Week 3 Task 4


Reply to the following post in 100 words or

Training Programs Review

posted by

Greg Brainard, MBA, MM/HRM


As we’ve discussed, training is a vital component in all organizations. As also mentioned, training is not always very easy with so many different elements to take into consideration such as personality, experience, and many others. What are the proper ways to train new employees? Do you think that this is a generalized process for all organizations or do you think it really depends on the type of organization that you are working for? Some people say that training is a general practice and can be done the same as long as it is applied differently depending on the person or environment; however, others say that training programs are far from being general. I have found a simple 5-step training program used to train new employees that I thought you would like. Please take a look at this and tell me what you think and if this can be applied to all types of organizations? Why or why not?


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Training in Organizations
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
• Describe the components of a general open systems model.
• Describe how an open systems model applies to the training unit of an
• List and describe the interrelationships among the five phases of the training
process model.
• Explain how the training model can be applied to organizational improvement
and problem solving.
• Describe the challenges/opportunities facing training.
• Define key terms used in the training literature.
• Describe the benefits of integrating organizational development and training
• Describe the differences in how small and larger businesses might implement
the training process model.
Case Taking Charge at Domtar: What It Takes for a
Domtar is the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America.
In the decade prior to 1996, Domtar had one of the worst financial records in the
pulp and paper industry. At that time it was a bureaucratic and hierarchical
organization with no clear goals. Half of its business was in “trouble areas.”
Moreover, the company did not have the critical mass to compete with the larger
names in the field. The balance sheet was in bad shape, and the company did not
have investment-grade status on its long-term debt.
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In July of 1996, Raymond Royer was named president and chief executive officer
(CEO). This was quite a surprise because, although Royer had been successful at
Bombardier, he had no knowledge of the pulp and paper industry. Many believed
that to be successful at Domtar, you needed to know the industry.
Royer knew that to be effective in any competitive industry, an organization needed
to have a strategic direction and specific goals. He decided to focus on two goals:
return on investment and customer service. Royer told Domtar executives that to
survive, they needed to participate in the consolidation of the industry and increase
its critical mass. The goal was to become a preferred supplier. The competitive
strategy had to focus on being innovative in product design, high in product quality,
and unique in customer service. At the same time, however, it had to do everything
to keep costs down.
When Royer took over at Domtar, he explained to the executive team that there
were three pillars to the company: customers, shareholders, and ourselves. He
noted that it is only “ourselves” who are able to have any impact on changing the
company. He backed up his words with action by hiring the Kaizen guru from
Bombardier. Kaizen, a process of getting employees involved by using their
expertise in the development of new and more effective ways of doing things, had
been very effective at Bombardier. Royer saw no reason why it would not be
successful at Domtar. Royer also knew that for the new strategic direction and focus
to be successful, everyone needed to both understand the changes being proposed
and have the skills to achieve them. The success of any change process requires
extensive training; therefore, training became a key part of Royer’s strategy for
This last point reflects the belief that it is the employees’ competencies that make
the difference. The Domtar Difference, as it is called, is reflected in the statement,
“tapping the intelligence of the experts, our employees.” Employees must be
motivated to become involved in developing new ways of doing things. Thus,
Domtar needed to provide employees with incentives for change, new skills, and a
different attitude toward work. The introduction of Kaizen was one tactic used to
achieve these goals.
Training at Domtar went beyond the traditional job training necessary to do the job
effectively and included training in customer service and Kaizen. This is reflected in
Domtar’s mission, which is to
• meet the ever-changing needs of our customers,
• provide shareholders with attractive returns, and
• create an environment in which shared human values and personal commitment
In this regard, a performance management system was put in place to provide a
mechanism for employees to receive feedback about their effectiveness. This
process laid the groundwork for successfully attaining such objectives as improving
employee performance, communicating the Domtar values, clarifying individual
roles, and fostering better communication between employees and managers. Tied
to this were performance incentives that rewarded employees with opportunities to
share in the profits of the company.
Has Royer been successful with his approach? First-quarter net earnings in 1998
were $17 million, compared with a net loss of $12 million for the same time period in
1997, his first year in office. In 2002, third-quarter earnings were $59 million and
totaled $141 million for the year. That is not all. Recall his goal of return on equity
for shareholders. Domtar has once again been included on the Dow Jones
sustainability index. Domtar has been on this list since its inception in 1999 and is
the only pulp and paper company in North America to be part of this index. To be on
the list, a company must demonstrate an approach that “aims to create long-term
shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks that arise from
economic, environmental, and social developments.” On the basis of this, it could
be said that Royer has been successful. In 2003, Paperloop, the pulp and paper
industry’s international research and information service, named Royer Global CEO
of the year.
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It was Royer’s sound management policies and shrewd joint ventures and
acquisitions that helped Domtar become more competitive and return their longterm debt rating to investment grade. However, joint ventures and acquisitions bring
additional challenges of integrating the new companies into the “Domtar way.”
Again, this requires training.
For example, when Domtar purchased the Ashdown Mill in Arkansas, the
management team met with employees to set the climate for change. The plan was
that within 14 months, all mill employees would complete a two-day training
program designed to help them understand the Domtar culture and how to service
customers. A manager always started the one-day customer focus training, thus
emphasizing the importance of the training. This manager returned again at lunch to
answer any questions as the training proceeded. In addition, for supervisor training,
each supervisor received skill training on how to effectively address employee
issues. How successful has all this training been? Employee Randy Gerber says
the training “allows us to realize that to be successful, we must share human values
and integrate them into our daily activities.” The training shows that “the company is
committed to the program.” Tammy Waters, a communications coordinator, said
that the training impacted the mill in many ways and for Ashdown employees it has
become a way of life.
The same process takes place in Domtar’s joint ventures. In northern Ontario,
Domtar owns a 45 percent interest in a mill, with the Cree of James Bay owning the
remaining 55 percent. Although Domtar has minority interest in the joint venture,
training is an important part of its involvement. Skills training still takes place on site,
but all management and teamwork training is done at Domtar’s headquarters in
Royer’s ability to get employees to buy into this new way of doing business was
necessary for the organization to succeed. Paperloop’s editorial director for news
products, Will Mies, in describing why Royer was chosen for the award, indicated
that they polled a large number of respected security analysts, investment officers,
and portfolio managers as well as their own staff of editors, analysts, and
economists to determine a worthy winner this year. Raymond Royer emerged a
clear favorite, with voters citing, in particular, his talent for turnaround, outstanding
financial management, and consistently excellent merger, acquisition, and
consolidation moves as well as his ability to integrate acquired businesses through
a management system that engages employees. Of course, that last part, “a
management system that engages employees,” could be said to be the key without
which most of the rest would not work very well. That requires training.
* Swift, A. “Royer’s Domtar turnaround.” Financial Post (October 6 2003), FP3. Allen, B. 2003.
The Domtar difference. www.pimaweb.org/conferences/june2003/BuddyAllen.pdf. Anonymous
(January 2001) Partnership between Domtar and Cree First Nations brings results.
www.diversityupdate.com. Richard Descarries, Manager, Corporate Communications and
External Relations, Domtar, personal communication (2004).
Overview of Training
Everyone in an organization is affected by training. Everyone receives training at
one time or another, usually multiple times. Managers and supervisors need to be
sure that their direct reports have the competencies required to perform their jobs.
Subject matter experts (managers and others) are asked to provide training.
Significant budget dollars are allocated to training employees. Although the US
economy has suffered significant losses over the last several years, companies still
dedicate substantial resources to employee learning. In 2010, it is estimated that
over $171.5 billion was invested in training activities. Most ($103 billion) was
devoted to internal training services, with the rest allocated to external providers.
