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Strategies for Employee Performance Management at M&S

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Study on how M&S improve employee performance management through motivation and training?

1. Introduction

One of the major issues for competitive advantage, therefore, is the successful motivation and training of staff. Despite a plethora of theories (Locke and Latham, 1990a; 288) which have analyzed work based motivation and satisfaction, however, theories remain commoner than the evidence to support them.

In the increasing competitive environment, organizations have to focus on value of investments in human resources especially performance management as a major source of competitive advantage. Although, business strategy means of competition is common conversation in the executive suite, taking a strategic approach can be especially beneficial for staff functions within companies, as they often are required to justify their need for resources and their contribution to the company.

The following study presents the analysis of performance management issues on Marks and Spencer's (M&S) employee motivation and training.

Performance improvement provides M&S with needed information on their employees. The information helps M&S develop the skills of the employees based on the information collected at the appraisal, it helps recognize when training is needed. Performance improvement helps M&S by improving their service by having able workers that work to their full ability and by improving the relationship between workers and the company.

Here is Marks and Spencer's definition of performance management: Performance management is a joint process that involves both the supervisor and the employee, who identify common goals, which are linked to the goals of the organization. This process results with the establishment of written performance exceptions later used as measures

for feed back and performance evaluation. (M&S Annual report and financial statements 2008) Marks and Spencer is a multinational company have grown from a penny bazaar in the late 1880’s. UK based company to become one of the largest and most well known organisations of British culture. As a leading retailer, with a customer base of 10 million per week in over 300 UK stores, also trades in 30 countries worldwide, producing a Group turnover in excess of 8 billion. (M&S Annual report and financial statements, 2008)

M&S have to be able to manage its resources to meet the customer’s needs and those of the market. Following three years of declining profits due to economic recession, the company has attempted to rejuvenate itself. Though the company is regaining market share and profits are beginning to raise they are still suffering some problems which have resulted in the company selling some of their foreign subsidiaries and axing jobs to concentrate on their core business. Such a turn around exemplifies well the need for strategy in this type of organisation. Strategic issues will revolve around the long-term and concentrate on the direction and scope of the organisation. Furthermore they will concern resources, competition, meeting needs of stakeholders and markets. All of this will be in a constantly changing and dynamic environment and so organisations must concentrate their human recourse management especially employee’s performance management each level and use right strategy on HR policy. This paper is trying to find out that employee performance improvement by motivating and training.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Techniques of Performance Management

A key issue in understanding and applying techniques of performance management is defining exactly what is meant by ‘performance’ and ‘performance management’.

The paper hereafter discusses and evaluates the competing definitions as they are understood in organizational and human resources practice.

Performance is a multi-level, multi-dimensional construct. It is important to understand what level of performance is considered important when an organization talks about performance management. At each level- organizational, work unit or individual; there are a combination of factors that influence performance: direct, indirect, individual and situational. Any human resource intervention designed to assist, enhance, encourage ‘performance management’ has to be effectively targeted at the right combination of factors (Study Guide 2004, pp.2-8).

2.2 Performance, a Definition

Contemporary organizations consider performance to fall into two major areas: performance at the individual level and performance at the organizational level (Williams 2002). At the individual level there are differing views on what performance is. Some research regards it as simply the record of outcomes achieved (Bernadin 1995). Performance has also been defined as behavior, that is, the way in which teams and individuals get work done (Campbell 1990). At the individual level performance can be thought of as either ‘what’ is achieved, that is as output and results, or as ‘how’ it is achieved, that is demonstrated behaviors, competencies, adherence to process (Study Guide 2004, pp.2-6).

Williams (2002, cited in Study Guide 2004, pp.2-7) starts with the proposition that individual performance is behavior, which is determined by factors of declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge and motivation. Declarative knowledge is the ‘what’ of performance; procedural knowledge is the ‘how’ to do’ whereas motivation refers to the exercise of choice over whether or not to perform; what level of effort to expend; and, whether or not to maintain a consistent level of effort on the specified tasks over an extended period. The three factors above are direct determinants of performance. There are also indirect determinants which might be termed ‘situational’ factors, first are those inherent in the individual employee, the second are those inherent in the work context, which might be termed ‘situational’ factors (Study Guide 2004).

