employees training

How to Make Employees Training & Development Effective

In today’s era, variability in work settings across industries is evident.  Amidst stiff competition and technological advancements, companies are facing severe challenges at the front of human resource management in enabling employees to adapt to volatility, uncertainty, diversity, and progression. The impetus for change is globalization, which fosters transformation in customers’ behaviors, making it imperative for companies to espouse and encourage employees to assume or learn. The impact of change due to internationalization is multi-dimensional. Companies must not only prepare to execute process advancements; they must also recognize the demands of fluctuating public perception and workforce diversity. The mounting challenges require empowering employees with the right sort of demeanor, important ranges of abilities, and the most recent information or knowledge.

Investing more in employees’ learning and development prompts greater usefulness. Companies with a non-static climate are consistently investing more in promising circumstances related to employees’ enhancements to keep up relevance in the fast-paced, changing world of business. This requires a continuous process of redesigning training need assessments and implementing them for the employees to improve positive work attitudes. The process which helps employees adjust to new work settings is called the process of training and development in HRM. This process is an integral part of modern-day human resource management. The profound objective of training and development in HRM is to help employees develop the right attitude and acquire relevant competencies.  The process likewise intends to support employees grow with greater inspiration and to satisfy future needs of the organization regarding human resources.

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

Henry Ford

What is Employees Training and Development

Training is a process to deliver updated knowledge and skills to employees through formal and informal means. It enables employees to perform functions in a proficient manner, which in turn helps the company achieve its goals. Serving employees to move ahead in careers, training comprises a principal idea in human resource management which is concerned with fostering specific expertise or disposition through planning, direction, and practice. Employees development is preparing them to assume a collective positive attitude and to accept change, new roles, or to adjust to changing work settings. Training and development difference indicates that both should be the prime focus of employers to achieve greater organizational effectiveness. Thus, training and development is the utmost desirable endeavor on the part of an organization to attain workforce productivity through a reflective and objectively designed process of educating employees and cultivating a positive spirit among them. Today, the role of human resource management is undeniably inadequate without assuming the function of training and development to the fullest of its essence.

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Job-crafting

Everyone is not innovative. Most of the employees work in domain-specific work settings where innovation is neither everyone’s nor every day’s chore. What employees usually do is sort of repetitive roles, causing functional fixations and little room for experiencing or implementing new things. Wrzesniewski and Dutton, 2001 introduced the relatively new concept of job crafting. It refers to self-initiated change behavior that employees engage in with the intention of changing their job roles based on their preferences, motives, and passions. Job crafting isn’t tied in with reshaping or rebuilding the job as a whole, however; it is about adjusting various aspects and features while sticking to the boundaries of a particular job task.

Rather than focusing on innovation, which certainly has human and functional limitations, training and development can be more outcome-oriented by concentrating on inculcating job-crafting behavior among employees. One of the key challenges for human resource managers is to keep employees motivated and engaged with few rotations across functions to avoid disorder and repetitive training needs. To overcome the challenge, employees through training and development can be imparted more to craft work for themselves within the limitations of their assigned job roles.

Training ROI

Companies train directors, employees, and workers. This is done through hiring the services of external training firms or by activating the internal training departments or a combination of both. Whatever means are used, training involves cost. Training costs include the trainer’s remuneration, revenue loss during an employee’s engagement in training, travel and accommodation expenses, etc. Managers and employees have to leave work to attend training sessions. During this tenure, the company is not only compensating them without working but may also lose production or sales in the absence of its employees. In addition, the company has to bear the cost of travel and accommodation, etc.

When measuring training ROI, companies must measure production losses, hourly wage rates, direct training costs, and other activity-related expenses. An important factor in measuring ROI is the definition of training goals. In this regard, it is important to review the income generated or expenses saved before and after the training. The cost of training, as well as the improvement after the training, must be evaluated through a reliable feedback process.

For human resource managers, it is often hard to set appropriate and reviewable goals for a training session. Usually, in the training of directors and managers, it is very difficult to measure the results after the training. However, if the goal of the training is to enhance the productivity of employees, it is necessary to make a matrix before and after the training to determine the effects of the training delivered. In this way only, the training costs can be compared to the actual improvement in revenue, profits, or savings to determine the training ROI.

For example, the specific goal of imparting safety training to the employees may be to reduce the accident rate. Data can be generated on the reduction in accidents or the resulting damages to test the effectiveness of this training or for measuring the ROI of providing safety or precautionary training. Not only employees, sometimes companies deliver training even to the customers and suppliers. When customers are trained, a good way to determine the effect of training can be to reduce after-sales service calls or inquiries. The cost of service and repairs can be compared to the cost of training the customers to determine the training ROI.

Connection Between Performance and Training and Development

A positive relationship has long been recognized between training & development and employees’ performance. Recently, the relationship has also been re-established through an empirical analysis by research published in the International Journal of Management Sciences and Business Research (July 2016). The findings of the research indicate that variables of training and development positively impact employee performance and employee productivity. Therefore, every effort should be made to equip employees with the latest knowledge and skills to achieve organizational effectiveness. The research calls for the enhancement of employees’ abilities, referred to as the “ability to adapt to the changing and challenging business environment and technology for better performance and increase employees’ knowledge to develop creative and problem-solving skills.”

