Today, developing competence is one of the most crucial factors in establishing a competitive edge in any organization. Many people have realized that human resource is the most important asset in an organization, hence the need to increase its competence. In addition, in today’s dynamic world, learning is critical especially in an age of rapid technological changes. Therefore, training of employees becomes the mainstream way through which employees in an organization learn. It is defined as a structured process through which people gain new knowledge, capabilities and competence to meet organizational goals. It is a function of human resource management concerned with improving individual and team performance through imparting new skills, which are aligned to meet organizational needs necessary for achieving the set goals and objectives (Wilson 14).
Training starts from the time an employee enters an organization and continues throughout employment as long as there is need for new skills. Upon entering an organization, an employee goes through orientation, where he or she is taught about the functions to undertake, as well as the organizational culture. It continues even during the probation duration where employees continue to gain knowledge necessary for conducting their daily functions associated to the job description. As the environment changes, so does the organization need to. The reason an organization needs to keep changing is to remain competitive. Training is the main factor that drives change in an organization. For instance, when a firm introduces new equipment such as computer software, it requires training of employees who will be using it. Training is mainly focused on changing how employees and groups behave and conduct their daily activities within a firm.
In most organizations, training of employees takes a chronological approach involving six stages. These stages include pre-training environment, needs assessment, training design, and implementation, transfer of training and outcomes and finally evaluation of the program. This is the most common ad basic although other approaches exist (Wilson 54). The first stage is concerned with finding out what going on within the organizations as well as the environment and individuals who will participate in the training. Some issues to consider in this stage are individual differences of learners, as well as what they bring to the training. The other issues would whether the training is valued in relation to the environment and whether it is basic or advanced.
The second stage is conducting a needs assessment, which aims at figuring out what the training should accomplish. At this phase, the trainers need to have detailed information concerning what needs to be done in order to achieve the intended purpose. The main questions to ask in this stage include what organizational goals and objectives need to be accomplished, what tasks and functions should be trained to the employees and finally the people to be trained (Kozlowski and Salas 97). The people to be trained have to be the ones responsible with the targeted functions of the training.
The third phase is training design, where one has to figure out the on-site and off-site activities. On-site training happens within the environment in which the trainees work, which helps in implementing the new skills to their job. It is conducted as employees go on with their job and mainly focuses on re-training on knowledge achieved earlier to increase competence. It can be in form of vestibule training where specialized equipment are used to mimic actual job, rotations, apprenticeship and use f visual aids such as DVDs. Off-site training on the other hand happens outside of work. It is focused on providing employees with new knowledge and information to be used at work. It can be in form of lectures, conferences and computer-aided instructions amongst others.
After the design, the next stage is implementing it. This phase involves issuing tasks to the specific groups and individuals that will be involved in the process. It requires preparing the learning materials, aliasing with the trainers and trainees, setting dates and venue. This is the phase where the actual training occurs. The implementation can be observed in all the stages because they are concerned with how it will happen. Taking place of the training means implementation (Kozlowski and Salas 57).
The fifth stage is transfer of training, which seeks to ensure that the acquired skills are used in the actual job. If this does not happen, despite the time and resources utilized in the training, it is of no benefit to the organization. At this stage, the trainers need to ensure that materials and skills gained during training are transferred back to the work in order to attain set goals and objectives. It is concerned with seeing employees change the way they do things within the organization.
The final stage is evaluating the training to find out whether it was successful and effective or not. This can be done by looking at the reactions of the trainees, whether they took it positively of negatively. The level of evaluation is whether the employee learnt anything from the training. The third level is observing them to find out whether behaviour has changed as intended by the training or it remained the same. Finally, the result of its implementation, whether goals and objectives are achieved is considered to find out if it has been a success. This requires sometime to observe the outcome (Wilson 65).
Training is a very important factor
in determining the success of an organization. It has to occur so that
employees are aware of what they need to do on order to achieve the set goals
and objectives. Considering the current changes in business environment,
continuous training is necessary to ensure that a firm continues to remain
relevant. Training helps employees build and develop skills and competence that
are necessary to ensure an organization achieves its goals.
Kozlowski, Steve W. J, and Eduardo Salas. Learning, Training, and Development in Organizations. New York: Routledge, 2011. Print.
Wilson, John P. Human Resource Development: Learning & Training for Individuals & Organizations. London: Kogan Page, 2005. Print.