Training and Development
Training: Not Like It Used to Be
Imagine this: You have a pile of work on your desk and as you get started, your Outlook calendar reminds you about a sexual harassment training in ten minutes. You groan to yourself, not looking forward to sitting in a conference room and seeing PowerPoint slide after PowerPoint slide. As you walk to the conference room, you run into a colleague who is taking the same training that day and commiserate on how boring this training is probably going to be. When you step into the conference room, however, you see something very different.
Computers are set up at every chair with a video ready to start on the computer. The HR manager greets you and asks you to take a seat. When the training starts, you are introduced (via video) on each of the computers to a series of sexual harassment example scenarios. The videos stop, and there is a recorded discussion about what the videos portrayed. Your colleagues in the Washington, DC, office are able to see the same training and, via video conferencing, are able to participate in the discussions. It is highly interactive and interesting. Once the training is finished, there are assignments to be completed via specific channels that have been set up for this training. You communicate about the material and complete the assignments in teams with members of your Washington, DC, office. If you want to review the material, you simply click on a review and the entire session or parts of the training can be reviewed. In fact, on your bus ride home from work, you access the channels on your iPhone, chatting with a colleague in your other office about the sexual harassment training assignment you have due next week. You receive an e-mail from your HR manager asking you to complete a training assessment located in a specific channel in the software, and you happily comply because you have an entirely new perspective on what training can be.
This is the training of today. No longer do people sit in hot, stuffy rooms to get training on boring content. Training has become highly interactive, technical, and interesting owing to the amount of multimedia we can use. Sun Microsystems, for example, has developed just the kind of software mentioned above, called Social Learning eXchange (SLX). This type of training allows people across the country to connect with each other, saving both money and time. In fact, Sun Microsystems received a Best Practices Award
from Training Magazine for this innovative software in 2010.  The SLX software allows training to be
delivered in an interactive manner in multiple locations. The implications of this type of software are
numerous. For example, SLX is used at Sun Professional Services division by delivering instructional videos on tools and software, which employees can view at their own pace.  There is also a channel in the
software that allows the vice president to communicate with employees on a regular basis to improve employee communications. In another example, this software can be used to quickly communicate
product changes to the sales team, who then begin the process of positioning their products to consumers. Training videos, including breakout sessions, can save companies money by not requiring travel to a session. These can even be accessed using application technology on cell phones. Employees can obtain
the training they need in the comfort of their own city, office, or home. Someone is sick the day the training is delivered? No problem; they can review the recorded training sessions.
An estimated $1,400 per employee is spent on training annually, with training costs consuming 2.72
percent of the total payroll budget  for the average company. With such a large amount of funds at stake,
HR managers must develop the right training programs to meet the needs; otherwise, these funds are virtually wasted.
 “2010 Top 25 Winners,” Training Magazine, accessed July 25, 2010,http://www.trainingmag.com/article/2010-
 “Video Community for the Enterprise,” Social Learning eXchange, accessed July 25,
 See the American Society for Training and Development Trend Review, ASTD Website, accessed July 25,
8.1 Steps to Take in Training an Employee
1. Explain the four steps involved when training an employee.
Any effective company has training in place to make sure employees can perform his or her job. During the recruitment and selection process, the right person should be hired to begin with. But even the right person may need training in how your company does things. Lack of training can result in lost productivity, lost customers, and poor relationships between employees and managers. It can also result in dissatisfaction, which means retention problems and high turnover. All these end up being direct costs to the organization. In fact, a study performed by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found that 41 percent of employees at companies with poor training planned to leave within the
year, but in companies with excellent training, only 12 percent planned to leave.  To reduce some costs
associated with not training or undertraining, development of training programs can help with some of the risk.
For effective employee training, there are four steps that generally occur. First, the new employee goes through an orientation, and then he or she will receive in-house training on job-specific areas. Next, the employee should be assigned a mentor, and then, as comfort with the job duties grows, he or she may engage in external training.Employee training and development is the process of helping employees develop their personal and organization skills, knowledge, and abilities.
The first step in training is an employee orientation. Employee orientation is the process used for welcoming a new employee into the organization. The importance of employee orientation is two-fold. First, the goal is for employees to gain an understanding of the company policies and learn how their specific job fits into the big picture. Employee orientation usually involves filling out employee paperwork such as I-9 and 401(k) program forms.
The goals of an orientation are as follows:
1. To reduce start-up costs. If an orientation is done right, it can help get the employee up to speed on various policies and procedures, so the employee can start working right away. It can also be a way to ensure all hiring paperwork is filled out correctly, so the employee is paid on time.
2. To reduce anxiety. Starting a new job can be stressful. One goal of an orientation is to reduce the stress and anxiety people feel when going into an unknown situation.
3. To reduce employee turnover. Employee turnover tends to be higher when employees don’t feel valued or are not given the tools to perform. An employee orientation can show that the organization values the employee and provides tools necessary for a successful entry.
4. To save time for the supervisor and coworkers. A well-done orientation makes for a better prepared employee, which means less time having to teach the employee.
5. To set expectations and attitudes. If employees know from the start what the expectations are, they tend to perform better. Likewise, if employees learn the values and attitudes of the organization from the beginning, there is a higher chance of a successful tenure at the company.
Some companies use employee orientation as a way to introduce employees not only to the
company policies and procedures but also to the staff. For an example of an orientation schedule for the day, see Figure 8.1.
