The Importance of Training and Development

Introduction

The importance of training and skills development is an aspect which importance cannot be denied in the organization. In that regard, the benefits of training, in addition to acquiring skills and knowledge, can be seen in such aspects as the increase of motivation and confidence, providing recognition and the possibility for increasing pay and promotion, personal satisfaction, and improving the quality of staff (Mullins, 2005). On the other hand, it can be stated that in addition to the basic skills acquired by trainers, the main training activities taking place in the organization imply class-room style education, where most of the trainers are aware of learner centered, and participatory training, but nevertheless, are not prepared to conduct participatory training on their own. In the light of the aforementioned, this paper investigates the skills and the knowledge required for two training and development specialists in the company, an instructional designer, and a technical instructor.

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Instructional Designer

Instructional System design as a position requires several basic skills, such as analysis, objective writing and evaluation, and training material development. Thus, it can be stated that these skills fall into the category of the necessities of this position, which the training and development specialist should have. Nevertheless, there are other skills that should be available to the training specialist. These skills can be related to the competencies that a good instructional designer should have. The competencies can be generally applicable to many training and developing positions. Nevertheless, there are competencies that are specifically related to the instructional design, such as the knowledge of effective classroom management, effective usage of learner information, good evaluator of learner performance, etc. Additionally, the position of instructional designer implies designing materials that can be used in self-directed learning, which accordingly the designer should be able to divide the learning course in a way that enables the learner to choose their own pace mastering particular information.

Thus, it can be seen that the aforementioned competencies are related to the knowledge of learners’ needs assessment, a skill the acquiring of which can facilitate the training process for instructional designers. In order for instructional designer to tailor the training program for the specific needs of the employees, he/she needs to assess these needs to be able to do the following:

  • Find the discrepancies between optimum and actual performance of the employees
  • Assess the standards based on other organizations
  • Choose proper methodology for assessment.

In all of the aforementioned, it can be seen that the most valuable resource that the company should allocate for their instructional designer is time. The company should support the instructional designers by giving them the authority to question the performance level of the employees, coordinating the assessment sessions, so that the business processes I the company are not interrupted. The assessment can be implemented through interviews, surveys, performance indicators, and company’s performance reports.

Training Instructor

While the instructional designer is concerned with the development of training programs, the training instructor’s main competencies lie in the delivery of the program to the employees, i.e. the trainees. In the case of a technical instructor, the main purpose of the training is teaching facts and procedures. Accordingly, the main competencies of a training instructor imply that the main skills and knowledge of instructors, in addition to the knowledge of the learning material are related to communication and presentation skills. The knowledge of the learning material is related to the instructions and the courses tailored to the specific needs of the organization, while communication and presentation are related to the way the instructor deliver the materials to the trainees.

Communications is a skill that should be developed, and in that regard, there are training programs, which aim is in developing oral communication skills. Acquiring communication skills will help the trainer becoming a good facilitator, which in this case implies such competencies as being an effective communicator, and an effective questioner. In that regard, the resources for developing the communication skills, in addition to the training programs, include aligning specific behaviors with the types of communication needed for the organizational objectives.

The presentation skills imply the ability to use of the available resources to deliver the material to the trainees. Thus, technical instructor should be able to have the presentation skills associated with specific delivery method. For example, in group method, where the instructor will be delivering the materials to groups, the presentation options might include combining the role of coordinator with more intimate and facilitative instructional delivery style.

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It can be concluded that training and development specialists might need additional training and development in order for the skills and knowledge to be improved. The set of basic skills acquired at the educational institution, or at the organization in which the specialist is working is not enough for effective material design and delivery. Thus, the skills such as needs assessment, communication and presentation skills can contribute to the competencies of a good facilitator.

References

Mullins, L. J. (2005). Management and organisational behaviour (7th ed.). Harlow, England ; New York: Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

Nilson, C. D. (2003). How to manage training : a guide to design and delivery for high performance (3rd ed.). New York: AMACOM.

Piskurich, G. M., & American Society for Training and Development. (2003). Trainer basics. Alexandria, VA: ASTD.

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