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Training and Development Methods

Training and Development Methods

1. Classroom Lecture Method:Training and Development Methods

This is the most commonly used, simple, cost effective and conventional method. It is timesaving because it covers maximum number of people in a short period of time. It involves a speech by the instructor with very limited discussions. Clear and direct methods of presentation. Weaknesses of the method are that, lecture time is more than the normal human attention span of fifteen minutes and the contents of the lecture could be easily forgotten. Since the method does not provide for active participation on the part of the trainees, the extent of take-home learning is not to be known clearly. Moreover, lecture might be useful only if the presentation is made skillfully. While lecture is a useful method in so far as information dissemination is the objective, it has not been highly successful in modifying human behavior or in building commitments in the audience’s minds. An improvisation of this method is the lecture-cum-demonstration method in which the lecturer reemphasizes a skill or information by displaying the same in action.


2. Group Discussion Method:

It is a method used to knowledge and attitudinal development of trainees. In this method, Imagesets of people examine several empirical studies to find out commonalities to derive the underlying general principles. They then combine their ideas and focus their attention on a given problem at a time, speaking from multiple points of view within a group. An instructor is optional, while a leader is necessary in this method. The various advantages of the method are that more ideas can be generated from each session. Moreover each member gets an opportunity to present one’s own ideas and get feedback from members of the same group. Peer pressure and commitments made to groups serve to ensure adherence to decisions jointly taken in the group. As a precaution, care must be taken to secure the participation of all members and make sure that a few members do not pre-determine the course of discussions or dominate the whole proceedings.


3. Simulation Exercises Method:

Simulators are a group of training devices of varying degrees of complexity that model the real world. They range from simple paper mock-ups of mechanical devices to computerized creations of total environments. In fact, some argue that case-study, roleplay and a host of other methods can be brought under the category of simulation. The advantage of simulation methods is that they improve the possibility of learning without damaging the equipments or human life or facing the numerous risks involved in actual performance. For example, most of traffic rules, signals and procedures of driving could be taught in a park that resembles main road or through a video game featuring car or twowheeler driving. Piloting planes are taught using more complex simulations. The methods are indirect but could also be expensive. The method calls for a certain level of grasp and information processing capability and transfer of learning on the part of the trainees.


4. Role Playing Method:

Role is a set of expectations around a given position and is determined by the role partners. Roles are always reciprocal and described in pairs such as trainer-trainee, buyerseller, interviewer-interviewee and so on. Playing roles would entail practical problems like inter-role conflicts, intra-role dilemmas, role overloads and role under loads. As a result of these hurdles, role confusion ensues. In order to be trained to perform roles, trainees must attain role clarity. This may involve negotiation among the role senders and role receivers with regard to their expectations with counter expectations upon one another. Participants in role-play method are required to respond to specific problems and expectations of people that they might actually encounter in their jobs. Role-playing is often used to teach such skills as interviewing, negotiating, grievance handling, performance appraisal, and buying and selling and effective communication. It promotes healthy human relations skills among people.

5. Case Study Method:

It is a written down, narrative description of a real situation or incident relating to an organization and its business, depicting any problem that participants could face in their employment. Participant trainees are required to propose any number of viable solutions or decisions that match the variables represented in the case. Case study can be interest creating and thought stimulating for the participants. It helps to develop analytical, reasoning and problem-solving skills of the participants. As it shows and reduces gaps in understanding, a holistic understanding of reality is made possible through case study method. It also helps to reemphasize messages provided during lectures, group discussions and other methods. The disadvantage of the method might be the difficulty in drawing adequate number of stimulating cases that actually represent the real life situations of the trainees.


