Employee knowledge and skills are one of the key ingredients that determine the success of an organization. Both play a central role in driving an organization towards the achievement of its mission as well as the realization of its vision. The responsibility of conducting development and increasing the knowledge of the employees is bestowed on the department of learning and development.
This department is in charge of formulating and executing strategies that will increase the knowledge, skills, and consequently, the general performance of the employees. According to Jackson, a learning and development strategy is a plan, which is designed in an attempt to align the training needs and advancements. Also, it establishes a strategy through which education will be delivered to cover those needs. This department is also charged with the duty of overseeing relationships between the marketing department and the external environment.
The strategies formulated by the learning and development department should be sound, comprehensive, and achievable. The strategies formulated should also be specific and have a targeted group of employees well defined. For example, there could be training, which will enable the employees to understand how to use a newly introduced computer database system.
The objectives of this strategy should be stated and different from the training that will equip the employees with necessary communication skills or good customer service practices. The strategies should also include the metrics that will be used to assess the impact of the laid out procedures as well as feedback on areas that might need further improvement to boost the education dissemination strategy.
The training and development department carries out different types of training. For instance, the In-house training is customized training for a specific group of employees within the organization, such as managers, supervisors, or the subordinate staff. Specific matters that affect the way these employees perform their duties are deliberated on an in depth.
In some occasions, the employees are summoned in small groups, where presentations and round table talks are held among the employees. This training is very important as it provides room for communication and emphasis to be made on policies and other procedures that the organization intends to implement. Also, it also provides room for improvement on personal matters that affect the operations of the organization, such as learning of new languages by foreign citizens.
The training and development department also supervises “on the job training.” This kind of training is aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of the employees while in the work place. They are not summoned from their workstations, but rather, a trainer is attached to the employees in their job terminals.
The trainers then give directions and guidelines to the trainees on how to perform a given task. In other situations, the trainers may be required to give demonstrations to a group of employees without necessarily involving them in doing the activity. Coaching, for instance, is common when a new staff has been employed and is attached to an experienced employee to observe and learn how to perform duties.
Field events such as marketing are a good strategy of marketing since the employee is allowed to interact with different categories of real-life situations. Moving the employee between different workstations enables him or her to learn a variety of skills and therefore increases their productivity.
In other cases where the organization is large and has several branches, training and other relevant information materials are posted in the organization’s intranet. This allows the employees to read the materials at their convenient times. Tests of product knowledge and customer service practices may also be posted on the intranet for staff assessment.
In addition to internal training and development, external training is also important to an organization. Wilson states that this will create and maintain a good relationship between the organization and the external environment. For example, a banking organization may offer training to its clients on how to manage loans.
This knowledge will assist the clients in making wise financial decisions and consequently enable them to repay their monthly loan installments in time. As a result, a good relationship will emerge between the customers and the bank since instances of recovery will be eliminated.
Furthermore, external training and communication enable the business organization to inform their customers of new products after they have been launched in the market. Effective training and communication also improve the understanding and relationship between the organization and its suppliers, government, and the public.
In the United Arab Emirates, laws require that institutions should carry regular training for their employees to increase the overall personal, firm, and overall productivity in the market. The UAE Labor law states that besides engaging in corporate social responsibility, it is a requirement for every organization to undertake this training, contrary to which corrective actions will be taken.
Employee training and development have several significant benefits. First, the training improves personal attributes such as good communication skills, appropriate public relation skills, and imparts the employees with knowledge on the various subjects. The employee becomes knowledgeable and is, therefore, empowered even outside the organization.
This, in turn, serves to improve the social and economic life aspects of the employees. Moreover, employee training and development creates a favorable working environment, where the employees feel confident and competent.
Also, employee training helps the company realize its full potential. The trained employees can perform their duties more effectively and efficiently, and therefore, the amount of output per employee and time is increased.
Training the employees on good communication skills and customer service practices increases the organization’s client base, and consequently increases the sales volume. Employee training also helps to communicate new, more effective, and efficient techniques of production or service delivery practices, and this ensures that the organization remains relevant in the market.
However, one of the main challenges that face employee training is limited finances. The training exercise requires the organization to invest large amounts of money in this project, which some organizations may not afford. The management of the organization may also be hesitant in authorizing the funding of this training and development strategies since they might not see the direct benefits that accrue from employee training.
Such kinds of Organization’s management tend to draw back the training projects, and therefore, the company may fail to realize its mission, vision, and goals. The employees may also fail to take the training seriously and therefore end up hindering the training programs. The employees are also not permanently employed in the organization, and this may discourage the organization from conducting employee training.