The average expenditure per employee increased from $1,081 in 2009 to 1,228 in
Why do companies continue to invest in training, even in the most difficult economic
times? Evidence shows that companies investing more in training produce improved
financial results in terms of higher net sales, gross profits per employee, stock
growth, and ratio of market to book value.2 For example, in a Mutual of Omaha
study, it was determined that those with higher levels of training generated, on
average, an additional $150,000 of new business premium each year. However,
training doesn’t always lead to an improved bottom line. Many companies report
that they perceive little value from their training initiatives.3 Obviously, companies
that report
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very positive improvements are using more effective training practices than those
that do not. Effective training differs from ineffective training in terms of the
processes used to determine what employees need to learn and how training is
designed and implemented. The first three chapters of this book provide you with an
understanding of the context and theoretical foundation on which effective training
is based. Chapters 4
through 8
provide you with an in-depth understanding of
how to determine training needs and how to design, develop, and implement
training to meet those needs. Even companies that have reported unsatisfactory
results from their training efforts are doing at least one thing right—they are
evaluating their training and can take corrective action. Companies that don’t
evaluate their training don’t have a clue about its effectiveness. We believe that it is
useful, first, to give an overview of what an effective training unit should accomplish
in an organization. This chapter and the next cover a broad set of organizational
issues that provide the context for developing and implementing effective training.
As we discuss this context, we will be referring back to the Domtar case from time
to time, to illustrate in concrete ways how training relates to organizational
Training System and Processes
Training provides employees with the knowledge and skills to perform more
effectively. This allows them to meet current job requirements or prepares them to
meet the inevitable changes that occur in their jobs. However, training is only an
opportunity for learning. What is learned depends on many factors, such as the
design and implementation of training, the motivation and learning style of the
trainees, and the organization’s learning climate.
Training is also part of an integrated system in which performance is measured
against criteria (best practices benchmarks) that are tied to strategic objectives.
Training is used extensively to help employees understand how they can assist in
meeting corporate objectives. Clearly, Domtar knows that. Recall, when Domtar
purchased the Ashdown Mill, training was an immediate focus. Within 14 months, all
mill employees completed a two-day training program so they would understand
Domtar’s culture and know how to service customers in the appropriate manner.
Always having a manager kick off the training and later return to answer questions
shows the importance Domtar attached to training. But effective training requires
more than just having key managers available. It requires that effective systems are
in place to address the performance issues facing the organization. With that in
mind, we turn to the design of an effective training system.
Training as an Open System
Figure 1-1
shows a general open systems model
.4 Open systems have a
dynamic relationship with their environment; closed systems do not. Obviously, a
business must interact with its environment, making it an open system.
As Figure 1-1
indicates, an open system depends on the environment for the
input that supports the system. A business, for example, needs raw materials,
capital, and employees in order to operate. The environmental inputs are
transformed into outputs by the system’s processes. For a business, these would
include its products and services. The system’s outputs flow into the environment
and might or might not influence future inputs into the system. In effective systems,
the system output influences the environment to supply new supportive input to the
A system, such as a business, must be responsive to the needs and demands of its
environment because the environment provides the input needed for the system to
replenish itself. For
Figure 1-1 General Open Systems Model
Figure 1-2 Training as an Open System
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example, if a business is responsive to the needs of society by providing valued
goods and services (output), it receives financial and goodwill credits (input). The
business uses these inputs to continue operating. If the business does not provide
sufficient value to its environment, it will fail because the environment will not
provide the necessary input for the system to replenish itself.
Many open systems exist as part of another open system and, therefore, are called
subsystems of that larger system. For example, a product assembly system is a
subsystem of a manufacturing system, which itself is a subsystem of the company,
which is a subsystem of the industry, and so on. Training can be seen as a
subsystem within the larger human resources (HR) unit, which itself is a subsystem
of the company. Figure 1-2
illustrates some of the exchanges that take place
between the training system and the larger organizational system. The
organization’s mission, strategies, resources, and the like, all represent sources of
input into the training subsystem. Of course, if the training department is part of a
larger HR function, then these inputs would be filtered through that system.
Organizational and employee needs, training budgets, staff, equipment, and so
forth, are all inputs from the organization to the training subsystem. Training
processes transform these inputs into usable output for the organization (improved
knowledge, skills, and attitudes; job performance; and so on). Looking at the
training unit from an open system perspective shows how interconnected training
activities are with what is happening elsewhere in the organization. The point here
is that the organization invests money in the training function, for which it expects a
favorable return. Periodically, the organization will examine the returns from training
and determine whether the training system is working properly and what further
investment is appropriate. Training in Action 1-1
demonstrates the
consequences of a poor match between the training system and the organizational
The Training Process Model
This book will take you through the complete training process as it would be
conducted under ideal conditions. Unfortunately, most organizations do not operate
in ideal conditions. Insufficient financial resources, time, and training professionals
represent just a few of the challenges faced by most companies. Recognizing these
limitations, we also provide variations to training practices and systems that,
although not ideal, do a reasonable job of accomplishing training objectives
Of course, these shortcuts exact a price, and we identify the major consequences
associated with these shortcuts. Thus, we try to provide both “ideal” and more
practical approaches to implementing the training processes. Nonetheless, even in
less-than-ideal conditions, all of the training processes are critical to the success of
training. Although less-than-ideal methods may be used to carry out the training
processes, elimination of one or more of the processes places the entire effort at
grave risk.
Effective training is not just running a lot of people through a lot of training
programs. To view training this way is shortsighted. Instead, training should be
viewed as a set of integrated
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Training in Action
Team Building Sizzles, then Fizzles
The director of a city utilities department felt that creating employee
problem-solving teams would improve the quality of operations and the
efficiency of the department. All employees were provided the opportunity to
participate in team-building and problem-solving training. About 60 percent
of the employees, including the director and his management group, signed
up for the training. Three-hour training sessions took place once a week for
ten weeks. Working on a common process within their department,
employees were grouped into teams for three weeks of team-building
training and seven weeks of problem-solving training.
At the beginning of the problem-solving training, each team identified a
problem in its area of operation. Each team then worked through the
problem as they progressed though each step of the training. The team
members were delighted to be learning new skills while working on a real
problem. By the end of training, each group actually solved, or made
significant progress toward solving, the problem it was working on.
Evaluations taken at the conclusion of training indicated that trainees
enjoyed the training and understood the steps, tools, and techniques of
team building and problem solving. The director was pleased with the
results and submitted a report documenting the successes of the training to
the city manager.
Follow-up evaluation conducted six months later showed only one team still
in operation. The other teams fell apart for various reasons, such as
excessive workloads, little recognition being given when problems were
solved, nontrained employees resisting making changes in work processes,
or teams being ridiculed by those who had not participated in training.
Clearly, the training did not achieve the desired outcomes. If the director
had understood the system and what was and was not rewarding, a more
successful outcome could have been achieved. By using the analysis phase
of the Training Process Model, the relevant aspects of the system would
have been identified and adjustments to either the system or the training
could have been made.
processes in which organizational needs and employee capabilities are analyzed
and responded to in a rational, logical, and strategic manner. When training is
conducted this way, both the employees’ and organization’s performance will
improve. This will increase the value of the training unit, and, as a result further
investment in training is likely to occur. Our model of training processes, depicted in
Figure 1-3
, reflects this approach.
Figure 1-3
is merely an overview of the process. A more detailed figure for each
phase is provided at the beginning of each relevant chapter, with the input and
output of each process described in considerably more detail. Our model is an
adaptation of what has become widely known as the ADDIE
model. ADDIE is an
acronym for the major processes of training: Analysis, Design, Development,
Implementation and Evaluation. Many, including your authors have attempted to
find the original source for this model, but apparently there is no single source. It
seems to have evolved over time to become an umbrella term without a fully
articulated underlying structure.5 Like others, we have used ADDIE as the generic
basis for our own model of how training should proceed. In the following
paragraphs, we will briefly describe each of the ADDIE phases and their relevant
inputs and outputs. This model is used extensively throughout the book , so it is
important to be familiar with it.
The training process begins with some type of triggering event. A
triggering event
occurs when a person with authority to take action believes
that actual organizational performance (AOP)
expected organizational performance (EOP)
is less than the
. For example, the quality
standard (the EOP) at Company X is three rejects per thousand. An examination of
the data for the previous month indicates that the actual quality level (AOP) was 17
rejects per thousand. If a person with authority to take action sees this gap as a
concern, it would trigger an analysis of why the number of rejects is so high. This
analysis is discussed next.
