Review the Training in Action 1-3 scenario titled, “Training Needs in the Student Registration Office” in Chapter 1 of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text. Assume that you were hired to develop a training program for the Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) as described in the scenario. Identify four of the most important KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes) a training program for the CSRs must address and include your reasoning for selecting these. Discuss the specific activities to be performed in the five phases of the training process model: Analysis Phase, Design Phase, Development Phase, Implementation Phase, and Evaluation Phase.
Use this week’s lecture as a foundation for your initial post. Incorporate into your discussion the transfer of training concepts from the Jaidev and Chirayath (2012) article with an emphasis on pre-training, during-training, and post-training activities. Utilize concepts from the Develop a Training Plan video and the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text in your discussion.
Begin Week 1 by watching the following video. As you watch the video, focus on the following questions:
For more information, please watch Adult Learning Theory (Links to an external site.).
The History of Corporate Learning
As well researched as the corporate training industry is today, it is difficult to pinpoint the true origins of this field. Since prehistoric times, there was a need for one adult to teach another how to use the tools or perform tasks necessary for survival. The initial “on-the-job training” efforts in prehistoric times were presented in a more organized fashion through apprenticeship which started being regulated as early as the Hammurabi’s code in 2100 BC. While apprenticeship was not a foreign concept early on in human history, its rules and regulations were more formalized during the Middle Ages (Sleight, 1993).
In the first informal training lessons, one cannot help but recognize some of the core concepts of the modern corporate training field such as on-the-job training and observational learning. On-the-job training is noted as the first informal phase of what will become a more formalized field. This concept was presented in a more formalized fashion during the 1800 industrial revolution, with factory schools being formed within the main factory building while still providing an isolated space where new workers gained the skills required for the job prior to joining the regular tenured workforce (Clark, 2010). This first instance of corporate classroom training was different from on-the-job training and apprenticeship. Through this method, one “could train many workers at the same time and under a single trainer, so fewer trainers were needed. Learning away from the job kept distractions from the production floor at a minimum and did not take equipment out of production for use in training” (para. 16). The so-called Vestibule method of training, which replicated the “on-the production floor” conditions in the classroom, developed further into more systematic classroom training methods during the world wars. Those were the origins of what we recognize as the modern training industry.
Corporate Learning Today
In today’s fast-paced industries, the need to hire, train, and make employees fully functional within a short timeframe is more pressing than ever. Making corporate training fully functional, efficient, and cost-effective is a delicate task facing corporate trainers regardless of the duration of the training program and the path they choose to transfer required material to their audience. What are some of the main goals of corporate training? Gorshkov and Kliucharev (2013) outlined the main goals of corporate training as, “the recruitment and adaptation of new personnel (work with institutions of higher learning), and the upgrading of qualifications of management cadres” (p.12). Considering the changes within the economy, issues with recruiting and retention, the ever-fluctuating job market, and the constant need for a well-trained workforce, corporate trainers are facing incredible challenges. The pressing challenges are forcing trainers to ensure their sessions are aligned with the company’s strategic goals, with its relevance, applicability, engagement, and outcome-driven content. Solomonson (2005) defines some of the challenges facing the field quite well by stating, when the time comes for budgets to be cut, performance improvement initiatives are often near the top of the list. It would behoove us all to be able defend their value appropriately. By assuring that these interventions are aligned to business goals, have a positive impact on some aspect of the bottom line, and are measurable during the evaluation phase, we are armed with the data that justifies our efforts (para. 17).
The name of the game appears to be justifying the value by clearly explaining how training goals are aligned with the business strategy. Furthermore, the training value justification needs to portray the likelihood of increasing the company’s bottom line through the successful fulfillment of training objectives. Not an easy task, to say the least!
Motivation is an important topic relevant to anyone whose job involves achieving results with and through other people. Essentially, motivation is the driving force within each person based on their own personal needs and value system. Many psychologists and trainers have researched this subject, and there are many different theories. These theories can guide the understanding of human nature, and help trainers appreciate the various forces at work within trainees.
Think through the implications of these theories for the delivery of training. Think about how they can be used by trainers to make courses and training events as effective as possible for the learners. Learners will not only respond to training depending on the environment but also in terms of their own highly individual internal motivations. Understanding a range of theories and how best to motivate learners will help trainers maximize the potential for learning.
To learn more, watch the following video. As you watch the video, focus on the following questions:
For more information, please watch The Puzzle of Motivation | Dan Pink (Links to an external site.).
