Training and development refers to the imparting of specific skills, abilities and knowledge to an employee. A formal definition of training & development is… it is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge.
The fundamental aim of training is to help the organization achieve its purpose by adding value to its key resource – the people it employs. Training means investing in the people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities. The particular objectives of training are to:
- Develop the competences of employees and improve their performance;
- Help people to grow within the organization in order that, as far as possible, its future needs for human resource can be met from within;
- Reduce the learning time for employees starting in new jobs on appointment, transfers or promotion, and ensure that they become fully competent as quickly and economically as possible.
Any training and development programme must contain inputs which enable the participants to gain skills, learn theoretical concepts and help acquire vision to look into distant future. In addition to these, there is a need to impart ethical orientation, emphasize on attitudinal changes and stress upon decision-making and problem-solving abilities.
Training, as was stated earlier, is imparting skills to employees. A worker needs skills to operate machines, and use other equipments with least damage or scrap. This is a basic skill without which the operator will not be able to function. There is also the need for motor skills. Motor skills refer to performance of specific physical activities. These skills involve training to move various parts of one’s body in response to certain external and internal stimuli. Common motor skills include walking, riding a bicycle, tying a shoelace, throwing a ball and driving a car. Motor skills are needed for all employees – from the clerk to the general manager. Employees, particularly supervisors and executives, need interpersonal skills popular known as the people skills. Interpersonal skills are needed to understand one self and others better, and act accordingly. Examples of interpersonal skills include listening, persuading, and showing an understanding of others’ feelings.
The purpose of education is to teach theoretical concepts and develop a sense of reasoning and judgement. That any training and development programme must contain an element of education is well understood by HR specialist. Any such programme has university professors as resource persons to enlighten participants about theoretical knowledge of the topic proposed to be discussed. In fact organizations depute or encourage employees to do courses on a part time basis. Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) are known to attend refresher courses conducted by business schools. Education is important for managers and executives than for lower-cadre workers.
Another component of a training and development is development which is less skill oriented but stressed on knowledge. Knowledge about business environment, management principles and techniques, human relations, specific industry analysis and the like is useful for better management of the company.
There is need for imparting greater ethical orientation to a training and development programme. There is no denial of the fact that ethics are largely ignored in businesses. Unethical practices abound in marketing, finance and production function in an organization. They are less see and talked about in the personnel function. If the production, finance and marketing personnel indulge in unethical practices the fault rests on the HR manager. It is his/her duty to enlighten all the employees in the organization about the need of ethical behavior.
Attitudes represent feeling and beliefs of individuals towards others. Attitude affects motivation, satisfaction and job commitment. Negative attitudes need to be converted into positive attitudes. Changing negative attitudes is difficult because;
- Employees refuse to changes
- They have prior commitments
- And information needed to change attitudes may not be sufficient
Nevertheless, attitude must be changed so that employees feel committed to the organization, are motivated for better performance, and derive satisfaction from there jobs and the work environment
Decisions Making and Problem Solving Skills
Decision making skill and problem solving skills focus on method and techniques for making organizational decisions and solving work-related problems. Learning related to decision-making and problem-solving skills seeks to improve trainees’ abilities to define structure problems, collect and analysis information, generate alternative solution and make an optimal decision among alternatives. Training of this type is typically provided to potential managers, supervisors and professionals.