Should Experienced Employees be Trained?

Should Experienced Employees be Trained?

The other day, my friend was ranting about attending a training session at her new company. She has over eight years’ experience in her field of work, but still has to attend training sessions organized by her company. Her ranting reminded me of my training sessions with the company I joined just a year or two ago. Despite finding the whole process boring, I was glad I attended the session as it helped me know more about company, people, work responsibilities and more.

Not all positions in an organization require a fresher. Some positions demand experienced new hires. Many newly hired experienced employees expect to start right away in to their new job as they feel that their experience and knowledge are more than sufficient. This is true to a certain extent, but many companies ask its new hires, fresher or experienced, to undergo induction training.

Every company has its own set of culture and standard practices that determine how each employee should go about doing their job. The entry of experienced employees into an organization requires him or her to maintain and get accustomed to its culture and decorum. Not adhering to one’s organization’s style of work can cause conflict leading to negativity, lack of motivation and enthusiasm, causing the employee’s performance to suffer. An induction training and orientation program helps new employees to be familiar with the culture and practice of the organization.

Besides the regular induction program, newly hired experienced employees need to develop a level of competency set by the new company to perform well in his or her new role. Despite having the required experience, training in developing competencies can help achieve great results.

When a new employee joins an organization, the chances of conflict arising are high. Training new hires on ways of getting along well with subordinates, colleagues and seniors will benefit them as well as the organization.

If an organization has to train its experienced employees, it is essential that they offer significant training programs. Irrelevant training sessions are a complete waste of time for the organization and the employees. Organizations should hold training programs that impart further knowledge and develop new skills on the job. Training can be off-the-job (lectures, conferences, case studies, role-play, simulations) or on-the-job (orientation, internships, coaching, instruction training).

The goals of the training program should relate to the needs of the organization. Goals should include milestones that help take an employee, fresher or experienced from his or her current position to where he or she desires to be. Allowing employees to participate in goal-setting of training programs increases their success rate and motivates employees.

The purposes of training programs are to:

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Increase efficiency resulting in financial gains
  • Decreased need for supervision
  • Building an efficient, effective and highly motivate team to enhance the company’s position in the market
  • Encourage employees to adopt and use advanced technical know-how to increase productivity.

Do share your thoughts with me on the same.

View eBook on Strategically Aligning E-learning for Workplace Training

  • Totally agree with your analysis of the need for induction courses for new hires – at all levels.

    In the last 15 years I have joined two major agencies at a senior level. In both cases I would say the induction programme was good, although neither fully prepared me for the very different processes and language that I encountered within each of those organisations, and which I had to master to be able to deliver properly. I think we all underestimate the amount of internalisation and adaptation of basic processes that goes on in any organisation – and which simply cannot be ported from elsewhere – especially for freshers.

    I’ve also been through some hideous training programmes (which fail to reflect any understanding of the business and just try to apply a jelly mould approach from elsewhere) – but even those programmes usually have some serendipitous outcome – for example meeting someone interesting from another division who had useful skills, or being forced to develop some sort of model which actually turns out to have some profitable application (if not the one originally intended).

    However, attending training courses should not be a milestone in itself. That is tick box management. Active demonstration of the application of the skills acquired is the key measure.

    BTW I think training programmes can also help employees recognise new skills and capabilities, bringing opportunities for the company. In many countries they are also needed to ensure that both individuals and companies are not compromised legally. Be aware that in the UK breaches of employment discrimination laws, for example, are the responsibility of the individual – and that breach of such laws results in considerable personal financial penalties. That understanding certainly stimulates positive participation in some courses.

  • Excellent Liz, I appreciate your comments and glad you enjoyed the article.


  • Shrikant Kalegaonkar

    It doesn’t matter whether the new hire or current employee is a fresh graduate or an experienced veteran. Everybody has training needs, including executive management. Some greater than others. So, it is important to conduct a training needs analysis (TNA) for that person. Based on the analysis a proper curriculum can be developed for them to follow through the course of a year perhaps.

