Sheep Dip Approach is a term used to indicate a standardized training method which is administered for a large group of people. It is term used in a derogatory way, since the training approach is same all the time and there are no new changes in it even though there are many not be useful in the present scenario. This kind of approach is generally observed in the situations of trainings given to employees on the company's policies, its rules and procedures, trainings on the code of conduct, disciplinary actions, health and safety measures for the newly joined employees etc.
The sheep-dip approach of trainings easy to create, cut the cost and reduce the effort of administrators, because there is no new content added and the same old training providers would be conducting it. These courses run every year whether or not they are needed by the individual or organization anymore. They are not aligned the company's strategy and company's goals as the business would be moved on and courses provided 3 to 4 years back may not be valid. Hence it is difficult to say if these trainings are usefully to either individual or organization.
Organizations should be very careful in avoiding sheep-dip approach of training. Some ways to avoid such training approach is as follows:
1. Identify the difference between training wants and needs. Proper training need analysis should be done and training should be given in need basis not want basis.
2. Ensure the training goals are objectives are simple and clear and also aligned to company's business strategy.
3. Ensure the content of training is relevant and up to date.
4. Ensure proper T&D plan is made.
5. In addition to the training provided ensure the employees get chance to implement what they have learnt in training in workplace.
6. Measure the return on training investment and review the T&D plan on a regular basis.