Within training programs are for their success

Within
this paper I will evaluate the training program that was used by Fabrics, Inc. in all of its phases of the training
process model.  This will cover from the needs analysis to
the evaluations phase, and I will, also discuss how the company performed in
every phase.  The training process model is delicate and
for the training to be effective it is imperative all phases of it be evaluated
so that we know what knowledge, skills, abilities, processes, and practices
need an area of focus. Training
programs have a goal of providing the trainees attending the necessary skills,
knowledge, and attitudes that are needed from them to perform at the requested level. 
A training program that is effective is crucial for any organization
because it is clear that the cost is worth the benefit as organizations become
much more competitive.    In order for big or small organizations to
succeed it is clear that by using all phases of the Training process model in
their training program success is more than a possibility.

Background of Fabrics, Inc.

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Fabrics,
Inc. is a small company that
is experiencing a large amount of growth.  As I mentioned above big and small companies
know the value of how important training programs are for their success as a
company.
To put things into perspective the owner of the company was also supervising
about 40 of its employees.
The company has grown significantly to about 200 people now. 
The company blew up in in regard to growth which gave great opportunity
to some who were promoted to supervisors.  While none of this seems bad why was training
needs analysis necessary?  The owner
started to get complaints about how the supervisors were talking to employees
and how they were providing less than ideal customer service. 
That being said the owner called in for professionals to develop a
training program that will help his nine supervisors in regard to the needed
knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA’s) for them to complete their job at the
desired level of performance.  The owner like almost all of us was hoping
for a quick fix and the consultant knew training was needed but the first step
in all of this was to determine what the exact issues are by utilizing training
needs analysis.

Needs Analysis

For
Fabrics, Inc.
the training needs were not exactly black and white which is a reason the
consultant recommended that a needs analysis be done. This analysis will look at both
“training and non-training needs are identified with this process, so it is
incorrect to say it only focuses on training needs.” (Thacker, Blanchard, 2013)  That being said needs analysis is a great
tool for situations where the issue might lay with non-training issues. For Fabrics, Inc. 
The consultant simply started their needs analysis by talking with the
owner of Fabrics, Inc.  Doing this allowed the consultant to ask
questions and kind of get a feel for the company’s direction/goals. 
The consultant also discussed the processes of the company in regard to
the HR process that is used to promote/transfer people. 
As you can imagine the questions about designing jobs, incentives, and
reward systems came up as well as a discussion about the daily practices his
employees make.  The analysis that was done Fabrics, Inc. was very useful and revealed that
the organization did not have a mission or really goals/objectives set. 
The needs analysis also came to the conclusion after more questions on
the processes that the organization has a few internal factors that need to
first addressed and then fixed before a training program can be designed. 
In order to have the company to make progress on improving they need to
create some type of plan or idea for solving their issues currently at hand.  
If an organization does not have any objectives/goals and clear cut and
dry policies then it is usually difficult for the company to create a training
program that is effective.  Additionally I found the part where the
consultant was asking the nine supervisors questions to be extra interesting
because I honestly expected much more out of their answers. 
Questions like “how are problems solved, how are decisions made and who
makes the final decisions” were asked.  Basically the consultant came to the
conclusion that structure in the workplace pretty much is not in place at all.

Training
Design

Effective HR processes
are crucial to how the organization functions.  In fact many of the small business have
similar practices to large organizations and that “effective HR practices have
been shown to have a positive effect on quality and productivity” (Thacker,
Blanchard, 2013)  Once the consultant
completed the needs analysis there were quite a few areas that could have used
some training.  One of those areas was effective feedback. 
Effective feedback is an essential building block to have the company
promote from within and with that being said effective feedback starts with
adequate planning.  Adequate planning is critical because if you do
not plan for the feedback then you miss the opportunity to give the trainee
feedback on what behavior needs to be reinforced or issues to focus on. 
Feedback that is provided to the trainees needs to be useful genuine
information that is meant to further the employee’s future at the organization. Some learning objectives for
effective feedback are for supervisors to conduct almost an assessment on
themselves to see where their feedback skills are at. 
Supervisors should also learn new techniques and abilities for when
giving feedback during performance reviews to employees.  
Supervisors need to also learn different ways of delivering feedback
because the delivery of feedback will not always be positive. Learning objectives are key to a
trainer because they are the process part of the model and sets the “type of
behavior that will demonstrate the learning, the conditions under which the
behavior must occur, and the criteria that will signify that a sufficient level
of learning has occurred.”
(Thacker, Blanchard, 2013)  That being
said at the end of the training program managers should know that feedback
should be focused for positive outcomes and goal oriented.

