Determine how many instructors are needed, including backup instructors; select candidates; conduct training of trainers; and provide guidance on course delivery. Trainer development is another essential aspect if the learning needs of organisations are to be met.
Post-training follow up supports the trainees implement the newly-acquired skill set, knowledge and ideas to continue the learning process initiated during the training programme. It may also help to assess the impact of the training programme and any retraining needs.
Systematic monitoring and evaluation at each step in the process of planning and delivering training is the only way to ensure a high-quality outcome. Evaluation is intended to provide timely, objective information that will demonstrate what the training did, and help detect, diagnose and overcome any problems that interfere with a training programme’s success. The evaluation step also includes a re-assessment of training needs. The purpose is not to be judgmental but to modify, refine and restructure the existing programme or strengthen future training programmes.
Important aspects for post-training assessment of trainees include attitudinal and behavioral changes, conceptual development and performance changes. A post-training KAP study wherein knowledge is assessed immediately, attitudes within 1-2 weeks and practices within 3-4 weeks certainly proves beneficial to evaluate the overall acceptance, efficacy and impact of the training programme. The whole programme on the other hand is evaluated on the criterion such as achievement of training objectives, adequacy and meaningfulness of contents and curriculum, appropriateness of training methodology, sensitivity, competency and effectiveness of trainers, organisation and relevance of learning aids and equipment.
Valuable feedback can be obtained by combining different methods such as oral sharing, questionnaires, interviews, group discussions, observations, records or the use of scoring method.
Cost Benefit Analysis: Training comes for a cost. Hence, a documentation of the cost involved vis-a-vis the return in terms of productivity has to be analysed.
Report writing is an essential and basic strategy for later reflection and follow up. For the purpose of training, reports are usually process based, data based or research based.
Conventional/Banking Approach Participatory/Alternative Approach Learning is a product Learning is a process Trainer-centric Trainee-centric Focussed on transferring knowledge Focussed on discovering principles Trainer: Expert Trainer: Facilitator Assumes trainees know nothing Values trainees as capable and resourceful Trainee: Passive & Receptive Trainee: Active & Discovering Encourages Confirming & Coping Stimulates Creativity & Dynamism
Although training and development can never zero down the attrition in any organisation, it is a significant contributor to an employees’ job satisfaction, thereby reducing the attrition rate and increasing employee loyalty. Retention, motivation and development of high-end performers is a challenging but an often overlooked area in most hospitals. Top performers usually resist and reject any formal training within the organisation. Therefore, it important to motivate them by their inclusion in activities such as training the trainers programmes, journal clubs, grand rounds, coaching, mentoring, secondments, job exchanges, outreach and community events, management education programmess at universities, e-learning packages, stress management conferences, recreation and rejuvenation activities, sponsored tours etc. Highlighting their role in guiding and motivating the team leaders towards organisational goals can help them feel valued and respected.
While most international hospitals have a fully-equipped training and development centre that has a series of classrooms, discussions, seminar rooms, and lecture theatre with video conferencing , touch pad interactive systems, clinical skills centre, having dummies, an Information Technology Suite and most importantly a resource library with books, videos, audiotapes, self study packs, trainer guides, training equipment etc. Hospitals in India have yet to accept the philosophy that organisational success depends on keeping people up-to-date and skilled in the latest concepts and techniques. It is ironical that the top management in many organisations is still asking for a clarification and justification of funds allocated for training and development of the human capital. Adding to this, some of them even consider it as the top option for cost containment not realising its impact on employee motivation and organisational competence.
Existing training providers in most Indian hospitals may not have adequate expertise and capacity to cater to such a heavy and intensive training load (and thus if used for skills development for the reforms their teaching may be counterproductive to the process). Therefore, at an initial stage, special mobile ‘capacity building’ teams may need to be established (as in Zambia and the Philippines) to provide people with new skills that will eventually be institutionalised. However, excessive commercialisation, misuse of methods, insensitive training designs, reduction of training needs assessment to a ritual, no follow-up, missing standards of evaluation and stereotyped formats are some current training issues that most organisations will have to deal with.
It can be stated aptly that in the current scenario, training is no longer a choice but a necessity. A well-functioning training and development cell can also be used for generating revenue for the organisation by training members from other organisations. If well planned, it can be certainly beneficial for the individual; but for organisational success; training needs to be combined with effective HR planning, policy development, management and a positive organisation culture.
The writer is a Hospital Administrator based in New Delhi