Human resource training is a function that involves developing employees’ skills, knowledge and abilities to meet the organization’s needs. The behind human resource training is to create a competent, motivated and high-performing workforce that is prepared to meet future demands. Human resource training also maximizes employee potential, leading to higher productivity.
The HR department may encounter problems in implementing training due to inappropriate programs, lack of interest, lack of management support and insufficient budget.
When performance problems arise, the usual response is to provide training. However, training may not always be the appropriate solution. Training is often given as a reaction to perceived needs without taking time to analyze the root cause of performance issues. A training-needs assessment looks at gaps between current and desired performance, analyzes core problems and recommends interventions.
One of the biggest training problems is providing employees with training that is inappropriate for their needs and skill sets. Without critically assessing the employee's capacities and deficiencies, the company might provide her with generic training that has little relevance to her position or training that focuses too little on the skills she needs to develop and too much on her strong skills. Then, the employee is still deficient in certain skills, leaving both her and the company facing a skill gap.
Sometimes, the right response may not be training but other management solutions, such as improving work process, changing the work environment or communicating expectations. When training problems arise, one or more of these options can be the solution.
Another one of the issues in training that company leaders have to keep in mind is that training is a two-way process. Management provides learning opportunities, but employees must show interest by participating. The real test of learning is when staff internalize and apply new knowledge to their jobs. Low employee interest is one of the most common, most difficult training problems for employers to overcome.
When employees fail to take responsibility for their own development, training does not succeed. The HR department must engage employees even before training is conducted by soliciting feedback, suggestions and ideas. Employees show greater acceptance if they set their own objectives and recommend training based on their specific needs.
Training does not start and end in the classroom. The organization must provide a learning environment where employees are encouraged to develop new skills, acquire knowledge and strive for self-development. Without management support, staff will not be motivated to upgrade their skills. This includes providing time and resources, such as meal and travel allowances, to participate in training. It involves conducting regular follow-up after training. Employee development must also be a significant aspect of the performance review.
Another one of the issues in training is that training is an expense that some companies are not willing to pay. Small organizations may not be able to afford to hire a training consultant or to send their employees to formal training programs. But training is now more accessible through the use of technology. Online courses have made it easier and less costly to train. Organizations can also use other training tools that do not cost anything, such as mentoring, on-the-job training and shadowing.
Training is an investment that must show returns. Often, it is difficult to see the actual impact of training. An evaluation form completed at the end of training only shows participant reactions. Senior management needs concrete proof, such as increase in productivity and sales. Training must also result in a decrease in errors, customer complaints, accidents and down time. Training becomes of value when it contributes to the bottom line. The HR department must provide metrics that support the training expense.