Analysis Phase
The analysis phase
begins with the identification of the
organizational performance gap
(AOP is less than EOP). Things such as
profitability shortfalls, low levels of customer satisfaction, or excessive scrap are all
examples of a current performance gap. Another type of performance gap is future
oriented. Here, the company is seen as likely to perform poorly in the
Figure 1-3 Training Processes Model
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future unless changes are made. For example, if an organization wanted to install
robotic equipment in six months but employees were not able to program the
robots, then there is an expected performance gap in the future. Once a
performance gap exists, the cause must then be determined.*
* There are often multiple causes of a performance gap, but we are using a single cause here
for simplicity.
Once the cause is determined, and its elimination is believed to be important, the
elimination of the cause becomes a “need” of the organization
The analysis phase is often referred to as a training needs analysis (TNA)
However, both training and nontraining needs are identified with this process, so it
is incorrect to say it only focuses on training needs. The cause of the performance
gap might be inadequate knowledge, skills, or attitudes (KSAs) of employees. If so,
then training is a possible solution. However, KSA deficiencies are only one of many
reasons for performance gaps. Other reasons, such as motivation or faulty
equipment, must be separated from KSA deficiencies, as these are nontraining
needs and require a different solution. In the analysis phase, the causes of a
performance gap are identified, whether due to KSAs or something else. Those
performance gaps caused by KSA deficiencies are identified as “training needs”
because training is a solution. All other causes are defined as nontraining needs,
and require other types of solutions.
The analysis phase also attaches priorities to the training needs that are identified.
Not all needs will have the same level of importance for the company. This process
of data gathering and causal analysis to determine which performance problems
should be addressed by training is the analysis phase of the training process. It will
be discussed in great detail in Chapter 4
Design Phase
The training needs identified in the analysis phase, as well as areas of constraint
and support, are the inputs to the design phase
. An important process in the
design phase is the creation of training objectives. These provide direction for what
will be trained and how. They specify the employee and organizational outcomes
that should be achieved as a result of training and become inputs to the
development and evaluation phases of the model. As such they become the
evaluation objectives.
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Another part of the design process is determining how the organizational constraints
will be addressed by the training. Finally, identifying the factors needed in the
training program to facilitate learning and its transfer back to the job are key
outcomes from the design phase. All of these factors are used to create the
guidelines for how the training will be developed. The design phase is the topic of
Chapter 5
. Chapters 6
and 7
provide detailed descriptions of the various
methods that can be used to deliver the content of the training.
Development Phase
is the process of using the guidelines from the design phase to
formulate an instructional strategy that will meet the training objectives. Obtaining or
creating all the things that are needed to implement the training program is also a
part of this phase. The instructional strategy
describes the order, timing, and
combination of methods and elements to be used in the training program to meet
the objectives. The training objectives provide the focus for program development
and the guidelines from the design phase set the parameters for what will and will
not work. Outputs from this phase are all of the things needed to implement the
training program. These include the specific content for of the training, instructional
methods used to deliver the content, materials to be used, equipment and media,
manuals, and so forth. These are integrated into a coherent, well-organized training
plan focused on achieving the training objectives. These outputs of the
development phase serve as inputs to the implementation phase. Both the
development phase and the implementation phase are the focus of Chapter 8
Implementation Phase
All the previous phases of the training process come together during the
implementation phase
. It is useful to conduct a dry run or even a pilot of the
program before actually delivering the training. This dry run, or pilot program, allows
for the testing of the training to determine if any modifications are necessary before
it is ready to go live. Chapter 8
delivery of the training.
addresses the key aspects of the dry run and
Evaluation Phase
Although we discuss this phase of the model last, it actually begins during the
development phase. Recall that evaluation objectives are an output of the design
phase. In the design phase the training objectives were identified, and these were
used in the development phase to create the instruments and measures that will be
used to evaluate the training. These become inputs to the evaluation phase
More input comes from the organizational constraints. Time, money, and staff all
affect how training is evaluated. Two types of evaluation are useful. First,
process evaluation
determines how well a particular training process achieved
its objectives (i.e., outputs). In other words, did the trainer follow the exact training
process suggested? For example, if role-plays were in the design, were they used
properly? Collecting and analyzing process data can provide early warning of
potential problems in the training program.
Outcome evaluation
is the evaluation conducted at the end of training to
determine the effects of training on the trainee, the job, and the organization. This
type of evaluation uses the training objectives as the standard. Outcome evaluation
can also be used to improve training processes. Outcome evaluation data by
themselves do not provide enough information for program improvement, but in
combination with process evaluation data, they serve as a powerful tool for
improving programs. For example, if one or more objectives are not achieved, the
training process evaluation data can then be used to identify problems in the
process and corrective action can be taken. Chapter 9
discussion of the evaluation process.
provides a detailed
Trends in Training
The business environment in North America will continue to change rapidly. These
changes bring both challenges and opportunities. Successful companies in most
industries must constantly realign their activities to meet new conditions while
remaining true to their mission and strategic direction. As companies adapt, their
training function also needs to adapt. Multiple surveys over the last several years
have asked HR executives and human resource development
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(HRD) managers to identify their organization’s needs for the next several years.
These are the major trends in training.6
• Aligning training with business strategy
• Advances in Technology
• Managing talent due to changing demographics
• Improving the training function
• Quality
• Legal issues
Each of these issues is discussed in subsequent paragraphs in terms of the
opportunities and challenges it presents to the training function. The ways in which
companies are addressing these issues are covered in more depth in
Chapter 10
, Key Areas of Organizational Training.
Aligning Training with Business Strategy
For the past five years, virtually all the surveys show that aligning training with
business strategy is a top priority not only of training managers, but also of HR
managers and other business executives. Why is it such a high priority? First, it is
only in the last decade that reliable evidence of training’s impact on the bottom line
has surfaced. Second, and just as important, the business environment over the last
decade has been changing rapidly, and all signs indicate that this will continue.
Most companies will need to continuously realign their activities to meet new
conditions. This requires people at all levels in the organization to be able to make
day-to-day decisions that support the business strategy. Training initiatives will need
to support the strategic direction of the company and the people who carry it out.
Organizations now realize that effective training is a tool for getting better job
performance, better bottom-line results, and creating organization-wide adaptability.
What actions did Domtar take to align its training with its business strategy? One
component was the institution of Kaizen methods and the associated training. This
aligns with the strategic goal of “tapping the intelligence of the experts, our
employees.” Was the money Domtar spent on this training worth it? It would seem
so. Using the Kaizen approach, employees developed a new way of cutting trees
into planks. The result was fewer wood chips to transport and more logs produced
per tree. Since 1997, it is estimated that Kaizen has saved Domtar about $230
million in production costs. Two of their mills are among the lowest-cost mills in
North America. Clearly, the training at Domtar was aligned with its strategic goals.
Companies are now realizing that worker knowledge is a competitive advantage
and that training is a strategic tool. As Angela Hornsby, V.P. of learning and
development at Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, says: “Things are changing so
much more quickly these days, and companies have to adapt so much faster than
before to remain competitive. The fact is that one of the most powerful tools we
have at our disposal to change performance and help people to adapt more readily
to that change is learning.”7 Even though aligning training with business strategy is
an important goal, it isn’t as easy to do. We will discuss this in more depth in
Chapter 2
, providing suggestions for how to meet this challenge and take
advantage of the opportunities it affords.
Advances in Technology
The second biggest issue for training executives to deal with is the rapid advances
being made in learning technologies. In addition to advances in Learning
Management Systems, Intelligent Tutoring, interactive multimedia, and other tools
that have been around for a decade or more, new possibilities for designing and
delivering training programs are expanding exponentially. We will discuss these in
depth in Chapter 7
, so here we only identify some of the opportunities/problems
these create for training executives and designers. The advent of Web 2
technologies can be applied to the design and delivery of training in a way that
enhances trainees’ involvement and learning. Tools such as blogs, Twitter,
Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin offer ways to enhance or in some
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cases replace the traditional training that occurs in a classroom and even some
earlier types of electronic-based training. Following are some of the ways these
Web 2 applications can be used:
• Social networking can provide support for on-the-job training.
