We live in an information age today and as such, not only are companies valued on their physical but also their intellectual capital. In today’s economy where uncertainty is the only certainty, knowledge has become a dependable source of competitive advantage. Modern organizations use their resources such as money, energy, and information for the training and advancements of their employees. This involves the creation of new knowledge, training of employees, and quick implementation into the new technologies leading to the development of quality products and excellent services. Besides, an organization’s long term survival, its competitiveness, and its ability to greater performance are all dependent on its capacity to match the continuous changes in both the internal and external environment.
Depending on the context, training has different definitions. It may get referred to as a systematic development of behavior, knowledge, and skills required by staff to perform better on a given task or merely learning given to improve performance in the workplace. On the other hand, it may get defined as a program that provides the employees with new skills, information, or even professional development opportunities and may take place inside or outside the organization. Regardless of the view, training brings in elements of obtaining new knowledge to help manage both current business matters and future situations.
Global competition has forced organizations to focus on every aspect of their operations, determining how each function and processes of the organization contribute to the company’s strategic goals. These include the training department who are always under pressure as they need to demonstrate their value to the company as considerable effort, time, and money spent on the training of employees. As such, employees in a company play a significant role in the achievement of the desired targets, especially in performance-driven companies. Thus, to sustain the excellent performance of the organization, it is crucial to optimize employee’s contributions to the achievements of the organization’s aims and goals.
Today, the accumulation of human capital after the entry into the labor market gets regarded as a superior economic performance at both the micro and macro environments. It is believed that companies provide training for their employees to optimize their potential to do the desired work allowing them to improve their skills which might lead to positive outcomes such as staff commitment and motivation. I believe that training and development is the key needed to bridge the gap between a company’s current performance and its standard desired performance. This is because training and development create a channel for creative learning in organizations which ensures that the employees through value addition can perform their jobs better as they seek self-growth giving them a competitive advantage, resulting in the growth of a learning organization.
A learning organization requires an environment where employees are empowered and exposed to continuous development. Training methods can be in the form of simulation and games, behavioral role modeling, or high technology methods just to mention a few. In my opinion, training methods can be categorized into three types: a) vocational training for attaining swift behavioral changes which focus on qualification development; b) vocational training for middle term changes in employee’s skills; c) indelible goals for the development of each employee.
So what are the benefits?
Consistency- A vigorous training and development program ensures that all employees have consistent background knowledge of the company. This allows them to be familiar with the expectations and procedures of the company.
Innovation- Training of the workforce encourages creativity resulting in the innovation of new ideas and strategies.
Employer Brand– A successful training program helps improve the company’s performance thereby positioning the organization as an employer of choice amongst potential hires whilst improving the brand image. It also helps in preventing obsolescence by improving the health and safety of the organization.
Employee Engagement and Satisfaction– The main aim of training and development is utilizing employee’s talents and abilities. Training equips employees with the knowledge required to perform optimally The mastery of this knowledge builds confidence which boosts morale and satisfaction.
Increased turnover– In the rapidly changing corporate world, productivity is dependent on both employees and technology. Training and development ensure that employees are up to date with the new technology and can use the existing ones better. In return, this ensures that things are done more efficiently increasing productivity.
Teamwork– A successful training program helps in inculcating the sense of inter-team collaborations, teamwork, and team spirit resulting in a reduction in supervision.
Adaptability– In this age, training and development have become a need rather than a choice. Training and development help prepare employees to deal more effectively with the growing economic, social, and technological problems by utilizing advancements in technology, professional, and vocational knowledge.
The ability of employees to acquire and master new knowledge has become the key competitive and comparative advantage. The strategic procedures involved in employee training and development need to encourage employee’s creativity, ensure originality and give a sense of direction to the entire organization’s knowledge which will make it stand out with uniqueness from others. Thus, training and development are vital in transforming a company into a learning organization encouraging a culture of continuous learning.