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8.4 Designing a Training Program

Learning objectives.

  • Be able to design a training program framework.
  • Understand the uses and applications of a career development program.

The next step in the training process is to create a training framework that will help guide you as you set up a training program. Information on how to use the framework is included in this section.

Training Program Framework Development

When developing your training plan, there are a number of considerations. Training is something that should be planned and developed in advance.

Figure 8.6 Training Program Development Model

Training Program Development Model: needs assessment; learning objectives; learning style; delivery mode; budget; delivery style; audience consideration; content development; time lines; communication of training; measuring effectiveness

The considerations for developing a training program are as follows:

  • Needs assessment and learning objectives. This part of the framework development asks you to consider what kind of training is needed in your organization. Once you have determined the training needed, you can set learning objectives to measure at the end of the training.
  • Consideration of learning styles. Making sure to teach to a variety of learning styles is important to development of training programs.
  • Delivery mode. What is the best way to get your message across? Is web-based training more appropriate, or should mentoring be used? Can vestibule training be used for a portion of the training while job shadowing be used for some of the training, too? Most training programs will include a variety of delivery methods.
  • Budget. How much money do you have to spend on this training?
  • Delivery style. Will the training be self-paced or instructor led? What kinds of discussions and interactivity can be developed in conjunction with this training?
  • Audience. Who will be part of this training? Do you have a mix of roles, such as accounting people and marketing people? What are the job responsibilities of these individuals, and how can you make the training relevant to their individual jobs?
  • Content. What needs to be taught? How will you sequence the information?
  • Timelines. How long will it take to develop the training? Is there a deadline for training to be completed?
  • Communication. How will employees know the training is available to them?
  • Measuring effectiveness of training. How will you know if your training worked? What ways will you use to measure this?

Human Resource Recall

Can you think of a time where you received training, but the facilitator did not connect with the audience? Does that ever happen in any of your classes (of course not this one, though)?

Needs Assessment

The first step in developing a training program is to determine what the organization needs in terms of training. There are three levels of training needs assessment: organizational assessment , occupational (task) assessment , and individual assessment :

  • Organizational assessment. In this type of needs assessment, we can determine the skills, knowledge, and abilities a company needs to meet its strategic objectives. This type of assessment considers things such as changing demographics and technological trends. Overall, this type of assessment looks at how the organization as a whole can handle its weaknesses while promoting strengths.
  • Occupational (task) assessment. This type of assessment looks at the specific tasks, skills knowledge, and abilities required to do jobs within the organization.
  • Individual assessment. An individual assessment looks at the performance of an individual employee and determines what training should be accomplished for that individual.

We can apply each of these to our training plan. First, to perform an organizational assessment, we can look at future trends and our overall company’s strategic plan to determine training needs. We can also see how jobs and industries are changing, and knowing this, we can better determine the occupational and individual assessments.

Researching training needs can be done through a variety of ways. One option is to use an online tool such as SurveyMonkey to poll employees on what types of training they would like to see offered.

As you review performance evaluations turned in by your managers, you may see a pattern developing showing that employees are not meeting expectations. As a result, this may provide data as to where your training is lacking.

There are also types of training that will likely be required for a job, such as technical training, safety training, quality training, and professional training. Each of these should be viewed as separate training programs, requiring an individual framework for each type of training. For example, an employee orientation framework will look entirely different from an in-house technical training framework.

Training must be tied to job expectations. Any and all training developed should transfer directly to the skills of that particular employee. Reviewing the HR strategic plan and various job analyses may help you see what kind of training should be developed for specific job titles in your organization.

After you have determined what type of training should occur, learning objectives for the training should be set. A learning objective is what you want the learner to be able to do, explain, or demonstrate at the end of the training period. Good learning objectives are performance based and clear, and the end result of the learning objective can be observable or measured in some way. Examples of learning objectives might include the following:

  • Be able to explain the company policy on sexual harassment and give examples of sexual harassment.
  • Be able to show the proper way to take a customer’s order.
  • Perform a variety of customer needs analyses using company software.
  • Understand and utilize the new expense-tracking software.
  • Explain the safety procedure in handling chemicals.
  • Be able to explain the types of communication styles and strategies to effectively deal with each style.
  • Demonstrate ethics when handling customer complaints.
  • Be able to effectively delegate to employees.

Once we have set our learning objectives, we can utilize information on learning styles to then determine the best delivery mode for our training.

Learning Styles

Understanding learning styles is an important component to any training program. For our purposes, we will utilize a widely accepted learning style model. Recent research has shown that classifying people into learning styles may not be the best way to determine a style, and most people have a different style depending on the information being taught. In a study by Pashler et al., the authors look at aptitude and personality as key traits when learning, as opposed to classifying people into categories of learning styles. Bearing this in mind, we will address a common approach to learning styles next.