6. Sensitivity Training or T Group Training or Laboratory training Method:

It is a set of experiences in unstructured agenda-less groups designed to make people aware of themselves (self-insight), their immediate situation and their own impact on others. Unlike many other programs, T-groups are concerned with the real problems existing within the group itself. People are helped to become more responsive to others’ sensitivities and work more harmoniously and responsibly together by encouraging them to interact freely and actively. The members are enabled to recognize group dynamics and diagnose human relationship problems. The participants are encouraged to communicate thoughts and feelings with each other in an open, unstructured, warm and honest manner than is typically done in the usual work or social situation. A beneficial outcome of the method is that participants find better means of behavior for effective interpersonal relationships without the aid of power or authority over others. The method has to be used carefully as people may resent negative feedback and show anger in response. People have to be first prepared well to accept criticism in a constructive manner so that conflicts could be managed properly.


7. Management Games Method:

Games are used as a training tool, than as mere pastimes or amusement. Trainees are divided into teams and are given common tasks on which they would be competing to arrive at decisions, and then jointly implementing and evaluating the decisions taken with regard to the games. For example, blocks of wood would be supplied to every team and one of the members would be blind-folded with a piece of cloth. The person would have to arrange the blocks one above the other, as per the instructions and guidance of the other members. As they set on to reach greater target heights, the rewards would also grow exponentially. This game is used to bring out the nuances of teamwork, leadership styles and communication patterns exhibited by the members while playing the game. The demerits of the method are that, at times, games might result in lack of seriousness in some trainees and that the learning is indirect and slow. But it helps to convey messages in a non-threatening and fun-filled manner.


8. Outward Bound Training (OBT) Method:

As part of OBT, managers and other staff members meet and cohabitate as teams at unfamiliar wilderness out of the workplace and away from the hustles and bustles of daily life, where they would live in cabins or tents for a certain number of days. They test their survival skills and learn about their own personality and hidden potentials for creativity, cooperation and leadership. Participants get opportunities to learn their limits and capabilities. Participants irrespective of their official position and seniority would have to learn to be natural in their behavior and get rid of masks worn in an office situation. It is an expensive method and the learning might not be transferable to others or to other situations.


9. In -basket Training (IBT) Method:

IBT is a method where the trainee is required to examine a basket full of papers and files relating to his area of work and make recommendations on problems contained in them. This method is meant for trainees in a managerial level to improve their decision-making and problem-solving abilities. This is a form of simulation training designed around day to- day business situations and hence is transferable to the job experiences. The participant is usually asked to establish priorities for and then handle a number of office papers, such as memoranda, reports, telephone messages and emails that would typically cross a manager’s desk. The method has at least two main stages. At the outset, the participant starts by working through the case within a specified time limit all by himself without discussing the details with anyone. Subsequently, other participants analyze and discuss the questions of who’s, which’s, how’s, what’s, where’s, why’s and when’s of each decision or step. The merits of this method include the best of traditional case study at the same time combining the refinements to allow greater flexibility, realism and involvement.

The emphasis here is to understand things thoroughly, which is an opportunity too rarely presented during busy working days. It is done in a permissive atmosphere of experimenting and learning, rather than within the confines of a boss subordinate relationship.


10. Vestibule Training Method:

This kind of training takes place away from the production area on equipment that closely resembles the actual ones used on the job. It is a type of off-the-job training in which employees get training in a realistic job setting but in a location different from the one in which they would be working. For example, a group of lathes may be located in a training center where the trainees will be instructed in their use. The method is used frequently for training typists and bank tellers, among others. The word ‘vestibule’ means entrance. Thus vestibule training serves to facilitate full-fledged entry into job. A primary advantage of vestibule training is that it removes the employee from the pressure of having to produce while learning. Disturbance of production or supervisor during training is minimized. The disadvantages include the extra investment on equipment and additional persons to be employed as trainers.


