Introduction to Employee Training and Development in HRM
“Employee Training and Development” refers to a company’s continuous efforts to boost their employee’s productivity. It pertains to pushing an employee to learn new skills and develop them for better roles in the organisation.
Companies that have a proper training and development process can retain more employees, see higher profitability and have more engaged employees. Furthermore, it helps the organisation avoid the costs linked to losing talents.
Training and developing an employee doesn’t simply help their growth but pushes the company to grow as well. Likewise, it helps employees know that they are valued in the organisation.
A formal definition of training and development is “Training and development is an attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge”
An organization that nurtures its employee skills and thinks about its growth certainly attracts better talent and sustainability.
Training and Development Definition
Employee training & development may sound similar but both have different meanings and roles. Employee training refers to a short term activity that focuses on the specific role of the employee. It focuses on the immediate need or requirement of the role. In a more formal sense, employee training is the process of providing the required skills to an employee for a specific task.
Whereas, employee development has a broader scope. It is a long-term activity which focuses on the development of an individual. Employee development can be defined as the process of employees honing, developing and learning new skills that align with the goals and the vision of the company.
Breaking Down Employee ‘Training’ and ‘Development’
Employee training and development may sound similar but both have different meanings and roles. Employee training refers to a short term activity that focuses on the specific role of the employee. It focuses on the immediate need or requirement of the role.
Whereas, employee development has a broader scope. It is a long-term activity which focuses on the development of an individual. Employee development has open-ended goals and doesn’t focus on one job but the entirety of an individual. While employee training focuses on helping the employee do the current job better, development helps groom employees for newer possibilities and roles.
To understand the benefits of Employee Training and development better, let us also look at how ICICI benefited from training and developing their employees through a collaboration with a University.
Organizations like ICICI bank in association with Sikkim Manipal University have gone ahead to design tailor-made management courses that bring out an overall development in a fresh graduate employee. These trainings are designed for a right fit-out for a job, post-training, to a specific organizational culture, practices, processes, overall grooming & management. Furthermore, it also provides real-life banking experience with access to the core banking software that ICICI bank uses to stimulate learning.
The employees attending this full-time management program are given a monthly stipend as well as a guaranteed job with a higher post after the training.
This way ICICI bank trains and develops its employees to take on better tasks in the future while also securing employees for their future hirings.
Why Employee Training and Development is important in HRM❓
It is no secret that organizations prosper under continuous learning. The winning advantage is often with the organisation that adapts to the changing scenarios and welcomes the development.
Several aspects can be considered trainable under various departments and verticals. However, once the gap is understood, individual training can be designed to affect a solution. Furthermore, a feedback or evaluation system is mandatory to create a successful training program closely.
Here are a Few Benefits of Employee Training and Development in an Organisation:
Benefits of Employee Training and Development in HRM
1) Positive Employee Retention
Most organisations spend resources and time in hiring well-qualified talents however, that effort stops once the talent is hired. This is the reason employees often leave organisations, as there is a lack of growth in their roles. Therefore, training and developing talent will help them grow and be engaged with the organisation. As we know, engaged employees are less likely to jump ship and will want to stay in the organisation.
2) Trains Future Leaders
Training and developing the skills of your employees doesn’t just benefit them but it also benefits the organisation in the long term. It helps your employee be prepared for better roles and will provide them with the skill set to handle more difficult situations. It helps develop promotional skills which benefit them and will save the company recruiting expenses in the future. Furthermore, the employee at the leadership level will understand the grassroots of the organisation.
3. Increases Workplace Engagement
Stunted growth in the workplace can create negative habits and boredom. Training and developing employee skills will help employees feel more involved with the organisation. Furthermore, it pushes employees to build a better skill set and guides them towards a better path. It also influences the company culture to change from being static to being in motion.
4) Helps Improve Weak links
Every employer recognises a few weak links in their teams. Employees who clearly do not have the required skills. Therefore, a training program truly helps an organisation understand these weaknesses and build their employee’s skills. Specific training related to the employee’s job will help them get better.
Furthermore, helping the employee develop will help them understand their shortcomings on their own. This will push them to find resources to improve, themselves
5) Employee Empowerment
When employees feel more empowered, they are able to lead and inspire other employees better. Furthermore, empowered employees are much more likely to have better confidence, autonomy and a sense of value. Therefore, empowering employees through employee training and development is truly valuable to the company.
How to Create Training and Development Programs 📈
Creating a training and development program is a difficult task. It requires time and resources, therefore several companies outsource this task to other organisations.
If you want to develop an employee training and development program by yourself you can follow these steps:
Step 1. Recognize Your Company Goals
Before you start building your courses, tools and training material pause for a second. Take a step back and think about the company’s goals and where you’d like to go with the training and development programs.
