In this issue, I am starting another series titled, Training Disconnected! The series will run for several issues. I will look at the 4 main reasons why organisational training fails and suggest some ergonomic solutions. Before dealing with the causes of failure, let us talk about what ergonomics has to offer.
If you are an employer, training and development practitioner or a manager, you would be familiar with the often huge amount of money spent on training staff in your organisation. You would also be familiar with the idea that some of your staff do not always see training as relevant, and worse still, others perceive it as a waste of time. For now, let us consider ergonomics and how it might help to analyse and solve this problem.
What Does this Have to Do with Ergonomics?
For several decades ergonomists (human factors professionals) have considered the different aspects of human interaction with work, leisure and every day products, with the aim of producing safe, comfortable and optimum outcomes. Traditionally ergonomists aim to influence the interactions between worker, work task, workstation, work environment, work organisation and job design.
The worker is the individual engaged in a work activity; she may be a nurse or he may be a plumber. Her task may be to measure the patient’s blood pressure on the hospital ward or his may be to replace a faulty tap. His workstation may be a client’s kitchen but hers could be the bedside on a hospital ward. The lighting, temperature, humidity and ventilation on the ward and in the kitchen make up the work environments. The nurse may be in charge of twenty patients with two other nurses on a night shift and the plumber may be on the third call out of the day. The nurse is used to working in the company of other nurses and the plumber is familiar with being sent on lone assignments by his domestic property management employers. These work patterns describe both workers’ work organisation and job designs.
In the next issue, I will address the question of why a huge training budget does not always reflect in positive staff perception.