Training is a planned effort by employers to facilitate employees to learn job-related skills, knowledge, and behaviors. It aims to increase their productivity and satisfaction in their current role by ensuring they receive the proper professional and skills development.
Training is essential to make employees more effective and flexible. They can become more proficient as they acquire new skills and knowledge. It also makes them more flexible in meeting company demands.
Training is one way to reduce boredom at work. Providing training is also a way to appreciate and fulfill personal needs to develop and grow.
For this reason, training is considered as a way to motivate employees. And motivated employees will be more productive.
However, training costs money. Companies have to spend money to train their employees. For example, they cooperate with universities or training centers to equip employees.
Some employees may also leave the company after they acquire higher skills and knowledge post-training. They use the training as a foundation to pursue better career opportunities out there.
In other cases, employees renegotiate a higher salary. If management doesn’t comply, they leave the company.
Reason for training
Several reasons explain why training is necessary.
- Improve performance and efficiency. Training makes employees more productive and effective in carrying out their work.
- Build competitive advantage. Qualified human resources are the foundation for building a competitive advantage.
- Adaptation to technological changes. Training may introduce and equip employees with the skills to use new technology.
- Succession goals. The company develops training and development programs to prepare employees for higher positions.
- Motivate employees. Training became a way to increase their morale.
- Improve personal qualities. Training develops employees to enable them to advance, equipping them with new skills and knowledge.
- Increase flexibility. Training will help prepare employees to adapt to changes in company goals, strategies, and targets.
Type of training
Training can take a variety of forms. The four types include:
- On-the-job training
- Off-the-job training
- Cognitive training
- Behavioral training
On-the-job training is an informal training method in which employees learn by doing or learn from colleagues through experience. It is done while the employee is doing his regular job while at work.
For example, an employee helps new employees get to know the work environment, co-workers and understand all tasks. Such knowledge is important for the new employee to start their job effectively. This is known as induction training.
Apart from induction training, another form is coaching and mentoring by senior employees. For example, trainees learn from experienced colleagues by observing them carry out their roles and tasks, such as using actual equipment, documents, or materials.
Advantages of on-the-job training
- Cheap and cost-effective because it uses in-house resources
- Empower internal specialists
- More relevant to the needs in the workplace
- Helps build personal relationships
- Promote teamwork
- Convenient because there is no need to travel
Disadvantages of on-the-job training
- Inadequate internal trainers, e.g., some skilled and experienced employees are not good trainers
- Trainer commitment is low, especially if there is no compensation
- Trainers’ productivity suffers from not being able to complete their own work during training
Induction training is training received when an employee first starts work. This training introduces new employees to the organization by outlining aspects such as its mission and culture.
Induction training helps new employees adapt quickly and effectively to their new roles. It may include familiarizing them with company policies, key personnel, organizational structures, and procedures during an emergency. At the factory, training includes introducing the machines or equipment they will use.
Other coverage is:
- Introduction to the workplace, including introducing the equipment and space
- Acquaintance with colleagues
- Specific training on the tasks/skills required to do the job
Advantages of induction training
- Helping new employees understand the company culture
- Increased morale because new employees will be more confident
- Setting expectations from the start
- Accelerate new employees to adapt and work effectively
- Better understanding, such as work procedures, health, and safety
- Knowing who to turn to if there is a problem
- Minimizing errors, such as in using equipment or raw materials
- Helps maintain efficiency because employees can immediately work effectively
Disadvantages of induction training
- Can be time-consuming, especially in large companies
- Reduced productivity as key staff need to be relieved of their duties while training
- Information overload, which may not all be necessary or important to the new employee
Mentoring and coaching
Mentoring involves the mentor and mentee. The mentor shares knowledge, skills, or experience with the mentee to help them work effectively. This program helps them acquire new skills and knowledge.
Advantages of mentoring
- Personal bonding and synergy by sharing personal experiences
- Flexible, can be informal or formal
- Create a positive emotional environment
Disadvantages of mentoring
- Time-consuming for the mentor, lost productivity
- Stressful environment due to mismatch
- Usually requires a long-term commitment
- Educating existing employees to become mentors takes time and money
Mentoring may sound similar to coaching. But both are different. Coaching focuses on providing coachees with guidance on their goals and helping them reach their full potential.
Coaches will advise and guide coachees to help develop their skills, performance, and career. At the outset, they will help the coachee understand his goals and give directions on achieving them.
Off-the-job training is training outside the workplace and outside the work environment. Employees learn from third-party specialists, universities, professionals, or training centers.
This training varies considerably. Likewise, the methods also vary. For example, employees may learn skills and knowledge by listening to lectures and demonstrations. Other methods include:
- Case study
- Learn on my own
Advantages of off-the-job training
- Topics and methods are more varied, making it more interesting
- There are many training centers, specialties, and professionals available
- Employees are freed from work pressure, allowing them to focus more
- Effective for developing new ideas, skills, and concepts
- Networking with professionals and experts can take place
Disadvantages of off-the-job training
- Companies lose output while employees attend training
- There are additional costs, such as transportation/accommodation costs
- Using a specialist trainer or reputable training center can be very expensive
- Employees only as an excuse to avoid routine work
Cognitive training aims to improve employees’ brain abilities, including memory, reasoning, and information processing. It was theoretical training.
Post-training, the company expects employees to function more effectively and have sufficient core capabilities and self-control. The training is also designed to improve decision-making and productivity.
Cognitive training focuses on thinking and processing skills rather than specific technical abilities. The form can include exercises to develop attention, visual and auditory processing, listening, and reading.
Cognitive training is essential to help employees be more effective at work, including in:
- Absorbing new knowledge;
- Developing empathy;
- Building self-control;
- Improving skills in decision-making; and
- Solving job-related problems.
But, unfortunately, this training is often expensive. In addition, it isn’t easy to measure the effect of training. Cognitive training may also just be more relevant for specific jobs or positions.
Behavioral training aims to improve employee interpersonal skills, such as:
- Stress management
- Conflict management
- Conflict resolution
This training is important to make employees more effective when interacting with others, both internal and external.
Behavior training requires higher concentration because there are fewer interruptions. In addition, it often involves more interactive methods with hands-on practice, not just theory.
Taking external training courses may come at a high cost. Also, the effects may fade, especially if practiced infrequently in real work life.
Benefits of training
Training offers several benefits for companies and employees. Benefits for companies include:
- Increase employee productivity and motivation
- Reducing errors when using equipment or materials
- Improve customer service by improving interpersonal skills
- Increase retention and reduce workforce turnover
- Helps develop a positive culture within the organization
Meanwhile, the benefits of training for employees may include:
- Increase prospects for promotion by upgrading skills and knowledge
- More capable and flexible in dealing with change
- Increase confidence in doing work or interacting
- Higher job satisfaction because they feel valued by the company
Training is often combined with development. Although both sound similar, the two are slightly different.
Training and development involve relatively similar processes. Both involve assessing the company’s future human resource needs in line with the company’s goals and strategy. Then, both need training. And post-training, the company evaluates the effectiveness of the training and its impact on employee performance.
But, unlike training, development focuses on the long-term capabilities of employees. Development usually prepares employees to become specialists or occupy higher positions.
Meanwhile, training focuses on the skills needed to do the current job.
In other words, development equips employees with higher-level skills, knowledge, or abilities. They are needed to make employees more effective when they become specialists or occupy higher positions.