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How To Achieve Training And Development Among Employees

By Peter Powell

The acquisition of knowledge and skills is a continuous process that begins when we are born and only ends (or so it is assumed) when we die. Training and development occurs in two main ways. The first occurs effortlessly as we attempt to deal with our day to day challenges. This is known as incidental learning. The second is as a result of a deliberate effort to become better and is thus referred to as intentional leaning.

It is the responsibility of an institution to ensure that its employees are regularly trained. This will help them improve on their knowledge and skills. The employees should be actively involved by making themselves available for training. They should create personal development goals that are in line with the aspirations of their employers. Collaboration between the employers and the employees is necessary for this process to succeed.

The management can encourage growth and development in employees by providing them with the necessary resources and environment. Having a clearly defined job description is one of the steps that can be undertaken to provide such an environment. With such a job description, developing a training curriculum becomes easier. Every employee should be equipped with basic competencies that contributes to the success of the organization both in the present and in the future.

Learning opportunities are present in everyday activities. Unusual incidences happening in the work place should be used as opportunities to gain experience. If such do not exist, one should make a deliberate effort to take on newer challenges. Job expanding is a strategy that is usually adopted by the management in an attempt to help employees develop new skills. It involves the allocation of newer tasks to employees that have mastered skills in their area of specialty and need a new challenge.

Employees should conduct self-assessments that will help determine the type of training that they will need. Such an assessment is centered on the identification of skills, values, strengths, weaknesses and experience among others. There are a number of self-assessment tools that are available freely over the internet for free or for a small fee. Another alternative of doing the same is to compare oneself with persons who have a similar job description as theirs.

Participating in committee activities is one of the ways of gaining exposure to different areas. Committees comprise staff from different departments in an organization. They often have different ideas and approaches to solving problems which help in the professional development of individual committee members as well as the prosperity of the entire organization. All employees should be allowed to sit in these committees on a rotational basis.

Job shadowing refers to the act of one employee learning from a colleague who is, in most cases, more experienced in the field. It is one of the most effective (and cheapest) ways of passing skills and knowledge between employees in the organization. Coaching works in more or less the same way. A coach instructs the employee for a certain period of time and only lets them free after they have acquired the required skill.

Furthering studies is another way in which employees can improve their level of skills and knowledge. This can be achieved by enrolling for professional development courses offered by colleges or universities or doing it in an informal manner on the internet. This is also referred to as e-learning. A number of the websites belong to professional bodies that play a key role in imparting skills among the members.

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