TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT in the field of human resource management is concerned with organizational activity aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings. It has been known by several names, including employee development, human resource development, and learning and development. Training and development encompasses three main activities: training, education, and development. training This activity is both focused upon, and evaluated against, the job that an individual currently holds. education This activity focuses upon the jobs that an individual may potentially hold in the future, and is evaluated against those jobs. development This activity focuses upon the activities that the organization employing the individual, or that the individual is part of, may partake in the future, and is almost impossible to evaluate. The "stakeholders" in training and development are categorized into several classes. 1. The sponsors of training and development are senior managers. 2. The clients of training and development are business planners. Line managers are responsible for coaching, resources, and performance. 3. The participants are those who actually undergo the processes. 4. The facilitators are Human Resource Management staff. 5. The providers are specialists in the field. The conflicts are the best part of career consequences are those that take place between employees and their bosses. The number one reason people leave their jobs is conflict with their bosses. And yet, as author, workplace relationship authority, and executive coach, Dr. John Hoover points out, "Tempting as it is, nobody ever enhanced his or her career by making the boss look stupid."  Training an employee to get along well with authority and with people who entertain diverse points of view is one of the best guarantees of long-term success. Talent, knowledge, and skill alone won't compensate for a sour relationship with a superior, peer, or customer.
Typical Reasons for Employee Training and Development
Training and development can be initiated for a variety of reasons for an employee or group of employees, e.g.,: y When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed
To "benchmark" the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort y As part of an overall professional development program As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization y To "pilot", or test, the operation of a new performance management system y To train about a specific topic (see below)
Typical Topics of Employee Training
1. Communications: The increasing diversity of today's workforce brings a wide variety of languages and customs. 2. Computer skills: Computer skills are becoming a necessity for conducting administrative and office tasks. 3. Customer service: Increased competition in today's global marketplace makes it critical that employees understand and meet the needs of customers. 4. Diversity: Diversity training usually includes explanation about how people have different perspectives and views, and includes techniques to value diversity 5. Ethics: Today's society has increasing expectations about corporate social responsibility. Also, today's diverse workforce brings a wide variety of values and morals to the workplace. 6. Human relations: The increased stresses of today's workplace can include misunderstandings and conflict. Training can people to get along in the workplace. 7. Quality initiatives: Initiatives such as Total Quality Management, Quality Circles, benchmarking, etc., require basic training about quality concepts, guidelines and standards for quality, etc. 8. Safety: Safety training is critical where working with heavy equipment , hazardous chemicals, repetitive activities, etc., but can also be useful with practical advice for avoiding assaults, etc. 9. Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment training usually includes careful description of the organization's policies about sexual harassment, especially about what are inappropriate behaviors.
General Benefits from Employee Training and Development
There are numerous sources of online information about training and development. Several of these sites (they're listed later on in this library) suggest reasons for supervisors to conduct training among employees. These reasons include: Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees y Increased employee motivation y Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain y Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods y Increased innovation in strategies and products y Reduced employee turnover Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!) y
Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training
Purpose of Employee Training and Development Process Reasons for emphasizing the growth and development of personnel include y y y y Creating a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may leave or move up in the organization. Enhancing the company's ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a sufficiently knowledgeable staff. Building a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company's competitive position and improves employee morale. Ensuring adequate human resources for expansion into new programs.
Research has shown specific benefits that a small business receives from training and developing its workers, including: y y y y Increased productivity. Reduced employee turnover. Increased efficiency resulting in financial gains. Decreased need for supervision.
Employees frequently develop a greater sense of self-worth, dignity and well-being as they become more valuable to the firm and to society. Generally they will receive a greater share of the material gains that result from their increased productivity. These factors give them a sense of satisfaction through the achievement of personal and company goals. The Training Process The model below traces the steps necessary in the training process: y y y y y y y y y Organizational Objectives Needs Assessment Is There a Gap? Training Objectives Select the Trainees Select the Training Methods and Mode Choose a Means of Evaluating Administer Training Evaluate the Training
Your business should have a clearly defined strategy and set of objectives that direct and drive all the decisions made especially for training decisions. Firms that plan their training process are more successful than those that do not. Most business owners want to succeed, but do not engage in training designs that promise to improve their chances of success. Why? The five reasons most often identified are: Time - Small businesses managers find that time demands do not allow them to train employees.
