Employees are more than just the most expensive line on an organization's budget: They are also its greatest asset. To realize a true return on investment in personnel, it is important that employees are constantly seeking to improve their skills and knowledge.
However, when the subject of employee training is broached, sighs usually follow. Employee training programs have gained a stigma of being ineffective and a waste of resources. According to Eduardo Salas, a professor of organizational psychology at the University of Central Florida and a program director at its Institute for Simulation and Training, this is because of the approach most organizations take towards training.
When asked by The Wall Street Journal why most corporate training programs are surprisingly ineffective, Dr. Salas responded that organizations often tend to ignore the science of learning. This leads to taking an overly simplistic view on training that can waste employees' time and the organization's resources.
"Companies believe that technology will solve all training problems. They think that a mobile app or computer games are the solution to learning. A simulation by itself isn't enough. You also need very clear and precise learning objectives, clear feedback, a form of measurement or assessment and regular opportunities to practice and get feedback," Dr. Salas explains.
Ideally, the organization's culture should celebrate learning and employee development. This requires leadership to not only provide training opportunities, but to be seen actively taking part in the training themselves. This shows team members that it is okay to admit limits to skills or knowledge, so long as they are making the effort to address them.
Organizational change management consulting can help businesses realize the roadblocks that are impeding successful training and holding their employees back from their true potential.