How to make training and development work

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Training and development is an important facet in the overall human resources process.

Organisations spend thousands of dollars annually in training and developing their employees with the hope of increasing productivity, motivating employees and retaining them.

It is, however, important for organisations to pay attention to the after- effects of the training and development initiatives that they would have undertaken.

This includes focusing on whether training has been transferred into the real work situation. This week I will focus on what is needed in order to make training and development work.

Creating training stickiness before employee training sessions — As a training professional, there is need to do the following in advance of the employee training session, in order to increase the likelihood that the training undertaken actually transfers to the workplace.

Make sure the need is a training and development opportunity. There is need to perform a thorough needs and skills analysis with the aim of determining the real need for employee training and development.

It is important to make sure the opportunity you are pursuing or the problem you are solving is a training problem.

If the employee is underperforming in some aspect of their job, there is need to determine whether the employee has been provided with the time and equipment that is needed to perform the job.

As a training professional, ask yourself the following questions: Does the employee clearly know what is expected from him/her regarding the job at hand? Does the employee have the temperament and talent necessary for his/her current position?

Create a context for the employee training and development —. Employees need to be provided with information about why the new skills, skill enhancement or information to be acquired during training is necessary.

In order for that training to be meaningful, make certain the employee understands the link between the training and their job.

The impact of the training can be enhanced even further if the employee recognises the link between the training and their ability to contribute to the accomplishment of the organisation’s strategic plan and goals.

Employees always want to know if there is anything in it for them if they attend a training course. This does not always relate to monetary benefits, but small things such as a certificate of attendance, a letter of commendation after successfully applying what they would have acquired from the training course or just listing the names of those who have attended a course in the organisation’s newsletter.

This contextual information will help create a motivated attitude as the employee attends the training. It will assist the employee to want to look for relevant information to apply after the session.

There is need to consider training that is really to the skill you want the employee to attain or the information they need to expand their work horizons.

This is where internal training works if nothing from external consultants exactly meets the employees’ needs.

External consultants who are willing to customise their courses to match your specific needs could be considered as well so as come up with the best for the employees.

Employee training and development must have measurable objectives and specified outcomes that will transfer back to the job.

So there is need to design or obtain employee training that has clearly stated objectives with measurable outcomes.

At the end, there is need to come up with content that leads the employee to attaining the skill or information promised in the objectives.

This information will assist the employee know exactly what he/she can expect from the training session and is less likely to be disappointed.

He/she will not have difficulties in applying the training to the accomplishment of real workplace objectives.

Paul Nyausaru is a training and development practitioner. You can contact him on email pnyausaru@yahoo.co.uk pnyausaru@gmail.com .