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Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development. Fiona L. Robson 2008. Definitions. Training refers to the methods used to give new or present employees the skills they need to perform their jobs. Dessler (2007, p. 270)

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Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development

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Southwood school a case study in training and development l.jpg

Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development

Fiona L. Robson 2008

Definitions l.jpg


Training refers to the methods used to give new or present employees the skills they need to perform their jobs.

Dessler (2007, p. 270)

Training and development are processes that attempt to provide employees with information, skills and an understanding of the organization and its goals.

Ivancevich (2007, p. 393)

©SHRM 2011

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Training Benefits


  • Improves individual, team and organization performance.

  • Supports employee retention strategies.

  • Increases flexibility.

  • Improves customer service.

  • May increase job satisfaction.

  • May decrease errors in the workplace.

©SHRM 2011

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When Is Classroom-Based Training Appropriate?

  • When the desired skills are best taught through formal instruction.

  • When a number of people need to learn skills/knowledge in the same area.

  • When critical information must be communicated to ensure employees meet their responsibilities.

    Source: Armstrong (2006, p. 576)

©SHRM 2011

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The Five-Step Training and Development Process

Effective training programs consist of five steps:

1. Needs analysis

2. Instructional design

3. Validation

4. Implementation.

5. Evaluation.

Dessler (2007), based on the earlier work of Goldstein

©SHRM 2011

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Step 1: Needs Analysis

  • Identifies the skills needed for employees to perform their jobs.

  • Assesses existing skills.

  • Identifies objectives to close any identified skills gaps.

©SHRM 2011

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Step 2: Instructional Design

  • At this stage, the content of the course/program is designed.

  • Specific activities are identified.

  • Relevant materials are prepared.

©SHRM 2011

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Step 3: Validation

  • The program is tested with a small group of employees.

  • Feedback may result in changes to the content and activities used in the program.

©SHRM 2011

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Step 4: Implementation

  • The target group participates in the actual training session.

©SHRM 2011

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Step 5: Evaluation

  • The program’s success is evaluated.

©SHRM 2011

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Training Methods

  • Lectures

  • Case studies

  • Workshops

  • Simulated training

  • E-learning (via the Internet)

  • Role plays

  • Coaching

©SHRM 2011

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Choosing the Most Appropriate Training Method

Consider the following:

  • Training topic

  • Cost

  • Time available

  • Number of participants

  • Skills and knowledge of the trainer

  • Availability of materials

  • Ability to meet the program’s goals and objectives

  • Timing of the training: how urgent is it?

©SHRM 2011

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Key Decisions

  • Who will design and deliver the training? Will it be done internally or externally?

  • Which training methods will be used?

  • What are the goals and objectives of the training?

  • Where and when will it be held?

  • How will it be evaluated?

©SHRM 2011

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Meeting Learners’ Needs: Performance Management Training

  • What is the employees’ existing knowledge of the performance management system?

  • Do employees have a positive perception of performance management?

  • Are there any special educational needs?

  • What are the employees’ preferred learning styles?

©SHRM 2011

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Learning Styles

  • One of the most frequently used tools to identify learning styles is that of Honey and Mumford (1996). They identified four styles:

    • Activists

    • Reflectors

    • Theorists

    • Pragmatists

  • Learning styles are not necessarily exclusive; a person can be classed as both a theorist and pragmatist.

©SHRM 2011

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Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles

  • Activists enjoy new challenges and participate happily in new experiences.

  • Reflectors observe experiences from different perspectives. They collect data from different sources and reflect on it before coming to their own conclusions.

©SHRM 2011

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Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles

  • Theorists tend to be perfectionists and like to be well-informed. They prefer logical theories rather than subjective information.

  • Pragmatists are keen to try out new approaches to see if they work in reality.

©SHRM 2011

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The Importance of Evaluating Training

  • Ensures objectives are met or if additional training is required.

  • Assesses the training’s effectiveness.

  • Helps identify modifications for future training programs:

    • Content

    • Training methods

    • Training provider

    • Location

    • Duration

  • Allows for a cost/benefit analysis.

  • Supports the business case for training.

©SHRM 2011

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Four Levels of Evaluation:Kirkpatrick (1994)

Level 1: Reaction

How did participants react to the training? Measures overall satisfaction with the program.

Level 2: Evaluating learning

To what extent were learning objectives met? What new knowledge was gained? What new skills can be demonstrated?

©SHRM 2011

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Four Levels of Evaluation:Kirkpatrick (1994)

Level 3: Evaluating behavior

To what extent were behaviors changed when employees returned to the workplace?

Level 4: Evaluating results

What added value was gained as a result of the program?

©SHRM 2011

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Southwood School Case Study:Overview

  • State high school in the United Kingdom.

  • Established nearly 40 years ago.

  • 800 students aged 13-18.

  • 120 staff:

    • 80 teachers.

    • 40 support staff (non-teaching staff).

  • Average staff retention rate: 72 percent.

  • Average length of service: 5+ years

©SHRM 2011

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Training and Development at Southwood School

  • Students leave school one hour early each week to give teachers time for continuing professional development (CPD), including training sessions.

  • Most sessions are delivered in-house.

  • Senior teachers usually deliver the sessions based on materials provided by the Government Department for Education and Skills.

©SHRM 2011

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Presentation References

  • Armstrong, M. (2006). A handbook of human resource management, 10th edition. Kogan Page.

  • Dessler, G. (2005). Human resource management, 10th edition. Prentice Hall.

  • Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1996). The manual of learning styles, 3rd edition. Honey Publications.

  • Ivancevich, J. M. (2007). Human resource management, 10th edition. McGraw-Hill.

  • Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1994). Evaluating training programs. Berret-Koehler.

©SHRM 2011

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