Training and learning

Training and learning are known to be some of the crucial aspects in the human resource development, for any organization.  The learning perspective is known to be an alternative to the conventional views of HRD as being a tool of management justified only in helping to meet managerial goals and objectives. Learning sometimes is usually associated with what is known as critical HRD, which is the wider literature of what is termed critical. There are various critiques on learning which are centrally focused on CHRD. One of them argues that the learning perspective does not constitute art of CHRD. This argument has been noted to challenge the humanist assumptions informing traditional HRD, which are also shared by the learning perspective. These assumptions see the individual in purely instrumental terms, with self-development being both desirable and possible. Through this notion, the main issue that arises is that learning is the development of potential being valued or seen worth in an organization by its own right. Though learning and HRD share some differences, they also share a perspective of purpose, to human emancipation through L and D (HAMILIN, 1999).

On the other hand human resource development is usually shortened to human development, due to the fact that HD is essentially concerned with the effects of investment in human capital; in form of education and training; in improving national economic performance and alleviating poverty in the less developed countries. “while there may be debate about the accuracy or appropriateness of the terms used, it is clear that what the majority of researchers refer as VET or NHRD is concerned with government and other agencies that attempt to stimulate economic development within countries through direct investment, and through stimulating indirect investment by employers and individuals in form of human capital, through the provision and supply of education and training (METCALFE and REES, 2005).

Training and development are known to be combined roles that are often used in the human resource development. This is because training is usually meant to develop human resources so that they can remain competitive in the market.  In this, training is seen to be the preparation of employees for both the future and current jobs that are available in the market. There are various human resource development strategies which are meant to enhance training they include: supervisory/ management training, teambuilding training, harassment training and customer service training. It is usually noted that through these forms of training, the employee is equipped with the capabilities to handle various situations in the work place which are essentially meant to improve the performance of an organization. Quite often strategic HR is usually able to assist an organization meet its training and development needs through the following ways:  by establishing a formal career advance planning program, conducting of surveys on employees opinion, the designing of a recognition and design program, the improvement and creation of a performance system, and the development of emerging leaders and success plan.  It is usually realized that training and learning are usually very essential in any given organization. Quite often training is seen to enhance the skill of employees through enhancing their skill in their respective fields (HAMILIN, 1999).

Though training and learning are sometimes seen similar and mutually exclusive they also poses some differences in that training is usually seen to be a planned and conscious process that involves the transfer of knowledge, attitudes and skills to others. Whereas learning is usually the assimilation and processing of what we, experience or see, and hear which improves or alters our skills, knowledge and attitudes. In this, it is realized that learning initially entails the change in employee’s behavior due to the change in skills, attitudes and behavior.  Through this, one is able to realize that one major difference between learning and training is that training is planned and conscious where as learning is just the change in behavior. In most cases, it is usually noted that training usually comes before learning in that training usually facilitates learning. Hence, most organizations organize or plan training programs for their staff, through seminars and workshops which are essentially meant to facilitate learning to the employees so that they may have a certain behavior change that the organization has initially noticed.

Learning and training are also different in that, learning takes a long period of time unlike training which can save time especially through the use of computer technology whereby, stalled software can be able to facilitate the training of staff through the facilitation of direct asking of questions and answering. It is usually noted that some organizations usually depend heavily on informal learning which takes a long period of time unlike planned training which can be more efficient and time effective. In this the basic differentiating factor between learning and training is that training is something that one does, whereas learning is something that happens, known to be the major outcome of training. In this training becomes successful if learning takes place.

The equation L>C in human resource development essentially entails that learning is more important than context in an organizational setup.  In the aspect pertaining context, organizations tend to utilize graduate development programs which select and recruit graduates as their first stage in development. According to various scholars like Holden (Holden et al 2010), the current developments in graduate development mostly entail three important changes which are: the rising number of graduates of about 50% between the year 1995 and 2007. The second factor is the changing nature of careers and jobs, (the supply of graduates has increased and also the number of jobs has increased which are suitable for the graduates. On the other hand, this increase in the number of graduates has a reverse effect which is that, before, job entries did not require a first degree for employment, hence creating a gap which has to be filled through the increase in the number of universities.

The increase in the number of university is usually noted to result in the diversification of subjects and disciplines in the universities. “Graduates in all disciplines and subjects are therefore expected to be able to demonstrate similar skills of value to the employers. It is not yet known what consequences recent rises in tuition fees will have on the graduate labor market and thus on graduate development programs. One widely anticipated consequence is a reduction in participation in higher education and consequent reductions in the number of graduates, even if only temporary while the market adjusts to the new fees. This in turn will increase competition among graduate recruiters who will have a smaller pool to draw from. Related consequence may well be that graduate development programs will become even more critical ‘selling point’ used by employers to attract the ‘best’ graduates” (METCALFE and REES, 2005).

Quite often learning is taken to be a superior factor than the consideration of context in an organization because learning enhances the skills of the already employed employees. It is often realized that most graduates that are usually incorporated in the organization set up do not have adequate factional skills compared the already working employees. In this, the organizations are forced to take them for further training for them to be best suited for the jobs. Quite often some organizations have been able to scrub off employees who have not attained their degrees and in this; these organizations tend to lose employees who are well experienced in the particular job (Wilson, 2005).

Though the incorporation of graduates at times proves to be advantageous to the organizations, it is also expensive in that these organizations have to undergo various costs through sponsoring these graduates and finally taking them for training programs for them to fit in their particular jobs. In some occasions graduates who get sponsored by various organizations, end up not working in the organizations which sponsored them. In this, these organizations tend to undergo a loss (GOLD, STEWART, and ILES, 2010).

In conclusion it is evident that that training and learning are an essential aspect in any given organization for it enables the companies not only to perform better but also to be able to fit in the competitive market. Quite often, organizations utilize the human resource development to improve their customer base systems and also the production sector.













GOLD,J.,STEWART,J. And ILES,P.(2010) National HRD policies and practice, in GOLD,J.,HOLDEN,R., ILES,P.,STEWART,J. And BEARDWELL,J.(eds) Human Resource Development: Theory and practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

HAMILIN,R. (1999) The national context, in STEWART,J. Employee Development Practice. London: FT/Pitman.

METCALFE,B.D. and REES, C.J. (2005) Theorizing advances in international HRD. Human Resource Development International. Vol.8, No.4. 449-65.

Martin, V. (2006). Managing projects in human resources, training and development. London: Kogan Page.

Wilson, J. P. (2005). Human resource development learning & training for individuals & organizations, 2nd edition(2nd ed.). London: Kogan Page.