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Off the Job Training Methods

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Everything you need to know about off the job training methods. Under the off-the-job-training system, a trainee is removed from his normal working place and spends his full time for training purpose in any other place.

During the training period, there is no contribution of trainee to the organisation. Normally, this type of training is provided outside the organisation and rarely within the organisation but not in the working place.

Off-the-Job trainings are conducted at locations which are specifically designed for such trainings. These locations may be near or away from the work place.

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In off-the-job training, the trainee undergoes the training for a specific period. The emphasis in this method is to impart skill and knowledge for doing a specific job. Since the trainee is away from the job, he/she is free of tension while learning.

Off the job training methods are:-

1. ‘Case Study’ Method 2. ‘Role Playing’ Method 3. Management Games 4. Brainstorming 5. Sensitivity 6. Assertiveness 7. Transactional Analysis 8. Special Courses

9. Programmed Instructions 10. In-Basket Exercise 11. Classroom 12. Induction 14. Vestibule 15. Computer Modelling 16. Behavioural Modelling.


Off the Job Training Methods: Case Study, Role Playing, Brainstorming, Sensitivity Training & Vestibule Training

Off-the-Job Training Methods – Top 9 Methods: Management Institutions, Case Study, Role Playing, Management Games, Brainstorming and a Few Other Methods

Method # 1. Training by Management Institutions:

It is grudgingly conceded that management is yet to establish itself as a profession like law, medical and engineering. There are still some business houses where leadership follows heredity principle, regardless of whether the leader has had grooming in the principles and practice of management.

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Post globalization, several management institutes have been established, though many of them fail to rank as the Indian Institutes of Management set up by the Government. However, it would serve the organization interests to send its managerial personnel, both new and old, to known man­agement institutes in India or abroad for training in management.  

Method # 2. ‘Case Study’ Method:

Case study, as a method of training, has been developed by Harvard Business School of the U.S.A. It is widely used as a training method for business executives.

A “case” means a written account of actual organizational situation in its historical, environmen­tal, operational, financial and human aspects. Case study enables the trainees to (a) Pinpoint the prob­lems; (b) Identify and analyse the causes thereof; (c) Suggest alternative solutions; and (d) Indicate which of the alternatives would be the best under the prevailing circumstances.

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It may not be possible to make a detailed study of all the aspects of any organizational situation as it would involve a detailed and time-consuming exercise. As such, the factors immediately affecting the problem-situation at hand are studied and discussed in detail, while reasonable assumptions are made about the other factors. This means analysis of a case is done on the basis of relatively incomplete information.

Discussion of a case is generally in groups. Each member is asked to present his analysis, suggest alternative solutions and offer comments on the analysis made by others. Since there cannot be an ideal solution to any problem, the group discussion can be quite lively and stimulating, with each member trumpeting his own analysis and trying to find loopholes in the alternatives suggested by others. Yet, case study method of training is a valuable tool to develop analytical abilities among the trainees, thus facilitating decision-making.

Method # 3. ‘Role Playing’ Method:

A “role” means the pattern of actions made by a person during his interactions with others. Role playing is a training method under which each participant assumes the role of a particular character (worker, manager, or counsellor) and enacts it as realistically as possible, under classroom conditions. It tends to emphasize feelings and relationships between people.

In a role playing session, participants are assigned the roles by turns. While two or more trainees enact the roles assigned to them, others act as observers and critics.

Role playing comes naturally to people as in their day-to-day life they perform a variety of roles, e.g., parent, husband/wife worker, member of playgroup, neighbour, and so on. As a training tech­nique, it enables the participants to broaden their experience by trying various alternative approaches to a problem situation. In a way, it is more than a substitute for a real-life experience of actual situa­tions which generally do not permit more than one approach to solve them.

A major weakness of the role playing techniques is that it is not easy to create an actual problem situation. There is often an element of drama, rather than realism in such scenes. The participants too may often overact their roles as they are convinced that there is not going to be any adverse fall-out in real terms. It is also time-consuming and expensive.

Method # 4. Enacting Management Games:

Management or business games, as a training method, involve a group exercise in decision-making as regards problem-situations faced by an organization. It is similar to role playing, but with this differ­ence that while role playing seeks to emphasize feelings and relationships between people, manage­ment games are more concerned with administrative problems. Thus, it may be said that management games provide a balance between administrative and emotional aspects of a problem-situation.

Management game playing requires a number of participants working in small groups that are in competition with one another. The trainer specifies the various situations of the game.

He also says that any decision-making by groups with regard to areas or departments entrusted to them will have to be within the parameters of a system about which they have absolutely no knowledge. For example, the groups may be asked to make decisions as regards production, inventory levels, pricing, etc. in the given situation or over a given period of time.

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The decisions are processed in the light of the parameters and the feedback of this process is sup­plied to the competing groups for subsequent decision-making. Since decision-making by each group is to affect the decisions by other groups, the feedback supplied by the trainer helps them to evaluate and modify their decisions to achieve optimum results.

A management game can highlight the strong and weak points in an organization as regards its communication system, group relationships, and the human factor in decision-making.

