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In planning for a training program, we need to consider the cost of training; and the benefits of training. Far too often training is overlooked amid the pressures of performance throughout other areas in the enterprise. Many managers seem incapable of acting on training based on its real merits. Employees will not perform to their capacity unless they are properly trained. The costs versus benefits of training are all about a clear interpretation of the overall enterprise plan.

The critical question is “If I do not spend x $’s on training, what else will I spend it on, will it give me an equal return on the funds invested? ’ A comparison might be, ‘Do I spend the funds on a new truck, or a training program to improve performance on the production line? ’ Decisions should be made based on objective input, not guesses. These decisions need to be made from both immediate and long-term perspectives. It is important to realize that many enterprises have had bad experiences with training due to the lack of quality (Caldwell & Carter, 1993). Well, how do we foster this environment and show that safety training really is a value-added business issue?

Obviously, we must target the bottom line, the return on investment. Determining the actual cost of the training is fairly easy. It is the impact that is more abstract. How do you really prove that what you are doing is contributing in a positive way and making things better? Training by its very nature can be expensive. Training costs include development items such as your time as well as the time of others involved in the process. A generic way to calculate a safety training expense-to-benefit ratio is to look at the “worst case” possible expense of an accident and then calculate training time.

You then divide the potential accident cost by the total cost of the safety training program (return = accident cost / training program cost). This will give you return on investment. The benefits of safety training dollars are not as easily realized as first thought. You can even make some projection regarding the indirect cost, but too often these are not seen as “real” dollars. There is always the classic training argument that raises the question of how well the employees would have performed without intervention (Miller, 1998). Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisal is a recognized managing scheme that presents for the assessment of the excellence of an individual’s performance in an organization. The appraisal is usually prepared by the employee’s immediate supervisor. The procedure typically requires the supervisor to fill out a standardized assessment form that evaluates the individual on several different dimensions and then discuss the results of the evaluation with the employee. Too often, performance appraisal is seen merely as a once-a-year drill mandated by the personnel department.

But in organizations that take performance appraisal seriously and use the system well, it is used as an ongoing process and not merely as an annual event (Grote & Grote, 2002). To appreciate its importance, performance appraisal must be placed in its human resource context. Given the importance of performance appraisal, it is essential that the system operates effectively. Resistance to attempts to introduce effective personnel procedures is common as these may be perceived as mattering more to the human resource professional than to the line manager.

It is the training manager’s interest to identify an implement ways of overcoming such resistance. Appraisal is concerned with affective feedback on performance delivered in a structured framework. The focus of appraisal and the processes used are changing over time. However, there are powerful ethical reasons for making appraisal effective and equitable and this has important implications for the training manager. By now, the importance of the human resources has been thoroughly understood (Sloman, 1999).


Caldwell, B. , & Carter, E. M. A. (1993). The Return of the Mentor: Strategies for Workplace Learning. London – Washington, DC: Routledge. Grote, D. , & Grote, R. C. (2002). The Performance Appraisal Question and Answer Book: A Survival Guide for Managers. New York: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. Miller, K. L. (1998). Objective-Based Safety Training. Washington DC: CRC Press. Sloman, M. (1999). A Handbook for Training Strategy. Vermont USA: Gower Publishing, Ltd.

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