Training and the Internal Environment

Training and development strategy impacts HR functional areas and key dimensions in the organization’s internal environment. Training and development programs have to be embedded in a larger system so that HR policies are supported and reinforced across the whole organization. Organizations have to consider the tasks that employees do on a regular basis - the activities that are essential to the company’s business.

The task environment requires us to understand what employees do, when they do it, and how often they repeat those tasks. This information provides the basis for job analysis and job descriptions, and provides clarity on the job specifications, the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed for the employees to perform successfully. The people environment includes the demographics of the workforce, including the KSAs, experiences, education levels, and motivations of the employees.

The task and people environments inform training and development because organizations have to know what tasks are needed for the job, and whether or not employees are ready, willing, and able to perform those tasks. The social environment considers the social systems within which the employees work, like the organizational culture and leadership styles. When an organization brings in new employees, it must train them on the way people do work, and familiarize them with the key values and ethical considerations that are important to the organization.

While some aspects of culture are easy to identify, others are more unconscious and difficult to put into words. Helping employees get up to speed with the company culture is an important part of onboarding and employee development. Ethics is also an important aspect of company culture and values. Because of the liability to companies if employees behave unethically, communicating the company’s key values is essential. Employee development programs can also directly influence leadership style. The company identifies the type of leadership style it values, and develops management and leadership training to meet those needs.
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