Key Components of Behavior Modeling Training
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Key Components of Behavior Modeling Training
Traditional Training Methods
After reading this chapter, you should be able to
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of presentational, hands-on, and group building training methods.
- Provide recommendations for effective on-the-job training (OJT).
- Develop a case study.
- Develop a self-directed learning module.
- Discuss the key components of behavior modeling training.
- Explain the conditions necessary for adventure learning to be effective.
- Discuss what team training should focus on to improve team performance.
Learning Develops Skills of Staff Dedicated to Battling Cancer
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nonprofit nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to creating a world without cancer. ACS strives to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures for cancer, and by helping those who have cancer to fight the disease. ACS is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and has regional and local offices throughout the United States that support eleven geographical divisions to ensure a presence in every community. The corporate office in Atlanta is responsible for overall strategic planning, corporate support services including training, development and implementation of research programs, health program, a 24-hour call center, and providing technical support and materials to regional and local offices. Regional and local offices deliver patient programs and services and engage in fund-raising activities.
The philosophy of the talent development department is to provide “the right learning solution at the right time for the right person.” One guiding principle is to support and drive the business through employee development and training. Another is that ACS wants employees to grow and develop, which is captured by the slogan “save lives, fulfill yours.” Staff are encouraged to participate292in leadership development, mentoring, coaching, and job-specific training classes. For staff interested in pursuing formal education, ACS has partnerships with online universities. Also, staff are encouraged to work with their manager to establish clear professional and development goals that map a path to career success.
At ACS it is important for training and development programs to be realistic in terms of taking into account budgetary constraints and job responsibilities. The programs need to be both efficient and effective and minimize the time that staff members are taken away from their primary responsibilities such as helping patients, working with the community, and planning and carrying out fund-raising events. All delivered content is evaluated on the extent to which it is related to the job, staff member performance, and the organization’s mission. For example, the Nationwide Manager Development Program is designed to help build management strength for ACS. The program is marketed as an “adventure in management” and its design is intended to make training engaging, enjoyable, and enriching for the participants. The eighteen-month program helps participants learn management concepts using virtual discussion forums and e-learning. Also, participants are put into learning teams designed to represent a diversity of thought, tenure, and experience. These teams engage in action learning, which focuses on developing management skills, while developing solutions to business issues and problems facing ACS.
Source: Based on P. Harris, “Training as a change agent,” TD (October 2014): 84–86; www.cancer.org , website for the American Cancer Society.
The American Cancer Society uses a combination of training methods to develop the skills of its staff members. For most companies, including the American Cancer Society, training methods have to be developed or purchased within a budget, there usually is a sense of urgency for the training, and training must be made available to those employees who need it.
Several studies have shown that most workplace learning doesn’t occur through formal courses or programs but rather on the job, informally, and through social interactions with others.1 For example, one study of executives found that 70 percent of learning occurred on the job in the workplace, 20 percent occurred socially through coaching and mentoring, and only 10 percent occurred through formal classroom instruction. This is known as the 70-20-10 model of learning. Many trainers rely on this model for designing or choosing training methods that will be included in courses and programs. Similar to the emphasis on conditions for learning and transfer discussed in Chapter Four, “Learning and Transfer of Training,” this model suggests that to increase the likelihood that learning will occur in training, the content needs to be meaningful and practical, the learner has to be actively involved in the learning process, and learning involves feedback and reinforcement from others.
Before we discuss specific training methods, it is important for you to consider more broadly the training methods that companies are using to help employees learn and how the emphasis placed on these different methods is changing. Figure 7.1 shows a learning system with four quadrants. This learning system shows that how and what employees learn293varies and influences the type of training methods used.2 Guided competency development means that the company has defined a broad set of competencies or skills for positions or for the entire company. Training and development methods such as lectures or online training are directed at the most common needs in the company. Context-based learning, learning that occurs on the job and during the everyday performance of work, tends to be more unique to the employee’s needs and includes training methods such as OJT, simulations, and mobile learning. Both guided competence development and guided contextual learning are usually formal training activities designed and developed by the company to achieve specific learning goals. Employees are expected to participate in these learning activities. The bottom quadrants include social learning, that is, learning activities that involve employees collaborating with each other either one-to-one or in groups or teams. Social competency development enhances specific job-related competencies through interaction with others such as a mentor or coach, or through encountering challenging job experiences. The competencies that are developed are typically not necessary for successful performance of one’s job but help prepare employees for future roles or positions. As a result, mentoring, coaching, and job experiences are considered development activities. We discuss development activities in Chapter Nine, “Employee Development and Career Management.” Social contextual learning is informal and peer-to-peer, and it occurs spontaneously on an as-needed basis. It usually involves employees sharing knowledge on issues, problems, and topics related to their current job. Employees have always learned from face-to-face meetings and phone conversations with peers. What is new is that the increased availability and access to smartphones and tablet computers provide a multimedia, low-cost, easy-to-use, and familiar way to interact with others using social media such as blogs, wikis, social networks (such as Facebook), and microblogs (such as Twitter). This provides many possibilities for technology-aided social contextual294learning. We will discuss blogs, wikis, social networks, and microblogs in Chapter Eight, “Technology-Based Training Methods.” Keep in mind that training methods can cut across the quadrant shown in Figure 7.1 if they include multiple types of learning, such as a virtual classroom that includes simulations and use of social networks.
