1. There are four general skill categories for training—basic literacy, technical, interpersonal, and problem solving. In addition, we briefly discuss ethics training.
2. Basic Literacy Skills
Ninety million American adults are functionally illiterate; 50 percent of the U.S. population reads below the eighth-grade level; 40 percent of the U.S. labor force and more than 50 percent of high school graduates don’t possess the basic work skills needed to perform in today’s workplace.
Organizations find they must provide basic reading and math skills for their employees.
a. Math skills are needed for understanding numerical control equipment.
b. Better reading and writing skills are needed to interpret process sheets and work in teams.
3. Technical Skill
Most training is directed at upgrading and improving an employee’s technical skills.
Technical training is important for two reasons—new technology and new structural designs.
a. Jobs change as a result of new technologies and improved methods.
b. In addition, technical training has become increasingly important because of changes in
4. Interpersonal Skill
Almost all employees belong to a work unit. To some degree, their work performance depends on their ability to effectively interact.
These skills include how to be a better listener, how to communicate ideas more clearly, and how to be a more effective team player.
5. Problem-Solving Skill
Managers and employees who perform non-routine tasks have to solve problems.
Problem-solving training might include activities to sharpen logic, reasoning, and problem-defining skills, as well as abilities to assess causation, develop alternatives, analyze alternatives, and select solutions.
6. Ethics Training
Seventy-five percent of employees working in the 1000 largest US corporations receive ethics training.
Critics argue that ethics are based on values, and value systems are fixed at an early age.
Ethics cannot be formally “taught” but must be learned by example.
Supporters of ethics training argue that values can be learned and changed after early childhood.
Even if it could not, it helps employees to recognize ethical dilemmas, become more aware of the ethical issues underlying their actions, and reaffirms an organization’s expectations.