BUS 680 University of Arizona

A successful trainer needs to effectively engage various types of trainees and adapt quickly in the learning environment to meet their needs. Chapter 8 of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text lists and offers tips on dealing with different participant personalities. Review the three scenarios below. Discuss how you would effectively engage and manage each group of participants in a 2-day training seminar. Apply two to three specific adult learning principles and/or techniques to each of the scenarios listed below.

Scenario A
Your colleague is a training specialist who has just concluded an activity on techniques for overcoming challenges in the classroom. He clearly understood the content, but did not ask questions of the group to confirm their understanding. In addition, when explaining activities, the directions were not clear and there was never an opportunity to ask for clarification. What constructive feedback would you give to your colleague?

Scenario B
Your colleague is a department manager who has just opened a training session. Her opening included group introductions, but she went directly into presenting content. About an hour later, a few participants began talking out of turn. What feedback would you give to your colleague on the impact this may have had on participants, and what could have been done differently to avoid this situation?

Scenario C
Your colleague is a human resources manager who just completed an activity followed by a group discussion. The activity went well, but the debrief did not. As the facilitator, he had trouble getting the group to answer his questions. The group did not appear to be very engaged. What feedback could you give him on how he could get participants to participate?

Week 4 Lecture

Development

The first phases of the training process model are necessary to design and develop relevant, useful training materials. The development stage of training is crucial in order to ensure all items that need to be accomplished are aligned and completed. As part of the design process, the training is organized by specific skills and knowledge to be taught into logical teaching units. The design for each unit or module includes its training objectives and a brief outline of the information, examples, and exercises that will provide opportunities for practice using the skills and knowledge.

Development of each training module progresses from the brief design outline to an expanded outline to the complete module. Expanded outlines of the modules specify more completely the information and the types of examples and exercises to be provided in the training. For example, training might incorporate live demonstrations or video. Exercises might include written exercises, group discussions, role plays, or practice. To develop realistic examples and exercises, training developers rely on interviews with technical experts who are familiar with the target population, job setting, tasks, and conditions. Development of complete training modules includes preparation of guidelines for the facilitators who will conduct the course. Finally, the training modules are reviewed by technical experts and field-tested with the target population. The training materials are then revised and finalized based on reviews and results of the field test.

Below are examples of the development phase of training and an example development plan.

Image 1

Figure 1. Development Phase (Blanchard and Thacker, 2013)

Sample Program Development Plan

Name of Program: Pipe Fitting
Target Population: Apprentices who have successfully passed the gas fitters exam.
Overall Training Objective: Trainees will be able to examine a work project and with appropriate tools, measure, cut, thread, and install the piping according to standards outlined in the gas code.

Learning ObjectiveKSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes) Outcomes trainees are expected to acquire.

Learning PointsImportant information a trainee must acquire to accomplish learning objective.

MethodsWays used to communicate and deliver content.

MaterialsItems needed to effectively present training.ExamplesUsing a tape measure, determine the length and number of pipes necessary to connect the furnace to the gas meter in a manner that meets the gas code

  1. Account for the extra length needed due to threading.
  2. Take into account length is reduced by different fittings, e.g. street elbow, etc.
  3. How to construct appropriate drop for furnace.
  • Lecture
  • Simulation
  • Trainee manual
  • Overhead Projector
  • Assortment of 1-inch & ¾ inch fittings, elbows, street elbows
  • Mock meter and furnace display
  • Tape measure
  • Notepads

Table 1. Instructional Strategy (Blanchard and Thacker, 2013)

Case Analysis

At the end of Chapter 8 of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text is a case analysis. In the case, Jim works as a laborer for a gas utility. Please read the case analysis and answer the case questions that follow. (This is not an assignment that needs to be submitted.) Once completed, check your responses with the answers below.

This case occurred a number of years ago, but in checking with some of the workers that are still there, the power equipment operator training has not changed very much. The company has invested in training their service people more extensively, but the power equipment training is still OJT without the trainer.

Case Questions and Issues for Analysis

  1. What are the potential costs to this lack of training? Why do you think the company operated in this manner?

    The costs of the lack of training were great. There were charges to the company every time a line was broken and had to be repaired. The potential for a serious accident was great. Not only when digging holes but in driving to and from the job sites. The backhoe is a very unstable machine when being driven as the back end is heavy causing the front to lift off the ground from time to time. Steering can be done with the brakes (there is one for each of the back wheels), but this takes practice.

