Non Standard Leadership Techniques

How to Train and Groom Precious Human Resources?

Prof.M.S.Rao asked:

“The illiterate of the 21 century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”, Alvin Toffler.


“By spending just 10 per cent of GDP (RS 4,90,000 Crores) on skill repair, the country would be able to generate extra income of 61 percent of GDP (RS 17,51,487 Crores) for the current unemployable youth”, according to India Labor Report 2007. It indicates the importance of ‘training and grooming’ which is required so as to enhance the efficiency of not only the unemployable youth but also the employed people. In this context, it is desirable to explain briefly about the fundamentals of education, training and development.


Education is a broader concept and it provides all round knowledge, skills, attitudes etc., Training is the narrow area, functional area and is more or less related to job. Training is subset of teaching and education. According to Flippo, “Training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a particular job”1. An automobile engineer having formal education, at times, may not be as capable of an automobile mechanic without formal education because of the training the latter had. The mechanic after working very hard continuously and mechanically for a long period becomes an expert not by education but by training and experience. It is like saying that, in a clinic, a compounder is better than a doctor who acquired a professional qualification. On the other hand, development is career oriented which helps in the growth of the individual as well as the institution.

Training is usually cut out for short term and it is meant for non managers mainly covering technical knowledge. Training is provided for imparting specific skills among operative workers and employees. The corporate trainer or supervisor has a pivotal role to play in this regard. On the other hand, development is cut out for long term and it is meant for managers covering theoretical as well as conceptual knowledge. Development denotes the overall growth of the executives where the executive motivates himself to develop. Rather development is a broader concept when compared with training.


Mr.Amit Bhatia, founder CEO of Aspire said, “Only 39.5 per cent of graduates in India are employable and the challenge is to bridge the HR gap by providing skills training to the other 60 per cent”2.

Presently we have unemployability problem not unemployment problem. Everyone knows what unemployment is but a few are aware of unemployability. In the past, especially before the liberalization, privatization and globalization India had unemployment problem where the candidates had the eligibility, suitability and capability but jobs were not available due to lack of so many opportunities. But ever since the mid nineties many global MNCs have come to India and set up their shops and industries and as a result so many employment opportunities have been created. But unfortunately candidates do not possess the requisite skills and abilities which are expected by the employers. It is a state of unemployability problem. To some extent, it is the result of outdated academic system. The present educational system is theoretical oriented and no way related to the practical application and, as a result, the candidates struggle to get placed. In this context, it is desirable to dwell at length about the relevance of Soft Skills.


There is an adage in business, “People rise because of their hard skills and fall because of (the lack of) soft skills”. Hard skills are the domain skills and are also called technical skills. Soft skills are like non domain skills and anything other than the subjective knowledge that helps in effective communication, presentation, team building and leadership are known as soft skills. These are also known as emotional intelligence and the interpersonal skills. To put it in a nut shell, the soft skills and hard skills are two sides of the same coin and the one without the other has no meaning.


Soft skills believe in nurture rather than nature. It manages by interacting between subtle and fickle human beings. It enhances the efficiency at the work place and minimizes the attrition rate. It always makes an individual stay ahead of time.

Soft skills enhance employability of the candidates and provide a solid ground to get adjusted and get along in the organizations more effectively and efficiently. These enhance the core competence and confidence of an individual. The growing widening gap between the talent supply and technical demand can be narrowed down. In a nut shell, proper training in soft skills creates more opportunities for the fresh candidates thereby minimizing the talent crunch in the job market.

There should be inclusion of soft skill subject in the academic curriculum so that students will have confidence and courage to communicate in the corporate world.

Infosys conducted 5 day work shop on Soft Skills titled Special Training Program (STP) for the teaching faculty in Hyderabad in 2007 and it is a step in the right direction and it shows the significance attached to the area of soft skills.


