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Training Is the Answer...but What Is the Question

In: Business and Management

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Article Critique
Training is the Answer…But What Was the Question
The author’s main objective of this article is to ask the question of whether training really works or not. Mr. Rosner looks at how managers were being trained in order to develop the employees that they managed. This article also speaks about the mindset of personnel that attend training. Rosner states, in the words of Bob Pike, president of Minneapolis-based Creative Training Techniques, “Most people come to training with one of four mindsets: as a learner, a networker, a vacationer or a prisoner” (Rosner, 2009). These mindsets that people possess can make the training better or worse for the people attending it. If they come in with a learning mindset then they tend to more focused on what they are about to learn. They are more involved in the training and understand what they are there for. The networker mindset person is there for learning but they want to network with other people within the class. They are looking to make connections in order to have more connections for a later date, maybe for a better job or for something they may need in their current company. The vacationer mindset person is there to get away from everything not to learn. They want to get away from the office and enjoy their time away. The prisoner feels as if they were forced to be there and they come in mostly with a closed mind about the training they are attending.
Rosner also speaks about some problems that people have within their organizations and how some of these problems are misdiagnosed because the proper people are not in the proper positions with the proper training. Rosner quotes from Valerie Oberfie, a former vice president at Disney University that has done business consulting and training for corporations. She says that to avoid misdiagnosing a problem businesses should do their homework (Rosner, 2009). First thing they should do is identify the stakeholders involved, secondly, interview those stakeholders, and lastly test the stakeholders solutions to the problems. If this is done they can get to the root of the training problem and not waste training dollars where they are not needed. By doing this they will find out whether or not training is the best solution to their problems or is there something else that needs to be done, perhaps they may have the wrong people in the positions in the first place.
The things that support the main point in this article is how this corporation is looking at training and who really needs it. They have to look at the problem then ask the questions within the article to determine first is the training worth having and if so, what stipulations they will have to follow in regards to the training. Things like whether or not they should use in house trainers or source out for trainers, what type of training should be conducted, how to deliver the training, etc. The type of opportunities the training will provide to the employees is important too, so that they get the best learning environment. All of these things have to be put into consideration when a training package is put together for a corporation in order to get the best training for the money they spend.
I think that the article has some validity to it. The reasons I say that is many corporations just train personnel and never really look at what really needs to be trained or how it will be trained. This waste money for those corporations because they end up having to retrain people in another task after they have trained them in something else. The Army does this a lot in some instances. Some programs in the Army provide training that should be given to certain people but the wrong people get sent to training and it is never disseminated down to others. One instance would be sexual harassment training where everyone in the Army should be receiving it but some do not because of deployments or other training that is conducted. In corporations sexual harassment training is provided also, in both instances there are still multiple sexual predators still prevalent. Is the training done correctly or could it be done in a better manner to get the words across better? A survey of U.S. organizations indicated that more than 80 percent provided some type of sexual harassment training (Blanchard and Thacker, 2010). The Army has the fairly new sexual harassment/assault response and prevention (SHARP) program which it is working on. Both are trying to eliminate the same thing for many years but it is still out there in those organizations.
This article supports this course because it speaks on the aspects of training in the workplace. Training is an important part of doing a job. Without it people would not know what needed to be done in their particular departments. That is why it needs to be relevant to what the job is and learnable by all of the people participating in it. The course as well as this article lays those things out that should be looked at when developing training in order to get the best training for the best cost.
Blanchard, P. Nick and Thacker, James W. (2010) Effective Training, Systems, Strategies, and Practices. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ
Rosner, Bob (2009) Training Is the Answer…But What Was the Question? Workforce; May99, Vol. 78 Issue 5, p42, 8p

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