The goal oftraining and development, coupled with its continued learning processhas made organizations to instill learning as social responsibility. This has been informed by multiple researches that have demonstratedsound linkages between diverse training and development practices anddiverse measures of organizational performance.E-learning systems are expected to avail general principles to alignwith employees’ training and inner psychological structure fortraining. Companiesshould ensure that their training and development is strategic andserves the needs of the organization. The paper features twoarticles on training and development strategy and how it relates toorganization performance, as well as how SMEs can utilize E-learningto satisfy their training needs. Second, the paper examines how thearticles relate to Raymond Noe’s book on employee training anddevelopment.
In thearticle, Roy& Raymond contend that information technologies has reshapedlearning and teaching within schools, but in ways expected bytechnology proponents (2008). Roy & Raymond acknowledge thattraining remains one of the basic means of human resourcesdevelopment within business organization, seeking to motivatingemployees and their potential. The article recommends a contrastbetween technologies for learning and learners (Roy & Raymond,2008).
Thecorporate world has witnessed a rapid growth in globalization and thediffusion of fresh information and communication technologies.Businesses are expected to change and adapt to the demands ofknowledge-based and skill-based economy. Small and medium-sizedenterprises (SMEs) are expected to implement strategies that areenabled and supported by information technologies and e-businessapplications so as to compete successfully. Organizations havecontinuously adopted e-learning systems of employee training forcost-reduction motives (Roy& Raymond, 2008). Given that employees have the opportunity to take responsibility oftheir learning, e-learning systems help to increase the employees’perception of the system’s worth and user satisfaction, whilesimultaneously motivating their further exploitation of e-learningsystems in training/learning transfer to work.
MainIssues on Organizations
Trainingwithin SMEs benefits from e-Learning are both economical andtechnical including reduced travel times.Employees’ learningmotivation, mirroring learning needs and strengths, directed byperceived usefulness and satisfaction with e-learning, has been shownto improve task performance. The competitiveness that is inherent inthe contemporary business environment demands that organizationsspotlight ways to utilize employee training and learning to aid inthe adaptation to changes to the external environment.
Theresearch by Roy& Raymond showed that SMEs that made greater utilization ofe-Learning and ICTs conducted formalized and thorough analysis oftheir training needs (2008). Roy & Raymond root for thedevelopment of an e-Learning culture in the organization in which themanagers and employees are highly motivated and committed to theutilization of e-Learning based on the appreciation of itscontribution to organization’s development and individualdevelopment (2008).
Informationtechnologies hold a great promise in changing the teaching, learningand thinking. The entrance of personal computer has delivered thesame transformational power to K-12 classroom teaching and learning. E-learning enables learners to study course contents independentlyand give them the choice on when to study, the content and sequenceto use, and the time to spend on self-education devoid of any timeand space barriers. In knowledge-based economies, the performance ofbusiness organization hinges on guaranteeing that all categories ofemployees have current and up-to-date skills and knowledge (Roy &Raymond, 2008).
Technologyhas altered the learning environment by enabling learners fromvarying locations to access training models, which feature multimediaand interactive simulations. E-learning within the workplacerepresents the utilization of the internet, extranet, and other webtechnologies to avail training to individuals within a synchronous orasynchronous mode. Technology has altered the learning environment asdemonstrated by the shift from traditional classroom class to onlineclass. The online platform is usually less restrictive relative tothe conventional brick-and-mortar training. The online platformpresents advantages such as increased access training outside theclassroom hours, which is better synchronized with personalschedules. Nevertheless, the online platform has led to loss of theface-to-face interaction.
Theobservation by Roy& Raymond onthe influence of technology on raining programs is also shared by Noe(2010) in his book of employee training and development. Theinternet is essentially responsible for generating a revolution inlearning. Indeed, technology has transformed learning into a dynamicprocess since it allows enhanced interaction between learners andtraining content and between instructors and learners. Technologiessuch as Web 2.0 has allowed learning to be delivered to diversegeographical locations through the utilization of diverse medial fortraining such as Internet, video, virtual reality, CD-ROM,computer-based training, and virtual identity.
Noe observes that onlinelearning avails trainees with broad access to training at any periodand place. The authors concur that online learning allow thelearners to interact with the training content, as well as otherlearners, while at the same time deciding on what they want to learn. The possible feature, which can be incorporated into onlinelearning awards it potential strengths over other training methods,especially when it comes to contributing to the company’ strategicbusiness objectives (Noe, 2010). In such an endeavor, needsassessment, transfer, design, and evaluation are pertinent componentsof the effective utilization of training technology. Noe contendsthat e-learning may foster greater social interaction between thetrainees relative to face-to-face learning methods given thatemployees enjoy enhanced access to instructor and more methods thatlearners can utilize to interact (Noe, 2010).
Noe (2010) cites research andcompany experiences that has demonstrated that e-learning iseffective for a broad range of outcomes, inclusive of knowledge,skills, and behaviors, Roy& Raymond contend that, despite its success, e-learning remains afragmented, intricate, and challenging area in the workplace (2008).The authors argue that e-learning within the workplace is stillconfronted by the highly intricate set of factors includingactivities, learners, and outcomes. Furthermore, the alignment of thelearning with employees’ individual learning needs, as well asorganizational objectives also lacks clarification in the existingstudies (Noe,2010).
