In the era of international competition in modern economy, companies and organizations train and develop their employees to acquire essential technical knowledge and skills for a definite purpose. The main objective is to equip employees with appropriate technical knowhow, skills, and attitudes that are relevant to cost effective performance on the job that will enable an organization to achieve its goals. The issue of human resource training and development comes in the sense that, it is not only the speed of an organization being able to adapt to new technological and economic conditions, but also the level of competence of the human resource. By definition, Armstrong (2006) defined training as “planned and systematic modification of behavior through learning events, programs and instructions that enable individuals to achieve the levels of knowledge, skill and competence needed to carry their work effectively”. It involves a systematic follow up for the training program to efficient enough. This paper is going to discuss the training and development process that may be followed to develop a plan for new employees.
The first step in the training and development process is to determine the specific training and development needs. This involves the identification and assessment of training needs also referred as “needs analysis”, this is when an organization identifies the required skills for the new recruits by focusing on the skills they already have and develops the specific training objectives. Armstrong (2006) further emphasizes that, the training needs can be assessed at individual, team or organization level on the basis that other organizations establish the need for the training process in their strategic, human resource or individual development plans. This can also be done by use of questionnaires, written test, or data research.
The next phase in the process of training and development is the establishment of specific objectives. This involves the designing of training activities particularly planning the actual training program. The main goal of this stage is to manage the gap of the abilities the new recruits have and the desired performance thus through the development of the training program. Like for example in the Malawi Police Service newly attached officers in respective departments undergo a short course training to be equipped with relevant skills and knowledge depending on the nature of their tasks. This may be considered as a specific objective. The training program may in some cases be done by the organization or by the use of external training providers. Besides these types of trainings there is also what is known as informal training, which according to Mathis & Jackson (2010) refers to as the “training that occurs internally through interactions and feedback among employees”.
The third phase in the process of training and development is the creation of training action plan. This includes the selection of training and development methods and delivery systems. A comprehensive plan for action may include training elements such as; content, thus what and how much is to be equipped to the recruits, learning theories and materials, a design for instructions. At this stage there is also a need to consider level of training and also the participants learning styles bearing in mind of the new recruits’ level of capability to learn the material. It is at this point that the organization shows or certifies that the development of the training program satisfies the need analysis.
The last but not least step in training and development process is to implement the program. Implementation stage is when the training program is actually conducted, the point at which the training program come to life. Program implementation among other things involves scheduling activities of the training and organizing related resources such as equipment and any other relevant facilities. The coming into action of the training program may vary in terms of time factor ranging from a single day training program to as long as it takes and whether it is coordinated internally or externally.
The last part is evaluation, thus to draw conclusion from examining or assessment. It is one of the crucial phases since it involves measuring how well the output of the training program is, in comparison to what has been expected. It is at this point when weaknesses or challenges are identified and the revision of the training program may occur if happens that the training action plan did not meet the expectation and objectives of the organization.
sIn summary, the basic understanding of the process of training and dement as provided by the paper includes: needs analysis, establishment of specific objectives, the creation of training action plan, implementation of the program and the evaluation phase. It is, therefore, that only organization that identifies a need for training and development that can achieve a competitive advantage in this competitive world of today.