Getting started - Most small business managers have not practiced training employees. The training process is unfamiliar. Broad expertise - Managers tend to have broad expertise rather than the specialized skills needed for training and development activities. Lack of trust and openness - Many managers prefer to keep information to themselves. By doing so they keep information from subordinates and others who could be useful in the training and development process. Skepticism as to the value of the training - Some small business owners believe the future cannot be predicted or controlled and their efforts, therefore, are best centered on current activities i.e., making money today. A well-conceived training program can help your firm succeed. A program structured with the company's strategy and objectives in mind has a high probability of improving productivity and other goals that are set in the training mission. For any business, formulating a training strategy requires addressing a series of questions. y y y y Who are your customers? Why do they buy from you? Who are your competitors? How do they serve the market? What competitive advantages do they enjoy? What parts of the market have they ignored? What strengths does the company have? What weaknesses? What social trends are emerging that will affect the firm?
The purpose of formulating a training strategy is to answer two relatively simple but vitally important questions: (1) What is our business? and (2) What should our business be? Armed with the answers to these questions and a clear vision of its mission, strategy and objectives, a company can identify its training needs. Identifying Training Needs Training needs can be assessed by analyzing three major human resource areas: the organization as a whole, the job characteristics and the needs of the individuals. This analysis will provide answers to the following questions: y y y Where is training needed? What specifically must an employee learn in order to be more productive? Who needs to be trained?
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Begin by assessing the current status of the company how it does what it does best and the abilities of your employees to do these tasks. This analysis will provide some benchmarks against which the effectiveness of a training program can be evaluated. Your firm should know where it wants to be in five years from its long-range strategic plan. What you need is a training program to take your firm from here to there.
Second, consider whether the organization is financially committed to supporting the training efforts. If not, any attempt to develop a solid training program will fail. Next, determine exactly where training is needed. It is foolish to implement a companywide training effort without concentrating resources where they are needed most. An internal audit will help point out areas that may benefit from training. Also, a skills inventory can help determine the skills possessed by the employees in general. This inventory will help the organization determine what skills are available now and what skills are needed for future development. Also, in today's market-driven economy, you would be remiss not to ask your customers what they like about your business and what areas they think should be improved. In summary, the analysis should focus on the total organization and should tell you (1) where training is needed and (2) where it will work within the organization. Once you have determined where training is needed, concentrate on the content of the program. Analyze the characteristics of the job based on its description, the written narrative of what the employee actually does. Training based on job descriptions should go into detail about how the job is performed on a task-by-task basis. Actually doing the job will enable you to get a better feel for what is done. Individual employees can be evaluated by comparing their current skill levels or performance to the organization's performance standards or anticipated needs. Any discrepancies between actual and anticipated skill levels identifies a training need. Selection of Trainees Once you have decided what training is necessary and where it is needed, the next decision is who should be trained? For a small business, this question is crucial. Training an employee is expensive, especially when he or she leaves your firm for a better job. Therefore, it is important to carefully select who will be trained. Training programs should be designed to consider the ability of the employee to learn the material and to use it effectively, and to make the most efficient use of resources possible. It is also important that employees be motivated by the training experience. Employee failure in the program is not only damaging to the employee but a waste of money as well. Selecting the right trainees is important to the success of the program. Training Goals The goals of the training program should relate directly to the needs determined by the assessment process outlined above. Course objectives should clearly state what behavior or skill will be changed as a result of the training and should relate to the mission and strategic plan of the company. Goals should include milestones to help take the employee from where he or she is today to where the firm wants him or her in the future. Setting goals helps to evaluate the training program and also to motivate employees. Allowing employees to participate in setting goals increases the probability of success. Training Methods
There are two broad types of training available to small businesses: on-the-job and off-thejob techniques. Individual circumstances and the "who," "what" and "why" of your training program determine which method to use. On-the-job training is delivered to employees while they perform their regular jobs. In this way, they do not lose time while they are learning. After a plan is developed for what should be taught, employees should be informed of the details. A timetable should be established with periodic evaluations to inform employees about their progress. On-the-job techniques include orientations, job instruction training, apprenticeships, internships and assistantships, job rotation and coaching. Off-the-job techniques include lectures, special study, films, television conferences or discussions, case studies, role playing, simulation, programmed instruction and laboratory training. Most of these techniques can be used by small businesses although, some may be too costly. Orientations are for new employees. The first several days on the job are crucial in the success of new employees. This point is illustrated by the fact that 60 percent of all employees who quit do so in the first ten days. Orientation training should emphasize the following topics: y y y y The company's history and mission. The key members in the organization. The key members in the department, and how the department helps fulfill the mission of the company. Personnel rules and regulations.
