Executive Summary of the Proposal
Statement of the Problem
Every year, Aldi Company hires several employees to work in different departments. The company has created a culture where these new employees are taken through regular training to ensure that they remain motivated, committed to their assigned tasks, and have the ability to track inventory and develop reports needed in decision-making. The management also expects them to know how to organize information appropriately to avoid confusion. The regular training is also meant to enhance the recruits’ critical thinking skills and positive attitude (Bixby, 2018). Initially, the training took place in the office for a period of 3 weeks. The problem is that the outbreak of COVID-19 has made it impossible for the company to use this method of training, creating a performance gap. The management needs to find a way of urgently solving this problem to ensure that the performance of these new workers is not compromised. Regular training of these employees will enable them to understand and appreciate the mission and vision of the organization.
Description of the Solution
It was important for the management of this company to find an alternative to the intensive 3-week training of new recruits at the office. After conducting research and reviewing strategies that other major companies are using, the researcher arrived at the solution of having a 5-day online training course taught on Microsoft Teams. The research conducted revealed that online training can just be as effective as training conducted in an office setting. It was also established that it can take a shorter period if it is conducted appropriately.
Explanation of Reasons
The online training course taught on Microsoft Teams was considered the best solution to the problem that Aldi Company was facing after the outbreak of COVID-19. When conducting research, several options emerged that the company could use to address the problem. It emerged that Microsoft Teams online training program offers the most effective way of training employees. One of its unique characteristics that make it superior is that it can be custom-made to meet specific needs of an organization (Matthew, 2019). The trainer can easily interact with learners and help them understand the content of the course without having to be in a physical classroom setting. The only counter argument that has emerged against the use of the program is that it may not be possible to test practical skills gained by employees as would be the case in a physical workplace environment such as in office. Although that may be true, currently it is the best alternative that can address the problem the organization is facing.
Call to Action
The management of Aldi Company has made the important step of identifying the problem that the organization is facing. It has acknowledged the difficulty of training new employees because of the current global coronavirus pandemic. It is also encouraging that the company appreciates the need to use online platforms to facilitate continued training of its workers, especially the newly recruited ones (Ikuta, 2020). It is time to put into action the plan to use an online training course taught on Microsoft Teams. The management should provide the needed resources for the training and prepare the trainers and trainees for the course (Jaziri-Bouagina & Jamil, 2017). The software should be installed and learners facilitated so that they can begin their classes when trainers have the right course content.
Section 1: Personal Data
- Kindly state your age (Tick as appropriate)
- 25 years and below
- 26-35 years
- 36-45 years
- 46-55 years
- Above 55 years
- What is your gender? (Tick as appropriate)
- What is your highest academic attainment?
- College certificate
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree
- Doctorate degree
- Other (Kindly explain)
- What is your nationality?
- American national
- Non-American National
Section 2: Experience
- Have you ever worked in another organization before joining Aldi Company?
- If you have worked for another company before, were you taken through some form of training after being hired?
- Have you gone through online training before?
- Have you ever used online training course taught on Microsoft Teams?
Section 3: Needs Assessment and the Use of Microsoft Teams for Online Training
- Do you believe it is necessary to have some form of regular training in your workplace?
- Highly necessary
- Not sure
- Somehow necessary
- How effective is online training based on your experiences?
- Highly effective
- Not sure
- Highly ineffective
- Do you believe online training can help you to understand organizational culture, values, mission, and strategies?
- Strongly agree
- Not sure
- Strongly disagree
- Do you believe online training course taught on Microsoft Teams is an effective tool that can be used for your training at this firm?
- Strongly agree
- Not sure
- Strongly disagree
- Do you believe you are adequately prepared to use online training course taught on Microsoft Teams for your regular training?
- Adequately prepared
- Somehow prepared
- Not prepared
- Not ready to use this strategy
- Do you believe the communication system within this company is effective enough to support online training course taught on Microsoft Teams?
- Highly effective
- Not sure
- Highly ineffective
- What would you advise the management to do when using online training course taught on Microsoft Teams?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- What challenges do you think this organization will face when using this approach to training of the new employees?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- How can the management of Aldi Company address the challenges that you have identified?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for taking part in this survey. Your identity will be protected from third parties as part of my ethical requirements. Data obtained through this survey will be used for academic purposes.
