Training and development is any effort that is intended towards improving the current performance as well the future performances, by strengthening the efficiency and abilities of the individual through process of learning and imparting knowledge.
Training is imparting specific skills to gain better performances from the employee. Training programs are usually job specific and narrow in perspective. The core of training relates to altering the knowledge, abilities or skills of individuals leading to resultant change in their performances. For training to be effective it has to be a planned activity conducted after a thorough need analysis and target at certain competencies, most important it is to be conducted in a learning atmosphere.
Many a time training is confused with development, the two differ in certain specific aspects yet remaining the components of the same system. Development is basically chances that aid employees to become efficient. Contrast to training development is futuristic and broad in perspective. Thus, its focus is not limited to specific aspects alone.
So, the key difference between training and development is that current needs and goals of employee and organization are focused in training, whereas development concerns with empowering people for future challenges and responsibilities.
Stages in Design of a Training Program
Stage 1 – Training need analysis
Training needed analysis is an organized procedure to evaluate the various requirements related to learning. This is usually done in three levels: individual, job and organizational levels. This aids in getting a clear picture about the necessities and also to cater those requirements.
Stage 2- Analysing skill gap
Any discrepancies in the job specific skills and current abilities of the employee, the one major goal of training program is to bridge the gap and enhance overall performance.
Stage 3- Developing a training plan
This is a crucial step that incudes deciding on various aspects of training right from the audience, the place for training program, content and the materials required. It is preferred to use a layered training program that promotes improved performance in due course of time.
Stage 4- Conduction of training program
This is the stage the training program comes to life and it could be delivered in different ways and through various sources. Implementation of the program involves scheduling various sessions and requirements. It is essential the performance of the employee is observed closely during the training. This helps in understanding the effectiveness of training program.
Stage 5 – Evaluation and revising the program
The effectiveness of the program is analysed by constant monitoring and through feedbacks. Required changes, if any are incorporated to strengthen the credibility of the program and to meet the objectives better.
Why is training and development essential?
- Promote the growth of the organization
- Employees improve their skills, abilities and knowledge
- Reduces absenteeism, employee turnover, tardiness, and violence in organization
- Benefits individual to focus and work towards their goals
Different methods to identify training needs
Individual level: there are various different methods that are used to identify the training needs of the individuals that are specific to their role and personal capacities. Performance Appraisals, Interviews, Questionnaires, Surveys, Feedback, Rating Scales etc. are some of them that helps in identifying the various training needs at the individual level.
Group level: Organizational Goals and Objectives, Skills Inventories, Organizational Climate Indices, Efficiency Indices, Exit Interviews, Customer Satisfaction Survey, Analysis of Current and Anticipated Changes would be some methods that are used to analyse the various training needs at an organizational or group level.
Methods of training
There are two broad methods of training on the job and off the job training.
- On the job trainings are those where training happen simultaneously when employee is working. It would involve internships, apprenticeships, job rotation, job coaching.
- Off the job training doesn’t happen in the employee’s work setting but like classroom training, seminars, case studies, simulation, audio visual, sensitivity trainings etc.
Both have their own merits and demerits. In on the job employees would directly involve in tasks that help them understand it much better; it is very effective and doesn’t require separate time or resource allotment. In contrast, off the job training has a trainer who is efficient and the program is organized and planned.