Benefits of Staff Training

Benefits of Staff Training
Training of staff with the objective of increasing their knowledge,
skills, and abilities is critical to the success of organizational
activities especially in a competitive business environment. Training
programs inform employees about the policy of the program and equips
them with both technical and professional competence to handle
work-related activities and work with a broad spectrum of workers. This
implies that staff training is inevitable for organizations whose
objectives include enhancement of enhancing organizational competitive
advantage by increasing employee competence, knowledge, skills, and
abilities to handle emerging challenges. Staff training prepares
employees to assume greater responsibilities and handle difficult tasks
with ease. To this end, this paper will oppose the notion that training
of staff during a weak economy is a waste of time and money.
The structure of this research paper has three parts. The first part
provides a discussion of the factors that reduce effectiveness of a
training program. In this part, the researcher focused on the impact of
staff fragmentation, lack of support from top management, improper
training policies, and favoritism on the effectiveness of a training
program. The second part provides a discussion of factors that determine
an effective training program. The factors considered in this section
include proper design of the staff training program, approaches used to
deliver the training content, performance evaluation, and transfer of
skills into work-related tasks. In the third part the paper provides a
discussion of some of the benefits accruing to a training organization.
Some of the benefits considered include improved organizational
performance, job satisfaction, and effective commitment that reduce the
rate of employee turnover.
Causes of ineffective training program
A notion that staff training is a waste of time and money is a clear
indication of ignorance about the impact of staff training sessions on
improving organizational competitiveness, innovation, effectiveness, and
overall productivity. This notion may emerge among management teams that
have used ineffective training programs in the past. However, it is
imperative to mention that the different organizational executive may
develop varying perceptions about staff training depending on the
effectiveness of the training strategies they adopt. Other factors held
constant, an effective staff training package would be expected to
impart the staff with new skills and knowledge for usage within the
organization in both short-run and in the long-run. The major reason for
the management teams to lack the value in training of staff is the
failure of the employees to retain the training content. However, an
effective training program should be expected to produce permanent
change of behavior (Jahanze, 2012, p. 182). This implies that employees
retain the training content and brings payoff to the organization in the
long-run. This creates a competitive advantage for the training
organization as a result of increased motivation, skills, and ability of
employees to solve organizational challenges.
Organizations train their members of staff with the objective of
improving their own productivity and competitiveness, which implies that
transfer of new skills, is of paramount importance to the training
organization. Alipour (2009, p. 63) studied the effectiveness of
training in enhancing organizational competence, skills development, and
behavioral modification. The researcher suggested that organizations
should consider staff training as an investment and maximize its
benefits by establishing a link between training functions and business
activities. In addition, staff training is an effective means of
maintaining crucial skills in the organization and pursuance of the
corporate strategy. Payback of an employee training program can be
measured by determining its capacity to orient employee’s skills,
knowledge, and behavior of employees towards better performance. This
implies that organizations should recognize that staff training is
fundamental part of organizational strategy. This is because staff
training enhances employee creativity, and their ability to achieve
organizational objectives, thus bringing economic benefits to their
employing company (Alipour, 2009, p. 66). However, management teams
should play the role of motivating trainees by informing them about the
objective of the training program and their expectations from employees
after the training session.
Key success factors for a staff training program
The approach used to design a training program determines its
effectiveness in enhancing organizational productivity, performance, and
employee commitment. The design of an appropriate training program
begins with a needs assessment to ensure, which helps organizations in
determining the skills and knowledge gap in their human recourse. The
needs assessment process ensures that the program meets certain goals
and employees` willingness to participate (Ng, 2011, p. 838). The
findings presented in the article showed that the involvement of
managers affected the self-efficacy of employees before the training
program, which affected their pre-training motivation. A meta-analysis
cited in the same article indicated that staff motivation for a given
training program is determined by organizational climate and individual
characteristics, which include self efficacy, locus of control, job
involvement, anxiety, valence of training, and age (Colquitt et al. 2000
cited in Aguinis, 2009, p. 461). These findings have significant
implication in organizations that perceive staff training as a waste of
money and time. This is because these organizations can maximize the
benefits of training programs by training employees on the needed skills
and motivating them prior to the training session.