Results of Interviews or Focus Groups
Check Lists of Observations
The researcher conducted an online survey with 50 newly recruited employees of Aldi Company. There was a 100% response rate from those who were selected to take part in the investigation. The following are the main observations that was made from the data collected from these participants?
- A majority of the respondents believe that it is necessary to have some form of regular training in your workplace;
- Based on the experience of participants, the majority of participants believe that online training is effective;
- A significant majority of the respondents believe that online training can help one to understand organizational culture, values, mission, and strategies of their organization;
- A significant number of the participants explained that they are not sure whether online training course taught on Microsoft Teams is an effective tool that can be used for your training at this firm;
- A majority of the participants are adequately prepared to use online training course taught on Microsoft Teams for your regular training;
- An overwhelming majority of the participants in the study believe that the communication system within this company is effective enough to support online training course taught on Microsoft Teams;
- When a firm is using online training course taught on Microsoft Teams, many respondents emphasized the need for an effective communication system and assistance to those who find it difficult learning online.
- Some of the challenges that respondents identified when using Microsoft Teams training tool include limited knowledge about the software by learners and trainers, the need to make significant investment into the project, and resistance from some stakeholders;
- Participants believe that the management of Aldi Company can address the challenges above through proper planning, training, funding, and creating an effective communication platform.
The learning experience of the needs assessment, instructional design and measurement was a learning curve. I was able to make connections to specific concepts that were learned throughout the course. For instance, I have learned about the significance of on-the-job training as a way of enhancing employees’ performance. In this case however, the training has to be conducted online because of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I realized that even when conducting this form of training, it is not mandatory for the trainer and learner to be in the same physical location. The process can be conducted remotely as long as there are proper systems and structures of communication among those who are involved in the process (Smith, 2018). I have also learned about the increasing relevance of online platforms in an organizational setting. Besides selling products in the online platform, I learned that an organization can as well conduct training and other activities online.
During the study, several things went as per my expectations, which enhance the success of the project. One of the success factors was the ability to get a 100% response rate from the participants. When they were contacted, all of them stated that they were ready to take part in the investigation. They provided information that was needed within the right time. However, it is important to note that two participants delivered their answered questionnaires 2 days after the set deadline, explaining that they had faced some difficulties. I also felt that some of these participants avoided being skeptical of this organization, which was a major concern about the validity of their responses.
The experience enabled me to learn about the significance of enhancing the use of technology in an organization. Respondents explained that they are ready to switch to online training because the management has always encouraged and created an environment where technology is used in various contexts. Many people will not find it difficult learning through the new platform. The experience will affect my future career as I intend to continue advocating for the use of technology as a learning tool for employees. I now believe that it is not mandatory for trainers to be physically present in an office or other workplace settings for a learning process to occur. As Ilag (2018) explains, technology is revolutionizing the workplace environment, and I believe it is offering a perfect opportunity to achieve training goals even when there is limited time for both learners and trainers.
The feedback I received during my collaboration with the selected employees helped me to identify personal weaknesses that I need to find a way of addressing. One of the major weaknesses that came out when conducting this project is lack of patience. Some of the participants explained that I need to appreciate the fact that sometimes one can be busy with other activities, limiting their ability to answer research questions in time. I also need to improve my communication skills. Some of the participants stated that it was not necessary for me to contact them regularly after explaining the goal of the study and providing the questionnaire. Such constant reminders may be irritating to some people who feel that once they know what they need to do, they do not need reminders or constant supervision. I will have to find ways of addressing these weaknesses.
Bixby, D. W. (2018). Product training for the technical expert: The art of developing and delivering hands-on learning. John Wiley & Sons.
Ikuta, S. (Ed.). (2020). Handbook of research on software for gifted and talented school activities in k-12 classrooms. IGI Global.
Ilag, B. N. (2018). Introducing Microsoft Teams: Understanding the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Apress.
Jaziri-Bouagina, D., & Jamil, G. L. (Eds.). (2017). Handbook of research on tacit knowledge management for organizational success. IGI Global.
Matthew, W. (2019). Learn Microsoft Power apps: Build customized business applications without writing any code. Packt Publishing.
Smith, P. (2018). Learning while working: structuring your on-the-job training. Association for Talent Development Press.