FIGURE 7.1 A Learning System
Source: From J. Meister and K. Willyerd, The 2020 Workplace. How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (New York: Harper Business 2010).
Today, most companies’ training methods would be found in Quadrants 1, 2, and 3, but some are beginning to explore how to facilitate learning from peers either face to face or through the use of social media. This is because traditionally training and development activities have been largely “instructor focused.” This means that the instructor or trainer, along with the company, has the primary responsibility for ensuring that employees learn.3 The learner plays a passive role as the receiver of information, and learning occurs to the extent that the appropriate conditions are provided by the learning “experts” or are inherent in the learning method. For example, the instructor bears the responsibility for identifying what should be learned, determining the most appropriate methods, and evaluating the extent to which knowledge and skill acquisition resulted from the learning activity. Increased recognition of the 70-20-10 model has resulted in training emphasizing a more active role for the learner and informal learning.4 Also, the greater availability and use of online and mobile technology (e.g., iPads) to deliver instruction and facilitate social collaboration gives the employee the opportunity to choose when, how, from whom, and even what content to learn.5 Figure 7.1 provides an overview of how much companies are using different training methods. Instructor-led classroom training remains the most frequently used method, but the use of online learning, virtual classroom, or a combination of methods continues to grow.
Regardless of whether the training method is traditional or technology-based, for training to be effective, it needs to be based on the training design model shown in Figure 1.2 in Chapter One, “Introduction to Employee Training and Development.” Needs assessment, a positive learning environment, and transfer of training are critical for training program effectiveness. Recall the discussions of needs assessment, learning, and transfer of training in Chapters Three to Five.
This chapter and Chapter Eight present various training methods. This chapter focuses on traditional training methods, which require an instructor or facilitator and involve face-to-face interaction between trainees. However, most methods discussed here can be adapted for online, virtual reality, mobile learning, or other new training technologies used for training delivery or instruction. For example, a classroom lecture can occur face to face with trainees (traditional training) or can be delivered through a virtual classroom, in which the instructor is not in the same room as the trainees. Also, instruction can be real-time (synchronous) or time-delayed (asynchronous). Through technology, a lecture can be attended live (although the trainees are not in the same classroom as the trainer), or the lecture can be videotaped or burned onto a DVD. The lecture can be viewed by the trainees at their convenience on a notebook computer that gives them access to the appropriate medium for viewing the lecture (e.g., DVD player or Internet connection).
Chapter Eight discusses web-based training, e-learning, virtual reality, and social media. The increased use of technology-based training for delivery of instruction is occurring because of the potential increases in learning effectiveness, as well as the reductions in training costs.
Keep in mind that many companies’ training programs use a combination of methods to capitalize on each method’s strengths for learning and transfer. For example, LQ Management, LLC is an owner operator of limited service hotels in the United States.295It operates more than eight hundred hotels in forty-six states, Canada, and Mexico, under La Quinta Inns and Suites brands.6 La Quinta wants its employees to provide the best rooms, atmosphere, and courteous service at every hotel. La Quinta’s culture emphasizes continuous improvement and its operating philosophy stresses taking care of employees and guests, and keeping the hotels spotlessly cleaned and well maintained.
This means that training plays an important role in the success of every employee. La Quinta uses different training methods to help employees learn, including web-based training, small-group training involving games where they are challenged with real-world scenarios that have occurred at hotel properties, and DVDs. The goal of the small-group training is to make learning fun and at the same time promote learning through conversation and idea sharing. Additionally, employees have multiple training resources available, including LQUniversity (LQU), LQ Connect, and LQ Video Portal. LQU provides access to formal training courses, LQ Connect is a web-based portal that provides learning resources, and LQ Video Portal provides training videos that employees can access at any time. The videos cover La Quinta’s service philosophy, values, and housekeeping and maintenance topics.
The traditional training methods discussed in this chapter are organized into three broad categories: presentation methods, hands-on methods, and group building methods.7 The following sections provide a description of each method, a discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and tips for the trainer who is designing or choosing the method. The chapter concludes by comparing methods based on several characteristics, including the learning outcomes influenced, the extent to which the method facilitates learning transfer, cost, and effectiveness.
Presentation methods are methods in which trainees are passive recipients of information. This information may include facts, processes, and problem-solving methods. Lectures and audiovisual techniques are presentation methods. It is important to note that instructor-led classroom presentation methods may include lectures, video, workbooks and manuals, DVDs, and games. That is, a mix of methods can actively engage trainees in learning and can help with transfer of training.
In a lecture, trainers communicate through spoken words what they want the trainees to learn. The communication of learned capabilities is primarily one-way—from the trainer to the audience. As Figure 7.2 shows, instructor-led classroom presentation remains a popular training method despite new technologies such as interactive video and computer-assisted instruction.
FIGURE 7.2 Use of training methods
Source: Based on “2014 Training Industry report,” Training (November/December 2014): 24.
