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Academic discussion Student essay comments


Dr. Byrnes' Academic Discussion e-book

TOEFL Academic Discussion

Student’s essay 1

In my opinion, companies should indeed invest in training their current employees. Advancements and new techniques in any field are given and hiring an employee, who will never require to update their skill is an utopian concept. Therefore, companies have no better choice than to train their existing employees with new advancements in the field to grow sustainably. They could, in theory, hire new employees but training these new employees from scratch about company's mission and its products and services will cost even more than training existing employees. In addition, continuously updating the skill of current employees will make the organisation more competitive and efficient..

Topic development

Your essay is well-written and pleasant to read, but by the end, I am not sure what you are arguing for, as you are arguing for something that is already obviously true: "companies should indeed invest in training their current employees." Your thesis should be something interesting to argue for, not something so obvious.

This is where you made your mistake. You should have compared the two options: training current employees or hiring new ones who are already well-trained. Now that this choice has been made, it is interesting to know which option is better. So, you should have made that clear at the beginning.

Your essay also needs clearer organization. Your ideas are interesting, but the connections among them are loose.

Grammar and style

  1. Learn the difference between restrictive and non-restive use of modifier (comma rule)

 hiring an employee, who will never require to update their skill is an utopian concept. → 

 hiring an employee who will never require to update their skill is an utopian concept.

  1. Use the parallel structure correctly

about company's mission and its products and services → 

about the company's mission,  products and services 

Corrected response

When choosing between training current employees or hiring new ones who are already well-trained, I argue that companies should invest in training their current employees. Hiring new employees who will never need to update their skills is a utopian ideal for managers. In reality, technologies change constantly. For this reason, a strategy of hiring new employees would entail constantly hiring new employees who are already well-trained. Even if hiring new employees is not a problem, it is more costly to train them from scratch about the company's mission, products, and services than to train existing employees who already know this information. Most current employees already work in a similar field, so it is easier to update their skills. For example, deep learning AI is currently popular. Employees who have already worked on machine learning and data mining can be retrained and expanded into the deep learning AI field. With their knowledge of the company culture and their continuously updated skills, current employees will make the organization more competitive and efficient.

Student’s essay 2

There is no doubt that a training facility is the number one factor in which an employee can make a difference. Though Kelly has a crucial argument that proper training may provide value for an employee to stay in a company, another factor to consider is that, along with effective workshops, an employer can provide some incentives for employees that can motivate them to perform their jobs on time. A case in point is my Plasma company. The management selects the employee of the month every month. Moreover, the employee gets a hundred-dollar cash voucher, and a picture of the employee sticks on a bulletin board with great compliments. Thus, other workers can appreciate it and wish to be heroes the next time. Furthermore, the employee of the month can be encouraged to pursue future leadership and wish to get a promotion in the company. Therefore, providing incentives for employees benefits a company by not losing them.

This essay does not respond to the question properly. The question is whether ongoing employee training is the best investment for the company to make. But your response is mainly about the best incentive for the company to motivate its employees. For this reason, the response does not address the question, resulting in a poor score. This is a way to salvage your example.

Correct Sample Response

I agree with Kelly that investing in employee training is the best move for the company, as it improves the relationship between employees and employers. I've witnessed firsthand how this played out at the Plasma company where I've worked for the past five years. The company prioritized training existing employees over hiring new ones. For example, in the production department where I worked, we received regular training on the latest manufacturing techniques and equipment operation. This resulted in improved efficiency and productivity, requiring fewer work hours from employees. Consequently, morale among the employees soared as they felt more valued and engaged, leading to increased job satisfaction. Additionally, the company saved on costs associated with hiring new employees, such as signing bonuses. In contrast, companies like Amazon experience a higher than average turnover rate due to their lack of focus on training existing employees. When employees are not properly trained with new machinery, they often make mistakes. As a result, they are required to do overtime unpaid work to fix their errors. This not only leads to job dissatisfaction among employees but also creates a cycle of increased stress and burnout, further contributing to the high turnover rates experienced by such companies. That's why I firmly believe that investing in job training is crucial for employee retention.