Some companies use verbal presentations while others have written presentations. Many small businesses convey these topics in one-on-one orientations. No matter what method is used, it is important that the newcomer understand his or her new place of employment.
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Lectures present training material verbally and are used when the goal is to present a great deal of material to many people. It is more cost effective to lecture to a group than to train people individually. Lecturing is one-way communication and as such may not be the most effective way to train. Also, it is hard to ensure that the entire audience understands a topic on the same level; by targeting the average attendee you may undertrain some and lose others. Despite these drawbacks, lecturing is the most cost-effective way of reaching large audiences. Role playing and simulation are training techniques that attempt to bring realistic decision making situations to the trainee. Likely problems and alternative solutions are presented for discussion. The adage there is no better trainer than experience is exemplified with this type of training. Experienced employees can describe real world experiences, and can help in and learn from developing the solutions to these simulations. This method is cost effective and is used in marketing and management training.
Audiovisual methods such as television, videotapes and films are the most effective means of providing real world conditions and situations in a short time. One advantage is that the presentation is the same no matter how many times it's played. This is not true with lectures, which can change as the speaker is changed or can be influenced by outside constraints. The major flaw with the audiovisual method is that it does not allow for questions and interactions with the speaker, nor does it allow for changes in the presentation for different audiences. Job rotation involves moving an employee through a series of jobs so he or she can get a good feel for the tasks that are associated with different jobs. It is usually used in training for supervisory positions. The employee learns a little about everything. This is a good strategy for small businesses because of the many jobs an employee may be asked to do. Apprenticeships develop employees who can do many different tasks. They usually involve several related groups of skills that allow the apprentice to practice a particular trade, and they take place over a long period of time in which the apprentice works for, and with, the senior skilled worker. Apprenticeships are especially appropriate for jobs requiring production skills. Internships and assistantships are usually a combination of classroom and on-the-job training. They are often used to train prospective managers or marketing personnel. Programmed learning, computer-aided instruction and interactive video all have one thing in common: they allow the trainee to learn at his or her own pace. Also, they allow material already learned to be bypassed in favor of material with which a trainee is having difficulty. After the introductory period, the instructor need not be present, and the trainee can learn as his or her time allows. These methods sound good, but may be beyond the resources of some small businesses. Laboratory training is conducted for groups by skilled trainers. It usually is conducted at a neutral site and is used by upper- and middle management trainees to develop a spirit of teamwork and an increased ability to deal with management and peers. It can be costly and usually is offered by larger small businesses. Trainers Who actually conducts the training depends on the type of training needed and who will be receiving it. On-the-job training is conducted mostly by supervisors; off-the-job training, by either in-house personnel or outside instructors. In-house training is the daily responsibility of supervisors and employees. Supervisors are ultimately responsible for the productivity and, therefore, the training of their subordinates. These supervisors should be taught the techniques of good training. They must be aware of the knowledge and skills necessary to make a productive employee. Trainers should be taught to establish goals and objectives for their training and to determine how these objectives can be used to influence the productivity of their departments. They also must be aware of how adults learn and how best to communicate with adults. Small businesses need to develop their supervisors' training capabilities by sending them to courses on training methods. The investment will pay off in increased productivity.
