Technology in Training of Employees
In what ways has technology impacted the way(s) we train employees?
The changing nature of the workplace environment brings with it a vast field of challenges in the organization. The aspect of the change being rapid makes the situation require adverse and quick reaction from organizations to ensure they remain on course towards their objectives. Thus, rapid change in the workplace brings with it the necessity for skilled and knowledgeable workforce, encompassing employees who are adaptive, flexible and focused on the future of their careers and the organization (Wentland, 2007). Among the most, significant duties of the manager in the workplace are the development of the staff. The manager has the mandate to facilitate employee growth and development if the organization is to achieve maximum gains from its ventures and transactions.
The concept of learning management incorporates the management of employee training. Traditional approach to administration entailed on-site training of the employees, at the location of the workplace. However, with time and technological and global evolvement, these procedures of training of employees evolved (Wentland, 2007). Today, the process of training entails various practices, with the latest and notably increasingly used practice being incorporation of learning management systems. These systems include software application based on web technology to and help in managing training education, content, employee participation and assessment of overall performance of the employees in the course of the training process.
The traditional method of training, commonly called the classroom method, is the training procedure that companies and organizations employed in their training of employees. The methodology has its notable advantages towards the training of employees. Such examples include, it is comfortable for most of the people to use people do not fear asking questions and it allows interaction among many people, facilitating the sharing of ideas and engaging the teacher directly. Therefore, the aspect of the employees comprehending the content in the training process that is necessary for their effective operation at workplace meets its objective (Jehanzeb, Rasheed & Rasheed, 2013). Additionally, the traditional approach of training is relatively affordable for organizations and companies of all sizes, large, medium, or small. Therefore, the traditional method provides the feeling that the employee-training program is effective in achieving its goal.
However, in closer and strict examination of the traditional approaches to training of employees, it presents its share of constraints that necessitate the development of alternative training procedures. The first aspect that makes it unfavorable for companies to use is the costs incurred in relation to the emerging options that base on technology. The traditional training is relatively affordable for small companies; however, the training for large groups of people presents huge costs. Similarly, for medium and large sized companies, training huge numbers of employees is expensive, as it will require many resources and expertise input, in addition to consuming, a lot of time. The second condition in traditional training that does not favor its implementation is that it is not suitable for training huge numbers of employees. This is because the procedure will not reach the huge number of people at the individual level, and thus it will not be as effective as expected. The last aspect is diversity of the working conditions and places. For instance, people located in different cities working for the same company, would need to come together for the traditional classroom, this increases costs incurred due to travel expenses, accommodation and among others and time wasted (Noe, 2010). Therefore, in view of the issues relating to the traditional approaches of training employees, this necessitates the development of alternative procedures that meet the requirements for complete and effective training of employees.
The advent of technology in the workplace revolutionized many aspects of the workplace activities. The impacts of technology feature in varied areas in the workplace. The benefits of technology on varied levels within the organization include the following. First, technology revolutionized the efficiency of doing work, and increased the speed of processing the data, information, and other functions in the place of work. Technology also resulted in increased productivity and improved profitability as seen in most organizations that embraced technology in its totality. However, it also has its challenges associated with its introduction in an organization. The challenges include the concerns of management in maximizing the use of office productivity software. Another challenge is the aspect of the continuous learning required due to the dynamic nature of technology, which results in need for regular upgrades and updates. However, technology becomes a challenge only when the organization or company is trying to keep up with its dynamic nature and competitive forces associated. Nevertheless, a comparison of its initial investments in technology in comparison to the gains made from the investments, these initial investments in technology are a necessary expense.
