A need for training exists when there is a gap between the desired performance (what a person is required to do in order to perform his/her job competently) and the actual performance (how a person is performing his/her job presently). This gap is referred to as a skills gap. In other words, a skills gap is the difference between the skills, knowledge and/or abilities needed for the job and the skills, knowledge, and/or abilities possessed by the employee. For an organization to have a competitive edge against its competitors, it must be able to improve existing skills, knowledge and abilities, and acquire new ones.
Training and development is the keystone of a successful organization’s operation. There are a many training methods today that are easily available, but organizations must consider the time and costs involved, and whether the curriculum and course oriented match the needs of the organization. That is why it is very important to realize all pros and cons of these methods:
|Option||Pros||Cons||Best for||Not recommended for|
|Instructor – Led Classroom Training||High quality delivery; Immediate Q & A; Leverage student questions.||Costly student/trainer expense; Costly one-to-few training; Training often too soon/too late; Trainer must be knowledgeable of multiple applications||Multiple students of similar skill level; Training in single location; Observable performance Interpersonal skills/feedback; Highly interactive knowledge sharing.||Students of widely-varying skill levels; Training for large system/process rollout; Consistency across learner groups.|
|Asynchronous Web – Based Internet/Intranet Training.||Just-in-time training; No travel costs; Self-paced learning; Remedial training at no cost; Consistency; Possible increased retention; Easily distributed/updated training materials.||Self-directed motivation can be problematic; Lack of classroom collaboration; May be viewed as “done on your own time”.||Basic training; Students in multiple locations; As part of instructor-led training course.||Observable interpersonal skills/feedback; Real-time knowledge sharing.|
|Synchronous (real-time) Web – Based Internet/Intranet Training||High quality delivery; Immediate Q & A; Leverage student questions; Rapid, low-cost content.||Cost-per-student higher than asynchronous training; Network connection needed.||Basic training; Students in multiple locations; Highly interactive knowledge sharing; Hands-on application training.||Students of widely-varying skill levels Observable interpersonal skills/feedback|
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development