Home » Training & Staff Development » Training as a Tool for Performance Excellence by OLUDAYO ADENIYI

Training as a Tool for Performance Excellence by OLUDAYO ADENIYI

Adetoun Ajayi is a payroll officer with a leading Outsourcing Company in Nigeria. She was sent as a relief receptionist to a client. Prior to that, Adetoun has never had any training or job experience as a receptionist, as a result her
performance and productivity level was poor compared to her performance as a payroll officer
as she has undergone some training on Payroll Administration.
Resuming to her new job was not a pleasant one for her as she had no prior knowledge of her new
task and felt ill prepared. The staff of the new organization discovered that she was not equipped with the necessary front desk skill to
enable her perform well on the job as a receptionist. The management of the organization was not satisfied with her performance and made known her incompetence which in turn affected her self esteem and she was sent back to the Outsourcing Company. This incident made the
client doubt the competence of the outsourcing firm and on the other hand the morale of Adetoun was negatively affected.

Another incident is that of George Salvage who secured a job with a Construction firm as a marketer after graduation. He has worked in the organization for the past three years and has undergone trainings of all kinds to develop his Marketing Skills. On his job, he always adds value by helping to build up the client base of his
company. George is always willing and motivated to carry out his duties as a result of the series of
training and development courses he undergoes regularly.

Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia describes Training & Development as the field concerned with workplace learning to improve performance. There are different types of training such as on-the-job or off-the-job . On-the-job describes training that is given in a normal working situation, using the actual tools, equipment,
documents or materials that will be used when fully trained. On-the-job training is usually most
effective for vocational work. Off-the-job training takes place away from normal work situation
which means that the employee is not regarded as productive worker when training is taking place. An advantage of off-the-job training is that it allows people to get away from work and totally concentrate on the training being given. This is most effective for training concepts and ideas.

Imagine you are an executive at a leading pharmaceutical firm. Your manufacturing facility has the most up-to-date production machinery and laboratory equipment, including well-documented procedures on how to use each piece of equipment. You are comfortable in the fact that you have a sufficient number of employees to handle the production schedule; in fact, you have suspicions that you have more resources than are really necessary.

You have the people and the procedures, the material and the machinery. So why are you unable to produce the numbers you need to meet market demands? Why is there so much waste? Why are there so many contamination issues?

Most importantly, why is the FDA inspector implying you don’t know what is really happening in your facility? Chances are your employees are not sufficiently
trained to do the work to which they are assigned. The manifestation of these issues may
arise from two underlying sources: the employees’ lack of understanding of the overall process, and ineffective training methods on the procedures
themselves.

Investments made in developing the best manufacturing practices, acquiring the most advanced machines and then implementing the newest software programs could all prove worthless if your employees are not using them
correctly. Process-based training development and delivery helps to ensure employees’ learning
is internalized and successful.

This learning methodology readies employees for changes in the
workplace, remains flexible for use with various presentation methods, and is a repeatable
process for easy maintenance.
Bernard (1991) surmise that no matter how carefully employers select employees, they will not
come to their new jobs with all the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities, thus hammering the importance of training as it helps evaluate and boost employee inputs on the job.

Training differs from exercise in that exercise may be a one of occasional activity for fun. Training is specific and done to improve one’s capability,
capacity, and performance.
Imagine how difficult a bicycle seems until one perfects how to, through training and practice. All
experienced computer users know there is no key or phrase as “any key” on a computer keyboard.
Yet many inexperienced users have searched in vain for such a key/phrase to be able to follow
the direction in the computer manual which says, “Press any key and continue” this further stresses that good training makes complicated and complex tasks seem simple. Jason Heyes et al (1996) deduced that investment in training is a commonly regarded as a prerequisite of competitive success. Training is also seen as a cornerstone of management
initiative designed to enhance employee involvement and cooperation in any organization.

General benefits from Employee Training and Development:
*  Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees
*  Increased employee motivation
*  Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain
*  Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
*  Increased innovation in strategies and products
* Reduced employee turnover
*  Enhanced company image, e.g. conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training)
*  Risk Management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training.

From the story of Adetoun, it is evident that with the necessary training she would have been able
to perform effectively as a front desk officer. This emphasizes the relevance of training as a tool in
enhancing employee performance.
Without doubt, one can conclude that training holds a very important and indispensable role in employee performance, if not why do we all struggle to get some educational training from one college/institution or the other in order to prepare us for the responsibilities awaiting us in
our various chosen field.

Suffice to say that well-meaning organizations and firms that hope to reach the apex of their organizational missions and goals should begin to see training and development courses as one of
the prerequisite to achieving success and positive outputs from their employees.

About the Author : Oludayo Adeniyi, an alumnus of University of Lagos. She works as a Director of Operations in an HR company in Lekki, Lagos and owns her startup African restaurant business. She can be reached on drickle2001@yahoo.com

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