An effective trainer tries to develop training to meet the three different learning styles 1 :

  • Visual learner. A visual learner usually has a clear “picture” of an experience. A visual learner often says things such as “I can see what you are saying” or “This looks good.” A visual learner is best reached using graphics, pictures, and figures.
  • Auditory learner. An auditory learner learns by sound. An auditory learner might say, “If I hear you right” or “What do you hear about this situation?” The auditory learner will learn by listening to a lecture or to someone explaining how to do something.
  • Kinesthetic learner. A kinesthetic learner learns by developing feelings toward an experience. These types of learners tend to learn by doing rather than listening or seeing someone else do it. This type of learner will often say things such as “This feels right.”

Most individuals use more than one type of learning style, depending on what kinds of information they are processing. For example, in class you might be a visual learner, but when learning how to change a tire, you might be a kinesthetic learner.

Delivery Mode

Depending on the type of training that needs to be delivered, you will likely choose a different mode to deliver the training. An orientation might lend itself best to vestibule training, while sexual harassment training may be better for web-based training. When choosing a delivery mode, it is important to consider the audience and budget constrictions. For example, Oakwood Worldwide, a provider of temporary housing, recently won the Top 125 Training Award for its training and development programs 2 . It offers in-class and online classes for all associates and constantly add to its course catalog. This is a major recruitment as well as retention tool for its employees. In fact, the company credits this program for retaining 25 percent of its workforce for ten years or more. Table 8.1 “Types of Training and Delivery” looks at each of the types of training and suggests appropriate options for delivery modes.

Table 8.1 Types of Training and Delivery

How much money do you think the training will cost? The type of training performed will depend greatly on the budget. If you decide that web-based training is the right delivery mode, but you don’t have the budget to pay the user fee for the platform, this wouldn’t be the best option. Besides the actual cost of training, another cost consideration is people’s time. If employees are in training for two hours, what is the cost to the organization while they are not able to perform their job? A spreadsheet should be developed that lists the actual cost for materials, snacks, and other direct costs, but also the indirect costs, such as people’s time.

Delivery Style

Taking into consideration the delivery method, what is the best style to deliver this training? It’s also important to keep in mind that most people don’t learn through “death by PowerPoint”; they learn in a variety of ways, such as auditory, kinesthetic, or visual. Considering this, what kinds of ice breakers, breakout discussions, and activities can you incorporate to make the training as interactive as possible? Role plays and other games can make the training fun for employees. Many trainers implement online videos, podcasts, and other interactive media in their training sessions. This ensures different learning styles are met and also makes the training more interesting.

Considering your audience is an important aspect to training. How long have they been with the organization, or are they new employees? What departments do they work in? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you develop a relevant delivery style that makes for better training. For example, if you know that all the people attending the training are from the accounting department, examples you provide in the training can be focused on this type of job. If you have a mixed group, examples and discussions can touch on a variety of disciplines.

Content Development

The content you want to deliver is perhaps one of the most important parts in training and one of the most time-consuming to develop. Development of learning objectives or those things you want your learners to know after the training makes for a more focused training. Think of learning objectives as goals—what should someone know after completing this training? Here are some sample learning objectives:

  • Be able to define and explain the handling of hazardous materials in the workplace.
  • Be able to utilize the team decision process model.
  • Understand the definition of sexual harassment and be able to recognize sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Understand and be able to explain the company policies and structure.

After you have developed the objectives and goals, you can begin to develop the content of the training. Consideration of the learning methods you will use, such as discussion and role playing, will be outlined in your content area.

Development of content usually requires a development of learning objectives and then a brief outline of the major topics you wish to cover. With that outline, you can “fill in” the major topics with information. Based on this information, you can develop modules or PowerPoint slides, activities, discussion questions, and other learning techniques.

For some types of training, time lines may be required to ensure the training has been done. This is often the case for safety training; usually the training should be done before the employee starts. In other words, in what time frame should an employee complete the training?

Another consideration regarding time lines is how much time you think you need to give the training. Perhaps one hour will be enough, but sometimes, training may take a day or even a week. After you have developed your training content, you will likely have a good idea as to how long it will take to deliver it. Consider the fact that most people do not have a lot of time for training and keep the training time realistic and concise.

From a long-term approach, it may not be cost effective to offer an orientation each time someone new is hired. One consideration might be to offer orientation training once per month so that all employees hired within that month are trained at the same time.

Development of a dependable schedule for training might be ideal, as in the following example:

  • Orientation is offered on the first Thursday of every month.
  • The second and third Tuesday will consist of vestibule training on management skills and communication.
  • Twice yearly, in August and March, safety and sexual harassment training will be given to meet the legal company requirements.

