Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This was a saying by Confucius, 5th century BC. It is the reason why most managements invest in training their staff, so that they can be independent in the sense that they wouldn’t have to consult on all matters. This paper outlines some of the ways in which organizations engage their staff in training and how the management itself is adamant in acquiring training for themselves.
The Hilton hotels have a rich heritage as compared to the other many hotels in the world. Whether real branches or franchised, they still hold up a certain standard of quality that most hotels just dream. There were at least 533 branches worldwide as of 2008. Conrad Hilton was the first to start a chain of hotels that existed from coast to coast. The new owners or management go by the name Hilton Worldwide. Their simplicity in choice of color and diversity in services give them a classic feeling over their competitors. The fact that they have been in the market for so long, sixty-seven years since the inception of the famous hotel, makes most customers to have some level of confidence in their delivery of services (Hilton.com, 2010).
The other example of a business organization with rich heritage is the Mercedes Benz. It is a company that manufactures luxury cars and other vehicles. It was started in January 1886 when the first motorcycle that was powered by petrol was made. It is situated in Germany and commands a lot of respect from other motor manufacturing companies. It is known to manufacture very expensive but very classic cars since time immemorial. They trust their work so much to an extent that if a driver encounters an accident in any of their vehicles while wearing a seatbelt and gets hurt they take Care of all the expenses no matter what. They are the inventors of most of the safety measures in cars like airbags and even breaks on all four wheels. They have a rich heritage of durability and quality in all their products (Mercedes-Benz, 2010).
On the job training is the training one gets by experience while accomplishing tasks around the workplace. Offering attachments to the various employees could also serve the same purpose. This way the employees get motivated to work harder and to take pride in their jobs. They get to experience different departments of the organization and get a feel of what it means to be in such a position. The employees get to build on both their technical and interrelation skills. Marks and Spencer as an organization practice performance coaching where managers analyze employees giving feedback on their strengths and weaknesses ( Des and Stuart, 2003).They also suggest the types of training the particular employees should undergo to build on the insufficient technical or business skills. This interaction with the managers develops a form of confidence in the employee and they tend to be more motivated.
Off the job training on the other hand entails the training an employee gets by other means other than while working. For instance, Marks and Spencer use their intranet as a way of training heir employees. What happens is that information on business skills and technical expertise is uploaded for the employed fraternity. They can access the information at any time this means there is a consistent learning process by the employees whether at work or not.
A performance review is a form of an appraisal that takes place, in the case of Marks and Spencer, every six months to assess the progress of the employees. This assessment is done by the managers in charge of the various departments. It involves showing the employees their competencies and skills over the past year. This progress is compared with what is expected of the employees. The information gathered helps the employees analyze themselves in terms of where they are and where they ought to be and what to do to bridge the gap in between. After this analysis, the management and the staff draw plans on how to accomplish the developments in the following year. In these plans every staff member has one tailored to their own objectives in relation to the assessments done earlier. This gives the staff the opportunity to map out their career paths so they achieve their future goals. By training in these skills and competencies they prepare themselves for future management roles. This strategy is one of the strongholds of the company that keeps the staff motivated and efficient.
Marks and Spencer train their workers so they could develop skills in their various roles in the organization. This means that they become more empowered to make sound decisions even without supervision. It equips them with knowledge that is useful in solving even their needs individually. The staff also stays motivated towards the goals and aims of the organization since they see the worth the management places in them by training them. This gives the company an upper hand above the rest in the retail business. It gives them the competitive edge.
One of the other benefits of training as employed by the same organization include added value to the products services offered by the company. This happens as a result of the skills gained by the staff due to the training. They end up making products that ensure the customers get a value for their money.
If the staff get training in customer relations and communication it means they get better in handling customers in whatever character they come. This means the hospitality in customer care will greatly improve. A satisfied customer will always come back with more customers and that interprets to higher sales.
Training could be the biggest investment a company could ever make or could be the worst mistake also in the same capacity depending on the effective nature of the program. The staff can be the greatest asset to the organization if the desired behavior change occurs and could be a liability if it does not (Bartram and Gibson, 2000). Rosner (1999) says that managers should also be trained in supporting the staff in their training processes so they feel motivated in their learning process. He gives an insight that in 1998 most American companies invested almost $60 in advertising, which means that companies had discovered the need for training their staff. What he was passing across was that every company has to make the conscious decision to make the investment to stay relevant in their field.
For an organization to train effectively, they have to make sure they assess the need of the staff involved. By so doing they will be able to match the training to the various needs of the employees. Rosner (1999) advises that performance problems are not always solved by training and that if training is to be a solution then it has to be done in the right way. The needs assessments tool is used in accomplishing this. What it does is establish the specific needs of specific employees for better performance. It also gives a direction on the appropriate ways to intervene in such situations (Batram & Gibson, 2000). The reason why these assessments should be done is that they help in making the programmes and not just any programmes but those that can be easily implemented (Gupta, 1999). Another important aspect this assessment does is that it helps to avoid wrong diagnosis of problems. This would be like in a case where the management thinks the problem will be solved by training and yet it is not even related to training (Rosner, 1999).