However, the most comprehensive view of performance is achieved if it is defined as embracing both behavior and outcomes (Armstrong & Baron 1999).

Performance at the individual level cannot be seen as merely a function of ‘ability’ and ‘motivation’. Issues such as individual differences, the context in which performance is expected, and the interactions between system and individuals should also be considered. Performance at the individual level is even more ‘multi-dimensional’ than performance at the organizational level (Study Guide 2004).

The concept of performance as embracing productivity or efficiency as well as effectiveness, adaptability and responsiveness. It is clear, then, that organizational performance is far from being a simple concept (Williams 2002, p. 68). Somehow, at the organizational level we are concerned with issues of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.

To address the aforementioned multi-dimensions, we need meaningful performance measures. An increasingly popular approach to measure organizational performance has been through the use of the ‘Balanced Scorecard’ developed by Kaplan and Norton in 1996, which attempts to capture some of the contradictory nature of organizational performance (Williams 2002). It aims to measure performance in terms of four sets of indictors namely financial, customer, internal business process and learning and growth. The aforementioned four sets of indicators have each taking a different perspective. To succeed financially, how should we appear to our shareholders; to achieve our vision, how should we appear to our customers; to satisfy our shareholders and customers what internal business processes must we excel at and to achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve.

It is important to remember that when studying performance management, we must consider both inputs – the behavior aspects and outputs the results aspects. Hartle (1995) calls this the ‘mixed model’ of performance management, reflecting the importance of both the ‘how and what’ of performance. This is when we consider that performance is about how things are done as well as what is done.

Efficiency is defined by Robbins, Bergman, Stagg & Coulter (2000, p. 8) as the relationship between inputs and outputs, the goal of which is to minimize resource costs whereas effectiveness is defined as the goal attainment. Efficiency is often as ‘doing things right’ – that is not wasting resources; effectiveness is often described as ‘doing the right thing’ – that is, those work activities that will help the organization reach its goals. Whereas efficiency is concerned with the means of getting things done, effectiveness is concerned with the ends.

Performance and its relationship to productivity are of a vital importance in understanding and applying techniques of performance management. Guzzo (1988, p. 63 cited in Williams 2002, p. 52) claims that productivity may mean different things to different people, Pritchard (1995, p. 448 cited in Williams 2002, p. 52) has recently noted the wide range of meanings attaching to the term productivity: the term has been used to refer to individuals, groups, organizational units entire organizations, industries, and nations. It has been used as a synonym for output, efficiency, motivation, individual performance, organizational effectiveness, production, profitability, cost/effectiveness, competitiveness, and work quality.

Productivity is the ratio of outputs to inputs, a ratio that reflects the efficiency with which resources are transformed into outputs (Guzzo 1988, cited in Williams 2002). And Williams 2002 refers productivity as a systems concept and that inputs are subject to some conversion processes which lead to the production of outputs; in seeking to measure productivity a basic question that is concerned is how well or how efficiently available inputs are converted into outputs.

In a general sense, by inputs, it is meant all the resources, employees, raw materials, energy, buildings, equipment etc, that are required to manufacture a product or deliver a service. Output is typically taken to mean what an organization produces. Output has traditionally been measured in quantitative terms, however, there is also a quality aspect of output (Williams 2002).

Viewing productivity as a system concept tells that inputs are converted into outputs via some transformation processes. Similarly, an organization, as a system, comprises many subsystems and it is these which are concerned directly or indirectly, with the transformation processes that convert inputs to outputs (Williams 2002, p. 57)

2.3 Performance Management, an Overview

Performance management is defined by De Cieri & Kramar (2002, p. 286) as the means through which managers ensure that employees’ activities and outputs are congruent with the organization’s goals. Performance management evolved out of a long history or managerial attempts to improve productivity, efficiency and effectiveness at all levels in an organization. Study Guide 2004 outlined that one of the difficulties with the concept performance management is that the term means different things to different people.

