How to Combine HR & Training Departments

Various factors may be involved in making a company decision to combine HR and training departments. These factors are often relevant to financial concerns; combining them can result in a reduction of costs. To create a successful association, HR and training objectives must first align with the business’ strategic goals. When this has been achieved, other considerations can be addressed. A successful end result can represent a discipline that is highly effective at producing employees who are solid contributors to your company.
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Motivation
In addition to equating to a cost-cutting measure, reasons for combining HR and training departments can include maintaining a more cohesive department, cultivating and supporting a better connection with employees and acquiring an improved ability to evaluate and conscientiously follow workers’ job performance. A combined HR and training department creates continuity for your workforce, and enables HR professionals to more readily evaluate the abilities and skill levels of your employees with a focus on developing qualified staff members into top-level producers.

Integration
Before blending your HR and training departments, review the availability and capabilities of staff members, as well as HR’s resources for creating and presenting training programs. Integration of the two departments can be seamless if begun with the recruitment process. For example, after newly hired employees complete the induction training presented by HR professionals, they might subsequently receive cursory training that will apply to the specific jobs to which they have been assigned. Training that is more focused may be provided by department managers with HR’s input. As employees become adept and excel at their work, HR personnel and management can discuss the possibility of further development training with the goal of employee advancement. HR can then combine presentation and supervision of definitive training for selected employees. Trainers falling under the supervision of human resources should themselves be trained in keeping company objectives at the forefront of educational efforts.

Enhancement
Although HR and training departments may be successfully combined, there might be justification to provide external training enhancement to employees to help further their achievements. Sending employees to outside seminars and conferences or bringing in contracted trainers for a finite period can broaden your employees’ perceptions of their abilities. Peripheral training providers fall under HR’s domain rather than acting independently. Training enhancement can also take the form of job sharing, where conscripted employees work in other departments to gain experience that may boost their progress.

Evaluation
Regular objective evaluations of your composite HR and training department should be scheduled with an eye toward improvement. The strength of your co-joined departments can be measured by studying feedback from managers, customer satisfaction surveys and input from HR’s staff members. The effectiveness of combining the two departments can also be monitored through the use of training audits conducted by company officials or by contracting with outside entities. Any deficient HR training functions that might initially result from pairing the two functions can be examined and modified over time.

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