Developing a dependable training schedule allows for better communication to your staff, results in fewer communication issues surrounding training, and allows all employees to plan ahead to attend training.


Once you have developed your training, your next consideration is how you will communicate the available training to employees. In a situation such as an orientation, you will need to communicate to managers, staff, and anyone involved in the training the timing and confirm that it fits within their schedule. If it is an informal training, such as a brown bag lunch on 401(k) plans, this might involve determining the days and times that most people are in the office and might be able to participate. Because employees use Mondays and Fridays, respectively, to catch up and finish up work for the week, these days tend to be the worst for training.

Consider utilizing your company’s intranet, e-mail, and even old-fashioned posters to communicate the training. Many companies have Listservs that can relay the message to only certain groups, if need be.

What can happen if training is not communicated to employees appropriately?

Measuring Effectiveness

After we have completed the training, we want to make sure our training objectives were met. One model to measure effectiveness of training is the Kirkpatrick model (Kirkpatrick, 2006), developed in the 1950s. His model has four levels:

  • Reaction: How did the participants react to the training program?
  • Learning: To what extent did participants improve knowledge and skills?
  • Behavior: Did behavior change as a result of the training?
  • Results: What benefits to the organization resulted from the training?

Each of Kirkpatrick’s levels can be assessed using a variety of methods. We will discuss those next.

Figure 8.7 Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation: Reaction (How did participants react to the training?); Learning (To what extent did participants improve knowledge and skills?); Behavior (Did behavior change as a result of training?); and Results (What benefits does the organization receive?).

Review the performance of the employees who received the training, and if possible review the performance of those who did not receive the training. For example, in your orientation training, if one of the learning objectives was to be able to request time off using the company intranet, and several employees who attended the training come back and ask for clarification on how to perform this task, it may mean the training didn’t work as well as you might have thought. In this case, it is important to go back and review the learning objectives and content of your training to ensure it can be more effective in the future.

Many trainers also ask people to take informal, anonymous surveys after the training to gauge the training. These types of surveys can be developed quickly and easily through websites such as SurveyMonkey. Another option is to require a quiz at the end of the training to see how well the employees understand what you were trying to teach them. The quiz should be developed based on the learning objective you set for the training. For example, if a learning objective was to be able to follow OSHA standards, then a quiz might be developed specifically related to those standards. There are a number of online tools, some free, to develop quizzes and send them to people attending your training. For example, Wondershare QuizCreator offers a free trial and enables the manager to track who took the quiz and how well they did. Once developed by the trainer, the quiz can be e-mailed to each participant and the manager can see how each trainee did on the final quiz. After you see how participants do on the quiz, you can modify the training for next time to highlight areas where participants needed improvement.

It can be easy to forget about this step in the training process because usually we are so involved with the next task: we forget to ask questions about how something went and then take steps to improve it.

One way to improve effectiveness of a training program is to offer rewards when employees meet training goals. For example, if budget allows, a person might receive a pay increase or other reward for each level of training completed.

Once the training framework has been developed, the training content can be developed. The training plan serves as a starting point for training development.

Once the training framework has been developed, the training content can be developed. The training plan serves as a starting point for training development.

Career Development Programs and Succession Planning

Another important aspect to training is career development programs. A career development program is a process developed to help people manage their career, learn new things, and take steps to improve personally and professionally. Think of it as a training program of sorts, but for individuals. Sometimes career development programs are called professional development plans.

Figure 8.9 Sample Career Development Plan Developed by an Employee and Commented on by Her Manager

As you can see, the employee developed goals and made suggestions on the types of training that could help her meet her goals. Based on this data, the manager suggested in-house training and external training for her to reach her goals within the organization.

Career development programs are necessary in today’s organizations for a variety of reasons. First, with a maturing baby-boom population, newer employees must be trained to take those jobs once baby boomers retire. Second, if an employee knows a particular path to career development is in place, this can increase motivation. A career development plan usually includes a list of short- and long-term goals that employees have pertaining to their current and future jobs and a planned sequence of formal and informal training and experiences needed to help them reach the goals. As this chapter has discussed, the organization can and should be instrumental in defining what types of training, both in-house and external, can be used to help develop employees.