In thesecond article, Niazhighlights that, within the FMCG industry at global level, thebusiness environment has come under significant pressure onorganizations, to be transformed into “learning organization” andremain ahead of competitors by introducing innovation/reinventionwithin training and development strategy (2011). Niaz contends thatthe goal of training and development centers on the creation oflearning organizations that guarantee that employees via valueaddition can effectively undertake their jobs, enhance self growth,and competitive advantage.
Themeasurable performance emanating from effective training anddevelopment is likely to improve organizational performance. Inthe article, the author stipulates that training and development isincreasingly significant to the FMCG industry. The author highlightsvarious approaches to training and development including reactiveapproach, active learning approach, and proactive approach. Niazcontends that the regular changes within technology and job designalong with the rising significance of learning and knowledge-basedorganizations has made the process of training and development acritical facet of human resource development (2011).
Niaznotes that, in Pakistan, majority of the companies and othermultinationals fail to satisfy the employee demands with regard totraining and development, leading to evident gaps within the skillsrequired vis-à-vis derived skills, which has become so wide to theextent of upsetting the inter-relationships of training andperformance (2011). The gap has made companies to appreciate thesignificance of close liaison between the companies and the industryto ensure that employees’ development programs become more and morepurpose oriented.
Trainingrepresents the process of gaining or transferring knowledge,abilities, and skills required to undertake certain activity or task,which makes training and development broad and strategic. In orderto satisfy the present and future challenges of the FMCG industry,training and development assumes a broad range of learning actionsfrom employee training and knowledge sharing to enhance the businesshorizon and consumer’s service. Employees require the right formof skills, abilities, and knowledge to undertake the assigned tasksto ensure that employees play their rightful role in the growth andsuccess of the business.
Employeeempowerment begins with realization of strategic fit between tasks,people, technology, information processes, and organizationstructure, which must match to ensure that the organization workefficiently. Increased individual commitment has been linked toimproved team performance, improved individual performance andsatisfaction. Niaz and Noe concur that companies must address thechanges in technology, global markets, and customer needs in order tobe successful. This necessitates that organizations appreciate thattraining is central to employee learning (Noe,2010).
Conventional training avails noinformation, which would aid employees comprehend the trainingcontent and individual performance or business goals. This mode oftraining mainly fails to enhance workplace performance and satisfybusiness needs.Training should not be perceived as an event, butrather as a form of learning. Organizationsinvest in training in order to gain a competitive advantage learninghelps organizations to create knowledge. Studies have examined theconnection between training and human resource outcomes, organizationperformance outcomes, and financial outcomes and have unearthed thatcompanies that undertake training are highly probable to possess morepositive human resource outcomes and increased performance outcomes(Noe, 2010). This assertion is not farfetched since training influencesorganization’s financial performance, as well as human resourcepractices.
Niazargues that training and development cannot be delinked from thebusiness activities of the organization since there is a positive aconnection between training activities and organizational performance(2011). This observation is also shared by Noebased on his emphasis on strategic training (2010). Training aidsbusinesses in their attainment of business strategy that directs thecompany’s activities, actions, and policies. Business strategy iscentral to direction of company’s activities to attain certainobjectives such as financial goals seeking maximization ofshareholder wealth. Companies must work hard to award theiremployees opportunities to learn and establish a positive workenvironment that reinforces business strategy by attracting talentedemployees and motivating and retaining present employees.
The forces impacting on theworkplace render training a crucial ingredient to company success.Training can be defined as the planned effort undertaken byorganizations to foster employees’ learning of job-relatedcompetencies. The objective of training centers on ensuring that allemployees are able to master the skills, knowledge, and behaviorshighlighted in training programs. The emphasis of high-leveragetraining draws from the realization that training is central toperformance improvement. Training can play a central in aidingcompanies gain a competitive advantage and address competitivechallenges. Aligningtraining and development with the organization’s strategicdirection is central to guaranteeing that training contributes tobusiness needs.
E-Learning systems that have been adopted by various organizations for employee training have been shown to enhance employees’ performance.
E-Learning provides various advantages such as flexibility and accessibility, speed, privacy, modularity, cost, learning style, evaluation, consistency delivery, and distribution of training material.
Training is central to aiding employees establish the skills required to undertake their jobs. It is essential to ensure that disconnect does not arise between strategy and execution of the strategy, especially aligning business strategy with critical financial resources.
Organization utilizes new technologies to significantly minimize training costs connected to bringing geographically dispersed employees.
The emphasis of learning centers on the realization that learning has to be connected to increasing employees’ performance and attain business goals.
Organizations should appreciate that there is a direct and indirect connection between training and business goals and strategy.
Training aids employees to develop gain new skills and perspectives. This is pertinent to reinforcing the value of learning and meeting organization strategies such as increasing sales, managing the cost base, innovation, and planning for succession.
E-learning represents learning experiences derived from the utilization of information technology, and highlights the widest view of learning, which goes beyond the conventional learning paradigms.
The utilization of technology including online learning demands a close collaboration among the different spheres of training, top management, and information technology.
Training and development has attained a strategic position and directly influences organizational business goals and objectives.
E-learning systems are mainly typified by autonomous learning and self-directed input.
E-Learning plays a major role in fostering continuous assimilation of skills and knowledge and thus support organizational training and development efforts via the utilization of the internet and Web technologies.
Niaz. A. S.(2011). Training and development strategy and its role inorganizational
performance.Journalof Public Administration and Governance,1 (2): 42-57.
Noe, R. A. (2010). Employeetraining and development.New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Roy, A. &Raymond, L. (2008). Meeting the training needs of SMEs: Is e-Learninga solution? TheElectronic Journal of e-Learning,6 (2): 89-98.