Training Programs in the Workplace Introduction Human resources are an essential factor in the success and growth of an organization, as they provide the necessary labor required to implement policies and strategies formulated by the management (Bowen, 2004). It therefore goes without saying that they require constant monitoring and development in all ways possible to ensure that they are utilized in the best way to guarantee success. This paper is a critical evaluation of employee training as a means of adding value to human resources as well as the various methods that can be used to achieve this.
Employee Training Effective leadership in an organization ensures that the workforce is provided with the necessary training on regular basis to enhance their productivity, which is later reflected on their output and the profit margins. There are various reasons that necessitate employee training, which include and not limited to; introduction of new technology, safety issues, low performance, in case of new employees among others (Werner, 2008). These factors subject the workforce to new working environments and in most cases they instill fear of change which could have far reaching effects on production.
For example, introducing new technology in the offices and production departments without training the personnel how to use them gets them worried because they may think that they would have to lose their jobs to new employees who have the knowledge and the capacity to use the new equipment. This lowers their motivation and the quality of their performance becomes weak (Bowen, 2004). Apart from countering fear of change and performance, there are other various benefits which are accrued from investing in employee training.
For example, it enables the organization to benefit in terms of employee retention (Cole, 2004). This is due to the fact it creates a lot of pride in them working for an institution that cares for their educational needs. It is worth noting that the perception most people had that education is only there to help one get employment has changed over time due to the dynamic nature of the job market, which gives hope only to those with the highest levels of education. As a result, education has taken its real form, which is a lifelong activity.
Even those who are employed seek for it in order to reduce the chances of them becoming obsolete in their career paths (Noe, 2006). As a result, they may be tempted to quit their present jobs to go and work somewhere else if that opportunity is absent in their organization but present in another thus the risk of organizations experiencing employee turn over. Investing in employee training also enables an organization to develop a pool of viable options with regard to finding replacement for retiring officers or vacancies created as a result of disciplinary actions.
Overdependence on a limited number of skilled employees is a source of dilemma for human resource managers as these employees may become indispensable in the long run to the extent that they have to be treated with exaggerated care to please them all the time so as to prevent them from leaving the organization (Ollins, 2001). However, expanding the knowledge base counters this problem thereby making it possible to demand accountability and to enforce discipline and ethics where necessary, as a fine replacement can be found as at when it is required and from within.
This is not to forget that training encourages employees to be more responsible and careful when conducting their responsibilities. As stated earlier, one reason for training is to enable them to understand and undertake safety precautions in the work place. Without proper training for example in a setting of a petroleum plant, it becomes highly possible to experience fire accidents maybe out of negligence by cigarette smokers. It would also mean that the employees would have to be strictly supervised to ensure such an event does not occur, thereby requiring extra supervising personnel for close monitoring. Employee training may be an expensive affair in the short term but the long term benefits are worth the risk.
However, there are a wide variety of methods that an organization can choose from depending on their budget. Self-study training is a mode of training whereby new employees are supplied with written materials, which they read and understand on their own or what is commonly referred to as employee handbook.
It is a cheaper and effective way which is suitable for outlining the expected code of conduct and ethics that employees are supposed to observe when carrying out their duties so as to create a harmonious working environment (Noe, 2006). Lectures on the other hand are effective in circumstances where a large group of employees are in attendance. This form of training exhibits the classroom setting whereby the trainer or the speaker stands in front of the audience to deliver his or her speech while the audience listens (Noe, 2006).
While at it, the trainer may decide to incorporate aids such as projectors or hand outs to facilitate his presentation so as to make it more appealing and understandable to his subjects. Lectures however are considered not best suited to train adults due to their tendency to facilitate only one way communication i. e. from the speaker to the audience without giving them a chance to speak their minds (Werner, 2008). On the other hand, they enable quick provision of information and do not necessarily require a lot of preparedness for the trainer to deliver, thus less time wasting. On-the-job training is an approach whereby employees are put on the job while the managers facilitate them with solutions and methodologies whenever they get stuck.
This is commonly used in organizations on the event of a technological change requiring quick implementation. It enables the employees to get accustomed to their new environment and also helps the managers to utilize the already existing staff without spending a lot of funds to outsource trainers (Werner, 2008). Continuous assessment on the need to provide more training to the employees should be undertaken by organizations as it makes it possible to prevent major disasters in the delivery of services by employees (Pareek, 2000).
Failure to do so may lead to loss of customers after they get disappointed for example due to inefficiency exhibited by employees. In addition, it assists the managers to know what training is required and more urgent thereby enabling them to plan and budget ahead. A manager should not wait until that time when his customers come complaining so that he can realize that there is need to train his or her employees.
In general, it helps the manager to anticipate on what is required in his or her department (Pareek, 2000). It is also important to state that it is not only employees who require training but also the managers in different departments. To some extent, managers perform the function of leadership and this implies that they should be well equipped with the skills necessary to fit that criterion (Ollins, 2001). In addition, they serve as trainers and for them to be able to serve at that capacity, organizations should continue to invest in their training otherwise, whenever there is need to train the non managerial staff, trainers would have to be outsourced thereby increasing expenditure and lowering profit margins.
On-the-job training of employees for example depends highly on the management to assist them whenever they have technical or other problems related to their tasks on immediate basis (Ollins, 2001). Without that knowledge, the organization would have to contend with delays in the production processes, which is an economic risk.
References Bowen, B. (2004). Recognizing and Rewarding Employees, McGraw-Hill Cole, A. (2004). Management: Theory and Practice, Thomson. Noe, R. (2006). Employee Training & Development, McGraw-Hill/Irwin Ollins, J. (2001). Good to Great: why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others don't, Harper Business. Pareek, U. (2000). Actualizing Managerial Roles, Studies in Role Efficacy, McGraw Hill Werner, J. (2008). Human Resource Development, South-Western College Pub