“William James of Harvard University estimated that employees could retain their jobs by working at a mere 20-30 per cent of their potential. His research led him to believe that if these same employees were properly motivated, they could work 80-90 per cent of their capabilities”.3

Training cuts down the costs and contributes to better utilization of machines and materials. It also helps to reduce the cost of raw materials and products thereby minimizing losses due to waste and poor quality products. Apart from this, it minimizes absenteeism, accidents, employee’s dissatisfactions and grievances. Production and the productivity can be enhanced as wastage is brought down and the employee’s efficiency is increased. There will be qualitative improvement both at the work front as well as at the human resources front. Motivation and morale will be extraordinarily high. Employees do not get boredom with the routine and outdated tools and techniques as training will help them get updated which leads to accepting new roles and responsibilities thereby giving better job satisfaction and sense of achievement. There will be total personal and professional safety thereby preventing health hazards. In a nut shell, there will be all round personal and professional prosperity and growth.


Below are the various types of training. They are:

1. Induction training.

2. Job training.

3. Apprenticeship training.

4. Refresher training.

5. Internship training.

6. Training for promotion.

Induction Training: It is also known as orientation training as the newly recruited employee is oriented with the rules and regulations and roles and responsibilities of the institution. The employee learns the basic tools and techniques that are required to work on a daily basis. It is basically for short term period to the freshers by supervisors so that the freshers get acquainted with the organization. It is like tuning, training and grooming to the organization with in the shortest possible span of time.

Job Training: It is basically for providing specific skills related to job so that the freshers can perform at ease. It is basically for knowledge and skills’ imparting so as to provide confidence to the newly inducted employees.

Apprenticeship Training: It is like learning and earning where the fresh students will be provided with training related to knowledge and skills of a parti
cular trade. Govt. of India has made it mandatory for a few employers to provide such kind of apprenticeship to students where
class room instructions along with on the job training are imparted. Under this the employers get cheap man power and the trainees also get some wages for the work they rendered.

Refresher Training: It is also known as retraining where the employees who worked many years are provided with fresh training to get them updated with the latest developments in technology and other related areas of knowledge and skills. It is in this context, Dale Yoder aptly quoted, “Retraining programmes are designed to avoid personnel obsolescence”. It enhances both efficiency and efficacy.

Internship Training: Under this the educational institution ties up with the industry to provide training to its students for some time so that they get exposed to the industry who can be absorbed if the industry finds them suitable and competent. It is usually for the period from 6 months to 2 years. For instance, the engineering students work in the final year for some time in the business enterprise. So is the case of management graduates where they learn about the business by way of case studies during their class rooms and go for internship during the course or at the end of the course with business enterprises to get practical exposure and expertise.

Training for Promotion: It is a motivational move by the companies where the talented employees are short listed for further and higher training so that they can shoulder the roles and responsibilities when promoted.


A survey conducted by Kalra 4 indicated that participants would like to have training programs in the following areas:

– Training in taking responsibility/decision-making

– Greater practical focus rather than conceptual focus in training program. It indicates that the employees would like to work in challenging environment to touch their upper limits.

The main objectives of individual training methods could be: demonstration value, developing interest and finally, appeal to senses5. “Experience indicates that almost 75 per cent of what we imbibe is through the sense of right and the rest is through the sense of hearing, touch, smell and taste. From the trainer’s point of view it would be beneficial to utilize as many of the trainee’s senses as possible, in order to improve retention of learning”.

Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSAs) are the basic things that are imparted by way of training. And the same is provided by three training methods such as Cognitive methods, Behavioral methods and Management Development methods. In Cognitive methods, theoretical training that includes knowledge and attitudes is provided. In Behavioral methods, practical training that highlights basically about the development of skills is provided. In Management Development methods, the employees are provided with the training keeping the future requirement in view.


“Learning is not a spectator sport – – – – it is an active, not a passive, enterprise. Accordingly, a learning environment must invite, even demand, the active engagement of the student”, D.Blocher.

Under the cognitive methods we have the below methods of training:

Lectures: The knowledge is imparted by way of lecturing. The concepts related to specific skills are explained with theoretical classes with case studies.

