Historical Context of Training Engagement
Training has been an integral component of unit efficiency across various industries. In this regard, the attendance parameter is crucial, as it reflects the degree of engagement. Accordingly, increased attention has been devoted to the methods of enhancing the attendance of various unit training programs, which is especially topical for Civil Aid Services. In order to provide meaningful insight for the Civil Aid Service, it is wise to examine the best practices from other areas of expertise, in which unit training is integral. Moreover, a brief overview of the historical perspective is equally important in this context.
The concept of engagement, which is directly related to attendance, has been vital for any industry across history. The early 21st-century study conducted by Levy et al. (2000) revealed the effectiveness of on-site training for professional performance. More specifically, nurses who obtained such training showed better preparedness for emergency situations. Reid et al. (2008) add that the engagement parameter is a critical component of professional training effectiveness. In other words, for the training to be fruitful, workers are to remain interested in the process, demonstrating their willingness to learn and grow through attendance and attention.
Since the 2000s, scholars have been relying on video-based observations in order to develop improved engagement and attendance techniques. Cain et al. (2007) utilized this approach in the case of school students as the most popular training setting. Learning sessions were recorded and later analyzed in order to determine students’ behavior patterns. The most important findings comprised an average estimated duration of the engagement. According to Anderson et al. (2004), the lack of engagement is a key determinant of attendance, as uninterested students tend to skip learning sessions upon being presented with such an opportunity. Miranda-Zapata et al. (2018) concur, observing a direct correlation between engagement levels and attendance. Therefore, video-based observations show educators the exact point at which an average learner loses interest, allowing them to tailor the sessions accordingly. Furthermore, such research can be extended in order to study the underlying factors that either enable or impede learner engagement.
As can be inferred from the examination of earlier literature, in the earlier 21st century, scholars began to emphasize the importance of engagement and attendance factors. As such, Rissanen (2018) explored the correlation between training group sizes and engagement. This research yielded a negative correlation between the number of learners and their willingness to engage in the process. Moreover, in large groups, certain members tend to skip sessions more often, assuming that their absence will not be noticeable. Rynes and Rosen (1995) believe that the attendance results are unquestionably better for mandatory unit training programs. However, in this particular scenario, there are certain discrepancies between attendance and engagement. More specifically, the learner’s presence during the sessions does not imply that they are interested in the process. Therefore, the outcome of such training will still remain sub-optimal, prompting organizers to seek better engagement, above all. The aforementioned points represent various industries and educational contexts, but their value for the present research is conditioned by the fundamental aspects of training they address.
Contemporary Views on Training Engagement
The ideas behind training engagement improvements have undergone major transformations along with the development of the corresponding industries. Modern scholars and experts rely on similar fundamental principles, extending them in accordance with the contemporary body of knowledge. In addition, present-day training acquires new dimensions, reflecting modern values and priorities. As such, Bristol et al. (2018) rely on the cultural and diversity competencies as indispensable elements of contemporary professional expertise. According to them, the correct presentation of organizational values allows trainees to remain engaged in the process, understanding the importance of each session for their professionalism. Grey et al. (2021) refer to similar ideas as the stakeholder informed professional development. At the same time, Brenske et al. (2013) emphasize the crucial role of training program adaptation for the audience. In other words, learners will demonstrate lower engagement and attendance levels with a generalized approach. Instead, the organizers of the training are to show their own competencies by tailoring the contents and instruments of the session to a specific audience.
The role of motivation in terms of promoting training engagement has become major in the current environment. It is the central pillar of the study conducted by Daumiller et al. (2020). As per their findings, training organizers can considerably enhance the attendance of their sessions through the in-depth research of the learners’ motivation. This way, the contents of the programs will be bound to remain enticing, prompting trainees to be more attentive and willing to attend courses. For Owren (2019), the key to training engagement consists of addressing the learners’ vulnerabilities. This idea equally implies a certain level of organizer and trainer expertise that allows them to engage learners more effectively. Thus, modern unit training engagement techniques promote the process of personalization and adaptation to specific contexts. Motivation is key in this regard, as this engagement is to be, most of all, personal. These ideas correspond with the general movement toward person-centric ideas adopted by most industries and communities.
At the same time, technology is an indispensable element of modern life. It permeates most spheres of human activity, introducing major transformations in personal, social, and professional domains. The sphere of professional training has not been an exception in this regard, as experts actively utilize the benefits of high-tech solutions for enhancing engagement and attendance. Rashid et al. (2020) state that modern advancements can be used on the organizers’ levels. Big data analysis and machine learning become valuable assessment tools that show both the current and projected efficiency of training. Through the analysis of key variables, training experts can make reliable forecasts regarding attendance while seeking new ways of improving it. Next, Shah and Barkas (2018) discuss the effectiveness of e-training in general. As per their research, interactive and multimedia tools serve as important enablers of learners’ engagement.
This tendency is enabled by the diversification of the process, allowing it to be less monotonous and more practice-oriented. In addition, mobile applications extend the limits of the training in terms of scope and scale, allowing learners to remain engaged even outside the room (Shodipe and Ohanu, 2021). Finally, the presence of remote communication technology has equally created new avenues of engagement. In many cases, attendance issues are created by the necessity of a physical commute to attend the session. For trainees, this process may be associated with negative experiences, such as traffic congestion and time losses. Furthermore, it may be simply inconvenient for them to travel at a specific point. The ability to attend virtual training sessions is a positive development, as it allows learners to remain engaged without having to travel to a physical destination.