Lectures have several uses and advantages.8 A lecture is one of the least expensive, least time-consuming ways to present a large amount of information efficiently and in an organized manner to groups of trainees. Lectures are useful when the instructor is the main knowledge holder and it is the most efficient and direct way to provide learners with that knowledge. Lectures that are scripted can be used to deliver a consistent message. A lecture can also demonstrate a subject-matter expert’s passion and enthusiasm for a topic.296For example, an AT&T executive who is in charge of emerging enterprises and partnerships at AT&T shares stories with general managers about how the company created its partnership with Apple to provide service for the iPhone.9 The purpose of the lecture is to convey the message that managers should not be afraid of failure. At the annual meeting of Skanska, a construction company, two former fighter pilots lectured senior executives about the steps needed to successfully execute a mission, including how to define a project, analyze progress, debrief, and celebrate success.10 This was an especially relevant topic because the company was implementing a new business strategy. Also, TED talks (see www.ted.com ) are a good example of how lectures can be motivational, interesting, and provide a simple message to learners in less than twenty minutes. Lectures are also used to support other training methods such as behavior modeling and technology-based techniques. For example, a lecture may be used to communicate information regarding the purpose of the training program, conceptual models, or key behaviors to trainees prior to their receiving training that is more interactive and customized to their specific needs.
TABLE 7.1 Variations of the Lecture Method
Method Description Standard lecture Trainer talks and may use visual aids provided on the blackboard, whiteboard, or Microsoft PowerPoint slides, while trainees listen and absorb information. Team teaching Two or more trainers present different topics or alternative views of the same topic. Guest speakers A speaker or speakers visit the session for a predetermined time period.
Primary instruction is conducted by the instructor.
Panels Two or more speakers present information and ask questions. Student presentations Groups of trainees present topics to the class.
Table 7.1 describes several variations of the standard lecture method. All have advantages and disadvantages.11 Team teaching brings more expertise and alternative perspectives to297the training session. Team teaching does require more time on the part of trainers to not only prepare their particular session but also coordinate with other trainers, especially when there is a great deal of integration between topics. Panels are good for showing trainees different viewpoints in a debate. A potential disadvantage of a panel, however, is that trainees who are relatively naive about a topic may have difficulty understanding the important points. Guest speakers can motivate learning by bringing to the trainees relevant examples and applications. For guest speakers to be effective, trainers need to set expectations with speakers regarding how their presentation should relate to the course content. Student presentations may increase the material’s meaningfulness and trainees’ attentiveness, but they can inhibit learning if the trainees do not have presentation skills.
The lecture method has several disadvantages. Lectures tend to lack participant involvement, feedback, and meaningful connection to the work environment—all of which inhibit learning and transfer of training. Lectures appeal to few of the trainees’ senses because trainees focus primarily on hearing information or seeing facts, principles, or processes. Lectures also make it difficult for the trainer to judge quickly and efficiently the learners’ level of understanding. To overcome these problems, the lecture is often supplemented with question-and-answer periods, discussion, video, games, case studies, or simulations. These techniques allow the trainer to build into the lecture more active participation, job-related examples, and exercises, which facilitate learning and transfer of training.
For example, Paychex provides training to employees through lectures provided on the web (webinars), which involve learners through the use of chat, polling, and electronic blackboard work.12 PPL Electric Utilities uses a classroom session to introduce its storm damage assessors to devices used to identify damage, patrolling techniques, and reporting.13 Then, the assessors participate in a simulation involving a downed power line and are asked to perform a patrol and provide a written assessment of the power line. Assessors are also invited to participate in an annual storm drill.
Audiovisual instruction includes overheads, slides, and video. Video is used for improving communications skills, interviewing skills, and customer-service skills and for illustrating how procedures (e.g., welding) should be followed. Video is usually used in conjunction with lectures to show trainees real-life experiences and examples.
Microsoft created videos in its AlwaysOnprogram for sales, marketing, and services employees.14 The purpose of the program is to help these employees learn about devices and services that Microsoft offers so they can promote and sell the products. The ten-minute videos are released to employees the same day as new or updated products and services. The videos include product demos, breaking news and announcements, and the latest Windows hardware. The videos can be tagged by product, series, or business group. Links to the videos are provided on the Microsoft web home page and in a weekly newsletter.
Video is also a major component of behavior modeling and, naturally, interactive video instruction. The use of video in training has a number of advantages.15 First, trainers can review, slow down, or speed up the lesson, which gives them flexibility in customizing the session depending on trainees’ expertise. Second, trainees can watch the video multiple times if they have access to it during and after the training session. This gives them control over their learning. Third, trainees can be exposed to equipment, problems, and events298that cannot be easily demonstrated, such as equipment malfunctions, angry customers, or emergencies. Fourth, trainees are provided with consistent instruction. Program content is not affected by the interests and goals of a particular trainer. Fifth, videotaping trainees allows them to see and hear their own performance without the interpretation of the trainer. That is, video provides immediate objective feedback. As a result, trainees cannot attribute poor performance to the bias of external evaluators such as the trainer or peers. Sixth, video requires minimal knowledge of technology and equipment. Most trainers and trainees can easily use a VCR or DVD player.
Most problems in video result from the creative approach used.16 These problems include too much content for the trainee to learn, poor dialogue between the actors (which hinders the credibility and clarity of the message), overuse of humor or music, and drama that makes it confusing for the trainee to understand the important learning points emphasized in the video.
Hands-on methods are training methods that require the trainee to be actively involved in learning. These methods include OJT, simulations, case studies, business games, role-playing, and behavior modeling. These methods are ideal for developing specific skills, understanding how skills and behaviors can be transferred to the job, experiencing all aspects of completing a task, or dealing with interpersonal issues that arise on the job.
