Training and development is an essential issue for any organization, because training enable the staff to have the knowledge, the competences and skills to fulfill their duties in the best possible way, which of course, also makes them happier. It is not easy to argue with Einstein, according to whom:

“Once you stop learning, you start dying”

Yet, the training and development programs are often undervalued and that’s why they receive poor attention and low investment in many companies. But here are a few benefits of such programs that any organization should consider before it decides whether to plan for training or not:

  • higher employee productivity;
  • immediate reduction of costs (especially when employees are trained how to use new technology, machinery, equipment, software program);
  • higher retention levels;
  • insurance during crisis situations and adaptability to sudden changes in the work environment;
  • higher level of compliance with regulations and policies;
  • alternative to recruitment ( when the company trains employees to assume a specific position);
  • improved career prospects;
  • increased level of job satisfaction and confidence;
  • opportunity to build a team.

As you can see, there is a high cost for companies, who cannot afford or choose not to train their employees.

Employers use various traditional approaches to engage, train and develop the employees within their organization. Some of the preferred traditional options for imparting knowledge and skills to the employees are:

  • presentations;
  • group discussions;
  • simulations;
  • training games;
  • role plays.

The traditional method is more passive for the learner, who is often required only to listen and collect the information presented by a lecturer.

Today the trainer is viewed more as a facilitator of the training experience, who engages the participants and stimulates them to discuss the presented information, apply the new knowledge and interact between each other.

Many companies choose the modern approach of fostering the growth of the employees – or the online training. Obviously, the recent developments in technology have significantly changed and improved the way training are conducted. Online-based training have many benefits over other training:

  • they provide the opportunity of training through video conferences or online platforms, which is a cost-saving approach for many organizations;
  • the information can be standardized and thus be the same for any community member, without depending on the particular group or lecturer, which might vary from training to training;
  • they can be offered in any time and location, which is convenient for the employees;
  • they can be self-paced and can accommodate various shifts;
  • they can also provide immediate feedback, which can be of great benefit to the learner;
  • they can include simulations and real-time practical exercises with a high level of interaction between participants and the trainers;
  • the organization can monitor the results on regular basis and can easily evaluate the performance of its employees.

An organization needs not only the good will, but also an adequate allocation of funds for such training initiatives. When it comes to cutting costs and coping with financial constraints, the training and development programs usually suffer the most. But the employees need knowledge to perform their jobs at their best. Besides, today’s working environments are so dynamic and changing, which requires much adaptation on behalf of the employees. So, is there a better way than training?

Thanks to NWABR for the picture (Flickr).