Think about the biggest hurdles that your company is facing to reach company goals. Furthermore, keep the company’s future strategic arrangement in the mind while also keeping the company’s missions and goals in mind.
Step 2. Identify Competencies
Competencies are a group of skills that help improve the job performance of an employee. Few top competencies that can be improved in an organisation are teamwork, trustworthiness and ethics, problem-solving abilities, decision-making abilities, communication, etc. Identify those competencies that fit your organisation and then work on improving them.
The impact of improving competencies in an organisation has a direct effect on the productivity of an organisation. In a study by Development Dimensions International (DDI), it was found that 89% of the best-in-class organizations had core competencies defined for each of their roles in the organisation.
Step 3. Do a Gap Analysis
Now that you understand where you’d like to take your employees it is mandatory to understand where they currently stand. This information might already be available to you in your HR documents, reviews, job descriptions and more.
If it is not, it is a good idea to do a 360-degree review of the employees in the organisation. This will help you understand where you stand and how much gap needs to be covered.
Step 4. Interview Employees
It is safe to say that a training and development program cannot be complete without actually talking to the employee. Sitting down and talking to employees will help you understand what causes the gap and how you can solve it. Furthermore, it will also give you an insight into the employee’s mind.
You can even take this opportunity to ask them about their future goals. For example, if you’d like to train someone to take on a leadership role, it is a good chance to bring it up and understand whether they’d even like to take the leadership role.
Some people are happy in their own roles and being put into a leadership role might make them feel uncomfortable and create resentment.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to simply talk to the employees regarding the problems that they face and build programmes that address those concerns.
Step 5. Offer Formal Training
Dd With your company’s Competencies being identified, the gap analysed and employees interviewed you are not ready to start closing in the gaps. Formal training should be put together to help employees develop the skills that they lack. These can be business skills, skills related to their roles or soft skills.
The employee training itself can be simple training videos picked online or custom made videos. The best way to go about it is through a blended learning technique. Wherein videos are sent to the employees to learn from and an instructor is hired to spend their time on group discussions, practical examples, Questions and answers and more.
Step 6. Select The Right Training Tools
When launching a training program it is important to understand the right training method for the organisation. The way employees learn is also affected by the mode through which the training is conducted. It also affects their retention and their ability to implement the new found skillset.
Few common training methodologies are:
Tools for Employee Training
Different organizations have different training approaches, while most of them have a mix of following programs. The following are the most common approaches to “Employee Training and Development”.
1. Educational Videos
2. Work Shadowing
3. Attending conferences/ workshops and seminars
4. Instructional guides
5. Training material
6. Case studies
7. Group discussions
8. Mentoring or coaching programs
9. Simulation methods
11. An analytical approach through questionnaires, cognitive analysis, etc.
12. Training guides & manuals.
Step 7. Bring in a Coach or a Mentor
While training and developing your employees it is a good idea to launch a mentorship program within the organisation. This will allow the effects of the training and development to last much longer. It will help younger professionals to learn quicker and develop further. It will even foster relationships within the organisation.
Matching the right mentor to the mentee is an important task. You can do this by considering the experience of both the mentor and mentee. The gap shouldn’t be too large so that the mentee can learn and not be overwhelmed.
You can even pay attention to their personality types. An MBTI test to understand which personality type goes which type of personality.
Step 8. Allow Self-Directed Learning
Allow your employees to also be able to learn on their own at their own pace. You can encourage self-directed learning like this by opening up a library (physical or virtual) filled with content related to skills that can be learnt. They can pick up courses or books at their time and complete them.
Nothing is better than a self-motivated employee. Self-directed learning has several benefits as it suits different learning styles, is flexible and gives a good ROI for its investment.
Step 9. Measure The Results
At last, you’ve gone through the entire checklist and all the steps of building a good training and development programme for the employees of your company.
However, the job is not done yet. The last step is one of the most important ones – to measure the results for all the work gone into training the employees. The results might not be obvious immediately however, there should be some difference within 6 months of the programme.
Were there lesser errors? Were the employees more confident?
You will have to analyse the gap again to understand if there has been any development or changes in where you started from. This will be the ROI of the entire program.
Innovative Training Approaches
Organizations are adopting various disciplines to inculcate a tradition of learning and development. Many innovative employee training and development in HRM initiatives have been created. Training programs are designed such that they could be accessed across a larger population of employees as well as remain a fairly 1-2-1 experience in deliverance.
Some of The Innovative Approaches For Training and Development in HRM are:
2. Feedback Oriented Training
4. Interactive Software Assistance
The aid of artificial intelligence, influenced by the element of gamification, is now used to train employees. A visually stimulating environment that creates a near real work problem scenario with a solution approach. This is uniquely designed to offer employees a pilot understanding of the actual work situations. The modules are analyzed for winning or losing remarks as results. Gamification ensures better understanding and confidence to deal with real work situations.
