The Concept of Employee Training

Employee Training

This class is concerned with the definition of employee training as it relates to the field of Human Resource Management.

Meaning of Training and Development

Training is defined as a planned and systematic effort to modify or develop knowledge, skills and attitudes through learning experiences, to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities.

It can also be described training as a designed process aiming at the development of attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through learning in order to achieve performance in an activity or series of activities.

The idea behind training in the situation of the work is to increase the capabilities of an individual so as to satisfy the current and prospective needs of the organisation.

Armstrong, 1999, defines training as the systematic modification of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience.

Learning is a process of acquiring new knowledge, skills and capabilities whilst training is one of the actions an organization can take for the promotion of learning.

Training and development is a function of human resource management aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings.

It is also known by several names, including “human resource development”, and “learning and development”.

Training and development encompasses three main activities:

  • Training (individual development):
  • Education (career development)
  • Development (organizational development).

Individual Development

Individual development refers to the development of new knowledge, skills, and/or improved behaviors that result in performance enhancement and improvement related to one’s current job.

Career Development

Career development focuses on providing the analysis necessary to identify the individual interests, values, competencies, activities, and assignments needed to develop skills for future jobs (development). Career development includes both individual and organizational activities. Individual activities include career planning, career awareness, and utilizing career resource centers. Organizational activities include job posting systems, mentoring systems, career resource center development and maintenance, using managers as career counselors, providing career development workshops and seminars, human resource planning, performance appraisal, and career pathing programs.

Organisational Development

Organizational development is directed at developing new and creative organization solutions to performance problems by enhancing congruence among the organization’s structure, culture, processes, and strategies within the human resources domain. In other words, the organization should become a more functional unit as a result of a closer working relationship among these elements. The goal of organizational development is to develop the organization’s self-renewing capacity i.e. the organization’s ability to discover its problems and weaknesses and to direct the resources necessary for improvement. As a result, the organization will be able to regenerate itself over and over again as it confronts new and ever-challenging circumstances.

What is Talent Development?

The term talent development is becoming increasingly popular in several organizations, as companies are now moving from the traditional term training and development. Talent development is the process of changing an organization, its employees, its stakeholders, and groups of people within it, using planned and unplanned learning, in order to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage for the organization.

The term encompasses a variety of components such as training, career development, career management, and organizational development, and training and development. However, it is mostly used to refer to training for the top management it is becoming increasingly clear that career development is necessary for the retention of any employee, no matter what their level in the company.

Purpose of Training

Training, development and education of employees at all level of hierarchy in an organization is an essential tool in maintaining competitiveness. This is because it aids an organisation in achieving its purpose by adding value to its key resources, that is, the people it employs. Consequently, to attain the overall effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation, there is need to invest in its people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities.

Generally, the purpose of training and development can be explained as follows:

  1. Improving quality of workforce

Training and development programs can help in improving the quality of work produced by the workforce of organization. Mostly, training is given in a specific area like finance, marketing or HR, which helps in improving the quality of work in that particular area.

  1. Enhance employee growth

By attending training and development programs, employees are able master the work of their jobs and that’s how they develop and grow themselves in a professional way.

  1. Prevents obsolescence

These programs help employees to keep themselves up to date with the new trends in latest technology, which reduces the chances of termination of the job.

  1. Assisting new employees

These programs help new employees to adjust themselves in a new working environment, culture and technology. They feel themselves as regular employees of that organization.

  1. Bridging the gap between planning and implementation

Training helps organizations to easily achieve their targets and goals what they actually planned for. Employees know their job better and they deliver the quality performance according to needs of top management. That’s why organizations can easily implement their plans.

  1. Health and safety measures

Training and development program clearly identifies and teaches employees about the different risk involved in their job, the different problems that can arise and how to prevent such problems. This helps to improve the health and safety measures in the company.

Advantages of Training

There are many benefits of training both to the organization and an individual employee. These benefits include:

  • Reducing cost of production by enhancing employee efficiency and effectiveness as it reduces wastage and accidents;
  • Increasing the workers commitment as they are able to understand their organization better as well as what is expected of them;
  • Enables employees accommodate new technology as they acquire new skills to deal with such technology;
  • It leads to flexibility among employees because they acquire a variety of skills which makes it possible to implement job rotation; and
  • It can be useful in effecting changes in management whenever necessary for example in succession management.
  • Employee training also creates a positive culture of training in the organization where the management must budget for employee training at regular intervals.
  • It also improves job satisfaction in the workplace since employees can utilize personal skills, abilities and talents to the full potential.
  • In addition, improvement of work performance leads to better quality of products and services which may lead to increase in customer base as well as profits.
  • Training also promotes good industrial relations through improving relationships amongst workers, as well as between workers and management which reduces conflicts in the organization.
  • Training facilitates reward system as it makes it possible to increase workers responsibilities and consequently the job group and salary.
  • It also enhances employee loyalty because employees feel that the management is mindful about their welfare as well as improve organizations image to its customers and the general public.

Disadvantages of Training

It is common to discuss the advantages of training and development of employees, or the importance of work training, but the disadvantages of training or the negatives of employment training are rarely discussed. The following are the general reasons why training employees can be a disadvantage.

Training costs

One of the biggest potential problems with employee training is the cost of the process. If handled the training internally, it costs money because employees will be paid for training instead of doing productive work. If an outside trainer used, he will also be paid. If employees are sent to a seminar or training conference in another location, the organization will also incur substantial cost for the training.

Changes in training needs

Information changes and whatever is learnt today will probably change in the near future and become irrelevant or inaccurate creating the need to do the training all over again. Furthermore, where online training is used for new employees, it might be de-motivating since majority of the new employees would rather learn from someone face-to-face than one-on-one with a computer because it’s more fun working with someone who can answer questions and add some energy into the process.

Inadequate Time and Resources

Another disadvantage with training employees is lack of enough time to do the training adequately. If sufficient time is not allowed for covering all the training material, and there is not enough time for questions and answers, the trainer may have to rush through the important parts of the job and skip over some of the other tasks that also need to be understood by the employee. In such circumstances, then either more time needs to be set aside for the training, or less material needs to be presented. Scheduling a training programme is therefore difficult whether it involves too many employees are being trained at one time or too few.

The Need for Training Control

It is important to be careful with regard to what the employees are learning which makes some control over the training necessary. However, Control of the Training is another challenge especially when the process is delegated either to another employee or an outsider. If the trainer does not do the job as it should be done, employees might end up picking up some bad habits along the way which may reduce organizational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, the trainer need to have a passion for training and to know what they’re talking about since employees being trained can quickly ascertain if the person doing the training is knowledgeable, competent, and approachable. The wrong trainer can do more harm than good.

Differences in Individual Levels of Learning and Training

Training may also have different effects if the staffs being trained possess different learning levels. Some of those being trained can be bored because it’s too elementary or others will be frustrated because it’s too complicated and the purpose of the employee training may be lost from the start.

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