The employees are a valuable asset to any business - Training Essay introduction. Modern businesses operate in a fast paced and turbulent environment. The firms have to train and motivate its employees in order to gain a competitive edge over its competitors in the sector where the firm operates. A business should involve its employees, suppliers, government authorities and general citizenry in formulating its strategic plans. The employees are on the ground and thus have a direct impact on the realization of an organization’s vision.
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The training of employees helps a company to increase its ability to effectively implement new policies. A company has to help the employees learn on the job and understand the plans the managers set for the company. Training is of paramount importance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who are the economic growth engine for any country. Training creates better employees who are able to effectively (do things right) and efficiently (do right things) to reduce wastage and early labor turnover.
Moreover, training helps the on floor employees to understand the way an organization runs. The training affords the employees to understand the strategic vision of a company. The employees understand what business are we in, who are we and where do we want to reach. The young labor force is likely to leave an organization early when they have a disorderly induction process. The induction and training program should cover all aspects from safety policy, gender harassment, day offs, overtime and termination process. The employees should learn how to handle customers make orders for new stock, emergency precautions and general floor operations of a firm. (Struss 269).
A business survey done by Chamber of Commerce in California for top 100 successful SMEs in 1996 found that employees are the most critical and important for a business to excel in its industry. A firm should ensure good quality products, wide advertising and a clear understanding of the business fundamentals to complement a well trained workforce. Training should involve mentoring, coaching and motivation beside the classroom learning and lectures. (Straus 273). Managers should listen to employee worries and needs in order to gain respect in the training process. However, the manager should assert his authority to ensure the desired goals and objectives are achieved. The business leader should alternate reprimand for undesired behavior with praise for achievements.
Training needs should be prioritized to ensure success of the training and acquisition of the required skills. The training of employees should be more real than factual in that members should actually implement the learnt skills. Employees are able to handle impatient clients, meet strict deadlines for creditors and get along with disorganized colleagues. (Straus 274).
A firm has to conceptualize the plans of where it is today and its vision that is how to get to its desired position in the market. The human resource development is an important part of the strategic plans of an organization which is forward looking. According to renowned personnel management expert Armstrong, a firm should structure its activities to achieve its short run goals first and then realize long term goals. A firm should take inventory of its core competencies to determine the training needs. An analysis of training gaps helps a firm to articulate its training cycle on a harmony with the overall business plan. An intensive employee training ensures improved quality and reduction in costs as employees gain expertise knowledge and become familiar with requirements of the business. (Wilson 87) An organization which takes a long view of its operation prioritizes training of employees for managerial roles. A career path for employee is established in management teams set to deal with various tasks that an organization faces. The future employees will have to work in teams and expected to be multi skilled workers. Modern human resource practitioners assert that employees should be trained on different areas to ensure flexibility and help to take over roles of the older workers who retire in future
Although extensive research has shown that training is vital for an organization many companies in America prefer to hire already trained workers as compared with on the job training. When compared to Asian countries like China and Japan, America is not investing adequately in the training of employees .Many firms fear that an employee once trained may leave an organization to a rival firm. Organizations expect a quick return of their investment in the training of its employees. The benefits of training accrue to an organization over time unlike other investments in the security market. There is limited training to non technical workers who the US employers find that do not reflect immediate economic profits from their training. Limited training for employees has been identified as a major cause of high labor turnover in organizations. Employees find it difficult to effectively work with minimal information and a work place plagued with uncertainties. (Moore and Blake 26).
The employees in their quest for training shuffle between related competing firms to move up in their career ladder. Companies in the modern times have opted to enrol larger groups for training in order to cut costs since costs per trainee are offered at discounted rates for groups. (Moore and Blake 28). The cheaper rates offered are a result of economies of scale associated with a large trainee groups. The training of employees helps a nation through increased output, productivity, stability in jobs and creates opportunities. The US government could offer tax rebates or subsidies to companies that provide training opportunities to its employees. The strategic and important sectors of the US economy could be offered tax rebates to encourage acquisition of new skills to meet the demands of a 21st Century economy. The State should also provide information on available programs for employees in terms of fees, location and quality assurance of the training organizations. This would bring down cost caused by information asymmetry in the market about schools and ensure quality of the training institutions (Moore and Blake 36).
An organization should undertake a thorough investigation of its training needs and the associated costs. This will highlight the budgetary requirements for the training program. Trainers should also seek feedback from the targeted employees to ensure that the training achieves its desired objectives. (Stone and Phillips 27). The manager should negotiate favorable terms from the training institutions to conserve financial resources of the organization. (Buckley and Jim 274).
The benefits from training can be analyzed using two formulas that is Benefit – Cost analysis (BCR) and Return on Investment (ROI) methods. The benefit cost ratio compares the benefit from training in a year and improved work performance and the costs incurred.
BCR = Benefits of training
Cost of training
Benefits are obtained from a follow-up on the positive changes experienced by a firm from the training of it employees. A ratio of 3:1 indicates that one dollar spent in a training program, 3 dollars in benefit is achieved. ROI is a ratio which compares the not benefits from training (training benefits minus training cost) and the training cost. ROI is expressed as a percentage. The ROI formula compares training just like any other investment ventures an organization is engaged in.
