By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

-Explain the concept of training

-Explain the components of training

-Discuss types of training used in an organization

-Discuss the importance of training

The human resources or human relations department oversees a number of functions within the organization, including hiring, training, monitoring certain policies and even handling disputes. In addition, the human resources department must keep company employees updated on certain laws, such as safety and discrimination. Therefore, it is essential that all human resource managers and employees get the appropriate training. This topic explores the concept of training, components of training, types of training used in organization and the importance of training.

2.1Concept of Training

Meaning of Training and Development

Training is defined as a planned and systematic effort to modify or develop knowledge, skills and attitudes through learning experiences, to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. It can also be  described training as a designed process aiming at the development of attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through learning in order to achieve performance in an activity or series of activities. The idea behind training in the situation of the work is to increase the capabilities of an individual so as to satisfy the current and prospective needs of the organisation. Armstrong, 1999, defines training as the systematic modification of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience. Learning is a process of acquiring new knowledge, skills and capabilities whilst training is one of the actions an organization can take for the promotion of learning.


Training and development is a function of human resource management aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings. It is also known by several names, including “human resource development”, and “learning and development”. Training and development encompasses three main activities: training (individual development), education (career development), and development (organizational development).Individual development refers to the development of new knowledge, skills, and/or improved behaviors that result in performance enhancement and improvement related to one’s current job.


Career development focuses on providing the analysis necessary to identify the individual interests, values, competencies, activities, and assignments needed to develop skills for future jobs (development). Career development includes both individual and organizational activities. Individual activities include career planning, career awareness, and utilizing career resource centers. Organizational activities include job posting systems, mentoring systems, career resource center development and maintenance, using managers as career counselors, providing career development workshops and seminars, human resource planning, performance appraisal, and career pathing programs.

Organizational development is directed at developing new and creative organization solutions to performance problems by enhancing congruence among the organization’s structure, culture, processes, and strategies within the human resources domain. In other words, the organization should become a more functional unit as a result of a closer working relationship among these elements. The goal of organizational development is to develop the organization’s self-renewing capacity i.e. the organization’s ability to discover its problems and weaknesses and to direct the resources necessary for improvement. As a result, the organization will be able to regenerate itself over and over again as it confronts new and ever-challenging circumstances.


The term talent development is becoming increasingly popular in several organizations, as companies are now moving from the traditional term training and development. Talent development is the process of changing an organization, its employees, its stakeholders, and groups of people within it, using planned and unplanned learning, in order to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage for the organization. The term encompasses a variety of components such as training, career development, career management, and organizational development, and training and development. However, it is mostly used to refer to training for the top management it is becoming increasingly clear that career development is necessary for the retention of any employee, no matter what their level in the company.


Purpose of Training

Training, development and education of employees at all level of hierarchy in an organization is an essential tool in maintaining competitiveness .This is because it aids an organisation in achieving its purpose by adding value to its key resources, that is, the people it employs. Consequently, to attain the overall effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation, there is need to invest in its people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make the best use of their natural abilities. Generally, the purpose of training and development can be explained as follows:

  1. Improving quality of workforce

Training and development programs can help in improving the quality of work produced by the workforce of organization. Mostly, training is given in a specific area like finance, marketing or HR, which helps in improving the quality of work in that particular area.

  1. Enhance employee growth

By attending training and development programs, employees are able master the work of their jobs and that’s how they develop and grow themselves in a professional way.

iii. Prevents obsolescence

These programs help employees to keep themselves up to date with the new trends in latest technology, which reduces the chances of termination of the job.

  1. Assisting new comer

These programs help new employees to adjust themselves in a new working environment, culture and technology. They feel themselves as regular employees of that organization.

  1. Bridging the gap between planning and implementation

It helps organizations to easily achieve their targets and goals what they actually planned for. Employees know their job better and they deliver the quality performance according to needs of top management. That’s why organizations can easily implement their plans.



