Impact of Training and Development on Employee Performance by gpl12798


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                                Leonor Isaza Merchán, CINDE Evaluator
     Martha Inés Morales L. Head, Human Resources Management and Development Division, Telecom

                                      Bogotá, 26 October 2001

1.    BACKGROUND                                       administrative training programmes, to be
                                                       carried out with the assistance of experienced
The company had for several years                      researchers with expertise in social research
discussed the importance of carrying out a             and adult educational processes.
study to evaluate the impact of training on
                                                       CINDE (the International Centre for
company production and culture. The study
                                                       Education and Human Development) was
took on tangible form in 2000, thanks to the
                                                       selected to carry out a nine-month evaluation
determination of the Office of the
                                                       of a sampling of programmes with a view to
Vice-President    for   Human     Resources
                                                       meeting the following objectives:
Management and of ITEC.

                                                            Design and conduct a pilot impact
Why carry out an impact evaluation?                          evaluation of eight Telecom training
                                                             programmes carried out between 1997
Telecommunication firms, in particular                       and 1999, in order to assess their effect
Telecom, have invested heavily in staff                      on employee performance in terms of
training and retraining with a view to                       the specific tasks and pertaining to the
promoting comprehensive staff development                    posts in question and the level of
and thereby obtaining higher levels of                       integration in the company culture.
customer service and satisfaction; that                     On the basis of the study, draw up a
investment calls for considered and objective                model training evaluation that can be
evaluation not only of the relevance of                      applied or adapted to the company's
training, instruction and refresher courses to               other educational programmes.
job requirements, but also of the way in which
those courses further the development of the
working skills required in the sector and the          3.    ACTIVITIES
transition to a culture of customer service.

The range of evaluations carried out in the            The following activities were carried out for
country is very narrow, as it has been limited         the purposes of the evaluation.
to academic consideration of course
                                                       3.1   Selection of courses for evaluation:
performance; this has not led to the
                                                             This task was carried out jointly by the
qualitative evaluation of training processes,
                                                             Human Resources Management and
not to mention the results and impact on our
                                                             Development Division and ITEC's team
organizations. A study to establish the rate of
                                                             of technical training coordinators. As a
return on investment in training in respect of
                                                             result of their deliberations, and on the
the company will be carried out at a later
                                                             basis of the criteria defined, it was
                                                             agreed to work on the following
                                                       Technical sphere
To conduct an evaluation of the impact of
training on the company, by means of a pilot                Switching: Basic NEAX, operation and
study     involving eight   technical  and                   maintenance, office data.

     Transmission:     SDH,        SDH                4.1   With regard to pre-training factors
      measurements and instruments. Basic
      IDNX.                                            Although there are clear guidelines for
                                                       training that emphasize key company
     Outside network: Measurements in                 concerns - such as democratization,
      respect of telecommunication cables              modernization,     customer     service   and
      and    cable    measurement    and               competitiveness - those concerns are not
      maintenance.                                     reflected in the development of training.
     Power: Saving energy costs and solar             It may be that the guidelines are not
      power systems.                                   obviously reflected in the development of
                                                       training owing to shortcomings in planning.
                                                       The reasons for the weakness of the planning
Administrative sphere                                  process is weak:

     Specialization in the management of                   first, training is not planned on a
      telecommunication firms, carried out                   comprehensive but on a course-by-
      jointly by the University of the Andes                 course basis;
      and ITEC.
                                                            second, the timetable is the planning
     Diploma in Marketing Management,                       aid par excellence; however, since it is
      carried out by Eafit University under                  very brief, it cannot reflect the course
      ITEC coordination.                                     orientation in detail. Other planning aids
                                                             - projects, plans, programmes - are
                                                             required in order to project training into
3.2   Establishment        of     evaluation                 the future and orientate it in greater
      categories, criteria and indicators:                   detail than a timetable can;
      Four evaluation categories were
                                                            third, there are no written records of
      established: pre-training factors, the
      training process, post-training factors                training plans;
      and training impact.                                  the courses are not justified in terms of
                                                             the convergence of company, worker
3.3   Selection of a sample of sources: It                   and sector needs and the policies
      was decided to collect information from                established by Telecom.
      trained employees, their present
      supervisors, and ITEC programme                  Of the values that the company sets forth in
      instructors.                                     its training guidelines, that which has been
                                                       most       strengthened     may    well     be
3.4   Process of collecting information:               democratization, from the point of view of the
      Information was collected during                 progress made in ensuring a transparent
      interviews   with   employees  and               process for sending staff on courses.
      supervisors in the capitals of the
      departments selected.                            Enhanced        customer       service      and
                                                       competitiveness are training orientations that
                                                       are being stated with ever-increasing clarity in
3.5   Analysis of the information: The                 the documents studied. Company employees
      analysis was carried out with reference          do not, however, remember or express them
      to the evaluation categories and criteria        with equal clarity. A difference was observed
      defined.                                         in that respect between technical courses and
                                                       administrative courses, with the latter
                                                       reflecting those orientations more clearly.
4.    MAIN CONCLUSIONS                                 Judging by what the persons interviewed
                                                       said, however, those values are not as widely
                                                       disseminated as had been hoped.

