ImageDefinition of Training & Development: Improve performance

“Training & Development is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge.”


The need for Training and Development is determined by the employee’s performance deficiency, computed as follows.

Training & Development Need = Standard Performance – Actual Performance

We can make a distinction among Training, Development and Education.

Distinction between Training and Education




Application orientedJob experience

Specific Task in mind

Narrow Perspective

Training is Job Specific

Theoretical OrientationClassroom learning

Covers general concepts

Has Broad Perspective

Education is no bar


Training: Training refers to the process of imparting specific skills. An employee undergoing training is presumed to have had some formal education. No training program is complete without an element of education. Hence we can say that Training is offered to operatives.

Education: It is a theoretical learning in classrooms. The purpose of education is to teach theoretical concepts and develop a sense of reasoning and judgment. That any training and development program must contain an element of education is well understood by HR Specialists. Any such program has university professors as resource persons to enlighten participants about theoretical knowledge of the topics proposed to discuss. In fact organizations depute or encourage employees to do courses on part time basis. CEOs are known to attend refresher courses conducted by business schools. The education is more important for managers and executives rather than low cadre workers. Anyways education is common to all employees, their grades notwithstanding.

Development: Development means those learning opportunities designed to help employees to grow. Development is not primarily skills oriented. Instead it provides the general knowledge and attitudes, which will be helpful to employers in higher positions. Efforts towards development often depend on personal drive and ambition. Development activities such as those supplied by management development programs are generally voluntary in nature. Development provides knowledge about business environment, management principles and techniques, human relations, specific industry analysis and the like is useful for better management of a company.


Objectives of (MDP) Management Development Programs OR Advantages of Development


  1. Making them
  • Self-starters
  • Committed
  • Motivated
  • Result oriented
  • Sensitive to environment
  • Understand use of power
  1. Creating self awareness
  2. Develop inspiring leadership styles
  3. Instill zest for excellence
  4. Teach them about effective communication
  5. To subordinate their functional loyalties to the interests of the organization

Difference between Training and Development



Training is skills focused Development is creating learning abilities
Training is presumed to have a formal education Development is not education dependent
Training needs depend upon lack or deficiency in skills Development depends on personal drive and ambition
Trainings are generally need based Development is voluntary
Training is a narrower concept focused on job related skills Development is a broader concept focused on personality development
Training may not include development Development includes training wherever necessary
Training is aimed at improving job related efficiency and performance Development aims at overall personal effectiveness including job efficiencies


What are the Training Inputs?

  • Skills
  • Education
  • Development
  • Ethics
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Decision Making
  • Attitudinal Changes


Importance of Training & Development

  • Helps remove performance deficiencies in employees
  • Greater stability, flexibility and capacity for growth in an organization
  • Accidents, scraps and damages to machinery can be avoided
  • Serves as effective source of recruitment
  • It is an investment in HR with a promise of better returns in future
  • Reduces dissatisfaction, absenteeism, complaints and turnover of employees


Need of Training

Individual level

  • Diagnosis of present problems and future challenges
  • Improve individual performance or fix up performance deficiency
  • Improve skills or knowledge or any other problem
  • To anticipate future skill-needs and prepare employee to handle more challenging tasks
  • To prepare for possible job transfers

Group level

  • To face any change in organization strategy at group levels
  • When new products and services are launched
  • To avoid scraps and accident rates


Identification of Training Needs (Methods)

 Individual Training Needs Identification

  1. Performance Appraisals
  2. Interviews
  3. Questionnaires
  4. Attitude Surveys
  5. Training Progress Feedback
  6. Work Sampling
  7. Rating Scales


Group Level Training Needs Identification

  1. Organizational Goals and Objectives
  2. Personnel / Skills Inventories
  3. Organizational Climate Indices
  4. Efficiency Indices
  5. Exit Interviews
  6. MBO / Work Planning Systems
  7. Quality Circles
  8. Customer Satisfaction Survey
  9. Analysis of Current and Anticipated Changes


Benefits of Training Needs Identification

  1. Trainers can be informed about the broader needs in advance
  2. Trainers Perception Gaps can be reduced between employees and their supervisorsTrainers can design course inputs closer to the specific needs of the participants
  3. Diagnosis of causes of performance deficiencies can be done


Methods of Training


On the Job Trainings: These methods are generally applied on the workplace while employees is actually working. Following are the on-the-job methods.