  1. Health and safety measures

Training and development program clearly identifies and teaches employees about the different risk involved in their job, the different problems that can arise and how to prevent such problems. This helps to improve the health and safety measures in the company.


Advantages of Training

There are many benefits of training both to the organization and an individual employee. These benefits include: reducing cost of production by enhancing employee efficiency and effectiveness as it reduces wastage and accidents; Increasing the workers commitment as they are able to understand their organization better as well as what is expected of them; enables employees accommodate new technology as they acquire new skills to deal with such technology; It leads to flexibility among employees because they acquire a variety of skills which makes it possible to implement job rotation; and It can be useful in effecting changes in management whenever necessary for example in succession management.


Employee training also creates a positive culture of training in the organization where the management must budget for employee training at regular intervals. It also improves job satisfaction in the workplace since employees can utilize personal skills, abilities and talents to the full potential. In addition, improvement of work performance leads to better quality of products and services which may lead to increase in customer base as well as profits. Training also promotes good industrial relations through improving relationships amongst workers, as well as between workers and management which reduces conflicts in the organization.


Training facilitates reward system as it makes it possible to increase workers responsibilities and consequently the job group and salary. It also enhances employee loyalty because employees feel that the management is mindful about their welfare as well as improve organizations image to its customers and the general public.


Disadvantages of Training

It is common to discuss the advantages of training and development of employees, or the importance of work training, but the disadvantages of training or the negatives of employment training are rarely discussed. The following are the general reasons why training employees can be a disadvantage.


One of the biggest potential problems with employee training is the cost of the process. If handled the training internally, it costs money because employees will be paid for training instead of doing productive work. If an outside trainer used, he will also be paid. If employees are sent to a seminar or training conference in another location, the organization will also incur substantial cost for the training.


Information changes and whatever is learnt today will probably change in the near future and become irrelevant or inaccurate creating the need to do the training all over again. Furthermore, where online training is used for new employees, it might be de-motivating since majority of the new employees would rather learn from someone face-to-face than one-on-one with a computer because it’s more fun working with someone who can answer questions and add some energy into the process.

Another disadvantage with training employees is lack of enough time to do the training adequately. If sufficient time is not allowed for covering all the training material, and there is not enough time for questions and answers, the trainer may have to rush through the important parts of the job and skip over some of the other tasks that also need to be understood by the employee.  In such circumstances, then either more time needs to be set aside for the training, or less material needs to be presented. Scheduling a training programme is therefore difficult whether it involves too many employees are being trained at one time or too few.


It is important to be careful with regard to what the employees are learning which makes some control over the training necessary. However, Control of the Training is another challenge especially when the process is delegated either to another employee or an outsider. If the trainer does not do the job as it should be done, employees might end up picking up some bad habits along the way which may reduce organizational efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, the trainer need  to have a passion for training and to know what they’re talking about since employees being trained can quickly ascertain if the person doing the training is knowledgeable, competent, and approachable. The wrong trainer can do more harm than good.


Training may also have different effects if the staffs being trained possess different learning levels. Some of those being trained can be bored because it’s too elementary or otherswill be frustrated because it’s too complicated and the purpose of the employee training may be lost from the start.

2.2Components of Training

Characteristics of Good Training Programme

Many organizations, even though they have a large training staff and spend a large amount on training programmes, don’t get good results. In order to ensure that the training programmes are effective and the organizations get good results from them, the following principles may be observed:

  • Determination of training needs: The management should first decide the training needs of employees and then select a method of training that is most effective.
  • Relevance to job requirements: Training programmes must be related to the requirements of the job for which they are intended.
  • Allowance for individual differences: There are differences in ability, learning capacity and interest of trainees so the management should consider these factors while designing the training programmes.
  • Training programme should be result oriented: Management should avoid “training for the sake of training;’ and show greater interest in the benefits of training programmes.
  • Suitable incentives: There should be incentives to the trainees to make them take training programmes seriously.
  • Management support: Top managers should take interest in and support the training programmes. Subordinates cannot be expected to take the training programmes seriously if their superiors themselves are not serious about them