Work based on teams, results and clear                the most deficient. It is not company policy
commitments and responsibilities in respect           and is therefore not carried out. The courses
of the company are not considered to be               do not even comprise performance indicators
essential course components or aspects of             permitting follow-up.
use to those benefiting from the courses.
                                                      There are policies for the second factor -
                                                      whether the employee remains with the
4.2   In terms of the training process                company or in the same field after having
                                                      received training - for postgraduate courses
The training content (of the courses                  taken at universities, but not for internal
analysed) was up-to-date and current at the           courses. There are no statistics on whether
time the course was dispensed. According to           the policy is met and therefore it cannot be
those interviewed, the content in both the            said whether or not this is a factor affecting
administrative and the technical spheres is           the impact of the training.
easily adapted to changes in the sector,
meets the company's training needs and                Employee mobility within the company is
reflects the course aims and objectives.              high, although many staff members continue
                                                      working in the same field they were in when
The     pedagogical     model,      which   is        they received training. It would nevertheless
non-existent, is the weak point. ITEC did work        seem that although the employee's academic
to establish one, on the basis of ITU                 and professional profile is taken into account
developments in that field, but the results           when he is moved to another position, and
were not satisfactory. The shortcomings               that his approval is required, transfers
observed in methodology may stem from that            apparently do not take specific account of the
absence, from the absence of a basic                  training factor. It is up to the employees to
agreement on how and why to teach, on the             see whether they can apply the skills learned
content and on the resources required.                in the courses in their new jobs.
Nevertheless, the method used in both the
administrative and technical spheres is               In terms of the duties assigned and the
deemed appropriate by the employees                   support provided by the supervisor to the
receiving the training.                               trained employee, it was found that
                                                      supervisors at the time the training took place
There is no basic agreement between                   were familiar with it and discussed it with the
instructors on how to evaluate what has been          employee. However, current supervisors
learned in each course, and different                 were less familiar with the courses taken by
methods are used (theoretical/practical               their subordinates and had fewer exchanges
evaluation) to evaluate how well the                  with them on the matter. This affected the
participants have absorbed the course                 duties assigned in terms of the extent to
content. In most cases, the participant is in         which the employees could apply what they
due course informed of the evaluation result.         had learned during the course. The
                                                      employees' supervisors at the time of training
The study brought to light the fact that ITEC         gave them more duties related to the training
has criteria and methods for evaluating the           than did their current supervisors.
courses and the instructor. The evaluation is
used to adapt the course content, practice            It can be stated that the company has very
and length, for example, and to provide the           little policy on post-training factors, which is
instructor with feedback.                             crucial to the impact of the training.

4.3     In terms of post-training factors             4.4   In terms of the impact of the training

Of the three post-training factors analysed,          Both the employees and their supervisors
the first - follow-up of how the employee             reported   an    improvement      in   work
applies the knowledge acquired - is perhaps           performance, associated with group work and
                                                      enhanced company results. Personal growth

as an outcome of the training received was a              organizational values and to instil a sense of
highly important aspect for employees in the              ownership in employees through training.
technical sphere. It is important to note that
even though the company has established no
criteria for the follow-up of trained employees,          5.     THE EVALUATION MODEL
most of the employees reported that they
applied the skills learned in their jobs.                 At present, the first version of the model has
                                                          been constructed and discussed with the
Lastly, if one compares the employees' views              Telecom team. The adjustments suggested
with what is stated above, it is evident that             by the company have been made and a
although there are clear criteria and                     company team trained in the use and
guidelines for training, the training itself has a        implementation of the model.
very weak impact on the organization. Much
remains to be done to spread knowledge of

                             The deadline for receipt of articles for
                             inclusion in the HRDQ Nº 89 -
                             October 2002 is the:

                                                               15 August 2002

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