To help develop this type of program, managers can consider a few components (Heller, 2005):

  • Talk to employees. Although this may seem obvious, it doesn’t always happen. Talking with employees about their goals and what they hope to achieve can be a good first step in developing a formal career development program.
  • Create specific requirements for career development. Allow employees to see that if they do A, B, and C, they will be eligible for promotion. For example, to become a supervisor, maybe three years of experience, management training, and communication training are required. Perhaps an employee might be required to prove themselves in certain areas, such as “maintain and exceed sales quota for eight quarters” to be a sales manager. In other words, in career development there should be a clear process for the employees to develop themselves within the organization.
  • Use cross-training and job rotation. Cross-training is a method by which employees can gain management experience, even if for short periods of time. For example, when a manager is out of the office, putting an employee “in charge” can help the employee learn skills and abilities needed to perform that function appropriately. Through the use of job rotation , which involves a systematic movement of employees from job to job within an organization, employees can gain a variety of experiences to prepare them for upward movement in the organization.
  • Utilize mentors. Mentorship can be a great way for employees to understand what it takes to develop one’s career to the next level. A formal mentorship program in place with willing mentees can add value to your career development program.

Figure 8.10 Career Development Sample Process to Become an Accounts Payable Manager

Career Development Sample Process to Become an Accounts Payable Manager: Two years' management experience or training equivalent, AAAS degree or similar in accounting, training modules 1-10 completed and passed successfully, and above-average ratings on performance evaluation for 2 years

There are many tools on the web, including templates to help employees develop their own career development plans. Many organizations, in fact, ask employees to develop their own plans and use those as a starting point for understanding long-term career goals. Then hopefully the organization can provide them with the opportunities to meet these career goals. In the late 1980s, many employees felt that career opportunities at their current organizations dwindled after seeing the downsizing that occurred. It gave employees the feeling that companies were not going to help develop them, unless they took the initiative to do so themselves. Unfortunately, this attitude means that workers will not wait for career opportunities within the company, unless a clear plan and guide is put into place by the company (Capelli, 2010). Here is an example of a process that can be used to put a career development program in place (Adolfo, 2010):

  • Meet individually with employees to identify their long-term career interests (this may be done by human resources or the direct manager).
  • Identify resources within the organization that can help employees achieve their goals. Create new opportunities for training if you see a gap in needs versus what is currently offered.
  • Prepare a plan for each employee, or ask them to prepare the plan.
  • Meet with the employee to discuss the plan.
  • During performance evaluations, revisit the plan and make changes as necessary.

Identifying and developing a planning process not only helps the employee but also can assist the managers in supporting employees in gaining new skills, adding value, and motivating employees.

Figure 8.11 Career Development Planning Process

Career Development Planning Process: Identify your employee's career goals and interests; identify training; prepare the career development plan; meet with employee to discuss; revise and adjust plans as needed

Key Takeaways

  • There are a number of key considerations in developing a training program. Training should not be handled casually but instead developed specifically to meet the needs of the organization. This can be done by a needs assessment consisting of three levels: organizational , occupational , and individual assessments .
  • The first consideration is the delivery mode; depending on the type of training and other factors, some modes might be better than others.
  • Budget is a consideration in developing training. The cost of materials, but also the cost of time, should be considered.
  • The delivery style must take into account people’s individual learning styles. The amount of lecture, discussion, role plays, and activities are considered part of delivery style.
  • The audience for the training is an important aspect when developing training. This can allow the training to be better developed to meet the needs and the skills of a particular group of people.
  • The content obviously is an important consideration. Learning objectives and goals for the training should be developed before content is developed.
  • After content is developed, understanding the time constraints is an important aspect. Will the training take one hour or a day to deliver? What is the time line consideration in terms of when people should take the training?
  • Letting people know when and where the training will take place is part of communication.
  • The final aspect of developing a training framework is to consider how it will be measured. At the end, how will you know if the trainees learned what they needed to learn?
  • A career development process can help retain good employees. It involves creating a specific program in which employee goals are identified and new training and opportunities are identified and created to help the employee in the career development process.
  • Develop a rough draft of a training framework using Figure 8.8 for a job you find on Monster.com.
  • Write three learning objectives you think would be necessary when developing orientation training for a receptionist in an advertising firm.
  • Why is a career development plan important to develop personally, even if your company doesn’t have a formal plan in place? List at least three reasons and describe.

1 “What’s YOUR Learning Style?” adapted from Instructor Magazine , University of South Dakota, August 1989, accessed July 28, 2010, http://people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/ .

2 “Oakwood Worldwide Honored by Training Magazine for Fifth Consecutive Year Training also Presents Oakwood with Best Practice Award,” press release, February 25, 2011, Marketwire , accessed February 26, 2011, http://www.live-pr.com/en/oakwood-worldwide-honored-by-training-magazine-r1048761409.htm .

Adolfo, J. T., “The Career Development Plan: A Quick Guide for Managers and Supervisors,” n.d., National Career Development Association, accessed July 29, 2010, http://associationdatabase.com/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/6420/_PARENT/layout_details/false .

Capelli, P., “A Balanced Plan for Career Development,” n.d., Microsoft, accessed July 29, 2010, http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/a-balanced-plan-for-career-development-HA001126815.aspx .

