[expand title=”The Forgotten Partner of Training: Coaching”]

By: ATCEN

“Does your organization provide training to its employees?” The usual astounding reply will be, “Yes, it does.” Pose the question, “Do the employees receive coaching?” and replies will vary.

It is not surprising to note that organizations tend to overlook the need for coaching, as compared to training. In many instances, managers are confident training is the solution to all shortcomings experienced within the department.

The above assumption is not completely true. Managers fail to realize there are 2 questions in the mind of every employee returning from any training workshop:
1. What Next?
2. Why?

The first question addresses the transfer of learning from the training room to the work environment. The participants have acquired new or updated knowledge and skills. What next? How can the knowledge and skills be applied to the specific job functions/objectives of the department? How are employees expected to put the knowledge and skills into practice?

The second question, “Why?” addresses the need for coaching. How can a manager or supervisor reinforce the knowledge and skills so that it will be “internalized” in each and every employee? Why should employees adopt and practice what they have learnt? And most importantly, why will it work?

It is time organizations realize that it is inadequate for employees to simply understand the learning outcomes of any training workshop. Employees must apply the knowledge well, and constantly. Organizations have to start realizing that coaching is an essential element in the training process.

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[expand title=”Hot Occupation: Training Hopping! “]

By: Dessy Barnaby

Petaling Jaya -: Endless efforts and government spending in the fight for Malaysian Unemployment; our government raised their concerns especially for the unemployment rate of our fresh graduates.

Exactly how effective are programs like “Train & Place” by the government in tackling the challenge of Unemployed Fresh Graduates? With such support and privilege has it been fruitful or has the “Train & Place” become our fresh graduates’ medium to “training hopping” in avoidance of their actual employment hunt.

Candidates taken into the “Train & Place” programs are given in-class soft skills training and apprenticeship placement for a total duration of up to 5 months. Under such conditions, fresh graduates are guaranteed an interview and job placement without much effort from their end; and to top things up, a generous amount of allowance is granted for the duration of their attachment.

This great opportunity proposed by the government has soon created a new occupation among fresh graduates; Training hopping. Among a few challenges faced by the appointed recruitment agents which carries “Train and Place”, one of the biggest concerns for the recruitment consultant is having to find fresh graduates who have spent at least 9 months just attending one “Train and Place” after another.

During confidential interview between the candidate and the consultant, the concern was raised for those who have been “Train Hopping” for a while. Much to their surprise a majority of candidates find it is easier to hop from one “Train and Place” to another and be content with the no-pressure-attachment compared to seeking a full time employment that does not pay much better than their current allowance.

Now it makes us realize that our government’s effort in channelling and providing solutions to our fresh graduates will soon become an opportunity exploited if it is not addressed more appropriately.

Precautions need to be taken in drafting out a firmer base for the “Train & Place” program or there will soon be another hot occupation in the market: Training Hopping.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Thoughts On Training ROI”]

By Jeremy Lee

You want to conduct training and development programs for your people, but the BOSS wants to see the Training Return On Investment (Training ROI) before he will approve the training, so what do you do?

As a training and consultancy organization, we are constantly bombarded with questions from our clients on how they can measure their training ROI. They constantly seek to be reassured that their training investment is adding value to the organization. Such questions are a norm as more and more organizations become performance orientated and training’s cost benefit analysis needs to be calculated.

ROI is a traditional financial measure based on historic data. It can be calculated by the formula:

(Total Benefit / Total Costs) X 100% = ROI

Total Benefits consist of additional revenue generated or any expenses saved by the organization that can be traced directly back to the training. The indirect benefits could be less complains higher quality levels, better efficiency or effectiveness etc.

Total Costs consist of the obvious such as the training and development costs, learner’s time away from doing something productive, physical materials, rental of room, food and beverages related to the training. The not-so-obvious are the overheads of the training department or the opportunity cost of the money spent for the training and development program.

The problem with ROI measurement is that there is no absolute metrics for measuring ROI for training and development. The only certainty is the subjectivity of the whole exercise. An investment into a training and development program is unlike an investment for a physical object. There are only a limit ways that a physical object can be used as it is built for a specific purpose. However training and development programs transfer knowledge which is fluid and can be used in many ways. Therefore in the end any ROI is used primarily for self-justification rather than continuous improvement of the business

Rather then looking at the ROI of training, it is recommended that training and development departments look into how to apply the knowledge learnt in the training. To determine the success of a training and development program, we need to implement the following 4 steps:

1. Determine the success of the transfer of knowledge from the program. This is by determining the employees’ understanding and acquisition of knowledge (knowledge acquisition) from this program. Tool available: Participant assessment of the learning and Trainer’s Evaluation Forms.

2. Next we need to examine how well this knowledge is internalized. Tools available: Coaching Sessions for the participants and further participant assessment.

3. Thereafter we should measure the success of the knowledge application where the user uses this know-how for the benefit of the organization. Tools available: Monitoring sessions and surveys.

4. Lastly we can should look into how this internalized knowledge can be used for other application: Tools available: Brainstorming sessions and Dialogues.

Ultimately the whole purpose of learning and development is to ensure that the participants learn and apply new knowledge. It is a much better investment for the training and development department to maximize their time to assist the participants to apply the knowledge rather than spending the time to calculate the ROI on training and development programs.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Training – An Investment for Your Human Capital “]

By Jeremy Lee

Under the Human Resource Development Act 2001, it is mandatory for companies in the manufacturing and service sectors to contribute a monthly levy to the Human Resource Development Fund. The levy is managed by Human Resource Development Berhad or PSMB (Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad); whereby the money is returned to the companies when the companies submit claims for reimbursements of training cost for programs conducted for their employees. Ideally, this requirement for companies to conduct training for their employees would enable Malaysia to have trained and skilled workforce to serve the local and international market. Sadly, this is not the situation now!