There are several ways to select training personnel for off-the-job training programs. Many small businesses use in-house personnel to develop formal training programs to be delivered to employees off line from their normal work activities, during company meetings or individually at prearranged training sessions. There are many outside training sources, including consultants, technical and vocational schools, continuing education programs, chambers of commerce and economic development groups. Selecting an outside source for training has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that these organizations are well versed in training techniques, which is often not the case with in-house personnel. The disadvantage of using outside training specialists is their limited knowledge of the company's product or service and customer needs. These trainers have a more general knowledge of customer satisfaction and needs. In many cases, the outside trainer can develop this knowledge quickly by immersing himself or herself in the company prior to training the employees. Another disadvantage of using outside trainers is the relatively high cost compared to in-house training, although the higher cost may be offset by the increased effectiveness of the training. Whoever is selected to conduct the training, either outside or in-house trainers, it is important that the company's goals and values be carefully explained. Training Administration Having planned the training program properly, you must now administer the training to the selected employees. It is important to follow through to make sure the goals are being met. Questions to consider before training begins include: y y y y y y Location. Facilities. Accessibility. Comfort. Equipment. Timing.
Careful attention to these operational details will contribute to the success of the training program. An effective training program administrator should follow these steps: y y y y y y y y Define the organizational objectives. Determine the needs of the training program. Define training goals. Develop training methods. Decide whom to train. Decide who should do the training. Administer the training. Evaluate the training program.
Following these steps will help an administrator develop an effective training program to ensure that the firm keeps qualified employees who are productive, happy workers. This will contribute positively to the bottom line. Evaluation of Training Training should be evaluated several times during the process. Determine these milestones when you develop the training. Employees should be evaluated by comparing their newly acquired skills with the skills defined by the goals of the training program. Any discrepancies should be noted and adjustments made to the training program to enable it to meet specified goals. Many training programs fall short of their expectations simply because the administrator failed to evaluate its progress until it was too late. Timely evaluation will prevent the training from straying from its goals.
Training and development describes the formal, ongoing efforts of organizations to improve the performance and self-fulfillment of their employees through a variety of methods and programs. In the modern workplace, these efforts have taken on a broad range of applications²from instruction in highly specific job skills to long-term professional development. In recent years, training and development has emerged as a formal business function, an integral element of strategy, and a recognized profession with distinct theories and methodologies. More and more companies of all sizes have embraced "continual learning" and other aspects of training and development as a means of promoting employee growth and acquiring a highly skilled work force. In fact, the quality of employees, and the continual improvement of their skills and productivity through training, are now widely recognized as vital factors in ensuring the longterm success and profitability of small businesses. "Create a corporate culture that supports continual learning," counseled Charlene Marmer Solomon in Workforce. "Employees today must have access to continual training of all types just to keep up«. If you don't actively stride against the momentum of skills deficiency, you lose ground. If your workers stand still, your firm will lose the competency race." For the most part, the terms "training" and "development" are used together to describe the overall improvement and education of an organization's employees. However, while closely related, there are important differences between the terms that center around the scope of the application. In general, training programs have very specific and quantifiable goals, like operating a particular piece of machinery, understanding a specific process, or performing certain procedures with great precision. On the other hand, developmental programs concentrate on broader skills that are applicable to a wider variety of situations, such as decision making, leadership skills, and goal setting. Training in Small Businesses Implementation of formal training and development programs offers several potential advantages to small businesses. For example, training helps companies to create pools of qualified replacements for employees who may leave or be promoted to positions of greater responsibility. It also helps ensure that companies will have the human resources needed to support business growth and expansion. Furthermore, training can enable a small business to make use of advanced technology and to adapt to a rapidly changing competitive environment. Finally, training can improve employees' efficiency and motivation, leading to gains in both productivity
