HR professor


Employee Training and Development

Every time I see a recruitment ad or manual that makes a reference to "on the job training," I cringe. Would this be one of those situations where there is effectively "no training?" Designing a program for employee training and development is not a trivial process that can be left to chance. It is not enough to "hope" that employees will get trained "on the job."

But, before I make a case for effective employee training and development, let us examine the reasons for developing employees:
  • You will be perceived as a premium employer as employees' skill sets will be enhanced while they are with you.
  • Superior employee training and development will ensure that serious succession related issues do not creep up.
  • The organization will be able to constantly adapt to changes in technology, regulation, and the business environment in general.
The list can go on and on. But, since I have made an effective case for organizations to take interest in employee training and development, let us look at some of the don't dos:
  • Employee training and employee development are not goals in themselves. There is the risk of the HR function developing a divergent set of objectives from the objective set of the organization.
  • Budgeting for employee training and development is a very tricky process. On the one hand, I have noticed enthusiastic organizations which, in a fit, allocate as much as 40% of personnel budgets on training. On the other, I have seen employee training and development budgets being the first victim of budget cuts. The ideal situation would be to budget moderately, making sure that the development program can be sustained.
  • Gee-whiz and buzz word training can be fun (especially for the trainer), but does not result in employee development. Care must be taken to ensure that the trainer and the training program designer are the best that money / time / effort can buy.
Keeping some of these ideas in mind, the human resource manager can help senior management chart out the organizational strategy for personnel planning.

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