One main interpretation that has come to dominate in practice is that performance management is a system for managing organizational performance; a system for managing employee performance and a system for integrating the management of organizational and individual performance (Williams 2002, p. 10). Walter (1995, p.10) states that performance management is about directing and supporting employees to work as effectively and efficiently as possible in line with the needs of the organization. Armstrong 1994 defined performance management as a process designed to improve organizational, team and individual performance whereas Armstrong & Baron 1999 describes performance management as a strategic and integrated approach to deliver sustained success to organizations by improving the performance of the people who work in term and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors.

Performance management is far more than its precursor ‘performance appraisal’, it goes beyond the annual appraisals, ratings and interviews to incorporate employees’ goals, training, rewards and individual development. Thus, a performance management system focuses on an ongoing process of performance improvement, at the individual and organizational level, rather than emphasizing an annual performance review (DeSimone, Werner & Harris 2002, cited in Study Guide 2004, p.1-3).

There is no one right way of managing performance. The approach will depend on the context of the organization. That is, its culture, structure, technology and the type of people involved. Thus, recognizing the importance of managing within the context of the business.

Organizational structure is defined as the degree of complexity, formalization and centralization crated to facilitate the coordination of activities and to control the actions of organizational members (Robbins, Waters-Marsh, Caccioppe & Millett 2001, cited in Study Guide 2004, pp.1-12).

Organizational culture is a more intangible aspect, based on the shared values, customs, rituals and norms of the organization. Culture, is long-lasting and can often take decades to change, it is very enigmatic and complex. Culture can assist performance management – they can also act as a major impediment. Conversely, performance management can be used as a tool to change culture (Study Guide 2004, pp.1-14).

Williams 2002 raised, from one point of view technology is part of performance management, one of the tools, that is, for managing performance. And, indeed, technology, especially information technology, has been in many cases a solution to a performance problem which has led to that business gaining competitive advantage.

2.4 The Role of a Performance Management within an Organization

From a human resource perspective it is very much a systemic process bringing together issues of: organizational performance; managerial effectiveness; individual performance; skill development; and reward management. These five aspects must be integrated through human resource personnel and managers working together with staff to achieve the organization’s desired outcomes (Williams 2002).

The processes that are applied to reward and remunerate employee motivation are aligned with performance management. In the industrial era, performance and productivity came primarily from physical effort coupled with capital invested in technology. As enter the new era of information technology, the performance and productivity of employees comes not from physical effort but from within employees – their knowledge, insights information, skills, abilities, innovativeness and creativity (Smith 1998, p. 153 cited in Williams 2002, pp.1-16)

For managerial effectiveness, on the one hand, the manager would know about the policy, objectives, mission and goal of organization. On the other hand, the product or service delivered has to meet customer needs for achieving its goal, having good relationship and trust between the company and customer, thus, be more competitive in the marketplace. Research is needed to best fulfill customers’ needs. A plan or strategy has to be implemented to improve the company and its stuff’s performance to be more successful. Performance should in line with the company’s business plan. Employees’ performance should cope with the company’s strategies and should also keep on improving.

The focus of training and development programs and approaches in organizations is to achieve long-lasting behavioral changes which increase productivity at the individual, group and organizational level. As such, training and development comes under the ambit of performance management. As with other performance related aspects of the organization and its human resources, training and development is concerned with the identification of training needs. Based on a comparison of expected with actual performance, training interventions are designed, implemented and assessed to ascertain whether performance has been improved as a consequence of the training. Two of the significant performance management processes which assist the training and development cycle are job analysis and performance assessment. Job analysis provides valuable information on the tasks, job and role of the job and performance assessment assists in identifying where deficiencies in performance exist (Smith 1998, cited in Study Guide 2004, pp.1-17)