and job satisfaction. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses stand to receive a variety of benefits from effective training and development of employees, including reduced turnover, a decreased need for supervision, increased efficiency, and improved employee morale. All of these benefits are likely to contribute directly to a small business's fundamental financial health and vitality Effective training and development begins with the overall strategy and objectives of the small business. The entire training process should be planned in advance with specific company goals in mind. In developing a training strategy, it may be helpful to assess the company's customers and competitors, strengths and weaknesses, and any relevant industry or societal trends. The next step is to use this information to identify where training is needed by the organization as a whole or by individual employees. It may also be helpful to conduct an internal audit to find general areas that might benefit from training, or to complete a skills inventory to determine the types of skills employees possess and the types they may need in the future. Each different job within the company should be broken down on a task-by-task basis in order to help determine the content of the training program. The training program should relate not only to the specific needs identified through the company and individual assessments, but also to the overall goals of the company. The objectives of the training should be clearly outlined, specifying what behaviors or skills will be affected and how they relate to the strategic mission of the company. In addition, the objectives should include several intermediate steps or milestones in order to motivate the trainees and allow the company to evaluate their progress. Since training employees is expensive, a small business needs to give careful consideration to the question of which employees to train. This decision should be based on the ability of the employee to learn the material and the likelihood that they will be motivated by the training experience. If the chosen employees fail to benefit from the training program or leave the company soon after receiving training, the small business has wasted its limited training funds. The design of training programs is the core activity of the training and development function. In recent years, the development of training programs has evolved into a profession which utilizes systematic models, methods, and processes of instructional systems design (ISD). ISD describes the systematic design and development of instructional methods and materials to facilitate the process of training and development and ensure that training programs are necessary, valid, and effective. The instructional design process includes the collection of data on the tasks or skills to be learned or improved, the analysis of these skills and tasks, the development of methods and materials, delivery of the program, and finally the evaluation of the training's effectiveness. Small businesses tend to use two general types of training methods, on-the-job techniques and off-the-job techniques. On-the-job training describes a variety of methods that are applied while employees are actually performing their jobs. These methods might include orientations, coaching, apprenticeships, internships, job instruction training, and job rotation. The main advantages of on-the-job techniques is that they are highly practical, and employees do not lose working time while they are learning. Off-the-job training, on the other hand, describes a number of training methods that are delivered to employees outside of the regular work environment, though often during working hours. These techniques might include lectures, conferences, case
studies, role playing, simulations, film or television presentations, programmed instruction, or special study. On-the-job training tends to be the responsibility of supervisors, human resources professionals, or more experienced co-workers. Consequently, it is important for small businesses to educate their seasoned employees in training techniques. In contrast, off-the-job tends to be handled by outside instructors or sources, such as consultants, chambers of commerce, technical and vocational schools, or continuing education programs. Although outside sources are usually better informed as to effective training techniques than company supervisors, they may have a limited knowledge of the company's products and competitive situation. In addition, the cost of some off-the-job training methods may be too high for many small businesses to afford. Actual administration of the training program involves choosing an appropriate location, providing necessary equipment, and arranging a convenient time. Such operational details, while seemingly minor components of an overall training effort, can have a significant effect on the success of a program. In addition, the training program should be evaluated at regular intervals while it is going on. Employees' skills should be compared to the predetermined goals or milestones of the training program, and any necessary adjustments should be made immediately. This ongoing evaluation process will help ensure that the training program successfully meets its expectations. Common Training Methods While new techniques are under continuous development, several common training methods have proven highly effective. Good continuous learning and development initiatives often feature a combination of several different methods that, blended together, produce one effective training program. ORIENTATIONS. Orientation training is vital in ensuring the success of new employees. Whether the training is conducted through an employee handbook, a lecture, or a one-on-one meeting with a supervisor, newcomers should receive information on the company's history and strategic position, the key people in authority at the company, the structure of their department and how it contributes to the mission of the company, and the company's employment policies, rules, and regulations. LECTURES. A verbal method of presenting information, lectures are particularly useful in situations when the goal is to impart the same information to a large number of people at one time. Since they eliminate the need for individual training, lectures are among the most costeffective training methods. But the lecture method does have some drawbacks. Since lectures primarily involve one-way communication, they may not provide the most interesting or effective training. In addition, it may be difficult for the trainer to gauge the level of understanding of the material within a large group. CASE STUDY. The case method is a non-directed method of study whereby students are provided with practical case reports to analyze. The case report includes a thorough description of a simulated or real-life situation. By analyzing the problems presented in the case report and