Demonstration: The concepts so explained by way of theoretical methods will be demonstrated while all the trainees observe the same and learn. It enables the trainees to understand better as the skills are demonstrated in the presence of all. It is having better penetration and retention in the minds of the trainees.

Discussions: Here the work related tasks, skills and concepts are discussed to have better grasping and understanding. Discussions will help us learn effectively as we humans tend to forget 50 per cent of what we learn with in the first 48 hours unless we recall the things first.

Programmed Instruction: It is also known as Programmed Learning which is a self-teaching method particularly useful for transmitting information or skills that need to be learnt and placed in logical order. The instructor is replaced by an “instruction booklet” or a “teaching machine” or both. Again there are two approaches under this one is linear programming and the second one is intrinsic or branching programming and of these two the popularly used one is linear programming.

Under cognitive methods there are also other methods like Intelligent Tutorial System, Computer Based Training and Virtual Reality by which the training is imparted.


Under these methods we have the following types of training methods:

Management Games: It is like creating a real life situation under controlled conditions where different teams are created and are encouraged to compete with one another. In this scenario the employees analyze the situation and take decision based on intuition and gut feeling. It is like a trial and error method without any major fall-out. And the feedback is given instantly so that the mistakes are corrected and the right methodologies are learnt and adopted.

Simulation Methods: A simulation method is used to develop, in a controlled environment, a situation that is as near to real life as possible, whereby people can learn from their mistakes. When individuals want to learn car driving they can undergo simulation method. After getting confident then they can go for driving the real cars. Similarly in defence organizations the pilots undergo flying under simulated conditions so as to avert any accident to the aircraft as well as to prevent the loss of life of the pilot. The astronauts and cosmonauts also work number of hours in a simulator before they embark on the real space shuttle aircraft.

Case Study: Harvard law professor, Christopher C.Langdell is the father of case study method. It provides learning by doing.

Yin has defined case study as “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon with in its real life context, when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident, and in which multiple sources of evidence are used”6.

Case study is a simulation of a management situation that helps the management graduates to react in a real situation and helps them by providing right direction towards right decision making and problem solving.

In-Basket Method: As the name indicates the problems that need to be addressed are placed in the basket. The trainees are asked to don the hat of the manager and look at the problems with in a given time frame. In day to day life the managers have to work under lot of pressure and under time constraints and deliver the results. The trainees step into the shoes of the manager and provide number of viable solutions towards decision making. And subsequently the same is evaluated by the experts and the comments are offered for improvement.

Role Playing: This technique is widely in developing human relations and leadership qualities. For instance, after delivering the lecture the faculty member may encourage a few of the students to come to the podium to deliver what they understood from the lecture. When student come to the podium and delivers then we can say that he is role playing like a faculty member. The faculty can offer feedback of the delivered lecture by the student. It is only for a limited time that the student feels like that of a faculty member and over a period of time he learns to deliver effectively and efficiently like faculty member by overcoming stage frit.

Under Behavioral Methods there are also other methods of training like Behavior Modeling, Business Games and Equipment Stimulators through which training is imparted.


“Management or executive development includes all those
activities and programs which have substantial influence on changing the capacity of the individual to perform his pres
ent assignment better and in so doing are likely to increase his potential for future management assignment”7.

There are two ways the Management Development is affected – one is by On-The-Job training method and the second is by Off-The Job training method.

On-The-Job Training: It is learning by doing. In this method, the employee is given training at the work place by his immediate supervisor. Under this we have the following methods of training.

Mentoring: Mentoring is the process of helping the mentee to realize the hidden potential or discover the hidden talents. It is a link between the mentor and mentee with the former getting sense of satisfaction and achievement and the latter learning and growing personally, professionally and socially.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”, John Crosby quoted. In brief, mentoring can be defined as the relation between an experienced individual and an inexperienced individual where the former provides the training and helps in grooming the latter.

Coaching: In this method the coach provides continuous training to the learner right from the beginning to the end. He constantly and continuously trains and grooms the learner. The coach guides and coaches but does not teach. He provides periodic feedback and evaluation by which the learner can learn quickly.

