Google was founded and has been a success mainly due to innovative products. The company seeks to provide a highly precise and prompt customer experience and in pursuit of this goal, it is ready to accept short-term losses to achieve long-term goals. In this endeavor, training and development is an important integral part of human resources management at the company. There is a full commitment by the company to avail everything needed by employees to ensure they remain focused on creativity and innovation. Availing the right information and adequacy of resources are viewed as the most important pillars to help keep the employees on this track. This being the case, the company has developed elaborate training and development strategies for use in the continued build-up of human capital to guarantee long-term performance.
The employees are offered great opportunities to develop. Opportunities for professional development are available to all employees. They include tuition on individual and team presentation skills, executive speaking, feedback delivery, content development as well as leadership. In addition, foreign languages such as Spanish, French, Japanese and several others are also fully sponsored by the company. However, due to the nature of the company’s business, engineers have unique opportunities (Hirschman, 2008, p65).
A group called engEdu offers training and orientation classes, career development as well as tutorial services for all engineers. The program is built by engineers and for engineers only. In the recent past, the company spread its learning and development program across the world and has also developed new development programs aimed at developing future leaders for the company. Indeed it is compulsory for each employee to undertake at least 120hrs every year in training and development. This is about three times the industry average in the USA. This is a clear demonstration of the resources invested in ensuring that the employees are abreast of all advancement professionally as well as technologically.
Before developing the training and development programs, the company engages in a periodical and comprehensive needs analysis in order to properly prioritize areas to be addressed by the program. Some of the activities carried out in the needs analysis include context analysis, user analysis, work analysis, content analysis and training and suitability analysis (Needs Analysis, 2008, par5).
Context analysis is done in order to determine which business need is to be met by the program. The most important business need for Google Inc. is competitiveness. Consequently, the analysis should exhibit the suitability of the program to offer the intended solution. User analysis seeks to identify the most important participants as well as instructors in order to achieve the best results from the program. Work analysis on the other hand defines the tasks to be performed in the program and more importantly establishes their relevance to the intended outcomes. Content analysis is an assessment of the laws, documentation and procedures utilized on the job. The analysis clears ambiguities on how the knowledge is applicable on the job. Training and suitability analysis identifies whether the methodologies employed in the training program can achieve the desired solution.
The key techniques applied in conducting all these analysis are questionnaires, interviews, tests, focus groups and consultation with persons possessing specific knowledge. Questionnaires and interviews help assess the current abilities of the target group while focus groups and consultations help identify the need for training as well as the most relevant information to b passed on.
The most important delivery method used for the training programs at Google is in the form of tutorials. Most languages are taught in a class like setting as well as different programs on leadership. However, there is critical focus on the practical element of training. In most cases, trainees are subjected to simulations which give a practical feel of the training. This gives them confidence in application of the knowledge acquired through the program. In other occasions mentorship is employed to juniors who require learning on the job.
Different course evaluation methods are also applied to determine the effectiveness of the training and development programs. The most frequent evaluation methods are tests which are administered after undertaking the programs. Secondly, general performance appraisals help determine whether the programs indeed improve the performance of employees in specific areas (McNamara, 1999, p45).
The training and development strategies employed by the company are effective mainly because they are not only aimed at the short term goals but also because they have significantly boosted the employees’ productivity as well as satisfaction to the highest levels by standards set in the USA.
My advice is that despite the need to continually engage employees in training and development, it is important to conduct cost benefit analysis in order to ensure that what the employees gain from the programs can translate into higher benefits to the company in relation to the costs incurred. This is in light of the fact that Google is a highly profitable company and this avails funding for virtually any training program.
Hirschman, C. (2008). Giving voice to employee concerns. HRMagazine, 53(8), 51-53. Web.
McNamara, C. (1999). Diversity appreciation, training and management. Web.
Needs Analysis, 2008. Hr guide. Web.