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Transcript of UCT EXS M9 WU1

What is a staff training programme?
To acquire a better understanding of staff training, you should first understand how it differs from staff orientation. The main differences lie in their duration and the depth of the subject matter.
Orientation (or on-boarding) refers to the initial introduction that every employee receives when starting a new job. The purpose of an orientation process is to establish employee expectations and orientate the employee to the company culture, rules and procedures, activities, physical locations and general administrative formalities. Orientation allows the employee to enter an unknown environment with less anxiety, thus building confidence and wellbeing.
Training, on the other hand, lasts much longer than the orientation process; in fact it could last as long as the employee is active in the company. Training is a constant process of acquiring knowledge, developing skills and creating competence. A training programme provides the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a job to the best of the employee’s ability.
Where orientation is the introduction, training is the detail.
Why run a staff training programme?
An effective staff training programme will provide a chance for employees to practice new or unfamiliar concepts in a safe and relaxed environment where they can receive beneficial feedback. It can be a motivational tool that encourages employees to grow and develop competencies that will help the entire company achieve its goals.
A staff training programme can help staff members in the following ways:
• It shows that the company is supportive and values employee improvement.
• It increases independence, as employees will not have to constantly ask other staff members for help.
• It lessens the chance of incompetence and costly mistakes.
• It keeps existing staff excited and enthusiastic to complete their work.
• It preserves a dynamic company where there is constant growth and innovation.
What does a comprehensive training programme include?
A comprehensive training programme can include training for:
• New staff who do not have experience in a certain line of work.
• New staff who do have experience, but not in the company’s particular style.
• Staff development and improvement of knowledge and skills.
• Professional development that could lead staff to new areas of expertise, possibly for those wishing to enter a new field.
Planning staff training workshops
Staff training workshops are similar to team-building exercises in that they are specific events that help to train and motivate staff to reach a specific goal. Workshops are flexible in that the content (what will be taught) and methodology (how it will be taught) is completely up to the organiser to decide. As workshop coordinator you could invite participants to help establish workshop aims, which allows for employee engagement and commitment.
When planning a staff training workshop, you should:

Identify a common goal
. Goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

Define objectives
. Objectives allow the workshop coordinator to gain clarity on how successful the workshop is. Like goals, objectives should also be SMART.

Set a time and date and select a venue
. Will the workshop take place in the office or at an external location? Keep in mind the pros and cons of each option, as well as the workshop objectives and the amount of people involved.

Create a list of participants
. Understand who will be attending the workshop. Will it be the entire company or a particular team? Will there be participants who are external to the company? Also establish who will be delivering the workshop.

Establish a methodology
. Will participants be grouped into teams to accomplish an activity, or will the workshop be in the form of a lecture or presentation? Maybe both methods could be incorporated.
The training environment
Once you have answered the fundamental questions of what, when, where and who, you can start to arrange the physical and emotional environment of the workshop.
The training environment is made up of the:

. If the venue is external, make sure that it is easily accessible, allows for sufficient space, and is free from noise and external interruption. Natural lighting and scenery could change the environment of the workshop.

Facilities and materials
. Establish what is essential for the training to proceed and what is optional to improve your workshop. Think about how you will conduct your workshop and if any additional tools or materials will be needed such as printed training manuals, projectors and audio equipment, or refreshments.

. Does your workshop include a large number of employees or a small team? Will the groups need to be in separate rooms? How will you arrange the seating?
Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
How do you know when you should arrange a training workshop? To answer this question you would conduct a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). A training need exists when an employee lacks a particular skill or area of knowledge to complete tasks satisfactorily. If employees are constantly missing deadlines, struggling to grasp concepts, or using different methods to complete tasks, this may be an indication that they need training.
There are three levels of training needs:
. At this level, training on company policy or procedure is most needed.
. This level displays a lack of understanding of particular skills, knowledge or attitudes to complete tasks and carry out duties.
. Sometimes employees work efficiently, but are not displaying core competencies and company values, such as teamwork or attention to detail. Training would need to be carried out to instruct these employees on how to adapt their individual approach.
Members of top management at a company can choose to lead with an authoritarian style, letting employees find out new skills for themselves with no guidance. Or, they could choose to help them move the company forward through assistance and training. Staff training allows you to motivate staff members and helps them to develop the skills that are needed to improve their own careers as well as achieving the company goals.
A TNA identifies the type and the level of training needed and investigates how best to achieve results. You can determine training needs through observation, interviews, questionnaires, tests, and team meetings.
Aligning staff training with company goals
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