2. Feedback Oriented Trainings
A feedback system ensures better facilitation of newer approaches. Feedback Oriented Training ensures what has not worked in the past and what is the possible gap that can be understood and eliminated in the forthcoming programs.
E-Learning is the quick fix training method for the geographical scope of implementation. Organizations having a wider worldwide reach and working on standard practices can have an e-learning platform as a one-point solution to offer training.
The e-learning method also means that the training database that could be accessed any number of times without having a physical trainer and repetitive training costs.
4. A Trainer
What cannot be replicated is a physical trainer who comes with a precious treasure of experience, and inarguably who cannot compare to Artificial Intelligence. A trainer has case-specific solutions and approaches as compared to the standard training modules and Artificial Intelligence. A human touch to learning is anytime an incomparable experience.
5. Share Employee Success Stories
When an employee does commendable work, make it a point to appreciate their work in front of other employees. Apart from inspiring other employees, this will also challenge them to work better. Furthermore, it will help the employee feel recognised and seen by the organisation.
Appreciating and rewarding the right behaviour can also be categorised under training and development in HRM. It shows an employee which path should be taken and guides their way ahead.
Barriers in Employee Training and Development
Employee training and development is a vast arena, and organizations often face challenges in setting the right learning culture. Some of the challenges faced are:
1. Lack of a robust training department.
2. Lack of management support.
3. A weak culture that does not facilitate learning and implementation in the organization.
4. Employee is resistant to attend training.
5. A fundamental non-clarity of job roles and growth path.
6. Budget Constraints
7. Ambiguous company policies.
Organizations that realize the importance of “Employee Training and Development” spend time and budget in developing programs that can enhance their growth. Training is a by-product of appraisals too. Organizations with a robust appraisal system can figure out the visible gap and patch it up with relevant training.
Some organizations are building an internal database of specialized experts, and in this, they have gone a notch high with identifying the right employees and the necessary skill-based training they can attend. Organizations have created an inbuilt training program for employees who are freshers and just out of colleges. The level of preparedness of an organization should be speculative and sensitive to future market needs. A dual motive of employee growth and parallel company growth should be the strategic vision.
Organizations like Capgemini are ensuring to train their fresh employees on the technology frontier and build experts within the company. The company sponsors this training.
Organizations Employee Training and Development Programs
Training & development is a crucial part of any organization’s growth, aligning the organization’s workforce with its goals. In the scenario where an organization is unwilling to spend on training, the consequences can be catastrophic.
1. Increase in employee turnover due to stunted growth.
If an employee doesn’t see personal growth in an organisation it is likely that they will jump ships. Employees who already possess the necessary skills will see better opportunities to grow outside the organisation.
2. No learning atmosphere means a static growth culture.
When an organisation doesn’t cultivate a learning environment it trickles down and becomes the work culture. If there isn’t a learning atmosphere in an organisation it will be difficult for employees to adjust and adapt to the newer technologies. Furthermore, it will add to the stunted growth of the company.
3. Existence of obsolete practices
Over a period of time, newer and better possibilities of similar tasks can be implemented. This helps save resources and expenses. However, without proper training & development employees will not be able to keep up with the upcoming practices. This will lead to wastage of time, resources and money
4. Teams, tasks, and processes are falling apart
This can happen due to a lack of skills in particular roles. The burden of untrained employees will be passed on to skilled employees. This will create extra workload and unhealthy deadlines for skilled employees, thereby pushing them to quit.
5. Employees being unable to adapt to new requirements of their roles.
Almost every field has had to adapt to a certain aspect in these past few decades. If an organisation is unable to adapt to these changes then it will cost the organisation a lot of money and time. Lack of employee training & development in an organisation will lead to employees that aren’t able to adapt to the new requirements. In a fast-paced world, that is a huge disadvantage to a company.
1. Training Need Analysis
Training need analysis is a systematic approach towards determining the gaps in the organization and advocating the right training.
A training needs analysis considers:
1. Current industry scenario
2. Current skill competencies
3. Industry or organizational benchmarks and visible gaps
4. Technical advancements
5. Recommended training methods and practices
2. Cost Factor Analysis
Organizations that invest in training do a cost factor analysis on training. This analysis is on:
1. The Training duration.
2. The productivity time that an employee spends in training.
3. Training expenses.
4. Content generation time.
5. Evaluation process.
6. Investment v/s visible productivity.
A structured process of training supported by analysis and evaluation will be able to affect positively.
An organization with an inhouse training & development department also has a minutely framed employee training & development policy that encompasses the scope of training and employee engagement. The Training & Development policy also lists the more intricate aspects and structure of training.
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