Training and development refers to the process to obtain or transfer knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) needed to carry out a specific activity or task. It includes not just factual and explicit KSAs but also incorporates KSAs that are often difficult to articulate. Training and development will assist employees in the use of new technologies, and communicate and function better in improvised work systems.
In order to meet the current and future challenges, training and development assumes a wide range of learning actions, such as training of the employees and knowledge sharing, which would then expand individual and organizational effectiveness.
Thus, this would then allow the organization to fully utilize employee’s tacit and explicit knowledge and expands individual, group and organizational effectiveness. Why is Training and Development Important? Organizations are experiencing great, rapid changes due to new technologies, corporate restructuring, continuous rising competition and globalization.
These factors have increased the importance of learning and capitalizing on human capital in order to have a sustained competitive advantage over the competitors.
Tracey (2003) defined human capital as ‘the people that staff and operate an organization as contrasted with the financial and material resources of an organization. ’ Tracey (2003) also states that human resources refer to the organizational function that ‘deals with the people who manage, produce, market and sell the products and services of an organization.
A comprehensive training and development program helps in the consideration of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to achieve organizational goals and to create a competitive advantage. (Peteraf 1993) Training and development process has assumed a strategic role in organizations. (Stavrou et al. 2004; Apospori et al. 2008). Apospori et al. (2008) had deduced that there is a considerable impact of training on employees’ performance.
With the right training and development strategy, rganizations can benefit though enhanced innovation, efficiency, productivity and improvement in the quality of products and services they will be able to provide to their customers. This will yield higher financial gains and it will definitively enhance the organization’s reputation and allow the organization to compete competitively in its industry. Organizations that are consistently and extensively creating new knowledge implements it quickly within its organization through the adoption of new technologies.
These activities determine a learning organization, which realize that creation of new knowledge through training and development is becoming the key to success (Vemic, 2007). Training and Development Initiatives: How and why the relationships are expected? Given that human capital play an enormous role in an organization’s competitiveness, training and development initiatives are designed in a way that will help the organization successfully implement its strategy and reach organizational goals.
Training is regarded as critical to employee skill acquisition and has been shown to improve productivity at organizational and individual levels (Bartel, 1994). Training and development does increase employment duration and continuity (Gritz, 1993) and managerial advancement. Organization managements have also realized that training and development is an imperative procedure that can contribute to employees’ increased work morale as well as increased motivation and job satisfaction. With an increased motivation and job satisfaction, this would ultimately improve employees’ performance in the organization.
Studies have also shown positive relationships between training and development strategies and employees’ performance and work morale (Vemic, 2007). This is especially so as the relationship between the organization and the employee has changed tremendously over the years. There is a greater importance and value attached to employees’ contributions. In today’s society, employees play a key role towards establishing a successful organizational performance. Training and Development has Positive Impacts on Employee’s Work Morale/Motivation Studies have also found that the success of training and evelopment is directly related to the degree of employees’ motivation (Colquitt, LePine and Noe, 2000).
This is because employees’ motivation/work-morale is derived from the training and development opportunities, which allow them to enhance their skills and move up the corporate ladder. Employees consider training and development a non-monetary incentive or a form of reward for an employee. (Fischer and Nunn, 1992) In addition, when employees are selected for training and development programs, it increases employees’ post-training organizational commitment, self-efficacy and training motivation.
Employees tend to feel a higher job satisfaction and empowerment in their workplace. Thus, the higher the training motivation, the more the employees are willing to participate in future training and development programs and the better the employee’s work morale/motivation becomes (Tharenou, 2001). Training and Development has Positive Impacts on Employees’ Performance Training and development allows organizations to achieve management objectives, resolve issues and align cultures to their mission and values.
With training and development, employees learn new skills and knowledge, such as specialized skill training, which not only increase safety and productivity but also leads to improved employees’ performance. Studies have also found that it increases efficiencies in organizational processes and an increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods. In Chart’s (2000) Exploratory Benchmark Survey, 70% of the respondents have agreed that training and development has a positive impact on their work performance and organization’s ability to improve occupancy and overall financial profitability.
In addition, well-trained employees are also happier with their jobs and are more likely to stay, hence increasing the retention rate in the organization (Berta, 2001). Theoretical Gap: Training and Development can have Negative Impact on Employees’ Performance and Work Morale However, training and development can also have negative impact on employees’ performances and work morale. In every organization, there are underrepresented groups who have fewer hours of training and development than others. Some are even deprived of training and development opportunities.
For example, research has found that women are likely to gain fewer hours per year of training and development than men because they are at lower managerial levels. It could also be due to the fact that mostly female employees are having additional responsibilities from their families. Similarly, those with disabilities and from non-English-speaking backgrounds are found to have less training and development opportunities. Secondly, studies have also suggested that employees who are not selected for training and development programs will feel a high and intense level of deprivation in the organization.
When employees are deprived of training and development opportunities, they tend to reflect on the loss and the valence of the outcome. This reflection leads to thoughts about how their outcomes could have been different if they were given the opportunity to participate in the organizations’ training and development programs (Epstude & Roese, 2008). This would then lead to the recognition and resentment of this deprivation. Deprived employees will then start evaluating the unfairness and their disadvantaged situation.
As a result, it further decreases their intention to participate in future training and development initiatives, as they feel resentful. Therefore, deprived employees may perceive unfairness in the organization’s structure and this will negatively affect and impact on their work performance and work morale/motivation. Lastly, training and development can also have negative impact on employees’ work morale/motivation especially when employees have participated in the training and development courses but there is no sense of self-efficacy in the workplace and employees feel alienation.
In this case, employees’ work-morale/motivation is measured at a higher level such as the responsibilities given to the employees, the avoidance of routine tasks and the employees’ participation in organization’s decisions and strategic planning. Instead of feeling motivated after training and development, if the employee is not given the recognition or the desired opportunities to take up distinguished leadership roles in the organization, they become resentful, which will then affect their work morale and result in negative work performance (Pettigrew, 2002).
Conclusion Overall, this research takes a step towards better understanding of the extent to how training and development initiatives in an organization can impact on employees’ performance and work morale/motivation. As the global economy becomes increasingly knowledge based, the acquisition and development of human capital has become increasingly essential to firm’s sustainability and success. Organizations often carefully select workers who are willing and eager to participate in training and development initiatives.
However, organizations must have a better understanding about what their employees want to learn and improve in (Maxey, 2002). In addition, organizations should also provide equal and fair advancement opportunities to all employees within the organization, regardless of factors such as gender and work experience. Based on the above analysis, future research should focus on employees’ motivation for training and development. This would allow organizations to better identify the various reasons their employees are motivated to attend training and development programs.
With a better understanding in this area, organizations can utilize these motivational factors to increase employees’ willingness and desire to participate in training and development programs. As such, this can then improve their work-morale and work performance. In addition, future research should focus on how to establish a fair training and development procedures as these procedures are important cues to employees about their worth within the organization and it also communicates respect and value to their employees (Smith & Tyler, 1996).