Managing people is a critical success factor for any organization. This implies that an organization should put effective strategies accompanied with ethical decision making frameworks that are directed towards the management of human resources (Armstrong, 2003). With the globalization and technological changes, organizations need to deploy more advanced strategic direction coupled with change management. Human resource development primarily refers to the practice of developing expertise in organization; it typically entails the training and development of organizational human resource pool with the goal of enhancing organizational performance (Aswathappa, 2005).
The underlying belief of human resource training and development is that organizations fully rely on human made entities for success, it therefore sums up to the fact that adequate training and development strategies should be laid at the organizational level. Technically, human expertise is responsible for the realization of critical business goals and objectives (Beaumont, 1993). There are a number of human resource training and development methods, which when tailored according to the organization requirements; they play a significant role in ensuring the competitive advantage of the organization, and individual development.
Basically, an efficient human resource training and development should prioritize factors such as: improved individual and organizational performance, adequate organizational commitment, effective problem solving and ethical decision making ( Macquarie Graduate School of Management, 2009). As a matter of fact, organizations that have significantly offered support towards training, have consequently realized high commitment scores by both the top level management and the staff (Armstrong, 2003).
The importance of training and development at Sing Tel Optus
It is essential for an organization to have well laid performance parameters. These are critical in the evaluation of evaluation of the progress in terms of organizational performance (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003). Performance parameters should be matched against the long term business goals and objectives. This essay attempts to critically analyze the importance of training and development at the Sing Tel Optus; which is the second largest communication carrier in Australia. The organization has adopted a learning and development program which involves an integration of both training and career development of its employees who are approximately 11000 in number.
The organization is of the view that the adopted training and development program for its employees does not only improve the technical expertise of their employees but makes them competitive in the current labor market. Training and development basically forms the framework for helping the staff of an organization to improve their skills; ranging from personal technical skills to the skills required at the organizational level. It also helps in enhancing their knowledge and respective abilities (Hendry, 1995). The major emphasis of human resource training and development is establish a superior workforce, such that the company and its employees have the ability to realize their goals and objectives when administering service to the customer (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003).
One of the advantages of training and development at the Sing Tel Optus is that it is a form of differentiation and positioning within the telecommunication market place. Training of the employees in itself is a source of reputation building for the company. This makes the company to have a competitive advantage over its prospective competitors in the market place. Through the training, the company is able to maximize on the full potential of their employees (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003).
The learning and development policy established at the Sing Tel Optus is primarily directed towards development of the technical skills of its work force, this therefore implies that the underlying objective behind the implementation of the policy was to facilitate the process of realization of organizational business goals and objectives and in particular, the skills need of the organization (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003).
Training and development ensures competitive advantage in the sense that employees’ technical skills is somewhat enhanced and the evaluation model used by the company entails an analysis of the attributes that are significant in ensuring high performance, the required technical skills, ability to tackle job challenges and experiences, and an evaluation of the personal attributes; which is defined by the competency model. The competency model ensures that the work force is efficient in both the required area that the company specializes. This is critical in facilitating the competitive advantage of the Sing Tel Optus (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003).
Another importance of training and development at the Sing Tel Optus is that there will be an improved organizational culture. Organizational culture is paramount in determining the way the employees of the Sing Tel Optus will be responding to the various technological and work place environment changes (Kennedy & Richards, 2004). This will foster the ease in the management of change in the organization.
Human resource training and development is vital in determining both the personal and organizational values; in one way or another, both the individual and organizational values are imperative towards the realization of the organizational business needs and an improvement of the personal beliefs that the employees have towards the organization. The training and development policy at the Sing Tel Optus will help to facilitate strong organizational culture, whereby the employees of the company will have a tendency to align with the organization values (Pattanayak, 2005). Under such conditions, the company is able streamline the execution of its business processes, if coupled with a little tweaking of the procedures, the company is able to benefit from the advantages of having a well strategized workforce (Ojo, 2008).
Human resource training and development ensures that there is employee motivation, which is accompanied by retention. It is evident that every employee in any organization wants to be competitive. This can only be realized when an organization adopts the human resource training and development programs as the Sing Tel Optus did. Training and development should be aimed at instilling career-enhancing abilities in the employees, this on the other hand ensures employee motivation, and as a result the company will have high employee retention, thereby reducing the costs that are incurred during the acquisition of new work force. It is arguable that a work force that is well equipped with the required skills necessary for the running of the organization is a priceless asset to the organization (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003), this ensures that there is overall organizational personal efficiency during the execution of the organizational and business processes.
Another importance of human resource training and development is that the company will reduce on outsourcing. Having a well trained work force on the various diverse fields that are required for smooth running if the organization ensure that there will be minimal or no outsourcing at all. Constant training and development ensures that the employees of an organization perform well when they are carrying out their duties at the organization. With the right training and development procedures, there is always a payoff for the organization in terms of organizational and individual growth due to improved employee productivity, increased knowledge and employee loyalty to the organization (Lewis, 2010).