In Malaysia, only a handful of companies conduct training programs on a regular basis for their employees. The management teams of these companies place a high emphasis on improving and enhancing the knowledge and skills of their workforce. For them, it is no longer human resources; it becomes human capital where any money spent of the employees is considered as an investment to increase the “capital” of the company. Employees in these companies benefit from the training programs conducted for them. Training helps to increase their knowledge and skills, and this enables them to be able to perform their job better. The knowledge that the company is willing to invest in them will also serve to motivate the employees.

From the employees’ viewpoint, it is also a similar situation where only a handful of employees perceive attending training programs as beneficial for them. These employees look forward to the announcements by the Human Resource Department about any upcoming training programs. By attending the training program willingly and learning as much as they can, these employees are increasing their value in the job market through the increase in their competency level. Ultimately, this will enable them to climb the corporate ladder faster and advance further in their career compared to their colleagues who dislike attending training programs.

The perception towards training, whether by the employer or the employee, should be changed from one where it is considered as a waste of time to one where it will help the employee to perform better and ultimately, the company benefits as well. The need for training should be taken seriously whereby a training unit or department is formed to ensure that the employees’ training needs are identified and training solutions provided. This training unit will carry out the necessary tasks needed to identify the training needs, and thereafter organize relevant training programs for the employees. This would be the best usage of the training fund that has been put in place, to train the workforce of the nation to move towards being a developed nation.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

[/expand]

[expand title=”Evaluation of Training (Part 1 of 4) “]

By ATCEN

Human resource development is an important function in any organization, big or small. It motivates the staff and at the same time ensures that the organization will always have skilled workforce. In the daily process of planning for staff training, one of the more important tasks to be carried out in the training cycle is training evaluation. In the area of training evaluation, there are four outcomes to look at; namely reaction, learning, behavior and results. In these series of articles, we will look at Level One to Level Four of Donald Kirkpatrik’s training evaluation model and how it can be implemented successfully.

The first level, or Level 1 is known as the evaluation of reaction. The reaction here would be the participants’ reaction to the training program. These reactions are measured at the end of the program through evaluation forms given out to all the participants. Besides evaluating the participants’ reaction to the overall program, the evaluation should also include measurement of the trainer, the topic and the training environment, and equipment used. These topics can be broken further into subtopics e.g. the trainer’s presentation, ability of answer questions and interaction with the participants.

The reason why we measure the participants’ reaction is to gauge the level of positive attitude the participants have towards the training program. If there are positive reactions, then learning and transfer of learning is more likely to happen. Also, unpopular trainers or training programs are likely to be eliminated first by managers. Finally, the evaluation helps identify various training aspects that can be improved in the future.

Level one evaluation is usually done through the use of a questionnaire. In the questionnaire, it is very important to include close-ended questions (including a rating scale) as well as open-ended questions. For the close-ended items, it is recommended to use “neutral” instead of “agree” in the center of a five-point rating scale. For the open-ended items, some of the more important open-ended questions ask about the strengths and weaknesses of the training program. It is necessary to ask these questions in order to improve the program. When filling out the questionnaires, it is always better not to have the participants’ names on it to ensure anonymity. When participants are assured of anonymity, they will be more honest with their answers.

Here are a few advantages of level one evaluation:
1.You will know how the participants felt about the training event.
2. It may point out content areas that trainees felt were missing from the training event.
3. It will tell you how engaged the participants felt by the training event.
4. It can provide information about overall participants’ reaction as well as participants’ feedback and evaluation of specific aspects of the training event.
5. Detailed level one evaluation can provide decisive evaluation information that can be used to improve future versions of the training program (e.g., you can fix the things the participants disliked about the program and add the things they felt was missing).

Finally, it is always important to communicate the results to the management because utilization of evaluation results will not happen without dissemination and communication.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Evaluation of Training (Part 2 of 4) “]

By Dessy Barnaby

Petaling Jaya -: Endless efforts and government spending in the fight for Malaysian Unemployment; our government raised their concerns especially for the unemployment rate of our fresh graduates.

Exactly how effective are programs like “Train & Place” by the government in tackling the challenge of Unemployed Fresh Graduates? With such support and privilege has it been fruitful or has the “Train & Place” become our fresh graduates’ medium to “training hopping” in avoidance of their actual employment hunt.

Candidates taken into the “Train & Place” programs are given in-class soft skills training and apprenticeship placement for a total duration of up to 5 months. Under such conditions, fresh graduates are guaranteed an interview and job placement without much effort from their end; and to top things up, a generous amount of allowance is granted for the duration of their attachment.

This great opportunity proposed by the government has soon created a new occupation among fresh graduates; Training hopping. Among a few challenges faced by the appointed recruitment agents which carries “Train and Place”, one of the biggest concerns for the recruitment consultant is having to find fresh graduates who have spent at least 9 months just attending one “Train and Place” after another.

During confidential interview between the candidate and the consultant, the concern was raised for those who have been “Train Hopping” for a while. Much to their surprise a majority of candidates find it is easier to hop from one “Train and Place” to another and be content with the no-pressure-attachment compared to seeking a full time employment that does not pay much better than their current allowance.

Now it makes us realize that our government’s effort in channelling and providing solutions to our fresh graduates will soon become an opportunity exploited if it is not addressed more appropriately.

Precautions need to be taken in drafting out a firmer base for the “Train & Place” program or there will soon be another hot occupation in the market: Training Hopping.

[/expand]

 

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