The common view amongst many employers in Malaysia on training and development is that it is a luxury and not a necessity. Employee training and development is more often not viewed as a competitive and strategic need.
The major fear of employers is of employees leaving the company after being trained or sent for training by the company.
The more important question to ask is “What if you don’t train your employees and they continue to work for you?”.
A lot of employers simply do not prioritize their staff training and development and is not committed to ensure their employees growth and continuous improvement.
Some of the common excuses given by employers are such as:-
- Trainings prevents work from getting done
- Training causes disruption in the workplace by taking staffs away from “important” tasks.
- Training is not needed as most employees are qualified and are competent in their jobs
- There is no time to send my staff for trainings as the company is always busy
- Training is a waste of time as it is not really effective
- Staff must be train themselves to improve
- It is not the company’s responsibility to train staffs
If these excuses seems familiar, then it can be said that there is a training problem to be looked into.
In today’s competitive business environment, training and development is the difference between highly successful and high performing companies and a company who is always struggling to adapt and cope with market forces.
Employee training and development is not only improving the knowledge and skills of your individual staffs for their own personal gain but rather a game changer and a differentiating factor in today’s business environment.
Many companies who have high commitment towards staff training and development have experienced positive outcomes as a direct result of their commitment.
Attract quality employees who are looking for a working environment which promotes personal growth and development.
Prospective employees who are high performers and possess right attitudes, value training and development as much as the remuneration package.
Lower employee turnover rate is achieved when the company genuinely advocate staff’s personal growth and they are more likely to stay on with the company for longer than they would normally have.
Employees perform better as the training programs will generally produce more enthusiastic and motivated staffs and it will be translated in the product and service that the company offers to their customers and clients.
But, like any other strategy or investment, if there is not done right, it would not produce the right results.
Training will be effective only when certain conditions are met:
Commitment from the top management
Without this, training will be nothing more than pretense. Training and development is a process and not a one off event. The management must realize this and be prepared to invest and be committed to create a learning environment in the workplace.
The management must adopt training and development wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm in their business operations.
Personal Development should be made part and parcel with employee appraisals and this will motivate the staff to improve themselves by not only performing their best at work but also to constantly improve themselves.
Align training with company goals and strategy
Training and development should be aligned to the company goals. The ideal situation is when the goal setting is done right and it results in improving performance, it is almost impossible for the company to reach new goals without increasing the staff’s current skill sets.
The objective of training and development should be to not only improve and increase their technical skill sets but also their soft skill sets such as communication, confidence, teamwork, and positive mental attitude.
TNA – Training Needs Analysis
The first step in designing a training program should be to accurately assess current training needs. All the negatives and the positives should be taken into account before implementing any training programs. This is to ensure that the investment on training and development really benefits the staff’s and the company by producing tangible results.
Getting the message across – Delivery Methodology
There are many ways that training can be delivered. Delivery methodologies such as seminars, computer based trainings, online training are amongst the many ways that training can be delivered. To ensure the best possible results, the objective of the training has to be aligned with the most effective delivery methodology.
Apply and Follow up
Upon completion of any training program, the newly acquired knowledge must be applied in the workplace. Employers have to encourage this practice as it will enable the newly trained staffs to practice what they have learnt.
The follow up process is also very crucial for employers as it will enable the communication to take place between the management and staff. Any training gaps and weaknesses can be identified in this communication process as well as to ensure that the management is able to determine the effectiveness of the training program.
This also provides an opportunity for you to underscore your commitment to training and to solicit any future training needs.