Training Procedure/Process

Every company has a specific training procedure, depending upon its requirements. A general training procedure is explained below along with diagram:


Determining training needs of employee

In the very first step of training procedure, the HR department, identifies the number of people required training, specific area in which they need training, the age group of employee, the level in organization etc. in some cases the employee may be totally new to the organization. Here the general introduction training is required. Some employees may have problems in specific areas; here the training must be specific. This entire information is collected by HR department.

The objective in establishing needs analysis is to find out the answers to the following questions: Why is training needed; what type of training is needed; when is the training needed; where is the training needed; who needs the training; who will conduct the training; and how will the training be performed. The steps that are normally used to analyse training needs are as follows: Perform a gap analysis; Identify priorities and importance; Identify causes of performance problems and/or opportunities; Identify possible solutions and growth opportunities; and Present your findings

Selecting target group

Based on information collected in step 1 the HR department divides employee into groups based on the following: The area of training; Level in the organization; and the intensity of training

  1. Preparing trainers

Once the employees have been divided into groups, the HR department arranges for trainers. Trainers can be in house trainers or specialized trainers from outside. The trainers are given details by HR department, like number of people in group, their age, their level in organization, the result desired at the end of training, the area of training, the number of days of training, the training budget, facilities available etc.

  1. Preparing training packages

Based on the information provided by trainers, he prepares entire training schedule i.e. number of days, number of sessions each day, topics to be handled each day, depth of which the subject should be covered, the methodology for each session, the test to be given for each session, handout/printed material to be given in each session.

  1. Presentation/ Implementation (Performance)

This step is responsible for the instruction and delivery of the training program. Once you have designated your trainers, the training technique must be decided. One-on-one training, on-the-job training, group training, seminars, and workshops are the most popular methods. Before presenting a training session, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the following characteristics of an effective trainer. The trainer should have: A desire to teach the subject being taught; working knowledge of the subject; ability to motivate participants to “want” to learn; good sense of humor; dynamic appearance and good posture; strong passion for their topic; strong compassion towards their participants; and appropriate audio/visual equipment to enhance the training session. For a training program to be successful the trainer should be conscious of several essential elements, including a controlled environment, good planning, using different training methods; good communication skills; and trainee participation.

  1. Evaluation / Follow Up

This step will determine how effective and profitable your training program has been. Methods for evaluation are pre-and post- surveys, the establishment of a cost/benefit analysis outlining your expenses and returns, and an increase in customer satisfaction and profits. The reason for an evaluation system is simple. The evaluation of training programs is the most important step in the training process. It is this step that will indicate the effectiveness of both the training as well as the trainer.


There are several obvious benefits for evaluating a training program. First, evaluations will provide feedback on the trainer’s performance, allowing them to improve themselves for future programs. Second, evaluations will indicate its cost-effectiveness. Third, evaluations are an efficient way to determine the overall effectiveness of the training program for the employees as well as the organization. The importance of the evaluation process after the training is critical since it enables the trainer to understand the effectiveness of the training. Evaluation is a systematic process to determine the worth, value, or meaning of something and involves forming value decision about the quality of programs, products, and goals.

2.3Types and Methods of Training Used In an Organization

Types of Employee Training Programs

There are several types of employee training programs. Employees may receive basic literacy training, interpersonal skills training, technical training, problem-solving training and diversity or sensitivity training. Each type of training targets a different facet of an organization’s overall culture and performance.


Basic literacy training is training for things like reading, writing and problem-solving skills. This is important especially in organizations that hire people from all part of the world. The training may involve the employee learning a language to improve communication. The benefits of literacy training are that employees are more likely to: meet company goals; perform job tasks; understand work processes; work in teams; make decisions; and learn technology.