Heller, M., “Six Tips for Effective Employee Development Programs,” CIO Magazine , June 15, 2005, accessed July 28, 2010, http://www.cio.com/article/29169/Six_Tips_for_Effective_Career_Development_Programs .

Kirkpatrick, D., Evaluating Training Programs , 3rd ed. (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2006).

Pashler, H., Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork, “Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence,” Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9, no. 3 (2008): 109–19, accessed February 26, 2011, http://www.psychologicalscience.org/journals/pspi/PSPI_9_3.pdf .

WonderShare QuizCreator, accessed July 29, 2010, http://www.sameshow.com/quiz-creator.html#172 .

Human Resource Management Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Training & Development Final Take Home Assignment Instructions...

Training & Development Final Take Home Assignment Instructions...

Training & Development

Final Take Home Assignment

Instructions The following provides details on your final assignment. Refer to the instructions below & rubric for assignment expectations.

Although basic framework and theory of Training & Development within the organizational setting remain unchanged, there are continuous improvements and trends enabling more robust and individual training solutions for employees.

For this final paper, you will identify 2 emerging trends in Training & Development. For T&D, an emerging trend would be considered something that is new & gaining popularity and could become mainstream for many organizations (ie. Augmented reality).

For each of the 2 emerging T&D trends identified, you will include the following:

How you discovered the trend (describe which website or source you found this) & why it interested you Provide a detailed description about the emerging T&D trend with examples of how this is used in current training practices Identify and describe at least 2 connections to the content learned in your textbook Research and then summarize 1 academic article providing additional information about this emerging T&D trend

This is an academic paper, meaning the following:

Include in-text citations & references to verify your facts (marks will be deducted for lack of citations & references) Free of grammar, spelling & sentence structure errors

Answer & Explanation

Here are two emerging T&D trends:

Trend 1: Microlearning

How I discovered the trend: I discovered the trend of microlearning through the eLearning Industry website. The concept of learning in bite-sized pieces caught my attention, as it seemed like a practical solution for organizations looking to provide just-in-time training.

Description: Microlearning is an emerging trend in T&D that involves breaking down learning content into small, easily digestible modules. These modules are typically 2-5 minutes in length and can be delivered in various formats, such as videos, podcasts, or interactive quizzes. Microlearning allows employees to consume training content at their own pace, in a format that is engaging and easy to understand. For example, instead of conducting a full-day workshop on a topic, an organization can break the content into several microlearning modules that can be accessed by employees as needed.

Connections to textbook content: Microlearning is connected to several topics covered in the textbook, including adult learning theory, training delivery methods, and eLearning. The use of microlearning reflects the principles of adult learning theory, which suggests that adults prefer learning in small chunks. Additionally, microlearning is a delivery method that can be used for eLearning, which is also covered in the textbook.

Research article: One academic article that provides further insight into the benefits of microlearning is "Microlearning: Emerging Concepts, Practices and Challenges" by Santanu Chatterjee and Priyanka Dey (2019).

Trend 2: Virtual Reality

How I discovered the trend: I discovered the trend of virtual reality in T&D through an article on the Training Industry website. I was intrigued by the potential of virtual reality to create immersive and engaging learning experiences.

Description: Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging trend in T&D that involves using computer technology to create a simulated environment that users can interact with. In T&D, VR can be used to provide realistic simulations of various scenarios, such as customer service interactions, safety procedures, or product demonstrations. This allows employees to practice and develop their skills in a safe and controlled environment. VR can also be used to create engaging and memorable learning experiences that increase retention and knowledge transfer.

Connections to textbook content: VR is connected to several topics covered in the textbook, including simulation training, experiential learning, and training technology. VR can be used as a form of simulation training, allowing employees to practice real-world scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. Additionally, VR provides an experiential learning experience, which is covered in the textbook as a way to enhance learning outcomes. Finally, VR is a form of training technology that can be used to create engaging and interactive learning experiences.

Approach to solving the question:

Detailed explanation:

Emerging Trend 1: Virtual Reality (VR)

According to the eLearning Industry website, VR is an emerging trend in training that is gaining popularity due to its ability to provide immersive learning experiences for employees (eLearning Industry, n.d.). This trend interested me because VR has the potential to enhance traditional training methods by providing employees with a more engaging and interactive learning experience.

VR involves using computer technology to create a simulated environment that users can interact with. In terms of training, VR can be used to simulate real-life scenarios that employees may encounter in their job roles. For example, flight simulators are commonly used to train pilots, and VR can be used to simulate other scenarios such as emergency situations or customer service interactions (Pons, Pronk, & Bos, 2018). By using VR, employees can practice and refine their skills in a safe and controlled environment.