On-the-job training (OJT)
On-the-job training (OJT) refers to new or inexperienced employees learning in the work setting and during work by observing peers or managers performing the job and then trying to imitate their behavior. OJT is one of the oldest and most used types of informal training.17 It is considered informal because it does not necessarily occur as part of a training program, and because managers, peers, or mentors serve as trainers. If OJT is too informal, learning is less likely to occur. OJT can be useful for training newly hired employees, upgrading experienced employees’ skills when new technology is introduced, cross-training employees within a department or work unit, and orienting transferred or promoted employees to their new jobs.
OJT takes various forms, including apprenticeships and self-directed learning programs. (Both of these are discussed later in this section.) OJT has several advantages over other training methods.18 It can be customized to the experiences and abilities of trainees. Training is immediately applicable to the job because OJT occurs on the job using actual tools and equipment. As a result, trainees are highly motivated to learn. Both trainees and trainers are at the job site and continue to work while training occurs. This means that companies save the costs related to bringing trainees to a central location, hiring trainers, and renting training facilities. OJT can be offered at any time, and trainers will be available because they are peers or managers. Finally, OJT uses actual job tasks and occurs at work. As a result, skills learned in OJT more easily transfer to the job.
Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest businesses, uses OJT in its Nagothane Manufacturing Division (a refinery that makes polymers and chemicals).19 Because of rapid company growth and the demand for experienced employees, the company needed to299decrease the length of time required for new engineers to contribute. In response to this need, the training staff identified mentors who would help accelerate learning for the new engineers. The mentors and new hires are carefully matched based on an assessment of the mentor’s training style and the new employee’s learning style. Mentors are paired with up to three new employees, each for nine months. The mentors and new employees work together on four learning modules, each of which takes two months to complete. Each module includes predetermined lesson plans, and progress is tracked using an online portal. As a result, the length of time that it takes new engineers to contribute at work has decreased from twelve to six months.
At Sweets Candy, a candy maker based in Salt Lake City, Utah, new employees receive training in basic safety and emergency evacuation procedures in an orientation session and then are assigned a mentor.20 The mentor works with the new employee for two weeks, providing hands-on, one-on-one training. Teams hold weekly meetings, and managers provide training on safety issues throughout the year. Employees also receive a weekly safety contact card on which they note safety hazards that they have encountered on their job and how they have fixed the problem. The safety contact cards are turned in, and each month the company has a safety celebration where the cards are put into a drawing. Employees win prizes such as a day off or a $10 gift card. All of the safety contact cards are reviewed to identify safety issues and hazards, which are then communicated to the employees.
OJT is an attractive training method because compared to other methods, it needs less investment in time or money for materials, the trainer’s salary, or instructional design. Managers or peers who are job-knowledge experts are used as instructors. As a result, it may be tempting to let them conduct the training as they believe it should be done.
There are several disadvantages to this unstructured approach to OJT. Managers and peers may not use the same process to complete a task. They may pass on bad habits as well as useful skills. Also, they may not understand that demonstration, practice, and feedback are important conditions for effective OJT. Unstructured OJT can result in poorly trained employees, employees who use ineffective or dangerous methods to produce a product or provide a service, and products or services that vary in quality.
OJT must be structured to be effective. Table 7.2 shows the principles of structured OJT. Because OJT involves learning by observing others, successful OJT is based on the principles emphasized by social learning theory. These include the use of a credible trainer, a manager or peer who models the behavior or skill, communication of specific key behaviors, practice, feedback, and reinforcement. For example, at Rochester Gas and Electric in Rochester, New York, radiation and chemistry instructors teach experienced employees how to conduct OJT.21 While teaching these employees how to demonstrate software to new employees, the trainer may ask the employees to watch other OJT instructors as they train new recruits so that they can learn new teaching techniques. Regardless of the specific type, effective OJT programs include:
- A policy statement that describes the purpose of OJT and emphasizes the company’s support for it.
- A clear specification of who is accountable for conducting OJT. If managers conduct OJT, this is mentioned in their job descriptions and is part of their performance evaluations.300
- A thorough review of OJT practices (program content, types of jobs, length of program, cost savings) at other companies in similar industries.
- Training of managers and peers in the principles of structured OJT (see Table 7.2).
- Availability of lesson plans, checklists, procedure manuals, training manuals, learning contracts, and progress reports for use by employees who conduct OJT.
- Evaluation of employees’ levels of basic skills (reading, computation, and writing) before OJT.22
Self-directed learning has employees take responsibility for all aspects of learning, including when it is conducted and who will be involved.23 Trainees master predetermined training content at their own pace without an instructor. Trainers may serve as facilitators. That is, trainers are available to evaluate learning or answer questions for the trainee. The trainer does not control or disseminate instruction. The learning process is controlled by the trainee. Hilton Worldwide uses self-guided tutorials for its revenue management professionals.24 The Revenue Management at Work course is designed to help learners acquire knowledge, skills, and use tools to help them improve revenue management. Learners identify their own objectives and complete exercises that help them determine what they need to know as well as a learning action plan. Also, self-directed learning could301involve the company providing employees with information such as databases, training courses, and seminars while still holding them responsible for taking the initiative to learn. Because the effectiveness of self-directed learning is based on an employee’s motivation to learn, companies may want to provide seminars on the self-directed learning process, self-management, and incentives for completing learning. Best Buy rewards employees with virtual “badges” when they complete training that is appropriate and necessary for their current career stage.25 For example, employees receive bronze status when they have prepared for a new role by completing foundational training courses. Gold status can be reached when employees become leaders and complete courses relating to managing other employees. In addition to badges for completing training, employees earn pins they can wear on their uniforms and points they can exchange for products and services.