Job Rotation: An employee is put in various departments of the same organization so that he learns something of everything about all the departments in the organization. He becomes a Jack of all trades and, of course, he is already a Master of a specific trade. It will help an employee to reach higher position as he knows the ins and outs of the organization. And in future, he can not be misled by his subordinates due to lack of exposure to specific department. The prospects are brighter for the employee to become not only an efficient manager but also an effective leader.

Understudy: It is like preparing the subordinate employee to fill the bill as and when the vacancy arises due to resignation, promotion, transfer or retirement of his immediate superior. The advantage of this training is to ensure that the there is no losing the link in the organizational structure. There will be ready made supply of the talent as the subordinate is already is trained and groomed to fill the vacuum or to replace the incumbent.

Under On-The-Job Training Method we have also other training methods like Committee Assignment, Job Instruction Technique and Multiple Management by which also training can be imparted to the employees.

Off-The-Job Training: This kind of training can be acquired by the employee who is away from the work place as he works without any tension and without supervisor. It is only learning not ‘learning by doing’. Under this, we have the below methods.

T-Group Training: It is also known as Sensitivity training and also known as laboratory training as it is conducted under controlled conditions. This kind of training is very sensitive as the trainee is openly criticized or praised for his actions. The feedback is open and should be taken constructively and positively. The trainees who are very sensitive can not digest the feedback if given negatively. That is the reason it is known as Sensitivity training. This kind of training is led by a professional trainer who happens to be a psychologist or the one who knows the psyche of the trainees.

Special Courses: The employer may send the worthy employees for special courses which may benefit both the institution and the individual. The employer may sponsor in special cases with contractual agreement with the employee that the latter will not leave the organization after acquiring the courses and qualifications.

Specific Readings: The articles related to the nature of work are sent to the employees so that they can get updated with the various dimensions of their area and also about the latest developments and happenings. It will help them to apply in their real life scenario and grow both personally and professionally. Most of the employees who have the hunger for knowledge are always on the look out for the write-ups or articles or newspaper cuttings of business magazines like Business Today, Business World, business journals like Harvard Business Review, ICFAI Magazines and business newspapers like The Economic Times, Business Standard, Financial Express etc.,

Conference Training: Companies conduct conferences periodically to exchange information, enhance knowledge base and also to solve problems. In this, the conference members and conference leader will have wider opportunity to grow professionally as different shades of opinions are expressed openly which provides an opportunity to rate one’s opinions vis-à-vis others. It enlightens the individuals participated where do they stand in decision making and problem solving. Besides learning they also develop empathy and respect towards the opinions of other conference members.

Transactional Analysis (TA): It was developed by Eric Berne, a psychiatrist who is best known for his book, Games People Play, which was popularized by Thomas Harris in I’m, OK – You’re OK. Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward’s book, Born to Win, showed how people could apply TA to their personal lives8. Transaction is the exchange of words and behavior between two people which is concerned with social interaction. Stroke is nothing but feedback or recognition which can be either positive or negative. When you praise some one then it is a positive stroke and when you criticize some one then it is a negative stroke. According to Eric Berne, every person has three ego states such as Parent ego state, Adult ego state and Child ego state. Every person undergoes all the three ego states depending upon the situation and occasion.

Under the Off-The-Job Training, there are other methods like Straight Lectures, Case Study, Simulation Exercises and Role Playing by which also the training is imparted.


Training is subset of teaching and it should be on a continuous basis and Human Resources Manager plays a crucial role to see that the training activities take place on a regular basis.

Before rolling out the strategy for a training program it is necessary to look at the vision and mission of the organization as it helps in designing the training schedule and module properly. It is also desirable to look at the short term goals and long term objectives of the organization. After going through the same it provides a clear cut direction and guideline for the plan of action for training.

Any training program should have the following four stages and steps.