One connection to the content learned in my textbook is the emphasis on experiential learning. In their book "Employee Training and Development," Raymond Noe and Scott Tannenbaum explain that experiential learning involves "learning through doing" and is an effective way to improve employee performance (Noe & Tannenbaum, 2018, p. 82). VR provides an experiential learning opportunity by allowing employees to practice and apply their skills in a simulated environment.

Another connection to the content learned in my textbook is the importance of training transfer. Training transfer refers to the extent to which employees apply the knowledge and skills they learned in training to their job roles (Noe & Tannenbaum, 2018, p. 255). VR can enhance training transfer by providing employees with a more realistic and engaging training experience that is more likely to be remembered and applied on the job.

One academic article that provides additional information about the use of VR in training is "Virtual Reality in Education and Training" by Pons et al. (2018). The article discusses the benefits of using VR in training and provides examples of how it has been used in various industries. Additionally, the article notes that VR is still a relatively new technology in the training field, and more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness (Pons et al., 2018).

2. Microlearning is a training approach that involves delivering short, focused bursts of content to learners, typically in the form of videos, infographics, or other easily digestible formats. The goal of microlearning is to provide learners with targeted, just-in-time training that they can consume quickly and easily, often on their mobile devices. This approach is becoming increasingly popular as organizations look for ways to keep up with the demands of modern learners, who often have short attention spans and want to be able to learn on the go.

One example of how microlearning is used in current training practices is through the use of mobile apps. Many organizations are now creating custom mobile apps that deliver microlearning content to learners, allowing them to access training materials from anywhere and at any time. For example, the retail giant Walmart has created a mobile app called Spark that provides its employees with access to short training videos on a variety of topics, including customer service, merchandising, and safety procedures (Rosenberg, 2018).

Another example of how microlearning can be used is through the use of gamification. Gamification involves incorporating game-like elements into training materials to make them more engaging and interactive for learners. This can include things like quizzes, badges, and leaderboards, which can help to motivate learners and make the learning experience more fun. For example, the software company Adobe has created a gamified microlearning platform called Spark, which provides learners with short, interactive lessons on topics like design and photography (Adobe, n.d.).

One connection to the content learned in the textbook is that microlearning aligns with the principles of adult learning theory, which emphasizes the importance of engaging learners and providing them with training that is relevant and applicable to their jobs (Noe et al., 2017). By delivering short, targeted bursts of content, microlearning can help to keep learners engaged and ensure that they are able to apply what they have learned to their work.


  • Adobe. (n.d.). Adobe Spark. Retrieved from https://spark.adobe.com/
  • Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2017). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Rosenberg, M. (2018, January 29). Walmart's new training academy and why it matters. 
  • One academic article that provides further insight into the use of VR in T&D is "Virtual Reality and Its Pedagogical Potentials in Management Education" by Kapil Pandla, Ajay Kumar Singh, and Sanjiv Kumar (2019).

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Training and Development In HRM: 10 Types And Stages [+Best Practices]

23 rd Dec 2022

8 mins read

Arvind Mishra

Arvind Mishra

Training and Development in HRM

Over the last decade, workplaces have undergone a rapid transformation for various reasons. An increasingly competitive business environment, together with the digital revolution, is radically altering the composition of the workforce.

Also, a multi-generational workforce and the rapid shifts in competency requirements have necessitated a renewed focus on reskilling and upskilling. The large-scale adoption of digital tools in the workplace makes the need for a suitably skilled workforce paramount. These evolving trends are driving organizations to invest in employee training and development programs. 

final assignment training and development

  • Definition: Training and development in HRM
  • Purpose of training and development in HRM
  • Role of HR in training and development
  • Types of training and development in HRM
  • 5 stages of training and development in HRM
  • 5 best practices for training and development in HRM
  • Final words

Definition: Training and Development in HRM?

Training and development in human resource management are educational and skill-building activities intended to improve the knowledge and skills of employees. Training and development activities aim to sharpen your employees’ existing skills and impart new knowledge. An effective training and development program is designed based on an analysis of an organization’s training needs to improve employee performance. 

Relation Between Training and Development

Training involves the process of enhancing the knowledge, skill levels, and competence of employees. Development focuses on improving and honing the existing skills and the overall growth of employees. Both initiatives are undertaken to ensure that your employees develop skills to improve their performance at work. 