developing possible solutions, students can be encouraged to think independently as opposed to relying upon the direction of an instructor. Independent case analysis can be supplemented with open discussion with a group. The main benefit of the case method is its use of real-life situations. The multiplicity of problems and possible solutions provide the student with a practical learning experience rather than a collection of abstract knowledge and theories that may be difficult to apply to practical situations. ROLE PLAYING. In role playing, students assume a role outside of themselves and play out that role within a group. A facilitator creates a scenario that is to be acted out by the participants under the guidance of the facilitator. While the situation might be contrived, the interpersonal relations are genuine. Furthermore, participants receive immediate feedback from the facilitator and the scenario itself, allowing better understanding of their own behavior. This training method is cost effective and is often applied to marketing and management training. SIMULATIONS. Games and simulations are structured competitions and operational models that emulate real-life scenarios. The benefits of games and simulations include the improvement of problem-solving and decision-making skills, a greater understanding of the organizational whole, the ability to study actual problems, and the power to capture the student's interest. COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING. Computer-based training (CBT) involves the use of computers and computer-based instructional materials as the primary medium of instruction. Computer-based training programs are designed to structure and present instructional materials and to facilitate the learning process for the student. A main benefit of CBT is that it allows employees to learn at their own pace, during convenient times. Primary uses of CBT include instruction in computer hardware, software, and operational equipment. The last is of particular importance because CBT can provide the student with a simulated experience of operating a particular piece of equipment or machinery while eliminating the risk of damage to costly equipment by a trainee or even a novice user. At the same time, the actual equipment's operational use is maximized because it need not be utilized as a training tool. The use of computer-based training enables a small business to reduce training costs while improving the effectiveness of the training. Costs are reduced through a reduction in travel, training time, amount of operational hardware, equipment damage, and instructors. Effectiveness is improved through standardization and individualization. In recent years, videodisc and CD-ROM have been successfully integrated into PC-platforms, increasing the flexibility and possibilities of CBT. SELF-INSTRUCTION. Self-instruction describes a training method in which the students assume primary responsibility for their own learning. Unlike instructor- or facilitator-led instruction, students retain a greater degree of control regarding topics, the sequence of learning, and the pace of learning. Depending on the structure of the instructional materials, students can achieve a higher degree of customized learning. Forms of self-instruction include programmed learning, individualized instruction, personalized systems of instruction, learner-controlled instruction, and correspondence study. Benefits include a strong support system, immediate feedback, and systematization.
AUDIOVISUAL TRAINING. Audiovisual training methods include television, films, and videotapes. Like case studies, role playing, and simulations, they can be used to expose employees to "real world" situations in a time- and cost-effective manner. The main drawback of audiovisual training methods is that they cannot be customized for a particular audience, and they do not allow participants to ask questions or interact during the presentation of material. TEAM-BUILDING EXERCISES. Team building is the active creation and maintenance of effective work groups with similar goals and objectives. Not to be confused with the informal, ad-hoc formation and use of teams in the workplace, team building is a formal process of building work teams and formulating their objectives and goals, usually facilitated by a thirdparty consultant. Team building is commonly initiated to combat poor group dynamics, labormanagement relations, quality, or productivity. By recognizing the problems and difficulties associated with the creation and development of work teams, team building provides a structured, guided process whose benefits include a greater ability to manage complex projects and processes, flexibility to respond to changing situations, and greater motivation among team members. Team building may include a broad range of different training methods, from outdoor immersion exercises to brainstorming sessions. The main drawback to formal team building is the cost of using outside experts and taking a group of people away from their work during the training program. APPRENTICESHIPS AND INTERNSHIPS. Apprenticeships are a form of on-the-job training in which the trainee works with a more experienced employee for a period of time, learning a group of related skills that will eventually qualify the trainee to perform a new job or function. Apprenticeships are often