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TD/U1 Topic 1 Concepts and Rationale of Training and Development

In simple terms, 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 need for training & development is determined by the employee’s performance deficiency, computed as follows:

Training & Development need = Standard performance – Actual performance.

Training and development

We can make a distinction among training, and development. Such distinction enables us to acquire a better perspective about the meaning of the terms. Training, as was stated earlier, refers to the process of imparting specific skills. Training refers to the process of imparting specific skills.

Development refers to the learning opportunities & designed to help employees grow.

Training and development is vital part of the human resource development. It is assuming ever important role in wake of the advancement of technology which has resulted in ever increasing competition, rise in customer’s expectation of quality and service and a subsequent need to lower costs. It is also become more important globally in order to prepare workers for new jobs. In the current write up, we will focus more on the emerging need of training and development, its implications upon individuals and the employers.

The need for Training and Development

Before we say that technology is responsible for increased need of training inputs to employees, it is important to understand that there are other factors too that contribute to the latter. Training is also necessary for the individual development and progress of the employee, which motivates him to work for a certain organization apart from just money. We also require training update employees of the market trends, the change in the employment policies and other things.

The following are the two biggest factors that contribute to the increased need to training and development in organizations:

  • Change: The word change encapsulates almost everything. It is one of the biggest factors that contribute to the need of training and development. There is in fact a direct relationship between the two. Change leads to the need for training and development and training and development leads to individual and organizational change, and the cycle goes on and on. More specifically it is the technology that is driving the need; changing the way how businesses function, compete and deliver.
  • Development: It is again one the strong reasons for training and development becoming all the more important. Money is not the sole motivator at work and this is especially very true for the 21st century. People who work with organizations seek more than just employment out of their work; they look at holistic development of self. Spirituality and self-awareness for example are gaining momentum world over. People seek happiness at jobs which may not be possible unless an individual is aware of the self. At ford, for example, an individual can enroll himself / herself in a course on ‘self-awareness’, which apparently seems inconsequential to ones performance at work but contributes to the spiritual wellbeing of an individual which is all the more important.

Rationale of Training and Development

  • Communications: The increasing diversity of today’s workforce brings a wide variety of languages and customs.
  • Computer skills: Computer skills are becoming a necessity for conducting administrative and office tasks.
  • Customer service: Increased competition in today’s global marketplace makes it critical that employees understand and meet the needs of customers.
  • Diversity: Diversity training usually includes explanation about how people have different perspectives and views, and includes techniques to value diversity
  • Ethics: Today’s society has increasing expectations about corporate social responsibility. Also, today’s diverse workforce brings a wide variety of values and morals to the workplace.
  • Human relations: The increased stresses of today’s workplace can include misunderstandings and conflict. Training can people to get along in the workplace.
  • Quality initiatives: Initiatives such as Total Quality Management, Quality Circles, benchmarking, etc., require basic training about quality concepts, guidelines and standards for quality, etc.
  • Safety: Safety training is critical where working with heavy equipment, hazardous chemicals, repetitive activities, etc., but can also be useful with practical advice for avoiding assaults, etc.
  • Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment training usually includes careful description of the organization’s policies about sexual harassment, especially about what are inappropriate behaviors.

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