Interpersonal skills training is training on how to maintain positive relationships, communicate better, resolve conflicts and build trust. This type of training may also involve team training where employee participate in planning, organizing and controlling activities as teams .The benefits of this training is that it assists employees to: Get along with each other; Exchange positive communication; Minimize conflict; and Influence others to be positive.


Technology training may involve training on computer software and hardware offered to employees depending on their position or training on use of other new technologies or machines. This training enables employees to: Perform at higher standards; Have more self-confidence; Develop higher skill levels; and Perform many different tasks.


Problem-solving training is training on how to analyze problems and make decisions. Employees learn how to identify problems, analyze problems, assess solutions, implement solutions and monitor outcomes. This enables them to offer creative solutions to problems collaborate on problem-solving and avert disasters.


Diversity or Sensitivity Training is mainly used in organizations where employees are drawn from many different cultures, religions, ethnic backgrounds etc.Diversity training encourages workers to accommodate and tolerate other people, ideas, beliefs and practices in order to create harmony among workers.

Behaviour training utilizes behavior modeling in order to expose employees to a particular behavior desirable in the organization e.g. integrity, punctuality, honesty etc.It is mainly used in training employees holding sensitive jobs which involve the use of their emotions and feelings such as per counselors, nurses etc.


Training techniques

There are several techniques used in employee training. These include lectures, discussions, case study, role playing and simulation. A training programme may involve the use of one or more of those techniques.


A lecture is a talk with little or no participation except a question-and-answer session at the end. It is used to transfer information to an audience with controlled content and timing. Lecture. The effectiveness of a lecture depends on the ability of the speaker to present material with the judicious use of visual aids. But there are several limits on the amount an inert audience can absorb. For maximum effectiveness, the lecture must not contain too much; must reinforce learning with appropriate visual aids (but not too many); and it must clearly indicate the action that should be taken to make use of the material.


The objectives of using discussion techniques are to: get the audience to participate actively in learning; give people an opportunity of learning from the experience of others; help people to gain understanding of other points of view; develop powers of self-expression. The aim of the trainer should be to guide the group thinking. He or she may, therefore, be more concerned with shaping attitudes than imparting new knowledge. The trainer has unobtrusively to stimulate people to talk, guide the discussion along predetermined lines, and provide interim summaries and a final summary.


A case study is a history or description of an event or set of circumstances that is analysed by trainees in order to diagnose the causes of a problem and work out how to solve it. Case studies are mainly used in courses for managers and team leaders because they are based on the belief that managerial competence and understanding can best be achieved through the study and discussion of real events. Case studies should aim to promote enquiry, the exchange of ideas, and the analysis of experience in order that the trainees can discover underlying principles that the case study is designed to illustrate. The danger of case studies is that they are often perceived by trainees to be irrelevant to their needs, even if based on fact.


Role-playing is used to give managers, team leaders or sales representatives practice in dealing with face-to-face situations such as interviewing, conducting a performance review meeting, counseling, coaching, dealing with a grievance, selling, leading a group or running a meeting. It develops interactive skills and gives people insight into the way in which people behave and feel. Role-playing enables trainees to get expert advice and constructive criticism from the trainer and their colleagues in a protected training situation. It can help to increase confidence as well as developing skills in handling people. The main difficulties are either that trainees are embarrassed or that they do not take the exercise seriously and overplay their parts.


Simulation is a training technique that combines case studies and role-playing to obtain the maximum amount of realism in classroom training. The aim is to facilitate the transfer of what has been learnt off the job to on-the-job behaviour by reproducing, in the training room, situations that are as close as possible to real life. Trainees are thus given the opportunity to practice behaviour in conditions identical to or at least very similar to those they will meet when they complete the course.


