Human Resource Management
The Human Resource of an organization is very important and must be developed. One of the ways of developing an organization’s Human Resource is through training. In fact, training is very crucial to an organization’s success. The employees of an organization are its most important asset and should be valued.
Strategic training is concerned with long term, sustainable training that requires massive amounts of time and money. It has impacts far into the future and it takes a broader perspective of the environment in which the business operates.
Today, training involves learning and development of an individual to make him more adaptable to change.
What factors might inhibit HRD managers from developing a strategic planning approach to training? How might these factors be overcome?
Training is an important aspect of Human Resource Development. Hence it must form a part of the strategic planning process. However, at times, organizations do not given adequate weight to training. This can have long term negative consequences for the firm concerned (Werner, 2004).
There are many factors that prevent training from being made a part of a company’s strategic planning process. In house training is cheaper than outsourced training, but on the whole, training is costly. Where resources are scarce, companies cannot afford to train their employees since they face problems in looking for ways to finance training programs. This is a greater problem for smaller companies. Hence, such companies can resort either to cheaper forms of training such as on-the-job training, or find economically feasible ways to finance it. HRD managers often find themselves with no support from the top regarding training. Moreover, sometimes the employees themselves are resentful towards training and developing their skills. Furthermore, training requires time away from work which can be seen as a loss of valuable time (Donovan and Townsend, 2004). It is important to get management commitment and employee dedication for a successful training program.
Training employees is not just costly, it is risky as well. The company suffers a loss if the employee it trains leaves the firm and joins another (Šiugždinien, 2008). One way to overcome this is by altering the contract of employment to prevent anyone from leaving for a certain minimum duration after the training takes place. Training is increasingly becoming the responsibility of line managers. HRD managers must ensure that these line managers are capable of carrying on this emerging role (Šiugždinien, 2008).
Think of possible strategic training alternatives, other than those described in the text. Under what conditions would these be important in developing a training strategy?
The HRD managers can have a greater number of employees being trained by a large training department. This will be counted as in house training. An alternative to this is to outsource training to external trainers. These trainers can visit the companies and train the employees there. Companies can even send their employees abroad to attend training workshops or programs. Most companies employ a mixture of these two approaches (Blanchard and Thacker, 1998).
Explain the behavioral and cognitive approaches to learning. Which is more relevant to training? Explain your answer.
The behavioral approach to learning states that all human and animal behavior is acquired or learned. Albert Bandura and B. F. Skinner are significant behavioral theorists. This form of learning is conditioned: it occurs in response to specific stimuli. It begins at a very young age and continues for life. Behavior is learnt through observing variables and other individuals. If behavior is learnt, then according to the behavioral approach to learning, it can be unlearnt and replaced by new behavior.
On the other hand, the cognitive approach to learning says that learning is a product of thoughts, memory and speech. It involves analyzing learnt behavior and processing ideas and information for logical reasoning. Both behavioral and cognitive approaches are useful at predicting human conduct in a given situation (Mazur, 2006).
Training does include learning by observation, but repetition can get monotonous and is not always the best way of making individuals grow and develop. Although an extension of the behavioral studies, the cognitive perspective is more popular with managers. This is because individuals today are more respected as having cognitive and reasoning abilities; their behavior cannot be compared to that of animals. A major part of training is manipulation of the mind through motivation, capacity building and team spirit. All of this involves cognition.
Explain why different people need different training methods.
Training needs must be identified before training programs are designed and executed. People have different personalities, abilities and learning capacities. Training that implements a one-size-fits-all strategy is bound to be a disaster. Hence managers must carefully assess the unique characteristics of their employees. Training is effective when employees enjoy it, not when they feel like it’s an unnecessary requirement (Donovan and Townsend, 2004).
People require different training methods because their learning styles, strengths and weaknesses are different. Each employee has feelings and attitudes that distinguish him from his colleagues. These unique attitudes originate from a person’s background, lifestyle, mindset, values, confidence and experience. Hence the kind of training that develops and fulfills one employee may not have the same affect on another employee (Donovan and Townsend, 2004).
One way of assessing the training needs of employees is by involving them right from the start.
What is the purpose of a TNA? Is it always necessary?