Purpose of Training and Development in HRM

Why Training and Development

Investing in employee training and development serves five key purposes:

  • Boosts Employee Retention High-performing employees look for training and development opportunities to grow professionally. Learning and development initiatives signal to the employees that the organization values its employees and is willing to invest in their professional growth. It boosts loyalty among employees, which reduces turnover and enhances retention.
  • Builds a Leadership Pipeline Training and development offer a suitable means for identifying and imparting the necessary skills to future organizational leaders. According to an SHRM research report , leadership development programs help organizations secure future business goals by developing a leadership pipeline. 
  • Empowers Employees at Workplace Informed leaders are better equipped to motivate employees. Motivated employees experience greater autonomy and feel empowered to fulfill their responsibilities. Empowered employees display greater initiative and are more innovative, contributing to more significant overall organizational growth.
  • Enhances Workplace Engagement Training and development activities to help check feelings of dissatisfaction among employees. Employee engagement software can be used to boost workplace morale and drive mutual growth. Satisfied employees are more engaged and consistently deliver superior performance at work.
  • Increases Workplace Collaboration Participating in training and development activities improves team bonding. During these activities, employees work together to learn new skills and tackle new challenges. According to a Forbes study, team bonding improves workplace collaboration, which brings about synergies in operations and improves workplace efficiency. 

Role of HR in Training and Development

The HR personnel have a critical role in delivering effective human resource development activities. The role of HR in training and development includes:

  • Connecting with employees and understanding their training needs.
  • Designing effective training programs.
  • Motivating employees to participate in learning and development programs.
  • Working with department heads and ensuring that training and development is an ongoing process and not a one-off activity
  • Ensuring the delivery of quality training content. 

Types of Training and Development in HRM

There are several types of training and development activities undertaken to either upskill or reskill employees. The various types of training and development include:

  • Technical Training Depending on the role and the industry, training on a specific technological aspect might be required. For example, in the retail industry, technical training could entail training on CRM systems. Likewise, in the hospitality industry, a restaurant executive might need training on the use of software tools to take customer orders. Technical training could be provided with in-house resources or with external trainers.
  • Quality Training Quality training involves educating employees on the measures to detect, prevent and eliminate causes for the poor quality of products or services. This often includes training employees on ISO standards that measure quality based on defined metrics. Training employees on quality standards improve organizational performance, provides cost savings, and confers the organization with a competitive edge.
  • Skills Training This type of training is conducted to impart specific skills for the employees to perform their job. Skills training is typically conducted using in-house resources and could include training on operating production machinery, being a better salesman, etc.
  • Soft Skills Training Soft skills training is concerned with the overall development of employees by improving their personality, communication skills, ethics training, etc. It helps produce employees who present themselves as better citizens who can perform better at work.
  • Safety Training . Safety training equips employees with the skills and knowledge to adopt safe work practices and protect themselves and their colleagues from work-related injuries. Safety training also helps employees detect and report hazards at work. An integral part of safety training is fire drills, administering first aid, construction safety, Hazmat safety, etc. Safety training is vital for employee protection and preventing workflow interruption due to worker injury. 

5 Stages of Training and Development in HRM

Stages of Training and Development

The five stages of training and development are:

  • Training Needs Assessment The starting point of the training and development process is assessing the training requirements of employees. The analysis should consider the long-term goals of the organization and the organization’s expectations from its employees. A mismatch between the goals and the current skill levels indicates that there is a need for training. 
  • Define Training Objective Having determined that there is a training need, the next step is to define the training objective. The training objective becomes the basis for the training initiative and directs the training and development program.
  • Design Training Program The design of the training program will depend on the type of trainer, the employees to be trained, and the training method to be used. The training content must be aligned with the needs identified. 
  • Conduct Training Program In this step, the designed training plan is put into action. Care should be taken to create a conducive environment for learning. For greater effectiveness, the training should encourage a participative approach to increase the involvement of the trainees in the training program.
  • Evaluate and Follow-Up Training evaluation is essential to verify if the goals of the training program have been achieved. Feedback obtained from the participants on the effectiveness of the training and the relevance of the content is valuable input for the evaluation process. Follow-up includes asking the supervisors if the participants apply the acquired skills effectively in their daily activities.

5 Best Practices For Training and Development in HRM 

The best practices in the implementation of training and development programs include:

  • Obtain management buy-in Management buy-in into the training program enhances the program’s chances of success. 

Management backing for training programs helps training initiatives become a part of the company’s culture and ensures employees take the programs seriously. If the management team can actively participate in the delivery of the programs, it reinforces their support and commitment to the programs.  

  • Create a formal program Design and promulgate a formal training program. 

It ensures that everyone gains from regular training. Training is not a one-time activity, so a plan that caters for continuous training increases training effectiveness. A formal program compels people to set training goals, provide training resources, and review progress and effectiveness. 

  • Define metrics The resistance to investments in training comes from the perception that training is expensive and that it is difficult to see the benefits. Defining metrics helps compare results to the metrics and allows people to see the extent of benefits. The common metrics used are course completion rate, effect on work outcomes, cost of training, etc.
  • Measure trainee satisfaction For training to be effective, the employees need to engage in the training.

