"In the new world of work the intellectual capital will be the determining factor whether companies will have the competitive advantage over their nearest rival. People will be the core pin pinnacle, to create leverage wealth through the resources at their disposal. The war for talent will be as fierce as never before. Effectively, developing and retaining top talent will be the number one strategic objective of companies. Business challenges requires companies to change constantly and rapidly to stay in business. This blurring environment in which companies are functioning demands new people strategies and practices (new people "DNA structures")-. (Veldsman & Conidaris: Website visited 2003-08-25).
One of the major responsibilities of and challenges for Human Resources Management (HRM) is to define an appropriate business aligned training strategy. The right employee training, development and education at the right time provides big payoffs for the employer in increased productivity, knowledge, loyalty, and contribution. Training that helps each employee grow their skills and knowledge to better perform their current job is appreciated as a benefit. It also increases employee loyalty and helps you to attract the best possible employees. (Heathfield: Website visited 2003-08-25).
HRM's task with regard to training is however surrounded by complexities such as those identified by Barker (Barker: Website visited 2003-08-25):.
Training delivery takes many, many forms such as self-study or instructor-led, on-the-job or in a classroom/training site, traditional on-site or distance delivered, computer assisted and/or computer managed, individualized or group instruction, actual, hands-on or using virtual reality. Training attendance participation may be voluntary or mandatory. Training duration may be short-term or long-term, once-off or continuous. Training focus may be hard or soft skills. Training impetus may be in response to training needs assessment at organizational, occupational and/or individual level.