To unlock the intrinsic qualities of individual employees, not only does performance management address situational factors surrounding the employees, but it also seeks to address the motivational factors of employees. One approach to unlock these aptitudes and abilities is to consider compensation management as part and parcel of a performance management approach. Compensation management looks not only at extrinsic rewards, such as pay and bonuses, but also at those artifices, symbols, rewards and benefits which improve the motivation of employees to perform at higher levels. Suffice to point out that organizations which manage compensation and rewards poorly will fail to maximize their most important strategic resource – their human capital (DeSimone et al, 2002, p. 43, cited in Study Guide 2004 pp.1-17). It is because employees who achieve want to be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. And to motivate performance, outstanding performers must be identified and rewarded accordingly (Stone 2002).

2.5. Employee Motivation theory and Performance

According to Mitchell (1982) motivation is psychological process that cause encouragement, direction and insistence of voluntary actions that are goal oriented. Employee motivation is one of the key drivers of high performance as it encourages individuals to work hard, and desire to achieve a higher goal and a better performance. Robbins (1993) shares the same view, that motivation is the willingness to exercise high levels of effort towards organization goals and to satisfy individual needs. McKenna (2002, p.8) explains motivation as an emotion, ‘which is personal in nature, and comes from within the individual’. Robbins (1993) also describes that it is the individual needs that make the outcomes to be attractive and unsatisfied needs will create tension to stimulate drives within the individual and this is called motivation process. Please refer to Appendix 1 to see the phases of the motivational process. This study has been aimed to discuss different motivation theories and how it effectively increases employee performance.

There have been numerous motivation theories developed by many famous authors such as Chester Barnard, Max Webber, Joan Woodard, Bennis and Slater etc. According to Reis and Pena (2001), there was an evolution in the development of the motivation theories. Chester Barnard (1938) introduced the idea of traditional/classical form of motivation as “be tough” or “stick” and “be good” or “carrot” then followed with bureaucracy and human relation approach by Max Weber (1947) and Joan Woodard (1965) respectively. Then the turning point of the motivation history is in 1980s to 1990s was the “Total Quality Management” and “Reengineering” approach. Reis and Pena (2001) believe that today employee motivation is about satisfying your employees with empathy, understanding, friendship and respect at workplace. Please refer to Appendix 2 to view the evolution of motivation theories. According to McKenna (1999) the evolution of motivation theories have been breaking down and classifying generally into three categories. Ramlall (2004) also agrees that motivation should have three aspects of reinforcement, content and process theories.

The reinforcement theory is based on the concept that reinforcement conditions behavior. Reinforcement is the attempt to develop or strengthen desirable behavior by either giving positive consequences or withholding negative consequences (Nelson & Quick 1994). The theorists see behavior as environmentally caused. The reinforcement theory does not concentrate on the personal feelings of the individual, but rather what happens when the individual takes some action. What directs behaviors are reinforcements, when instantly followed by a response, increases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated (Luthans & Stajkovic, 1999). In the workplace, Nemerov (1993) emphasized that it is important for managers to recognize and reward employees. Such recognition also helps individuals to fulfill the higher needs in Maslow and Alderfer's hierarchies, providing workers with self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.

According to Miner and Dachler (1973), content theories are primary emphasis on the particular motives or the types of motives. Berl and Williamson (1987) also describe content theories as understanding the key and driver which arouse or start behavior. Dainty (2002) and McKenna (1999) share a same concept of content theories; the two authors believe it is surrounding by four famous theories of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Herzberg’s Motivational-Hygiene, Alderfer’s existence relatedness and growth and McClelland’ needs theory.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes people have five classifications of needs which act as motivators; those are physiological needs, safety, social and belongingness, self esteem and self-actualization needs. According to Berl and Williamson (1987) the critical aspect of this theory is individual needs to satisfy lower level of need before moving upward. However, there have been many criticisms as Grigaliunas and Weiner (1974) argues that Maslow has been oversimplified and misrepresented. Wahba and Bridwell (1973) conducted a study which show that needs cannot be arranged in a hierarchy in every circumstance and hence feel that Maslow’s model is inappropriate.