TABLE 7.2 Principles of OJT
Preparing for Instruction
1. Break down the job into important steps.
2. Prepare the necessary equipment, materials, and supplies.
3. Decide how much time you will devote to OJT and when you expect the employees to be competent in skill areas.
1. Tell the trainees the objective of the task and ask them to watch you demonstrate it.
2. Show the trainees how to do the task without saying anything.
3. Explain the key points or behaviors. (Write out the key points for the trainees, if possible.)
4. Show the trainees how to do it again.
5. Have the trainees do one or more single parts of the task and praise them for correct reproduction (optional).
6. Have the trainees do the entire task and praise them for correct reproduction.
7. If mistakes are made, have the trainees practice until accurate reproduction is achieved.
8. Praise the trainees for their success in learning the task.
Transfer of Training
Provide support materials and job aids such as flowcharts, checklists, or procedures. Arrange for manager or trainer support and observation on the job, especially for difficult or complex tasks.
Prepare and allow time for final tests and exercises and surveys of trainee reactions.
Sources: Based on R. Buckley and J. Caple, “Developing one-to-one training programs,” T+D (April 2010): 108–109; W. J. Rothwell and H. C. Kazanas, “Planned OJT is productive OJT,” Training and Development Journal (October 1990): 53–55; P. J. Decker and B. R. Nathan, Behavior Modeling Training (New York: Praeger Scientific, 1985).
Self-directed learning has several advantages.26 It allows trainees to learn at their own pace and receive feedback about the learning performance. For the company, self-directed learning requires fewer trainers, reduces costs associated with travel and meeting rooms, and makes multiple-site training more realistic. Self-directed learning provides consistent training content that captures the knowledge of experts. Self-directed learning also makes it easier for shift employees to gain access to training materials.
A major disadvantage of self-directed learning, however, is that trainees must be willing to learn on their own and feel comfortable doing so. That is, trainees must be motivated to learn. From the company perspective, self-directed learning results in higher development costs, and development time is longer than with other types of training programs.
Several steps are necessary to develop effective self-directed learning:27
- Conduct a job analysis to identify the tasks that must be covered.
- Write trainee-centered learning objectives directly related to the tasks. Because the objectives take the place of the instructor, they must indicate what information is important, what actions the trainee should take, and what the trainee should master.
- Develop the content for the learning package. This involves developing scripts (for video) or text screens (for computer-based training). The content should be based on the trainee-centered learning objectives. Another consideration in developing the content is the medium (e.g., paper, video, computer, or website) that will be used to communicate the content.
- Break the content into smaller pieces (“chunks”). The chunks should always begin with the objectives that will be covered and include a method for trainees to evaluate their learning. Practice exercises should also appear in each chunk.
- Develop an evaluation package that includes evaluation of the trainee and evaluation of the self-directed learning package. Trainee evaluation should be based on the objectives (a process known as criterion referencing). That is, questions should be developed that are written directly from the objectives and can be answered directly from the materials. Evaluation of the self-directed learning package should involve determining ease of use, how up-to-date the material is, whether the package is being used as intended, and whether trainees are mastering the objectives.
Self-directed learning is likely to become more common in the future, as companies seek to train staff flexibly, take advantage of technology, and encourage employees to be proactive in their learning rather than driven by the employer.
Apprenticeship is a work-study training method with both on-the-job and classroom training.28 The typical length of an apprenticeship is four years but this can range from two to six years. To qualify as a registered apprentice under state or federal guidelines, apprentices in most cases must complete at least 144 hours of classroom instruction and, depending on state rules, must obtain a certain number of hours of on-the-job experience.29 For example, learners in the Ohio State Apprenticeship Program are required to complete 144 hours of instruction and a minimum of 2,000 hours of paid, on-the-job training.30 Once their training is complete, apprentices are called journey workers, and they earn certification from the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency. Table 7.3 shows the top occupations for apprentices. In 2013, there were over 375,000 active apprentices in over 19,000 registered apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships can be sponsored by individual companies or by groups of companies cooperating with a union. The typical costs of apprenticeships for employers ranges from $170,000 to $250,000, including four years of classroom training, medical benefits, and salary on the job while the apprentices learn. Apprentices are not required to work for the company after they graduate. Unions’ collective bargaining agreements designate what proportion of union dues or hours worked by its members are used to fund apprenticeship programs. As Table 7.3 shows, most apprenticeship programs are in the skilled trades such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, and pipe fitting. Table 7.4 is an example of an apprenticeship program for a machinist.
In an apprenticeship program, the hours and weeks that must be devoted to completing specific skill units are clearly defined. The OJT involves assisting a certified tradesperson (a journey worker) at the work site. The OJT portion of the apprenticeship follows the guidelines for effective OJT by including modeling, practice, feedback, and evaluation.31 First, the employer verifies that the trainee has the required knowledge of the operation or process. Next, the trainer (who is usually a more experienced, licensed employee) demonstrates each step of the process, emphasizing safety issues and key steps. The senior employee provides the apprentice with the opportunity to perform the process until all are satisfied that the apprentice can perform it properly and safely.