Advantages of On-the-Job Training:

It is directly in the context of job

It is often informal

It is most effective because it is learning by experience

It is least expensive

Trainees are highly motivated

It is free from artificial classroom situations


Disadvantages of On-the-Job Training:

Trainer may not be experienced enough to train

It is not systematically organized

Poorly conducted programs may create safety hazards


On the Job Training Methods

  1. Job Rotation: In this method, usually employees are put on different jobs turn by turn where they learn all sorts of jobs of various departments. The objective is to give a comprehensive awareness about the jobs of different departments. Advantage – employee gets to know how his own and other departments also function. Interdepartmental coordination can be improved, instills team spirit. Disadvantage – It may become too much for an employee to learn. It is not focused on employees own job responsibilities. Employees basic talents may remain under utilized.
  2. Job Coaching: An experienced employee can give a verbal presentation to explain the nitty-gritty’s of the job.
  3. Job Instruction: It may consist an instruction or directions to perform a particular task or a function. It may be in the form of orders or steps to perform a task.
  4. Apprenticeships: Generally fresh graduates are put under the experienced employee to learn the functions of job.
  5. Internships and Assistantships: An intern or an assistants are recruited to perform a specific time-bound jobs or projects during their education. It may consist a part of their educational courses.

Off the Job Trainings: These are used away from work places while employees are not working like classroom trainings, seminars etc. Following are the off-the-job methods;


Advantages of Off-the-Job Training:

Trainers are usually experienced enough to train

It is systematically organized

Efficiently created programs may add lot of value


Disadvantages of Off-the-Job Training:

It is not directly in the context of job

It is often formal

It is not based on experience

It is least expensive

Trainees may not be highly motivated

It is more artificial in nature


Off the Job Training Methods

  1. Classroom Lectures: It is a verbal lecture presentation by an instructor to a large audience. Advantage – It can be used for large groups. Cost per trainee is low. Disadvantages – Low popularity. It is not learning by practice. It is One-way communication. No authentic feedback mechanism. Likely to boredom.
  2. Audio-Visual: It can be done using Films, Televisions, Video, and Presentations etc. Advantages – Wide range of realistic examples, quality control possible,. Disadvantages – One-way communication, No feedback mechanism. No flexibility for different audience.
  3. Simulation: creating a real life situation for decision-making and understanding the actual job conditions give it. Following are some of the simulation methods of trainings
  4. Case Studies:  It is a written description of an actual situation and trainer is supposed to analyze and give his conclusions in writing. The cases are generally based on actual organizational situations. It is an ideal method to promote decision-making abilities within the constraints of limited data. Role Plays: Here trainees assume the part of the specific personalities in a case study and enact it in front of the audience. It is more emotional orientation and improves interpersonal relationships. Attitudinal change is another result. These are generally used in MDP.
  5. Sensitivity Trainings: This is more from the point of view of behavioral assessment, under different circumstances how an individual will behave himself and towards others. There is no preplanned agenda and it is instant. Advantages – increased ability to empathize, listening skills, openness, tolerance, and conflict resolution skills. Disadvantage – Participants may resort to their old habits after the training.
  6. Programmed Instructions: Provided in the form of blocks either in book or a teaching machine using questions and Feedbacks without the intervention of trainer. Advantages – Self paced, trainees can progress at their own speed, strong motivation for repeat learning, material is structured and self-contained. Disadvantages – Scope for learning is less; cost of books, manuals or machinery is expensive.
  7. Computer Aided Instructions: It is extension of PI method, by using computers. Advantages – Provides accountabilities, modifiable to technological innovations, flexible to time. Disadvantages – High cost

6. Laboratory Training

Barriers to Effective Training:

  1. Lack of Management commitment
  2. Inadequate Training budget
  3. Education degrees lack skills
  4. Large scale poaching of trained staff
  5. Non-coordination from workers due to downsizing trends
  6. Employers and B Schools operating distantly
  7. Unions influence

How To Make Training Effective?

  1. Management Commitment
  2. Training & Business Strategies Integration
  3. Comprehensive and Systematic Approach
  4. Continuous and Ongoing approach
  5. Promoting Learning as Fundamental Value
  6. Creations of effective training evaluation system


Related article:

Training Needs Survey

Human Resources Challenges

What is Job Description

Team Management – meaning and concept

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