This article throws light upon the five major methods of training employees. The methods are: 1. On the Job Training 2. Vestibule School 3. Apprenticeship 4. Special Courses 5. Classroom Methods.
Method # 1. On the Job Training:
This system of training the employees is more widely used, provided the number of employees to be trained is limited at the same time for the same job. The foreman, supervisor or experienced worker acts as a trainer instructor and the worker is expected to learn jobs right in the factory, under natural or normal atmosphere.
The worker can learn on the actual equipment. It is a cheaper method of training labour and it is very useful for learning unskilled, semi-skilled manual jobs as well as clerical jobs. It is also employed for training of salesmen. However, this method of training on the job has a few disadvantages.
There is a tendency to ignore importance of principles and theory in favour of immediate production. The learner is also subjected to distraction of a noisy shop or office and concentration of the learner can-not be ensured. This method of instruction is disorganized and haphazard. It also upsets normal production in the factory and it causes work spoilage.
Method # 2. Vestibule School:
It is a special training school for training the employees. An attempt is made to duplicate the actual equipment, material and conditions found in a real work place. We have a simulated production area. The goal of this method of training is not production and more time is spent on planning and thorough training.
It is very suitable when a large number of employees demand training at the same time for the same work. We have well-qualified specialist instructors in the training school and the emphasis is on training rather than Ln production. The conditions of learning are carefully planned and controlled.
There is no disruption of production or any loss due to work spoilage. However, this method of training is very costly and actual shop conditions cannot be reproduced. Hence, we have an artificial atmosphere for training. Many big enterprises have their own special training schools on a permanent basis and all the employees newly selected are required to undergo special training in such schools.
Method # 3. Apprenticeship:
This is one of the oldest methods of training. It is very popular in specific trades and crafts, i.e., in technical fields, e.g., machinist, electrician, pipe fitters, welders, carpenters, etc. The organisation may select candidates for apprenticeship training. The candidate must have interest and competency.
He should be temperamentally suited for the job. We may have regular apprenticeship agreement providing training period, which is generally 3 to 4 or even 7 years, wage rate or stipend and other conditions of employment. Under the agreement the trainee candidate is required to give a bond of service, e.g., 5 years’ service in the organisation after completion of training.
Apprenticeship method also provides class room instruction in trade, in addition to providing training in the acquiring of skills. This method of training, is, of course ideal but it is relatively costly. Larger organisations generally invite applications from candidates for apprenticeship training.
Method # 4. Special Courses:
We can have class room methods, lectures, seminars, conferences, case study, i.e., learning by doing, role playing for training of managers etc. Classroom instructions are very useful where concepts, attitudes, theories and problem solving abilities must be learned and where considerable depth and knowledge must be acquired. Classroom methods are usually employed for supervisory and middle management training.
Method # 5. Classroom Methods:
1. Lecture Method:
The lecture method with question-answer facility is the best method to pass on ideas, concepts, information and knowledge.
A good lecture must:
1. Motivate group interest,
2. Be well planned as to the purpose, main ideas, clear organisation, interesting development;
3. Be well presented enthusiastically and tailor- made to the listener’s needs and interest,
4. Not drag out in length 30 minutes to one hour (normal duration).
Let the lecture be combined with guided discussion wherein the lecturer not only gives information and ideas but also raises leading questions to which students provide answers. The lecturer should also give demonstrations and formal reading assignments and if possible, show films. Anecdotes, jokes and other attention getters may be used occasionally to hold the full attention of listeners during the lecture period:
2. Case Method:
Case studies are extensively used in teaching law, personnel management human relations, labour-relations, marketing, production management, finance management and business policy. A case is a real life illustration for studying a problem. The case helps in developing skills of analysis in discussion situations, in applying knowledge to the situations and decision-making.
The learner finds that there are more ways than one to analyse and solve a problem. He learns to look objectively at the facts, analyse them, find out various alternative solutions and support the best final solution. The group of learners must be fairly well advanced in understanding the various concepts of management. Great care is needed in the preparation of case study material and in case writing.
Cases can be used in two ways:
1. A case is submitted after describing the formal concepts and theory. The students should apply their theory and knowledge to specific situations.
2. A case may be assigned to students for written analysis and/or oral class debate without giving explanation of relevant theory and concepts. Of course, it is presumed that the students are mature and possess enough background in the subject matter of the case.
Case discussion is an important aspect of case study method; discussion should be free and informal. The teacher must be competent and he should act as a catalyst. He helps students to discover by themselves views and ideas on the subject matter of the case.
There are many advantages of the case study method:
a. It provides for learning by doing;
b. It develops analytical thinking;
c. It gives problem-solving ability;
d. It broadens the students’ horizon of knowledge; and
e. It is the best means for integrating knowledge secured from a number of knowledge fields.
3. Role Playing:
Role playing is a supplementary training method usually combined with the lecture or the conference. It has been widely used for leadership and human relations training. A trainee gets an opportunity to learn human relations skills through practice and develops a good insight in the intricate interpersonal behaviours. Role playing can bring about the desired changes in the behaviour and attitudes of trainees.
Typical examples of role playing are:
i. A salesman presenting a sales talk on a product to a purchasing agent;
ii. A superior discussing a grievance with an employee;
iii. A boss conducting a post-appraisal review with a subordinate; and
iv. An interviewer conducting an employment interview.
4. Conference Method:
It is the reverse of the lecture method. It assumes that all members have the ideas, knowledge and information. It involves a group of people to pool ideas, examine and share facts and test assumptions and draw conclusions, all of which contributes to the improvement of job performance.
The conference leader does not dominate and monopolise the discussions, but tries to bring out the best from every member. He makes a preliminary statement indicating the scope of the subject and submits issues for discussion. He puts questions and induces the members to participate actively in the discussion.
The conference method should not have more than 20 members.
We have three kinds of conferences:
1. Guided or instructional conference (used for training purposes);
2. Consultative conference;
3. Problem solving conference.
The conference method is very useful for the development of conceptual knowledge and also for the creation and modification of attitudes. Case study uses the conference method.