Models of Training: Faculty, Customer, Matrix, Corporate University and Business Embedded Model
Training is a sub-system of the organization because the departments such as marketing & sales, HR, production, finance, etc. depends on training for its survival.
Training is a transforming process that requires some input and in turn it produces output in the form of knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs).
The Faculty Model of training department organization employs a structure like a college. The department is headed by a director under whom there is a staff of experts with highly specialized knowledge of particular topics or skill areas. Each expert develops and delivers training in his/her area of expertise. Strengths of this model include the available expertise, and the ease of planning programs around areas of expertise. Weaknesses include potentially not meeting the needs of the company—building programs based on expertise rather than needs, trainees may not be motivated to learn if the training content doesn’t match business needs, and training dollars may be spent on unnecessary training.
The Customer Model
The Customer Model of training department organization involves having a training function for each division or function of the firm. Strengths include that this organizes training by business needs, trainers should be in tune with business needs and plan training programs accordingly, trainees are more likely to find the training content meaningful. Weaknesses include trainers needing to spend significant time learning about the function they serve before they can effectively serve them, there may be redundancy in the training provided across functions, and the programs may vary in effectiveness across functional areas because it is difficult for the training director to oversee each functional area to maintain quality across areas, employees from the functional area may serve as trainers, but lack training in instructional design and learning theory.
The Matrix Model
The Matrix Model of training department organization involves having trainers report both to a training director and a functional area manager. Thus, the trainer must be both a training expert and an expert in a functional area. Strengths include the link to business needs, the expertise each trainer has in a functional area, and the likelihood that the trainer will also stay current in the training field. Weaknesses of this model include the greater time demands on the trainer and conflicts due to reporting to two managers.
Corporate University Model
Training in this model particularly is more responsive to corporate needs than other learning intervention methods and adds value to the company business goals by helping recruit and retain talent. Their special focus is on disseminating common culture and driving changes in the entire organization. Corporate University model is sustainable to suit continuous employee learning and skill development and highlights the new approach of “active learning” that is increasingly being adopted as the future tool for training and development.
In today’s ever increasingly competitive world, organizations are striving hard to enable talent to be updated with skills and competencies which are not only current but futuristic too. In such a scenario the role of the learning and development function has moved more from a training and skills delivery function to a performance engineering function. Today it is more about helping improve frontline performance by bring about a cost effective, continuous learning culture in the organization. From ages learning has been happening in organizations, however the key differentiator of success in learning organizations has been the ability to create outcome measurements that capture the impact learning and development has on the organization’s most important goals. This prospective approach allows the organization to view learning as a business initiative and not just as a by-product.
Traditionally Training departments are often decentralized or limited in the scope of their responsibility, where the department manages a catalogue of programs that are widely applicable to the organization.
However today people want to learn in a format that engages and inspires them–it has to be top-quality production to be effective. They want to be inspired by recognizable leaders, sharing their personal experiences that can be translated into action. The need for the learning content to be multi-purpose — useable for individual learning, or as a conversation catalyst in team meetings to drive innovation and leadership is higher. One of the models that has been evolving steadily over years is the Corporate University model.
Business Embedded Model
Business Embedded model means that the training team is constantly engaged in discussion with the rest of operations. Silos are destroyed. SWOT analysis (looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) becomes regular practice. The voice of the customer is deeply embedded into the curriculum. This means that the purpose of training is to create material that adds value to the skill sets of employees in a manner that drives new products and enhances competitive advantage. For example, if a company is struggling to find the kind of talent it needs to satisfy a specific kind of skill required to meet new customer/product requirements, they might look to apprenticeship programs or in-house training modeled around this specific skill need. Or, let’s say that an external competitor is achieving higher customer satisfaction scores due to a rock solid inside sales force, leading to higher sales volume in the marketplace than the others. In this case the company may need to bring some high impact phone sales training to the workforce that is current, applicable to the product at hand, and tied to performance systems.