Technology impacts varied areas of the engagements of the organizations. Among the areas of productivity, that companies and organizations invest largely in establishing is training of employees. It is essential and necessary for companies to train their employees, no matter how qualified and experienced the employee might be in that field, the conditions of working and expectations always vary from one organization to the other. Therefore, failure to train employees adequately results in underperformance of skilled employees, dissatisfaction in the job place and high rates of staff turnover (Williams, 2008). The current trends in the economic sector, which emanate from the recessionary economy of the world, continue to impair the progression of most companies and organizations. The resulting impacts of inadequately trained employees in the organization include the following. The first impact is low returns despite huge investments in acquiring and maintaining the staffs, which end up with low performance. Additionally, the challenges in the workplace also lead to unnecessary actions such as downsizing of workforce, restructuring of the workloads, relocating of duties among the fewer staff left, hence creating a shortage of personnel in the company or organization (Williams, 2008). Moreover, when the company remains with few employees, and they overload them, the result is poor productivity for the company. Therefore, technology in training is necessary for companies to manage their employees accordingly, even with the emerging trends affecting the economy negatively.
The emergence of technology raised the weight vested upon the human resource departments in the organizations, in delivering quality workforce of the companies and organizations. In view of the human resource quality, the critical factor that distinguishes firms and companies in the field of completion is the quality of employees of the organization or company (Noe, 2010). There are various procedures employed in technology- based training of employees. Among the approaches of training, include the use of online training. These programs for online training work in correspondence to the teacher, based on time schedules as employees and company may agree with the facilitator. Online training includes live streaming lessons and distance learning, commonly called e-learning, which facilitates programs for employee training. It also incorporates videoconferencing, audio conferencing, web meetings emails and online colleges or universities. Other media used in employee training techniques is use of CD-ROM, which entails recordings of training programs on workplace topics. The disks contain programs created to foster skills of employees, which they engage in the training process. This procedure provides off-the-shelf training for employees on a wide range of topics (Noe, 2010). Additionally, technology-based training also entails the use of multimedia. Multimedia entails the use of both audio and video aspects in training programs and software. The programs for training the employees using multimedia facilitate simulation of actions through graphics, animation, audio, and video. The multimedia is remarkably proactive and involving, which stimulates the minds of the trainee, thus making the training worth for the organization or company. The most common training materials used are in the form of DVD format. The last channel that technology-based training utilizes is virtual reality, which has three dimensions of interactive and immersing training experience (Noe, 2010). The virtual reality training entails simulation programs, hands on experience and actual performance without risks. For instance, the aviation industry uses virtual reality to simulate training of employees. Similarly, other fields can develop programs for virtual reality simulation for their employee training.
In view of the advantages associated with technology-based training programs, the impact of technology in training of employees is indubitable. The advantage that makes technology-based training favorable include that they are easy to use. They also have the facilitation for custom designing of the program to fit the needs of the organization or company. This way, the technology-based programs, meet the needs of the firm in training the employees for maximum productivity and gains from investing in the training. This is unlike the traditional training, which uses material written in general, without focusing on the specified needs of the firm (Wentland, 2007). Secondly, is the aspect that they are easy to apply in case of refresher training. Most employees in the work place come with prior qualifications. However, with personal visions and those of the firm, the employees may need to refresh on varied aspect of their skills. Therefore, technology-based training provides cheap, fast and reliable procedure for refreshing their skills. This way, the firms find it easy to upgrade and update the skills of their employees, which increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
Another significant impact that technology has on training of employees is the subject of cost effectiveness. Technology has features that enable multi-user activity, sharing and reusing of facilities. These features mean that the form or company does not require acquiring new equipment for training of employees whenever the need arises for training. The technological training facilities only require minimum maintenance and updating; thus, they are remarkably cost-effective. Additionally, the use of technology in employee training makes it cheaper, especially for large size firms with many employees requiring training (Shaheen, Naqvi & Khan, 2013). Moreover, in areas where physical separation distance may be a challenge, the training program that uses technology has options of channels to use in training the employees. Therefore, in view of these facilities and features encompassed in technology used in training employees, it is remarkably cheap and affordable for organizations of all sizes and individuals who want to foster their career skills. Another aspect of technology influencing training of employees is that it facilitates training opportunity at all time, day, or night. The varied channels of training using technology facilitate options for employees to select training schedules that best fit into their daily plans. This means people can train at their own convenience. The nature of some of the programs is interactive, which means that it allows involvement of the trainees giving them a personal touch in relation to training and facilitating greater comprehensions and retention among the trainees (Noe, 2010). Additionally, the programs facilitate measurable training; thus, the firms can measure the progress of their employees, the effectiveness of the training program and track of which employee underwent with training. This allows for proper planning and developing smooth management of the human resource department in the firm or company. Therefore, in view of the positive aspects associated with technology use in training of employees, technology has many impacts on employee training.