Method # 5. Brainstorming Technique:

Brainstorming is a problem-solving technique which seeks to throw a problem to the people partici­pating in brainstorming session and then reach the decision on its solution based on evaluation of their ideas. The session thus becomes a tool to pool the ideas of people having expertise in fields that will together suggest the solution.

There is no advance intimation about the session, hence no preparation by participants who speak only based on a general understanding of the problem-situation. However, they speak with an open mind and even suggest unconventional ways to solve the problem-situation without worrying over how other participants might react to them.

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Convener of the session takes notes of all ideas expressed at the meeting. Evaluation of these ideas and decision-making is done at a later date.

Brainstorming is a highly useful technique of problem-solving for the following reasons:

(a) It offers a platform for creative thinking by participants.

(b) Members eagerly look forward to participation in brainstorming sessions because they get an opportunity to express themselves freely and fearlessly.

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(c) The deliberations at a session are aimed at problem-solving.

(d) Participants feel a sense of belonging to the organization for being allowed to participate in decision-making.

Method # 6. Sensitivity Training:

Sensitivity or “T-group” training involves interaction between members of small, informal or unstruc­tured groups. The interaction takes place under conditions such that members become sensitive to each other’s feelings and viewpoints resulting in a reasonably effective group activity.

Sensitivity training method was developed by the National Training Laboratories in the U.S.A. with the object of promoting better human relations.

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The training group called itself “T-group” which has the following distinct characteristics:

(a) Smallness of Size:

The number of members of a group may be anywhere between ten and twenty.

(b) Absence of Formal Agenda:

The group has a program but no formal agenda as such. The mem­bers may freely argue among themselves about what they should do and how. The trainer does not intervene to resolve differences between members. He only raises questions about these differences to help members to understand how groups work and how individual members can effectively partici­pate in a group.

(c) Artificial Environment:

The group works in an artificial environment where there are no social or status considerations among members each of whom interacts with others informally, without any regard to superior-subordinate relationships between them.

(d) Leader’s Role:

The group may have one or two trainers (leaders) but there is little or no leadership provided by them. They keep themselves aloof from the interactions between group members, though they may, from time-to-time, step in to restore order and provide feedback, make assignments and create learning situations. They also keep the group sessions in control, particularly when any member experiences any stress caused by exposure of his inner feelings and emotions.

(e) Group Process:

The emphasis in sensitivity training is mainly on group process, i.e., how groups work and what to learn from experiences of group-working. However, group process may be destabilizing for some members who may feel that participation in the group deprives them of their right to privacy.

Sensitivity training method is criticized on the following counts:

i. Excessive exposure of inner feelings and emotions may cause psychological imbalance in some participating members.

ii. The trainer may force his views on the participants.

iii. It is arguable if sensitivity training leads to any real on-the-job improvement.

Method # 7. Attendance at Lectures, Conferences, Seminars, etc.:

Lecture courses may help to impart knowledge as also develop analytical abilities among workers. Large organizations may employ qualified and trained persons to conduct specific lecture courses for different categories of workers. However, a small undertaking which cannot afford the expenditure can avail the services of experts working at educational and professional institutes for the purpose.

Conferences provide an occasion for formal interchange of views among employees of different organizations. Here, proposals or ideas developed by speakers are thrown open for discussion by par­ticipants to derive consensus.

Seminars and workshops organized by educational institutions and professional institutes may also be of great help in training business personnel. In India, there are number of local management associations, functioning under the aegis of All India Management Association which organizes man­agement development programs from time to time.

Method # 8. Assertiveness Training (AT):

When faced with any conflict situation, an individual may develop an inferiority feeling and be over­awed by others. As a result, he may withdraw from the situation, develop cold feet and suppress his feelings, or sometimes revolt and strike back in anger. The fact is that neither response may be proper to tackle the given situation.

Assertiveness Training (AT) seeks to teach people an alternative set of behaviours that makes him assertive enough to face and overcome the conflict situation.

An assertive person can be easily identified. He expresses his feelings without any let or hindrance. He is not shy of seeking favours from persons who are in a position to oblige him. He expresses appreciation for desirable behaviour in others, and likes to be so appreciated himself. He suggests alternative set of behaviour to others. Last but not least, he can say “no” to unreasonable requests.

But how do we know that a person is being assertive in a particular situation? His behavior would show that. He will- (a) Describe the other person’s behaviour; (b) Give expression to his feelings by way of reaction; (c) Show understanding of why the other person has behaved the way he has; (d) Offer him an alternative set of behavior; and (e) Indicate the consequences if that person continues to behave in the same manner in future.

Method # 9. Transactional Analysis (TA):

Transactional Analysis (TA) is yet another training method to develop interactive and communication skills among trainees. It was developed by Eric Berne in the 1950’s. Contributions by Harris and Jonge-ward too have made their contribution to further enrich the TA Theory.

TA theory is based on the assumption that people can change and that everyone has the right to be in the world and be accepted as he is. It is used in psychotherapy and in business and educational, even religious organizations.

Transactional analysis is a means to know why people are as they really are, and also why they say or do things that they actually say or do. When applied to job situations, it provides understanding of how people relate to each other, and how communication and human relationships between them can be made more effective.

