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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Money capital and human capital are the two vital constituents of any business. The challenge is not only to find both but to keep them properly and make them serve to the best needs of your business.  Training personnel is one of the necessary expenditures and one of the best ways to keep your workforce competitive. No doubt only thorough control and management can turn these expenditures into a wise investment. This article describes the use of the right benchmarks when managing the efficiency of training and development of personnel.

To find and hire the most talented personnel is the dream of any employer. However, even the most talented people may need some refining to say nothing of the majority of the not so gifted industrious staff.  Moreover, in this era of flexibility, when life long employment has become a thing of the past, businesses must meet new obligations under new social contracts between employer and employees. One of the new obligations of the businesses is to provide personnel with training that will develop and advance the skills of employees and keep them employable in the labour market.

Businesses are eager to provide courses and experiences for employees; however, they want to be sure that every dollar invested into human capital will bring back at least one dollar of profit. The best way to keep track of return-on-investment is to use a balanced scorecard that measures the effectiveness of training and development in your business.

For a long time four levels, namely, reactions, learning, behaviour and results were used for evaluating training and learning effectiveness. The four levels of this evaluation model first outlined by Kirkpatrick in 1959 are still in use but if they are supplemented by a number of new metrics, together they help to create a clear picture of the state of play of your personnel training and development.

The metrics of an all embracing scorecard must evaluate training and development on both micro – the efficiency of separate training programs, and macro levels – the efficiency of business’ training strategy and the scope of training programs. Before analyzing and assessing the particulars of a certain training program, the company has to decide if the business is pursuing the right training strategy and if the volume and scope of training programs offered by a company  to employees sufficient enough to meet the needs of the business.  If a company is planning to remain competitive for many decades an evaluation should be made from the perspective of both present and future. Thus, when choosing training programs the company must select the ones that develop and enhance the skills required in today’s business as well as the ones that cultivate the skills and competencies that may be in demand in the future. A proper balance between the two will ensure a competitive advantage of your manpower.

Another important metric to be taken into consideration when evaluating training and development on a larger scale is the right targeting of a company’s training strategy. When choosing among the training programs a company must set priorities and choose the ones that will meet the most critical needs of the company. This will provide continuity of the training policy and at the same time will keep the expenditures under control.

Metrics measuring training and development on a micro level can be divided into two groups; the first assess the execution of the training program and second evaluates the quality and efficiency of the said.