    When a new person is hired into the company, they have demonstrated that they have the foundations (educational and experience) required for their general job function. However, this does not include the know-how of the company’s vision, mission, specific business processes, or culture. New hires must be indoctrinated in these areas so that they perform their function according to the company’s expectations and not cause unnecessary disturbances to the process.

    Training should be tailored. It should be expressed in terms of performance terms (i.e. how does it relate to the job.) It should be tested for effectiveness. It should provide rapid feedback so that the trainee can incorporate it and adjust their nonconforming process. Training is part of continuous learning/improvement and is never complete.

  • Diane Verdine

    Yes, I think training necessary for experienced and less-experienced employees. The act of spending time with the employee in a “training” setting establishes a tone of “continuous growth” for the new employee, experienced or not. In addition, training is a critical part of the orientation and “onboarding” to help indoctrinate the new employee to the company’s vision, mission and culture.

    With an experienced employee, I may not train in a traditional “teacher-student” way but more of an open dialogue (with materials/handouts, etc.) to find the commonality in work processes and then use any of the process differences as a way for me to learn from the new experience employee. It’s an excellent way to learn about more efficient processes that can improve the company overall.

  • Paul Hersee

    I think that no-matter what your experience level may be, every company handles their culture differently. And as such, this culture will sometimes make even the most experienced of techy feel out of their depth.

    Perhaps a simple crash-course in company proceedure is necessary to allow new recruits to “hit the ground running” and apply their experience more effectively, earlier.

    Depending on the number of recruits, and the size of the department the newby’s are entering into, will ultimately define the method of induction required. Methods may range from a one-on-one or few-on-few, to a group meeting with visual walk-throughs.

  • Super-Duper site! I am adoring it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Appreciation.

  • Hello everyone,

    We all agree that any employee, whatever his level of experience is, needs induction and on-going training in order to maintain a good level of performance, develop his network, exchange best pratices, remain up-to-date regarding the company strategy, feel part of the organisation, embrace values, etc.
    That being said – and in order to answer the second part of the question: “what is the best mode of training?” – when we are inviting experienced new hired managers to training sessions, we can most of time feel negative feeling such as over-confidence, frustation, and the answer we have to argue with is that they prefer to use their working time on business issues instead of sitting in a classroom. This have to be dealt carefully in order to avoid having disturbors and silent attendees in the training session.

    The facilitator, once those kind of resistance are identified, has to conduct the training having 2 objectives in mind:

    1/ Highlight, emphasize and use the experience of the new hires, when the trainer wants to share examples to illustrate the key concepts. This will help the new hires feeling comfortable and usefull for the training by giving them value towards the group and easing their integration. The key here is that during an effective training, most of the knowledge and training outcomes should raise from the attendees themselves (not from the trainer). The facilitator has to continously encourage the new hire participation.

    2/ Encourage all actions that will build a team working spirit: choose icebreakers and energysers that will make the new hires collaborating with other employees. Key point is that new hires understand that 1+1=3
    First step of the learning cycle is to reveal “awareness of incompetence”. Again, by having all attendees – experienced or not – participating, giving tips and best pratices, experience of issue solving, the new hires will naturally feel that the training, beyond the defined training outcomes, is a real adding-value exercice. They will see the “what’s in it for me”.

    So, as for me, the training being facilitated either internally or externally, the effectiveness of the session will mainly depend on the capability of the facilitor to create a interactive, participative, positive and sharing oriented training environnement.

    Nice topic, and I would be glad to read how you dealt this kind of situation or if you experienced other operating modes?

  • In the new millenia, we are standing at the crossroad of shifting from local market to global market. Years back when Internet was evolving and was being labelled as a Information super highway most people found it difficult to digest the concept. Likewise, every time a recession takes place about 40% organisations disappear because of their inability to remain in tide with the changes. We are yet to see any current data of this last one , but reports indicate that many more would have failed this time. Since, all organisations are about people , creating a learning culture helps in developing knowledge and skills. The magnitude of talent quantity and quality determines organisation’s agility, innovativeness and responsiveness. The most difficult aspect has been getting rid of practices and processes that no longer work . Many a time, sporadic efforts are made, based on cricis management conditions, but they die out, as situations are too late for remedy.Even an advanced learning organisation like Toyota faced problems in the USA. To early to say, but they may have become victim of knowledge incapacity. People like to acquire knowledge that help defending their current position and may not accept anything new. The only way forward today and tomorrow is continual learning and development. Do we have examples of it ? Yes, there is . China has insitutionalised continuos learning and development even in their political leadership – they want to be a learning country. The seeds were sown by Deng Xiaoping 20 years ago. Everybody knows the success. Few know, that they have shifted gears from being a low cost world’s backyard manufacturing center to a high value addition product development center. No wonder Airbus want’s to manufacture airplanes in China. It is all about learning and development for performance