TNA stands from Training Needs Analysis. As mentioned in the answer above, the first step even before training begins is to understand the differing needs of employees as well as the organization. If HRD managers do not assess the training needs, they are likely to end up applying the wrong training methodology, leading to wastage of resources. The purpose of TNA is to determine the organization’s requirements, the existing skills of the employees, and the training gap. A training gap is said to exist when the skills that the organization needs are different from those that the employees possess (Donovan and Townsend, 2004).
TNA requires employee skills to be appraised by surveys, observation, performance evaluation and so on. Once the HRD managers have assessed employee capacity, they can design more appropriate training programs (Fowler, 2007).
Although training may not always be necessary, TNA is always necessary. TNA helps analyze an existing training gap, but training may not always be the solution to the problem: There may be other issues (Fowler, 2007).
What are competencies and why are they popular in training departments? How are competency models related to job analysis?
Competencies are tools used by employees to succeed. These include the employees’ understanding, ability, cognitions, self-esteem and so on, in order to progress and achieve excellence. (Dubois, 2000).
Competencies are important to organizations. HRD managers observe the way in which competent workers successfully perform at work and then set similar standards for other workers so that they too can achieve the same level of performance. If workers have difficulty, they can be trained to develop needed competencies. Hence competences are popular in training departments because without adequate competencies, employees will be unable to perform their tasks successfully. However not all competencies can be developed through training. These include internal personality traits such as perseverance, hard work, desire to learn and so on (Dubois, 2000).
Competencies are measurable and explain how employee performance is being affected. HRD managers who have assessed the competencies of employees will be able to better explain their performance at work. If the workers are not performing up to the job requirements, managers will be able to identify which competencies need to be developed through training. Hence understanding competency models facilitates job analysis (Dubois, 2000).
What can be done long before the trainee attends training, to ensure that the trainee will be motivated to learn?
Employees are often resistant to training programs, a problem we tent to overlook. In order for training to be affective, employees must be willing to learn from it and make the best of it. HRD managers must motivate employees not only to learn, but also to continue using at work what they have learnt, before training takes place (Monk, 1996).
Employees, especially the older ones, tend to have a hostile attitude towards change. The first thing the trainer should do is to encourage change and portray it as a positive element that people must embrace. Secondly, people like to do things for themselves. Keeping this in mind, the trainer should highlight how training will help these individuals attain their personal goals. Thirdly, the trainer must show enthusiasm towards the training program. If he has an apathetic attitude towards training, his employees cannot be expected to have any desire to learn.
The trainer must make training seem important and easy but challenging. To instill interest in them, the trainees must be encouraged to share their knowledge with their colleagues, subordinates and the like. Moreover, learning trainers can make use of learning theories to motivate their employees to acquire training. The benefits of training must be given emphasis (Monk, 1996).
How would you present training material in a manner that facilitates retention?
Training has many benefits, one of which is employee retention. Anything that an organization does to develop its employees has a positive link with retention. By investing in training programs, employers prove to the employees how committed they are to excellence and how much they value their human resources. Training enhances the employees’ future career prospects and gives them a reason to stay in the organization that looks after them. Hence, training benefits the employees as well as the employers. It makes employees feel that the company values them and it enables employers to ensure that their employees are up to date with the latest trends (Witty, 2008).
Career development plans and training should be delivered in a way that makes the trainees feel that their employers are genuinely concerned about their progress and development. Employees leave not because of the organization, but because of their supervisors. Therefore, the trainers must have acquired sufficient training to carry out the task of training others. Professional trainers tend to be better at retaining employees in the organization. Training that is motivational and boosts the morale of the trainees is more likely to have higher retention rates (Witty, 2008).
Supervisors often resist taking on the role of coach. What can organizations do to encourage supervisors to be effective coaches?
The role of the supervisor has been evolving. A supervisor is no longer supposed to be an authority that looks over the work done by his subordinates. In fact, today an ideal supervisor works with his employees to attain organizational goals. In short, a supervisor is supposed to perform the roles of a coach such as provide guidance to staff, motivate them, be an effective team leader, and allocate resources efficiently (Brooke, 2005).
Unfortunately, there is a major misconception that anyone can perform the role of a supervisor. Hence most supervisors today are not trained in their job and their traits are just a product of trial and error. However the role of a supervisor is so important that it cannot be left to chance. Since people are resistant to change, supervisors often fail to accept that employees today are productive and happy in an environment that is employee-friendly. At the same time, supervisory tasks fail to include key roles that supervisors must play as coaches to their subordinates (Brooke, 2005).