1. Identification of Training Needs,

2. Setting Training Objectives,

3. Organization of Training, and

4. Evaluation of Training.

1. Identification of Training Needs:

It is necessary to find out the critical gaps between the expectations and the realities of the employer. Unless these are found out it is very difficult to design the training program. The technology is changing rapidly and the human resources should keep pace with the rapid changing technology and if the same if not kept then the necessary tools and techniques related to training should be created to keep the employees on the right track and fast track. While identifying the needs it is vital to look at the issue from three dimensions like organizational front, human resources front and at the task front. Efforts should be made to bring effective synchronization and coordination among these three fronts as these are interrelated.

2. Setting Training Objectives:

After identifying the training needs then set the goals and objectives which are in tune with the needs and demands. Once the objectives are set then th
e next stage is to create training schedule and module. In this context, let us look at the role of trainer

Role of Trainers: These days there is steady growth of corporate and soft skill trainers in India who work either full time or as freelance faculty. The companies are gradually realizing the importance of imparting right training to their employees so that they get updated, attuned with latest teaching and training methodologies and developments and stay competent and compete. All companies and especially IT and BPO companies where attrition is high have realized the role of corporate trainers and are hiring them to motivate their employees on continuity basis.

Conducting workshops, seminars and conferences periodically will help the employees release and relive from their routine burdens and monotony and they get recharged by corporate training activities and as a result they contribute the work with more energy and enthusiasm.

3. Organization of Training:

Organization of training is essential as it saves the time and energy and also provides right direction towards effective training. In this context, let us look at the qualities needed for a trainer, tips for trainers, training tips and trainer’s rapport with the trainees.

Qualities of a Trainer:

• He should have passion towards training.

• Should have presence of mind and should have the ability to respond any type of queries.

• Must be a great communicator with the ability to motivate and inspire the audience.

• Should have courage and confidence to face the crowd.

• Should have possessed work experience that helps him to give too many examples based on experience. Along with examples he can teach the skills and abilities which are essential for the trainees.

• Should be a psychologist, if not, should know the pulse of the audience so that he can reach the audience effectively and efficiently.

• Should have higher levels of energy and enthusiasm.

• Should have good sense of humor.

• Should have read many books that provide food for thought for the trainees.

• Should have traveled widely as it develops tolerance towards others’ cultures and values.

• Should have emotional intelligence.

• Should be a good net worker, observer, and listener.

• Should be tactful while handling question and answer session.

• Should be good at presentation skills and interpersonal skills.

Tips for Trainers:

1. Don’t load the entire information at one go. Instead of which give out the information in a piecemeal manner. It is like that of a diabetic patient who takes meals with regular intervals as it helps in better digestion and contains the disease. No session should last for more than 2 hours at one go as the trainees will resist too much intake of information at a time.

2. Give the easy stuff first followed by the tough stuff gradually so that trainees will be able to absorb the contents.

3. Keep relevant case studies and examples under your fold. Apply the same depending upon the context.

4. Keep message oriented stories so that the same can be delivered along with the contents as humans would love to listen to stories. Message oriented stories not only give morals but also inspire the audience to think and apply in real life.

5. Leave your ego at the door. How giant you are is not the yardstick but how effectively you teach and train is the criteria. When you train well the audience will applaud and recognize your abilities and talents and it boosts your ego automatically.

6. Involve the trainees into team games and activities if possible. Research reveals that human would remember 20 per cent of what he listens, 30 per cent of what he sees, 50 per cent of what he listens and sees and 80 per cent of what he listens, sees and does.

7. Always start with a small story or an example or an anecdote and then correlate the same with the training material. It arouses interest apart from creating the best impression.

8. If previous session was held start the session by linking with the previous session as it easily connects the contents and carries the audience in a natural training flow.

9. Lay stress on quality not quantity. Apply the Socratic Method where the answers are found out from the questions raised by the trainees. It also encourages the trainees to think creatively and innovatively. It inspires them to think through training material thoroughly.

Training Tips:

• Avoid jargon. Every field has its own jargon and it is not proper to expect the audience to know a specific jargon. In extreme cases if jargon can not be avoided it is better to explain the jargon then proceed further so that the trainees can get glued to the training process.