Human resource training and development is a form of rewarding the employees of an organization. Most internal training policies are typically offered for free to the employees of this particular organization. Rewarding employees is accompanied with the benefit of employee motivation and enhanced employee productivity due to increased skills; this is imperative in enhancing the overall growth of an organization since the organization will maximizing on the potential of their employees (Beaumont, 1993).
Another importance of training and development at the Sing Tel Optus Company is that the company will be deploying strategic measures against the aging work force and unexpected early retirements. Sufficient and efficient human resource training and development serves like a reserve which will serve as replacements in cases of employment terminations, job transfers, or in case the company expands it operational processes, which is usually accompanied by the need for additional work force (Hendry, 1995).
The link between Training and development and both individual and organizational performance
Human resource development and training usually involves an integration of both individual and organizational efforts. In order for any human resource training and development program to be successful in any organization, it requires a collaborative effort from both the organization and the employees of the organization who are currently undertaking the training and development program ( Macquarie Graduate School of Management, 2009). In respect to the motive behind the training and development, an organization can choose either internal or external training or development initiatives.
Internal training and development is usually directed at training the employees so that they can aid in the realization of the organization technical skills requirements. External training and development programs are majorly directed towards the empowering of its employees to the wider labor market. The determining factor is therefore determined by the organizational skills requirements and the need to motivate their employers and make them competitive in the wider labor market. In either scenario, the main objective behind the training and development is primarily the realization of organizational growth (Armstrong, 2003, p. 56).
General organizational performance is determined by individual factors such employee motivation, the level of their skills and knowledge, employee loyalty and employee retention. It is worth noting that the employees of an organization are the ones who play an important role in ensuring the competitive advantage of an organization. It is also worth noting that the employees have different motivations, aspirations, needs and different interests. This therefore implies that the human resource training and development policy in the organization should cater for the diversity in its workforce.
Managing of cultural diversity in an organization is paramount in ensuring the competitiveness of both the organization and its employees. This basically involves assessment of the similarities and the differences in the workforce, after which, the training and development is tailored to cater for the diverse requirements of the work force which is significant in determining the organizational performance. Diversity management concept during the implementation of the training and development program is vital in ensuring the success of the policy, which ultimately determines the organizational performance (Aswathappa, 2005, pp. 90-97).
It is evident that companies which seek to gain competitive advantage via their employees must establish ways to control the behavior of their employees and monitor the results. This implies that the company should lay emphasis on enhancing individual performance. Such a strategy generally entails the evaluation of performance appraisals for the managers, the technical staff and the relevant professionals. In order to uphold the performance of its employees, the Sing Tel Optus should therefore implement consistent training and development on its employees (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003, p. 405).
Training and development is a form of performance management, since it ensures that the employees’ activities are in line with the business goals and objectives of the organization. It is arguable that performance management is imperative in enhancing the competitive advantage of the Sing Tel Optus Company. Performance management is basically be divided into five basic components: establishing strategies to facilitate performance, encouraging individual performance, measuring of the performance using pre determined performance parameters, and providing feedback regarding the performance.
Each of these procedures directly or directly has a relationship with the individual’s performance and the organizational performance. It is therefore imperative for the Sing Tel Opus to critically access the skills requirements that are critical in determining its success, the readiness of the employees to undertake training and development program, and the extent to which the human resource training and development determines its organizational performance (Ojo, 2008).
The link between job descriptions, job specifications and Training and development
It is a fact that human capital is one of the most invaluable assets that a company can ever have; in fact, human capital can be manipulated to aid in the realization of the business goals and objectives. The three basic approaches towards the manipulation of include: job descriptions, job specifications, and ultimately human resource training and development. The job descriptions and job specifications are human resource policies, and they are related to the training and development. Human resource policies are usually tailored in accordance with the organizational culture and structure. This implies that job descriptions and job specifications are subjective to the organizational culture and structure (Armstrong, 2003, p.123).
Job descriptions and specifications are always used to form framework for the training and development policies by the human resources department. Job descriptions are usually from an organizational point of view, while the job specifications are usually from the employee perspective; this implies that job descriptions may be more diverse compared to job specifications. Training and development is therefore required in cases whereby the job specifications do not meet the technical requirements as stated in the job description.
Both job description and specification are usually the outcome of job analysis, which falls under personnel management. Job analysis requires an insight on the organizational technical skills requirements concerning the work force. Job specification can transform job description into technical qualifications that are needed to get the job done in a required manner. Job description usually involves an analysis of the duties and responsibilities that the potential employee must do, it is usually in accordance with the organizational skills requirements and goals.
Job specification on the hand describes what a potential employee must have in order to accomplish the job, usually involve the technical skills and abilities required to get the job done. The ever changing nature of the work environment implies that the job descriptions and job specifications are always changing; this implies that the company should have efficient training and development policies to cater for the ever changing job specifications and descriptions. The work environment is subject to external factors such globalization, technological advancements and an expansion of the business franchise into new marketing zones ( Macquarie Graduate School of Management, 2009).