The following are the important elements of transactional analysis:

(a) Psychological Positions or Ego States:

According to Eric Berne, people interact with one another from any one of the three ego states, namely, Parent Ego state, Adult Ego state and Child Ego state. The ego state has nothing to do with the chronological age of the person concerned, but only reflects his psychological age.

So an elderly person may display child ego state and a child display the parent ego state. For example, when the younger brother defends his elder brother who has beat up a friend, his action comes out of his parent ego state, and when a grandfather says he wants to have fun, it is his child ego state that is at play.

A person is in his parent ego state when he copies the behaviour of an authority figure back during his childhood—father, mother, grandfather or anyone else. He does so because he has lived with the authority figure for so long during his childhood that the beliefs, feelings and behaviour pattern of the authority figure get permanently etched in his own behaviour pattern and he automatically behaves in the same manner as the authority figure.

So if during his childhood he has seen his father (his author­ity figure) living happily with his wife, he will replicate the same behaviour later in his life.

A person copies the authority figure’s behaviour without being conscious of it. It is plainly auto­matic—copying. Don’t we ourselves see us saying or doing something that our father did in a similar situation in his own time?

When interacting from the Parent ego state, a person’s behaviour is protective (defending even wrong actions of children, relatives, friends or anyone else), distant (keeping away from what others are saying or doing), dogmatic (strictly asserting what is right and what is wrong), and controlling (force­fully directing the behaviour of others).

One will often see him with his index finger up, quoting rules and asking others to follow them. In this ego state he is a nurturing parent (encouraging the actions of others), a loving parent (showering praise or material gifts on others) or critical parent (finding fault with any and everything said or done by others).

In his Child ego state, a person thinks, feels and acts in the same way that he did when he was a child himself, or reacts to what was done to him during his childhood (remember civil society defend­ing a terrorist on the ground that the society prevented him from joining the mainstream).

In this ego state, his behaviour is impulsive (spontaneous, even sometimes rash and reckless), creative (it’s the child in a person that makes him a musician, painter or author), or emotionally worked up (reacting to things without thinking of consequences).

While behaving from Child ego state, he may be compliant (obe­dient and seeking approval of everything said or done by him), natural (fearlessly reacting to things in the manner that comes naturally to him, not afraid of calling spade a spade), or rebellious (opposing everything told or done to him, defiantly conveying that he cannot be taken for a ride).

In the Adult ego state, a person is rational (has logical explanation for what he says and does), seeks and gives information (without hesitation or complaint) and logically estimates probable conse­quences of anything said or done by him. In fact, a person behaves from Adult ego after discovering or suffering the disadvantages of behaving from Parent or Child ego state in the past and therefore made necessary corrections in his earlier behaviour.

A father displays his Parent ego when he orders his son to give up playing and concentrate on studies, but when he sees the son defiantly telling him he will continue playing, he will get into the Adult ego state and calmly explain the benefits that studying and getting good marks will bring.

(b) Transactions:

When people communicate with one another, there is a transaction between their ego states. A transaction may be open, blocked or ulterior. An open transaction takes place when a person conveys something to another through verbal, written or gestural communication and gets the response as expected by him.

Thus, where the manager communicates with his subordinate as Parent to Child and the subordinate responds to him as Child to Parent, it will be called an open transaction. For example, the manager says ‘Do this work as I say’ and the subordinate responds by saying, ‘Yes sir, I shall do it as you say.’

A blocked transaction is one in which the response to a message is not as it was expected. Thus, if a manager speaks to his subordinate as Adult to Adult but the subordinate replies as Child to Parent, then the transaction will be blocked, and neither of them will be satisfied as a result of it.

Thus, if the manager asks a subordinate to report for work on the coming holiday because an important official report is to be prepared and receives an angry response, ‘Sorry sir, this is impossible, I have invited my brother-in-law for lunch that day’, it will be example of a blocked transaction.

An ulterior transaction is one in which a person appears on the surface to be conveying one mes­sage, but in fact he is conveying another message. Thus, the real message is concealed. For example, when a subordinate says that he is exhausted at the end of the day and that he might collapse someday, he is in fact sending a concealed message that he desperately needs an assistant.

(c) Life Script:

A script is the text of an actor’s part in a play, or radio or T.V. program. In transac­tional analysis, human life is compared to a play and the life script is the text of that play. A person himself writes the script of his life-plan and then acts and lives it out under some kind of compulsion. A person’s life script is generally based on his childhood experiences, especially his transactions with his parents or other authority figures.

Based on this, he adopts his life position in his relations to oth­ers. Thus, if a father tells his son he is ‘good for nothing’ and the son takes it in, he will throughout his life act the script that he is really good for nothing. An important lesson here for parents and teachers is that they should not say or do anything that undermines or damages the confidence level of children.

(d) Life Positions:

Quite early in life, a person develops a philosophy as regards how to relate to other people. His identity, sense of worth and perceptions of other people will often shape the manner in which he would relate to them.

