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Methods of Personnel Development Essay

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1. Introduction

Successful personnel development is necessary to help and organization to acquire a competitive edge in the market. A well trained and competent workforce and help and organization cut a competitive edge in the market which the competing organizations may find hard to replicate the long run.  Efficient methods of personnel development are necessary for the success of the organization.

Personnel have become an important concern for all managers in all industry.  This has been promoted by the problems which have been experienced in hiring of personnel who can meet the required standards to deliver the needed services.  The current strategic human resource management has recognized employees as the most important asset that an organization has. In this regard it has become of paramount important for organization to carry out effective staff development programs which are likely to meet the required work standards.  There has been increasing for the organization to carry out effective individual training programs which will meet the demands of their customers.  When most organization have been emphasizing for the downsizing of their employee, it has become important for them to ensure that it effective training programs which will ensure there is overall growth. (Consulting, 2000)

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For an organization to ensure that there is effective growth of its workforce, employee training and development has become a priority rather than an option.  There are many organizations which have been carrying out training programs but which have not resulted to the required results.  Training and development   is usually an integral and an expensive part of the human resource department and therefore there should be all efforts aimed at ensuring that there is overall success of the exercise.

Effective training and development programs are necessary in order to ensure that there is overall growth of the worker. The most important factor that can help the organization to carryout effective personnel development is to understand the goals of the organization and therefore work to achieve these goals.  The organization goal will assist the organization to come up with effective design and implementation of the organization. Efficient personnel development program are therefore necessary to ensure that the organization cuts a competitive edge in the market. (Jenning, 1996)

2. Success factors for training

There are important factors in the overall development process that must be taken into consideration to have effective personnel development. The most important factor that the organizations need to realise in the design and implementation of personnel development is the mission and vision of the organization. This will help the management to become committed to the overall process of personnel development in the most efficient way.  The company should also evaluate the relative risk of exposure which is presented by the compliance requirement and therefore use this as an effective way of prioritizing the needs for planning training.  The management will also involve the key line representatives in order to design and implement train interventions. This means that training should be viewed as a way of helping the organization to remain competitive and not as a necessary evil.  The management should also be keep away of the focus of the training activities and the role   that the activities are intended to achieve and help the organization to achieve in its overall objectives. (Bowie and Jordan, 2001)

There are important characteristic which are used to identify a successful training program.  The following are the common characteristics of a successful training in an organization;

· There should be a clear understating of the goals of the organization and the needs of all the line managers for training and development.  This means that  the training programs will be based on these key strategies which are likely to support the  goal of the organization

· There should be involvement of the key line personnel in the selection, design and the scheduling of training.

· The style for delivering the training program must focus on the adult learning concepts   including the relevant content of the course.

· The training activities should be seen as an integral part of the overall training place for the organization and not an individual or a one time event that will come and go.

· There should be a high accountability for the result which will justify the purpose for training.  There should be effective evaluation, measurement and a well organization reporting of the results of training.

· There should be frequent communication between the organization management and the person who are overseeing training program. This will ensure that there is overall support for the training programs and the enforcement of the training values.

3. In house vs. Third party training

There are two broad methods which are used to deliver training programs.  These include the in-house training and the third party training program.  The organization is likely to choose the most efficient method that will ensure that there is delivery of the most efficient training program. In-house training will involve when an organization uses the instructor who are a part of the organization.  This employs will also be trained as they continue with their work which means there will less loss of time and the productivity for the organization will not be affected. However this method is likely to result to low employee expectation from the training program since they are likely to learn what they have been practicing. (Rouda and Kusy, 2005)

The third party training take place when and organization brings in an extern expert. External experts are likely to come with new experience for the organization which will reinforce the development of the workforce.  Under this method the organization can also decide to take its staff for an external training program which will take place outside the organization.  This method is likely to be more effective since the staff will be expecting to learn new things from what they have been practicing in the organization.

In the course of training there are different ways that can be used by the organization to source for training materials.  The organization can develop its own materials in the organization which will be in-house material development. The organizations can also source for material outside through purchase or leasing.   When the organization hires third party to come and training the staff, the conditions for hiring can also be that the third party will be expected to come with training materials.

In order to select the best combination for the trainer and the program, the organization should be important consideration including the experience, time for development of the program, resources available, the money available for the program and the cost of the options, the expected quality, the training needs for the organization and the credibility of the method that will be used.

