An organization and its employees co-exist to constitute a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. Consequently, each entity depends on the existence of the other as far as an economically rewarding lifeline is concerned. However, training is increasing becoming essential in ensuring that the human resource function serves the organization optimally and does not undermine the organizations goals. Further, most companies experience a gap between their strategic plans/goals, and the execution mechanisms employed to realize and actualize those aims and plans respectively (Noe, 2013). Training and development of employees serve to bridge this gap by proving employees with the right mindset and set of skills relevant to an organization and necessary in achieving the companys goals and plans. Employee Training and development needs vary depending on the application environment. However, there exist areas common in all environments and in which employees need training for their personal growth or the sake of the organizations lifeline concerning financial health, and productivity (Blanchard & Thacker, 2012). For example, informal training through mentorship programs, and peer interactions is aimed at promoting personal growth while diversity and legal requirement training are aimed at preserving the organization's interests.
The business world, similar to other industries, is subject to law and regulations that govern certain aspects, internal and external, affecting a business and its operations. Companies must not only ensure they operate within the legal bounds set but also ensure that they do not infringe on their employees rights. Legal requirement training serves two main purposes. Firstly, training employees on legal issues that affect their work ethics and practices serves to protect the employees from exploitation and negative ramifications such as termination that might result from ignorance of their legal options and limits (Blanchard & Thacker, 2012). Through such training, employees become aware of the various Acts that protect their plight based on various factors such as age, race, nationality, disability, religion, and gender among others. Further, they get to know their limitations as far as sensitive matters such as confidentiality are concerned which helps them protect themselves from termination or legal action. Secondly, it ensures that the company is cushioned from litigation arising from lack of employee sensitization on legal requirements. Most legislations requires that companies train their employees on various legal matters, such as discrimination, and sexual harassment among others. Failure to comply with these requirements makes companies susceptible to legal action and lawsuits. Additionally, employee complaints and harassment that can be attributed, directly or otherwise, to the failure of the company to provide legal requirement training can be the basis for litigation against the enterprise. Consequently, organizations provide such training to avoid such scenarios and cushion themselves against legal consequences. For example, an employee might sue a colleague for sexual harassment, but the court might transfer the blame to the organization if it finds that the organization did not provide the defendant with adequate training on such matters and thus promoted inappropriate behavior in the workplace that eventually led to the sexual harassment (Blanchard & Thacker, 2012).
The efficiency and productivity of employees is directly proportional to an organizations ability to achieve its goals or meet targets. However, employee productivity may be compromised by internal factors such as discrimination, and unfair appraisal or promotions. In most, if not all scenarios, the workforce comprises of employees with varied characteristics in terms of age, religious affiliations, gender, race, and political inclinations among others. However, it is in the best interest of the organization that employees work in harmony without bias among them, which might undermine productivity. Diversity training is aimed at helping an organizations employees work efficiently, and achieve maximum productivity. Further, sensitization on diversity teaches tolerance and helps employees accept their colleagues regardless of their differences. It also equips the management with the knowledge to effectively manage the human resource function to get maximum productivity and efficiency from the employees. Moreover, such training ensures that employees work in a conducive environment void of discrimination, and unfair treatment which reduces worker turnover rate while increasing productivity and worker motivation (Blanchard & Thacker, 2012).
Change and progress are part of life. Employees tend to work towards promotions, better remuneration, and personal growth. As a result, productivity often increases resulting in overall improvement of the companys performance. Consequently, providing training aimed at encouraging employees personal growth serves to accelerate the companys productivity. Such Training encouraging personal growth especially when it involves mentorship programs places the company in an advantageous position when it seeks to recruit for new posts. Employees from within the company who have been exposed to such education programs are better suited to fill vacant positions as opposed to outsourcing. Further, this kind of recruitment ensures that there is no disconnect between the employees goals and the companys.
A combination of training on legal, diversity, and personal growth issues helps a company not only function efficiently but also helps it avoid negative ramifications of not providing such guidance. Further, employees gain knowledge on how to best serve the organizations interest, advance their professional agendas, and work effectively with colleagues. Training programs differ based on the application industry, companys strategic goals, and other variables that determine which area the training should capitalize on. Consequently, an effective training program should be tailor made to satisfy an organizations specific needs as opposed to applying generic methods applicable to a wide range of environments. Additionally, a good training program seeks to support the business strategy of the organization.
An effective plan ought to be diverse as far as the topic areas are concerned. That is, the plan should touch on almost all aspects of key training areas. It should, therefore, incorporate training on legal issues, diversity, personal growth, ethics, communication, and emerging technologies among others. Further, it should allocate each area adequate time and resources to ensure that employees not only comprehend what is being communicated but also give them time to employ the use of learned material in a practical setting (Noe, 2013). Another important part of a good training plan is the use of tools and methods that are not only convenient to its intended audience but also flexible. That is, it should allow the audience to engage in training without interfering with their schedules or disadvantaging them as far as work allocation, and compensation is concerned. Such tools include mentorship programs, e-learning, workshops, and one on one interactive session (Noe, 2013)
Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2012). Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee Training and Development. (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
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