Corporate training involves formal or informal education programs designed to improve the skills of executives or workers. It can take the form of teaching a worker to fit into a new job, or it can be designed to improve skills for workers who are already on the job.
A study commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching estimates that American corporations spend as much every year on their own training and learning programs as the nation spends on all of its colleges and universities. The benefits they expect to achieve commonly include increased revenues produced by more highly trained or motivated employees, along with improvements in employee recruitment and retention.
Some companies refer to corporate training with other terms, including employee development, human resource development or training and development.
Categories of Corporate Training
- Training: Task-related instruction that focuses on new workers or workers who are already on the job. Its effectiveness can be measured by improvements in employee performance, or by the speed with which new employees reach acceptable performance levels.
- Development: Training designed to prepare a worker’s general skills for an undefined job. General leadership training might be an example of this.
Types of Corporate Training
Corporate training can be accomplished in a number of ways, including:
- On-the-job training: Employees learn while performing job duties. This is usually done under the guidance of a more experienced worker or some other mentor.
- Corporate universities: Usually classroom-style training conducted by experienced or professional educators who either work for the company or are brought in from the outside. This type of training can be aimed at building the general skill levels of employees or at updating them on innovations in a rapidly changing field.
- External learning: Can take the form of short seminars or formal courses held at a location outside the company or online.
Management of Corporate Training
Corporate training projects are commonly sponsored by members of senior management who are able to determine what skill sets their employees might need improvement upon, or benefit by acquiring. The hands-on management of most training programs, including class scheduling, employee coordination and the hiring and supervision of trainers, is commonly handled by a company’s human resources office.
Trends in Corporate Training
Some current trends in corporate training include:
- Using non-teachers as trainers: In this case, professional trainers might train a supervisor or mentor to lead employee training projects. The method is to give teaching skills to those who are most familiar with the work skills to be taught.
- Computer-based training: Online training or self-study can either replace the use of a teacher or be used in conjunction with classroom instruction.
- Personalized training: Employers are increasingly designing personal development plans for individual employees rather than running large groups through one-size-fits-all training packages. The method allows employees to incorporate training that interests them and allows supervisors to put their workers in programs that best suit them.
- Just-in-time training: This refers to the concept that training is most effective when an employee can put it to use quickly. Training on a new computer system, for example, is done just before the system goes live, rather than months or weeks before.
Resources for Corporate Training
- The American Society for Training and Development provides education and networking for corporate trainers
- The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is a professional organization dedicated to human resources officers and corporate trainers in the United Kingdom.
- The Journal of Workplace Learning is an academic publication devoted to corporate training and development issues.
Related Corporate Training Resources
About.com Career Planning: Winning Careers  About.com Continuing Education: Continuous Learning at Work: What’s In It For You?  About.com Continuing Education: Corporate Training  About.com Continuing Education: Easy Steps To Training Design  About.com Continuing Education: How To Write a Learning Contract  About.com Continuing Education: How To Write SMAART Goals and Objectives  About.com Continuing Education: Inspirational Quotations for the Teacher of Adult Learners  About.com Continuing Education: Lesson Plans for Adults  About.com Continuing Education: Reach Your Goal with a Personal Development Plan  About.com Human Resources: Catch the Wave: Six Training Trends  About.com Human Resources: Develop Your Leadership Brand  About.com Human Resources: Employee Orientation: Keeping New Emplyees On Board  About.com Human Resources: Success in Career and Personal Development and Management  About.com Human Resources: Use Training and Development To Motivate Staff  About.com Job Searching: Corporate Training Programs  American Society for Training and Development: Homepage  Bersin & Associates Can the Talent Management Suite Finally Fix Competency Management?  Business Week Magazine: Business School Rankings & Profiles  Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: Homepage  Corporate Classrooms: The Learning Business - A Carnegie Foundation Special Report.  Corporate University Xchange: Homepage  Emerald Insight: Journal of Workplace Learning  Encyclopedia of Business On-The-Job Learning  Financial Times: Training Under Fire: Making Executive Education Work in a Downturn  Free Management Library: Resources on Training and Development Programs  Google Books: Corporate Training Strategies: The Vital Component? By Ewart Keep  Google Books: Handbook of Online Learning By Kjell Erik Rudestam  Google Books: Motorola U: When Training Becomes an Education By William Wiggenhorn  GradSchools.com: Training and Corporate Education Graduate School Programs - Masters & PhD Degrees  HR Management Magazine: Learning, Training and Development - Defend Thyselves!  HR Management Magazine: Top Trends in E-Learning and Corporate Training  Inc. Magazine: Corporate Universities for Small Companies  IvanHoffman.com: Articles About Corporate Training and Online Education  OnLine Degree Advantage: Links to Corporate Training Institutions  Project Management Institute: Project Management Credential  Tekrati: 2008 U.S. Corporate Training Budgets Emphasizing Management and Leadership Training, says Bersin