This review of the top 10 things you need to know about the Strategic Role of Employee Training was prepared by Jessica Rice while a Marketing major in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Training and retraining are important when a company shifts to a strategy requiring different skills, competitive capabilities, managerial approaches, and operating methods. Training is also strategically important in organizational efforts to build skills based competencies. And it is a key activity in businesses where technical know how is changing so rapidly that a company loses its ability to compete unless its skilled people have cutting edge knowledge and expertise. Successful strategy implementers see to it that the training function is both adequately funded and effective. If the chosen strategy calls for new skills, deeper technological capability, or building and using new capabilities, training should be placed near the top of the action agenda.
The Idea in a Nutshell
Well-trained employees are the key to your small business success. Studies have shown that the most successful, productive employees are those who have received extensive training. They’re the cream of the crop, often having the strongest stake in the company’s future.
In an ideal world, you would be able to hire people who already possess the exact skills your business needs. But in today’s competitive labor market, demand for skilled workers far exceeds supply.
That’s where training comes in. Not only does instruction arm your employees with needed professional or technical skills, but it also shows that you are invested in them and interested in bringing them with you into the company’s future. This helps keep workers motivated and involved.” (D&B, 2011)
“Increasing productivity is one of the most critical goals in business. Unfortunately, it’s an activity seldom accepted by HR professionals as a legitimate mandate. While HR professionals acknowledge that their job entails establishing policy, procedures, and programs governing people management, few attempt to connect such elements to increasing employee output (Volume, speed, and quality) per each dollar spent on labor costs (or as an easier to measure alternative, revenue per employee)” (Sullivan, 2011),
The 10 Things You Need to Know About The Strategic Role of Employee Training
1. High-performing and innovative employees are the foundation of productivity- by far the most impactful factor in workforce and team productivity is hiring and retaining employees with exceptional capabilities and self-motivation. Working together, managers and HR can attract, hire, develop, and retain individual employees who are agile, high-performing continuous learners and innovators.
“Strategic HR is mainly pre-occupied in molding the employees of the future today. For organizations to survive and excel in the future, its needs to develop or acquire employees who are multi-skilled, cross-functional, empowered, team players. In addition, they have to have high emotional intelligence (EQ) and capable of thinking “out of the box” about the future. They should be capable not only of improving their work, but reengineering or reinventing it if necessary“ (Domingo, 2003). Unfortunately, even the best employees cannot perform without great managers, proper direction, support, tools and resources.
2. “The importance of employee training doesn’t end with new workers. Manager training and development is equally important to workplace safety, productivity, and satisfaction. Among the most useful skills that can be addressed are manager communication, employee motivation, and employee recognition” (BLR, 2011)
Effective managers and leaders set direction and execute- a great manager/leader is the second-most important productivity factor. Leaders and managers play a critical role in defining the direction, purpose, priorities, goals, and roles of the workforce. The capability of the manager (with the support of HR) to develop plans, hire effectively, coach, motivate, and develop employees is crucial to success. Unfortunately, many managers are the weak link in the productivity chain, so HR must accept the role of developing great leaders/manages and identifying/removing the ineffective ones.
3. A corporate strategy and plan that builds commitment- a competitive business strategy and strategic plan increases the chances that an organization will be successful and success builds commitment. In addition, if the plan and the strategy are clear and well communicated, not only will your employees be more motivated, but also knowing the strategic direction will help them remain focused. Corporate values that are measured and rewarded can also align behavior and build commitment.
4. A defined, purpose for teams make roles clear; every business unit and team needs to understand its role. Managers and leaders need to develop a clear and communicated purpose that is both compelling and that makes members feel important. They need to understand that employees are more likely to be committed to the purpose of the unit or team if they are involved in creating it. An unclear mission will result in a lack of focus and a low level of “engagement” and commitment toward achieving it.
5. Team and individual goals- having clear operational goals lets everyone know what is expected. If these goals are communicated and measurable, employees will understand precisely what is expected of them. If goals are set as a challenge but still reachable, employees are less likely to become complacent.
6. Performance metrics for continuous improvement- having effective metrics and reporting processes reinforces both team and individual goals. When there are clear goals it opens conversations to metrics and provides focus and feedback which result in continuous improvement.
7. Effective rewards drive performance- when monetary rewards are tied directly to performance and the metrics for each goal, you reinforce the message about what is important. Individual and team monetary rewards, coupled with non-monetary excitement factors, can play a major role in ensuring focus and consistent performance.
8. Team member support increases individual performance- few tasks in this modern age can be completed by an individual employee working without support. Unless your employees are provided with complementary teammates, as well as the support of managers and employees outside the team, productivity is bound to suffer.
9. Employee skills and knowledge must be continually updated to maintain productivity- global competition has created a rapid pace of change which means that current skill sets must be continually updated. It is the mangers job to identify employees with opportunities. HR’s role is to develop processes to continually increase employee learning, knowledge, and skill development, while minimizing the amount of time that employees are away from their work.
10. Effective communications and feedback reduce errors and frustration- a lack of communications can frustrate employees and make them feel unimportant. Failing to provide effective feedback can lead to wasted efforts, increased error rates, and lower productivity. Communications and feedback mechanisms need to be developed in conjunction with employees to ensure that they fit both the needs of the manger and the employees.
The Video Lounge
The title of my clip was How to make Employees Efficient. It is about a boss motivating his employee and making him more useful for the company. The boss uses interestingly funny ways to get his employee to work and work fast.
Employee training is vital in companies today. Being knowledgeable about your company and what your job entails is critical in today’s workforce because finding employment is becoming more and more competitive. Paying close attention to your trainer and asking lots of questions, increases your awareness around the business. It is important to ask for feedback on how you are performing because it is imperative to know where to improve so you can build your skills, better yourself, and show your value to the company.
BLR. (2011). Importance of employee training. Employee Training Center, Retrieved from http://training.BLR.com/employee-training-topics/Importance-of-Employee-Training
D&B (2011). Ten employee training tips. Education & Training, Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.dnb.com/human-resources/careers-job-training/1465-1.html
Domingo, R. (2003). The strategic role of hr. Business Management, Retrieved from http://www.rtdonline.com/BMA/GM/1.html
f4ltuid. (Producer). (2011, June 26). How to make employees efficient-funny [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULkbhrKxGeQ
Sullivan, J. (2011, May 16). Advice and how-to’s increasing employee productivity: the strategic role that hr essentially ignores Advice and How-To’s, Retrieved from http://www.ere.net/2011/05/16/increasing-employee-productivity-the-strategic-role-that-hr-essentially-ignores/
To contact the author of “Top 10 Management on the Strategic Role of Employee Training please email Jessica Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Publisher
David C. Wyld (email@example.com) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Management, can be viewed at http://wyldaboutmanagement.blogspot.com/. He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (http://reverseauctionresearch.com/), a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of his student’s publications regarding:
- management concepts (http://toptenmanagement.blogspot.com/)
- book reviews (http://wyld-about-books.blogspot.com/) and
- international foods (http://wyld-about-food.blogspot.com/).