Herzberg theory has two factors called hygiene (physiological) and motivational (egocentric) also receive considerable criticism by Wahba and Bridwell (1976). Maslow and Herzberg share very similar concepts that individual must achieve basic needs in order to move upward. This theory was also never tested fairly and lack of supporting evidence that job satisfaction leads to high job performance (House and Wigdor 1976). The argument is that job satisfaction may lead people to their comfort zone and not actively look to risk their current rewards (House and Wigdor, 1976). Although there are criticisms, these theories are easily and widely used in practice by considering motivation as a systematic theory.

Alderfer’s existence, relatedness and growth (ERG) theory assumes that if an individual can not satisfy the specific needs, then he/she can satisfy needs at a lower level, if the individual is frustrated at a given need level (Berl and Williamson, 1987). Maslow’s theory states that only one level of need can be motivational at a time while with Alderfer more than one level of need can influence a person to act at a given time. Berl, Williamson and Powell (1985), found through a survey that those who have satisfaction with growth needs have greater more desire for growth and individuals dissatisfied with existence needs had a greater desire for existence and related needs. Hence, this theory is useful for management to recognize a right person for the right task with realistic goal to motivate high performance. The relationship between these three theories is demonstrated in Appendix 3.

McClelland argues that motivation could be learnt from life experiences and the needs are developed through life such as need for achievement, need for affiliation and the need for power. Acquired needs theory is also influenced by society and culture changing overtime (McKenna, 1999). Hence employees would be more motivated and perform better if managers know their goals and touch correctly to their needs.

The process theories, according to Berl & Williamson (1987) provide an explanation of procedures which enable people to choose among different courses of action, the degree of effort expended and persistence over time. The process theories include Equity theory, intrinsic motivation theory, and Expectancy theory. Process theories contrast sharply with the earlier content theories, which focused on identifying factors associated with motivation in a relatively static environment. Process theorists view work motivation from a dynamic perspective and look for causal relationships across time and events as they relate to human behavior in the workplace (Steers, Mowday and Shapiro 2004).

The equity theory points towards the situations when individuals compare outcome-input ratio of their job to that of others (Robbins 2003). The people to whom individuals may compare themselves may belong inside or outside to the same organization as well as their own experiences in a different position within the same or another organization. This theory is strong when predicting absence and turnover behaviors and weak while predicting employee productivity. Equity theory points out that rewards significantly affect the level of motivation. McKenna (2005) argues that money and other rewards do not have a significant effect on motivation and it is other factors like better job satisfaction, positive feedbacks that do so.

Locke and Latham (1990, p.241) state that expectancy theory developed by Vroom emphasizes that ‘performance is a multiplicative function of expectancy, instrumentality and valence’. It suggests that the factors that motivate a person to act in a certain way depend on ‘the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of the outcome to the individual’ (Robbins 2003, p.173). This theory is strong to explain employee productivity, absenteeism and turnover. Quick (1988) further explains a five step process towards the practical application of the expectancy theory – define the expectations, make the work valuable, make the work doable, give regular feedback, and reward employees when they meet expectations.

The various motivational factors can be broadly grouped into intrinsic and extrinsic. The intrinsic factors include those are directly related to the work itself, like the enjoyment, responsibility and satisfaction of completing a task while extrinsic factors refer to those external factors like the recognition and rewards associated with the work (Amabile 1993). A study by Nowlin (1982) indicated that majority of the managers in both the private and public sectors were motivated by intrinsic factors like the work itself and the job responsibility. Based on a survey by Mullins, in which workers were induced to perform better in their jobs either by verbal recognition of good work or by a pay increase, it was found that performance was improved more significantly by the 'intrinsic' reward of verbal recognition than by the 'extrinsic' reward of additional money (Mullins 1996). Cully et al (1999) support this by evidence that regular performance appraisals and monitoring of individual quality do help to "boost morale" and improve "workplace well-being". It is also seen that it is possible to achieve synergy between these two types of motivational factors by creating a synergy between the person and his work environment (Amabile 1993). Smith (2005) adds to this argument by stating that it is important for leaders to understand the reason behind the employee’s motivation, otherwise they may offer things that are not really valued.

