Benefits of an organization by implementing a Training and Development program

Benefits of an organization by implementing a Training and Development program

In today’s highly competitive business environment Training and Development programs are viewed by many companies and managers as the key to their progress and success. Various companies focus on designing and updating their training strategies and development programs with specific reference to relevant factors that include both the company-related features and more general characteristics of specific market and industry conditions.

The effective training strategy should include the vision of the company’s objectives, focus on most challenging aspects, finding ways of addressing these challenges and planning the company’s processes accordingly. The training strategy is the prospects of the company accurately evaluated and worked out with an active support of the company’s personnel. Maintaining the feedback from the personnel and having adequate tools of their performance evaluation is a crucial point. The research carried out recently at the University of Pennsylvania provided new evidence to the fact that human capital is the most valuable asset: allotting 10% of revenue for capital improvements resulted in productivity rise by 3.9% while investing the same amount in developing human resources boosted productivity by 8.5%.

One of the companies that provide good examples and insights on what this type of program can be like is Marks and Spencer (M&S). A well-known UK retail company with over 60, 000 employees and a large number of stores introduce its program as a reply to the needs of its increasing expansion on the market. This demanded better organisational skills and proficiency of the personnel. Conducting their program of personnel training and development in line with certain organizational restructuring Marks and Spencer looked into the problem of slow decision making and decided to improve the situation by performing a de-layering process. After that the company has a now has a leaner structure with many employees having new and more extended responsibilities. More teamwork has been involved as a result, and the personnel started to perform better.  Certain fields have been chosen for target training of the personnel according to their current and would-be duties including marketing duties, purchasing stock, accounting and others. The company chooses the employees for training thinking of their managerial skills and prospects of this kind of a career for them.

The company has both longer and shorter training course for people with different experience and academic background, which seems to be beneficial as the personnel feel appreciated and see good career prospects for themselves in the company that provide training for people of different proficiency levels.

Marks and Spencer have competency profiling for making their programs more efficient. They identify the competence gaps their employees have and plan training accordingly. Sales management, team and financial management are combined in the training programs with developing communication skills and enhancing decision making abilities. The company also maintains follow-ups and performance reviews to assess the efficiency of their training, usually six months after completing the training course. The assessment is assigned to line managers who talk to employees and then are seeing against the department performance rate.

The best practice principles have it that employees should be active in decision making that concern the company’s operating as this improves the functioning of the structures and departments within the company. This technique is also made use of by the company. The training and development process provides for rewards conferred on employees that put maximum efforts in acquiring the necessary skills. This seems to be an adequate approach to the idea of rewarding the employees as recent research (Kohn, 1993) showed a controversial effect of using rewards too extensively.  

Therefore, Marks and Spencer's training and development programs can be seen as designed according to the best practice standards and efficient.



  1. Kohn, A. (1993). Why incentive plans cannot work. Harvard Business Review (September-October): 54-63.
  2. Pfeffer, J. (1998): Six Dangerous Myths about Pay. Harvard Business Review (May-June): 109-119.