When most people think of company training, the first thing that comes to mind is "inconvenience." Training conjures images of sudden scheduling; disruption of their personal life; travel; long, drawn out sessions and a sense of relief mixed with futility when it is over. Hardly the best mindset for learning!
What is Training?
Training, by definition, is:
1.To coach in or accustom to a mode of behavior or performance. 2.To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice. 3.To teach and form by practice; to educate; to exercise; to discipline 4.An activity leading to skilled behavior (15)
Training in the workplace is a process whereby people acquire capabilities to aid in the achievement of organizational goals; it provides employees with specific, identifiable knowledge and skills for use in their present job. (12)
Why is Training Important?
Training is important because many human resource professionals are having a difficult time finding qualified entry level workers who posses the basic reading, writing and reasoning skills needed for today's workplace. In some cases, employers must complete the basic training that they believe high schools and technical colleges fail to provide. A high school diploma, and sometimes even a college degree, is not an indicator of the skills a person should have. The gap between the well educated, well skilled, and the non-educated, non-skilled is becoming more obvious due to the decline in manual labor jobs. (10)
Training is also important in aiding in underemployment and employee retention. Many students come out of college and are recruited into jobs that aren't challenging and move them along slowly. They then quit in search for other opportunities. Ongoing training would keep these students interested and learning new and challenging things, also enabling them to move up quicker. (10)
There are many competitive pressures facing organizations today that require them to have employees whose knowledge, and ideas are current, and whose skills and abilities deliver results. Employees who must adapt to the mass amount of changes happening within organizations must be training continually in order to maintain their capabilities. (12)
Many companies realize that training and development are integral to competitive business success. They realize that without continual training, organizations may not have employees with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to compete effectively. With technology ever changing and evolving, training is key in keeping these businesses alive. (12)
Training, essentially, is an additional source of business revenue for many organizations. When people are properly trained how to perform job functions, or use products, it increases customer loyalty and satisfaction.
What Training is Needed?
Since training is designed to help organizations accomplish their objectives, it only makes sense that assessing the organizational training needs would be the first phase in setting their training objectives. The goal is to understand all the business issues driving the need for change. This phase identifies key measures that training would impact, such as revenue, win rate, new customer relationships or account penetration. It also determines the performance standards for skills, effort or strategic approach. (7) At the same time, assessment explores the challenges facing employees. This can take a variety of forms including surveys, interviews and simulations. Employee's perceptions of their strengths and weaknesses, together with parallel readings from managers, allow the prioritization of needed training. (7)
This assessment considers employee and organizational performance issues to determine if training can help. It is also very important to consider non-training factors such as compensation, organizational structure, job design, and physical work settings.
There are three major sources to the...