The Benefits Of Human Resource Investment

2665 words - 11 pages

Organisations around the world have for years invested a great deal of their resources on employee training and development. Snell and Bohlander in their book (2006: 150) refer to the training magazine ongoing industry report (2004) asserts that in 2004, U.S. businesses spent more than $50 billion in training and development of their staff. According to Michael Armstrong (1993: 508), “training is the systematic development of knowledge, skills and attitudes by an individual to perform adequately a given task or a job”. The main purpose of training is to improve the performance of the organization by improving the performance of its employees (Currie 1997). Training and development of employees essentially means providing them with knowledge and skills that may boost organisational performance. The aim is to render their work more efficient and enable them to adapt to upcoming trends or become multitask. Training is mostly performed for a specific job or task and it is short-term while development is long-term and it encompasses general operations. Training is also more technical unlike development, which is more theoretical (Currie 1997). Many profit-making organisations have as their end goal to increase productivity which then translates into increased profitability. Bearing this in mind and despite the benefits that accrue organisations, many are still reluctant to invest in this endeavour (Gratton 2007). The aim of this paper is to look into the benefits of training and development for both firms and employees and explain why some organisations and individuals are reluctant to invest in training.
As already mentioned, training and development of employees entails numerous benefits for both a firm and its employees. One of its main benefits is that it results in higher productivity, which is achieved by improving the performance of existing employees in terms of working speed and quality. This is because trained employees can utilise new techniques and systems, thereby contributing to increased profitability of the business (Taylor 1989; Armstrong 1995). Furthermore, training can minimise the fear of employees to probable changes in the company. The morale of employees is increased, which makes them identify more easily with the profit path and the specific goals of the business (Taylor 1989). Due to improved performance, the firm creates a positive image in the process (Boxall & Purcell 2007), which in turn offers it a competitive edge over its rivals and may allow it to acquire a sustainable market leadership position. For a business, another positive effect of training and development is that the firm can recruit high quality employees by offering them the opportunity to improve their skills. In such a way, it can obtain higher earnings, offer better career prospects, and quite importantly, benefit from an adequate workforce and thus not be dependent on the labour market (Armstrong 1995; Grugulis 2009). Also, as Grugulis (2009) explains...

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