Amazon is the largest e-commerce marketplace and cloud computing platform in the world. It also backs career development of its employees besides offering core services. Its core services include e-commerce, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Thus, Amazon provides opportunities to its employees to learn new skills and be competitive in the job market. And this it does through its Career Choice Program.
One of the key highlights of this program is that it prepays for 95% of yearly tuition, fees and textbooks. The fee is for a certificate or diploma in qualified fields of study. And he careers range from transportation, healthcare to mechanical and skilled trades and IT.
Furthermore, numerous classes are held within the classrooms at Amazon facilities for encouraging participation of all the associates for this program. Till date, more than 16,000 amazon associates across the globe have been a part of the Career Choice Program and benefited from it.
Why Is There A Need For Training?
So, 40% of the employees receiving poor job training leave their positions within the first year of their job. Further, it’s getting challenging for employees to stay relevant. This is because automation is taking lead and breaking into almost every aspect of business. Job roles that existed earlier do not exist today.
Hence, there exist multiple skill gaps with such a short life of skills and reduced supply of talent pool. Thus, business leaders are developing learning opportunities to encourage employee growth and achievement. This is done in order to retain the high performing talent pool. These opportunities are created through designing ace training and development programs. Thus, these programs impart a variety of skills in employees. This not only prepares them for the current job but also for the future employment opportunities.
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So, here are various types of employee training and development programs undertaken by companies to help them grow.
1. Basic Literacy Skills Training
School graduates fail to possess basic skills that are indispensable to perform in today’s workplace. “Workplace Literacy and Basic Skills” are the skills that are required by the employees at workplace. These skills help the employees in fully participating and engaging with the company. Thus, these include reading, writing, thinking skills, document use, computer use, numeracy, continuous learning and working with others.
Now, the lack of basic literacy has costed huge amounts to the corporates across the globe in terms of lost productivity. Hence, lack of basic literacy is not just confined to the developed nations but also acts as a drag for corporates in the underdeveloped countries. Here, few workers can read and have studied beyond grade three.
Thus, such widespread illiteracy makes it challenging for these workers to compete in the global economy. It, therefore, becomes necessary for the companies to teach basic reading and math skills to their employees.
ABC Life Literacy Canada Case Study
ABC Life Literacy Canada conducted an environmental scan in the healthcare sector. This scan collected data regarding the Literacy/Essential Skills (L/ES) issues within the sector. The data revealed that there was a lack of material to train entry level healthcare workforce for literacy and essential skills. Further, the jobs of such workers were becoming complex in nature. This was due to increased health and safety issues and responsibilities of client care. Hence, the need to (i) read and understand documents, (ii) write reports and (iii) technology use became an indispensable part of the job of the entry level workers in the healthcare sector.
Further,the data revealed that training with regards to L/ES was non-existing within the sector. And contractual employment of such entry level workers left them with less training and lower wages.
So, the employers who offered L/ES training programs saw the following results:
- Improved Patient Care
- Enhanced Employee Retention
- Improved Ability To Provide for Labour Shortages
- Enhanced Job Performance
- Increased Health and Safety
2. Technical Training
Technical training has become indispensable due to innovation in technology and coming of new structural design in corporates across the globe. These training efforts are inclined to upgrade and improve technical skills of employees.
Thus, these exponential technologies have resulted into newer job roles across sectors such as:
- business process management,
- textiles and apparel and
- financial services and
These job roles include data architects, digital marketers, machine learning specialists, web and app developers, blockchain architects etc.
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Wipro Case Study
Wipro has more than 1,70,000 workforce across 175+ cities and 6 countries. Azim Premji is the Chairman of Wipro Ltd. He steered the company through four decades of diversification and growth. And he too believes in the ideology that professional education is important for employability. Hence, the company conducts training and development classes regularly and offers better opportunities to employees.