Apprenticeships have benefits for both the learner and the company.32 Learners earn pay while they learn and their wages increase automatically as their skills improve. Learners303often receive a job offer and good wages from the company that sponsors their training. Apprentices gain a wide range of skills and knowledge based on their classroom and on-the-job experience. They tend to be cross-trained, which means they can move to different tasks and jobs. For example, an individual who completes a machinist apprenticeship can begin working as a machinist, move to other areas of production, sales, and eventually to management. The costs for the learner are usually limited to textbooks unlike the expense of a college education. Employers benefit from high employee retention and loyalty rates among apprentices, improved morale and emphasis on continuous learning, a talent pool, improved safety, and training customized to their needs. For example, graduates of apprenticeship programs make up 13 percent of Newport News Shipbuilding’s workforce. Their program includes eight hundred apprentices in twenty-five occupations. Eighty percent of graduates are still employed by Newport News ten years later. Because apprentices want to learn, it helps create an environment where more experienced employees want to share their knowledge and help apprentices learn new skills. This helps develop a skilled internal labor force, which is likely unavailable outside the company (recall the discussion304in Chapter One of how companies are having difficulty finding employees with the skills they need). At its manufacturing facility in Toledo, Ohio, Libbey Glass has apprenticeship programs in mold making, machine repair, millwrighting, and maintenance repair.33 These programs are viewed as the best jobs within the company because the wage rates are high and because most apprentices are scheduled to work day shifts instead of afternoon or midnight shifts. The apprenticeship program has been costly for the company but has paid dividends. Each apprentice requires the support of a journey worker for each work assignment. This means that work is being performed by two employees when only one worker is normally required. The program also requires apprentices to be evaluated every 1,000 hours to meet U.S. Department of Labor standards. The reviews are conducted by a committee that includes management and department journey workers. The committee also develops tests and other evaluation materials. The committee members cannot perform their normal duties during the time they are reviewing apprentices, so their workload has to be distributed among other employees or rescheduled for some other time. The program offers many benefits to Libbey: The company is developing employees who are more receptive to changes in the work environment; work can be performed at Libbey, so the company does not have to outsource jobs to contract labor; and Libbey is given an edge in attracting talented employees who like the idea that after completing an apprenticeship, they are eligible for promotions to other positions in the company, including management positions. Also, the apprenticeship program helps Libbey tailor training and work experiences to meet specific needs in maintenance repair, which is necessary to create and repair production mold equipment used in making glass products.
TABLE 7.3 Top 10 Occupations for Active Apprentices
Rank Occupation Active Apprentices 1
Pipe fitter (construction)
Construction craft laborers
Sheet metal worker
Source: Based on “Top 10 Occupations for Fiscal year 2013,” from U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. Available at www.doleta.gov/OA/data_statistics2013.cfm .
TABLE 7.4 Example of a Machinist Apprenticeship
Hours Weeks Unit 240 6.0 Bench Work 360 9.0 Drill Press 240 6.0 Heat Treat 200 5.0 Elementary Layout 680 17.0 Turret Lathe (Conventional and Numerical Control) 800 20.0 Engine Lathe 320 8.0 Tool Grind 640 16.0 Advanced Layout 960 24.0 Milling Machine 280 7.0 Profile Milling 160 4.0 Surface Grinding 240 6.0 External Grinding 280 7.0 Internal Grinding 200 5.0 Thread Grinding 520 13.0 Horizontal Boring Mills 240 6.0 Jig Bore/Jig Grinder 160 4.0 Vertical Boring 600 15.0 Numerical Control Milling 240 6.0 Computer Numerical Control 640 16.0 Related Training 8,000 200.0 TOTAL Probationary: The following hours are included in the totals above, but must be completed in the first 1,000 hours of apprenticeship: 80 2.0 Drill Press (probation) 280 7.0 Lathe Work (probation) 360 9.0 Milling Machine (probation) 40 1.0 Elementary Layout (probation) 80 2.0 Related Training (probation) 840 21.0 TOTAL
Source: A. H. Howard III, “Apprenticeship.” In The ASTD Training and Development Handbook, 4th ed., ed. R. L. Craig (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996): 808.
Apprentice-like programs are also used to prepare new managers. The president and chief executive officer of Goldcorp, a company in the mining industry, offers the chance for MBAs to apply for a nine-month apprenticeship.34 The apprentice shadows Goldcorp’s CEO and observes board meetings, negotiations, mine acquisitions, and other important aspects of the mining industry. Goldcorp hopes the apprenticeships will attract more MBAs to the mining industry, which is viewed by many graduates as an unsafe and dirty business. Hyatt Hotels offers several programs in which management trainees complete training in the areas of facilities, culinary arts, sales, hotel operations, accounting, and catering.35 Trainees rotate through all parts of the hotel and perform all aspects of each job, ranging from washing dishes to catering, and then spend the rest of the training time in their specialty area. Employees who complete the training are placed in entry-level management positions.
Besides the development costs and time commitment that management and journey workers have to make to apprenticeship programs, another disadvantage of many of these programs is that despite efforts to be inclusive, there still may be limited access for minorities and women.36 Also, there is no guarantee that jobs will be available when the program is completed. This is especially a problem in poor economic times such as the 2009 recession.
A simulation is a training method that represents a real-life situation, with trainees’ decisions resulting in outcomes that mirror what would happen if they were on the job. A common example of the use of simulators for training is flight simulators for pilots. Simulations, which allow trainees to see the impact of their decisions in an artificial, risk-free environment, are used to teach production and process skills as well as management305and interpersonal skills. As you will see in Chapter Eight, new technology has helped in the development of virtual reality, a type of simulation that even more closely mimics the work environment.
