Effective organizations cannot exist without effective employees. One of the powerful instruments of increasing the effectiveness of the employees is training. However, design and implementation of a successful training program is quite a complex issue. In order to create an effective training program, it is necessary to analyze the needs of the organization, to determine corporate and individual goals for this training, formulate objectives and perform employee analysis (i.e. determine which employees need training). The process of training and development can be divided into five steps: analysis of needs, training design, program delivery, transfer and evaluation of the training (Kozlowski & Salas, 2011).
The events and situations taking place before the training as well as organizational climate also have a direct impact on the results of the training. Managers should also consider the pre-training environment and variables, as they have a direct impact on training. From organizational point of view, such issues as organizational policies, supervisor attitudes and available resources are important (Moskowitz, 2008). With regard to employees, the largest effect on the training program and outcomes is performed by the pre-training attributes of trainees. These attributes include (Furnham, 2005):
- abilities and personal dispositions of the trainees
- level of self-efficacy and self-discipline
- motivation of the trainees
- trainee job involvement
- internal locus of control
All of these factors affect the results of the training process and the process itself. Personal abilities and dispositions of the trainees affect their cognition and naturally influence the overall success of the training. Self-efficacy and self-discipline also strongly determine training success, because the lack of self-discipline can hinder the trainees from using their potential. The lack of motivation often results in low interest and low engagement in training (London, 2001), so one of key managerial tasks is to devise appropriate training program and to motivate the trainers before they start participating in the program.
Job involvement describes the degree of personal involvement in a particular work role, and relates to the psychological identification with the job (Bramley, 2003). It is important to select trainees with high level of job involvement, or to improve their job involvement prior to the program. Although job involvement primarily depends on the personal attitudes and abilities of the trainees, helping them to meet the specifics of the job and to evaluate its pros and cons can be integrated as the preliminary part of training (Werner & DeSimone, 2008). In any case, job involvement of the trainees is a highly important variable, and it is necessary to ensure that trainees have at least a satisfactory level of job involvement.
Furthermore, for the training to be successful, managers have to verify that the internal locus of control of the trainees is high. Internal locus of control means that an individual believes in own control over his or her life; external locus on control means that this individual believes in external forces controlling his or her life (Wilkinson & Redman & Snell, 2009). Evidently, high internal locus on control is necessary for the trainees to achieve their learning goals. Thus, it might be useful to address this variable and to help the individuals with external locus of control to reconsider their views towards a more proactive position.
The above-mentioned factors shape the overall pre-training motivation level of the trainees. According to the conceptual model of training motivation (Ford & Kozlowski, 1997), individual and situational characteristics shape this pre-training attitude, which, in its turn, determines the reactions, behaviors and learning processes during the training, and, consequently, determines training outcomes. These outcomes, combined with post-training motivation, transform into job behaviour and increased effectiveness (Schultz & Schultz, 2002). Thus, in order to design and implement successful training programs, managers should pay close attention to pre-training attributes of the trainees and situational factors affecting trainee motivation, and address these factors for reaching optimal outcomes.
Bramley, P. (2003). Evaluating training. CIPD Publishing.
Ford, J.K. & Kozlowski, S. (1997). Improving training effectiveness in work organizations. Routledge.
Furnham, A. (2005). The psychology of behaviour at work: the individual in the organization. Psychology Press.
Kozlowski, S.W.J. & Salas, E. (2011). Learning, Training, and Development in Organizations. Taylor & Francis.
London, M. (2001). How people evaluate others in organizations. Routledge.
Moskowitz, M. (2008). A Practical Guide to Training and Development: Assess, Design, Deliver, and Evaluate. John Wiley & Sons.
Schultz, D.P. & Schultz, S.E. (2002). Psychology and work today: an introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. Prentice Hall.
Werner, J.M. & DeSimone, R.L. (2008). Human Resource Development. Cengage Learning.
Wilkinson, A. & Redman, T. & Snell, S. (2009). The SAGE handbook of human resource management. SAGE Publications Ltd.