The tool uses different methods to collect the data including interviews. They are considered the most effective since on can get instant reactions since they are two-way. The other methods are by use of focus groups, questionnaires and surveys. Observation is also used comprehensively (MClelland, 2002).
The other alternatives are use of nominal group technique the ‘Dacum’ (developing a curriculum) and action research.
One of the first reasons managers give for training is that they train their staff to increase productivity. It is important to note that this cannot happen if the staff under training is not motivated (Anonymous, 1998). So, managers and leaders need to rethink their reasons to train staff. The training strategies should put into consideration motivation of workers which increases their productivity.
Some of the benefits of training to the organization are increased efficiency in operational procedures (Gordon, 1998). When employees are trained in their roles they will do their work with more keenness this means more work will be done over the same period as before hence increase in sales.
When the staff is well trained, the company increases its capacity to handle new technology in the respective markets. This means their comprehension in handling new processes will be impressively high (Adiele, 2009).
Training also means the labor turnover of an organization will reduce because the staff will feel appreciated and important (Frye, 2000). That means the skilled employees stay for longer and the company does not have to keep employing. This reflects well on the company and helps to keep competition at bay.
Training helps the organization to be better prepared to handle risks in the future. It gives them the skills and the prowess to deal with such unpleasant predicaments (Blau, 2001).
On the part of the individual, training and development boosts their morale in their assignments. It gives them the drive to go san extra mile in their job descriptions. It creates job satisfaction for most employees (Glasrut, 1999).
Managers also need to build up on their skills to be art par with their staff. They need to be way better advanced in all the skills that. Some of the areas are communication to understand both the employees and the customers if need be. The other is in leadership; they should be swerve in handling issues in the office without arousing resentment, their knowledge in solving conflicts needs to be relatively high (Austin, 2000).They also need to understand the various technological advancements in their areas of operation and to generally understand business principles (Grensing-Pophal, 1999)
It is also the responsibility of the managers to be conversant with the structures in their firms and the various levels of leadership and the flow of information (Bailey and Mitchell,2000)They need to be at par with various finance processes and marketing strategies that are current in the market.
The manager has to gain mastery of the power of communicating effectively and not communicating (miscommunication). This will go a long way in creating a free atmosphere at the workplace. As they learn to communicate, they also need to learn how to listen. Most employees who quit jobs abandon the managers and not the jobs. Managers need to learn to create time to listen to their employers this way they feel important in the actualization of the company goals (Bos, 2007).
They should also learn how to criticize constructively without creating prejudice among staff. When they do that the staff will respect them even more and will always know they are well intentioned when correcting. They should learn to ask questions in a more crude way and better ones for that matter. They should not ask questions that make the employees feel uncomfortable in any way (Thach, 2002).
In management development, they are also taught how to incorporate goal setting in to their styles of management. This ensures achievement of the same in more efficient ways. The reason being there will be more accountability when revisiting the goals as time goes by. Feedback is encouraged, according to Goldsmith and Morgan (2003), good managers are those who follow up after the projects constantly.
Managers are also advised and taught how to respond to the motivating factors of every individual in their teams. This enhances cohesiveness between leader and the led. By doing that, it also gives the employee even more drive to be more productive.
Delegation of duties is an effective way of managing. It saves time and the manager can dedicate their time to issues that can only be attended to by him or her. By so doing they are also expressing their confidence in subordinate staff thereby building trust (Sharkey, 2003).
Creativity is an important aspect in the management of any organization. This ensures the steady flow of ideas. The managers are taught to harness ideas from their employees and even themselves. There is a creative genius in most people that just needs a little nudging to explode. It is the responsibility of managers to provide the ‘nudge’ through activities that encourage creativity. On of the ways in which this is done is by organizing brainstorming sessions. Decision-making processes are also made very clear in these programs. The decisions made in a company have consequences so managers are trained on prioritizing when making decisions (Goldsmith, 1996).
In conclusion, it is essential for all organizations to have trained personnel. This helps in efficiency in processes. Succession management also helps ensure that the organization has the best of employees ready for positions of leadership that may open up. The training also helps in motivation. It also reduces the labor turnover of the organization thereby reflecting positively on the organization. It gives the employment body the ability to adapt to new technologies without difficulties. Generally, training and development leads to a rise in productivity.
For any organization to undertake training, be it for the management or the staff, it is important that an assessment of the need be done so the programs are tailored to specific needs. This helps in avoiding wrong diagnoses of problems.
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