Simulators replicate the physical equipment, patients, and conditions that employees encounter on the job. For example, the Fire Division of the City of Columbus trains its paramedics and firefighters using mannequins that can present a variety of medical conditions, including strokes and drug overdoses.37 The mannequins can vomit, sweat, breathe, give birth, and be programmed with different mental states. Drugs can be injected and IVs run into the mannequins. For example, at training, paramedics recently encountered a child mannequin that was choking on a piece of candy. After the paramedics ran an IV, applied chest compressions, and gave medications, the mannequin had a pulse. The trainer was controlling the mannequin through a wireless tablet. He observed the paramedics to make sure they were giving the right amount of fluids at the correct time. A debrief including trainers and paramedics is held immediately after training. The debrief focuses on what the paramedics did correctly, what they did wrong, and the knowledge and skills they need to improve.
Thirty high-potential global managers at Automatic Data Processing, Inc., in teams of six, participate in a computer-based business simulation that replicates the company’s business model.38 The team, acting as the company’s executive board, must operate a financially sound and profitable business through five rounds by creating growth opportunities in a competitive global market.
A key aspect of simulators is the degree to which they are similar to the equipment and situations that the trainee will encounter on the job. Recall the discussion of near transfer in Chapter Five, “Program Design.” Simulators need to have elements identical to those found in the work environment. The simulator needs to respond exactly like the equipment would under the conditions and response given by the trainee. For example, flight simulators include distractions that pilots have to deal with, such as hearing chimes in the cockpit from traffic alerts generated by an onboard computer warning system while listening to directions from an air traffic controller.39 For this reason, simulators are expensive to develop and need constant updating as new information about the work environment is obtained.
A case study is a description about how employees or an organization dealt with a difficult situation. Trainees are required to analyze and critique the actions taken, indicating the appropriate actions and suggesting what might have been done differently.40 A major assumption of the case study approach is that employees are most likely to recall and use knowledge and skills if they learn through a process of discovery.41 Cases may be especially appropriate for developing higher-order intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These skills are often required by managers, physicians, and other professional employees. Cases also help trainees develop the willingness to take risks given uncertain outcomes, based on their analysis of the situation. To use cases effectively, the learning environment must give trainees the opportunity to prepare and discuss their case analyses. Also, face-to-face or electronic communication among trainees must be arranged. Because trainee involvement is critical for the effectiveness of the case method, learners must be willing and able to analyze the case and then communicate and defend their positions.
306Table 7.5 presents the process used for case development. The first step in the process is to identify a problem or situation. It is important to consider if the story is related to the instructional objectives, will provoke a discussion, forces decision making, can be told in a reasonable time period, and is applicable to the situations that trainees may face. Information on the problem or situation must also be readily accessible. The next step is to research documents, interview participants, and obtain data that provide the details of the case. The third step is to outline the story and link the details and exhibits to relevant points in the story. Fourth, the media used to present the case should be determined. Also, at this point in case development, the trainer should consider how the case exercise will be conducted. This may involve determining if trainees will work individually or in teams, and how the students will report results of their analyses. Finally, the actual case materials need to be prepared. This includes assembling exhibits (figures, tables, articles, job descriptions, etc.), writing the story, preparing questions to guide trainees’ analysis, and writing an interesting, attention-getting case opening that will attract trainees’ attention and provide a quick orientation to the case.
There are a number of available sources of preexisting cases. A major advantage of preexisting cases is that they are already developed, but a disadvantage is that the case may not actually relate to the work situation or problem that the trainee will encounter. It is especially important to review preexisting cases to determine how meaningful they will be to the trainee. Preexisting cases on a wide variety of problems in business management (e.g., in human resource management, operations, marketing, advertising) are available from Harvard Business School, the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia, Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, and various other sources.
KLA-Tencor uses cases studies as part of a program known as “The Situation Room” to help managers learn how to deal with common leadership problems.42 A group of between eight and twenty managers get together face to face or virtually each month for one year and read one of twelve 350–400 word case studies. The case is based on a real situation or problem that occurred at KLA-Tencor. IT has to be broad enough for most managers to have experienced the situation, issue, or problem, but specific enough to be useful. After they read the case, the managers are given three minutes to write their response to the situation. Participants share their responses and their peers provide feedback. If a peer doesn’t like the response, he or she can provide an alternative. After all participants have shared their responses, four teams are formed and they are given “homework.” Between the first and next session participants are expected to meet for an hour in their teams and review content, models, methodology, and or tools that they have been exposed to in prior courses. Based on this review, they are asked to provide a response to the situation. During the second session each of the participants share their prepared responses and discuss307them. Based on what they learned from both the first and second session, participants are asked to prepare a personal response focusing on how they will handle this situation if they encounter it on their job. The outcomes of the sessions are documented on the company’s knowledge management system so practices can be shared with other managers facing similar challenges. Managers who completed the program felt that it was valuable and the company is currently analyzing employee engagement survey scores to see if managers who participated in The Situation Room have improved in the leadership and management categories assessed on the survey.
TABLE 7.5 Process for Case Development
1. Identify a story.
2. Gather information.
3. Prepare a story outline.
4. Decide on administrative issues.
5. Prepare case materials.
Source: Based on J. Alden and J. K. Kirkhorn, “Case Studies.” In The ASTD Training and Development Handbook, 4th ed., ed. R. L. Craig (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996): 497–516.