This philosophy or life-position is likely to remain with him for the entire life-time unless some significant experience brings a change in it. There are four basic life positions, namely, “I am OK, You are Not OK”; “I am Not OK, You are OK”; “I am Not OK, You are Not OK”; and “I am OK, You are OK”.

A person develops “I am OK, You are Not OK” position in his childhood if his parents treated him as if he was always right, praising the good things he has done but completely ignoring his faults and shortcomings. In this life position, a person will always blame his problems on others, and not take responsibility himself for anything done wrong by him.

However, it is not as if only a person who was given OK feelings in his childhood would actually adopt this position. Sometimes, a person may develop this life position only to hide his own “Not-OK” position.

A person develops “I am Not OK, You are OK” position because in his childhood his parents always treated him as “Not OK”. The parents might not have intentionally done it but their statements have certainly had the effect of putting down the child, and hence make him adopt “Not OK” life posi­tion. A person with this position tends to blame himself for every problem, enviously admires others, and keeps seeking approval from others for his own actions.

A person develops “I am Not OK, You are Not OK” position, if he was neglected, rudely treated or humiliated in his childhood. Based on such treatment, the child first develops an “I am Not OK” position but later in life when he reflects that his own “Not OK” position was due to his parents or other authority figures in his childhood being themselves “Not OK”, he might also develop “You are Not OK” position. A person with this life position may lose interest in life, and may be prone to even commit suicide or murder.

The most desirable life position is the “I am OK, You are OK” position. It shows that the person is happy with himself as also with all others who interact with him. Such a person is full of vigour, pro­ductive, and at peace with himself and the world around him.

(e) Stroking:

A stroke means any act of recognition or pat on the back received or given to another. In fact, the motive behind every transaction is to receive or give strokes. The strokes may be physical, verbal or gestural. A stroke may induce a good or bad feeling in the recipient. When it induces a good feeling, it is a positive stroke. When it leads to a bad feeling, it is a negative stroke.

When a person does not get the required strokes on the job, he may seek them through various ways. In the process, he may even harm himself or others. He may also play psychological games for the purpose, alternately taking on “persecutor,” “victim” or “rescuer” roles. For example, a student may bully others, complain about being bullied by someone, or come to help another being bullied.


Off-The-Job Training Methods – 8 Important Training Techniques: Special Courses, Case Study, Role Playing, Discussion Approach and a Few Other Techniques

In the off-the-job training method, training is conducted at the location that is away from the actual workplace.

The training techniques are explained in the following sections:

1. Special Courses:

Special courses refer to the training courses that the executives are required to attend. These courses are formally organized by the organizations with the help of experts from various educational institutions. For instance, trainees are sponsored by employers to attend courses conducted by various management institutes. An example could be Infosys Technologies Ltd. that provides management programs to its employees after they have served the organization for a particular duration.

2. Case Study:

Case study represents a training method in which a real or hypothetical problem or situation demanding a solution is presented in writing to the trainees. They are required to identify and analyze the problem; suggest and evaluate the alternative courses of action; and select the most appropriate solution. The solutions suggested by one trainee can vary from another trainee. This method is generally used to teach the concepts of business management, law, and human relations to the employees.

3. Role Playing:

Role playing denotes the method of human interaction that demands realistic behavior in imaginary situations. This method of training asks the trainees to act, do, and practice. In a role play, the trainees are asked to play the role of certain characters, such as the department manager, support engineer, supervisors, or quality auditors. This method mainly focuses on the development of the interpersonal skills and practical understanding of the problem.

4. Conferences/Discussion Approach:

The conferences/discussion approach refers to the training method in which the trainer delivers a lecture and initiates a discussion with the trainees to clear their work-related doubts. In large organizations, a trainer uses audio-visual aids to conduct conferences and discussions. The examples of audio-visual aids are blackboards, mock-ups, and PowerPoint presentation slides. In some cases, lectures are recorded so that they can be used to train the other batches of trainees to save time and effort. Even the trainee’s presentation can be recorded for self-confrontation and self-assessment.

5. Simulation Exercises and Management Games:

Simulation exercises, also known as management or business games, represent actual business situations where trainees are asked to comprehend these situations and behave accordingly. For instance, trainees may take part in a simulation exercise that involves two or more hypothetical organizations competing in a given product market.

The trainees are assigned different roles, such as managing director, general manager, and marketing manager. They make decisions affecting price levels, production volume, and inventory levels. In this method, the roles are able to see how their decisions affect the performance of the other groups, and vice versa.

The merits of simulation exercises are as follows:

a. Promote teamwork among participants

b. Enable the participants to learn from their mistakes, take a different course of action by looking at the consequences, and improve their performance

c. Ensure instant feedback and facilitate learning

The demerits of simulation exercises are that they are difficult and expensive to develop and at times, far from the reality.

6. Sensitivity Training:

Sensitivity training, also known as T-group training, refers to a specific training that is conducted under controlled conditions. This training was introduced by Kurt Lewin, who was a German-American psychologist. In this method, a group of 7 to 12 trainees meet in a group for a specific duration. The objective of sensitivity training is to make trainees aware about their own prejudices and develop sensitivity in them.