Management teams can maximize the benefits of training programs by using
effective content delivery approaches (Aguinis, 2009, p. 462). The
findings reported in this article indicated a difference in retention
rate when trainees were subjected to different methods of training. The
researcher evaluated the effectiveness of systematic training and
theory-based training approaches. The results showed that both
theoretical and systematic approaches enhanced immediate recall of
training content, but systematic training enhanced retention than
theoretical training. The capacity of the systematic training to enhance
long-term memory was attributed to variability of practice trials and
stability of the organization of the content. The amount of efforts that
employees apply in understanding the training content enhance the
retention and maximize the benefits that the organization can reap from
such a training program. However, the usefulness of theory-based
training can be enhanced by applying effective theory-based principles,
which include ensuring that trainees apply more effort in acquiring new
skills and involving employees in designing the training content.
Evaluating the performance of the training program helps the
organizational management to improve its effectiveness with time. The
program evaluation process ensures that training is adjusted to meet the
goals set by the organization. The process of training evaluation
focuses on three factors including the assessment of the training
program, changes in trainee, and the impact of the training program on
the organization as a whole. Moreover, the evaluation process
contributes the documentation of the recent benefits of training
programs, which help the management, trainees, and other stakeholders to
find the need for the training (Aguinis, 2009, . 463). The evaluation
process weighs between effectiveness and utility of the staff training
program.
The ultimate goal of every training organization is to see that the
skills gained after the training programs are transferred into daily
operations of the organization. The assessment of skills transfer into
job-related activities focuses on several factors such as peer support
and supervisory factors, opportunities to practice, intrinsic and
extrinsic rewards, and opportunities to use acquired knowledge and
skills. A study by Brown (2005 cited in Aguinis, 2009, p. 464) indicated
that the transfer of skills was more effective among trainees who were
requested to do their best performed better than trainees who were
requested to set distal goals. The findings in the article suggest that
provide an appropriate and motivating environment for trainees to
practice the new skills facilitates transfer of such skills into
job-related activities.
Benefits of staff training to the training organization
Staff training and development programs are significant factors that
improve employees’ performance and achievement of organizational
goals. This is because training programs impart employees with new
skills and abilities that improve their outcome. A research conducted by
Sahinidis (2008, p. 73) established a relationship between employee
training and increased productivity. The researcher identified that
trained staff feel motivated, improve their commitment to the job, and
thus an improve outcome. In a similar research Aguinis (2009, p. 457)
identified three variables that organizations can use to measure
employee performance in order to determine the effectiveness of training
programs. These measures include employee effectiveness at work and
overall profitability of the organization. Employee effectiveness is
determined using human resource indicators, involvement in assigned
tasks, and quality of the accomplished tasks. Organizational
profitability, on the other hand, is assessed by determining the change
in sales volume, and profits before and after tax. This implies that
staff training is inevitable for management teams whose objectives
include utilization of employees in enhancing organizational
productivity and efficiency.
The staff training programs, which involve the acquisition of new
skills, improve employees’ ability to handle difficult task and
accomplish the simple ones with ease. This enhances employees’ job
satisfaction and desire to continue with the job because they have the
skills and knowledge required for the job. This is because the skills
acquired through staff training reduce frustration caused by unfamiliar
work demands. A training program that is perceived to be effective
results in job satisfaction, motivation of employees, and commitment to
work (Sahinidis, 2008, p. 74). Bases on these findings it is evident
that the gap between the skills possessed by employees and the skills
demanded by assigned tasks may affect their satisfaction and turnover
intention. The skills acquired through training results in satisfaction
with staff development programs offered by the organization, which leads
to an increase in discretionary behavior and job satisfaction (Latif,
2009, p. 159).
