Chapter Summary

7.1 Identify each of the common points in the tenure of employees within the organization where training may be needed.

The most common points at which managers should consider workforce training include new-employee onboarding, which is used to acculturate new employees to the organization and its culture and to prepare them to do their own job within the organization; when processes or procedures have changed; whenever there has been some failure to perform successfully (remedial training); or when employee development opportunities come up, allowing the company to develop current employees’ skills and abilities so that they are able to move into higher-level jobs within the organization.

7.2 Describe the interrelationship of the steps in the training process.

The first step involves conducting a needs assessment to identify the type of training needed. The second step involves selecting how to shape employee behavior. The third step involves designing the training by selecting training methods. The fourth step involves selecting the delivery method and delivering the training. The last step involves assessing the training to determine if employee behavior has changed to improve performance—if not, return to Step 1. The steps are so closely related and based on each other that they are commonly planned together before actually delivering the training.

7.3 Summarize the four methods for shaping behavior.

The four options for shaping behavior include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Positive reinforcement involves the application of a reward in response to a person’s behavior in order to increase the chances that that behavior will be repeated. Negative reinforcement involves the withdrawal or avoidance of a noxious stimulus, or a negative thing, in response to a person’s positive behavior to increase the chances that the behavior will be repeated. Punishment occurs either when a noxious stimulus is applied or when a reward is taken away in response to a negative behavior. Extinction provides no reinforcement, either positive or negative, to the actions of the subject.

7.4 Compare each of the major training delivery types.

On-the-job training (OJT) is done at the work site with the resources the employee uses to perform the job, and it is conducted one-on-one with the trainee. In classroom training, the organization creates a training course and provides a qualified instructor to teach the class in a single location at a specific time. Distance learning, also called e-learning, allows the students to sign in to the training site and provides materials to them for their studies. There’s typically less interaction between an instructor and trainee than in OJT or classroom training.

7.5 Discuss the four-level evaluation method for assessing training programs.

The four-level evaluation method measures reaction, learning, behaviors, and results. In reaction evaluations, we ask the participants how they feel about the training process, including the content provided, the instructor(s), and the knowledge that they gained. Learning evaluations are designed to determine what knowledge was gained by the individual, whether any new skills have been learned, and whether attitudes have changed as a result of the training. Behavior evaluations are designed to determine whether or not the trainee’s on-the-job behaviors changed as a result of the training. In a results evaluation, we try to determine whether or not individual behavioral changes have improved organizational results. This is the level at which ROI will be measured and evaluated.

7.6 List some of the individual and organizational consequences that can occur as a result of organizational career planning processes.

Organizational consequences include all of the major organizational dependent variables that we identified in Chapter 1: employee engagement, productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. In addition, labor costs, organizational safety, employee lawsuits, and organizational reputation can either improve or decline based on the application (or lack thereof) of the correct HR strategy. On the employee side of the diagram, if the organization applies the correct HR strategies, individual feelings of accomplishment and achievement increase, self-worth and self-reliance increase, the employee’s sense of security increases, and employee morale is likely to increase due to higher individual satisfaction levels. If the strategies are unsuccessful, each of these individual consequences can become negative.