            The design aspect seemed pretty good because it
identified objectives of the training program and also included why training
was need, who would get the training and obviously the training objectives. 
Looking at the design component I did not see much as far as addressing
when or really where the training is going to happen. 
It also did not go into detail about the length of the training that would
be provided or how it was being paid for.
This is a big piece that was missed because a trainer should be prepared in all
aspects to best assist the trainees.  Additionally motivation was addressed. 
Motivation is a huge part in learning because if you are unmotivated it
is unlikely that you will learn much of anything.  When I was in the Marine Corps motivation was
almost a core value in that place.
It was demanded from you to have motivation if you wanted to succeed in that
organization.  This info is a must have for the trainer
because it assists him/her in creating material that will provide the trainees
with necessary knowledge, skills,  and abilities
they need to perform their job at the desired level of performance that is
being request from them.

Development/Implementation

            The main goal for the development stage is to create the
instructional approach.  To do this you need to have a focus on
completing the training objectives that were created back in the design phase. 
It is clear that all phases are connected to each other and should be
measured in the same way as evaluation is.  This will be discussed in more detail later. 
Every single item that will be needed to complete training should be
identified in this phase.  The consultant already mentioned an
instructor’s manual or something like a technical publication. 
Something else that you see almost everywhere on your fist day is a
trainee’s manual.  A trainee manual is a great tool for training
and it can give trainees a broad idea of what to expect for training. 
This is ideal because it can reduce anxiety. 
Reducing anxiety is crucial for the trainee to promote the positive transfer
of knowledge from training instruction.   The training manual can also act almost as a
table of contents to the trainee so they know what is coming. 
It is a great tool every organization should use because a lot of them
will include self-assessments throughout the course of training. 
My current employer had self-assessments at the beginning, middle and
end of each block of training.

Evaluation

            Evaluation will always be a critical part to any
organization because “it can be used to specify a number of key features for
the implementation (input) and evaluation (outcomes) of training programs.” 
(Arthur, Bennett, Edens, Bell, 2003)  Fabrics, Inc had two types of training which
was process and outcome.  Process evaluation
looks at things such as the trainer, time during training, and what was
actually discussed in every section. (Blanchard, Thacker,
2013)  As far as outcome is concerned
they used a reaction questionnaire for the trainees as well as for the trainer.  A lot of the times the trainees will have a
test as way to measure knowledge and what was actually retained from the
training provided.  My current employer
has weekly quizzes to evaluate our training on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
guideline changes.  For Fabrics, Inc the
training pretty much focused on the supervisors and to provide them the
necessary KSAs to effectively communicate with their employees and to provide
better customer service.  When your training is
mostly focused on knowledge delivery the most common way is to provide a test.  Similar to what my employer does a test is a
great way to measure what the trainees actually absorbed.  This gives you a better idea on how they
utilize the new information.  Once evaluation is
completed the results should be carefully reviewed and measured to determine
the success of the training provided to the trainees.  Usually the results will show what learning
was retained and how it benefits the organization as whole in regard to aspects
like customer service, production or loan quality.  It is also crucial to consider that do these
results benefit the organization when compared to how much they cost. The
cost/benefit is an important area that should be closely looked at.

Conclusion

Training
needs analysis is not just for big companies.  Training needs analysis is crucial for all companies,
especially small companies experiencing a rapid growth.   It is essential for them to create training
programs that allow them to be competitive and promotes growth.  In our example for Fabrics, Inc. the
owner realized rather quickly the growth they experienced triggered for a
training needs analysis of the company.  Training programs provide the employees of a
company the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to them for them to
complete their job at the desired level of performance.  How effective the training program is depends
on many factors such as the trainer, resources, and their ability to follow the
Training model.  It is imperative that
the trainers follow each step of the training process model to highlight the
effectiveness of the process.  If training is not
done correctly and a phase or two is left out then the organization is just
waiting time, money, and resources.