Training and Development in Human Resource Management

Outline

This paper will look at training and development perspective in a business organization.

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The paper will present various steps that are taken in employee training and development including formulation of training policy. There are poor levels of supervisory skills in any organization that can be improved by mentoring and coaching. Training existing and new staff will help many firms to have skilled manpower.

Introduction

Many organizations globally are faced with various managerial difficulties such as poor levels of supervisory skills which can only be improved by mentoring and coaching, therefore to solve such problems these organizations should engage in training their workforce to enhance better management results.

Training involves behavior modification which is normally carried out in a formal and systematic manner. It is a result of planned experience, instruction, and education. Training and development play a big role in the achievement of organizational goals. Most of these goals are normally long-term in nature. Training is part of the strategic framework of organizations. (Beard, and Wilson, 2002, P113-132) It produces a comprehensive and coherent plan that helps in developing employees and other stakeholders in organizations. When a business incorporates training and development therein, it acquires a competitive advantage over the other businesses. This is because the intellectual capital in the business is greatly developed. In fact employees in an organization get an opportunity to improve their skills in their areas of specialization.

This leads to great impacts on the organization as a whole. There is usually improved team performance when training and development strategies are incorporated into a business. Research shows that such training influences the performance of employees at personal levels. For instance, employees are in a position to carry out a self-evaluation of their performance and implement self-corrections where necessary.

When a business incorporates training and development therein, it acquires a competitive advantage over the other businesses. This is because the intellectual capital in the business is greatly developed. In fact employees in an organization get an opportunity to improve their skills in their areas of specialization.

Such organizations need to incorporate organizational training and development strategies in their management system. This is because a close evaluation of various firms shows that they require training and development in many areas. For instance, many managers never try to implement a company appraisal scheme in the organization, while the employees that continue learning never see the benefit because the management does not acknowledge it. (Beard, and Wilson, 2002, P113-132)

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Many managers do not seek qualified personnel to carry out the responsibilities therein and these activities have led to underperformance in many organizations. Many Employees are given posts and responsibilities that they are not qualified for since the managers do not consider Investing in People. In fact, in many cases, we find that the supervisors are not qualified at all which has led to a lot of absenteeism in many organizations. The supervisors therein are never concerned and they do nothing about it. In many cases, the absenteeism case is usually taken in form of sick leave.

This shows that there is a poor relationship between management and employees in various firms. In fact, even when they do not report to duty, no one notices. This has created a sense of irresponsibility in them. Research shows that when people are not appreciated, they never do their best. They do shoddy work thus the employees in many organizations are really demoralized. Having considered all these factors, the implementation of a training and development strategy in many organizations should be done which will be very beneficial to both the staff and the organizations at large. This strategy should involve the following:

Performance appraisal management system

Performance appraisal is one of the training needs in many firms. This is whereby employees that are best performers are rewarded by the management.

Succession planning

This needs to be carried out in organizations that is, there is the need of having a smooth transition from the old management to the new management of many firms. This has not been practiced in many forms.

Mentoring and coaching

Many firms need to put in place mentoring and coaching mechanisms. Management in these organizations needs to mentor employees and also coach them on various leadership and job skills. This has not been practiced in various organizations.

Personal development

Management in firms has to consider the personal development of employees. This is where they are given training on their professional skills. This will benefit them. Fringe benefits given to employees help in promoting personal development. All these have not been implemented in many companies.

The aim and objectives of carrying out training and development strategy in organizations include; recruiting new staff on a merit basis, to help eradicate or minimize absenteeism in organizations, introducing an Information technology system for checkouts, implementing employee appraisal schemes, improving leadership and professional skills of employees and to enhance behavior modification among employees

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Formulation of training policy

Training policies normally give a guideline on the degree of training that should be carried out in an organization. They direct the employees on what they need to be trained on. In this stage, there is the allocation of profits to the training. This has to be done annually. The aims of training are clearly evaluated at this stage. (CIPD 2007, P 54-97)All this information has to be disseminated to the employees and the entire staff in an organization. This will help them to understand that the management is interested in their welfare. This is done in relation to career development. Training the employees in a firm will greatly influence goal achievement. In fact, the employees’ personal skills will be sharpened and this is very beneficial to the firm in general.