However, technology as used training comes with its limitations, with such including; the programs require the trainee to have computer knowledge. Thus, in the case where the employees do not have computer skills, the training of such employees may turn ineffective, lengthy, and incomprehensible (Noe & Winkler, 2009). Additionally, they require the employee to have access to computer, and most cases the internet. In such cases, technology does not meet all the needs of the human resource department, in meeting employee-training procedures. Lastly, the interaction is not effective, as it remains limited to the media that allow for direct response. Moreover, those companies that do not customize their training schedules to fit their expectations to work with the generic programs. Therefore, this brings aspect of having to customize programs for effective and efficient training schedules, fitting its needs.
In all fields of operation, legal expectations must be in place to govern given activities and procedures. The procedures incorporated in training of employees also have their rules governing the expected code of conduct and engaging the procedures. These regulations uphold the legal and ethical obligations of the consumer privacy and protection of health and information of clients. The expectations include the degree of protection and privacy of the information of the employees and the companies. For instance, the training of employee on close subjects that may cause the trainee to share with outsiders, may compromise the progress of the company due to unfair competition. The policies also dictate that the training of employees should include formal education and training the employees to ensure privacy and security (Williams, 2008). The policies entail, conforming to the principles, standards and requirements contained in the regulations prescribed in the federal constitution. It should provide adequate administrative control, with the appropriate authority. The training program may incorporate two agencies joined and operating the training program. The firm or organization has the mandate to note the extent of the skills, knowledge and employee ability before deciding the measure to undertake. The policies governing technology-based training of employees also entails a clause that requires evaluation of the program to determine if it is useful to society and firm. Lastly, the policies also allow for the aspect of modifying the program to meet the plans of the major goal. These policies determine the application of technology in employee training and impact on the same.
In conclusion, employee training is a necessary and practical approach to improving the performance of a firm or company. Therefore, the companies willing to invest in employee training should engage accordingly. The advent of technological advancements brought with it varied procedures of using technology to train employees. In view of the impacts of technology in training of employees, and the significance it has on people, employee training remains a priority area in most organization and firms. The current trends in the employment field continue to influence the success of companies in productivity. However, in the near future, the training mode of using technology will go global and the companies will require to draft or identify the programs that meet their expectations. The current programs should also try mitigating the challenges associated with the use of technology in the industry.
Jehanzeb, K., Rasheed, A., & Rasheed, M.F. (2013). Organizational commitment and turnover intentions: Impact of employee’s training in private sector of saudi arabia. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(8), 79-90. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1362611096?accountid=458
Noe, R.A., & Winkler, C. (2009). Employee training and development: For Australia and New
Zealand. North Ryde, N.S.W: McGraw-Hill.
Noe, R.A. (2010). Employee training and development. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Shaheen, A., Naqvi, S.M.H., & Khan, M.A. (2013). Employees training and organizational performance: Mediation by employees performance. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 5(4), 490-503. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1440185666?accountid=458
Williams, J.H. (2008). Employee engagement. Professional Safety, 53(12), 40-45. Retrieved
Wentland, D.M. (2007). Strategic training: Putting employees first. Amherst, Mass: HRD Press.
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