Our concept of how an organization should function has evolved over time. We no longer subscribe to the surface level understanding of how a company thrives. Now, there is a heightened emphasis on caring about your employees, organizational efficiency, career development, maximization of resources, etc within a company model. Hence, training and development as a tool has been diligently incorporated by high-functioning organizations. So here is a look at the concept of training and development.
WHAT IS TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT?
Training and development is an all-encompassing term used to describe the methods used by organizations to improve themselves. The term training means learning a very specific skill or a particular program. While on the other hand, development involves a longer vision with an expansive career growth plan. These are educational programs designed by professionals enabling employees to enhance their knowledge as well as skills. The three main activities used to achieve this are training, development, and education. Together they create a culture of learning, growth, and productivity.
The main objective of training and development is to ensure that a company has a skilled and equipped workforce. For example, orientations, lectures, conferences, computer-based training, team-building exercises, apprenticeships, and job rotations – are all different ways of training and development. Most companies and organizations regularly conduct these programs and now more than ever, it is a top priority.
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ADVANTAGES OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Increase in Productivity
The foremost benefit of training and development is an increase in productivity. Companies and organizations work over-time to be the best in the business. Also with a surge in competition in the market now, there’s more responsibility to perform better than the rest. In order to do that, one must adequately prepare their workforce. Employee training and development hones and nurtures individual skills and experiences for this purpose. This is important because the quality of employees translates to quality in work.
For instance, team-building exercises in a workplace can help in defining individual roles of workers, build employee relationships, and even solve interpersonal issues within the team or group. So, when team members have a grasp about the whats and the whys, there is efficiency and improvement in organizational performance. As a result, they perform better at their job and productivity shoots up.
Technological advancement has provided us the instrument for continuous innovation. Now there are many ways of building skills and gaining knowledge. Oftentimes, companies hire fresh graduates and inexperienced employees who lack the technical know-how of workings of a business. Therefore, training and development activities are especially helpful in forming new ideas and encouraging creativity. And at the end of the day, the collective skills of a company improves manifold because of this.
When a company invests in training and development, it is invariably investing in their employees. Employees have a chance to expand their knowledge base and gain access to skills they otherwise would not get. Seminars, conferences, simulations, and other kinds of engagement facilitates in boosting their morale. It creates a safer work environment as well. Hence, a big advantage of these activities is employee satisfaction. It is always an added incentive to perform better if you are valued as an employee in your workplace. They feel a greater sense of autonomy, value, and confidence which will ultimately translate into good work. Consequently, this only brings long-term success and profitability to the company.
Training and development furthers the cause of making businesses do better. Mentoring schemes, in-house training, presentations, seminars are all methods and programs that help in enhancing the reputation of a company. It is also an additional motive for job seekers and potential new recruits to join the company. Having new skill sets and training may even create new and improved positions within the company. Apart from the success it has within the organization, it also helps the company stay ahead of its competitors.
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DISADVANTAGES OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
A major drawback of training and development is definitely the costs borne by the organization. When it is done internally, you pay for something without any tangible results. And if it is a big organization with a big workforce, the training is outsourced to a firm that specializes in this. Here you end up paying a lot of money to the firm. The program or activity is conducted during office hours so you lose out on productive time as well. Additionally, there are several companies that have retreats, training conferences, team building trips in locations away from the office. So, it is definitely an expensive affair that only successful businesses can opt for.
May Not Get the Desired Returns
As much as these developmental activities guarantee, it may not always give the expected or desired results. The employers spend money, time, and resources on these courses and programs with the intention of getting skilled employees at the end of it. But there is always the chance of these employees quitting their job after gaining invaluable knowledge and practice. Hence, it is an investment risk for the company.
Simulations and educational programs are important to facilitate the overall growth of a professional. But it cannot replace practical experience which is only attained with actual working. Training activities can improve one’s knowledge about a particular subject. But practical knowledge helps in understanding the nuances and the problem areas. Hence, the effectiveness of training and developmental activities are subjective.
No Control of the Training
Another disadvantage of training and development is that the company may not have complete control of these trainings. It is a process that is either internally conducted or outsourced. In other words, there are people in-charge of overlooking the said programs. So it is a possibility that the trainers and consultants are not qualified enough to take on the task. So the execution of the activities steers away from the actual aim. Additionally, traditional methods like manuals or videos have also now become obsolete.
In conclusion, one can agree that training and development is important for a company’s growth. But it is not the end of it. It is important that it should align with the general trend of workplace skills and mirror the ever-changing shift in the business world. And above all, human capital is the most valuable asset.