Training and development as strategic imperatives play a crucial role towards the growth and success of a business. Training is said to have taken place when employees have learnt new skills and acquired knowledge, attitudes and behaviours needed to meet business needs.
It is a continuous and never-ending process, more so in this rapidly changing operating environment. Additionally, training helps bring all employees to a higher standardised level so that they all have similar skills and knowledge.
Embracing it eradicates weak links within the company that rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks.
Technical training courses usually focus on increasing efficiencies, resulting in financial gain.
Increasingly, high-performing organisations today are recognising the need for training and development best practice to enhance their competitive advantage. If the value and potential of an organisation’s human resource asset are to be harnessed and grown, training and development are essential elements of any business.
Every organisation that invests seriously in the areas of training and development will reap benefits of an enriched working environment with higher levels of staff retention as well as increased productivity and performance.
Some of the benefits associated with offering employees both training and development programs are the closer acquaintance with the job by an employee, thus needing less supervision and less wastage of time and efforts.
Fewer accidents are also likely to occur if the employee has knowledge and skills required for doing a particular job.
This is precisely why training and development should not be disconnected from the business activities of the organisation. Training is an area that clearly illustrates the positive relationship between individual development and organisational performance.
Experts writing on the core competences of a corporation state that the ever-changing market boundaries and the elusive targets have made target capturing dicey. In the midst of these, organisations cannot stop thinking of building organisational competencies.
There is real need for managers to consolidate corporate-wide production skills into competencies that empower employees to adapt quickly to changing opportunities. It is only through collective learning in the organisation that core competencies are created.
Those skills that together constitute core competencies of an organisation must coalesce around individuals. Again, this explains why training and development are so strategic to a business because core competencies do not diminish with use, unlike physical assets. Competencies get enhanced as they are applied and shared.
They are like glue that binds existing businesses. As part of competence-building tools, managers must invest in finding new ways to think about how work is done. Some of this learning occurs in informal training programmes but others occur in much more structured on-the-job development.
In either case, managers need to build that intellectual capital that replaces old ideas with new ones and takes into account changes in behaviour.
However, leaders should always be mindful of managing the risk of conducting training sessions that become an end in themselves and fail to build the intellectual capital that creates business value. Looks are deceiving. Even if an organisation cultivates core competencies, it does not automatically mean overtaking rivals or other business areas. There is need for any business to properly balance the business equation and ensure all other elements are well catered for.
So, whenever we implement training programmes in an organisation, leaders should be able to quantify the resultant benefits. Viewing organisational training programmes as activities is quite a seductive approach because activities are easy to observe and count. Make sure all training programmes get linked to accomplishments.
Seek new skills in an employee in the form of improved organisational abilities like risk management and other operational activities like speed and working across boundaries. The employee, after training should have a greater understanding of their responsibility within their role and, in turn, building their confidence.
By so doing, employees themselves have their satisfaction and morale increased. The training becomes an investment to the company, making the employee feels that they are valued, hence increasing innovation.
Organisations are increasingly employing blended learning which is a combination of online learning and classroom learning so that training as an imperative allows for cost effective learning across large international footprints.
In conclusion, while training focuses on enhancing skills, capabilities and knowledge of employees for doing a particular job, it also moulds the thinking of employees and leads to quality performance and enhances the company image.
Jinda is the Managing Consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of professional human resources and management services locally, regionally and internationally. He can be contacted at Tel: 263 773004143 or 263 242 772778 or visit our website at www.proservehr.com.