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Employee Training and Development in Organisations

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What is employee training and development?

Organisational training & development are methods to enhance employees' skill sets and knowledge to empower employees to reach higher performance levels and reinforce their areas of specialty.

Thereby, a distinction has to be made between employee training and employee development programmes.

Employee trainings are programmes with a short-term learning goal to impart new knowledge and skills to staff to enable an immediate impact of the learning efforts.

Employee developments are programmes with a long-term learning goal to promote employee growth and performance in future endeavours.

The importance of employee training and development

Training and developing employees is extremely important for organisations to remain competitive, i.e. to outperform competitor organisations with the help of highly skilled, productive staff. Furthermore, staff is supposed to be retained to avoid losing key employees and consequently valuable knowledge to competitor organisations.

In recent decades, the organisational landscape has changed fundamentally due to technology and digitisation. This radical change will continue to shape the business context in the future. Training and development programmes will help keep employees up to date.

The importance of training and development programmes manifests itself on two levels, the organizational and the employee level.

Importance of training and development on the organizational level:

  • Retaining high-performing key employees by presenting the prospect of promotions as a result of their skill advancement through training programmes

  • Increasing profits and business growth by outperforming competition due to higher talent and productivity of staff

  • Improving internal exchange of newly acquired knowledge due to spill-over effects in employee interaction

Importance of training and development on the employee level:

  • Increasing employee satisfaction and motivation by acquiring new knowledge and skills that are beneficial personally and professionally

  • Increasing employee engagement and empowerment which drives better staff dynamics in terms of cooperation and productivity in their jobs

  • Better organisational reputation in the eyes of employees for enabling personal development which in turn leads to better employer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendation

If an organisation is able to master its training and development routine, it's looking at a win-win-situation that doesn’t merely improve the organisation's status quo, but also benefits staff.

Microlearning as a means to sustainable development

Microlearning is an approach that covers micro units, i.e. small amounts, of learning content, usually over a short-term period with regard to knowledge acquisition.

This learning approach has been increasingly deployed by organisations as a reaction to a natural paradigmatic shift in learning and attention habits of human beings in a digitised world. Due to stronger mechanisation within the past decades, people have handed off a large amount of tasks to computers as these can handle repetitive tasks with more speed and efficiency. Furthermore, smartphone and tablet devices have made instant access to digital content on virtually any topic at any time of the day possible at the fingertips of the people. Peoples’ neurological systems have adapted to this easily accessible overload of information by an enhancement of the short-term memory and learning at the expense of long-term learning areas of the brain. Effectively, the effort to acquire and retain knowledge long-term exceeds the capabilities necessary to do so in the first place.

Microlearning methods counteract this trend by offering short and highly specialised learning topics across all modern devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. This way, employees can learn flexibly whenever and wherever they want as well as more effectively by concentrating on a distinct and concise piece of content each time.

Step-by-step guide to creating effective training programmes

In order to develop training programmes that will lead to sustainable learning, videos, animations, quizzes or games can be used to trigger emotions in employees such as excitement, curiosity and ambition. In addition, getting employees to actively engage with the training content is important to improve the learning experience.

In general, sustainable learning will work better if the motivation to acquire new knowledge and skills is intrinsically based as opposed to being extrinsically led by incentives and perks.

Moreover, in order to determine the effectiveness of training and development programmes, accurate performance measurement needs to be ensured, i.e. evaluating the progress of training completion by employees.

Software solutions for training and development courses

Today’s organisational digital infrastructures make it easier than ever to create and conduct employee training and development programmes and courses with the help of e-learning platforms.

Many platforms offer ready-to-use learning units and solutions within paid memberships and subscriptions. The advantage of these offers is the fast accessibility and applicability within an organisation when getting training and development programmes off the ground. Disadvantages of this approach are the large costs involved in such memberships, which often make it difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises to afford.

Using an online survey software tool such as LimeSurvey is a great alternative to set up and conduct training programmes as it offers flexible implementation of different media formats like videos and animations, images and texts as well as quizzes and tests. This applies to users with our without coding knowledge.

Especially small and medium-sized organisations can benefit from the entirety of free features in LimeSurvey without the need for spending big budgets. Furthermore, its open source nature facilitates the setup and customisation of the training programme and its measurement tracking.

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