Training Management Best Practices

Under Human Resource Management, training and development is one of its core strategies where Human Resource personnel are in charged of delivering training to employees of an organization.

In order to conduct a successful and effective training, a Human Resource personnel needs to take into consideration several things. Furthermore, these aspects need to be planned carefully. Being able to train others well is just part of the equation. A good trainer will not only deliver a session successfully, but he or she is also organized and meticulous in planning the training.

To do this, the things listed below need to be carried out with careful consideration and close planning.

Training Needs Analysis
This is a crucial step before conducting a training session. It’s important for the trainer to be aware and sensitive towards the trainees’ needs. Additionally, it’s equally important for the trainer to know what are the requirements of the department and organization as a whole.

This is important because the needs and requirements of the department and/or organization will determine what are the exact trainings that need to be provided for the employees. Because training needs analysis is done to fill in the gap in business performance, it’s highly important for a trainer to be able to make a correct analysis.

A trainer should not use a generic training module for each training batch, as the objective may not meet the needs of the trainee and due to its irrelevance, the training session will be considered unsuccessful, ineffective, and a waste of time and cost for every level of employee in the organization.

Through training needs analysis, a trainer can and will make sure that the organization’s resources are put to good use. This way, the training will be effective for those who need the training and the session will be a productive one.

There are several types of training analyses that can be done before a trainer takes on a session.

1. Organizational analysis – This analysis is done on organizational level, where the trainer takes a look at the overall mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the organization. Once these have been identified, the trainer will then incorporate this into the session that will fulfill the need of the trainees. Normally, the training that requires this analysis is a training session where it’s delivered to provide a solution to a business problem.

2. Work/Task analysis – For this type of analysis, the trainer will analyze the work or task requirement of a work unit or department. The training that follows is often process-oriented training session. This analysis is done to assess the specific level of competence required for a task or work.

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3. Employee analysis – In order to effectively deliver, a trainer needs and must understand his or her audience. This analysis analyses the participants of a training session in terms of their existing knowledge and skills. Assessing the employees prior to a training session will allow the trainer to know what approach to take and to know if there are changes to the work unit/department/organization that requires additional training or retraining.

4. Performance analysis – Analyzing the performance level of the employees would help a trainer to understand how to introduce the training. The complexity of the training can be determined by looking at the performance of the participants. It’s important to make sure that the objective of the training will be achieved as well as the content will not be lost on the audience.

5. Content analysis – This is where a trainer analyzes the content of the training that is going to be delivered. Knowing and understanding the documents, modules, and procedures that are being used as material in a training session is important, as this will determine how well the training is received by the audience. Furthermore, a trainer is required to do this analysis to ensure that the content is not irrelevant, too complex, or too simple for the participants.

Several of these analyses can be used in one training session. Training needs assessment forms the foundation of a training plan. What’s important is to know which source requires which analysis.

Methods of training needs assessment
Now that a trainer knows the types of analysis, it’s important for him or her to know which methods of training needs assessment that he or she needs to use. A trainer needs to use the right methodology to accurately make an analysis so that the training that follows will be successful and effective.

1. Questionnaires
This is one of the ways to obtain information that you need before proceeding making your training needs analysis. It can be forwarded to the relevant work unit/department to gain information on the employees’ of that work unit/department. The questionnaire can include questions that cover description of job functions of the potential participants and also their existing knowledge and skills.

2. Interviews
This method is used as an additional step in gaining more information from the potential participants. The interviews can be conducted on subject matter specialists, head of departments/work unit of the potential participants. This method is beneficial to the trainer as he or she is able to receive more detailed information based on the trainer’s existing knowledge. Additionally, the trainer would be able to ask questions to clarify doubts about the content/procedure/potential participants, which would be the subject of the training.

3. Workshops
A workshop can be conducted for the training assessment staffs in order to analyze the effectiveness of a training session. This would be an effective and productive brainstorming session where each staff is able to state the skills required for a type of training assessment. Through exchange of ideas, other training assessment staffs are able to gain better understanding, knowledge, and skills that are required to make an effective and accurate training needs assessment.

4. Literature review
Through this method, a trainer analyses materials on the subject of training to assess its quality and relevance to the training session that will follow. A trainer can refer to studies and researches done on training assessment to gain a better understand and knowledge on the most effective type of analysis according to the subject matter.