In addition, sensitivity training helps the trainees in understanding the impact of their behavior on others. The discussion is directed by a behavioral expert who creates the opportunity for the members to express their ideas, beliefs, and attitudes. This training is designed to make people more aware about group dynamics, their own behavior, interpersonal traits, and their role within a group. It helps the members to learn how the group actually works.

7. Programmed Instructions:

Programmed instructions represent the most popular training method, in which the trainees are trained to perform a sequential task or procedure, such as operating the machines. The core feature of this method is the participation by trainees and reception of the immediate feedback where trainers can evaluate whether the trainees’ responses are correct or not. This method uses programmed books, illustrations, printed materials, and diagrams to train the trainees.

8. In-Basket Exercise:

In-basket exercise denotes the method that is used to develop the decision-making skills of the trainees. In this method, the trainees are provided with a tray of papers and files related to their functional areas; and they are required to study the material and make their recommendations. The various recommendations received from the trainees are compared and the result is compiled in a report format. This method is mostly used to train employees on executive management and supervision.


Off the Job Training Methods – 4 Major Training Methods: Classroom, Conference, Seminar and Role Playing

As the name implies, off-the-job training is provided to the employee away from his job. It is generally theoretical in nature and is imparted in a class-room type atmosphere. It is associated more with knowledge than with skills. Thus, classroom training is used when concepts, theories, problem solving skills and new attitudes are to be taught.

The major off-the-job methods of training are described below:

Method # 1. Classroom Training (Lecture Method):

There are certain aspects of nearly all jobs that can be learnt better in the classroom than on the job. Orientation about organisation and safety training can be accomplished most effectively in the classroom. The standard instruction method suitable for operative employees is a ‘formal lecture’ by an instructor to the trainees.

The instructor possesses a considerable depth of knowledge of the subject at hand. He seeks to communicate his thoughts in such a manner as to interest the class and cause them to retain what he has said. The trainees generally take notes as aid to learning.

The lecture method can be easily used for training large groups. Thus, the cost per trainee is low. However, it has certain limitations also. The learners may be passive. It violates the principle of learning-by-doing and constitutes one-way communication. But students may be permitted to ask questions. This will provide feedback from the students. Lectures can easily be combined with other techniques.

Thus, a teacher may conduct a class by the combined lecture-discussion method. He may lecture only to add new information that the group does not possess. Formal reading assignments may be given, demonstrations may be presented and films may be shown along with the lecture.

Method # 2. Conference:

A conference is a group meeting conducted according to an organised plan in which the members seek to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic by oral participation. It is an effective training device for person in the positions of both conference member and conference leader.

As a member, a person can learn from other by comparing his opinions with those of others. He learns to respect the view-points of other and also realises that there is more than one workable approach to any problem.

The literal meaning of conference is ‘consultation’. But in practice, conference implies sharing some information with an audience of a large number of people. It is conducted in a being hall where the participants are allowed to exchange their views and satisfy their queries.

The proceedings of the conference are conducted by the chairman who is also responsible for summing up the proceedings of the conference. These days video conferencing is also gaining popularity under which people can participate in the conference through link via satellite.

Method # 3. Seminar:

A seminar is organised like a conference, but it is comparatively on a smaller scale. It is generally centred around a single theme such as ‘Emerging Issues in Human Resource Development’ or’ Information Technology in 2020′.

The theme is examined in great detail by different experts in the concerned fields. The exports make their presentations and answer the questions raised by the participants. In practice, the terms conference and seminar are used interchangeably.

Method # 4. Role Playing:

This technique is used for human relations and leadership training. Its purpose is to increase the trainee’s skills in dealing with others. Under this method, two trainees are assigned different role to play. For instance, one may play the role of a Sales Executive and the other that of a Customer.

Both will interact with each other and play their respective roles. This will help the trainees in learning how to behave in a conflict situation. They will also learn to appreciate the viewpoints of each other.


Off-the-Job Training Methods – Various Training Methods (With Advantages and Disadvantages)

Off-the-Job trainings are conducted at locations which are specifically designed for such trainings. These locations may be near or away from the work place. Off-the-Job training means learning before doing’. Trainings conducted away from work place minimizes distractions and allows trainees to pay attention to learning.

The various Off-the-Job training methods are:

i. Class Room Lectures/Conferences:

This method of training is used to convey job related specific information or rules, regulations, procedures followed by the organisation. Its main focus is to teach administrative or managerial aspects. Such trainings may use audio-visual techniques to make presentations interesting and increase retention amongst trainees.

Suitability – Used to train white collar or managerial level employees.

Example – The owner of a company gives presentation on strategies to increase sales in the upcoming year or school principal discussing the changes in rules and regulations for the new academic year.

Advantages:

a. It can be used to train large number of employees.

b. It is a cost effective training technique.

Disadvantages:

a. No possibility of interaction as it is mainly one-way communication.

b. It lacks practical approach to learning.

c. Presentations without discussions make it difficult to concentrate and may lead to boredom.

ii. Audio-Visuals:

Companies may use Films, Televisions, Video or Presentations to provide information and demonstrate skills which may not be easily explained or taught through lectures or conferences.