Overall, the contemporary views on training attendance and engagement enhancement dwell on the fundamental aspects of the field while emphasizing certain aspects. First, modern scholars view cultural and social competencies as integral to the process of professional development. Second, the focus of attention has shifted toward the recipient of the knowledge rather than the knowledge itself. In this context, a considerable body of research targets motivation as the critical element of positive learning outcomes. Finally, the role of technology is another aspect of paramount importance for contemporary research in training and attendance. Its implementation has been truly broad, opening new avenues of learner engagement.
Barriers to Training Engagement and Attendance
In order to develop meaningful solutions to the issues of training engagement and attendance, it is vital to understand the importance of these concepts. They are equally covered within the contemporary body of the literature, often acquiring non-obvious dimensions. From one perspective, the learners’ attitude to professional training practices largely reflects their degree of involvement with the job. According to Memon et al. (2021), these parameters are strongly associated with overall work satisfaction and commitment. In turn, satisfaction is an essential notion across various industries because of the direct positive correlation between levels and job performance (Indarti et al., 2017). In other words, workers who are content with their positions and corresponding conditions are better prepared to engage with all aspects of the process. A similar perspective is provided in the work by Torlak and Kuzey (2019), who view job engagement as the key to the sustained development of an organization. Furthermore, commitment acquires an additional degree of importance in risk-associated positions, which is exactly the case of the CAS (Yuen et al., 2018). Thus, the purpose of this organization requires the profound engagement of the entire personnel.
The aforementioned ideas are directly related to the principles of engagement and attendance in training programs. People who lack the commitment to the risk of their jobs falling into stagnation, preventing them from seeking professional development (Ćulibrk et al., 2018). On the contrary, if a worker is involved with the organization’s purposes and mission, they are more likely to pursue new avenues of growth (Agarwal and Sajid, 2018). Consequently, they will meet new training initiatives with a better level of preparedness and motivation (Shenderovich et al., 2018). Such important qualities, such as professional commitment and loyalty, are nurtured through the creation of a favorable environment of respect (Soomro and Shah, 2019). Workers are to feel comfortable and recognized by the organization, prompted to respond accordingly and attend training sessions. According to Hur (2019), inclusive work environments are more likely to yield grateful and committed employees who will accept new training initiatives. When this requirement is not met, the attendance of such programs is bound to decrease, affecting the overall performance of a unit.
The concept of a positive and inclusive work environment is inseparable from workers’ needs and expectations. This idea threads through the work published by Al-Rimawi et al. (2017) and is related to the nexus of worker commitment and engagement. According to them, the lack of due recognition prompts workers to develop negative impressions in regard to their position. If the values of the organization and specific individuals are not aligned, the latter will naturally exhibit strong resistance to extra activities. Moreover, professional training may be attributed to the self-actualization stratum of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Hale et al., 2018). As per this theory, the upper layers are engaged only when the previous ones have been fulfilled. In the context of professional training, Mavropoulos et al. (2021) state that the pursuit of self-enhancement becomes the primary enabler of engagement and, accordingly, attendance. In other words, an organization’s workers will commit to training only when they are provided with a comfortable environment in the first place.
The aforementioned principles are overarching for the field of professional training, in general. They outline the crucial barriers that training organizers face on the path of increasing the engagement of participants. The lack of recognition and comfort will prevent trainees from forming becoming involved, thus prompting them to skip sessions (Crabtree et al., 2021). Such a situation may be averted through the creation of an inclusive environment, in which workers will develop the motivation to grow both personally and professionally. This way, CAS will be able to enhance the attendance of its training programs, improving the process of expertise-sharing within units.
Methods of Enhancing the Effectiveness of Attendance of Training
Based on the key overarching principles discussed earlier, the contemporary body of knowledge develops a strong theoretical framework for professional training efficiency. Sitzmann and Weinhardt (2018) describe the training engagement theory as one of the key approaches to enhancing the effectiveness of professional development. This theory relies on learners’ engagement as a crucial aspect of the overall positive outcome. The training engagement theory also emphasizes the temporal aspect of professional training, meaning that such activities are limited to a specific time span. Thus, attendance is important for the success of the process, as all efforts should be pointed and precise.
Based on the previous information, it is possible to conclude that trainee engagement is the key enabler of enhanced attendance in professional learning. As per Carroll et al. (2019), educational practitioners are to influence the learners’ attendance on various levels: individual, task, and environmental. First of all, one of the key tactics relies on the use of digital tools in enhancing attendance and engagement (Gegenfurtner et al., 2020). Broader incorporation of technological advancements extends the scope of training, keeping learners engaged even at a distance (Landers and Armstrong, 2017). According to Corti et al. (2019), such programs positively affect the outcomes of learning, but the exact tools are to be selected with precision. Cox et al. (2017) elaborate on the matter at hand, stating that technology-assisted training enables an immersive process that, in turn, results in better attendance through a deeper appreciation of the learning subject. Thus, one of the primary tactics of contemporary training engagement consists of the extended use of technology.
However, the personal aspect of the process is to be addressed, as well, as complementing the task and environmental ones. Bakker and van Wingerden (2021) suggest that high-quality training takes into account the personal strengths and weaknesses of learners. More specifically, it is vital to determine such strong points within a trainee and treat them as the pillars that support the whole program in each individual case. This way, participants will find it easier to make and maintain considerable progress. The sense of accomplishment serves as a strong incentive to continue the learning, thus contributing to better engagement levels. In addition, such a positive outcome creates an atmosphere of self-encouragement, making the internal motivation gradually outweigh external factors (Chadha, 2018). As a result, continuous progress will introduce a self-propelling system, in which trainees will not require additional influence to remain engaged and attend sessions.
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