An Experiential Learning Approach to Employee Training Systems

Front Cover
Quorum Books, 1990 - Business & Economics - 252 pages

A pioneering contribution to the professional training literature, this book is designed to help trainers and human resource managers to more effectively manage training programs. The author develops a unified framework for the training function that combines a systems perspective with the experiential learning approach to training efforts. The result is a step-by-step guide to conducting key phases of any training program: pre-assessment, needs analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation. Sims focuses throughout on the principles of good training program design as well as on training for the development of certain pivotal skills, competency levels, and individual differences. No prior knowledge of training procedures and techniques is required to successfully use the concepts introduced.

The author begins by addressing training systems in general and the increasing need for training within the context of global markets and competition. He then discusses how to determine training needs within the individual organization. Subsequent chapters address each phase of the training process in turn. Sims reveals the importance of completing a thorough job analysis before embarking on a training program, shows how to design training programs to fill specific skill and competency needs, and demonstrates how to establish training objectives and determine program content. The experiential learning model is introduced as a viable system for managing the learning process in training in three major areas: the selection of training methods, trainees, and trainers; the development of certain training environments which are more responsive to trainee and trainer learning styles; and the provision of several psychological contracting activities which can facilitate various phases of a training program. Finally, Sims offers a systems analysis approach to the planning, design, and conduct of training program evaluations that includes a thorough discussion of the training audit and cost-benefit techniques. Both the novice and experienced trainer will find this book a comprehensive yet practical guide to the employee training process.

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Understanding Individual Differences
Selecting Trainers
Enhancing the Effectiveness of Training Programs

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About the author (1990)

RONALD R. SIMS is Associate Professor of Business Administration at the College of William & Mary. His more than 75 articles have appeared in journals such as International Journal of Management, Public Personnel Management, Journal of Management Development, and Academy of Management Review.

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