ROI = Net training benefits x 100 = ____ %
A Return on Investment of over 100% is favorable since it indicates that cost has been recovered from training. This is a positive return from training as an investment. and (Phillips and Stone 32). A company uses the balance score card to gauge the performance. The model covers financial, customer, internal, innovation and learning perspectives of an organization. A firm should clearly outline its needed skills in order to continue creating value, retain its market share and improve its position in the market. The training of employees is covered by the analysis of innovation and learning perspective of a firm. Training empowers the employees, and enhances the technical capacity of an organization to increase sales, offer new products and maintain its market leadership. A well trained work force in an organization is able to handle any contingencies and take advantage of opportunities in the future.
An organization can only identify the cause and effect of training when it takes a long term view of its strategic plans. The mission statement highlights how an organization will structure its processes to meet its customer’s needs and aspirations using the available resources. The expected targets include desired image increased output (units) productivity, faster processing of documents, volume of sales that is turnover, reduction in rejects reduced accidents and increase in bottom line profits. The monetary value in costs and benefits of a trained workforce are quite intricate. The training program includes the remuneration of training personnel, cost of developing the program and other overhead costs incurred in the actual training. The benefits of training include more output higher quality products increase in sales and efficient utilization of resources.
Training has been found to rectify the inequalities in incomes that exist in the labor markets. Concerted efforts by employees and managers help organization to increase bottom line profits and help to retain valuable employees in the firm. An employee who by private means seeks professional training increases his/her earning capacity in form of higher wages. Furthermore, acquisition of skills helps an employee to rise up the corporate ladder. Industries in the technical sector of an economy have to keep up with the current state of technology. Technology changes rapidly and the current employees’ skills might be rendered obsolete by new discoveries.
Training helps to implement any recommendations by the research and development department of an organization. Organizations will have to provide a life long learning and training on a job. The employees will need retraining to keep up with changes in business and survive in a competitive environment.
The successful completion of tasks will rely on the managers discussing with the employees expected to do carry out the tasks. The managers set the goals in consultation with the employees to identify any salient weaknesses and formulate a training program to remedy any information gaps (Llyod 161). Inadequate training for employees has been observed to result in a vicious cycle of bad service to customers, unsatisfied customers, low volume of sales and employee turnover. Well trained employees require less supervision and this avails the manager’s time to deal with other important matters like holding meetings with suppliers, creditors and government officials and do their share of the work load.
Many organizations prefer on the job training since it inexpensive and it leads to immediate application of the acquired skills. Training of employees at their work place helps to improve communication and fosters a good work environment. A disadvantage of on the job training as form of employee training is that the trainer in the job training usually focuses on the performance of the job rather than the learning process itself. On the job training results in wastages and acquiring undesirable characteristics like shortcuts do a task or undesirable work habits. (Steinbach 97).
Human resource management (HRM) experts have identified job rotation, internships, mentorship and apprenticeship as effective training techniques since the trainee careful learns from experts. Off the job training is less disruptive for business and offers a valuable training ground. The off the job training is conducted by outside trainers, videos, games, classroom exercises which means a cost to the firms. The trainers should demand on the relevance of training and make plans to cover for the time the employees are away. Promotions in the job place should be in line with the willingness to learn for the employee’s .Motivation should be in place to appreciate employees who undertake training and encourage more employees to seek training. (Lloyd 161).
A mix of attitude and willingness to learn by employees will help organization to achieve its goals in future the structure of future business will involve restructuring reinventing and the introduction of new processes in order to keep abreast with the needs of the 21st century business climate. A forward looking organization will need to focus on quality of the employees work rather than the quantity of output. The quality work will guarantee improved performance and ensure the survival of an organization. The need for training will need a rethinking from being an expenditure incurred to being a worthy investment. The innovation and inventions in the work place for example the Information and technology sector will demand new skills on the employees. Future employees will be involved in formulation of polices and plans and the execution of the plans. Employees will be expected to use their own resources to undergo training where the employer does not pay for training to bridge the knowledge gap. For employees to succeed in their work, the work place the future will involve negotiation (Veres and Sims 46).
The training process should be viewed as long term process of acquiring skills rather than obtaining certificates to display to colleagues and employers. Job security in the rapidly changing work environment will depend on an employee’s initiative to gain the necessary training to match the demands.
Buckley, Roger and Caple Jim. The Theory & Practice of Training
Kogan Page Publishers, 2007, 234-235
Lloyd, Kenneth Be the Boss Your Employees Deserve
Career Press 2002 p 161
Moore, Richard W and Blake, Daniel R. W.E. Training that Works: Lessons from California’s Employment Training Panel Program, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, G. Michael Phillips, Daniel McConaughy, W.E. Upjohn Institute, 2003, 26-36
Phillips, Jack J and Stone Ron D How to Measure Training Results: A Practical Guide to Tracking the Six Key Indicators McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002 p 29
Steinbach, Robert On-the-job Training: Preparing Employees for Success
Thomson Crisp Learning, 2004, 7-9
Strauss, Steven The Small Business Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed in Your Small Business, Wiley Default, 2005 ,273-276
Veres John and Sims Ronald Keys to Employee Success in Coming Decades
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 p 46
Wilkinson, David and Machin Stephen Employee Training: Unequal Access and Economic Performance Institute for Public Policy Research, 1995, 2-3