Training and Employee Development

Training has gained importance in present day environment where jobs are complex and changes take place rapidly. Training is a learning experience designed to achieve a relatively permanent change in an individual that will improve their ability to perform on the job. Employee development on the other hand is a future oriented training process focusing on the personal growth of the employees. To illustrate: a bank officer can receive training to improve skills on the latest computer, whereas development may come from a workshop in Effective Interpersonal skills. Both training and development focus on learning. To be effective, training should be conducted in a systematic way – backed up by careful needs assessment, solid programs, design and thorough evaluation of results. Training programs should not be designed as quick fixes for organizational problems nor should they depend on faddish techniques just because they are popular now and are followed by our next door neighbor. Instead training should be planned to meet the specific needs of the organization and its employees. (It should be viewed as a continuous learning exercise which is designed to help employees and managers to stay up to date and to anticipate future needs). To survive and grow in a competitive environment organizations have to motivate their employees to get ready for all kinds of future challenges. An emphasis on continual training and education can help firms in this direction.

Organization Development (OD):

Organizations are never perfectly static.They keep on changing. Employee’s skills and abilities therefore require continual up grading. The future is uncertain and full of surprises. It is not easy to fight the forces of change without adequate preparation and training. A systematic planned way of managing this change is through the process of OD.

OD may be defined as a change effort that is planned and focused on an entire organization or a large sub system managed from the top, aimed at enhancing organizational health, effectiveness and based on planned interventions made with the help of a change agent or third party who is well versed in the behavioral sciences. Let us examine the important components of this definition:

1) The change effort is planned and proactive.
2) Changes are aimed either at an entire organization or any department /division.
3) Effort is managed from the top, integrating various parts of the system
4) The major focus is on increasing the capability for long run effectiveness developing the organization’s self renewing capacity including its ability to create new and innovative solutions to its problems.
5) OD uses several interventions such as process consultation (interpersonal relations and dynamics operating in work groups), team building (aimed at helping work groups become effective task accomplishment), third party intervention (resolving differences through an experienced, knowledgeable third party), sensitivity training (training groups that seek to change behavior through unstructured group interaction), survey feedback (the use of questionnaires to identify discrepancies among members’ perceptions, followed by discussion and suggestion of remedies) etc.
6) The changes are brought about through a consultant / specialists.

Initially, the change agent tries to find the psychological health of the organization through employee surveys. After identifying the problems such as absenteeism, low output, and conflicts etc. efforts are made to improve the overall climate through various means.


People do what they do to satisfy needs. They choose to behave in ways which will maximize their rewards. The most obvious reward is pay, but there are many others. Intrinsic rewards come from the job itself, such as feelings of achievement pride in doing a job etc. Extrinsic rewards come from a source outside the job, including pay, promotion and benefits offered by management. Rewards could be linked to performance as well to motivate high achievers to do well. If rewards are allocated completely on non performance factors such as seniority, job title etc. then employees are like to reduce their effort.

Source: HRM

  • P Vijayaraghavan

    assessment of training needs and feed back on effectiveness of training are 2 key elements for the success.