One of the main foundation’s nucleus in entrepreneurship is human resource management. It has been observed to involve various functions and activities upon which the survival and ultimate growth of the business enterprise rest. These activities and functions of the human resource management department require impeccable competence and professionalism to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the operations of the department. Davenport (1993) observes that “in deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations.” One critical aspect of human resource management that has the capacity of this critical department in organizations is the development of training programs within organizations.
Organizations stand to reap a cocktail of benefits through the development of effective training programs that takes into consideration the critical component of needs assessment. According to Gent and Dell’Omo (1989), “the assessment begins with a “need” which can be identified in several ways but is generally described as a gap between what is currently in place and what is needed, now and in the future.” The ability to understand the relevant activities in the needs assessment that would be implementable within an organization constitutes an important step in the development of a training program. Assessment activities that I would implement to help in the identification of training needs of my organization include problem-solving, communication teamwork, work ethic, technical capacities and interpersonal relationships.
It can be discerned for the above activities that the central purpose of “training needs assessment is to identify performance requirements or needs within an organization in order to help direct resources to the areas of greatest need, those that closely relate to fulfilling the organizational goals and objectives, improving productivity and providing quality products and services” (McGehee & Thayer, 1961). The activities are better dealt with in accordance with their levels of emergency in regard to the training needs assessment for greater output.
Training should be used for deficiencies in performance identified in a performance appraisal process because it forms one of the critical means of enhancing employee performance levels. However, this process should be articulated in line with a needs assessment to avoid spending billions of dollars on irrelevant training and eventually losing credibility with employees. This means that it might only work effectively when aligned with the critical needs of an organization. This fact is best buttressed by Zemke and Kramlinger (1962) in stating that “conducting better performance appraisal interviews is usually not going to solve a performance problem when the real cause is a lack of clear direction, or unrealistic performance standards, or that insufficient time is given to the supervisors to properly lead, direct and coach their employees.” The best strategy in achieving performance improvement through training must involve the capacity to handle the right symptom with the right method of cure.
It can then be stated that training does not constitute the fundamental means of achieving employee performance improvement. Zemke and Kramlinger (1962) assert that “the solution is to implement a systematic approach to manage employee performance throughout the business, teach the system to everyone concerned, and then uses the system’s processes and skills to ensure that the system itself is consistently used correctly by everyone.” The ability to evaluate training effectiveness serve as a pointer the levels at which the training aims and objectives have been achieved. According to McGehee and Thayer (1961) “the purpose of evaluation is to help individuals enhance in those areas that need improvement.” This will therefore form the foundation on carrying out assessments on the relevance of the training module. In addition to the above, “the evaluation of training gives characteristics of training and coaching.” Training evaluation also enables employees have the capacity to not only appreciate training but also understand its benefits towards the company and for themselves.
The need to carry out evaluation on performances ahs led to the initiation of balanced score cards. The attention to strategy in advancement of the BSC tool has been paid host by a lot of researchers. The general bearing is that through the development of a sound strategy that encapsulates and visualizes the organizations operatives, the causal and effects linkages can be devised and deployed accordingly towards better organizational performance. In essence, “this should be structured around four major organizational perspectives i.e., learning and growth, customers, internal business processes and finances” (Kaplan and Norton, 1992). The causal and effect linkages therefore underline the critical need for carrying out a training evaluation. These have been developed from the backdrop knowledge of the limitations of the traditional financial measures that led to the development of Balanced Score Cards (BSC) as a tool for linking performance measures to the strategic intents of an organization and first presented by Kaplan in 1992.
Two types of delivery methods that have been advanced literatures include lecture and discussion method. Whereas a number of evaluation strategies have been advanced in literatures, the specific method to apply depends on the type method of delivery. An effective way of evaluating lecture delivery method involves taking note of the participants’ ability to ask questions and form part of the lecturing process. In addition to the above, the effectiveness of a lecture will be largely determined by level of interactive communication since this is an extensive oral presentation of material. The effectiveness of the discussion method can be evaluated the levels of modifications of employee attitudes that that provides new insights and facts on the levels of understanding. This is based on the background knowledge that “discussions allow the trainee to be actively engaged in the content of the lecture, which improves recall and use in the future” (Zemke & Kramlinger, 1962).
Most literatures on organizational training have pointed out at the relationship between training assessment and evaluation. This is because of the fact that the types of the training activities are presented by the process of needs assessment whereas their effectiveness are presented by the analysis of evaluation report. Poor needs assessment process that fails to target critical areas of organizational needs definitely translate to poor evaluative results. It can therefore be ascertained that there should be strong relationship between the two for the production of positive outcomes out of the training efforts. In conclusion, organizational capacity to develop effective training program translate to a bundle of benefits for an organization by minimizing costs on unwanted and unnecessary trainings.
Davenport, J. (1993). Avoiding performance measurement traps: Ensuring effective incentive design and implementation. American management association, compensation & benefits review, Vol.30, no. 4.450-610.
Gent, M. and Dell’Omo, G (1989). The Needs Assessment Solution. Personnel Administrator, 82-84.
Kaplan, R and Norton, D. (1992).The balance scorecard-measure that drive performance. Harvard business Review: Harvard.
McGehee, W. and Thayer, P.W. (1961). Training in Business and Industry. New York: Wiley.
Zemke, R and Kramlinger, T. (1962). Figuring Things Out: A Trainer’s Guide to Needs and Task Analysis. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.