5. Observation
This hands on method also proved effective when conducting a training assessment. A trainer is able to observe for him or herself on the subject matter. Observation can be made on potential participant, procedures, materials, tools of application etc.

Designing training modules
After a trainer has satisfactorily assessed the training needs of a training session, he or she can proceed to construct the training modules required to conduct the training.

The basic step a trainer should follow when developing a training module is as follows:
1. Analysis – It’s crucial to have the results of an analysis before starting to construct a training module

2. Goals – A trainer needs to set clear objectives and goals of the training session. This way, the training module will be shaped according to these parameters. Swaying away from these objectives and goals will result in ineffective and unproductive training session.

3. Content – A training module doesn’t need to be extremely long for it to be considered efficient. Here is where quality is better than quantity matters. Include all relevant and most important content into the training module, especially points that the trainer wants to drive home to the potential participants, and proceed to elaborate better during the training session.

4. Templates – Using the right template and formatting will go a long way in ensuring maximum retention by the participants. There is no dire need for a training module to be extremely decorated with flair. What it needs to be is informative, clear, easy to be read, and understandable by the potential participants. Here, formatting and choice of layout is important, as it needs to provide all the important information without any distraction.

Training delivery
Having a quality training module is not enough if a trainer wants to the training session to be productive and effective. There are trainers who don’t do justice to excellent training modules because he or she is unprepared or not articulate enough in delivering the training.

For a training session to be effective and productive, a trainer needs to remember the following:

1. Preparation – There is perhaps no worst situation for a trainer to be unprepared about a training session. Taking the time to analyze the training needs, to consider every aspect of not only the training itself but also the potential participants as well as constructing a model will help a trainer to prepare him or herself better.

On top of that, a good trainer will anticipate for unexpected questions from the audience member and also to confident about what is going to be delivered.

2. Setting expectation – A trainer should always start a session by setting the expectation on and for the session. The trainer could list his or her training objectives. This way, the potential participants will understand and know what they can expect from the session.

On of that, the trainer could also request for the participants to list their objectives and expectations on and from the training session. By involving the participants to voice out their ideas and opinions, a trainer will have a more interactive and productive session that would help with a better delivery.

3. Hands-on approach – Using multi-sensory training methods will help a trainer to deliver a session more effectively. Instead of a monotonous one-way delivery, hands-on approach will engage trainees and keep them alert and focused. A good trainer will be creative in his or her approach to include training games and activities to emphasis on a subject matter in the session.

4. Q&A session – This session doesn’t need to be at the end of the session. A trainer should always check for the trainees’ understanding every now and then, especially when a complex item is explained or discussed. It’s always good to make a practice to repeat the questions from the trainees to check understanding and also clear any misinterpretation of the question.

Training evaluation
In order for a training module and session to be effective and efficient, a trainer should always conduct a training evaluation.

Training evaluation is a systemic process where the value of the training process, course, and activity is assessed to ensure continual effectiveness and relevance. The result obtained from a training evaluation can be used as a tool to improve, augment, and influence decision-making for the evaluated training process, modules, course, and/or activity.

The steps a trainer needs to take to evaluate a training is as follows:

1. Reaction – What is the reaction of the audience? Was there any difference of reaction at the end of the training session?

Gauging the audience’s reaction to the training will help to indicate their receptiveness of the training. Understanding the audience’s reaction to the training session will help future trainees to improve methods and approaches in delivering.

2. Learning – It’s important to measure what the audience has learned from the training session. This will serve as a benchmark in understanding the complexity of the training and use it to fit to which type of trainees. This way, the training will not be too advance or too mediocre to the trainees, as it has been evaluated to match the right type of audience.

3. Behavior – This evaluation is often done as a follow-up observation on the trainees who have been to a specific training session. This way, a trainer is able to see if the trainees managed to apply what was learned during the session directly to their work environment.

However, it’s worth to note that if a trainer doesn’t observe any change of behavior, it doesn’t mean a trainer should conclude that the trainees didn’t learn anything. This is because a trainee would probably change his or her behavior when the conditions are favorable for them to apply what was learned from the training session.

4. Results – This is the most direct evaluation of a training session and is done as the final stage of the training evaluation. These results don’t only come from the trainees’ reaction and behavior, but also the training results’ significance to the work unit/department and organization.

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