Following Parts 1 and 2, we will now look at training and development from combined overall prospective.
From my practical experience in this field, I see training and development as a forum, where trainees can:
1. Obtain new skills
2. Improve existing skills
3. Acquire new knowledge
4. Update existing knowledge
5. Improve understanding of given situation
6. Adapt required attitude
Different employees need different training and development, depending on their position, experience and job requirements. Epictetus (2002) pointed out that a person can be highly qualified and talented for a particular job, from technical side, but may not necessarily have the required people skills to perform the job properly. Although job market is becoming increasingly specialized, however this does not trim down the importance of the required blend of technical and interpersonal skills in order to be successful. Morikawa (1995) stated that the learning process should be improvement oriented (training employee to perform new tasks, or improve performance in existing ones) and innovation oriented (the need to learn new ideas and techniques).
Such benefits help companies gain and maintain competitive advantage through training and development (Rabey, 2001). Yet such benefits are not easily acquired for many reasons:
1. Employees training and development is of strategic focus and requires senior management to believe in, commit to and reinforce. Training is usually viewed by middle level managers as:
1. Burden and expensive budget
2. No immediate benefits, and not worthwhile
3. Should be for low-level ranks and young people
4. Only poor performing people should be trained
5. Waste duty time and disturb work flow
2. Training is investment in employees, and should never be viewed as an expense because investing in employees mean investing in companies (Stout, 2005).
3. Training is a continuous process (Isyaku, 2000), not just separate activities. It is a chain process that requires proper planning. Abiodun (1999) confirmed that training is a systematic development of employee’s knowledge, skills, and attitude required to perform the job adequately.
4. Training requires financial contribution, which could be substantial. According to Vemic (2007), organizations invest between 2 to 5% of their revenues on employees’ development and education. To reflect such importance, Coca Cola, Cisco, General Electric, and Motorola, have assigned a VP - learning, to manage such development process. As a result, employees are less likely to leave their work (Devins et al, 2005), and will be loyal to his work (Pollitt, 2006).
So in such a volatile environment, we can not escape continuous upgrading.
Trainer & Consultant