Houghton Company does not have a well-established and effective training program. It has not put in place the appropriate mechanisms through which both the current and new employees are regularly trained. Instead, the company only realizes the significance of employee training when an accident occurs. This sends the signal that there is reluctance and lack of proper awareness in employee training. Therefore, in order to ensure an effective training program, the company should develop a properly evaluated systematic approach to training. This approach ensures regular identification of the job-related skills that are necessary for a successful training and meeting the general objectives of the company.
According to Goldstein (1974), a person qualified to conduct the training of employees is regarded as one who is familiar with the operation and construction of the company equipment and all the hazards involved. In the case of Houghton Company, the person chosen to conduct the training does not have the required qualifications to conduct this activity. Bill Young, who was asked to conduct the training out of desperation, does not have the adequate skills as he is still new in the company and there is nothing showing his competency despite having attended a Red Cross training program. In order to ensure successful training, the company should ensure that those considered as qualified instructors during training are well acquainted with and conversant with all the hazards involved in building the refrigerators. Furthermore, such a person should have successfully completed training in the hazards involved in building the refrigerators and not the general training as in the case of Bill Young. Such instructors should be competent in areas such as proper use of special precautionary techniques, tools and equipment, and effective job planning.
Goldstein (1974) argues that even the most competent new staff may fail to reach their potential if they are not properly trained. There is, therefore, need to adequately invest in effective training programs that aim at incorporating the employees into the new system. Apparently, this has not been embraced in the case of Houghton Company since new employees receive no orientation and there is very little time dedicated to training them. One of the appropriate ways in which the company can ensure proper training of the new employees is through personalized learning. This is a situation in which a personal mentor is assigned to every new employee, who constantly advises and gives information concerning safety measures to the new employees assigned to them.
Gagne's Theory of Instruction claims that learners are motivated by both the internal and external conditions of learning. Reigeluth (1983, pg 80) asserts that, while the internal conditions relate to what the learner knows prior to an instruction, the external conditions relate to motivating stimuli such as the instructions to a learner during the training process. Such instructions have not been emphasized during the safety training conducted by Bill. Gagne’s theory asserts that instructions should be in the form of nine events, which aim at changing knowledge from perception through the stages of memory. None of these events was formulated by the trainer, thereby making the training ineffective.
The training methodology of the organization does not incorporate the aspect of demonstrations techniques as has been recommended by Gagne%u0301 (1985). It is important to note that safety training can be effective if the trainer demonstrates what is expected of the employees. This is because most adults learn faster when they put their skills into practice. In the case of Houghton Company, the trainer only gives a speech and fails to allow employees demonstrate their skills. An effective demonstration should be developed during the training. The trainer does this by first breaking the activities to be carried out into smaller modules and parts that the employees can easily learn. The trainer then organizes the modules and explains the significance of that part. Demonstrating an activity requires the trainer to describe how to do the activity while actually doing it. The employees adequately learn how to put the safety measures into practice when the demonstration is done adequately.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have designed an effective safety-training model that emphasizes on the evaluation of employee progress in the work place after the training. The Company should apply this approach to safety training. This is because it provides a way that helps in determining the level of learning achieved and whether there is an employee improvement on performance. Administering questionnaires to employees can be one of the methods in which the company can evaluate the training. Moreover, supervisors’ observations can be used to assess the employee performance since the supervisors are in close contact with the employees. Other methods include workplace improvements due to reduced injuries, and formal assessments such as written exams to determine whether the employees fully understand the training material.
Houghton Company can also apply other forms of training such as the use of Computers and videos. Computer based training can help the organization reduce travelling costs since the employees receive training from the computers without travelling from one place to another. This method may also provide a means of documenting the training outcome as well as tracking progress. It also ensures that lack of time does not hinder effective training. The computer-based training contains supervisory curricula that offer courses in work compliance policies. The company has not employed this approach to its training mechanism despite having allocated little time for employee training.
Gagne-Briggs theory claims that appropriate formulation of training objectives is vital to the success of the training. The learner should be well informed of the goals and objectives of the training prior to the actual training. In this case, the company has not created enough awareness of the objectives to the employees. There is a need for the company to adopt this approach since it informs the employees of what they are required to learn during the training.
The company can also be advised to continuously conduct a job hazard analysis. This process may provide adequate information concerning the company’s progress in mitigating accidents in the work place. The process should be periodically reviewed to adapt to changes in technology or procedures. It is recommended that this review should be conducted on an annual basis. When contacting hazard analysis, it is important to begin by selecting the tasks for analysis. The tasks are then prioritized based on the hazardous conditions. Conducting hazard analysis provides adequate information that is used in planning an effective training program.
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In conclusion, the analysis of Houghton Company current approach to safety training indicates that the system is ineffective. This is due to the fact the company has not taken into consideration important aspects such as regular training of new employees, and ensuring there are competent trainers. Furthermore, the company does not employ activities such as training evaluation and regular hazard analysis. It is, therefore, recommended that the company should carry out activities that would ensure an improvement in its training mechanism. An example of such activities would include conducting a need analysis before training, and assessing the employees after training in order to establish the impact of training on the performance of the employees.