The Implications of Internal Employee Training
7th August 2020
In-house or internal employee training is a training category wherein the employees are internally trained by members of the organisation itself, such as department heads, supervisors, and managers. On the other hand, external training takes place when professional trainers are hired to train the members of staff. While external training shifts the burden of training to an expert, there has been a growth in the use of internal training. Importantly, in-house training often awards the managers with the opportunity to engage with the team, and also develop a stronger understanding of the performance gaps. This extensive knowledge also prepares them to make effective contributions in their respective roles, apart from training the other team members. This has pushed both trainers and organisations to consider the several benefits and drawbacks associated with this method of training.
Some of the benefits of in-house training are as follows:
- Since in-house training is performed by managers and supervisors working within the organisation, they tend to have a deeper understanding of the firm’s performance gaps, the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and the business’ exact ways of operating. Keeping this in mind, they have the ability to deliver training sessions that specifically cater to the organisation’s requirements.
- In-house training is also relatively cheaper and less time consuming as the entire process of searching for an external trainer, hiring them, and updating them with the exact firm’s requirements is eliminated.
- The training delivered by internal managers can be more effective because they usually have a firmer knowledge of, and an accurate understanding of what skills and knowledge is required for different roles. More importantly, they are in the position to actually measure the impact of the training delivered. While an external trainer may offer an effective session, they may not always be able to measure the behavioural changes triggered by the training program. Alternatively, internal managers or supervisors can directly observe the changes in the employees’ performance. They can ensure that the employees are applying the skills acquired, and even push them to do so, when required.
- In-house training also offers a promising team-building opportunity. As the managers engage with their employees in order to impart new skills and knowledge, they eventually build a stronger bond, and a sense of team and unity is established. Needless to say, as the rapport building and teamwork brings the staff together and prepares them to collectively train and contribute towards bridging the performance gaps.
On the contrary, there are certain drawbacks emanating from the idea of in-house training. Some of them are as follows:
- Generally, external trainers possess the expertise in delivering effective training sessions. In other words, they know how to transfer the knowledge and skills highlighted as organisational needs. This may not always be the case for internal managers because despite being knowledgeable in the subject matter, they are not necessarily great trainers who hold the ability to analyse the various learning needs, design a training plan, develop training materials, engage the trainees, properly assess them, and ultimately match the learning objectives. Because of this, the employees may not always be able to transfer their knowledge into their respective roles. Due to this, there has been a surge in the demand for trainer training courses. These trainer training courses are prepared to help managers, supervisors, and also external trainers obtain a tighter grip on the various aspects of designing and delivering effective training sessions. Likewise, corporate trainer training courses, and methodically prepared trainer training programs for managers and supervisors in both in-class and online platforms have gained prominence.
- In addition, in-house training necessitates a bunch of additional administrative work as the trainers have to spend extra time, conducting training needs analysis, collecting data, designing training plans, and then delivering the sessions. Since managers and supervisors already have a lot in their platters, this additional task can be quite taxing.
- Moreover, only resorting to in-house training could keep the firm from importing external knowledge, expertise, and insights. Often, external trainers bring in tonnes of experiences and perspectives that enables the employees to expand their knowledge bases, and perhaps prepare them to be more effective. As it happens, being constantly trained by in-house managers can often lead to the exchange of outdated knowledge as the in-house managers and supervisors may only have a confined understanding of how their respective organisations function.
To sum it up, although in-house training poses a mix of benefits and drawbacks, it is a fairly promising method that can benefit an organisation, if exercised in an efficacious manner by skilled managers who have experience in training and development. At the same time, the need to train the existing trainers, or training the managers and supervisors through trainer training courses is highly essential for both internal and external training to render organisational benefits.