. ©SHRM 2011

23 Presentation References
Armstrong, M. (2006). A handbook of human resource management, 10th edition. Kogan Page. Dessler, G. (2005). Human resource management, 10th edition. Prentice Hall. Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1996). The manual of learning styles, 3rd edition. Honey Publications. Ivancevich, J. M. (2007). Human resource management, 10th edition. McGraw-Hill. Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1994). Evaluating training programs. Berret-Koehler. ©SHRM 2011

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