This training can be carried out in two ways. One of them is where it is oriented to actions. The other way relates to the performance of the employees. This includes meeting targets; performance training has to do with the competence of employees. (Phillips, 1996, P42-48) this means that they are trained to be more competent in their various responsibilities. When the training is action-oriented, the employees will be trained to make things happen. For instance, they can be trained in customer care skills that will influence many customers to visit and purchase from the firm.

Identification of training needs in an organization

When implementing a training and development strategy, it is very important to identify the training needs in the organization. The management has to identify its various training needs. This will help in realizing what the employees in the firm know they can do. (CIPD 2007, P 54-97) It will also help in identifying what they need to know such that services are improved in the firm and this should be in relation to the goals of the firm. For instance one of the goals is to ensure customer satisfaction in their service provision.

The training needs in the firm have to be analyzed at a corporate level. After that, the analysis has to be done at the departments in the organization. This includes customer care, finance, and sales departments. (CIPD 2007, P 54-97)

Later on, they need to be analyzed at team levels then finally at the individual level. There are various tools that can be used when carrying out this analysis. This includes administering questionnaires to the employees.

This is because employees normally have first-hand information concerning what they know and what they need to know. Focus group discussion between management and employees can be used in the firm in identifying the training needs. These discussions should also be done between the management and the departmental heads. This information will really be beneficial to the organization when carrying out their long-term and short-term goals on training.

Training plan development

Much thought has to be done when developing a training plan. This is in relation to the outcomes of the learning program. The management in any organization has to be keen on examining any changes in the behavior of employees after training is done. Now after identifying training needs then the training program content has to be put in place. After identifying the training objectives, an analysis needs to be done such that the firms’ management knows exactly what to do. (CIPD 2006, P 54-97) All these things have to be put in place so that the organization’s objectives are met. The content will greatly determine how long the training will take place. The length of the training will be influenced by modes of delivering information. For instance, lectures may need a long time to accomplish all that is required unlike the use of handouts.

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Training can also be done by the managers by carrying out on job training of the employees in an organization. They can do this by coaching the staff at low levels. These employees just learn how to do their job under the manager’s guidance. They just learn naturally as they interact with other employees and managers. (CIPD 2007, P 54-97)This should be done on a day-to-day basis. Supervisors and also other senior employees in a firm should go for training which can be done externally and not necessarily internally. They can make good use of consultants who provide these services at a fee. Through this, the senior employees will gain skills in leadership and technical areas which they are lacking.

Training responsibilities

Training in various organizations should not be carried out on an ad-hoc basis. This is because training will help the firm to achieve its corporate goals. The human resource department in any company should be concerned with all the training and development needs therein. This should not just be done by the human resource department in general but a unit in this department will be more efficient. (Beard, and Wilson, 2002, P113-132) This unit will carry out the coordination of every activity that is related to training and development. This unit will be responsible for evaluating both internal and external people responsible for facilitating the training. It will also be responsible for planning the training and development activities in an organization. Managers in this store should come to the knowledge that it is their responsibility to oversee all the training activities.

Training evaluation

This is very important since it will help to assess how effective the program is. This helps to know whether the objectives set at the planning stage were met or not. (Easterby, 1997, P 38-53) For instance, the performance of the employees can be greatly monitored to see whether it has improved or not. In case the objectives are not met then necessary adjustments have to be put in place. These adjustments will help in improving the training so that it is more effective. For instance managers in a business, organization should evaluate whether the employees’ skills have improved after the training or not. (Parry, 1996, P. 72-78)Behavior change in staff should be evaluated concerning absenteeism from work. This stage should be done thoroughly and stakeholders should be given an opportunity to give the reasons why the objectives were not achieved and factors that contributed. Evaluation should be carried out to whether employee’s supervisory skills have been improved.

Evaluation can be carried out in four levels. They include the following;

First level

In the first level, there is the measurement of the reaction of the people who participated in the training. They include employees and external trainers. In this stage, the degree of satisfaction of participants is evaluated whether it was poor, fair, or excellent. (Parry, 1996, P. 72-78) In this case employees in an organization can be interviewed by the managers or have an open forum. Through this managers can know whether the training was effectively carried out or not. (McNamara, 2001, P 23-43)

Second level

The evaluation is carried out in relation to the achievement of objectives. This is to know whether the objectives were attained or not. (Alliger, 1989, P 341-358) The objectives, in this case, are meant to reduce absenteeism, to ensure behavior modification in employees, and to ensure that employee’s skills are improved. This can be evaluated whether they have been achieved or not.