Research has identified that staff training and satisfaction with staff
development programs are the key catalyst of employees’ job
satisfaction in the dynamic business world Latif, 2009, p. 160. Rapid
change in technology and overall business environment has necessitated
the continuous training of employees to equip them with the ability to
handle emerging challenges. The researcher studying the aspect of
employee satisfaction in a broader perspective compared to other
research works considered in the present study. This is because the
research addressed the effect of employee satisfaction on the training
session and its impact on job satisfaction in a changing business
environment. The findings of the research indicated that employees
increase commitment by after going through training programs whose
benefits were revealed to them (Latif, 2009, p. 172). This implies that
communicating the benefits of the training program attracts trainee
attention and retention of the new skills provided by the training
session. The management teams that intend to enhance employee
satisfaction should not only focus on continuous training, but should
disclose the objectives of the training program to maximize their
effectiveness.
The frame-of-reference (FOR) training, which involves getting raters on
the same metric in order to mitigate idiosyncrasies that are caused by
raters who have ideas on important factors when rating performance is
different from organization standards. According to Dierdorff (2010, p.
1186) the components of FOR training, which include prove performance
goal orientation (PPGO), learning goal orientation (LGO), and avoid
performance goal orientation (APGO), enhance learning and transfer of
skills to job-related activities. However, PPGO often fails to yield
the effective outcome because persons with high PPGO fail to believe in
the malleability of individual ability and thus they do not attain
self-efficacy of the training program. In addition, skills transfer
depends on the level of complexity of training task where PPGO enhanced
transfer for simpler tasks compared to complicated tasks. The
frame-of-reference training is an effective approach towards improving
organizational performance, which is accomplished by improving
employees’ skills and motivation.
Different organizations use varying human resource management approaches
to retain their experienced members of staff. However, the effectiveness
of the strategy adopted may vary depending on the overall objective of
the management. Sahinidis (2008, p. 70) established a significant
correlation between employee training and job satisfaction, commitment,
and motivation. Employee motivation results in effective commitment,
which reduces transfer intention, thus enhancing employee retention and
productivity. This implies that employees who are motivated to take part
in training session attach higher value to the training session,
retain the training content, and utilize the skills gained to improve
their job performance. However, the capacity of employees to retain the
training content for long-term application depends on three factors
namely the availability of training, staff motivation to learn, and
management support for the training program. According to Jehanzeb
(2013, p. 87) the three factors (availability of training, employee
motivation, and support of the management) enhance commitment, which in
turn reduces the turnover intention. This is important to an
organization that invests in employee training with expectations of
future pay-off.
Conclusion
Investing in staff training is not a waste of time and money, but an
appropriate means of enhancing employee competence by equipping them
with necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities. The debate about the
effectiveness and benefits of staff training to the training
organization may emerge from the fact that different organizations use
varying approaches to train their staff, which produces different
results. An organization that adopts ineffective training methods may
perceive that that staff training is a waste of time and resources. Some
of the causes of ineffective training program include staff
fragmentation, favoritism in selecting the staff to under training, lack
of support from top management, and improper training policies.
The effectiveness of a given training program depends on several factors
such as methods used to design a training program, approaches used to
deliver the training content, performance evaluation, and transfer of
skills. Organizations can enhance the effectiveness of a training
program by assessing skills and knowledge that is lacking among its
human resources, and then design a training program that address
specific skills and knowledge gaps. This is a suitable way of ensuring
that the training organization gets pay-off from its investment in staff
training. Trainers can use either theoretical or systematic approach to
deliver the content of a training program to enhance immediate recall,
but approaches that for employees to apply more effort to acquire the
training content are more appropriate for long-term retention of the
content of the training program. The performance evaluation process
helps the management in identifying whether the training program is
achieving the objectives of the training organization and its capacity
to enable employees to transfer the new skills into work-related
activities.
Although some organizations do not find the importance of training their
staff, organizations that adopt effective training program benefit from
the program in different ways. Staff training enhances organizational
performance by equipping trainees with new skills and the ability to
handle challenging task more efficiently. Secondly, training programs
enhance employee job satisfaction by reducing frustrations caused by
unfamiliar work demands. Third, staff training reduces employee
turnover, which reduces the cost of hiring new employees.
The findings included in the present study rarely focused on the
implications of learning theories in improving effectiveness of staff
training programs. To this end, future research addresses the importance
of utilizing learning theories (such as social learning theories) in
designing training programs and delivering the training content t
trainees. In addition, future research should analyze the implication of
these theories in enhancing retention of new skills for long-term
benefits to the training organizations.
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