This paper attempts to investigate as to how and why has the role of trainers and developers changed in the last ten years. The study will also suggest future developments in the changing role of trainers and developers. Finally, the conclusion will analyze factors influencing the change and suggest effective measures for further improvements. Theory For decades, training and development of human resources is believed to have key strategic importance in determining the organization’s overall performance. As a field, training and development is considered to have evolved during the industrial revolution in America.
In the present era of globalization, technological expansions have diversified the traditional role played by trainers and developers. According to a survey, a trainer these days assumes the job of a “corporate trainer, performance practitioner, lecturer, OD specialist, performance analyst, training leader, employee development specialist, operations improvement coordinator, leadership training associate, training sergeant, and continuous learning and improvement coach at the same time” (ASTD, 1996). From 2000 onwards, the role has become even more versatile with the industrial integration and advent of various technological aids. As the term suggests, human resource development is itself “the process of moving from one place to another, a process that we normally count as ‘change’” (Wilson, 2005).
In fact, the trainer’s and developer’s role has considerably changed due to the nature of organizational change, that itself changes with respect to external environment. The cultural, physical and technological environments of the organizations are inter-related and interact to bring a change. Therefore, the involvement of trainers and developers is crucial from the beginning of the change process. With developing the change process, they also have a core responsibility of training the employees in new and emerging skills.
The trainers and developers also have to ensure the acquisition of new technical skills at levels including senior management. Once the change has taken place, trainers and developers have to audit and improve the effects of change. The compilation of a strategic plan identical to competitors seldom creates a sustainable advantage. As the overall performance of an organization also depends on its employee behavior, management policies and techniques should be distinctive according to the firm’s economic conditions and changing environmental variables.
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