• Social networking and Web 2.0 tools can engage trainees before and after they
attend a session and can be used to reinforce learning back on the job.
• An online community can be created for trainees for reference, sharing
information, and posting best practices. This allows trainees to continue learning
beyond the classroom.
• Blogs can be used to post examples and applications that keep participants
engaged in the topic area.
Additionally, advances in mobile-device technology allow trainees to take all of
these Web 2.0 tools, applications and more with them wherever they go.
Training executives must develop strategies for utilizing the available technology in
ways that meet their business’ needs. Too often in the past, training executives
have jumped on the latest technology bandwagon, only to find it wasn’t going where
they wanted to go. The lessons learned from those early adopters provide a clear
message of caution. However, the potential benefits of these technologies mean
that a careful analysis needs to be made. The problem is the technologies keep
morphing at such a rapid pace, it becomes very difficult to keep up.
Managing Talent Due to Changing
Major demographic shifts have occurred in North America that affect businesses
now and will for the next 15 years. Principal among these demographic shifts are as
• Increased gender, ethnic, and age diversity in the North American workforce
• Aging of the population (baby boomers)
Hispanics will soon become the largest minority group in the U.S. workforce. While
all other minority groups are increasing in size, the percentage of Caucasians is
expected to decrease. The number of women will increase to about 50 percent of
the workforce.8 Increased diversity brings both the opportunity for new ways of
approaching business issues and the challenge of finding ways to integrate these
differing perspectives. We will discuss the legal side of diversity in the “Legal
Issues” section. Along with more diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and so forth,
the workforce is becoming more diverse with respect to age. Four distinct
generations are currently in the workforce. Each generation has a different set of
values relating to the role of work in their life. The average age of the population is
increasing with about 14 percent of the labor market aged 55 or older. By 2015,
over 20 percent are expected to be in this range. As these people retire from their
jobs, many will return to the workforce on a part-time basis because of the demand
for knowledgeable workers and the insecurity of retirement income. However, these
people will not be looking for traditional full-time jobs. Rather, they will be looking for
jobs that allow them to enjoy significant periods of time away from job
responsibilities. Younger workers want a more balanced work and nonwork life and
are more conversant with technologies that allow them to work from anywhere. We
are seeing more training focused on building bridges between the older managers
and the younger subordinates and programs for team skills that focus on
cooperation and problem solving. In general, there are increasing demands for
these programs to be aligned with business goals rather than focusing on diversity
for its own sake.
Developing the Right Talent
Some have suggested that most companies, now or in the near future, will face a
severe shortage of all types of labor. The worldwide economic recession that began
in 2008 has certainly eliminated that concern, at least in the near term.
Nonetheless, it is now and will continue to be important for most businesses to
secure workers with the right skill sets.9 Baby boomers with the highest knowledge
and skill levels will be the ones most
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likely to leave the workforce, as they will have higher levels of retirement income.
Because of changes in technology, job design, and the like, it is estimated that more
than 75 percent of the workforce needs retraining just to keep up with the changes
in their current jobs. It is projected that the forces identified earlier will combine by
2020 to create a shortage of 20 million workers, especially in jobs that require the
most skill and provide the highest economic value.10 A survey of senior executives in
manufacturing firms indicates that replacing retiring skilled workers will cost their
companies up to $20 million a year and will continue for at least five years.11,12
Where will the needed talent come from in the next few years? The traditional
source of talent coming out of the colleges and technical schools will be fought over
fiercely, because there won’t be enough to go around. To make up the shortage,
many companies will create their own talent. For example, in 2005, Hewlett-Packard
addressed this issue by increasing their training budget by 16 percent, bringing the
total to $300 million. Raytheon Vision Systems realized that over 35 percent of their
workforce would be eligible to retire by 2009. This not only would create a huge loss
of people, but also would represent a critical loss of institutional knowledge. Many of
those set to retire were the inventors of the knowledge. Raytheon set up a “Leave a
Legacy” program, pairing vital-knowledge experts with high-potential subordinates
in mentoring relationships. In addition to the shortage of new talent, existing
employees will need training to keep up with the changes brought on by new
technologies. Thus, in many organizations, you will find the training function
focusing on the following types of initiatives:
• Programs that focus on the recruiting and selection process (such as recruiter
training, behavioral based interviewing, etc.)
• Programs that improve retention of knowledge workers (e.g., orientation,
performance review)
• Programs that assess and track job requirements and employee competencies
(HRIS systems)
• Development of innovative knowledge delivery systems that increase the speed
with which knowledge is obtained and provide an increased breadth of training
opportunities is another way in which companies are creating more
knowledgeable workers more quickly (computer-based and other electronic
forms of training)
In addition to technological innovation, the competitive environment demands that
organizations continuously upgrade the knowledge of their workforce. Consumer
demands for higher-quality products and services and the fiercely competitive global
economy require employees at every level who are more knowledgeable, more
committed to quality, show better judgment, and demonstrate more competencies
than ever before.
Tied to the increased level of knowledge expected of all workers is the speed with
which knowledge is acquired. In today’s competitive business environment, most
companies have minimized the time it takes to move a product from the idea stage
to the marketplace. This, however, puts great strains on the ability of the employees
to be up to speed on the new products and production processes. The smart
companies are now making “time to knowledge” as important as “time to market.”
By getting the training department involved early in the product development stage,
companies are able to provide just-in-time training and increase the breadth of
training opportunities.
Training in Action 1-2
describes how the United Farm Workers union was able
to work with farm owners and managers to create more knowledgeable farm
workers. This is especially interesting since many unions have resisted increased
knowledge requirements for the jobs they represent.
Quality and Continuous Improvement
Training must be seen as an integral part of the organization’s performance
improvement system. If not, it will continue to be seen as a cost center, providing
less valued contributions to the organization. Training was a critical part of Domtar’s
change process. It helped educate employees regarding the mission, strategy, and
objectives of the organization and how these objectives
Training in Action
FIELD Partners with Growers13
A more knowledgeable workforce is a double-edged sword for unions. On
the one hand, union leadership demands that employers provide training for
the rank and file to keep them up to date with modern operating methods.
On the other hand, union leadership also understands that more
knowledgeable workers improve the efficiency of the company, resulting in
reductions in the size of the bargaining unit. A major challenge for the future
is finding a way for both the company and the union to prosper under
intensely competitive conditions, where a knowledgeable workforce is a
competitive advantage. Some progress in this area is evident from the
development of partnerships between unions and employers to create
education and training programs that develop less skilled employees and
increase productivity. Even at the lowest levels of the agriculture industry,
more knowledgeable workers can improve the bottom line. The Farmworker
Institute for Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) serves as an
intermediary between management and community organizations and
provides direct training to both current employees and potential employees.
FIELD was founded by the United Farm Workers (UFW) union to foster the
economic and social prosperity of the low-income and low-skill farm workers
and their families. Working in partnership with agricultural owners and
managers, FIELD provides classroom training, educational literacy
programs, and cross training to prepare workers for jobs in agriculture. It
also provides training for those already employed, on the basis of employer
needs. These programs include upgrading job skills, communication, quality
management, leadership development, and conflict resolution. For example,
FIELD trained over 900 workers at seven companies in health and safety.
FIELD also provides customized training, as it did for Monterey Mushrooms,
a California-based distributor of fresh and processed mushrooms with a
UFW workforce. The training developed by FIELD reinforced the company’s
“be the best” principles and encouraged collaboration and conflict
resolution. The company has benefited from the training with higher
productivity and fewer accidents.
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translated to each employee’s job behaviors. Experienced trainers know that
effective training is structured as a continuous performance improvement process
that is integrated with other systems and business strategies, just as at Domtar.
