Importance of Training & Development Department in HR

The human resourcestraining function plays an important role from the beginning of the employment relationship. At the same time, the development function of HR is equally important for the future of the employment relationship. Companies often fail to realize that the return on investment in training and development activities help support employers’ goals for profitability, according to Paul Sarvadi, author of Entrepreneur magazine’s May 2005 article titled, “The Importance of Employee Development.”
Large organizations with HR departments typically have training and development experts on staff. In an HR department led by a vice president or director, there might be a training and development manager, as well as training specialists. Training and development managers collaborate with senior HR executives to determine the role that training plays in the strategic direction of HR and the overall organization. They are experts in adult learning theory, methods and application and they might be equally well-versed in organizational development. Training specialists are the ones who conduct classroom training, Web-based instruction and in-house workshops and focus groups.

Providing orientation for new employees is a significant step in building a solid employer-employee relationship. Training specialists are responsible for coordinating new-hire orientation, leading classroom instruction for new employees and assisting them with the transition to a new work environment. Without training specialists to conduct orientation, department supervisors would be responsible for training new workers. Department supervisors may do very well training employees in their own departments; however, it could be difficult for a department supervisor to provide the kind of well-rounded orientation that new employees need.

Needs Assessment
The training and development staff is particularly adept at conducting needs assessments. They identify employee skill sets and determine the kind of training employees need to meet the organization’s workforce and staffing goals. Needs assessments are critical for organizations in their growth phase because training an existing workforce saves the money of hiring new staff at higher wages.

Succession Planning
Succession planning refers to the HR function that identifies employees with the aptitude for higher-level responsibilities and prepares them to take on future leadership roles. Training and development staff play another important role in the handling the professional development component of succession planning. They build professional development activities based on succession plans so there can be a smooth transition for employees climbing the corporate ladder.

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