The learning outcomes will be poor if there is no engagement. Engagement and satisfaction can be assessed by looking at metrics such as course completion, repeat visits for training, etc. Employee surveys can also be used to assess satisfaction levels, obtain feedback on shortcomings in the training process and make suggestions for improvement in delivery and content.

  • Offer different modes of training Different people have different training preferences. 

Tailor the types of training to the varied needs of the employees. Training could be classroom based, through video recordings, on-the-job training, games, quizzes, simulations, etc.

Bottom Line

The hallmarks of the modern workplace are innovation, technology, globalization, and the constant evolution of technologies. It is, therefore, incumbent on organizations to continuously enhance the capabilities of their employees and foster a culture of continuous learning. Such an approach is vital if the organization is to remain competitive. These imperatives make having an effective learning-and-development function an inescapable necessity for all organizations.

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Arvind Mishra is Director of Delivery & Outsourcing at HROne. He has substantial experience of two decades in HR automation and has successfully delivered complex projects across 20+ industries globally. His work is instrumental in scaling HR tech adoption for companies of every size in India.

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Energy.gov Home

Laura Yoder, a single mother who worked as a waitress, bartender, and food distribution center manager, became self-sufficient in 2003 when she joined the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 405 in Rochester, Minnesota. 

Yoder received specialized, hands-on training from the union that enabled her to move up through apprenticeship levels to become a journeyman laborer. She put her skills to work recently on two wind energy projects.

A person wearing hard hat, safety glasses, and a safety vest stands in front of three wind turbines.

Local union workers like Laura Yoder are common on wind and other clean energy construction sites in Minnesota today, but that was not the story five years ago.

“I went to work for the union because I wanted retirement and health benefits for my family,” said Yoder, whose father and two brothers are also union workers. “I have a son and I can take care of him with my union job. The health and dental benefits are amazing, and I have a good pension.”

Unions Provide Value Throughout Clean Energy Project Planning, Development, and Operation

Labor unions add value to organizations that work with them, from clearing permitting and policy hurdles to hiring highly skilled local workers. According to the  2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report , 48% of nonunion firms reported that it was “very difficult” to find workers, while only 29% of unionized firms reported this difficulty. 

“That’s where union partnership helps,” said Kevin Pranis, marketing manager for the Minnesota-North Dakota chapter of LIUNA. “Because we’re here all the time, we already have a base workforce of people and the network to find more. We can start building that skilled workforce for you.”

Minnesota Construction Sites Changed in 2018

Local union workers like Yoder are common on clean energy construction sites in Minnesota today, but that was not the story five years ago. Many of the workers were traveling from out of state, and developers were rarely hiring local workers. 

“The proposition with clean energy had always been that it was going to create good local jobs,” Pranis said. “Minnesota is historically a union state, so it was surprising to realize that these wind contractors weren’t using local union labor but bringing in traveling crews to work on those projects.”

To turn this trend around, LIUNA worked with other building trades unions, environmental partners, and elected officials to advocate at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and persuade clean energy developers and utilities to prioritize local workforce. 

Interested in a wind energy career?

Check out the  Wind Energy Career Map for details about occupations and career pathways.

“I was shocked to learn that no one was reporting the number of local jobs created with wind and solar farm projects,” said Katie Sieben, commission chair at the PUC. “As soon as the commission started asking questions and requiring reporting, the benefits became obvious. Project developers even began touting these numbers to justify why their projects were good for local communities.” 

The PUC started requiring more transparency and considering projects for approval based in part on whether they would be using local labor. Minnesota utilities also began requiring that clean energy projects be built with union labor. 

“A lot of credit for the success of this campaign goes to project developers and utilities,” Pranis said. “We asked them to consider working with us using local union labor, and they stepped up to be early adopters and partners.”

Union Work as Far as the Eye Can See

Today, Minnesota wind farms, solar farms, solar panel manufacturing, transmission line construction, and other clean energy projects are built by a largely in-state, union workforce. 

“Of all the projects we’re aware of in permitting or under construction, that’s union work as far as the eye can see,” Pranis said.

Demand for new clean energy projects throughout the state keeps growing. In 2022,  Minnesota’s clean energy industry grew twice as fast as the rest of the economy . With support from the  Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act , Minnesota is on track to meet their commitment of reaching  100% clean energy by 2040 , resulting in good local jobs for union workers like Yoder. 

“I’ve had great opportunities through LIUNA, and I’ve met great employers that will help you achieve what you’re looking for in life,” she said. “That’s why I support the union one hundred percent.”

The U.S. Department of Energy is committed to facilitating quality, accessible job creation in the clean energy economy. Learn more about the  Community Benefits Plan framework required in major funding and financing programs supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act .

Sign up to be the first to know about future Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy events and resources aimed at quality, accessible job creation in the clean energy economy.

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