  • Vicky Santibanez

    Induction is an essential process after hiring employees who are new to a company, regardless of their experience in the field. It reduces stress both for the new employee and company staff. It also improves productivity, as employees understand from the start essential duties. They are also informed of key contacts within the company if they need clarifications on division and company policy.
    There are other less tangible, but equally practical benefits, of induction. For example, the process helps employees understand the organization’s hierarchy, history and culture. The idiosyncrasies of each [business] group and subgroup vary according to their members, and understanding these is critical for the success and top performance of new members.
    As for further training, there might be specific tools and communication protocols that the company needs for all employees to handle similarly. Training also helps most employees understand the company is serious in terms of investing on human capital and thus supports the growth of employees. The company, in turn, benefits by having knowledgeable employees who can make stronger contributions.

  • Always ask the people who you want to train what they want! They are grownups and with good questions you can find out what they need and want to learn. The ability to listen deeply and then construct the learning situation that will work for your people does take talent and time. I also think is cuts down the amount of money and time the company will have to spend.

  • Jan Watrous-McCabe

    As unfortunate as it may be, there is a fair amount of training that is annual requirement to meet regulatory needs. We have struggled with this over the past few years and we have dividing the online training events into two separate tracks. One track for new employees and the other for existing employees. This allows us to provide existing employees, who have taken this education every year, to just take a “challenge” that tests on foundational knowledge plus a few pages of new content. This is our first year using this approch and believe it or not there are mixed reviews. Even though we have provided a low passing score since it is our first year, we have learners complain that they can’t be expected to just pass a test! It is a really eye opening experience though, looking at the summary of answers highlights very quickly the areas that are not understood! The online approach really a is very effective and efficient method to approach annual manadatory education.

  • I think a certain amount of forewarning is essential to avoid confusion and in extreme cases direct threat. This is highly unhelpful when you are trying to win the heart and mind of the person you wish to train. Otherwise you can expect all that individual’s experience to weigh against you rather than be honed for you. Up front notice gives credibility. Coercion as a tool in any form of training is counterproductive and harmful to both trainee and trainer. Rules are there to be broken in many games, and it is this precise skill that allows one to daze and confuse in retaliation for a threat sensed even if not intended. It is much better to find a quiet moment to ask all trainees that they wish to be trained before trying to bombard them with knowledge they already have. Protocols for any organisation are different, but you need to be aware of the organisation of which you are a part.The military for example use beat them down, build them up mentality. That works for average soldiers. But to do this to an intellectual is an affront to their intelligence and unnecessary. To understand a person you wish to train to get the best out of them, you must at all times seek to understand their motivation and their dreams, then you can begin to understand what would be the best way to involve them. Arrogance and pissing contests between men who believe their role to be superior is rather tiring, especially when the recipient is far smarter than his trainer.

  • I think the keyword here is “ownership” of your own knowledge and skills. A person must feel the need to learn and should be able to learn. This also means that everybody in the organization should learn what is relevant to them. This can be aided by using a good employee quality control system which focusses on the skills and knowledge needed to do your specific job.

    An open and transparent methodology of measurement is required so that the learner knows the focus areas. The organization can than, dependent on group size, facilitate a learning experience.

    The learning experience can be “talk to that person”, a ful blown seminar, a short e-learning module about the appropriate subject or whatever is possible. This is all dependent on the subject the learner requires and how many other learners require that subject.

  • Hello! I just want to say that I love your entire publishing style and that I am going to follow this blog continually from now 🙂 Keep writing!