What is Employee Training and Development?
Employee training and development refers to the continued efforts of a company to boost the performance of its employees. Companies aim to train and develop employees by using an array of educational methods and programs.
In the past few years, training and development have emerged as a crucial element of strategy. More company owners have realized that investing in employee training and development not only serves as a motivation, but it also enables the organization to create a highly skilled workforce. This article further explains the significance of employee training and development. It also outlines the various approaches that organizations use to train their employees.
Breaking Down Employee Training and Development
Even though the terms “training” and “development” are used interchangeably, there are a couple of differences between the two concepts. The differences are related to the scope of their applications. Essentially, a training program comes with very precise and measurable goals such as learning how to perform a particular procedure with accuracy or how to operate a piece of machinery.
On the contrary, a developmental program centers on acquiring broader skills that can be applied in a wide range of situations. They include skills such as decision-making, communication, and leadership.
Benefits of Employee Training and Development
Although there are a few drawbacks in investing in employee training, the benefits from such programs outweigh them significantly. The benefits include:
1. Addressing weaknesses
If a company owner evaluates his workforce closely, he is likely to find two or more of his employees lacking certain skills. A training program presents an opportunity to instill the needed skills in the employees. Similarly, a development program helps to expand the knowledge base of all employees.
In doing so, company owners are able to bridge any gaps and weak links within their organizations. In such a way, every employee will be in a position to fill in for his colleague and handle any task with efficiency.
2. Improved performance of employees
An employee who receives training from time to time is in a better position to improve his work productivity. Thanks to training programs, every employee will be well versed with the safety practices and proper procedures to follow when carrying out basic tasks. A training program also helps in building an employee’s confidence since he will gain a better understanding of the industry and the responsibilities of his role.
3. Boosts company profile and reputation
As mentioned earlier, employee training is not just good for the employees but also for the firm. Conducting frequent training and development programs is one way of developing the organization’s employer brand, thus making it a prime consideration for the top employees working for competitor firms, as well as graduates. A company that trains its employees will be more attractive to potential new employees, particularly those looking to advance their skills.
When employees receive consistent training and upskilling, it fosters their creativity. The training programs help employees to be more independent and creative when they encounter challenges in their work.
Common Training Methods for Employee Training and Development
Although there are new training techniques emerging every day, several common training approaches have proven highly effective. They include:
Orientation training is crucial to the success of new recruits. It doesn’t matter whether the training is implemented through a handbook, a one-on-one session, or a lecture. What matters is providing new employees with information regarding the firm’s background, strategies, mission, vision, and objectives. Such training gives new employees an opportunity to familiarize themselves with company policies, rules, and regulations.
Lectures are particularly efficient when the aim is to provide the same information to a large group at once. In doing so, there is no need for individual training and thus, savings on costs. However, lectures also pose some disadvantages. For one, they center on one-way communication, which leaves little room for feedback. Also, the trainer may find it challenging to assess the level of understanding of the content within a big group.
3. Computer-based Training (CBT)
With this approach, computers and computer-based tutorials are the primary means of communication between the trainer and employees. The programs are structured in such a way that they provide instructional materials while also facilitating the learning process.
The core benefit of computer-based training (CBT) is that each employee is given the freedom to learn at their own pace in their most convenient time. It also helps to reduce the total cost that an organization incurs in training its employees. Costs are minimized by reducing the training duration, eliminating the need for instructors, and reducing travel.
Knowledge and skills are crucial to every company nowadays. Firms are evaluated based on their physical structure and intellectual capital. The easiest way to develop and improve a firm’s intellectual capital is to conduct regular training and development programs.
Also, supporting untrained employees costs the organization more than it would if it employed well-trained individuals. Other perks of employee training and development include improvements in employee performance, boosting company reputation, and addressing weak links in the organization.