When organizations develop training programs, they need to consider the needs of both employees and clients that they serve. Developing a centralized training function may appear to remove the bureaucracy from the decision making. At first glance, this can appear to be streamlining the process. In the end though, it runs the risk of the organization's training department failing to meet its purpose.
In a centralized structure, the decisions must be made by the top decision makers within the department, according to the MBA Knowledge website. In a training environment this means that changes to the training manual or the training curriculum must be approved by upper level management in the training department. This means quick adjustments or changes based on new policies may be delayed if the decision maker is absent from the office for an extended period of time. Changes in company priority that result in new training procedures can take time to implement when only one person or a limited number have authority to approve those changes.
The trainers themselves have little ability to make adjustments, according to the MBA knowledge website. This means those that are interacting with the trainees directly must present their ideas to upper management before a decision can be made. This removes the training methodology decisions from those that are participating in training on a regular basis. The trainers must take the time to present their ideas to upper management, have it approved, and then implement it. Those making the decision may not fully understand the weaknesses of the current training procedures, as they do not participate in the training.
The Free MBA website indicates that having a centralized training function might result in a limited number of training facilities. The limited number of facilities allows the centralized management structure to supervise these locations directly. Limited training facilities can increase costs for companies with offices and employees in large regions. The employees must travel to the location for training and instructors may have to travel as well to teach the courses. This travel not only increases costs, but could result in hardships for employees traveling away from family, resulting in a risk of employees resigning due to the need to travel away from home.
Employees may feel that their feedback is not valued. When training decisions are decided upon by small groups or individuals, those decision makers can be isolated. The decision makers are getting feedback from trainers within their organization. They are not directly involved in interaction with clients or using the products that they are making training decisions about. Trainees and employees may be able to fill out surveys or feedback cards, but they are isolated from the centralized training decision makers. This can result in inefficiency in the training department, with classes developed that are not beneficial for the employees or clients.