Third level

At this level, the degree of behavior change is evaluated. This is to know whether the employees’ behavior has improved or not. Managers in any firm can evaluate behavior change in the employees by observing their behaviors when at work. (Alliger, 1989, P 341-358) This can be noted down and those that have improved should be acknowledged by the managers.

Those that have not improved in their behavior can be asked the reasons why and the necessary steps are taken.

Fourth level

The results of the training are evaluated at this level. The costs of the training are evaluated against the benefits achieved. Managers in a firm should evaluate the results of the training needs. (Alliger, 1989, P 341-358) This can help them to know whether it was worth the initiative or not. The costs that an organization incurred should be calculated against the benefits that the store would have achieved. This needs good use of records concerning the expenses that were incurred by the organization in carrying out the entire training.

Critical evaluation of options to tackle the poor level of supervisory skills

There are various ways of dealing with poor supervisory skills in any organization. Now having a closer look at the supervisors shows that they are not qualified for the job they are doing. (Parry, 1996, P. 72-78)They do not have leadership skills at all and this is clearly seen in the way that they deal with absenteeism. One of the ways of dealing with this is carrying out retrenchment of these under-qualified staff. While this will help eliminate untrained staff, it may create a very poor relationship between managers and some of the employees. Though it is worth it since the firm’s structure has to be reorganized, carrying out organizational learning for these supervisors can be very expensive for the store. In fact, some of them may not understand due to a lack of basic knowledge. Instead of retrenching them, they can be demoted to responsibilities that do not require skills like sanitation duties and packing the goods. New staff can be recruited on a merit basis to do supervisory work in this store.

Mentoring and coaching can be carried out by the managers in an organization. This should be carried out especially in relation to supervisors in the firm. This can be done by the managers by showing the right examples to the supervisors. Managers can also have coaching sessions with supervisors and this will help improve supervisory skills though it’s time-consuming.

Conclusion

It is important for every business organization to incorporate a training and development strategy. This helps in modifying employee’s behaviors. Organizational goals are easily achieved when training and development are well implemented. There are various steps in employee training and development. All these steps are important and should be carried out by business organizations. Evaluation will help in knowing whether the set objectives were achieved or not. (McNamara, 2001, P 23-43)

All organizations should include training and development strategies in their management. This will help in solving problems that exist in the firm such as unskilled personnel, lack of appraisal scheme. This will help in motivating employees and will minimize absenteeism problems. Above all, it will lead to the overall success of the organization to the benefit of the stakeholders therein.

References

Alliger, G. 1997: A meta-analysis of the relationship among training criteria. Personnel Psychology, 50, P 341-358.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2006: Training and development Strategy; Sage, New York P 54-97.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2007: Creating a Training and Development Strategy; Sage, New York P 38-53.

Beard, C. and Wilson, J. 2002: The power of experiential learning: A handbook for Trainers and educators Kogan, London P113-132.

Brooks, H. 1999: Workshops; Designing and facilitating experiential learning; Thousand Oaks, Sage CA, P 41-76.

Burgoyne, J. 1997: Management learning; Integrating perspectives in theory and Practice; Sage, London P 53-71.

Cherrington, R. 1994: Pinning down experiential learning. Studies in the education of Adults, p26 (1).

Easterby, S. 1997: Research traditions in management learning; Management learning: Integrating perspectives in theory and practice. London; Sage; P 38-53.

DTI 2006: National Training and development Strategy; New York; Macmillan Press P 121-153.

Fawson, T.1999: A study of executive education programs at AT&T; Measuring learning and performance. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development. P 111-126.

Gupta, K. 1999: A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment; San Francisco; Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer P 38-53.

Hoberman, S. and Mailick, S. 1992: Experiential management development; From learning to practice; New York; Quorum Books P 1-18.

Kaufman, R. 1996: What works and what doesn’t: Evaluation beyond Kirkpatrick. Performance and Instruction, P 35(2), 8-12.

McNamara, C. 2001: Employee Training and Development: Reasons and Benefits; New York; Macmillan Press P 23-43.

Parry, S. 1996: Measuring training’s ROI. Training & Development; 49(2), P. 72-78.

Phillips, J. 1996: ROI; The search for best practices. Training & Development; 50(5), P 42-48.

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