A case study was initiated at Wipro. It was undertaken to learn about the training and learning initiatives of Wipro Ltd for new recruits as well as experienced professionals. As per the study, it was revealed that Wipro had undertaken several training programs for employees. These included programs for new recruits, experienced professionals and skilled resource pool. In this article, we are going to discuss the programs initiated for skilled resource pool.
Wipro Academy of Software Excellence
The first program initiated was the “Wipro Academy of Software Excellence ”. This program helped in preparing some of the outstanding Bachelor of Science students for application programming. It imparted necessary skills to fresh graduates needed by them to work on applications in a software company.
Wipro InfoTech Master of Science
The second program that was established was “Wipro InfoTech Master of Science”. This program helps in preparing new BCA and Bsc graduates for IT infrastructure management services. Under this program, training is offered along with practical exposure to the Infrastructure Management Service industry.
3. Soft Skills Training
It is not possible to know with certainty as to how much poor communication costs to a business. But estimates reveal that billions of dollars are incurred every year as cost of poor communication. Poor communication could includes:
- Badly written emails
- Improper reading and listening to instructions
- Unread documents owing to poor design
- Presenting misleading information as a result of haste
- Careless Proofreading
Losses caused by such poor communication are huge and inevitable. These result in loss of business, decreased productivity and increased inefficiency. Thus, the performance of employees to a greater extent depends on their ability to interact with their coworkers as well as the management.
Thus, there are some employees who possess outstanding interpersonal skills. Whereas, there are others who require some amount of training to improvise on these skills. This training could include learning how to communicate ideas more precisely, how to be a good listener and how to be an effective team player.
To illustrate what poor communication can cost to companies, here is a real life example of Hyatt Regency in Kansas City.
Hyatt Regency Case Study
Way back on July 17, 1981, over 100 people lost their lives and 200 people got injured as a result of two walkaways collapsing in Hotel Hyatt Regency, Kansas. At the time the tragedy took place, a tea dance was being held in the hotel’s lobby. Around 1600 people had gathered in order to witness the show. Few amongst those people stood on two of the walkways to watch the show.
Now, that night, the stress became too great and the walkaways collapsed, plunging to the atrium floor. Later, it was discovered that a serious change in the design of the walkaways was suggested while constructing the walkways.
This was in contrast to what was suggested originally. Furthermore, these design changes were confirmed over phone rather than thoroughly reading and checking the document along with calculations. Given such a major change in the design, the management should have read the document and communicated the same formally to the associates.
4. Safety Training
Safety training is a way by which a company provides its workforce with requisite skills and knowledge. This training is given to enable the employees to carry their work in a safe manner. A well developed safety program includes directions and procedures for the employees. These guidelines help them to spot danger and adopt necessary measures to cope with them.
It is the moral and legal obligation of the employers to guide its workforce to carry out their work in a safe manner. Employees are the most prized assets of the companies and thus ensuring their safety is a fundamental requirement.
Thus, safety training aims to minimize incidents, increase awareness and ensure that employees stay safe, happy and efficient. An effective safety training program results in increased employee satisfaction and efficiency, reduced future accidents and insurance premiums. Companies use various methods to impart training for work safety. These include first aid, fire drills, evacuation etc.
Steel Dynamics Inc Case Study
Steel Dynamics Inc is a steel producer based in Indiana. The steel manufacturing at Steel Dynamics requires workforce to melt scrap steel at 3000 degrees and transform it into I – beams. Thus, workforce safety is a priority at the plant.
The company felt that there was something missing in the safety training program undertaken at its Columbia City plant, Indiana. So it got on board FDR safety which imparted training to its supervisors at the plant. Most of the supervisors were apprehensive of participating in the training program. They considered this training program to be be dull and unnecessary. But the FDRsafety trainer adopted a new approach to train the supervisors. The trainer simply talked about personal accountability and responsibility. He didn’t tell them whole lot of safety rules.
Thus, the trainer simply asked them to think of a safety issue at home or work and how they take the responsibility to come up with a solution.
The result of the training was improved safety performance for the company.