Training and development
The increasing pressure on firms to improve quality and performance to create competitive advantage, coupled with accelerating technological change and a dynamic external environment, has increased the importance on training and developing the skills of a firm's workforce.
Training is the acquisition and development of knowledge, skills, and competencies specific to a particular job role with the intention of improving performance of the employee.
People within many professions and occupations may refer to training as professional development (PD) or human resource development (HRD).
The focus of all aspects of Human Resource Development is on developing an effective and efficient workforce so that the organisation and individual employees can improve the service they offer to their customers.
Any good training programme will start with an assessment of the present skills of the workforce and identify any gaps. This review of the skill and competence base of an organisation needs to be an ongoing process as the markets in which firms operate are constantly changing.
Training will be triggered by changes in work routine or practice, the requirement to acquire a new skill and the need to fit into new teams or organisation structures. Internally, factors such as changing attitudes, responsibilities and the need to improve customer relations will be prompts for a training programme.
As a result of an appraisal, firms may draw up a training programme or contract with each employee detailing the needs of the employee, the aim of any training and the actions required to make the training possible
A worthwhile training programme aims to:
- Reduce labour costs by increasing efficiency, lowering recruitment costs and improving the general level of motivation within the staff.
- Boost revenues by improving the quality of the workforce and their ability to deliver what is needed by customers. This can lead to long term gains in terms of reputation and customer loyalty.
- Improve innovation and flexibility by developing a skilled workforce that thinks of new and better ways of doing things and has the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, work environment and new technologies.
- Facilitate the professional development of, and career opportunities for, every employee.
Training can be offered through:
- internal/in-house methods
- off-the-job methods using external courses/study programmes and open-learning schemes,
- Coaching, mentoring and work shadowing.