The ever changing global economy calls for new innovations and strategies in organizations in order to maintain competitive advantage.
These include training and development of the human resource to enhance productivity and overall business performance (Cappelli 2000). Organizations are taking huge risks by investing heavily on human resource training and development. Business executives view innovation as one of their top most challenges. Many studies have found out that training and growth is the main tool for breaking new ground bringing changes in an organization (Gronn 2002).
High performing organizations nowadays are acknowledging the significance of using best training and development systems to improve their competitive advantage in the industry. Training and development of the human resource is a critical factor in any organization if the value and potential of the human resources are to be harnessed and grown.
Many studies have underscored the apparent correlation between a soundly designed and strategic training and the overall success of the organization (Cappelli 2000). The general image of the industry and workers is also influenced by the level and quality of training and development. In our contemporary business climate most companies are faced with stiff competition for their quality staffs (Gronn 2002). Human resource experts asserts that companies which invests heavily training and development benefits from enriched working environment with low level of staff exodus as well as enhanced productivity and organizational performance (Kuchinke 2001). The intention of this essay is to examine the role of training professionals in today’s business, to deliver innovations. The study also explores how Australian organizations have developed innovations in their training and development programs to maintain organizational success and competitive advantage in the industry. Training professionals and development of the human resources ensures sustainable competitive advantage and retention of high quality personnel in an organization (Wexley & Latham 2002). Professional training guarantees stability and productivity in a company.
It achieves this by helping employees to improve on their capacity and helps them adapt to new technologies and organizational changes (Wexley & Latham 2002). According to Miller (2010), training professionals assists in changing employee’s behavior and competency in their work. Willingness of the employees to embrace changes in an organization is influenced by numerous factors such as organizational structure, performance evaluation system, and organisation’s culture among others. Integration of the above elements and change initiatives can easily be achieved through professional training (Miller 2010).
According to Langbert (2005) expertise acquired through professional training not only helps in getting accustomed to the new technology but also contributes to new innovations. Professional training facilitates the acquisition of new ideas and solutions to organizational challenges. Training team during the early stages of initiative is always capable of advising the top management on the best possible solutions to the current or looming problem (Kuchinke 2001).
Training professionals also helps to prepare workers for the change. Most of the activities carried out in the training department are parallel with the change team. By the time the executives make an announcement about the change, those who have undergone professional training would already be familiar with it.
This gives workers confidence, trust and belief (Miller 2010). Training professionals improves vision of the top management. Most managers are great visionaries except that they do not translate their visions into observable variables. Professional training thus plays an important role in articulating goals and objectives of an organization by acting as a vehicle for communication and leading change (Gronn 2002). In addition, this training professional ensures top management remains visible in an organization.
They become visible by participating and involving themselves in the training activities and programs of an organization (Kuchinke 2001). One of the major obstacles to innovations and change in many organizations is complacency by top management. They usually turn to training department only in the times of emergencies and after making major decisions.
Training professional ensures continuity by integrating training with daily operations of the organization (Gronn 2002). These helps employees to understand markets dynamics, identify major obstacles and opportunities, and encourage sustainable solutions to the organizational problems. Training professionals applies top-down approach to leadership, which has been proven to be most effective in the contemporary businesses. Each and every members of an organizations is given chance to participate in the training process and implementation of organizational goals and objectives (Gronn 2002). A study conducted by Scully (2005) found out that small firms are more likely to conduct training in an informal technique with larger companies applying a well-designed and strategic approach on training.
Training professionals are strategically aligned with the overall mission and goals of the company. Training takes place in a framework of corporation between all the stakeholders in an organization. These trainings are designed and delivered with the objective of helping the employees achieve organizational as well as personal goals. This type of training increases involvement of the management and the general employees in organizational matters thus creates a sense of ownership of the training and learning among the staff (Scully 2005; Cappelli 2000). Strategic approach used in professional training and developments are more targeted, quantifiable and effective. Increased flexibility in terms of delivery of training accommodates participant’s different styles of learning as well as their lifestyles. Training professional assesses the reaction, learning, behavioral change and valued added to the organization. Evaluation of the training interventions helps organization to establish the strength weaknesses of the training development approach used in an organization (Cappelli 2000).
National Australia Bank is the largest financial institutions in the country and has massive market capitalization and customer base. National Bank of Australia is based in Melbourne and has in excess of 25000 staff in eight hundred branches, one hundred and eighty business banking centers, and over a hundred of agribusiness sites, and three main contact centers. The bank has developed an integral infrastructure to support self-driven, staff development initiative. National Australia Bank in collaboration with the Microsoft Company built a portal known as Academy Online, which has helped the bank to deliver virtual learning and human resource development. Academy online is inline with the banks new approach to professional training. Academy online offers courses that are directly related to the bank’s strategic plans and human capital programs (Blount, Tanya & Paula 2002). Academy online has created a legacy where employees take individual responsibility for their own development and ambitions. Academy online recognizes the fact that employees’ level of training and development varies considerably in accordance with each and every individual.
Therefore, Academy online ensures equity in access to formal and informal training among the bank’s employees. This online solution to professional training and human resource development has also enhanced communication and collaboration among the staff (Blount, Tanya & Paula 2003). Common wealth Bank of Australia is the second largest Bank in Australia. This bank operates beyond the borders of Australia and is found in other Asian countries in Europe. The bank is offering numerous financial services ranging from asset management, financial transactions, broking services, superannuation among others (John 2001). Initially, the bank used to rely on leadership seminars or retreat to improve the skills and competence of its professionals. Currently, the bank has blended its formal and informal learning including off-site seminars and retreats with on the- job training and coaching (Blount, Tanya & Paula 2002).
Common wealth Bank of Australia has also not been left behind in the use of technology in training and development of its human capital. The bank embraced a blend of DDI web based classroom training and OPAL for on the job training and coaching. The bank embarked on this blend of training to economize use of funds in training, minimize employee’s time off the job, and to acclimatize employees to learning through self directed technological methods. The challenge posed by the use of technology in training professionals is that learner needs to put more effort in order to learn, relate and use the new skills and concepts acquired during the training (Blount, Tanya & Paula 2002;Scully 2005). The two major financial institutions in Australia have embraced new technology in their training approaches and human resource development programs. This is because of their massive number of human capital and extends of operations.
Use of technology has significantly reduced budgetary allocations for training in the two financial institutions and employees’ times spend off the job. The only difference in the approach between the two institutions is that National Australia Bank is focused more in online training while Common Wealth Bank of Australia blends its approach to achieve optimal results (Zuboff & Maxmin 2002). Australian financial institutions on the other hand have developed a technological infrastructure to support self-driven, staff development initiative.
These institutions operate beyond the border and have massive human capital. Use of technology training and human resource development not only saves money but also the time off spend by workers off the duty. Online training portal used by these organizations ensures that individual employees take responsibility for their own development and personal ambitions. Use of technology guarantees equitable access to training among the employees and also improve on the communication and collaboration among the staff. The challenge posed by the use of technology in training professionals is that learner needs to put more effort in order to learn, relate and use the new skills and concepts acquired during the training.
Training professional plays an integral role in the new innovation and overall organizational change.
New innovations and strategies are the major tools in achieving competitive advantage in the ever-dynamic global economy. However, professional training designs and approaches have to be in line with the organization’s vision and mission. Approach used should also take into consideration the views and opinions of all the stakeholders in an organization. Strategic approach used in professional training and developments are more targeted, quantifiable and effective. Increased flexibility in terms of delivery of training accommodates participant’s different styles of learning as well as their lifestyles.
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