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Training and Development

February 6, 2020

Training the workforce and Developing careers


As a continuum of our previous subject we now have our staff and we need to train them. As a business owner you would prefer to have skillful workers of course. However, we know that the competitive environment of business change rapidly. Hence, we train and develop ourselves and our staff. How do we train them? What if you and your worker disagree on what type of training is needed. Moreover, the main question is this training going to be beneficial for our company? Diving into this subject we start by looking at some key issues surrounding training and developing workforce. Recognize challenges and understand what it is that is needed for a successful career development. Going into the subject we will also of course address self-development.


Key issues

As mentioned, the environment around us is rapidly changing. So, how does training keep up with needs of concrete work done on the job? Online trainings and programs are widely used. They are easy to access, and they provide flexibility for the user. Can we learn to implement the information provided on a course given online in real life situation? Online courses are cheaper to give, but are they more effective than for example a lecture given in a classroom? (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 264 – 265.)


Many of today’s company’s provide services and have branches worldwide. Transferring workers to one location can be costly. Moreover, the training needs to motivate our staff to optimize their work performance. One option for international corporations is to provide online training and face-to-face training given in multiply centers, in order to reduce costs. Regional training will also be sufficient since it can be directed to fit the needs of the culture and environment of the worker. Hence boosting motivation in the process. Highlighting the aspect of increasing motivation through training is critical. Giving lectures that are filled with great information that is of no use to the workers in real life situations is waste of money and everyone’s time. Making the training fun and activating the participants boost the possibility that the information is received and remembered. Hence, when the training is over participants feel like they actually learned something. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 264 – 265.)


Making training effective

The challenges of training can be considered before the training starts. Hence making process as effective as possible.

Realistic goal setting: To have a successful outcome we need to know why we want or need the training in the first place. Setting goals helps to determine what kind of content is needed. After the training is over the process can be assessed. Did it reach its goals?


Investing: The type of training you decide to have depends on the amount of money you are willing to invest. It has been found that companies who invest more have higher bottom line payoffs and higher stock values. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 268.) As long as the training service its point and is built to help workers its always a good idea to put some money and thought into it. Hence, designing an effective training can be challenging, but taking the time to creating or buying the type your company needs can be a profitable investment. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 269.)


Orientation and socialization: The training can and should start when worker first starts at the firm. Orienting the worker to the job required, the inevitable stress and the responsibilities helps the worker to understand what is required of them. Socializing and providing the opportunity to get familiar with other employees and the company’s cultures increases the overall commitment to the work and the company. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 282 – 283.)


A great example of a successful training strategy is Nando’s different programs aimed to coach managers, enhance communication between employees and give a boost start to their new workers that are just beginning.  Through these programs Nando has been able to expand at a fast pace while keeping its values, pride courage, integrity and family friendly touch. The company was placed 33rd in the 2005 Sunday Times top 100 companies to work for and won four training awards in two years’ time period. (Emerald insight 2006, 19 – 21.)


Training vs. Developing

Training is often used as a syllable for development, but they differ in the fundamental objectives. Development aims to provide abilities the company will need in the future. in contrast training aims to provide skills, helping employees improving their performance. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 265; 283.)


Developing careers

As mentioned above career development differs from training. Development focuses on building enriched and more capable workers. Its Development has wider focus, longer time frame and broader scope. Since, career paths and opportunities are less predictable than they were few decades ago, hence the role of development has increased. It plays for example a key role for the managers to recruit skillful workers. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 290 – 291.)



As described in the training process, the development side comes with challenges as well. To better understand them we´ll go through them and provide some of the more effective ways to overcome them.

Taking the responsibility: As a manager deciding for the individual worker the areas of improvement has certainly been the traditional way. However, since the economic turmoil and the trend of empowerment we´ve seen a change in which the responsibility comes down the ladder back to the employee. Planning your own career development is crucial, because if you don’t put time into it and improve yourself, well we can always find someone who will. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 291 – 292.)


Emphasis on development: Planning your development and maintaining a good performance should go hand in hand. Problems occur when an employee is more concerned with capitalizing on development rather than maintaining work performance. Emphasizing on development can lead to upholding an image, when an employee is more devoted in managing an image to other workers rather than attending to their responsibilities optimal performance suffers. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 293.)


Meeting the challenges of development

To meet the challenges of development the situation and the individual needs to be assessed. Both self-assessment and organizational assessment helps to identify the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Assessment should include skill assessment exercises, completing an interest inventory, and clarifying values. From here we can move to Direction phase of career development. in this phase we determine the type of career that the employee wants and the steps they must take to gain their professional goals. Highlighting that the previous step of assessment is done correctly the direction can be done realistically. Last phase is called Development phase in which concrete action is taken in order to create and increase skills that prepare the individual to future positions. These actions are for example: development programs, mentoring, job rotation, and tuition assistance. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 294 – 304.)



We´ve stated the turmoil of ever-changing dynamic environment of business. Employees want increasingly to find a job that fits their values and gives them satisfaction. These reasons bring the responsibility back to the worker. Managing your own professional development can be a difficult and complicated task. But, simplifying the path of development its recommended to start with identifying how you define personal success. Here´s few questions to assist the thought process: What is it that you want? Money? how much? or do you value your personal life outside of work more? Do you feel satisfied working hard? would you like to have a work that fits your strengths, well what are your strengths? (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 305 – 306.)


Make it work

To give the process a clear path I’ll lay out the steps needed to go forward with effective self-development: Identify your mission, Keep learning. Competence: This one is tricky. Basically, keep in mind that jobs change. Hence, don’t prepare for a job. Instead look beyond. For example, think about the skills your industry might need in the future, lastly Find a mentor. (Gomez-Meija, Balkin & Cardy 2016, 307.)


Making the leap from waiting to getting out there and taking what you want for yourself sarts with commitment. The seven senses of self-development is an easy way to remember things to take into consideration during your journey: Sense of self, sense of curiosity, sense of direction, sense of follow through, sense of urgency, sense of resiliency, and sense of connectedness. Self-improvement can be the difference between whether your dreams become a reality or not. (Campbell 2019.)


McDonald´s and virtual learning environment

Preparing managers to keep up with the fast pace of orders and changing environment McDonald´s has started to promote the use of virtual realities and games. Basically, managers are given a situation in the virtual world in which they are able to walk across the restaurant, make decisions and see the consequences of their decisions played out in the virtual store. The idea is to improve their ability to make good decisions quickly. (Milne 2016.)


Virtual reality is increasingly being seen as an effective tool for training. The argument is simple. It can increase engagement and knowledge retention levels, and employees can be trained in a safer more cost-efficient way. Skills that virtual reality can be used for are for example public speaking, sales, negotiation, and networking.  VR enables companies to fill these skill gaps and instill transferable, enterprise skills within their employees. (Thompson 2019.)











Campbell S. 28 March 2019. The 7 'Senses' of Self-Development. Entrepreneur. URL: Accessed: 06.02.2020


Emerald insight 2006. Nando's tastes success through training: Expanding restaurant firm retains a family feel. Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 19-21. URL: Accessed 05.02.2020


Gomez – Meija L., Balkin D. & Cardy R. 2016. Managing human resources. Eight edition. Pearson.


Milne J. 07 June 2016. Super-sized gamification for training - McDonald's is lovin' it. diginomica. URL: Accessed: 05.02.2020


Thompson S. 26. July 2019. VR for Corporate Training: Examples of VR already being used. Virtualspeech. URL: Accessed 05.02.2020



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