A business is only as strong as its workforce and training is essential to having workers who can perform their jobs effectively and allow the company to reach its potential. While most new hires already possess at least some of the skills they need to succeed, workplace training figures prominently in crafting a team of employees who can excel.
Some workplace training is required by state or federal law. Some jobs place employees in positions of risk, so safety training is a legal mandate in many cases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to submit plans for educating new employees on matters of safety. States may also host safety courses that certain workers must complete before taking on new tasks or working in a hazardous environment. States also require certifications for professionals such as doctors, real estate agents and teachers, all of which may require a certain number of hours of workplace training and experience.
Some businesses place mandatory workplace training requirements on staff to ensure consistency and improve workers' skills. This training may take the form of group sessions, seminars, conferences and participation in team building programs. Formal training is also useful for communicating new company policies and expectations. Besides mandatory participation, the employer may ask employees to complete follow-up interviews or paperwork to evaluate what they learned and consider how to put the information covered to daily use.
Another type of workplace training takes place off the record but is not necessarily any less useful for employees. Casual workplace training includes the skills that workers gain from watching more skilled or senior employees complete similar tasks. It can also take the form of collaboration between workers with different strengths and weaknesses who teach one another how to overcome limitations.
Not all workplace training takes place when an employee is new to the job. There is a need for on-going training at every level. Feedback from performance evaluations can help managers identify where the most pressing training needs are and who will stand to gain the most from participation. Special problems or new industry regulations may call for refresher courses and seminars, which can take the form of mandatory or elective retraining.