Supervisors often fail to be coaches because their subordinates do not want them to be. This is because the authority of supervisors to hire and fire prevents subordinates from being open to them. Hence supervisors as effective coaches should facilitate openness in the organization and should encourage and reward participation by employees (Bloom, Moir and Castagna, 2005).
Supervisors who are autocratic must abandon this approach and adopt a democratic or laizzes faire style of leadership. There is a need for organizations to switch from the traditional role of supervisors to adopt a more people friendly approach (Brooke, 2005).
Why are classroom-based training programs (lecture/discussion, role play, games, etc.) used so much more than individualized approaches to training? Do you think this choice is appropriate?
Most trainers impose classroom-based training programs. Classroom training occurs when a number of trainees are grouped together and trained using the same methodology. It is a one-size-fits all strategy. Classroom-based training is convenient and less costly than individual training which requires that training be specific to an individual’s needs and characteristics. Moreover, classroom-based training also provides trainees with the opportunity to mingle and socially interact with one another. It is a platform for them to get to know each other as well as their leaders.
Individual training, though more costly, is more effective. It recognizes the fact that everyone has different learning capabilities, time schedules and weaknesses. No training program is such that it can cater to everyone’s individual training requirements. Competency based training, as discussed earlier, is a very effective training method, and it focuses on developing individual skills and knowledge. Nonetheless different situations, such as financial constraints or the experience of trainees, give rise to different training needs. For example, classroom-based training is appropriate in the military. However on the whole, organizations should implement a combination of training methodologies (Bryant, 2007).
What are the basic components of CBT and its delivery?
CBT or The Competency-Based Approach to Training is a type of training that is employee centered and focuses on enhancing their skills and knowledge. CBT includes two important aspects: skill and competency. Competency-Based training is becoming increasingly popular as it is highly associated with successful organizations (Sullivan, 1995).
The way to carry out CBT is to identify which employee skills need to be developed. Then the HRD managers must investigate ways of enhancing these selected skills. Appropriate training material is then acquired. The training program should be designed in a way that is understood by the employees concerned. This can be done by assessing them. Employees should be allowed to learn from the training at a pace suitable to them since all of them will not possess the same learning capabilities. Hence training should be flexible according to employee needs. The HRD managers should establish a measure for the success rate of the CBT approach. This is to decide whether the CBT approach is successful or not (Sullivan, 1995).
However, for CBT to be successful there must be certain prerequisites. First of all, management commitment is necessary. There must be Multimedia facilities. CBT must match the training objectives as well as organizational goals. Employees must be eager to learn, must contribute and provide feedback, and lastly, managers must be trained themselves (Sullivan, 1995).
What is the purpose of a LMS (Learning Management System)?
LMS stands for Learning Management System. The LMS is a software. It is used to aid in training and its purpose is to deliver, monitor and administer trainees. The LMS enables trainees to access learning material and is used by organizations for standardized training.
The LMS can go further to include worker evaluations, skills development, setting targets, performance appraisals and so on. It could even include induction and remuneration systems. Its basic function is to aid the trainees in learning and to give trainers a convenient way of imparting information. The LMS enhances learning through video conferencing and online discussions.
The LMS takes into consideration the employees’ individual competencies and accordingly develops learning plans for them. It also tracks employees’ performance to ensure the learning methods are effective. It touches upon other important aspects as well such as the organization’s budget constraints, time limitation, current data, the organization’s goals and so on. Furthermore it keeps records of its existing users which aids new users in assessing their own LMS needs. The LMS is considered crucial to the long term success of organizations today.
The Human Resource of an organization is its most valuable asset and must be developed and retained in the business. Training of employees is essential to the success of any organization. Training must be incorporated into the strategic plan of the business. However it must be kept in mind that people have different characteristics, competencies and needs that set them apart from each other. Hence they all must be treated as separate individuals and training must be specific to their particular strengths and weaknesses. It is important for the employers as well as the employees to be motivated to learn and excel. Supervisors must exhibit the qualities of a coach and facilitate an environment of comfort for their subordinates. Lastly, HRD managers can make effective use of software to aid their training programs.
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Cite this Human Resource Management Practice and Theory
Human Resource Management Practice and Theory. (2016, Oct 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/human-resource-management-practice-and-theory/