Selecting Training Research

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    C Moore

    I am trying to research some information on how training is selected, in-house or outside contractor, standard or custom program? I am working with a global committee looking at training for airfield personal. So I would like some feedback on a few questions.

    1) How do you determine what training to be performed in-house vs outside contractor?

    2) When training in-house; Who do you assign to provide this training? Senior person, recently trained, most experienced…?

    3) When looking at out-side contractors, are you looking for a standardized training program or customizable program?

    4) For training from an outside contractor, should the program be part of a larger qualification program or stand-alone? Similar to say the apprentice program with level advancement?

    5) If a level program with qualification requirement and electronic logbook for tracking qualifications, training and experience time be something you would participate in?

    Thank you for your participation, I look forward to everyone’s response.

    craig senna

    Mr. Moore–this is a great question/scenario that we all fundamentally must address as managers. Let me start with:

    1). The benefit of an outsourcing approach is that an airport can bring in someone with a very specific skill set to take on a particular task. Once that task is accomplished, they may not need those particular skills again, so it makes sense to hire the specialist only for the duration of the project. This makes financial sense and also means that an airport can bring in a specialist absolutely focused on the issue at hand, whereas a full-time employee would likely have a more general set of training skills that could be applied to a variety of situations. When an airport outsources, it also doesn’t need to invest in the equipment or training software necessary to do that particular job. The contractor will either provide their own tools or they will include the cost of acquiring the equipment in their fee, which will be less than if the company bought the equipment outright. Conversely, by building up an in-house training team means that they can be focused on the airports specific needs, and they will always be available when needed. This can be especially invaluable when an emergency arises, such as a security breach. In such a case, there is no time to look for a specialist, call them and be told they can fit you in next Monday. The situation needs to be locked down immediately, and the damage dealt with. With an in-house training team, the airport can ensure they are trained to the requisite level and, via exclusive contracts, can hang on to any star performers whose work differentiates the company from the competition. Internal training is a cost effective, encouraged, effective method for training employees. Whether the training is provided on the job, from informal or formal coaches and mentors, or in internal seminars, brown bag lunches, or conferences, internal training has the potential to positively impact employee learning and development. Size and number of employees is always the decision driver.

    2). I wouldn’t hesitate to assign supervisory or a team leader for these in-house responsibilities, or have someone function as an assistant lead while training. In some cases, the best way to make sure that you have the right person(s) thoroughly understands the training topics is to have the employee(s) train others. This provides the opportunity for the employee to cross-train in other roles and responsibilities.

    3). I think you must first assess you airport training needs.Before you develop a training program, determine if your staff’s skills and interests align with your airports objectives. Do your managers need ongoing help with delegating tasks and overseeing team assignments? Maybe your airport training development team requires a step-by-step guide on how to enter, and track progress in the database. There are countless scenarios and possibilities that could influence the development of employee training, which is why I think you must first evaluate your airports overall goals, mission, strengths and weaknesses. These include business plans, employee manuals, orientation guides and HR policies. Your employees’ roles and responsibilities. Look at employee job descriptions as a base for required training. Your employees’ performance and behavior on the job. Annual, semi-annual and even quarterly performance reviews can tell you where there are skill gaps and room for refresher training. You could customize by issuing questionnaires,conduct personal interviews, evaluate skills test and even present live demonstrations that can help you determine which tasks are performed adequately and which areas need new or specialized training. Once you get an idea of the length and complexity of the training program, develop a training schedule and recruit subject-matter experts (or even outside consultants) who can give lectures and provide guidance on the curriculum.

    4). While a training session on topic etiquette might be appropriate for entry-level workers just out of college, the same session may be redundant for mid- to upper-level managers with five or more years of work experience. I’d go with level advancement.

    5). Simply a very intelligent approach.

    craig senna

    Mr. Moore–curious as to your training research synopsis. Any progress?

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