Ideally, learning and development should be seen as a continuous activity that is fundamental to achieving the continual improvement of individuals and organisations. On a practical level, however, the need to train and develop employees is usually triggered by one of the following scenarios:
Employees are new to the organisation and require induction and socialisation. This is sometimes referred to as the "on-boarding process" whereby new recruits become familiar with the organisation's cultural norms, expectations, rules and procedures.
Employees changing job roles (e.g. promotions, transfers or secondments) require different skills, knowledge and abilities to carry out the new job-related tasks.
A change in organisational strategy dictates the need for new training and development initiatives to align staff skills, knowledge and experience with business goals.
As a result of changes to the workforce makeup such as changing demographics and workforce composition and recruitment initiatives which may have long term effects on learning and development needs.