Suitability – This method is commonly used by educational institutions to teach important concepts, corporate sector to train social skills to employees or by production supervisors to show the process of running the equipment.

Example – A teacher uses power point presentations to teach a topic or a manager shows a video explaining how to operate a machine.

Advantages:

a. It is easy to control quality of training process.

b. It uses wide variety of realistic examples.

c. Helps trainee to understand and retain information for longer time.

Disadvantages:

a. It does not provide any flexibility to audience.

b. It is a one-way communication so no possibility of discussions or feedback.

iii. Case Study:

Case study is a written description of an actual business situation happened in the past. Managers may use these real life work related experiences to train employees to identify problems, analyse the causes, and develop alternative solutions to solve problems, select the best alternative and implement it to solve the problem.

Suitability – This method is suitable to develop managerial skills among employees.

Example – During the year-end review meeting all managers may discuss the problems they faced during the year and ask for ideas to solve them in different ways.

Advantages:

a. It is a cost effective method of training.

b. It provides managers the exposure to real life situation.

Disadvantages:

a. Case studies are situations of the past which may not be effective in changed business environment.

b. Training through case studies is subjective, it gets influenced with individual’s thinking and past references.

iv. Induction Training:

It is a training technique used to introduce the new employee to the organisation and the organisation to the new employee. In this training, the new employee is taken around the organisation to familiarize him/her with surroundings, is introduced to his/her superiors, subordinates and colleagues. The new employee is informed about the company, its structure and the rules and regulation either through a welcome pack kit or by showing him a presentation.

Suitability – It is used at the time of new appointments.

Example – Ms. Rama joined Maxwell Ltd. as an Intern. On her first day, the HR manager took her around and introduced her to all the employees working in the department. The manager took her to the conference room for a brief presentation about company profile, the rules and regulations which Ms. Rama will be expected to follow. She was also provided with the plan of action which would be followed during her internship.

Advantages:

a. It helps employees to settle down and adjust to the new environment comfortably.

b. An effective induction ensures retention of employees for a longer period.

c. It prepares the new joinee as an independent employee ready to perform.

Disadvantages:

a. Ineffective training may result in loss of confidence in the new employee.

b. New employee may not feel comfortable or adjusted in the new environment leading to chances of his/her leaving the organisation.

c. He/she may disturb other employees to seek guidance resulting in waste of time and effort of others.

d. Inadequate information may affect new employee’s efficiency to perform.

v. Vestibule Training:

It is a training technique which provides employees an opportunity to learn jobs on the equipment they will operate on actual work floor. Organisations create special training centres called ‘Vestibules’ where a working environment is created which is almost a duplicate of the actual work environment. Qualified instructors train the employees under a carefully planned and controlled learning conditions.

Suitability – This method is used when organisation has to provide the same kind of training to a large number of people at the same time.

Advantages of Vestibule Training:

a. Duplication of actual work place helps employee to learn skills effectively.

b. Without pressure of actual work situations employee can concentrate completely on learning.

c. It is less time-consuming process.

d. It removes the initial nervousness of employees for operating equipment for the first time.

Disadvantages of Vestibule Training:

a. Duplication of actual work place for creating training centre involves high cost.

b. Employees may not be able to adjust to actual work situation.

c. It may not be possible to duplicate everything in the vestibule.

vi. Programmed Instructions:

This method incorporates a prearranged and proposed acquisition of some specific skills or general knowledge. Information is broken into meaningful units and these units are arranged in a proper way to form a logical and sequential learning package i.e., from simple to complex. The trainee goes through these units by answering questions or filling the blanks.

Suitability – This method of training is used to provide factual knowledge to employees.

Example – The production manager of Ratiram Productions has prepared a chart which explains the process or steps in which the production will take place. Once the workers are clear about the process they answer a questionnaire to ensure that they have clear understanding of the process.

Advantages:

a. It is a cost effective technique of training.

b. It helps to provide factual knowledge to employees.

Disadvantages:

a. It is not directly in the context of job.

b. It is not based on experience.

vii. Computer Modelling:

This method of training stimulates the work environment by programming a computer to imitate some of the realities of the job and allows learning to take place without the risk or high costs that would be incurred if a mistake is done in real life situation.

Example – Maruti driving school for first fifteen days gives driving lessons on computers where the trainees are taught how to play games like car racing. This helps them to learn the techniques of overcoming pressure, sense of directions etc.


Off-the-Job Training Methods

In off-the-job training, the trainee undergoes the training for a specific period. The emphasis in this method is to impart skill and knowledge for doing a specific job. Since the trainee is away from the job, he/she is free of tension while learning.

The methods of off-the-job training are the following:

(i) Lecture-Cum-Discussion Method:

The lecture method is also known as class room training because those are delivered similar to the classroom sessions. It is suitable in cases where con­cepts, theories, and problem-solving skills have to be taught. Thus, it is associated with imparting knowledge rather than skills.

In this method, a special or formal lecture is delivered by an expert in that field or by a specialist from a professional institute or by an executive in the organiza­tion or by the instructor. This is followed by a discussion which involves the participation of the trainee. In the lecture method, reading material, demonstrations, and power-point presentations are used.

