Evaluating the Effects of a Peer Training System on the Subsequent Performance of New Employees
Performance of New Employees. Peer training is one of the most recent training methods identified. Some anecdotal studies claim that peer training is successful, however, there is no empirical data to support such claims. The purpose of this study was to conduct an empirical evaluation of a Peer Training System (PTS) in a manufacturing environment. Effects of the PTS on reaction, behavior, and results criteria described by Kirpatrick (1959) were explored. The PTS group was compared to a control
... mpared to a control group that did not receive any systematic training. It was hypothesized that the PTS trainees would obtain higher ratings on four dimensions of performance (operation, technical, training, and teamwork) than the control group, based on ratings from their supervisors, peers, and themselves. This study also sought to explore the trainee reactions to the type of training they received, and attempted to explore whether receiving the PTS accelerated the trainees' job status from temporary or contractor status to regular status. 2 Forty employees working for a manufacturer of personal computers participated in the study (20 in each, the control and the PTS groups). Participants were selected on the basis of their hire date and matched based on their technical experience, technical or college education, and initial interview results at the time of hire. The data were analyzed using separate multivariate analysis of variance and analysis of variance. Results did not indicate any significant differences on any of the four dimensions of performance or overall performance between the control and the PTS groups. Focus groups revealed that the PTS group was more satisfied with their training program as compared to the control group. The employment status of the two groups was not able to be compared. Overall, the results did not support previous anecdotal work claiming that peer training is more effective than classical on-the-job training. Conclusions were drawn that peer training was not effective in improving employee on-the-job performance compared with non-PTS training. The reaction of the new employees to the PTS, however, was positive. In addition, Peer training can be used as a low-cost, just-in-time, and flexible technique to meet the demands of the competitive world markets.