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IELTS Reading Text 3

Staff training

Staff training is very beneficial for companies but some staff still remain unconvinced. This is a difference in beliefs between departments about the general effectiveness of training. Our company goal has always been to integrate consistent training into all our departments because it creates a more favourable environment in which to work. In fact, we have been rated as the industry’s number five work place solely on the basis of our positive and encouraging company culture, much of which is connected to staff development.

Motivation is a common reason for providing training. Our board of directors have always believed that job satisfaction and happy staff who enjoy their job should work better and more efficiently than unsatisfied employees. Problems of unmotivated or even demotivated staff are common in the current economic climate as many fear redundancy or have no hope of promotion. Therefore, we continue to invest in growth opportunities and internal promotion.

Technology represents another rational behind our staff training. New computers, networks and evolving working habits all need to be explained to new and existing staff alike. Nevertheless, time for training seems scarce and as a result certified online courses are being introduced at all levels due to their flexibility. Online language courses have increased in popularity with employees who can study online at lunch or after work. Mobile internet access also means we can now offer employee training 24 hours a day.

Not all employers support staff training. There are valid reasons for a lack of staff training departments. HR company Guptar associates revealed that a substantial percentage of both in-house and out-house training is actually unproductive. As an alternative they propose more effective training with specific measurable goals as opposed to more qualitative and hard to assess personal improvement aims. They additionally point to the need for whole team involvement from the top of the department all the way down to the shop floor. We have taken this onboard and are devising new courses to be offered on a larger scale.

Training has become a large market as greater numbers of companies outsource to training ‘experts’. One important fact that remains is that it is still on the bottom of most manager’s priorities, possibly in fear of highly trained employees who have received expensive training resigning and taking their expensive skills with them. To tackle both these issues we have started a mentoring system for new staff which brings larger benefits than external trainers and coupled with our online training provides a more effective solution with lower costs. As a result, we no longer need to tie employees to the company with set contracts to recover training costs.

Questions 15-21

Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

15. Why does the company incorporate training?

  1. Because it makes the company better.
  2. Because it makes a better working environment.
  3. Because it is good for the environment.

16. How does the company deal with the effects of the economic climate?

  1. They continue developing.
  2. They invest more money in the company.
  3. They expand and promote existing staff.

17. What is the main benefit of online courses?

  1. Their flexibility.
  2. They are certified.
  3. They are popular with staff.

18. What do mobile phones offer employees?

  1. 24 hours of training.
  2. Access to training all day.
  3. Mobile phone training

19. What do Guptar associates suggest?

  1. Training for every employee which can be measured.
  2. Personal training.
  3. New courses on a bigger scale.

20. Why is training unpopular with managers?

  1. Because training is expensive.
  2. Because some staff leave after receiving training
  3. Because staff do not enjoy training.

21. What are the benefits of the mentoring system?

  1. It is effective and cheap.
  2. It uses external trainers.
  3. It does not recover costs.

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