Why formal training is important

Most career schools and colleges undertake serious efforts to make their operations more efficient. Policies and procedures are written to ensure that the school is operated according to approved guidelines. Job applicants are screened for prerequisite skills before they are hired. Managers and supervisors form a chain of command. Diligent as these measures are, you will not produce competent employee performance without training programs designed specifically to develop or improve job performance.

Here are a few reasons why training is important to your school:

  • Increased levels of employee performance can be achieved through the development of skills and knowledge. Trained employees are typically more efficient.
  • Initial training establishes and verifies a documented level of competency. Further training can improve competency.
  • Formal training, whether in the classroom, online or on the job, creates an atmosphere conducive to learning. Without formality, the need to produce can overshadow the need to learn; distractions and interruptions can impede effective learning.
  • Training facilitates discussion. Discussion is an important part of learning. Discussion is vital to improving performance. When trainees question a method or system, more efficient methods often result.
  • Training can open opportunities for an individual and increase the value of the employee to the organization.
  • In formal training, learning is validated and documented. Trainees are required to demonstrate knowledge or skills learned.
  • Training is typically required for regulatory/accreditation compliance.

Learning can take place without a formal structure. However, formal training can demonstrate that learning is taking place, that the learner’s interest is held, and that experience is provided in the application of concepts. Improved job competence benefits the employee, the manager/supervisor, the students and the school.

Most managers and supervisors provide their staff and faculty with informal training. These include:

  • Required or suggested reading
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Pre-task meetings
  • Safety discussions
  • Walk-throughs

Informal training is very valuable. However, informal training must not be substituted for formal training; there is no way to adequately verify that the training took place. Also, there is no way to assure the quality of informal training. I will discuss the elements of formal training in my next blog.

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