While several models exist for continuous improvement, common to them all are the
• Identification of performance improvement opportunities and analysis of what
caused the opportunity to exist (gap analysis)
• Identification of alternative solutions to the opportunity and selection of the most
beneficial solution. A training program is one of many possible performance
improvement solutions
• Design and implementation of the solution (training if it is one of the selected
• Evaluation of results to determine what, if any, further action should be taken
Each of these steps matches well when placed against the Training Process Model.
That is because effective training is a continuous performance improvement
process. Training does not stop and start with each program. The training function
in organizations continuously searches for performance improvement opportunities,
develops and implements solutions, and evaluates the effectiveness of the
Quality improvement is a key component of most continuous improvement
processes. High-quality products and services are necessary to stay in business in
today’s competitive markets and thus have high priority for most businesses. This is
especially true for businesses that provide products or services directly to other
businesses. Typically, these companies must demonstrate the quality of their
products through quality systems developed by the purchasing company or by
some globally accepted agency. For example, the major automobile manufacturers
impose their quality systems on suppliers. The
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
, located in Geneva,
Switzerland, developed a set of worldwide standards to ensure
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consistency in product quality by all companies that become certified. In general,
there are five stages in the certification process:
1. Preaudit: assessing how you are doing now
2. Process mapping: documenting the way things are done
3. Change: developing processes to improve the way things are done to reach
a desired level of quality
4. Training: training in the new processes
5. Postaudit: assessing how well you are doing after the changes and
continuing the improvement process
Once certified, there are continuing audits to ensure company compliance with the
standards. Thus, training is an important part of attaining ISO certification and is
required on a continuous basis to maintain certification. The certification process
also helps improve training. A research study showed improvements in TNA,
design, delivery methods, and evaluation following certification.14 This study also
found that these companies provided more hours and more types of training and
had a larger training budget following certification.
In addition to improved training processes, companies with ISO certification also
find the following advantages:15
• Improved efficiency
• Higher productivity
• Better internal communication
• Improved quality image and market competitiveness
• Increased customer preference
• Increased awareness of opportunities for process and quality improvements
• Reduced costs and improved ability to document quality control processes to
their customers
Glen Black, president of the Process Quality Association in Canada, compared ISOcertified companies with those not certified. He found that certified companies are
six times less likely to experience bankruptcy, average 76 percent lower warranty
costs in customer-discovered defects, and allow 36 percent less bureaucracy within
their company structure.16 A cost comes with achieving these benefits, however.
Once the company makes the decision to seek certification, it must be prepared to
engage in a substantial amount of training that can be costly. Furthermore, training
is only one part of the overall cost, so each business must determine whether the
costs of ISO certification are justified by the benefits.
Legal Issues
Equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and related
legislation have placed legal requirements on businesses regarding specific types
of training. You will learn in detail the training issues related to sexual harassment
and equity (specifically related to females in nontraditional jobs, the glass ceiling,
and the disabled) in Chapter 10
. In addition, trainers need to be aware of liability
issues, copyright infringement, and other legal concerns. The discussion of these
issues is not intended to provide technical legal information, but rather to provide a
general (and understandable) description of the important legal issues related to
training activities.
Equal Opportunity/Equity
In North America, federal, state, or provincial law and associated court rulings
provide the complex legal framework within which businesses must develop their
HR policies and practices. Even though legislation initially focused on the selection
of people into the organization, there are many areas related to training that also
require attention. This is especially true as the legal battlegrounds have shifted from
employment to career opportunities over the last decade. Since this is not a text on
training liability issues, we will address the topic only in a general way. Those
wishing a more in-depth coverage might want to read “Avoiding Legal Liability: For
Adult Educators, Human Resource Developers, and Instructional Designers.”17
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United States federal law makes it illegal to exclude people from training on the
basis of gender, race, age (employees aged 40 or older), and disabilities. Generally,
these categories are referred to as “protected,” as they belong to a “protected
group.” Employers must make sure that criteria for selecting people into training
programs are based on bona fide job requirements (not race, gender, age, etc.).
Employees targeted for promotion generally receive training and developmental
experiences to prepare them for the new position. The legal issue here is that those
in protected classes may claim that they did not receive the training needed to be
promoted. In general, the law says that those in protected groups must be given
equal opportunity for promotions. If members of a protected group can demonstrate
that they have been adversely affected (e.g., fewer promotions, lower pay) because
they did not receive training that was provided to those who received those benefits
(e.g., promotions), the burden of proof falls on the employer to demonstrate that its
practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity. In the case of
promotions, a company can avoid such claims by providing equal access to training
for all employees in a job classification. Once it is determined that someone in the
classification will be promoted, that person can receive additional training to prepare
for the new position. The legal issue of equal opportunity then focuses on the
selection process rather than the training opportunities.
For employees with disabilities (physical or mental), the employer must not only
ensure equal opportunity for training, but also make reasonable accommodation.
Reasonable accommodation means making training facilities and materials readily
accessible and useable to those with a disability. Depending on the disability, this
could include instructional media and/or providing readers. If the training is
considered to be related to essential job functions and the disability prevents the
person from participating in the training, then, unless undue hardship can be
demonstrated, the employer is obligated to provide alternative training that develops
the same set of competencies.
Not only do protected groups need equal access to training, they must receive
equal treatment while participating in training. This means that the training must
provide equal opportunities for learning, practice, and feedback.
Required Training
Some training is required by law. Failure to provide this training will subject the
company to sanctions from the courts or federal and state regulators. For example,
the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide periodic
training on the handling of hazardous materials and the use of safety equipment.
Flight crews on passenger airlines must complete a set of mandated training
courses. In other cases, courts have ordered companies to provide specific types of
training to redress problems identified in court proceedings. Companies that have
lost employment discrimination cases have been ordered to provide diversity
training, and those losing sexual harassment cases have been ordered to provide
sexual harassment training.
In other cases, even though training is not legally required, it makes good legal
sense to provide the training. In a 1999 ruling, Kolstad v. American Dental
Association, the Supreme Court recognized the good-faith effort of employers to
implement and enforce measures to prevent discrimination and harassment in the
workplace.18 Essentially, the court found that even though an individual might
behave in a manner that violated the federally protected rights of another employee,
no damages would be awarded if the company was shown to have made a goodfaith effort to prevent the activity. One component of such a good-faith effort is to
provide training aimed at preventing the illegal behavior. Another component is the
implementation of policy and procedure for addressing the behavior, should it occur,
and finally, the application of sanctions to individuals found to have engaged in the
behavior. We discuss how this is done and provide examples in Chapter 10
. The
number of sexual harassment claims has decreased over the last few years, but the
number of discrimination claims of all types has remained steady.
In designing training programs to deal with discrimination and harassment, trainers
need to avoid training that itself is discriminating or harassing. For example, in the
early 1990s, it was documented that women aircraft controllers who had to walk
down long aisles populated by
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their mostly male colleagues would find themselves subject to jeers and/or sexual
comments, and, on occasion, would have their dresses pulled up. After repeated
complaints about such behavior, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
arranged for training to be provided to its 8,000 employees. A part of the training
involved men walking down a gauntlet of women coworkers, who now did the
jeering, sexual commentary, and groping. It was intended that the men get a
firsthand understanding of what the women had experienced. One of the male
participants was outraged by the experience. He stated that he did not treat others
in this manner and did not expect to be treated that way himself. In the program he
was accused, as a white male, of being in sexist denial. He complained to his
supervisors in the FAA but little was done. Shortly thereafter, he filed a $300,000
lawsuit for sexual harassment. He won, and the FAA’s director of training was
Liability for Injury or Illness
Some types of training programs have the potential to cause physical or
psychological injury or illness to participants. For example, some simulations that
require trainees to use tools or equipment might cause injury if they are used
incorrectly. Training in other instances might involve the use of chemicals that can
cause illness if inhaled. In many states, the employer is responsible for financial
damages resulting from injuries or illness caused by participation in training. This is
true even if the training is provided by an outside vendor. Trainees need to be
warned of any dangers associated with training, be trained in methods of preventing
the dangers from occurring, and be provided with safety equipment. Employers are
also liable for injuries to nonemployees resulting from a poorly or incorrectly trained
An employee’s performance during and at the conclusion of training is confidential
in the same manner as other employee information. Thus, if performance in training
is to be used in promotion or salary decisions, the employee must be informed that
it will be used in that way. Unless permission has been granted, or the trainee is
informed prior to training that such discussions would occur, trainers must also
avoid discussion of the trainee’s performance with other employees.
