Cross exposure is the process of placing a member of staff in another department for a limited period of time. This is normally done when the staff member’s normal department has to interact closely with the other department and there is a need for mutual understanding and communication. Cross exposure is also given to potential senior managers to provide them with an understanding of how the company functions as a whole, or ordinary members of staff who need motivation or challenge.
Development is a more fluid concept than training, and generally has longer-term aims. It emphasises personal growth of employees and achievement of their potential, for example: to move towards promotions and prepare for management positions. Development concentrates upon general rather than specific skills to suit a wider range of positions. Examples of such skills would normally include leadership skills, self-awareness, confidence, the principles and techniques of communication and motivation. It may also include more advanced exposure to techniques of performance appraisal, goal setting, policy and procedure development.
Development can be a process oriented both to the individual (personal development) or to groups of employees (such as developing people to work effectively in teams).
Education is quite closely related to development, but is a process which has more general connotations. It has broader implications and applications and has more of an individual orientation. It is simply the acquisition of knowledge. Unlike development (and training) it does not usually concentrate upon the learning or acquisition of particular skills, either personal or directly job related, nor is there usually any direction from the organisation as to the path it takes. The aims of development and education do, however, have many similarities.
This is the training given to a new employee on the first day or within the first week of employment. It is designed to give the new hire an understanding of the business, an understanding of their new job, and an understanding of the rules of employment within the business. Also see: Induction/Orientation
Organisation Development (O.D.)
Organisational development is a process which utilises a wide range of strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace as a whole. It may focus on individual employees, groups or employees, the structure of the organisation, its technology, or interactions between these factors. An O.D. program may encompass a combination of different approaches designed to change the organisation and assist employees to cope with those changes. Unlike training and development, it focuses on both employees and their work in recognition that both may need to be changed simultaneously to sustain effective changes in individual and organisational performance.
Training generally aims to improve specific knowledge or skills that can be achieved in the short term and that will show benefits in the short term. Formal instruction in how to do a particular job is regarded as training. A list of behavioural outcomes are normally set and action taken to achieve them. For example, an objective could be: “within a one month training period, the employee will be able to operate all front office functions of the LODGEMATE computer system.”
There are three components to good training. The primary component is the actual education of the person concerned — this is readily accepted and understood. Beyond this there is a requirement which is not as well understood, to motivate the person who has been trained to want to change his or her ways and adopt new methods.
The former is the responsibility of the trainer, while the latter is a shared responsibility between the trainer and the operational management of the business concerned. After sending a person to a a training course, two further activities are necessary to complete the behavioural change process — close supervision and relentless follow-up, until the new behaviour becomes normal.