used in production-oriented positions. Internships are a form of apprenticeship which combine on-the-job training under a more experienced employee with classroom learning. JOB ROTATION. Another type of experience-based training is job rotation, in which employees move through a series of jobs in order to gain a broad understanding of the requirements of each. Job rotation may be particularly useful in small businesses, which may feature less role specialization than is typically seen in larger organizations. Applications of Training Programs While the applications of training and development are as various as the functions and skills required by an organization, several common training applications can be distinguished, including technical training, sales training, clerical training, computer training, communications training, organizational development, career development, supervisory development, and management development. Technical training describes a broad range of training programs varying greatly in application and difficulty. Technical training utilizes common training methods for instruction of technical concepts, factual information, and procedures, as well as technical processes and principles. Sales training concentrates on the education and training of individuals to communicate with customers in a persuasive manner. Sales training can enhance the employee's knowledge of the
organization's products, improve his or her selling skills, instill positive attitudes, and increase the employee's self-confidence. Employees are taught to distinguish the needs and wants of the customer, and to persuasively communicate the message that the company's products or services can effectively satisfy them. Clerical training concentrates on the training of clerical and administrative support staffs, which have taken on an expanded role in recent years. With the increasing reliance on computers and computer applications, clerical training must be careful to distinguish basic skills from the everchanging computer applications used to support these skills. Clerical training increasingly must instill improved decision-making skills in these employees as they take on expanded roles and responsibilities. Computer training teaches the effective use of the computer and its software applications, and often must address the basic fear of technology that most employees face and identify and minimize any resistance to change that might emerge. Furthermore, computer training must anticipate and overcome the long and steep learning curves that many employees will experience. To do so, such training is usually offered in longer, uninterrupted modules to allow for greater concentration, and structured training is supplemented by hands-on practice. This area of training is commonly cited as vital to the fortunes of most companies, large and small, operating in today's technologically advanced economy. Communications training concentrates on the improvement of interpersonal communication skills, including writing, oral presentation, listening, and reading. In order to be successful, any form of communications training should be focused on the basic improvement of skills and not just on stylistic considerations. Furthermore, the training should serve to build on present skills rather than rebuilding from the ground up. Communications training can be taught separately or can be effectively integrated into other types of training, since it is fundamentally related to other disciplines. Organizational development (OD) refers to the use of knowledge and techniques from the behavioral sciences to analyze an existing organizational structure and implement changes in order to improve organizational effectiveness. OD is useful in such varied areas as the alignment of employee goals with those of the organization, communications, team functioning, and decision making. In short, it is a development process with an organizational focus to achieve the same goals as other training and development activities aimed at individuals. OD practitioners commonly practice what has been termed "action research" to effect an orderly change which has been carefully planned to minimize the occurrence of unpredicted or unforeseen events. Action research refers to a systematic analysis of an organization to acquire a better understanding of the nature of problems and forces within it. Career development refers to the formal progression of an employee's position within an organization by providing a long-term development strategy and designing training programs to achieve this strategy as well as individual goals. Career development represents a growing concern for employee welfare and their long-term needs. For the individual, it involves the description of career goals, the assessment of necessary action, and the choice and implementation of necessary steps. For the organization, career development represents the
systematic development and improvement of employees. To remain effective, career development programs must allow individuals to articulate their desires. At the same time, the organization strives to meet those stated needs as much as possible by consistently following through on commitments and meeting the employee expectations raised by the program. Management and supervisory development involves the training of managers and supervisors in basic leadership skills, enabling them to effectively function in their positions. For managers, training initiatives are focused on providing them with the tools to balance the effective management of their employee resources with the strategies and goals of the organization. Managers learn to develop their employees effectively by helping employees learn and change, as well as by identifying and preparing them for future responsibilities. Management development may also include programs for developing decision making skills, creating and managing successful work teams, allocating resources effectively, budgeting, business planning, and goal setting.