Copyrighted Materials
The use of any copyrighted material without the permission of the owner is illegal. If
your training vendors infringe on the copyrighted material of others while providing
your company with services, your company could be liable for damages. Thus, as
the training manager, you would want to make sure that your contract with the
vendor required the legal use of any copyrighted materials.
Career Opportunities in Training
In 2011, there were a little less than twelve training staff per 1000 employees for
midsized companies.20 To understand the types of career paths training offers, it is
necessary to understand how the training unit fits in the organization. This can vary
considerably across organizations. For example, large companies typically separate
management training and development from the training of the nonmanagement
employees. Each of these areas might be further divided into more specialized
activities. For example, the employee development area might contain separate
units focused on training in customer service, employee orientation, health and
safety, and each of the organization’s major operation areas (sales, manufacturing,
etc.). If the company is very large, it might also have specialists working in
evaluation and research, program design, materials development, and needs
analysis. The person in charge of customer service training, for example, would
work with specialists in these areas to do the following:
• Determine the customer service training needs in the organization.
• Develop training programs to meet those needs.
• Develop materials to support the instructional methods to be used in the
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the programs.
Figure 1-4 Career Path in HRD
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Entry-level positions in a large company’s HRD department are usually at the
specialist level. Thus, a new hire with little experience but a good education in the
training area could start out as a materials designer or a stand-up trainer,
depending on her KSAs. In a large organization, a career path might look like the
one shown in Figure 1-4
. The early rotation through the various specialist
positions provides the novice trainer with firsthand experience in all aspects of the
training system. When a person has a solid grasp of the system (i.e., how it is
“supposed” to work and how it “actually” works), she is able to supervise or
coordinate one of the specialist areas. Some large companies also require their
HRD personnel to spend time in a line position, to better understand the needs of
line personnel. Thus, at some point in the career ladder pictured in Figure 1-4
the training practitioner could find himself supervising or working in a line operation
for a period of 6 to 12 months, although this requirement is still fairly unusual.
Supervisors will often also rotate across specialist areas before moving into a
manager’s role, such as manager of employee development. After sufficient
experience and success as a manager, the trainer may be asked to assume
responsibility for all training and development activity in the organization—the
training executive position.
The smaller the organization, the greater the breadth of responsibility each person
in the training unit will have. In a medium-sized company, with around 1,000
employees, the HRD activities of employee and management training may not be
separated into separate units, but carried out by the same small group of people
under the guidance of an HRD manager. Each individual is expected to perform all
(or most) aspects of each of the activities. Smaller companies (100–300 employees)
may not have an HRD or training department at all. Instead, a single individual may
be responsible for all training activities. In even smaller businesses, many of the HR
responsibilities, including training, are decentralized out to the line managers. HR
departments may consist of only one or two people who handle the core HR
activities and act as consultants and facilitators for the line managers in carrying out
their HR responsibilities, such as training.
Another career path for a training and development professional is as a member of
a training or consulting firm. Requirements here vary greatly. There are a large
number of one- or two-person consulting businesses that do training. These people
market some core set of knowledge they have acquired through their work
experience, education, or both. There are also some very large training or
consulting firms that operate on a national or global basis. These firms hire
specialists in certain areas such as instructional design, materials development, and
evaluation. However, these firms also prefer employees to have several years of
experience as well as advanced degrees. Generally, they are able to recruit a
sufficient number of applicants who meet the experience and education
requirements, because their compensation package is typically much better than
that of the smaller firms, although compensation levels vary considerably from firm
to firm.
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Important Concepts and
The literature in training and development, as in other professional disciplines, is
continually evolving. As such, you will often find different meanings attached to the
same terms. Thus, it is important for us to be clear about the terms and concepts
we are using. It is also useful for you, the reader, to have a good understanding of
how terms are commonly used in the field and how they will be used throughout the
The basic terms and concepts used throughout the book are defined in the glossary
at the end of the book . However, the following terms are the foundation for all that
follows, and we need to be clear about meanings at the outset.
Definitions for learning found in the literature vary according to the theoretical
background of the authors. Unless otherwise indicated, the term learning
in this
text means a relatively permanent change in cognition (i.e., understanding and
thinking) that results from experience and that directly influences behavior. This
definition, of course, reflects our own theoretical assumptions. We will discuss this
definition and others at length in Chapter 3
Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes
What is learned can be separated into different categories. Again, how these
categories are defined differs according to the source. Historically, organizational
psychologists used the acronym KSAs to stand for the terms
knowledge, skills, and attitudes
—the different types of learning outcomes.
However, the term attitudes is increasingly being substituted for the term abilities.
As it turns out, the definitions given to skills and knowledge, taken together, are not
that different from the definition of abilities. Thus, the term abilities is redundant with
knowledge and skills. Abilities, for example, are defined as “general capacities
related to performing a set of tasks that are developed over time as a result of
heredity and experience.”21 Skills are defined as “general capacities to perform a set
of tasks developed as a result of training and experience.”22 The only difference
seems to be whether heredity is involved. The existing scientific evidence suggests
that skills are influenced by heredity as well as by experience. Some authors make
a distinction by categorizing skills as being psychomotor (behavioral) in nature,
whereas abilities are categorized as cognitive. In this case, abilities do not differ
from how knowledge is defined. The most commonly accepted definition of
knowledge covers both the facts that people learn and the strategies that they learn
for using those facts. These are cognitive in nature. Although some would argue
that abilities are still distinguishable from knowledge and skills, we believe the
distinction to be of minimal value. On the other hand, attitudes are relatively easy to
distinguish from knowledge or skills. In addition, it is scientifically well established
that attitudes influence behavior, and they are learned.23 Thus, to our way of
thinking, attitudes must be part of any holistic attempt to describe learning/training
In this book, the acronym KSAs refers to the learning outcomes, knowledge
, and attitudes
Figure 1-5
. These three outcomes of learning are depicted in
. The ways in which the three types of learning occur are interrelated
but quite different. We will discuss these in depth in Chapter 3
. The definitions
for the three types of learning outcomes are as follows.
Knowledge is an organized body of facts, principles, procedures, and information
acquired over time.24 Thus, learning refers to:25
• the information we acquire and place into memory (declarative);
• how information is organized for use, into what we already know (procedural);
• our understanding of how, when, and why information is used and is useful
Declarative knowledge
is a person’s store of factual information about a
subject. Facts are verifiable blocks of information such as the legal requirements for
hiring, safety rules, and the like. Evidence of factual learning exists when the learner
can recall or recognize specific blocks of information.
Figure 1-5 Learning Outcomes
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At a higher level is the person’s understanding about how and when to apply the
facts that have been learned. This is referred to as procedural knowledge
. It
assumes some degree of factual knowledge, because some information must be
known about an object or activity before rules for its use can be developed. For
example, one could not know when to apply the steps in an employment
interviewing process (procedural knowledge) if one does not know the steps
(declarative knowledge). Procedural knowledge allows trainees to understand the
underlying rationale and relationships surrounding potential courses of action so
they can apply their factual knowledge appropriately.
The highest level of knowledge is strategic knowledge
. This is used for
planning, monitoring, and revising goal-directed activity. It requires acquisition of the
two lower levels of knowledge (facts and procedures). Strategic knowledge consists
of a person’s awareness of what he knows and the internal rules he has learned for
accessing the relevant facts and procedures to be applied toward achieving some
goal. When this type of knowledge is the focus of training or education, it is often
called a “learning how to learn” program. For example, Bill has the task of ensuring
that the hiring process for his company is both legal and effective at identifying the
best candidate for the job. He would have to review and evaluate the various
employment procedures to determine which, if applied correctly, would result in the
selection of the best candidate and would fit within the law. He would have to have
previously acquired procedural and declarative knowledge related to employment
law and to effective hiring procedures. He would be using his strategic knowledge to
access and evaluate the procedural and declarative knowledge to achieve his goal
of a legal and effective hiring process.
