|by Andreas Gunawan Putra - 15 October 1999 -
Training is generally acknowledged as an important ‘vehicle’ for the
hospitality industry. There have been a lot of facts, reviews and
manuscripts to support this. Besides, generally known that training is
also seen as an investment rather than just ‘a regular program’ activity.
Indeed, lots of researchers have acknowledged that the traditional view
of training entails the following three components that can be useful to
render the effectiveness of training programs.
A methodical assessment of training needs analysis to ensure that a training
program addresses issues and problems within the hospitality industry.
A thorough needs analysis is used to determine where in the organization
training is needed, which employees require training, and what knowledge
and or skills are required.
Applying an appropriate training tools/methods to deliver content based
on training needs analysis. The training methods depend upon the program’s
objectives. Methods can be on the job training or off the job instruction.
And each method is best utilized under particular conditions determined
by the desired outcomes.
However, the problem appears to be narrowed on training specific features
per se and it also seems that these components exclude such consideration
of factors outside the training boundaries that could influence the effectiveness
of any training effort. This outside factors could be individual
and work environment that may also associate with training effectiveness.
A wide-ranging evaluation of the program applying numerous different evaluation
criteria and strategies to ascertain whether the desired outcomes have
Therefore, training effectiveness, which is arguably, may not be able
to stand firm with the instructional design and or contextual factors alone,
but it may be caused by some ‘unidentified factors’ that tend to be ‘left
out’ in every single discussion. Therefore, it is very interesting
to explore what these ‘unidentified factors’ are.
Many questions have been arisen in educational literatures or empirical
evidence that managers should ask how much money we spent on training in
relation to employees’ perceptions of the value of training. Although,
it may be useful to know whether perceptions about training are in line
with companies’ financial commitments to this activity, it seems that the
question has gone to the wrong address. The issue is not ‘how much’,
or ‘what employees’ think’, or ‘what methods’, but the issue is of what
makes training effective.
Nevertheless, such an approach suggests that if desired results are
not achieved with a considerable level of training expenditure, perceptions,
or delivery issues, management will search for a reason for the failure
and probably focusing on to the one of the three components above or could
be all of them. Thus, such a failure may in fact have nothing to
do with the training itself, because ‘unidentified factors’ may affect
The next thing is trying to find out the factors outside the training
boundaries that appear to influence training effectiveness.
1. Individuals characteristics
Individual’s ability to learn and acquire new knowledge and skills can
have a direct influence on training preparation and performance.
Some of the factors that individual should have is his or her ability to
construct and evaluate problematical information. If trainees possess these,
thus learning would be comparatively quick and efficient. Individuals’
ability can be assessed throughout the selection process and to make selection
decisions, managers must know about the skills, knowledge and attitudes
required to perform the essential tasks and duties.
An individual’s attitude toward work may also affect his or her willingness
to apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills on the job after training
has been accomplished. Such individuals’ commitment should also be considered
to ensure his or her desire to achieve good performance. Indeed, if individuals
possess a high degree of commitment to their jobs, it is very likely they
will regard training as valuable and easy to transfer their new ‘capital’
back on the job.
2. Working atmosphere
Individuals’ willingness may lead to increase their motivation. In
addition, those who are motivated to go to training are more likely to
learn and use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to the workplace.
Now the issue is how to enhance motivation. It is managers’ job to
boost their motivation and to understand employees’ values and needs. To
find out which motivation - either external motivation or internal motivation
or can be both -, managers must constantly examine and work together with
Working atmosphere may have a considerable impact on someone’s preparation
for and transfer of training. Hospitality managers must be concerned with
factors such as individuals awareness about the work situation and systems
as they influence learning and performance.
Social association may also play a major element of the work environment
that can influence training effectiveness. Organization’s social
norms and values that support learning can have a positive impact on an
individual’s willingness to attend and learn during training, as well as
to transfer learning back to the job. Peers support can also be successful
to encourage individuals to use the newly acquired knowledge and skills.
‘Buddy’ system is very helpful for someone who remains unsure to apply
newly gained skills and knowledge.
Organizational systems such as the appraisal and reward systems.
Performance appraisal is used to identify performance discrepancies and
this will form the training needs analysis to determine the exact cause
of performance gap. Furthermore, if someone can demonstrate a great
performance, he or she should be rewarded. And this can be seen through
every individual who shows what they have acquired through training.
It should be noted that there is more to training per se than the assessment
of needs, methods and proper evaluation. For training to be fully
maximized, managers must look beyond the training boundaries and examine
the individual and work environment factors that have a significant influence
on training effectiveness.
Finally, continuing learning may have a major impact on the effectiveness
of training. Programs such as mentoring, apprenticeships, traineeships,
cadetships, attending professional seminars can too influence the effectiveness
of training, especially when these learning opportunities accompaniment
what has been gained through training.