HR Ch. 8: Training the Workforce


the process of providing employees with specific skills or helping them correct deficiencies in their performance
Focus: current job
Scope: individual employees
Time Frame: immediate
Goal: fix current skill deficit


an effort to provide employees with the abilities the organization will need in the future
Focus: current and future jobs
Scope: work group or organization
Time Frame: long term
Goal: prepare for future work demands

What are the four main challenges in training?

(1) Is training the solution to the problem?
(2) Are the goals of training clear and realistic?
(3) Is training a good investment?
(4) Will the training work?

What are the three phases in the training process?

(1) needs assessment
(2) development and conduct of training
(3) evaluation

Needs Assessment Phase

involves the identifying the problems or needs that the training must address

Development and Conduct Phase

involves designing and implementing the training to the workforce

Evaluation Phase

the training program's effectiveness is assessed

What are the three levels of analysis of the "needs assessment" phase?

(1) Organizational needs
(2) Task needs
(3) Person needs

Organizational analysis

examines broad factors such as the organization's culture, mission, business climate, long and short term goals, and structure

Task analysis

examination of the job to be performed

Person analysis

examining how well employees are carrying out the tasks that make up their jobs

On-the-job training (OJT)

the trainee works in the actual work setting, usually under the guidance of an experienced worker or supervisor

Job rotation

allows employees to gain experience in different kinds of narrowly defined jobs in the organization


OJT programs typically associated with the skilled trades, derive from the medieval practice of having the young learn a trade from an experienced worker


route to white-collar or managerial jobs in a variety of fields

What are the benefits of OJT?

+ training is relevant to job
+ OJT spares the organization the expense of taking employees out of the work environment for training

Off-the-Job Training

an effective alternative to OJT.
Ex. Formal courses, simulations, role-playing exercises in a classroom setting

What are the benefits of off-the-job training?

+ gives employees extended periods of uninterrupted study
+ classroom setting more conducive to learning and retention

What are the disadvantages of off-the-job training?

+ what is learned may not transfer back to job

What are the presentation techniques used in training sessions?

+ slides and videotapes
+ teletraining
+ computers
+ simulations
+ virtual reality
+ classroom instruction
+ role plays


a device or situation that replicates job demands at an off-the-job site

When are simulations used in off-the-job training?

+ information mastered is complex
+ equipment used on the job is expensive
+ cost of wrong decision is high
Ex. Fire Training Systems (FATS); flight simulations

Virtual Reality

the use of a number of technologies to replicate the entire real-life working environment in real-time

When is virtual reality used in training?

+ tasks that require rehearsal and practice
+ working from a remote location
+ visualizing objects and processes that are usually not accessible
+ tasks that have high potential for damage to equipment or danger to individuals

What are the types of training?

+ skills training (most common)
+ retraining
+ cross-functional training
+ team training
+ creativity training
+ literacy training
+ diversity training
+ crisis training
+ ethics training
+ customer service training

Job aids

external sources of information such as pamphlets and reference guides that workers can access quickly when they need help in making a decision or performing a specific task


gives employees the skills they need to keep pace with their job's changing requirements (ex. technology improvements)

Cross-functional training

training employees to perform operations in areas other than their assigned job

What are the benefits of cross-functional training?

+ makes current workers more versatile and flexible
+ more efficient than hiring new workers
Ex. Job rotation programs use cross-functional training

Peer trainers

high-performing workers who double as internal on-the-job trainers; can be used for cross-functional training in their field of work

Content tasks

An area of team training that directly relates to a team's goals (ex. cost control and problem solving)

Group processes

An area of team training that pertains to the way members function as a team (ex. how they resolve conflicts and participation)

Creativity training

based on the assumption that creativity can be learned


a creativity training technique in which participants are given the opportunity to generate ideas openly, without fear of judgment

Literacy training

the mastery of basic skills (reading, writing, arithmetic, and their uses in problem solving)

General literacy

a person's general skill level

Functional literacy

a person's skill level in a particular content area

Diversity training

these programs are designed to teach employees about specific cultural and sex differences and how to respond to these in the workplace (especially important in team structures)

Crisis training

training on prevention of disasters

Ethics training

training on ethics

Customer service training

training on how to deal with customers and their problems

What are the four levels of training evaluation?

Level 1: reaction of the trainees
Level 2: how much the trainees learned
Level 3: trainees' behavior
Level 4: results (financial ROI)


the process of informing new employees about what is expected of them in the job and helping them cope with the stresses of transition; short-term


a long-term process with several phases that helps employees acclimate themselves to the new organization, understand its culture and the company's expectations

What are the three phases of socialization?

(1) anticipatory - expectations from outside sources about the job and company
(2) encounter - new hire has started work and is facing the reality of the job
(3) settling in - new works begin to feel like part of the organization

Realistic job preview (RJP)

realistic information about the demands of the job, the organization's expectations of the job holder, and the work environment

Employee mentoring program

an established worker serves as an adviser to the new employee