The advantages of this method are:

a. Used to train a large group of people leading to reduction in the cost of training.

b. Communicating information quickly.

The disadvantages of this method are:

a. One-way communication if the trainee is passive.

b. Improves the attitude of the trainee but not the skills.

In fact, studies in India and abroad have found that the lecture method is the most commonly used method by trainers.

(ii) Conference Method:

In the conference method, a group meeting is conducted wherein the members discuss and share a problem common to them by oral participation. This method makes the members respect the view point of other members and encourage analytical thinking. These days video conferencing is becoming popular because members participate in conference through link via satellite.

The advantages of the conference method are as follows:

a. Participants play an active role.

b. Members learn to respect the view point of other members.

c. Problems are analysed from different angles.

The disadvantages of conference method are as follows:

a. Slow method because all those who desire to speak are allowed to do so while some remain passive.

b. Sometimes the discussion moves away from the subject matter.

(iii) Assignment of Projects:

Another method is that of assigning projects to the trainees. A project is a planned undertaking or a definitely formulated piece of research or a mental projection. The project centres round the task or problems that involve the learning of some phase of the com­pany’s operations and call for constructive and thought-out action.

Trainees are assigned proj­ects on an individual or group basis and the results of the projects are evaluated. In the project method, the trainee acquires knowledge about the organizations relationship not only with his own specialized area but also with other subjects.

(iv) Case Study:

The trainee is given a case which is related to what has been taught to him/her. He/ she analyses the case and gives recommendations for that case or problem, which is then dis­cussed in the class. The trainer helps the trainee in finding alternatives to the case study. Thus, it gives an opportunity to the trainee to apply his/her knowledge.

(v) Special Courses:

Sometimes the organization uses the services of training institutes/manage­ment institutes for conducting functional and management training programmes for different levels of employees. Organizations find the customized training programmes more cost-effective and convenient to suit the needs of the employees.

Competency-Based Training:

For driving productivity in human resources, the need to develop the right skills and competencies is emphasized. It varies with the levels of management. While at the lower levels, competencies in technical skills are required, at the middle and higher levels, it becomes human and conceptual.

In competency-based training, personal attributes, leadership training for managerial personnel, and core competencies for human resources may be required.

The Approach to Training (IAI):

i. Identity—Understand the business strategy to identify the needs.

ii. Assess—Conduct frequent and regular assessments of the current skill and competency sets and talent to identify gaps.

iii. Implement—Create formal and informal training programmes to bridge the identified gaps.

Role-Specific, Skill-Based Training:

In order to enable the managerial personnel, in particular, to perform their roles associated with the process of management, and also to deal with the employees, they need to possess and exhibit a range of skills. Such skills enable them to plan, control, organize, lead, and finally take decisions. These skills are attributes and are role-based.

These would include:

i. Planning skills (being able to think ahead, ability to state organizational objectives, choose strate­gies, and arrive at performance standards).

ii. Organizing skills (ability to organize various jobs, select, train, and induct people in the job, ability to draw working links and change it to suit the technology or environment in the organization).

iii. Leading skills (understanding the values, personality, perception, and attitudes of employees).

iv. Controlling skills (actions and decision-making to ensure that actual results are consistent with the desired results); and

v. Decision-making skills (ability to identify and define problems, develop alternatives, selecting decisions to solve the problems, and implementing it).

The skills required would vary with the levels of management personnel. Three types of skills are nor­mally required by all managers. These are the technical, human, and conceptual skills.

Briefly stating, the top-level manager uses the conceptual skill to deal with the environmental demands of the organization. The limited physical and financial resources available make him/her effec­tively use his/her technical skills. The capabilities and demands of the persons with whom he/she deals make it essential that he/she possesses human skills.

These skill-based trainings require people to be trained in roles specific to the performance of the jobs. For instance, managerial skills, which enable the top management people to build the organization, require them to assume and perform the identity creating role, enabling role, synergizing role, balancing role, linkage building role, and the like.

The need for training in these may arise. Similarly, the training programmes can be designed to suit the role need of middle management and the first-line supervisors to suit the roles they have to assume while performing the jobs. This may also hold true for operatives. The nature and types of training programmes would vary. So also would the methodology.


Off the Job Training Methods – Lectures, Conference Method, Role Playing, Case Studies, Programmed Instruction, Vestibule Training and a Few Other Methods

In this type of training the trainees are not trained on the job but their training is conducted in classroom, vocational schools or elsewhere.

A number of methods used for providing off the job training are as follows:

Method # 1. Lectures:

This is the oldest and traditional methods of training. The trainer organises the training course material and gives it to a group of trainees in the form of talk. This method is used for large groups which are to be trained within short time and thus reducing the cost per trainee. This method does not provide transfer of training effectively even when the lecturer is excellent. Most of time the trainees sit passively listening or taking notes with little feedback.