The strengths and weaknesses of various training methods at Sing Tel Optus
Learning and development usually entail activities in an organization which are aimed at fostering development of individuals in an organization. Training on the other hand focuses on the improvement of the skills by the work force of an organization. Training is primarily associated with meeting of the skills requirements of an organization. An organization deploying different training approaches, which can include: Internal training programs, external training policies, vocational education training (VET).
At the Sing Tel Optus, they primarily focus on internal training, through a strategy called Registered training Organization (RTO), which is known as the Optus College.
Advantages of internal training policy at Sing Tel Optus
Internal training facilitates the realization of the technical skills requirements of the organization. Internal training policies usually involved offering training to all skills that the organization requires. This implies that the company will be devoid of outsourcing practices. The internal RTO is basically responsible for providing qualifications based on training across the whole organization (Beaumont, 1993).
Another advantage of internal training is that the employees become competitive in the present labor market. In house training generally boosts the reputation of the company, and so is the competitiveness of its employees in the labor market (Kennedy & Richards, 2004).
Another added advantage of internal training is that there will be increased employee motivation and retention. This is due to the loyalty that is built between the employees and the organization. Internal training facilitates the improvements of the skills of the employees; this is generally pays off to the company in a number of ways such as increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction (Hendry, 1995).
Disadvantages of internal training policy at Sing Tel Optus
One major drawback of internal training is that employees lack exposure due to the fact that most of them are bound under agreement to work for the company after completion of the training. This limits them in exploiting their fully gained skills in the outside labor market (Ojo, 2008).
Internal training is sometimes customized according to the organizational skills requirements. For the case of Sing Tel Optus, its training may be based according to the kind of telecommunication equipment that they have. In case the employee gets a chance to work under different environment, he/she might be productive as required (Ojo, 2008).
It is the disadvantage of the company if the employees they train get to use their skills else where apart from the company. Another draw back is subsequent advances in technology and work environment requires consistent training of its employees. This is very costly to the organization (Ojo, 2008).
External training policies
External training is basically aimed at increasing the skills requirements of the individual rather than meeting the organizational requirements.
One of the advantages of external training is that there is diversity of training platforms which are not only limited to the organizational skills requirements. This implies that individual can apply his standard skills at any organization.
External training also increases the exposure of the individuals, this can be an advantage both to the individual and the organization; since there will be an exchange of information after which the employee can bring to the organization.
External training increasing the chances of an employee developing his/her career in the outside labor market. This is basically due to the fact that he/ she may meet potential during outside training programs.
Outside training puts the work force of an organization at risk due to the fact that employee, might decide to leave the company in case he lands over a better employment deal.
The role of technology in training and training and development
One of the driving factors for initiating training and development is the technological advancements; this implies that technology in itself has a greater impact on the training policies of an organization. Traditional approaches are not likely to meet the job demands in the present business context. One of the basic roles of technology is facilitating training and development. Training can be offered using the available technological platforms such as the use of company intranets. The intranets can be of great use to facilitating training through the use company’s training portal. It normally eases the management of the training programs in the company (Lewis, 2010).
Technology based training is an efficient approach to conducting training in the current workplace context. Work force development significantly relies on the use of electronic content such as internet, use of e-learning portals, conferencing via the internet, interactive learning modules and other multimedia applications which are essential in facilitating the learning and development within an organization.
An effective application of technology to learning and development is the training module; which facilitates the tracking and monitoring of learning and development efforts of the employees (Lewis, 2010). The training module is typically implemented using a Learning Management System (LMS), which aids the Human Resources department in keeping track of educational progress, the qualification requirements and the skills of the employees, in addition, it provides an outline of requirements of the courses, interactive learning modules which may in form of CDs or web based applications.
Information technology is also key concept in aiding the training and development of human resource in an organization. It has accompanied advantages such as real time feedback and performance parameters; it can be used to provide real time updates on the progress of the work by the employees (De Cieri & Kramar, 2003).
How Training and Development is linked to Human Resource Management
Human Resource management goes hand in hand with personnel management. This implies that employees in an organization should be perceived as valuable assets, instead of costs which should be curtailed (Hendry, 1995). One of the key HR concepts is the competitive strategy and Human resource management. It is vital to take note that the employees are the ones who are solely responsible for the competitiveness of an organization. The Human Resource department therefore has the responsibility of ensuring that the employees are motivated enough.
One of the key roles of the Human Department is to ensure that the current work place is in line with the present technologies and organizational skill requirements. The only way to ensure this is through sufficient training and development of the employees of the company. The organizational culture and structure must be put into consideration during the design of training modules.
The training and development is basically divided into three phases: training, education and development. All the three phases requires the involvement of the human resource management, in the capacity of facilitators.
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