Learners will not only respond to training depending on the environment but also in terms of their own highly individual internal motivations. Understanding a range of theories and how best to motivate learners will help trainers maximize the potential for learning.
For more information, please read The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve (Links to an external site.).
Corporate trainers explore different venues in order to adjust their training delivery to the learning styles of their audience members. Kolb’s (1971) experiential learning theory advocates individual-centered learning focus instead of a group-oriented action approach. The others pursue Bandura’s social learning theory, which takes advantage of social interaction within a corporate setting and enhancing the effectiveness of the learning process. Bandura (1971) advocates that “by observing the model of the desired behavior, an individual forms an idea of how response components must be combined and temporally sequenced to produce new behavioral configurations” (p. 8). Social interaction does not teach in itself, but it enhances the learning process. Bandura (1963) himself emphasized how “learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention perilous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their actions to inform them what to do” (p. 329).
From its humble beginnings as a reactive after-thought within many industries, corporate training became a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by impressive statistics showing that, “U.S. spending on corporate training grew by 15% last year (the highest growth rate in seven years) to over $70 billion in the US and over $130 billion worldwide” (Bersin, 2014, para.1).
Please read Bersin’s article Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now a Priority (Links to an external site.) and analyze what the current spending on corporate training represents for the future direction of this field.
Blanchard and Thacker (2013) pose a crucial question of “Why do companies continue to invest in training, even in the most difficult economic times?” (p. 3). The significant body of research within the field clearly indicates that there is a strong correlation between successful training operations and “improved financial results in terms of higher net sales, gross profits per employee, stock growth, and ratio of market-to-book value” (p. 3). In order for this momentum to continue, trainers need to ensure they are consistently evaluating their training programs ensuring their material and objectives are well-aligned with the company’s strategic goals providing the trainees’ with job-related skills which will increase their performance efficiency and make them more independent and self-driven.
Training Process Model Overview
The training process model (TPM) provides the framework for the following weeks of this course. The model is featured in Chapter 1, “Training in Organizations” of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text, Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices, the primary textbook for this class. Subsequent weeks follow the fives phases of the training process model: needs analysis (Week 2), design (Week 3), development (Week 4), implementation (Week 5), and evaluation (Week 6).
Needs Analysis Phase
The needs analysis (organization, operations, and person) phase of the training process model (TPM) involves defining and understanding a specific problem and determining the cause of that problem. The process phase of the training needs analysis (TNA) identifies problems the organization faces and determines which of these is caused by a lack of KSAs (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) and which are due to other causes. The training process model focuses only on problems caused by the lack of KSAs (training needs).
The design phase of the training process model identifies and examines the alternative methods for meeting the training needs. The first step in this process is determining the objectives for the training (reaction, learning, transfer, and organizational outcomes). The second step is identifying the factors that will be necessary to facilitate achieving the objectives and the constraints that the training solution must operate within. In other words, identify potential solutions to the problem.
The development phase of the training process model is where the instructional strategy is formulated. Methods for meeting the training objectives are evaluated and those providing the best likelihood of achieving the objectives within the constraints are included in the strategy. Likewise, the design factors are examined, and ways of providing those factors necessary to meet the objectives (facilities, equipment, and such) within the constraints are identified and incorporated into the plan. In short, select the solution providing the most benefits for the least costs, and develop an action plan.
The implementation phase in the training process model is carrying out the plan.
The evaluation phase means that each phase in the training process model is evaluated in terms of how well their outcomes met the needs of the organization.
Please watch the following video:
Forbes School of Business Faculty
Bandura, A. (1971). Social learning theory (Links to an external site.). General learning corporation. Retrieved from http://www.jku.at/org/content/e54521/e54528/e54529…
Bandura A., & Walters R.H. (1963). Social learning and personality development. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston
Bersin, J. (2014, February 4). Spending on corporate training soars: Employee capabilities now a priority (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2014/02/04/…
Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2013). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Clark, D. R. (2010). Vestibule training (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/history/vestib…
Developing a training plan (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. (1998). Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=…
Foster, A. [Adam Foster]. (2014, April 18). Adult learning theory (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from
Gorshkov, M. K., & Kliucharev, G.A. (2013). The current state and prospects of corporate education. Russian Social Science Review, 54(5), 57-80. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/mrss20
Llopis, G. (2012, June 4). The top 9 things that ultimately motivate employees to achieve (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/06/04…
Sleight, D. A. (1993, December). A developmental history of training in the United States and Europe (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from https://www.msu.edu/~sleightd/trainhst.html
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