The world is changing to the point of no return as globalization and innovation become the forces of the future. As a result of such economic and cultural shifts, the number of businesses has grown significantly over the last few decades. Thus, to compete with other organizations, companies have to perform exceptionally well. A form can gain a competitive advantage if its workforce is skilled and productive enough. In turn, to make employees more knowledgeable and adaptable, executives have to invest in training and development programs. A company can only compete with others by securing a significant share of the market, which is only possible if workers are properly trained. Staff is extremely influential as it can tarnish an organization’s reputation or decrease profitability. Therefore, enterprises allocate resources to increase the knowledge and skills of the workforce through training and development. The purpose of this report is to examine training and development, their purpose, benefits, as well as factors influencing their effectiveness to provide practical recommendations for integrating such programs for organizations.
To discuss the concepts behind training and development in detail, it is important to define them. However, it is also crucial to acknowledge that there are many definitions of “training,” “development,” and “organizational performance,” all of which have to be taken into consideration. Training is an indispensable tool for employers to ensure workers are competent enough to do the tasks allocated to them most efficiently. Karim, Choudhury, and Bin Latif (2019) define training as “a learning activity directed towards the acquisition of specific knowledge and skills for an occupation or task” (p. 26). Training is essentially a coordinated process of improving an employee’s skills. It is often utilized to increase workers’ productivity, which would then affect organizational performance and profitability. Abogsesa and Kaushik (2017) refer to training and development as “planned learning experiences which educate the employees about undertaking current and future jobs” (p. 2). They note that well-trained employees work more efficiently primarily because they understand expectations employers have for them as well as bigger organizational objectives their work helps to achieve. As the workforce partakes in regular training, it is more likely for it to accept change and communicate new ideas.
Although training and development are often used to refer to one concept, it is crucial to acknowledge the differences between the two. While the paper had provided multiple definitions as to what “training” is, there is a need to do the same for “development.” The main distinction between the two terms is that development is much less skills-oriented, implying the general attainment of knowledge and attitudes needed to work efficiently in a certain role. While the goal of training lies in the development or improvement of skills, development primarily targets employees’ adaptability. Development programs constitute “a specific framework for helping employees to develop their personal and professional skills, knowledge, attitudes, behavior and consequently improve their abilities to perform a specific task in the organization” (Karim, Choudhury, and Bin Latif, 2019, p. 27). They might include job rotation, various forms of self-assessment, or self-development seminars. In essence, development is more concerned with employees acquiring knowledge, which would make them prepared for new challenges and to take on new responsibilities.
It is important to add there are two main types of employee training. As mentioned by Nwaeke and Onyebuchi (2017), training can be either on the job or off the job. On-the-job training implies giving lessons to employees by colleagues. It might also include the organization of seminars and the coordination of in-house educational activities such as knowledge-sharing workshops. On the other hand, off-the-job training is often held by professionals outside the company trainees are a part of.
Training and development serve as a powerful tools to positively affect the company’s performance. Through the achievement of clearly defined goals, trained workers ensure the firm’s productivity and performance. Abogsesa and Kaushik (2017) define performance as “working effectiveness or the achievement of something significant” (p. 2). Organizational performance is a fully realized accomplishment of organizational objectives both at the level of the firm and the individual.
Purpose of Training and Development
Regarding the purpose of training and development, it is rather simple. It lies in improving the skills of a worker to make the staff more capable of meeting organizational needs. Nwaeke and Onyebuchi (2017) note that the primary objective is capital and morale improvement by providing trainees with the skillset needed to adapt to changes. Therefore, a truly effective training and development program excel at teaching workers to anticipate change and be flexible enough to accommodate any new external developments or internal organizational shifts. Furthermore, researchers note that the four main purposes of training and development include “skill development, attitude modification, education and development” (Nwaeke and Onyebuchi, 2017, p. 155). Thus, organizational objectives are higher morale, decreased turnover rate, and higher productivity. The reason why companies invest resources in training and development is the need for increased productivity and higher work efficiency as a way of securing their position in the market and retaining a competitive advantage over other ventures.
Factors that Influence Training and Development
There are several factors, which influence workers’ training and development. The first factor is change as employees may be opposed to any new initiative sand internal shifts if they consider a change to be potentially negative (Nwaeke and Onyebuchi, 2017). As a result of such resentment, workers might act in a way, either subconsciously or not, that would eliminate any chance of success a program would have otherwise. To ensure there is no such sabotage initiated by the staff, organizations have to address training and development goals, particularly making them distinctive for each new program. According to Nwaeke and Onyebuchi (2017), it is important “to identify areas of stress in a training program to avoid frustrating and demoralizing the trainees” (p. 157). Therefore, it is apparent employers have to pay close attention to how much management supports the staff and how efficient communication channels among the workers are.
Other factors, which might influence training and development within a company, include the level of commitment from management, technological innovation, and organizational structure, particularly its complexity. Furthermore, research points out that “lack of positive reinforcement, lack of opportunity to objectives of the training program, poorly planned programs and nonalignment of training and development with business needs” are some of the other factors (Nwaeke and Onyebuchi, 2017, p. 157). Feedback is another important factor as the only efficient way for workers to learn about their level of success or possible deficiencies.
In conclusion, training and development are exceptionally beneficial for any organization. Apart from the knowledge and skills gained by workers themselves, well-structured training and development programs positively affect organizational performance and increase profits. Their purpose lies in making the staff more efficient in acquiring new skills and adapting to new challenges. However, for these initiatives to be truly successful, there is a need to factor in the organization’s preparedness to change, the management’s willingness to support employees, the executives’ commitment to training and development, and so on.
Training and development can be exceptionally beneficial for both employees and organizations. The advantages of integrating training and development programs are not limited to productivity either. They include decreased turnover rates, employee empowerment, and engagement, as well as the attainment of proper skills by the workforce. Thus, for a company to compete globally and achieve its long-term objectives, they need to invest in the training, retaining, and development of its staff. In regards to recommendations as to how to ensure training and development initiatives are effective, there are a couple. Firstly, organizations are tasked with coordinating such programs in a way that each one has clearly defined objectives. Setting up an agenda helps to plan activities accordingly. Secondly, training and development injustices have to be structured in a way that would make them align with larger organizational goals and business needs. Operational efficiency and organizational effectiveness have to remain a priority. In addition, employers have to provide feedback after each training or development program. This way, workers become aware of their inadequacies and understand clearly what they need to improve.
Abogsesa, A. S. and Kaushik, G. (2021) ‘Impact of training and development on employee performance: a study of Libyan Bank’, International Journal of Civic Engagement and Social Change (IJCESC), 4(3), pp. 1-16. doi:10.4018/IJCESC.2017070104
Karim, M., Choudhury, M. and Bin Latif, W. (2019) ‘The impact of training and development on employees’ performance: an analysis of quantitative data’, Noble International Journal of Business and Management Research, 2(3), pp. 25-33.
Nwaeke, L. I. and Onyebuschi, O. (2017) ‘Impact of manpower training and development on organizational productivity performance: a theoretical review’, European Journal of Business and Management, 9(4), pp. 153-159.