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Building from Within: Professional Training and Development

Jun 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM

in Creating Your Dream Team 101, Expert Series

As competition increases and trends develop, you must evolve to keep your business vital and current. When your business evolves, the employees you trust to make your operations successful must do the same. Their evolution will come through effective training and development. 

By being proactive and supporting training and development you will:

  • Increase employee engagement
  • Manage change.
  • Maintain productivity levels
  • Meet business goals. 

How to determine if you need training:

Changes in Business

Has your business changed? You may have put in an automated delivery system, a new accounting program, or upgraded your computer system. Employees are more accepting of change if they receive adequate training. It can make the transition easier for staff and customers alike.


Have you asked customers, managers, and employees for feedback? You may discover some hidden training needs which translate into opportunities to improve service delivery.


Your performance appraisal program should cover the immediate training and development needs required to groom your employee for a long-term career goal. Career development can include assigning a special project where your employee learns a new skill, takes on responsibilities during another’s absence, or cross-training. All of these areas of training and development can promote greater job satisfaction while lessening the likelihood of unwanted turnover.

Errors, Complaints, and Frequent Problems

Receiving complaints from customers or staff doesn’t necessarily indicate an employee is a lost cause and “must go.” Perhaps there is a deficiency that could be easily rectified with training. When errors or complaints are brought to your attention, systematically analyze the problem area to see if training is a viable solution.

Developing a Training Plan

Once you have assessed and prioritized the need for training, the next step is to plan and deliver the training. Consider:

  • Your budget
  • Training delivery


  • On-the-job
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring/a buddy system


  • Professional seminars
  • Private trainers
  • Conference Attendance

Types of Training

Training covers a wide spectrum and can include anything from learning how to use a piece of equipment to managing change. Training falls into four broad categories.

  • Onboarding
    Onboarding needs to be done for new employees and newly-transferred or promoted employees. Goals of the operation or job, performance expectations, and team dynamics are all important items that new employees need to learn.
  • Business Skills
    If you’ve hired or promoted someone into a management or supervisory role, he/she may need to learn/enhance his/her skills in sales and marketing, presentation, written communication, or other business/management skills.
  • People Skills
    Whether you are a front-line team member or the leader, you need effective people skills. Employees with effective people skills assist in maintaining a positive work environment. People skills training can include: supervisory skills, communication, teamwork, and project management.
  • Technical and Professional Skills
    This type of training is specific and directly relates to a particular line of work or business. If you are a trucking company and need to remain current with business trends, it would be essential for your team to refresh and upgrade their knowledge base of where the economy is moving and where it is not.

Impact on Business

Training is costly, so you will want to assess its impact. You may need to review why you sought training to begin with and whether your concerns have been remedied. Changes may not occur overnight; be patient. Training can provide tremendous advantages for your business, like improving customer service or productivity, motivating your staff, and keeping your operation current. Analyze your needs at the outset and choose the right type of training for your requirement.

To assess and enhance your professional training and development practices and policies, contact TPD's HR Services today!

Free Download: Human Resources Cycle E-Book

Susan Alley, VP of HR Services

Alley is a senior executive with significant consulting experience in human resources in both unionized and non-unionized environments. Alley has provided strategic and practical solutions to internal and external client corporations in a variety of industry sectors including financial services, hospitality, real estate, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, government, professional services and high tech. Her strong leadership, communication and problem solving skills, coupled with a broad range of experience, provide a strategic and disciplined approach to customer service, business, and human resources management.


Filed under Creating Your Dream Team 101, Expert Series

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