Training and Development Trends: Training Evaluation, Employee Development and Career Management

Training and Development Trends: Training Evaluation, Employee Development and Career Management



Training and Development Trends: Training Evaluation, Employee Development and Career Management


With a highly dynamic business world, many organizations have realized that training and development are the main factors in gaining a competitive edge. Over the years, training and development has taken many forms and continued to evolve. Today, some of the main trends in almost all corporations are training evaluation, employee development and career management. These trends have enabled organizations to create competence and retain most highly talented employees (Wilson, 2005). In training evaluation, the managers seek to assess whether trainees acquired knowledge, changed their attitude and behaviour. Employment development, on the other hand, aims at continuously improving employee skills that are necessary for performing their jobs. Career management is about making active management and structured planning choices of individuals’ professional development.

Training Evaluation

            Training is meant to improve how employees behave and conduct themselves in their daily activities. Therefore, if the knowledge acquired is not utilized within the organizations operations, and achievement of goals, training loses its meaning. This is where training evaluation comes in, to assess whether employees are utilizing what was acquired during training. Mainly, it focuses on knowledge, attitude and behaviour. Knowledge acquisition is about learning concepts, new skills that help transition an employee from orientation to an expert (Wilson, 2005). Changing the attitude is about values, beliefs and feelings concerning ideas and considering other alternative measures to topics and issues within the organization. New behaviour is focused in enhancing skills and the way employees go about their works and functions. It is the most important because it means using the learnt skills and attitudes to tackle things differently in the workplace.

            Training evaluation can involve five methods, which are participants’ reaction to training, knowledge acquisition, behavioural application, measurable improvement in business and return on investment. Using these methods together allows the manager to gauge whether the training was effective in improving the firm’s performance (, 2013). The first method is about the reaction of the trainees, which measures satisfaction. This can be done through a survey after the training course where the trainers issue several questions. They seek to find out whether the participants enjoyed the training, if they would like more training, whether the training was appropriate, whether the material learnt is relevant to their work and whether they would recommend others to undertake the training. Answers from such questions help the manager to know whether the participants were satisfied with the training.

            The other method of knowledge acquisition focuses on what information the participants have gained. This can be done using an appropriate examination to test whether they grasped the new concepts and ideas addressed during the training. Such an examination can indicate what the participants learnt, as well as what needs further training. It asks questions such as what information was acquired (, 2013). The other method is behavioural application that answers whether the trainees are utilizing the knowledge they learnt. This level seeks to find out how the new skills and knowledge are used within the organization. For instance, it the participants learnt how to handle customers, this method will seek to know whether the specific techniques of talking to them are used instead of the old ones.

            The other evaluation method is considering the measurable improvement in business. Training should aim at enabling employees to achieve organizational goals and objectives with ease. Therefore, it should improve the business. Some of the measures can include reduction in customer service, reduced time lead between customer orders and delivery and increasing sales. The final method is return on investments, which seeks to find out performance improvement through a financial analysis (, 2013). To find out how training impacts return on investment, one needs to consider the difference between the costs of training and the extra profits resulting. If the extra profits or revenue exceeds the training costs, then it is a success.

Employee Development

            The biggest challenge in organizations today is the current changing nature of work and its environment. Rapid changes call for skilled and knowledgeable employees. Above all, it requires flexibility, adaptability, and focus to the uncertain future in order to remain relevant in a dynamic world (Kozlowski, Salas, & Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2011). Therefore, training alone is not enough. Developing employees is the key to ensuring that employees are flexible and adaptive, which is one way of mitigating the uncertain future. Employee development involves encouraging continuous growth of the workers through coaching and helping the employees gain their personal goals and objectives. This requires providing adequate training and providing them with opportunities to grow and improve. Therefore, training and its evaluation is part of employee development (, 2014).

            In order to encourage the required growth, managers need to assess and provide feedback to employees on a regular basis in order to identify areas of training. This, in turn, helps the management to develop activities that match objectives of the organization. In addition, it helps the managers in identifying jobs needs of every employee, which in turn indicates areas of focus. Consequently, the management can come up with tools and environments that allow employees to keep gaining skills for developing their career (, 2014). Mostly, employee development falls under career development, basic skills, supervision, technical training, professional skills and management development. However, training is the main tool for employee development, which creates a win-win situation for the organization and its employees. This is because upgrading employee skills provides the organization with the most competent workforce that is able to achieve the set goals and objectives as they achieve theirs.

Career Management

            Career management, on the other hand, revolves around deliberate structured plans and active monitoring of an individual’s own professional career, whose outcomes should be achieving personal fulfilment, achievement of personal goals and objectives and work/life balance, as well as becoming financially stable. T focuses on the changes and modifications of one’s employment in the near future. It is inclined towards achieving one’s personal and long-term goals and objectives through employment (, 2014).

            Career management starts with establishing a set of goals that one wishes to achieve in the future. This is followed by evaluating careers choices and opportunities that can allow achievement of the goals. This requires one to be aware of the talents and strengths one possesses in order to align them with goals and objectives. After identifying goals and opportunities that one can exploit, career planning follows. This is about applying strategic planning, as well as marketing one’s professional skills. Career planning requires self-assessment, self-development, action plan and the action itself.


            As aforementioned, training and development is one of the main factors in connecting organizational goals with employee skills. Without training and employee development, an organization would not survive in the future. This is because of the current dynamic environment that changes rapidly. On the other hand, a much as employees are supposed to achieve organizational goals, they have their personal ones as well. This is their motivations for seeking employment. Through career management, employees are able to align their skills in a way that achieves both organisational and personal goals.


Kozlowski, S. W. J., Salas, E., & Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (2011). Learning, training, and development in organizations. New York: Routledge. (2013). 5 Evaluation Methods to Evaluate Staff Training result. Retrieved from (2014). Employee Development & Training. Retrieved from

Wilson, P.J. (2005).Human Resource Development: Learning & Training for Individuals & Organizations. New York, N.Y: Kogan Page publishers.

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