Training is an important aspect in the running of any successful business. It involves imparting knowledge and instructions to an individual or group in order to increase their performance. In a business, it is often conducted when there is a need to attain certain organizational standards. In most cases, an organization’s management determines whether their employees require any form of training. If need be, a training plan is developed. Some of the advantages of training include increased efficiency, productivity and in the long-term, more business profits. In order to develop a good training plan, several factors have to be taken into consideration. This paper contains a detailed training plan developed for use by a banking client.
The training methods are chosen after a thorough needs assessment. This is done through organizational, individual and operational analyses (Tobey & American Society for Training and Development, 2005). Since training involves imparting new skills or the improvement of existing ones, the organization needs to assess the current skills and those required to meet future business objectives. This gap in skills is what is prioritized in the training. This particular client has received numerous customer complaints. The poor customer service is due to the lack of proper skills among its employees, hence the need for training as part of the solution (Evenson, 2012). This is because the banking industry, which is service-based, heavily relies on its customers for profitability. Poor customer service, therefore, derails the bank’s objectives. Training will be conducted on all employees since most of them come into direct contact with customers. Additionally, there is a change in banking technology, which deems it necessary to equip employees with new skills. Internet banking requires that those who operate it are highly knowledgeable.
The desire to satisfy its customers and preparation for the future are the main reasons for conducting the training. All the stakeholders in the business are aware of the exercise, and agree that resources from the business are used in the training. In order for the training to be successful, managers need to be supportive while at the same time keen to identify those lagging behind with regard to knowledge and skills. The work environment may prove to be a hindrance to the training process since the employees cannot all be exempted from work at the same time to attend the program. However, this can be solved using shifts, meaning that the staff will be divided into groups that will alternate during the training period. This will ensure that the operations of the bank are not derailed due to a shortage of staff. Part of the business plan of the bank is to ensure profitability at all times through stellar performance from its employees. Its goal is to excel in the service industry. The above is achieved through organizational analysis (Linton, 2013).
Individual analysis is based on how well a person is able to perform their tasks, including their ability to gain knowledge and skills. The information from this analysis helps to determine which training methods to use. In this case, the bank analyzed staff performance through observation while on the job, perusing their work profiles and interviewing the employees on issues related to their employment. The job profiles were obtained from the human resource department. They contained the various skills that the staff could undertake. All the employees were found to be above average in terms of their ability to learn. Operational analysis is concerned with the knowledge and skills required by employees to complete certain tasks. As aforementioned, the staff has poor customer service skills and the bank faces the challenge of emerging technology. These two are the problematic areas in the business, both of which need to be solved to improve the business performance.
Training is the best solution for the business because it comprises a wide variety of methods that can be easily infused into the bank’s daily operations. The recommended training methods are short courses and thereafter, on-the-job training. The bank, after an organizational analysis, decided to set aside resources to facilitate the training program. Employees will be subjected to short courses on computer studies and customer service. This will be facilitated by trainers and consultants of the organization’s choice. After successful completion of the courses, the employees would then be subjected to on the job training to provide an opportunity for them to practice the newly acquired knowledge.
There are various reasons for selecting the above methods. The problems experienced by the business require more knowledge as part of the solution. This knowledge has to be put into practice, and the best way to do so is by applying it. On-the-job training also helps to save on time, which is a limited factor in the banking business. The employees have to alternate during the training period because of their small number. Trainees will be divided into groups comprising members from each business department to facilitate cooperation. Additionally, the bank cannot afford to hire new employees, which is why they would rather train the existing ones. Besides, experiential learning is key where new skills are imparted, a factor made possible by on-the-job training.
The training program incorporates quite a number of principles. Preparation of trainees is one such principle. The participants of the program should be informed beforehand of the scheduled training, including an overview of the goals set to be achieved. Content and delivery of the training program is another guiding principle. The program should, therefore, be relevant with regard to what the business seeks to achieve. This offers insight into the type of methods used. The trainees are allowed to choose how they want to be taught. The trainees should be engaged in experiential and active learning rather than focusing on theoretical knowledge. This will help them to remember what they have learnt since they will be practicing newly acquired skills while working. This type of learning also aims at wholesome development of individuals. Given that the trainees will be from different departments, they will be required to form lasting relationships that help enhance teamwork. Relaying of meaningful material is essential as it ensures relevance while also aiding in retaining the acquired knowledge. Trainees are able to recall facts from their learning by having something they could easily refer.
The trainers or facilitators of a program form another guiding principle (Nilson, 2003). They should be well prepared by having discussions prior to training in order to decide how best to conduct learning sessions. They are responsible for coming up with the content of the training program, ensuring that it is best suited to the client’s needs. In this case, professional trainers will be used during the undertaking of short courses while managers and peers will be in charge of on-the-job training. Evaluation is the final learning principle. In this training plan, apprentices will have sessions to debrief on what they have learnt at the close of each day. Suggestions made to improve the program will then be incorporated for effective learning.
Various presentation strategies will be used as part of enforcing content delivery. During on-the-job training, role-playing will take precedence. The trainees will have the opportunity to play out what they have learnt, with the help of their peers who will evaluate them. Presentation of the content will incorporate different forms of audio-visual aids to create interest among trainees and increase their understanding. Participatory learning is a key strategy, and one that is also enshrined in the educating principles that guide the training program. The training methods chosen are effective given the circumstances at the business. Time is a limiting factor in the bank and the urgency with which new skills are required served as criteria for selecting the two methods. If the strategies and principles noted above are followed to the letter, the training methods will prove their efficiency. Additionally, they are best suited for the needs of the banking sector, given that it is service-based while the methods are highly practical.
The feedback from the training will be collected through observation of the employees after they resume their daily routine and conducting personal interviews to gauge their experiences. As earlier mentioned, trainees are required to evaluate their learning milestones at the end of each day. Facilitators have to be keen in their observation to establish those lagging behind in the learning process. Trainees are offered an opportunity to suggest any alterations to the training program, which then serves as implementation of feedback.
Evenson, R. (2012). Customer service management training 101: Quick and easy techniques that get great results. New York: AMACOM.
Linton, Ian (2013). Materials and References for an Organizational Needs Analysis. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/materials-references-organizational-needs-analysis-39114.html
Nilson, C. D. (2003). How to manage training: A guide to design and delivery for high performance. New York: AMACOM.
Tobey, D. D., & American Society for Training and Development. (2005). Needs assessment basics: A complete, how-to guide to help you: design effective, on-target training solutions, get support, ensure bottom-line impact. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.
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