According to the conclusions reached at the conference on Management Education and Training held from January 22 to 24, 1964 at June, the essential pre-requisites for a successful lecture method are –

(a) Group interest should be motivated and adapted to its needs;

(b) A lecture should be well planned as to propose; the main ideas and organisation should be clear and development oriented;

(c) It should be presented by an enthusiastic and animated speaker who has his listener’s needs and interest in mind all the time,

(d) It should not be less than 30 minutes and not more than 90 minutes at a stretch.

(e) A lecture should be made interesting and enlist active participation of the learners with the aid of guided discussion. The lectures should pose leading question, instead of giving out knowledge and information to which the listener’s should provide answers.

Method # 2. Conference Method:

This is a widely used instructions approach which can be highly effective. The trainer delivers a lecture on specific topic with a relatively small group of trainees and involves all the participants in a discussion so that their doubts get clarified. The trainee’s presentation can be taped for self-confrontation and self-assessment. It provides much more opportunity for feedback, reinforcement practice and motivation. The role of a group leader is to keep the discussion on topic and avoid some participant’s tendency to get-off the subject.

The trainees engaged within method may not even perceive that they are in training. They are working to solve problems which occur in their daily activities. It is an excellent method for development of conceptual knowledge and for reducing dogmatism. This method is more expensive than the lecture method since the group size must be limited to 20 or less because larger group often discourage the active participation of all the trainees.

Method # 3. Role Playing:

This method was developed by Moreno, Venetian psychiatrist. It is a technique in which some problems are real or imaginary involving human interaction presented and then spontaneously acted out as per views of Wallace wohlking (1976).

The trainees play the role of a specific person in the situation such as general manager, production manager, quality inspector, finance officer and the like. A trainer provides feedback and reinforcement. This method is generally used for the development of interpersonal interactions and relations.

The cost of this method is moderately high because a trainer cannot handle more than one or two small group of role players. The success of this method depends on the ability and involvement of the participants to play the assigned roles. The trainer provide effective directions and also acts as role player.

Method # 4. Case Studies Method:

This method was first developed by Gristopher Langdell at the HARWARD Business School in the year 1800s. According to the Bassand Vaughan (1966), “the case study is based upon the belief that managerial competence can best be attained through the study, contemplation and discussion of concrete cases”. A case is a written description of real decision making situation within or without the organisations.

In this method, the trainee is provided with a simulated business problem. The trainee is expected to study the information given in the case and make discussion based upon the situation. He discusses the various diagnoses and proposed solution. The role of trainer is to help the groups learning by providing a climate where active interaction takes place and all trainees are involve in analysing the issues. It is widely used in the Business School and Industry.

It promotes analytical thinking problem solving and decision making skills among trainees. As per views of Mc Ghee and Thayer (1961), the case should be comprehensive and well documented with a proper history, facts and figures, thus enabling trainees to see the organisation and the historical setting in which the reported events took place but it should not contain opinions discussed as factual information. The trainees should be fairly well advanced in understanding the different concept of management.

Method # 5. Programmed Instruction:

In this method the training provides instruction without the intervention of a trainer. The programme instruction information is broken down into small block and then arranged in a proper way to form a logical and sequential package. The trainee reads each block in sequence and responds to question. The trainee receives feedback on the basis of the accuracy of his answers. If answers are correct, the trainee proceeds to the next block but if not the trainee repeats the block.

The main benefit of this method is that it is in self-placed; Trainees can progress through the programme at their own speed but a number of trainees can accommodate at different times and in different location. It provides a high degree of reinforcement, knowledge of result and motivation of trainees that they are actively engaged in learning experience.

However this method suffers from certain demerits such as advanced study is not described until preliminary information has been acquired, creation cost of materials is very high and time consuming.

Method # 6. Vestibule Training:

In this method the actual work environment is stimulated as closely as possible for trainees in the classroom. Trainees are typically taught how to use the machinery, tools and other equipments on the job. The noise distractions of co-workers and pressures of the job are not included in the simulated working condition.

Training is generally given in the form of lectures, Conference, Case Study and Role Playing For example, airline pilots could learn in a simulated cockpit and a machine operator trainee could work on a machine under the supervision of an experienced worker. The duration of training range from few days to a few weeks. If a number of trainees are large then this method is utilised but on the other hand, when the number is small on the job training is preferred.

Method # 7. Television Picture:

Films pre-recorded can be shown on either movie screen or television sets, on various topics of management to the trainees. This facilitates transfer of skill because visual images tend to be remembered longer than verbal ones. Though the initial cost of this method is high but films can be used repeatedly and in different places.

Method # 8. Behavioural Modelling:

This is a new method of teaching of interpersonal skills and attitude change. It is based on the idea that trainees learn best when they see a task being performed and then practice the task with feedback until they are competent. This method teaches trainees the right way to perform a task. If trainees make a mistake the trainer immediately corrects them. Business games, cases, group discussion are also used in this type of training.

Effectiveness of Different Training Methods on Various Parameters:

It is very important and necessary to study the effect of different training methods on various parameters of human behaviour. These various parameters are knowledge acquisition, changing attitudes, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, participation acceptance and knowledge retention. For the purpose of study of effectiveness of various training methods, a questionnaire was issued to five hundred training directors with a request to rate these methods from highly effectiveness to not effective.


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