11. Apprenticeship Training Method:

It combines classroom instructions with on-the-job training. It is a method in which trainees at a novice stage called ‘apprentices’, work under the guidance of skilled, licensed instructor and receive lower pay than workers. The method is a combination of education and employment and is aimed at preparing workforce with certain levels of qualification to meet the growing needs of the industry. The method develops special skills like mechanical, electronic, tailoring, etc. Apprenticeship is traditionally used in skilled jobs, such as those of plumber, carpenter, machinist and printer. The extensive nature of the training assures quality outputs, though time consumed is long. Employees recruited from the apprenticeship program are expected to hit the ground running, implying that they would have to start performing with efficiency. But uniform duration of apprenticeship training does not permit slow learners to reach the levels of mastery like others.


12. Work shadowing Method:

This training method is chosen while preparing a second-line leader to take up the role of the headship, in which case, the candidate could not benefit by sending them to any other formal training program. The best way to be trained for a future executive position would be through direct participant observation of the crucial events that take place in the present incumbent’s work life. The trainees are made to remain in the company of the role model whose work is to be learnt by the trainees. Trainees learn the intricacies of a job of high level, by physically being in the presence of the job-holder. Closely following the styles of working permits greater degree of learning besides helping the trainee to imbibe the values and principles adhered to by the model. Yet, care needs to be taken to avoid situations wherein trainees are not warmly welcomed and are seen by supervisors in the department as obstacles to their routines.


13. Programmed Instruction Method (PIM):


PIM provides instruction without the face-to-face intervention of an instructor. To ensure a sequential approach to learning, instructions are designed in such a way that all future learning depends on acquisition and retention of previous learning. With this method, information is broken down into small portions called ‘frames’. The learner reads each frame in sequence and responds to questions designed to verify learning. Based on the answers given by the trainees they are provided with immediate feedback on response accuracy. If the learners have got all the answers right, they proceed to the next frame. If not they repeat the frame. Primary features of this approach are immediate reinforcement and the ability of learners to proceed at their own pace. Programmed instructions may be presented in a book or in computers.


14. Large Scale Interactive Events (LSIE) Method:

The method has a lot of unique advantages when compared to other methods. First, this method stresses upon the sharing of expertise by all the participants, unlike other methods where the instructor supplies most of the inputs and might even look down upon trainees as people who are ignorant or unskilled in the topic being covered. LSIE is based on the belief that all the participants, by virtue of being in their job for a certain period of time, possess some degree of expertise that need to be shared and combined with that of others.

Second advantage is that this method transcends the limitation of other methods in terms of the number of people who could be trained per batch. The major advantage of this method is that a group as large as 300 – 400 members could be trained simultaneously without losing the effectiveness of other training methods. The third advantage is the use of group processes. While the trainer limits his role with a brief but inspiring presentation to stimulate thinking of the participant, the methods paves way for active involvement of all the participants who are assigned various roles such as sub-group leader, recorder, summarizer, presenter etc. A fourth advantage of the LSIE is that the group emphasizes on extensive on-the-spot documentation of viewpoints expressed by people. Finally, the method culminates in the entire large group addressing to the common issues. At this stage, priority is to be set on areas of intervention and a plan of action is drawn and accepted based on voting by members, thereby building commitment of all the participants to implement the agreed upon plans. A disadvantage of the method could be that it requires a lot of volunteers to assist the proceedings.


15. Personal Coaching Method:

It is an on-the-job approach in which a manager has the opportunity to teach an employee, usually his immediate subordinate, on a one-to-one basis. Coaching is helping self and others gain new perspectives their intentions and behaviors, to understand what’s possible and how to access inner resources such as motivation, commitment, passion, etc. as a coach, the supervisor gently confronts employees with their shortcomings and makes suggestions for corrective actions. The supervisor is also alert to encouraging good performance. Coaching is considered to be one of the most effective management development techniques. Constant guidance makes the trainee learn quickly.