Business games require trainees to gather information, analyze it, and make decisions. Business games are primarily used for management skill development. Games stimulate learning because participants are actively involved and because games mimic the competitive nature of business. The types of decisions that participants make in games include all aspects of management practice: labor relations (agreement in contract negotiations), ethics, marketing (the price to charge for a new product), and finance (financing the purchase of new technology). Games are also used for developing job-specific skills such as patient triage or aircraft repair. They are similar to simulations in that they can be used for training that otherwise would involve risk of injury, accidents, or would be too costly.43
Typical games have several characteristics.44 The game involves a contest among trainees or teams of trainees or against an established criterion such as time or quantity. The game is designed to demonstrate an understanding of or application of a knowledge, skill, or behavior. Several alternative courses of action are available to trainees, and trainees can estimate the consequences of each alternative, but only with some uncertainty. Trainees do not know for certain what the consequences of their actions will be because the consequences are partially based on the decisions of other game participants. Finally, rules limit participant behavior.
To ensure learning and transfer of training, games used in training should be simple enough that trainees can play them in a short period of time. The best games generate excitement among the participants and interest in the game. Meaningfulness of the game is enhanced if it is realistic. Trainees need to feel that they are participating in a business and acquiring knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are useful on the job.45 Debriefing from a trainer can help trainees understand the game experience and facilitate learning and transfer. Debriefing can include feedback, discussions of the concepts presented during the game, and instructions in how to use at work the knowledge, skills, or behavior emphasized in the game. Table 7.6 contains some questions that can be used for debriefing.
TABLE 7.6 Questions to Use When Debriefing a Game
How did the score of the game affect your behavior and the behavior of the team?
What did you learn from the game?
What aspects of the game remind you of situations at work?
How does the game relate to your work?
What did you learn from the game that you plan to use at work?
Source: Based on S. Sugar, “Using Games to Energize Dry Material.” In The ASTD Handbook of Training Design and Delivery, eds. G. Piskurich, P. Beckschi, and B. Hall (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000): 107–120.
At ConAgra Foods, new vice-presidents participate in a game on the last of eight days of leadership training.46 Teams run a simulated business based on ConAgra, rotating308through roles including sales and marketing, research and development, and finance. The teams compete for business and market share while developing their teamwork and other interpersonal skills. At the end of the game, ConAgra executives determine the winning teams based on financial measures, as well as team work skills. CMS Energy uses an online game (The Resolver) to teach employees about conflicts of interest.47 For example, employees understand that accepting bribes is illegal, but they might not understand all of the different types of bribes. The Resolver begins with clinking champagne glasses and receiving tickets for a sporting event. In the game players interact with different characters and make decisions. Each decision they make affects different people, including colleagues, friends, and family members. Those affected by each decision discuss how the player’s decision affects them. Teams of five employees were formed to compete against each other. During game play, the team format facilitated conversations and questions among team members about ethics and conflicts of interest. When the competition ended, team members could see how they ranked against others on an electronic online leaderboard. This stimulated further employee conversations about how they responded to the scenarios and what they should have done differently to earn more points.
A review of research on computer games shows that trainees learn more when they are actively involved in learning the content (rather than reading text or listening), they have unlimited access to the game, and the game is used as a supplement to other training methods such as lecturing.48 Games may give team members a quick start at developing a framework for information and may help develop cohesive groups. For some groups (such as senior executives), games may be more meaningful training activities (because the game is realistic) than are presentation techniques such as classroom instruction.
Role-plays refer to experiences in which trainees take on a role such as a manager, client, or disgruntled employee, and explore what is involved in the role.49 Role-plays are usually included in training programs involving interpersonal skills such as communications, sales, providing performance feedback, coaching, leadership, and team building. Role-plays can be completed in small groups of two to three persons in which all trainees complete the role-play. Or several trainees can volunteer to role-play while the remaining trainees observe them. In a role-play, outcomes depend on the emotional (and subjective) reactions of the other trainees.
At Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham, Massachusetts, the training schedule considers both the need to make guests happy and the need to help both new and returning employees learn to do that.50 From April to October, the resort is closed, but 340 employees start work in the spring before the resort opens. Half of the employees are receiving training for the first time, while the returning employees need refresher training. Wequassett Academy offers seventy courses in four schools (customer intimacy, technical training, information and technology, and management). The goal of training is to provide the kind of service that will encourage guests to come back again, as well as recommend the resort to their friends. The resort’s training is in step with its business, which requires a personal touch. Training involves classroom instruction with role-plays, as well as the use of DVDs. Employees have to successfully complete competency checklists before they are able to work. For example, food servers may have to take courses in menu knowledge, food service, and wine knowledge.
309For role-plays to be effective, trainers need to engage in several activities before, during, and after the role-play. Table 7.7 shows the activities that comprise effective role-plays.
TABLE 7.7 Activities for Effective Role-Plays
Provide background information on the purpose of and context for the role-play.
Make sure that a script is provided with enough detail for trainees to understand their role.
The room is arranged so trainees can see and hear the role-players.
Observations sheets and checklists that emphasize the issues in the role-play are developed and used.
Debriefing occurs on the experience of the role-players and observers, the relationship of the role play to the company context, and important learning points.
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. 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Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. 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The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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