Training And Development

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Techniques of corporate training and development have witnessed a radical change in just the past decade, thanks in part to improved technology. Instead of sitting through interminable training sessions, workers nowadays largely progress on their own time tables. What's more, they use self-guided programs to ensure their success rather than turn to a supervisor for validation or approval.

This change comes with some obvious pros and cons. On the one hand, supervisors who aren't forced to micromanage their employees or oversee every step of their training can spend their time more valuably. It's also less expensive to turn training over to an automated system than it is to pay someone a high hourly rate to conduct live sessions. Both of these perks of online or software-based training and development are tremendously appealing for cost-conscious managers.

The Cons of Computer-Based Training and Development

While virtual training and development remains seductive for a lot of employers, it's not without its pitfalls as well. Some products boast "help" sections and tutorials with outstanding utility. Though these can address many of the troubleshooting issues new trainees invariably face, they're not as strong at fielding more specific questions related to a particular workplace or job. At that point, a trainee must then go back to a human supervisor for clarification.

Second, online training and development provides bosses with fewer safeguards for quality control. A student may grasp a sales, management, or inventory technique when it's first introduced but forget about it after a week's worth of new information is piled on top. Absent some form of review mechanism, a training program can let some workers slip through the cracks and emerge with passing scores, even if they lack a full understanding of specific lessons. For this reason, it's critical to invest in a development program that offers regular skills checks and a solid "help" archive.

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