A number of research studies have shown that motivation to learn is related to knowl- edge gained, behavior change, or skill acquisition resulting from training. 18 Besides considering the factors of person characteristics, input, output, consequences, and feed- back in determining whether training is the best solution to a performance problem, man- agers should also consider these factors prior to selecting which employees will attend a training program. These factors relate to the employees’ motivation to learn. The following sections describe each of these factors and its relationship to performance and learning. Person Characteristics Basic skills refer to skills that are necessary for employees to successfully perform on the job and learn the content of training programs. Basic skills include cognitive ability and reading and writing skills. For example, one assumption that your professor is making in this course is that you have the necessary reading level to comprehend this textbook and the other course materials such as overhead transparencies, videos, or readings. If you lacked the necessary reading level, you likely would not learn much about training in this course. As Chapter 1 mentioned, recent forecasts of skill levels of the U.S. work force indi- cate that managers will likely have to work with employees who lack basic skills. A liter- acy audit can be used to determine employees’ basic skill levels. Table 3.5 shows the activities involved in conducting a literacy audit. Step 1: Observe employees to determine the basic skills they need to be successful in their job. Note the materials the employee uses on the job, the tasks performed, and the reading, writing, and computations completed by the employee. Step 2: Collect all materials that are written and read on the job and identify computations that must be performed to determine the necessary level of basic skill proficiency. Materials include bills, memos, and forms such as inventory lists and requisition sheets. Step 3: Interview employees to determine the basic skills they believe are needed to do the job. Consider the basic skill requirements of the job yourself. Step 4: Determine whether employees have the basic skills needed to successfully perform the job. Combine the information gathered by observing and interviewing employees and evaluating materials they use on their job. Write a description of each job in terms of the reading, writing, and computation skills needed to perform the job successfully. Step 5: Develop or buy tests that ask questions relating specifically to the employees’ job. Ask employees to complete the tests. Step 6: Compare test results (from step 5) with the description of the basic skills required for the job (from step 4). If the level of the employees’ reading, writing, and computation skills does not match the basic skills required by the job, then a basic skills problem exists.
- Spring '14
- Skill, trainee, person analysis