Knowledge is a prerequisite for learning skills. A person must know “what” to do and
“when” to do it. However, a gap separates knowing those things from actually being
able to “do” them. A skill is a proficiency at being able to do something rather than
just knowing how to do it. By skills, we mean the capacities needed to perform a set
of tasks. These capacities are developed as a result of training and experience.26 A
person’s skill level is demonstrated by how well she is able to carry out specific
actions, such as operating a piece of equipment, communicating effectively, or
implementing a business strategy.
There are two levels of skill acquisition: compilation
(lower level) and
(higher level). These reflect differences in the degree to which a
skill has become routine or automatic. When a person is learning a particular skill or
has only recently learned it, he is in the compilation stage. Here he needs to think
about what he is doing while performing the skill. After a person has mastered the
skill and used it often, she has reached the automaticity stage. Here the person is
able to perform the skill without really thinking about what she is doing. In fact,
thinking about it may actually slow her down. Learning how to play tennis is a good
example of the different
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stages of skill development. When you are first learning to play, you must constantly
think about each aspect of hitting the ball, such as where to stand on the court, and
so on. Gradually, changes in how you grip the racket and your movement on the
court become automatic, and thinking about them actually might reduce your
effectiveness. One of the values of “practicing” as a learning technique is that
through practice the behavior becomes more automatic.
Attitudes are employee beliefs and opinions that support or inhibit behavior.27 In a
training context, you are concerned about employees’ attitudes in relation to their
learning the training material and their job performance. The beliefs and opinions
the person holds about objects or events (such as management, union,
empowerment, and training) create positive or negative feelings about those objects
and events. Thus, changing a person’s beliefs or opinions can change the
desirability of the object or event. For example, if an employee has positive feelings
about a supervisor, those positive feelings are likely to become associated with the
employee’s job. If the employee learns from a coworker that the supervisor said
negative things about her, job satisfaction is likely to be reduced, even though
nothing about the job itself actually changed. What changed is the employee’s belief
about the supervisor’s opinion of her.
Attitudes are important to training because they affect motivation. Motivation
reflected in the goals people choose to pursue and the effort they use in achieving
those goals. Goals and effort are influenced by how a person feels about things
related to the goal (i.e., attitudes). Because a person’s attitude influences behavior,
attitudes that motivate employees to perform or learn more effectively need to be
addressed through training. Do you think Domtar employees immediately embraced
the new way of doing business? Were they eager to get involved in making the
company more profitable before the training and other changes were implemented?
It’s highly unlikely. That is why it is important to address attitudes as well as skills in
a training program.
Consider the situation Lockheed Corporation faced about a decade ago. Concerned
about the security of their products and product development processes, Lockheed
realized that it needed either to significantly increase the current security force
(which was costly) or include security in the job descriptions of all employees.
Lockheed chose the latter approach, implementing security awareness training and
annual security refresher training. The sessions were designed to change
employees’ attitudes about their jobs. Employees saw workplace security as part of
their individual responsibility rather than the responsibility of only the security
department. Five years after the program started, the number of reports of
“suspicious incidents” increased by 700 percent.28 Training in Action 1-3
illustrates the importance of examining not only knowledge and skills, but also
attitudes when designing training programs.
A competency
is a set of KSAs that enables a person to be successful at a
number of similar tasks. In the broadest sense, a job is broken down into a set of
tasks, and the competencies required to perform the job are determined through an
analysis of the tasks. A competency is more than just KSAs; it is the ability to
integrate and use the KSAs to perform a task successfully. A carpenter, for
example, has knowledge about different types of wood, tools and their uses, and
types of finishes that can be applied to wood. This knowledge alone will not make
that person a good carpenter. The carpenter also might possess a set of skills such
as cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing. These skills alone will not make a good
carpenter. The carpenter might love working with wood, place a high value on
quality, and find great satisfaction working on the details of planning a project.
These factors alone will not make a good carpenter. It is the combination of these
KSAs and others such as hand–eye coordination, visual acuity, patience, and
judgment that allow the carpenter to become proficient. To be successful at
carpentry, or at any other occupation, a person must acquire multiple competencies.
A trainer can identify the key KSAs that make a master performer successful at a
given job and then group these KSAs into appropriate clusters. This provides a
broad set of competencies
Training in Action
Training Needs in the Student Registration
The offices of the president and provost at a large university were receiving
many complaints about the registration office being unresponsive to student
problems during registration for classes. The director of registration felt that,
because of the high turnover in customer service representatives (CSRs)
who handled student problems, most CSRs did not know the proper
procedure. The director wanted to initiate training in registration procedures
immediately and called in a consultant to help develop and conduct the
After listening to the director’s description of what was wanted, the
consultant said, “You’re probably right. Of course, we could conduct a
training needs analysis to clarify the exact nature of the performance
problem.” The director was concerned about the time required for a needs
analysis and wanted to get training started right away. However, in agreeing
that the needs analysis would determine specific problem areas, the director
said, “Okay, do the analysis, but let’s get started on training right away. I
want them to know exactly what they are supposed to do.”
The needs analysis revealed the steps and procedures that an effective
CSR was required to complete in dealing with an unhappy customer. For
example, one of the first steps for the CSR was to identify and clarify the
customer’s problem and to acknowledge the feelings the customer was
displaying (e.g., anger or frustration) in a friendly and empathetic manner.
Once these feelings had been acknowledged, the CSR was to determine
the exact nature of the customer’s problem through nonevaluative
questioning (i.e., determining the facts without placing blame for outcomes).
Interviews with the CSRs established that they all knew the correct
procedure and most could quote it word for word. However, observation of
the CSRs at work showed marked differences in how the procedure was
carried out. Further analysis of each CSR’s skills in performing these tasks
revealed that the primary causes of unsatisfactory performance were low
skill levels and inappropriate attitudes. Even though nearly everyone “knew”
what to do, some were not good at doing it. Others did not believe that it
was important to follow every step. One CSR said, “Hey, if they get their
problem solved, what do they care if I acknowledged their feelings?”
Certainly training was required in this case, but not the “knowledge” training
the registration director thought was necessary. For those CSRs who lacked
the behavioral skill to carry out the procedures, demonstrations and practice
sessions with immediate feedback were provided. For those CSRs who had
the skill but did not understand the importance of all the procedures, training
sessions were conducted in which the CSRs reevaluated their attitudes
through various educational and experiential activities.
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required for the job. Linking these competencies to a set of behaviors that allow
trainers to “know it when they see it” provides a valuable tool for hiring, training, and
determining pay rates for the job. We spend a great deal of time discussing KSAs
because they are the foundation of competencies. Competencies are useful for
understanding how the KSAs combine to influence job performance. The KSAs
determine what types of training will improve competencies and, thus, lead to
improved job performance.
Training, Development, and Education
The terms training, development, and education are used in different ways by
various authors. Here, the terms training and development refer to distinct, but
related, aspects of learning. Training is a set of activities, whereas development is
the desired outcome of those activities. Training
is the systematic process of
providing an opportunity to learn KSAs for current or future jobs; development
refers to the learning of KSAs. In other words, training provides the opportunity for
learning, and development is the result of learning. “Training departments” are now
called Human Resource Development departments, and “management training” is
called management development. These changes in terminology reflect the change
from a focus on the process (training) to a focus on the outcome (development).
is typically differentiated from training and development by the types
of KSAs developed, which are more general in nature. While training is typically
focused on job-specific
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KSAs, education focuses on more general KSAs related, but not specifically
tailored, to a person’s career or job.
