A Systematic Approach to Determining Productivity Improvement Training Needs

By McClelland, Samuel | Industrial Management, July/August 1993 | Go to article overview

A Systematic Approach to Determining Productivity Improvement Training Needs


McClelland, Samuel, Industrial Management


Industrial engineers have traditionally used operational or managerial audits as a means of identifying barriers to productivity improvement. Towards this end numerous techniques and programs have been developed and implemented over the years albeit with somewhat mixed results. Constant changes in productivity improvement methods have become commonplace while the popularity of various programs (e.g. quality circles, employee empowerment and leadership development programs, TQM, etc.) seem to rise and fall with each phase in the business, industrial and economic cycles. Before any type of productivity improvement effort can be undertaken. however, obstacles to such efforts defined as needs--must first be identified so that a rationale to address them can be devised and implemented.

TRAINING AND PRODUCTIVITY

Productivity improvement efforts are, for the most part, brought about through an increase in human endeavor and/or changes in the methods and processes used to produce and deliver goods and/or services. In most cases, however, productivity improvement efforts are, by and large, designed around some form of employee involvement. Training and productivity improvement therefore are Logical extensions of each other. It is improbable to produce improvements in human performance without relying, to one degree or another, on training. Also, training should not be undertaken without first determining if it is necessary or required. Consequently, training should not be considered without having productivity improvement in mind as a principle goal.

Training thus becomes an integral part of almost any productivity improvement effort. As such training and productivity improvement share a common objective--to improve performance on individual as well as collective levels, thereby increasing efficiency, quality and output while simultaneously controlling (reducing) costs.

Most productivity improvement programs will, at one time or another, require training or retraining of employees as a basis for their implementation. These requirements are the result of an operational audit or some other form of investigation into what needs to be done to increase productivity and, hence, efficiency and output. Traditional IE audits tend to focus on an evaluation of tasks, work practices and methods in an attempt to address the following questions:

* To what extent have prior productivity improvement efforts, if any, contributed to increased output, quality and reduced operational costs?

* What specifically needs to be done to increase productivity, contain costs and continually improve the quality and/or delivery of goods and/or services?

Current and especially future needs can be vague and somewhat difficult to identify. A starting point is to first begin by evaluating the strategic as well as short-term plans and goals of the organization in an effort to determine where it is currently positioned in regards to the attainment of those goals and further, to proceed to identify and investigate possible ways and means of meeting those objectives. Thus, the audit will generally identify operational and/or administrative obstacles while focusing on what needs to be done to facilitate further improvement. This approach, however, tends to examine tasks within processes and overlooks, to a great extent, the human involvement and contribution to each of these activities. Tasks, processes and procedures are generally more easily observed and analyzed than are individuals' behavior, actions and reactions. Because of this employee skill and/or knowledge, deficiencies (needs) can be lightly considered or, at worst, overlooked. An over sight like this can quickly grow to become a major inhibitor to the productivity improvement process.

One way this can be corrected is to ensure that employee training needs are measured, analyzed and evaluated as part of the overall productivity improvement program. This can be accomplished through the design, administration and analysis of a training needs assessment (TNA). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Systematic Approach to Determining Productivity Improvement Training Needs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.