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Employee Development

«HRD consists of organized learning experiences provided to employers, within a specified period of time, to bring about the possibility of performance improvement and/or personal growth»[1]. This definition of HRD by Nadler explains perfectly the need for Training and Development in a business as well as for its employees. Indeed, all staff, from the lowest levels of hierarchy up to the CEO needs to develop their skills, abilities and methods of working in order to be able to solve the everyday, constantly changing problems that arise during their work.

Initially in this essay, we will examine a day in the life of a professional working in the Training and Development field. Subsequently, as this aforementioned examination will introduce, we will identify the principle duties and responsibilities associated with this profession. The third step will show the salary expectations of a job in this field. Lastly, the fourth section will detail the pros and cons of choosing this area of work/study.

A Day in the Life

Working in the training and development area of HRM involves managing the professional development of a company's workforce. The training element encompasses giving staff the skills, knowledge and motivation to conduct their work related duties. The development aspect relates to the continuing advancement of employee skills, so that they can fulfil their full potential within their roles in the organisation. Training and development staff are responsible for developing a comprehensive training programme that addresses both of these areas in order to further enhance their workforce's ability to fulfil the needs of the organisation.

Working in training and development is a nine-to-five profession, with some extra hours being required if the training officer is training staff who work varying shifts. In this instance, they may need to adapt to their shift patterns. Training delivery can take place on or off their work premises, at times at various locations throughout the country. Travel during the day is likely in order to conduct these sessions, and it may involve being away from home overnight.

Employees working in the area are generally personable and possess strong communications skills. They are responsible for planning, organising and implementing a range of activities for both new hires and existing employees, for conducting orientation sessions and workshops to target skills that need developing, or to prepare employees for jobs requiring a greater skill set. Methods include on-the-job and classroom training, monitored simulations and problem solving scenarios.

Having examined a day in the life of a Training and Development professional, we can now identify the activities which are involved in this field:

* The identification of the training and development needs of a business through the undertaking of job analysis, appraisals and consultation with management and human resources staff;

* designing and developing training programmes based on both business' and employee requirements;

* considering the cost of training and remaining within pre-determined budget constraints;

* the development of comprehensive induction programmes, assessing and reviewing the progress of new hires, conducting appraisals and providing feedback to managers;

* devising and producing individual learning plans and training materials for in-house sessions;

* ensuring that statutory training requirements are adhered to;

* evaluating existing programmes, and in turn, amending and revising them in order to adapt to any developments that occur in the business environment;

* keeping pace with developments in the field by continuously researching relevant journals, attending meetings and enrolling in relevant courses in their area of responsibility

Salary Expectations

According to HAYS Recruiting Experts Worldwide, companies continue to offer flexible work practices and have increased nonmonetary benefits over salaries. HR salary rate has not been increasing in recent years due to growing competition in the field. There are more candidates available to fill positions every year. As the number of candidates grow, so to do employer expectations. This is why it is imperative for candidates to be as highly skilled as possible, and prepared to become more flexible with salary expectations.

HAYS Survey states “the few notable exceptions occurred in Perth and Adelaide, namely for training coordinators (where typical salaries increased by 10% and 6% respectively), organisational development managers (20% and 10% respectively) and industrial relations managers (8% and 10% respectively).” This is not very encouraging news for HR graduates, but according to the surveys, the reality is that they should start to consider taking temporary jobs as these are available in greater quantities than permanent positions.

In the USA, a Human Resource graduate at entry level can expect to make between $28K-$45K, with salary levels lying towards the higher end of the scale for graduate employees. According to Hudson HR Salary Survey 2009, a trainer manager with a permanent position in HR training & development can expect to make £44,368 in London, £33,00 in the North, £38,951 in Scotland, £34,544 in Midlands and East Anglia, and £37,650 in the Southwest of Europe.

The salary expectations in a temporary job in the HR training and development field are £22 per hour in London, £20 per hour in the North, £20 per hour in Scotland, £25 per hour in the Midlands and East Anglia, and £38 per hour in the Southwest in a management position.

Pros & Cons of working in Training and Development

As in every area, there are not only Pros and not only Cons for working in that particular area. The difference often depends on the person's individual preferences. For example, a healthy work-life balance may be a strong motivating factor for one individual, while others might not necessarily hold much value in a good work-life balance, but rather they would regard a high salary as being a key factor. Given the specific features of a job or a field of profession, it all comes down to whether the features of such a role fit the individual person.

A lot of people who are working in training and development are working as free lancers, hired for specific training needs by various companies, which has both positive and negative aspects. While it keeps the job interesting because of the constantly changing circumstances of trainees and global branches, it also presents the individual with some insecurity, as there is no guaranteed monthly salary for freelancing practitioners, save for the jobs that they are offered on an ongoing basis. These jobs might come in quite regularly one month, while work at other times of the year may be far scarcer. Conversely, there are many people contracted and working in the training and development department of their business. This comes with a constant cash-flow in the form of the monthly salary, and therefore offers a greater security. There roles are also kept fresh and challenging, as the employees can have a huge amount of impact on the success or failure of their organisation, so training and development staff are entrusted with a lot of responsibility. On the other hand, they are always confronted with the same set of employees to provide training to. While this adds to the efficiency of the procedure due to the employee knowing the company's culture, it may be less engaging because of the decreased variety of situations offered to the training and development officer. Finally, as Training and Development is a rather small industry, there are limited job opportunities, and therefore also limited scope for getting promotions due to the rigidity of the area, or at least a smaller chance than in other business fields.

[1] Cited in Nadler and Nadler, 1989: 4