• Always use positive strokes that encourage the audience to show interest in the training activity.

• Encourage questions and discussions from the audience.

• Have patience when a few trainees do not show any interest in the session. Apply the tools and techniques so that they can be brought into the training fold actively. In this context, application of humor is essential.

• Tailor the training as per the needs of the trainees to avoid wastage of time, money and energy.

• Appreciate the audience generously.

Trainer’s rapport with trainees:

• The trainer must greet the trainees. And he must start the session with ice breaking activities.

• He must remember the first names of a few trainees to keep the training activity alive and kicking.

• He must encourage informal conversation.

• He must keep the trainees at comfortable posture and encourage the trainees to pair up and familiarize with them.

• He must stick to punctuality and start the session as per the scheduled time.

• Use easy to understand examples.

• He must change his strategies depending upon the response of the trainees. If he finds that particular strategy of training is not working out he should shift his strategy that is acceptable to the maturity level of the trainees.

• He should create an ambience that is conducive for learning and training.

• He should ensure that all the trainees take part in the training process actively. If possible he must offer small gifts to encourage the non-participants.

4. Evaluation of Training:

Hesseling has divided the evaluation of training into four categories – trainee, the trainer, the training experts or directors, and management 9.

It is the last but not the least stage where the amount of hard work that has been put in is evaluated. After the training the feedback forms should be given to the trainees to find out the effectiveness of the training and the competency of the trainer. The feedback questionnaire should have both open ended and close ended questions by which the performance of the training can be evaluated. It will also help the organizers to cover the areas that have been left uncovered in this training activity.


Srinivasan’s study 10 (based on a sample of trainers, trainees, program organizers and sponsors) indicated that in future the following would be the potential areas of training:

• Man Management

• Corporate Planning

• Marketing Management and Sales promotion.

The above information is an indication of the importance of training in those areas in the years to come. It will also help the organizations to find out where the future of the training activities lies.

Training is only a comma not a full stop. With the growing competition across the globe due to the rapid changing techno
logy the concept and process of training is changing and will also undergo drastic changes in the years to come. Out of the four major pillars of an organization such as ‘men’, ‘machine’, ‘material’ and ‘money’ it is the pillar of ‘men’ that plays a cr
ucial role to survive and succeed in the corporate world. It is but natural that we can stay competitive only by effective and efficient training and grooming of precious human resources.


1. ‘Principles of Personnel Management’ by Edwin B. Flippo, McGraw-Hill, Tokyo, 1989, p 209.

2. ‘Invest more on training, right hiring’ Business Line, page 5 dated 18 May 2008.

3. ‘Personnel Management’ second edition by Arun Monappa, Mirzasi Yadain, and sixth print 2000.

4. ‘Objectives of Training’ by S.K.Kalra, Indian Manager, July-September 1972 3(3).

5. ‘Developing People in Industry by D.H.Fryer, M.R.Feinberg and S.S.Zalkind, (New York: Harper And Brothers, 1956).

6. ‘Case Study Research: Design and Method (revised ed.) by Yin R.K., Sage Publications, Newbury Park, C.A., 1989.

7. ‘National Industrial Conference Board, The Management Record’, March 1961, p.8.

8. ‘Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy’ by Eric, Berne, (New York: Grove Press 1961): Eric Berne, Games People Play (New York: Gove Press, 1964): Thomas A Harris, I’m O.K. You’re O.K. (New York: Harper & Row, 1967): Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward, Born to Win (Reading, Mass; Addison-Wesley, 1971).

9. ‘Strategy of Evaluation Research’ by P.Hasseling, (The Hague: Van Gorcum, 1966) p.49.

10. ‘Executive Development in India – A Futuristic Profile’ by A.V.Srinivasan, ASCI Journal of Management, Vol 6 No: 2 March 1977, pp.135-146.


Referred the book titled ‘Human Resource Management Concepts and Issues’ by T.N.Chhabra, Second (Revised) Edition, 2001 for fundamentals

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