In a group exercise the trainees examine problems and develop solutions to them as a group. The problem may be a case study or it could be one entirely unrelated to everyday work. The aims of an exercise of this kind are to give members practice inworking together and to obtain insight into the way in which groups behave in tackling problems and arriving at decisions. Group exercises can be used as part of a team-building programme to develop interactive skills. It can be combined with other techniques such as the discovery method, encouraging participants to find out things for themselves and work out the techniques and skills they need to use.


Methods of Training

There are different methods of training for employees. The methods can be broadly be divided into two categories namely on-the-job training and off-the –job training and can be explained with the help of following diagram


On the Job (in house) Training Methods

On the job method refers to training given to personnel inside the company. There are different methods of on the job training: It involves methods such as job rotation, planned progression, coaching and counseling, understudy, vestibule training, apprentice training etc.


Job rotation enables the organization to train employees on various jobs within a department. They are taught everything about the department starting from the lowest level job in the department to the highest level job. This helps when the person takes over as a manager and is required to check whether his juniors are doing the job properly or not. It may also involve transfer of an employee to different equipment for a fixed amount of time until he is comfortable with all the equipment so that at the end of the training the employee becomes comfortable with all the equipment.


In planned progression, juniors are assigned a certain job of their senior in addition to their own job. The method allows the employee to slowly learn the job of his senior so that when he is promoted to his senior job it becomes very easy for him to adjust to the new situation. It also provides a chance to learn higher level jobs.


Coaching refers to actually teaching a job to a junior. The senior person who is the coach actually teaches his junior regarding how the work must be handled and how decisions must be taken, the different techniques that can be used on the job, how to handle pressure. There is active participation from the senior. Counseling refers to advising the junior employee as and when he faces problems. The counselor superior plays an advisory role and does not actively teach employees. Apprenticeship training is a method in which both theory and practical session are conducted commonly applied in technical fields or in factories. The theory sessions give theoretical information about the plant layout, the different machines, their parts and safety measures etc. The practical sessions give practical training in handling the equipment. The apprentice may or may not be continued on the job after training.


Under study is a kind of training method where a junior is deputed to work under a senior. He takes orders from the senior, observes the senior, attends meetings with him, learns about decision making and handling of day to day problems. The method is used when the senior is on the verge of retirement and the job will be taken over by the junior. Junior board is a method where a group of junior level managers are identified and they work together in a group called junior board. They function just like the board of directors.


The advantages of in-house training include: saving on training cost since cost per delegate is typically lower than public scheduled courses due to the fact the training company only has to send a trainer rather than set up an environment themselves; saving on travel and accommodation costs; Running an in-house training course for a single client can generally allow the training to be a lot more focused on the specific subjects and skills that are relevant to the organization; enables the use of real work examples because trainees are able to work on current work or examples of work which relates to their roles not a generic example; having In-House training courses makes working around people’s schedules a lot easier as you are cutting out logistical issues as well as the fact any candidates can be easily reached in case something arises that needs to be addressed quickly; and having a room full of delegates from different departments and levels can encourage team work. This is a fantastic result as it is often in this social learning that the most learning is done when ideas are being bounced off each other. This will lead to increased awareness and understanding of each other’s roles as well as staff morale.


The disadvantages of In-House Training include: Incurring extra administration costs related to training room, parking for the trainer, equipment such as projectors, laptops and tablets amongst other things which need to be sorted out and in advance to ensure the training works; Delegates staying onsite may  also be a disadvantage because  candidates could be pulled out of the classroom in order to help with other activities making it hard to get a candidate through an entire session without interruption; when training is not moved outside the organization, the employee may not view it as a serious event. They might just see it as a break from their usual job and some may even skip it. In addition, the convenience factor means it is easier to duck in and out the training. In house training may also lead to lack of innovation since the employees are used to the equipments and the environment hence there is a danger of the training course going stale. This type of training also limits Networking because staff will not meet anyone from other companies.


Off the Job Training Methods

Off the job training refers to method of training given outside the organization. The different methods adopted in off the job training are classroom, simulation, business games, committees and readings.