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Since the positive relationship between training & development and employees’ productivity is affirmed, some profound suggestions are being presented in light of the research referred to above. The suggestions are specified separately for employers, employees, and the effectiveness of the training and development process in a company.

For Employers

The most important players in the training & development process are the employers. Without the keen interest and direction of employers, a system of employee training can never flourish. Here are a few suggestions for employers to make training and development a priority to focus on.

1. Policy on Training

There must be a clearly articulated training & development policy for the employees. Goals and objectives should be clearly defined and well-communicated at all levels of the hierarchy. Training policy must be consistent with long-term organizational goals. The HR function is the custodian of the policy and is responsible for its effective implementation across the organization.

2. Training Needs Assessment (TNA)

In all departments and at all levels, an exercise in training needs assessment must be conducted. TNAs should focus on areas such as attitude building, skills development, and knowledge requirements among employees. General needs like motivation, creativity, job-crafting behaviors, and personality development training, etc. should also be part of TNAs. Moreover, compulsory training needs should be identified. An active and result-oriented TNA exercise must be conducted at least once a year for each and every employee.

3. Creating an Enabling Environment

Learning development takes place in a conducive environment. For employers, it is imperative to provide an enabling environment for all employees across functions to benefit from training opportunities. The prospects should be evenly distributed with backup work support during the tenure of training. In addition, the employers should also provide conducive conditions under which training takes place along with sufficient and diversified resources to learn and transfer the learning. To make the environment more encouraging, the employer can link active participation with career progression.

4. Training and Treatment

One of the major worries for employers is the increase in employee turnover in the case of investing more in HR training. Quitting is often confused with training, but it is more a consequence of treatment. An employee trained well but treated badly will never stay. Therefore, training alone will not serve the purpose. Employers must treat employees well to reap the benefits of investing more in training and development.

“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” -Richard Branson

For Employees

No training can serve the purpose unless the ones who are being trained are desirous, passionate, and eager to learn. Employees make training fruitful both for them and the organization. A few suggestions for employees to benefit more from the training programs are below.

1. Understand the Objectives

Every course of training and development for employees has its own intended goals and objectives. From TNAs to training delivery, employees must comprehend the significance of objectives set by the company and actively participate in the process. They should be aware of the costs a company bears in providing training opportunities to enhance their professional skills and abilities.

2. Sincere Feedback

There are always areas for improvement. Employees should provide honest feedback to the training provider and the organizers with pertinent suggestions for improvement. Employees can highlight unfulfilled training needs and suggest ways to cover the gaps. Feedback helps the HR department to re-design the TNAs, training programs, and training delivery.

3. Implementation

Employees should attempt to implement in their work settings what they have learned through training. Learning alone won’t serve the purpose unless implemented in job roles. This is required both for self-improvement and organizational effectiveness.

For the Effectiveness of the Training and Development Process

Despite active persuasion and participation by employers and employees, respectively, the training process or leadership training programs must be designed in a way that enhances motivation, inclusion, interaction, and feedback. The process includes training programs, trainers, arrangements, delivery, and outcomes. An effective training & development process should have the following traits.

1. TNAs and Organizational Requirements

An effective training program must be based on training needs assessment fulfilling the learning requirements of all the participants. Similarly, training programs should be designed to follow the organizational strategy so that company resources are optimally utilized. The trainer’s profile should match the design prerequisites.

2. Training Content and Methodology

Efforts should be made to create relevance for the training content in close coordination with the trainers. Moreover, delivery methods should be deliberated to encourage more interactions and practice. Important differences between teaching and training must be recognized to keep the environment conducive and inspiring.

3. Evaluation and Feedback

A well-articulated training design remains incomplete without individual evaluation and feedback. Self-evaluation, as well as the trainer’s evaluation, are both important. Similarly, participants should be encouraged to give honest feedback, highlighting areas for improvement. Evaluations and feedback should be used objectively to make future plans more productive.

4. Connect Training to Key Performance Indicators

The ultimate goal of every effort to make training & development effective is to improve the performance of employees in line with the organizational goals and strategy. Therefore, it is super critical for every successful mechanism of training & development to be used in conjunction with performance benchmarks. Employees need to know what they are doing and how they are contributing to the achievement of overall organizational objectives. The most desirable outcome of a system of training and development is the linkage of deliverables of training and development prospects provided to the employees with the key performance indicators and awarding of career progressions based on improvements and feedback. This is the most desirable outcome of a system of training and development.

Conclusion

An active and functioning system of training and development plays a pivotal role in transforming the overall performance of employees in a company by empowering them to adopt a positive attitude, learn skills, and update knowledge. Consequently, they help a company to swiftly embrace change, become dynamic, build strong public perceptions, and grow rapidly as a brand recognized by consumers. But to make the system work well and for everybody among employees just as for the company, the employers and the employees both need to strive to conjointly achieve the overall aims and objectives of training and development.

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