Some employers think that imparting training is a luxury and is not a necessity for competitive and strategic performance of their organization. They often ask – what if you train an employee, and they leave? But they forget to consider – what if they don’t leave !
Employees are more loyal to companies who care for their personal growth and development, no matter how small or large the organization is. In addition, it is much easier to develop workplace skills instead of trying to cultivate right attitude in employees. An effective training program allows organizations to hire a wider range of employees and then helps develop them over a period of time rather than finding exact talent matches.
Both training and organizational development processes go hand in hand for the success of an organization and its employees. Training keeps a company competitive by continuously keeping up-to-date the knowledge of its team members as the business needs, skills requirements, and the complexity of the external environments change. In addition, training allows personal growth of employees, makes them more effective in their job role, and brings work satisfaction among employees. The well trained staff needs less supervision.
The employee training and development needs should be identified at least once a year and relevant training must be imparted to them. However, it is essential to analyze the actual training needs of an organization and its employees at multiple levels. Without the right skills targeted, employees cannot meet their business goals and ineffective learning programs lead to excessive expenditure, frustration and little or no organizational benefit.
The training needs can be identified at the following three levels:
- Organizational Level: The organizational level training needs refer to skills and competencies that are required by an organization to meet its business objectives and help it grow. Each organization requires a critical bank of core skills for its survival and this becomes an important constituent of the training needs identification process. Often the skill bank is depleted because of attrition, addition of new employees or geographic and functional growth and one should review the skill bank on a periodic basis.
- Job Role Level: The job role level training needs refer to skills and competencies that are required by the employees at the team level to perform well. For example, the entire team needs to be trained on a new compliance related process when it is introduced or a new technology that has come up recently. This helps a group of employees to work together at a minimum expected benchmark.
- Personal Level: The personal level training needs refer to skills and competencies that are required by an individual to perform well in their job roles. In many cases you may need to train or re-certify employees periodically based on compliance requirements (most often seen in healthcare and financial domains). Further, employee or their managers indicate the training requirements and their career growth plans during the appraisal process. The skill gaps identified during the annual appraisal helps identify specific weaknesses. Each of these can constitute the relevant training programs for the employees.
Once the training needs are identified, how the training can be imparted needs to be considered next. Since external trainers are expensive, you may like to accommodate as many employees in one training session as possible, and this will require significant planning and scheduling. On the other hand OJTs (on-the-job-training) or CBTs (Computer based training) can be imparted on an as-required basis with more flexible timelines.
While the training is being imparted, it is important to gain the feedback of Trainers, Trainees and managers on a periodic basis. This helps in checking the effectiveness of training program.