The classroom method is used when a group of employees have to be trained in theoretical aspects. The training involves using lectures, audio visuals, case study, role play method, group discussions etc. The method is interactive and provides very good results. Simulation involves creating atmosphere which is very similar to the original work environment. The method helps to train manager handling stress, taking immediate decisions, handling pressure on the jobs etc. An actual feel of the real job environment is given here.


Business games method involves providing a market situation to the trainee and asking him to provide solutions. If there are many people to be trained they can be divided into groups and each group becomes a separate team and play against each other. A committee refers to a group of people who are officially appointed to look into a problem and provide solution. Trainees are put in the committee to identify how they study a problem and what they learn from it.  Readings involves encouraging the trainee to increase his reading related to his subject and then ask him to make a presentation on what he has learned. Information can be collected by trainee manager from books, magazines and internet etc.

2.4 Importance of Training

Importance of Training to an Individual

Training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees training and development provides both the company as a whole and the individual employees with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment. The main benefits to an employee include addressing weaknesses, improved performance, consistency, and increased employee satisfaction


Most employees have some weaknesses in their workplace skills. A training program allows them to strengthen those skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge. This helps reduce any weak links within the organization that rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks. Providing the necessary training creates an overall knowledgeable staff with employees who can take over for one another as needed, work on teams or work independently without constant help and supervision from others.


An employee who receives the necessary training is better able to perform her job. She becomes more aware of safety practices and proper procedures for basic tasks. The training may also build the employee’s confidence because she has a stronger understanding of the industry and the responsibilities of her job. This confidence may push her to perform even better and think of new ideas that help her excel. Continuous training also keeps employees on the cutting edge of industry developments.


A structured training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent experience and background knowledge. All employees need to be aware of the expectations and procedures within the company. This includes safety, discrimination and administrative tasks. Putting all employees through regular training in these areas ensures that all staff members at least have exposure to the information.


Employees with access to training and development programs have the advantage over employees in other companies who are left to seek out training opportunities on their own. The investment in training that a company makes shows the employees they are valued. The training creates a supportive workplace. Employees may gain access to training they wouldn’t have otherwise known about or sought out themselves. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs.


Importance of Training to Organization

The benefits of training an organization include:

  • Optimum Utilization of Human Resources: It helps an organization in optimizing the utilization of human resource that further helps the employee to achieve the organizational goals as well as their individual goals.
  • Development of Human Resources: it helps to provide an opportunity and broad structure for the development of employees’ technical and behavioral skills in an organization.
  • Increased Productivity and quality: Training and Development helps in increasing the productivity of the employees that helps the organization further to achieve its long-term goal as well as improving upon the quality of work and work-life.
  • Develop Organization Culture and improve Organization Climate: Training helps to develop and improve the organizational culture and effectiveness. It helps in creating the learning culture within the organization. Training helps in building the positive perception and feeling about the organization. The employees get these feelings from leaders, subordinates, and peers.
  • Health and Safety: Training and Development helps in improving the health and safety of the organization thus preventing obsolescence and accidents.
  • Helps in creating a better corporate image.
  • Aids in organizational development i.e. Organization gets more effective decision making and problem solving. It helps in understanding and carrying out organizational policies as well as developing leadership skills, motivation, loyalty, better attitudes, and other aspects that successful workers and managers usually display.


2.5 Review Questions

1. Discuss the importance of training in an organization

2. Explain five techniques applied in employee training

3. Describe the characteristics of an ideal training programme

4. Describe the general training procedure that can be used in an organization

5. Outline five disadvantages of employee training


1.Armstrong,M.,(2006), A Handbook of Human Resource Practice (10th Ed),Koganpage.London

  1. Dessler& Cole (2011), Human Resources Management in Canada (11th Ed) Pearson Canada Inc.

3.Joshi, M.,(2013),Human Resource Management (1st Ed), Manmohan.

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