Learning and Development in a Company

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Learning needs Analysis

Learning needs analysis is primarily conducted to determine where training is required, what needs to be taught, and who needs to be trained (Grau-Gumbau et al., 2002). In this case study, those that need training are management employees within various new departments. The current team failed to deliver the required performance as they seem to have neither adequate induction nor proper training activity after joining the workforce. For such organizations, the purpose of implementing induction is to demonstrate and equip staff members with knowledge, such as memorizing names of products or uses of gym facilities. During an induction period, it is important for management to monitor and observe new employees’ working capability as well as their personal behavior in order to decide whether to keep the person when the period ends (Bratton and Gold 2003).

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Factors to consider when designing a learning solution to meet these needs

Training needs identification process considers various key aspects within an organization. Such interventions consider three core categories within the organization namely; financial management needs, project management as well as strategic leadership. This is because such organizations require more specialized professional knowledge within newly created departments since they form a core part within the line of duty. These factors would enable further development to their ability to be accountable based on the utilization of available human resources (Foot and Hook 2008).

Normally new employees will just be taught about how to get their job done in a correct way by matching up with experienced employees. That means there is no actual standard of procedures on how to maintain service standards for managers (Harrison, 2009). Without a proper list of procedures and education showing new employees how to deliver the expected service, the overall quality will be varied differently due to the fact that different type of staff members have their own working behavior and standards.

Proposed learning solution

Developing a performance management concept is necessary since it involves setting performance aims and expectations for the organization as a whole. The purpose of performance management is seen as an approach to planning, monitoring, and reviewing the performance of people through systematically linking the needs of individuals and the objectives of the organization. However, performance management techniques can be categorized as people-oriented or process-oriented. People-based systems can rarely operate effectively without some form of process-based support. Being enthusiastic is not enough; a framework of procedural systems is necessary to ensure that good ideas and desirable changes can be quickly and efficiently implemented (Gold et al, 2009). On the other hand, process-based systems will fail if inadequate attention is given to the changes in attitudes or skills which are needed for them to operate effectively. To avoid failure to happen, managers have to understand what the organization’s culture is in order to create an integrated performance management program (Pettinger, 2002).

Mentoring and Coaching

Coaching and mentoring form crucial concepts and elements used for capacity-building leadership within organizations. Mentoring assists in nurturing a person’s own abilities for the purposes of improving performance as well as overall behavior. Coaching and mentoring can well be differentiated using appropriate models depending on personal style and situation. Coaching basically focuses on performance within current activities based on development tools; on the other hand mentoring is based on long-term goals and the capability of individuals to develop leadership skills (Reid et al., 2004).

Pros and Cons of using e-learning in Organizations

E-learning is considered an important tool capable of supporting the learning system required for the purposes of achieving organizational goals. Major advantages of e-learning involve an aspect of flexibility and reduction in time and operational costs. E-learning enables easy and quick access to information from a variety of learning materials (Reid et al., 2004). This reduces travel time making it possible for learners within organizations to schedule appropriately various activities. At the same time, the process improves communication and the level of interactivity between managers and employees.

Limitations of e-learning include such as aspects as the need for technology infrastructure which at times may not be available within some regions or companies. There are limitations based on bandwidth which may cause weak multimedia performance within organizations and at the same time limit human face-to-face contact amongst employees.

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Importance of evaluating learning and development and Kirkpatrick’s model Kirkpatrick’s model comprises of four levels of evaluation outcome; reaction, learning, behavior, and results. In level one; customer reactions towards services provided would be recorded, this includes the nature of communication as well as the choice of words used by employees. Whether customers make repeat sales or just make one visit and disappear. In level two; changes in management skills within the department through giving aptitude tests on the use of technology. There’s also use of skills on practical works and attitude towards improved production. In the third level, there’s the analysis based on changes within on-the-job behavior (OJB) in line with the training program. Level four is based on results and can be analyzed through changes in profit levels and the proper functioning of the organization. Formal training can be a waste of time and money if the needs of the training are not first evaluated and ultimately appropriate training tools are not identified (Leigh et al., 2000).

One year performance program will be thoroughly conducted on all branch managers for the purpose of observing and measuring individual’s level of performance. Through the program, the organization is capable of discovering an individual’s performance capability and ability to effectively undertake their roles. Conversely, if any of employees’ performance falls below the required level or standard, managers have to discover whether the problem is performance or personal then offer further assistance such as training or consultation services. Key factors to consider when developing learning solutions include; cost of training, time, and nature of the people to be trained (Gibb, 2002).

Interviews are conducted with key informants, who are the senior financial managers. Records are therefore retrieved from the accounting department to verify the existence of financial turmoil experienced by the Company. Possible solutions are then solicited from proposals made by chosen specialists. Training Needs analysis is then conducted by contractors from the government giving preferred solutions.

Evaluation is at times difficult depending on the focus of the whole process. In most cases, emphasis is placed on an individual’s weaknesses and strengths ignored making some participants take whole processes negatively. Performance review should touch all vital aspects of individual contributions towards the organization. These include; technical skills, management skills, interpersonal skills, reliability, communication, creativity, attitude, teamwork, and work attendance. Skilled helpers assist in reviewing good practices within organizations through capacity building. Coaching and mentoring provide effective tools for staff and leadership development making it possible for organizations to perceive required changes hence making long-term profitable adjustments (Holton et al., 2000).

Learning and development help individuals become responsible entities within organizations creating core leadership development concepts. In this case, individuals are programmed and motivated to take proactive actions towards uncertainties experienced within organizations. There is also the aspect of spending time wisely and a better understanding of organizational roles. Additionally, learning and development enable people to see bigger pictures hence reviewing their life and skills. It is important to study people’s learning skills for the purpose of matching them with appropriate work within organizations. Learning basically involves participation within a community of practice where necessary structures and models are acquired. In social learning theory, individuals learn from observing critical points within a social setting. Technology can be utilized within the organization in supporting learning systems based on techniques and tools used in presenting knowledge. E-learning technology assists in the creation of an augmented learning environment where combined services of teaching techniques are used in the maximization of individual participation within organizations.

Reference List

Bratton, J & Gold, J 2003, Human Resource Management Theory and Practice, 3rd ed, Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Foot, M & Hook, C 2008, Introducing Human Resource Management, 5th ed, Harlow, Prentice Hall

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Gibb, S 2002, Learning and Development, 1st ed, Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Gold, J, Beardwell, J, Holden, R, Iles, P, Stewart, J 2009, Human Resource Development Theory and Practice,1st ed, Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Grau-Gumbau, R, Agut-Nieto, S, Llorens-Gumbau, S & Martinez-Martinez, N 2002, “Managerial training needs: A study of Spanish tourism organisations,” Tourism & Hospitality Research, Vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 234-244.

Harrison, R 2009, Learning and Development, 5th ed, London, CIPD.

Holton, E, Bates, R & Naquin, S 2000, “Large-scale Performance driven Training Needs Assessment: A Case Study,” Public Personnel Management, Vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 249– 268.

Leigh, D, Watkins, R, Platt, W & Kaufman, R 2000, “Alternative models of needs assessment: Selecting the right one for your organization,” Human Resource Development Quarterly, Vol.11, no.1, pp. 87-93.

Pettinger, R 2002, Mastering Employee Development, 1st ed, Basingstoke, Palgrave.

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Reid, M, Barrington, H & Brown, M 2004, Human Resource Development, Beyond Training Interventions, 7th ed, London, CIPD.

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