Focus on Small Business
Most business texts, especially those covering human resource management
(HRM), focus on medium- to large-sized businesses for a number of reasons,
including the following:
• Research typically requires a larger sample size.
• Larger firms have the budgets to support research.
• Policies and procedures are more formalized, thus easier to track.
• Techniques described in HR texts usually require a formal HR function
containing multiple areas of specialization, such as compensation, HRD,
selection, and so on.
When small businesses are overlooked, a major component of the economic engine
that runs North America is ignored. Small- to medium-sized business firms account
for more than 60 percent of the private sector’s contribution to the economy. Most of
the workforce is employed at companies employing fewer than 100 people. Almost
all businesses (98 percent) employ fewer than 100 employees, and 93 percent
employ fewer than 20. No size criterion is universally accepted in the literature for
categorizing a business as large or small. We generally use the term
small business
to refer to organizations with fewer than 100 employees, but on
occasion, we use examples with about 150 employees. Larger companies that
employ between 150 and 500 people are usually considered to be medium-sized.
The model of the training process that we present is applicable to both large and
small businesses, but the ways in which it is implemented can differ dramatically
with the size of the company. One difference is the number of employees that need
to be trained. Because larger companies train greater numbers of employees, they
must use a more systematic and controlled method of determining what training
needs exist. In smaller companies, the owner or president can have a close working
knowledge of each employee and his training needs. Another difference is in
developing training programs. The smaller business can easily determine what
types of training are more or less important to the company’s objectives and can
design training accordingly. In larger companies, again, a more systematic and
formal approach is needed because the firm’s strategies and objectives are more
complex. In larger companies, economies of scale can be obtained if common
training needs across the workforce are identified, thus reducing the per-person
cost of training. However, a more rigorous approach to identifying needs is required
because more employees are involved.
Another difference between large and small companies is that small companies can
use less costly and formalized methods for evaluating training because the results
are more easily observed. Throughout the following chapters, where applicable, we
will have a “Focus on Small Business” section. Here, we will identify strategies and
practices that might be more appropriate for the smaller business. Where research
results are applicable, we highlight their implications. When research is not
available, we offer logic and applied examples.
Training was described in terms of an open system in which it receives inputs from
other parts of the organization and the external environment. That input is
transformed by processes in effective training units into output that meets the
organization’s needs. Effective training occurs as a set of phases. In each phase,
input is acquired, a set of processes are engaged, and output needed for
subsequent phases is produced. The training process model provides a visual
understanding of how the phases relate to each other. Although the model shows
the phases occurring as sequential steps (needs analysis, design, development,
implementation, and evaluation), in fact these phases occur in a dynamic
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fashion with feedback from one phase leading to the next phase and recycling
through some aspects of the previous phase.
Training faces increasing demands to demonstrate results in terms of return on
investment. With these demands come increased opportunities for the training
function to influence the direction and operations of the company. In higherperforming organizations, training activities are aligned with the organization’s
strategies. The challenge for training units is to align its resources with activities that
provide the best match with strategic objectives.
Changing demographics, steadily increasing market competitiveness, high demand
for and short supply of knowledge workers, and customer demands for high-quality
products and services all challenge companies and their training departments.
Companies are becoming more concerned with creating their own talent, as
significant losses to the workforce will occur from retirements over the next ten
years. Successful companies build their training units to serve as a continuous
improvement system and problem-solving tool. Evidence is accumulating that those
companies that spend more on training are achieving better financial results.
Improved operating methods (such as ISO and increased employee competencies
are also resulting in declining union membership. This trend places the leadership
of unions in the dilemma of demanding increased training for their membership to
ensure job security, while at the same time recognizing that higher-skilled
employees allow the company to do more with fewer people.
The legal environment places requirements on the training system in terms of
providing mandatory training and ensuring equitable treatment of employees.
Training units also have responsibilities for making sure that training is safe for
trainees and that the training is consistent with protecting the safety of those with
whom trainees come into contact after training. The increased use of outside
training vendors requires due diligence to prevent copyright violations.
In large organizations, the training unit is divided into specializations. The most
typical entry point into a training career is in a large company as a specialist in one
part of the training process (e.g., needs assessment, instructional design). From
there, the progression is much like any other functional area with rotation through
the different specializations before moving into a managerial position. In smaller
organizations, a few people will handle all training responsibilities, while in very
small businesses, all HR functions are usually divided among the few people in
management-level positions.
Important concepts and terms in the field of training were defined and discussed,
including competencies, learning, knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The rationale for
substituting attitudes for the “abilities” concept was provided. Though differing
opinions exist in the field of training about what constitutes training versus
development and education, training in this text will be considered to be the
experiences provided to people that enable them to learn job-related KSAs.
Education will be considered to be the experiences that enable people to learn
more general KSAs that are related to, but not specifically tailored to, a person’s
job. Development will be considered to be the learning that occurs as a result of
training or education.
Key Terms
Actual organizational performance (AOP)
Analysis phase
Declarative knowledge
Design phase
Development phase
Evaluation phase
Expected organizational performance (EOP)
Implementation phase
Instructional Strategy
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
Knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs)
Open systems model
Organizational performance gap (OPD)
Outcome evaluation
Procedural knowledge
Process evaluation
Small business
Strategic knowledge
Training needs analysis (TNA)
Training objectives
Triggering event
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Case Questions
1. How did Domtar’s strategies align with its mission? Explain your answer.
2. Given the difficulty of organizational change, what factors contributed to the
success at Domtar? How did Domtar’s management at all levels contribute
to reducing resistance to change? What else might they have done?
3. What were the major HRD challenges associated with Domtar’s acquisitions
and joint partnerships? How were these challenges addressed, and what
were the risks associated with these approaches?
4. Take the critical facts in the Domtar case and place them into the
appropriate phases of the training model presented in the chapter. Begin
with the triggering event and provide a rationale for why each fact belongs in
the phase in which you have placed it.
1. Review the material in Training in Action 1-3
. Assume that you were
hired to develop a training program for these CSRs. Write down what you
believe are the four most important KSAs your training must address and
your reasoning for selecting these. If done as a group exercise, allow each
member of the group to share the KSAs she identified and her reasoning.
Then reach a group consensus as to the four most important KSAs and your
rationale for including each KSA. Each group will then report to the rest of
the class.
2. In small groups, discuss the training responsibilities of supervisors and
managers who are not part of the HRD department. Prepare a list of what
those responsibilities might be and a rationale for your choices.
3. Identify two organizations with different environments and core
technologies. Describe what these differences are. Indicate how the HRD
strategies of these companies might be similar or different. Provide a
rationale for your conclusions based on concepts in the chapter.
4. Conduct an interview with a small business owner or manager. Get a good
understanding of how the company approaches training. What differences
do you see between how this company approaches training and what was
described in this chapter? What are the reasons for this difference?
Questions for Review
1. Describe the relationship between the HR and the HRD functions in a large
organization. How might a small organization handle the responsibilities of
these two areas?
2. Consider the following problem-solving model. On the basis of the
discussion in this chapter, describe how the training process model is or is
not consistent with this model.
Problem-Solving Process
â—¾ Define and understand the problem.
â—¾ Determine the cause of the problem.
â—¾ Identify potential solutions to the problem.
â—¾ Select the solution that provides the most benefits for the least cost.
â—¾ Develop an action plan for putting the solution in place.
â—¾ Implement the solution.
â—¾ Evaluate and, if necessary, modify the solution.
3. What are the significant legal issues that the training unit must take into
consideration when conducting training activities? Describe how these
issues might create challenges for HRD.
4. Describe ways in which training units can go about meeting the challenges
they face, which were described in this chapter. Provide a rationale for your
5. Define and provide an example that was not used in the text for each of the
a. Each of the three types of knowledge
b. Each of the two levels of skills
c. An attitude
Web Research
Each year a number of companies are identified as the “Best Companies to Work
For.” Conduct a Web search to find a company that has recently made the list. See
if there is information about the company’s training. Conduct a second search to
find any articles that have been written about this company’s training. Write a onepage report summarizing your findings. Include a separate page with your

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