For an effective operation, organizations, whether in service, products, public or private entities, need physical and human resources; scholars in strategic business management have agreed that human resources are the greatest asset that an organization can have; without which no business transaction can take place. Human resources management teams with the assistance of line and top managers have the role of maintaining the right employees in quality and quantity teams.
Generally, to have a winning team, organizations should put in place elaborate programs for hiring, training/learning, development, retaining, and redeployment of its staff. Training, learning and development ensure that human resources expertise and talents have been tapped effectively.
Human resources intellectualism, creativity, and innovativeness are developed via an elaborate training process; when these attributes have been developed, they offer a company a competitive advantage (Muller, Maclean and Biggs, 2009). This paper looks into critical stages in any training/Learning & Development programs for Employees.
To maintain high caliber employees, a company should realize that human resources have a limited set of skills that require continual upgrading to match the changing market demands and technology. Only by updating these skills using well-developed programs, can professional couscous firms ensure that they equip their staff with the skills needed to respond to future business expectations. Training and development takes the form of three main areas, they are:
Training: in most cases training is planned to improve the professionalism and experience of an employee, it may be periodical or sometimes a continuous process depending with the needs of the company.
Mentoring: it takes day-to-day operations of a firm where leaders guide their subordinates on the right way to operate and do staffs; this is so in the move to attain organizational goals and objectives
Coaching: coaching is mostly on a certain field or areas that management feel they need to equip their employees better, they feel the urge of improving the expertise in that field, for example incase a company has adopted a new system, it may coach its employees on how to use the system.
The main aim of learning, training and development of human resources is to ensure that a company enjoys quality, reliable and experienced staffs. For an effective training, learning and development, a process likely to be followed, the process is as follows:
Within the organization, there might be some areas that need to be trained on, or there may be some employees that need to be trained in a certain area, human resources training starts by learning the areas that need to be improved. They may be recognized by comparing the actual performance in an organization and the set goals and objectives, when doing this the potential of the business should be well understood. Three main questions that an organization should ask itself are:
Where is training needed, the focus should be on areas and departments that require some training
What specifically must an employee learn in order to be more productive, the focus should be on individual employees and teams and how they should be improved for better results
Who needs to be trained, this calls for individual people who will undergo the training, and it is not always that an entire team will be trained but at times training of a few may be diffused to the entire organization.
With the areas that need to be trained, the next important stage is to select the individual employees and teams that need to be trained, they are selected depending with the role they play in the organization. The management should ensure that trainees are well motivated; highly motivated trainings are likely to grasp more form the training and make it a success.
The employee must be trained appropriately to enable the human resources department to establish the areas that need to be improved further and the areas that have not been well understood. It is through effective communication and feedback that these areas of weaknesses can be established; programs to facilitate communication should be put in place. Those who meet expectations of the management should be rewarded accordingly.
The ability of an employee to learn should be considered when determining the trainees to be chosen, there are some employees who take long to understand and other are not committed to learning, when selecting the trainees, such employees should not be considered (if the training is not for everyone). An attribute crucial in training is the ability of training to share with others the learnt information and be able to communicate the information effectively. This will enable a wider benefit from the training, learning and development process.
The management/the-training team has the role of establishing the goals and objectives that a training process should attain. The objectives established should be responsive to the needs on an organization at any one particular time and ensure that the organization benefits from a continued experience and development from the training.
The goals of training should be able to meet the objectives of the process and fill the gap that initiated the entire process; they should be aligned to the mission and strategic plan of the company. Goals are important since they answer the question of where the employees are, what they are doing and where the organization would like them to be. Goals are also used as the evaluation mechanisms in a training process.
Having recognized the areas that need training and the goals of the training, the next process is to develop training methods; they are methods that will be put in place for an effective training. Generally, there are two main approaches of training methods: on-the-job and off-the-job techniques, the choice of either depends with the company and the trainees.
On-the-job training: this is a training of employees when they are on job, it involves taking measures that ensure employees learn the new ways when still working, and for example, the management may involve on-job training. For example, a company that has computerized a certain area in the organization may decide to train employees as they use the system; this will facilitate learning and ensure work goes on as scheduled despite the training.
Off-the-job techniques: this is an approach where the management allocates time off the job to facilitate learning, in this approach, the general process of the organization are halted to offer training a chance.
There are other training approaches adopted that depends with the situation, they include:
Orientation: it is conducted on new employees to integrate them in the organization effectively. The main aim of this training is integrating the new entrants with the structure and the organization culture.
Audiovisual methods: this is where the company aims at having an audiovisual training, the employees are expected to observe and listen to trainings on various issues as a competetnt trainer is administering them.
Delegation and task rotation approach: under this process, the management identifies an effective way of task delegation and rotation, the main aim of the rotation is to ensure that an employee’s gets to learn what is entailed in another area. When doing this training approach, it is important to have competent trainers who are able to guide and coach the trainings effectively (Swamson, 2009).
The training process takes some resources in time and finances, the management should plan how the program will be managed. Trainers are the people who are expected to influence a change in the organization, they are people who well understand the position that an organization is and where it should be, and their role is to bridge the gap between the expected and the actual results.
Trainers should be knowledge people who understand their role and obligation in the organization, they should have the experience and knowledge in the area they are training. The delivery mode adopted by trainers have an effect on how well the entire process will succeed, they are of crucial importance and need to be considered.
Trainers may be supervisors, managers, leaders within an organization or should be external people with the expertise and experience to train others effectively. They need to be supported and given cooperation by the management and the teams.
When training and developing, organizations need to recognize that external factors/forces affect learning and knowledge development in the organization. To ensure that the effect is not negative, an organization needs to have good relationship with the external environment. To create good environment, a company need to be ethical in its processes and adopt corporate social responsibility activities; this will enhance the relationship that the company have with the external environment (Meinolf, Ariane, John and Ikujiro, 2003)
After a successful training, the management should assess the success of the process; assessment may be at the point of end of training in the form of exams, and assessment will be done when gauging the changes that have come because of the process. In most cases, training effects are held after a certain period of time thus feedback of a process will be gotten as the project unfolds.
When appropriate assessment is conducted, it ensures that the business is run in the right way, and thus determines the current as well as the future state of the business. Great leaders or managers are those that can combine available strengths and weaknesses for the good of the organization; their efforts and effectiveness need to be seen throughout the training and development stage and in assessment of the gotten results.
After a successful training process, an organization should undertake massive research on areas that need further training; on the other hand, if need be trained employees are considered for promotions and more responsibility allocation (Hornsby and Warkeoczeski, 2000).
Experienced and well-trained employees are assets to an organization; they are an edge of competitive advantage, it is the role of human resources management to develop effective learning, training and development programs to ensure that areas that need improvements within the operation of an organization are established and addressed accordingly. Training should not be a onetime exercise but should be continuous and responsive to the needs of an organization.
Hornsby, T. and Warkeoczeski, L. 2000. New roles for leaders: A step-by-step guide to competitive advantage. Franklin: Hillsboro Press.
Meinolf, D., Ariane, A., John, C. and Ikujiro, N.,2003. Handbook of Organisational Learning and Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Muller, J., Maclean, R. and Biggs, H., 2009. The impact of a supportive leadership program in a policing organization from the participants’ perspective. Work, 32(1),Pp. 69-79.
Swamson, R.,2009. Foundations of Human Resource Development: Easy read Large Edition. San Francisco: ReadHowYouWant.com