16. Mentoring Method:

Mentoring is an on-the-job approach to training in which the trainee is given an opportunity to learn on a one-to-one basis from more experienced members of the organization. The mentor is usually an older, experienced executive who serves as a host, friend, confidant and advisor to a new member of the firm. The mentor is given the charge of protecting and responsibility of helping the new employee. The relationship may be formally planned or it may develop informally. For mentoring to be productive, the parties’ interests must be compatible and they must understand each other’s learning styles and personalities. If mentors form overly strong bonds with trainees, unwarranted favoritism might result. A highly successful mentor-protégé relationship might create feelings of jealousy among other colleagues who are not able to show equally good results out of the mentoring process.


17. Job Rotation Method:

This method of training involves the shifting of trainees from one job to another so as to widen their exposure and enable them to obtain a general understanding of the totality of the organization. Besides helping them to overcome boredom, job rotation permits direct interaction with a large number of individuals within the organization, thereby facilitating future working relationships. The method should be used at sufficient gaps to permit the development of a strong degree of expertise in the trainee in an assigned position. Care should be taken by the organization to ensure that work efficiency does not suffer when a few trainees are rotate into new jobs where they would be taking time to learn and perform. There could be some disadvantages of using the method of Job Rotation.

Trainees have to be prepared to face contrasting styles of operation and standards that vary according to superiors. Some trainees might feel more like visiting casual observers in the departments than being a part of the workforce, which would negate the purpose of job rotation. Employees who are looking for more challenging assignments might feel frustrated when asked to perform different kinds of simple jobs at the same level.


18. Computer-Based Training (CBT) Method:

CBT is a technology-driven training method that takes full advantage of the speed, memory and data manipulation capabilities of the computer for greater flexibility of instruction. It involves the trainee sitting in front of a computer terminal rather than listening to an instructor. Learning is enhanced through presentations combining automation, stereophonic sound, full motion video and graphics. Increased speed and decreased dependence on instructor are the strengths of this method. Computer-Managed Instructions (CMI) is a system that automatically generates and scores tests, tracks trainees’ performance and prescribes activities for students. An orderly, step-by-step manner is possible by using this method. As additional advantages, CBT allows reuse of the program for any number of time and allows for varying time for fast and slow learners.

But CBT method cannot reduce the learner’s anxiety and fear, which can be done only by a trained instructor. CBT is well suited for teaching facts but is less useful for teaching human skills or changing attitudes.

19. Behavior Modeling Method:

This method involves emulation of behavior from a reference group or a role model whose behavior is shown live before the trainees or by using videotapes or Compact discs (VCD). The method entails recording and producing events or situations with clear descriptions in order to cover certain subjects. The footage could be viewed, reviewed and discussed to enhance learning quality. The advantages of using this method are many. Many events and discussions can be put on one tape or CD. It is a handy method for small firms that cannot afford more expensive approaches. It is particularly helpful for first-line supervisors.

Observing a powerful model in the audiovisual form could help learn activities like mediating during conflict situations, handling customer complaints and grievances. The challenges involved in using the method include the high level of one-time production costs in the initial stage. Moreover, projectors and other expensive gadgets would be required along with continuous power supply.


20. Internship Method:

Internships involve placing young college and university students in temporary jobs in which they can earn while they learn, with no obligations towards any regular employment from the side of the employer or from the trainee. Such an arrangement enables to provide a fresher the much-needed exposure to an organization and also to determine the person organization fit. Students divide their attention between academic activities and practical work assignments, which help them to internalize the theory and practices. However, care must be taken to prevent the whole process from getting reduced to the fulfillment of merely an academic requirement rather than being treated as a stepping-stone towards an illustrious career.


21. Development Centre Method:

This method is designed based on the structure, styles and contents of assessment centres used to assess the potential of an individual to meet the demands of a higher-level managerial position. Multiple facilitators observe the members performing multiple tasks according to multiple criteria, using multiple methods. However, the difference in development centers is that they focus their attention on helping to improve the potential of the persons participating in the sessions. This method of training is found effective in building leadership, decision-making, goal setting and counseling skills in experienced trainees.

  1. Lasantha edirisinghe
    May 16, 2013 at 6:45 am

    If u find something you will see

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