4. Program design

The program design describes the way the overall training program will be planned.  Program design consist of  important  aspect of the training  including the conduction of the needs analysis for the  company, the prioritizing o the need in the training place, definition of the  course objectives to match the  training needs, and the selection of  the training formats that will be used in the  training program.

a) Need analysis

A need analysis is carried out in order to identify the   area in which the organization needs to carry out training.  The need analysis is the first step in determine the whole training program. The need analysis should be carried out comprehensively in order to understand the specific area under in which the training will emphasize. Usually a need analysis will come up with a long list of needs that the organization will have to look at. In need analyses there are three types of data that the trainer will have to collect. The pre-training behaviour will give the knowledge that the trainees have. The post training behaviour will give the expectation from the training that the organization wants to achieve through training.  The workplace reinforcement and constraints will give the factors for the job which can help or hinder the trainees in applying what they will have learned. (Jenning, 1996)

b)   Course objectives

This should identify the specific objectives that the training will achieve. Identification of the course objective is likely to increase the effectiveness of training and evaluation of needs assessment.  Basically three types of course objectives will have to be looked at. These include the planning objectives, the process objectives and the learning objectives.  This will help in the formatting of the training.

c)   Training format

There are different formats that can be used to deliver training.  The best format that an organization can choose is the one which will create a setting an environment which is most conducive to learn.  The format has to be flexible.  There are formal and informal training formats

Informal training format will include format like one on one tutoring which  can be teem consuming but very effective,  use groups, discussion groups and  newsletters.  On the other hand formal training formats include formats like classroom training like lectures or demonstration, video or audio, computer based trailing, satellite training, teleconferencing, use of simulations, use of manuals, and on  job training.  The formal training methods have become most common used in organisational training since they are more effective and have been supported by the emerging technologies. (Consulting, 2000)

d)   Program delivery

This is the most important part in the training process. The way the training will be delivered is important in determining how it will be effective to achieve the goals of the training.  Delivery of training should be based on principle of adult learning since most of the employees who undergo training are adults.  There sold a proven adults-instructions practices rather than the traditional classroom delivery method which is likely to compromise the quality of training.

e)   E-learning

With the increased use of technology in the world, e-learning is also rising to be an important factor in the training programs. E-learning involves the process of delivering learning through the use of person computer. It is widely used in education institution but it is also fining it place in the employee training programs.

In employee training e-learning has been providing an effective time saving method of learning as compared to other methods.  It is also easy to carry training from any part of the world can therefore can be used when an organisation choose third party training. However it is expensive since al the employees will need to have a computer.

5. How adults learn

According to the learning theories, it has been shown that adults learn different from how children learn.  Unlike children, adults are likely to relate what they hear to their experience and the knowledge they have gathered over time.  Adults are also good listeners and will digest what they are listen.  This means that when training adults, one need to have all the facts to their fingers and ensure that they are correct as challenge can arise at any one time. (Consulting, 2000)

According to the adult learning theories there are important factor that have to be considered when teaching them.  First it should be understood that adults are less interested in the overview, they are more interested in what they are learning. They need to be given examples which can help them to relate what they are learning with their real experience. Since they are more critical on what is delivery any information that is likely to contradict what they know should be delivered slowly and in an efficient manner. The training should assist them to make connections with what they already know.  The pace of training should also be suited for their mind. Fast training may prove difficult for them while a too slow training is boring.  The training should avoid trial and error ventures and should reinforce the learnt concept in their real life example. (Jenning, 1996)

a)   Designing training experience for adults

There are important principal that the trainers must consider when planning adult learning.  The structure of the workshop should take to consideration that adult learns usual need some feedback which is likely to mark their progress in training.  The usually learn best when their own experience is integrated in the learning process. They should be given opportunity to ask questions and interact to share experience.  The adult learners are responsible for their learning and they prefer to share with one another in the process.  This interaction must be given a chance.  Adults are likely to learn in an environment where there is mutual trust and respect for one another.  Adults learners must be motivate din order to feel the need to learn. This earns that they have to be shown the important of undergoing the training and how it is going to affect their job performance.

b)   Classroom instruction

In order to ensure that there is effectiveness of the training process, there are important characters and method that should be incorporated in the training. some of the  most important factors in training include the  inclusion of discussion breaks time which agreed with  all the participants, ensure that the participants are comfortable, state  clearly the objectives of the training, make a preparation of  the material to be used before the class being so that you can evaluate them, use training aids and establish rapports in the course of training, ensure that you don’t interrupt the  participate when they are contributing,  be yourself and more flexible in the course of the training, answer all the question asked and provide constant feedbacks to the participants.

c) Documenting available training courses

In order to keep up with the course of the training resources, it is important to keep written records as they have been learnt.  This will help the learners to remind themselves of what they have learned in the course of the training. This is also important as it will help the learners to understand what they have been learning and therefore keep up with the course of the training. It also helps the management to see the courses that are available.

d)  Measuring and evaluating training effectiveness

There had to be an effective way of evaluating the learning process in order to understand the effectiveness of the learning process. This is very critical since it will determine whether the organization is really meeting its objectives or not. It will help the organisation to understand the important steps that are being made in the course of the training.

There are many methods of evaluation that is used in the course of the training. The most effective evaluation methods that are used include the use of smile sheet which is one of the five point evaluation which enquiries about the quality of the instructor and others, there is also the pre-test or post techs which is used to measure the increased in knowledge for the learners.  The presets will establish a baseline while the post test will confirm any improvement that is being made which can be directly attributed to the learning process.

An observation can also be carried out on the specific performance of each individual including the trainer and the supervisor.  This will detect any changes in the work behaviour which can be directly attributed to the learning process.   Work performance can also e used as a method of evaluation. In this case work performance will look at the specific job tasks and performance indicators. These indicators are usually well defined and measured before and after training.

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