    The cost was much more that what is mentioned above. In the winter months, Jim would use the boom much like a jackhammer to break through the frost, as he was never taught any other way (below pavement frozen ground would sometimes go down four to five feet). Because of the constant pounding, Jim found himself going at least three times a week to the Massey Ferguson repair depot to have a crack welded, hose replaced, or bucket repaired. To his knowledge, Bill Granger hardly ever went for such repairs. The cost of this must have been great, and Jim expected that he would be called in to explain his high maintenance costs to management. This never happened. The company obviously never tracked these costs, and, therefore, did not realize the lost revenue due to constant repairs. It was not that management did not know he was getting these repairs, as such information was on his time sheet, and he did have to sign for repairs.

  2. What type of training would you recommend: OJT, classroom, or a combination? Describe what the training might entail.

    OJT would be a possibility, but a better approach would be to use a simulation with one of the backhoes used as the simulator. As described above, the OJT method could end up being very costly. The training would need to begin using the JIT approach, in which the instructor would “tell” and “show” before allowing the trainee to begin operating the vehicle. Issues concerning speed and safety would need to be highlighted prior to going into the field. Classroom training will be needed to address the safety and some of the maintenance KSAs.

  3. What type of training environment would you provide?

    The simulation could be done in a training field with steel pipe buried in the ground to allow the trainee to experience what it is like to hit piping in the ground. Advanced training could use lead pipe like that found in the water services. The classroom environment would be less distracting and allow the trainee to focus on the material.

  4. Who would you get to do the training and why?

    Bill Granger might have been a good trainer. If so, it would be necessary to provide him with train-the-trainer sessions to the extent his trainer KSAs were deficient. Another option would be to see if this type of training were available somewhere in the industry. Perhaps the manufacturer provided training or another utility company may do so.

    In retrospect, Jim believes that Bill would have been a good trainer. He was very relaxed and when Jim did go to him for help; the help provided (on his own time) was very useful. He always took time to be sure Jim understood what he was saying and, when necessary, would show him what he meant. The other backhoe operator at the time was Mike. He was a nervous individual who would have been a poor trainer. Not because he was not as good as Bill (although he was not), but because he would not have had the patience to guide a trainee through the steps.

  5. Would you consider purchasing a training program for backhoe operators? Provide your rationale.

    As indicated above, it may be possible to find this type of training provided by an outside party. If it was, you would need to make sure the training addressed all the critical issues faced by the gas utility (e.g., buried utility lines, etc.).
     

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BUS 680 University of Arizona

1 High Quality help

Presented at the end of Chapters 4, 5, 8 and 9 of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text, are examples of what would be done in a real situation regarding a small business that requested training. Review the Fabrics Inc. example at the end of Chapter 4. In the Fabrics Inc. example, Blanchard and Thacker (2013) have demonstrated, needs analysis, the first phase in the Training Process Model.

In an 800 to 1,000 word paper (excluding the title and reference pages), discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and what might be done differently using the Fabrics Inc. example. Identify the sources of data used in the analysis. Discuss how closely the approach correspond to the ideal model presented in the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the assessment methods used. Then, describe at least two additional methods that could have been used, providing rationale as to why these methods could be used.

Week 2 Lecture

This week you will learn about training needs analysis (TNA). Last week you learned theories of motivation and how to integrate various theories to design effective and engaging training. The ultimate goal of training is to enhance performance and achieve organizational strategic goals. You participated in the self-introduction, discussions about training preferences, learning, and motivational theories. The MHC case study in Chapter 2 of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text provided an example of analyzing an organization using systems thinking to gain a holistic view of how training is aligned with its organizational strategic goals.

While you read the required literature for this week, think critically. Why is a needs assessment required prior to training design? How do we identify the gaps between actual performance and expected performance? The training gap identification process is called needs analysis which consists of organizational analysis, operational analysis, and person analysis. There are several needs analysis models. Blanchard and Thacker (2013) have developed a model that provides an overarching framework for understanding the training process from start to finish. This may be a useful framework for you in understanding each of the major steps (needs analysis, design, development and implementation, and evaluation). Even when a chapter does not specifically focus on one of the major training processes, the model shows how a particular chapter fits into the framework. For example, Chapter 4 (Needs Analysis) is the first chapter that focuses on a process in the model. However, Chapters 2 and 3 provide the basis on which training needs are identified and given priority. Chapter 3 (Learning, Motivation, and Performance) is also the foundation for training design as it relates to motivation to learn and factors facilitating the learning process. Notice that the material in Chapter 3 provides a foundation for the material in later chapters. By taking a look at this, you will have a clearer picture of how the material relates to human resource development (HRD) practices.