Some companies have very specific orientations, with a variety of people providing information to the new hires. This can create a welcoming environment, besides giving the employee the information they need. This is an example of one such orientation.
Source: Sample schedule courtesy of Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical
Center,http://www.cleveland.va.gov/docs/NEOSchedule.pdf (accessed September 2, 2011).
HUMAN RESOURCE RECALL
Have you ever participated in an orientation? What was it like? What components did it have?
In-house training programs are learning opportunities developed by the organization in which they are used. This is usually the second step in the training process and often is ongoing. In-house training
programs can be training related to a specific job, such as how to use a particular kind of software. In a manufacturing setting, in-house training might include an employee learning how to use a particular kind of machinery.
Many companies provide in-house training on various HR topics as well, meaning it doesn’t always have
to relate to a specific job. Some examples of in-house training include the following:
• Ethics training
• Sexual harassment training
• Multicultural training
• Communication training
• Management training
• Customer service training
• Operation of special equipment
• Training to do the job itself
• Basic skills training
As you can tell by the list of topics, HR might sometimes create and deliver this training, but often a supervisor or manager delivers the training.
After the employee has completed orientation and in-house training, companies see the value in offering mentoring opportunities as the next step in training. Sometimes a mentor may be assigned during in- house training. A mentor is a trusted, experienced advisor who has direct investment in the development of an employee. A mentor may be a supervisor, but often a mentor is a colleague who has the experience and personality to help guide someone through processes. While mentoring may occur informally, a mentorship program can help ensure the new employee not only feels welcomed but is paired up with someone who already knows the ropes and can help guide the new employee through any on-the-job challenges.
To work effectively, a mentoring program should become part of the company culture; in other words, new mentors should receive in-house training to be a mentor. Mentors are selected based on experience, willingness, and personality. IBM’s Integrated Supply Chain Division, for example, has successfully implemented a mentorship program. The company’s division boasts 19,000 employees and half of IBM’s
revenues, making management of a mentorship program challenging. However, potential mentors are trained and put into a database where new employees can search attributes and strengths of mentors and choose the person who closely meets their needs. Then the mentor and mentee work together in development of the new employee. “We view this as a best practice,” says Patricia Lewis-Burton, vice president of human resources, Integrated Supply Chain Division. “We view it as something that is not left
to human resources alone. In fact, the program is imbedded in the way our group does business.”
Some companies use short-term mentorship programs because they find employees training other employees to be valuable for all involved. Starbucks, for example, utilizes this approach. When it opens a new store in a new market, a team of experienced store managers and baristas are sent from existing
stores to the new stores to lead the store-opening efforts, including training of new employees. 
External training includes any type of training that is not performed in-house. This is usually the last step in training, and it can be ongoing. It can include sending an employee to a seminar to help further develop leadership skills or helping pay tuition for an employee who wants to take a marketing class. To be a Ford automotive technician, for example, you must attend the Ford ASSET Program, which is a partnership
between Ford Motor Company, Ford dealers, and select technical schools. 
HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THIS?
To Train or Not to Train
Towanda Michaels is the human resource manager at a medium-size pet supply wholesaler. Casey Cleps is a salesperson at the organization and an invaluable member of the team. Last year, his sales brought in about 20 percent of the company revenue alone. Everybody likes Casey: he is friendly, competent,
Training is an important part of the company, and an e-mail was sent last month that said if employees do not complete the required safety training by July 1, they would be let go.
It is July 15, and it has just come to Towanda’s attention that Casey has not completed the online safety training that is required for his job. When she approaches him about it, he says, “I am the best salesperson here; I can’t waste time doing training. I already know all the safety rules anyway.”
Would you let Casey go, as stated in the e-mail? How would you handle this? How Would You Handle This?
• Employee training and development is the framework for helping employees develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities. Training is important to employee retention.
• There are four steps in training that should occur. Employee orientation has the purpose of welcoming new employees into the organization. An effective employee orientation can help reduce start-up costs, reduce anxiety for the employee, reduce turnover, save time for the supervisor and colleagues, and set expectations and attitudes.
• An in-house training program is any type of program in which the training is delivered by someone who works for the company. This could include management or HR. Examples might include sexual harassment training or ethics training. In-house training can also include components specific to a job, such as how to use a specific kind of software. In-house training is normally done as a second and ongoing step in employee development.
• A mentor form of training pairs a new employee with a seasoned employee. This is usually the third step in employee training. A mentor program for training should include a formalized program and process.
• External training is any type of training not performed in-house; part of the last training step, external training can also be ongoing. It can include sending employees to conferences or
seminars for leadership development or even paying tuition for a class they want to take.
1. Why do you think some companies do not follow the four training steps? What are the advantages of doing so?
2. What qualities do you think a mentor should have? List at least five.
3. Have you ever worked with a mentor in a job, at school, or in extracurricular activities? Describe your experience.
 Leigh Branham, The 7 Hidden Reasons Why Employees Leave (New York: American Management Association,
 Blyde Witt, “Serious Leadership: IBM Builds a Successful Mentoring Program,” Material Handling Management, December 1, 2005, accessed July 25, 2010,http://mhmonline.com/workforce-solutions/mhm_imp_4483/.
 Arthur Thompson, “Starbucks Corporation,” July 24, 2011, accessed July 29,
 “Automotive Technology/Ford ASSET Course,” Sheridan Technical Center, accessed July 29,
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