In today’s fast changing environment, a vital factor of survival for any organization is its ability to maintain a competitive advantage. In order to accomplish this, organizations must develop its employees so that they are able to take responsibility for their production, to solve dilemmas, to work in groups, and to obtain skills that transfer across professions. Maintaining a competitive advantage begins with an extremely motivated and knowledgeable workforce to produce higher quality products at lower costs. To obtain the best result of improving skills and knowledge from training, both trainers and trainees need help from human resource development (HRD) professionals. HRD is a practice that combines training, organizational development, and career development efforts to encourage improvement of individual, group, and organizational performance. Its purpose is to enhance employee performance and productivity, which leads to employee and customer satisfaction and an increase in the profitability of the organization.
Organizations Depend on the Capability of Their Employees
An organization’s operation depends on the capability of its employees to think and perform. To assure success, organizations have been persistent in developing their employees, often referred to as human capital. The need to continuously develop human capital made human resource development one of the main focuses of research and investment by the corporate world in order to enhance competency and stay abreast of the rapid changes in the environment.
Developing Newly Hired Employees Can Be Challenging
Developing newly hired employees into human capital can be challenging because they are often of an unknown quality. It takes time to determine whether they will arrive to work on time, contribute their fair share, please customers, and learn to perform their jobs accurately and efficiently. Organizations choose new employees from the talent pool available and hope that they have selected a good employee.
People Come In Varying Degrees of Readiness to Perform a Job
It’s important for organizations to understand that people come in varying degrees of readiness to perform a job. Some join organizations with a great willingness and positive attitude, but have no skills or experience. Others have the skills and experience, but their attitudes toward their jobs need improvement.
Good Employees Must Be Developed
All organizations hope to hire people who have the right knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA) to get the job done accurately and efficiently while appealing to customers. But good employees often do not walk through the door with that magic combination. Good employees must be developed by organizations that are willing to invest in their human capital by building their KSA. One very effective tool that is available to develop these KSA is on-the-job training (OJT). OJT is job-specific training that is planned by the HRD professional and conducted at the work site using the actual equipment, tools, and processes of a specific job or task.
All organizations need good employees – employees who know how to perform their jobs and perform them with a positive attitude. Good employees are developed by organizations that are willing to invest in enhancing their KSA through OJT.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development