The Training Process Model

The training process model serves as a problem solving tool. The training process begins with some type of triggering event when a person without authority within the organization recognizes that performance is less than expected. Training is viewed as one of several possible solutions to organizational and individual performance problems. Whether training is the right solution depends on what causes the problem and the cost-benefit ratios of the other alternatives. Blanchard and Thacker (2013) present the five phases of the training process model. The needs analysis phase identifies the problems and identifies the causes. Training becomes the solution when the problem is caused by inadequate knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs). Once training is identified as a solution, the design, development, and implementation phases result in a training program that is attended by the appropriate employees. Finally, the evaluation phase assesses both the training processes and the training outcomes.

Training Needs Analysis Phase

The training process begins with a determination of needs. Once a performance gap is identified, the cause must be determined. If the gap is caused by inadequate knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs), then training can be utilized to satisfy the need. If the gap is caused by something other than inadequate KSAs, then appropriate non-training interventions need to take place. Training needs analysis (TNA) uses information from three sources: the organization, the operational areas, and the individuals. The output of the Analysis Phase consists of identification of the training and non-training needs and their priorities.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Analysis Phase (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013)

There are three levels of needs assessment: organizational analysis, task analysis, and individual analysis. Organizational analysis looks at the effectiveness of the organization and determines where training is needed and under what conditions it will be conducted. Task analysis provides data about a job or a group of jobs and the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities needed to achieve optimum performance. Individual analysis analyzes how well the individual employee is doing the job and determines which employees need training and what kind.

Figure 2

figure 2.1

Figure 2. Correcting a Performance Gap (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013)

In short, the purpose of a TNA is to determine the level of KSAs the target population has so you can assess if training is necessary, and if so, what level and type is required. If you are changing your organizational culture or climate, or wish to expose everyone to a particular process or new way of responding to certain issues, then a needs analysis may not be necessary. For example, if you wish to expose everyone to the new sexual harassment policies, safety rules, or to the team approach to quality control, then a needs analysis may not be necessary as you want everyone to be exposed to the new information.

Several unique models were a result of the works of early pioneers in the field. The works of Gilbert, Harless, Mager, and Rummler provided the principles of the foundations for performance analysis.

Read the article, HPT Models: An Overview of the Major Models in the Field (Links to an external site.), by Wilmoth, Prigmore, and Bray (2002).

Case Analysis

At the end of Chapter 4 of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text is a case analysis. In the case, Fred had just become a manager at a local hardware store that employs about six managers and 55 non-management employees. Please read the case analysis, and answer the case questions that follow. (This is not an assignment that needs to be submitted.) Once completed check your responses with the answers below.

Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2013). Effective training: systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Wilmoth, F. S., Prigmore, C., & Bray, M. (2002, September). HPT models: An overview of the major models in the field. Retrieved from http://www.sixboxes.com/_customelements/uploadedRe… 

Training is necessary but it cost! Corporations create budgets annually that include training programs intended to keep up with competitors and ensure the growth of their industry. There are many reasons for training from technological advancement to company mergers. According to Crocket, B. (1993), “We learned a couple of years ago that the most difficult part of a (merger) is generally not the technical side, but the people side and the training issue”. The issue being referred to is cost. In short after a merger, the company Comerica, experienced a delay in the cost saving they anticipated due to difficulty in their ability to ramp up new hired employees on the different systems. Such business strains are the reason for training needs analysis.

According to Blanchard & Thacker (2013), once a problem has been identified the TNA is triggered and the following are the levels of an analysis that are required to gain the input needed prior to creating any material for training.

The organizational analysis provides insight on the organizations strategies to determine how the system structure impacts the employees. Some questions to consider are:

  • What is the vision and that has been communicated to leaders, front line and customer base?
  • What current systems do they have in place that reinforce their expectations? What is working, and what is not?
  • How have the organizational directives changed over the last year or quarter?

The operational analysis is the examination of specific jobs to determine the requirement, in terms of the step-by-step tasks required to be carried out and the KSAs required to get the job done (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). Some questions to consider are:

  • What are the specific key performance indicators to include but not limited to numeric, social, and head count targets?
  • Do you have a list of skills and competencies needed to perform the job?

The person analysis allows for an examination of the employees to establish whether they have the competencies and KSAs necessary to do the job. Some questions to consider are:

  • What data do you have in reference to individual performance?
  • What tools are being used to measure performance and how often? Daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
  • What is the percentage of those performing versus those under performing?

References:

Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2013). Effective training: systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Crockett, B. (1993, Feb 03). Comerica says training slowed its cost-cutting series: 12. American Banker (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from https://www-proquest-com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/newspapers/comerica-says-training-slowed-cost-cutting-series/docview/292996729/se-2?accountid=32521 

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