Di Cesare & Sadri (2003) explains the dimensions of cultural impact on employee motivation, stating ‘while the principle of leadership, motivation, and decision making may be applicable almost everywhere, their success or failure depends heavily on ways in which managers adapt to the local culture and work situation’ (cited in Di Cesare & Sadri 2003, p.30). Motivation is culture-bound, and managers must be careful not to impose their value system when drawing conclusions about what motivates people in different countries. Motivational differences are best understood by exploring countries individually, first by gaining an understanding of the culture and then by drawing implications from that culture about motivation.

2.6 Highlights of ways in which managers can motivate employee to improve productivity

Understanding what motivated employees and how they were motivated was the focus of many research which have been undertaken in this field by Frederic Herzberg, Douglas McGregor, David McClelland, Abraham Maslow and Elton Mayo. Each of them has a different theory about employee motivation. Frederic Herzberg’s developed this motivation theory during investigation of 2000 accountant and engineers in the USA. Two Factor Theory. He beloved that people are influenced by two factors- motivation and hygiene. Satisfaction and psychological growth was a factor of motivation factors. The result of hygiene factor was dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors are needed to ensure an employee does not become dissatisfied. They not lead to higher levels of motivation, but without them there is dissatisfaction. The typical factors are working conditions, salary, Security Company, job. Motivation factors are needed to motivate an employee into higher performance. He suggests that offer work should be arranged in the following ways: job enlargement, job nation and enrichment.

2.6.1 Douglas McGregor's theories called X and Y.

McGregor said that there are two fundamental approaches to managing people. Many managers prefer theory x, and generally get poor results. Enlightened managers use theory y, which produces better performance and results, and allows people to develop and growth.

“Authoritarian management” style - Theory X

The average person prefers to be directed. This person wants to avoid responsibility, is unambitious and wants security above all else. The average person does not like work and will avoid it. That is why most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work towards organizational objectives.

“Participative management” style -Theory Y

People usually accept and often seek responsibility

Effort in work is a natural

People have self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organizational objectives, without external control or the threat of punishment. Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement. The capability to use a high degree of imagination and creativity in solving organizational problems is widely distributed in the population.

McClelland based on the Murray's (1938) theory of personality. proposed a content theory of motivation. In his book (1961) The achieving society, McClelland said that human motivation comprises three dominant needs: the need for achievement , the need for power and the need for affiliation.

Achievement

People with a high need for achievement are trying to avoid both low-risk and high-risk situations. They avoid low-risk situations because the easily attained success is not a genuine achievement. In high-risk they can see the outcome as one of chance rather than one's own effort. High individuals prefer work that has ideally a 50% chance of success. Those people need regular feedback in order to monitor the progress of their achievements. They prefer either to work alone or with other people.

Affiliation

People with a high need for affiliation need to feel accepted by others and be in harmonious relationships with other people.

Power

Person who need for power can be personal or institutional. People who need personal power want to direct others, and this need is perceived as undesirable. Those who need institutional power –social power- want to organize the efforts of others to further the goals of the organization.

2.6.2 Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo is known from his research including Hawthorne Studies and his books. He started his experiment on the effect light in productivity but those experiments showed not clear connection between productivity and the amount of lighting. After that he began to wonder what kind of changes would influence production. He took a group of 6 women and segregated them and then changed their conditions of work in many ways.

After 5 year period he observed that productivity in the group rose to the highest levels. In the end he realized that firstly:

the women felt important because they had been singled out

the women had developed good relationships between each other and had been

allowed to set their own work patterns

the case of relationship had made for a much more pleasant working environment

Based on Frederic Herzberg theory of two factors both of them must be done together at the same time. Treat people very good, the best as you can so they have a minimum of dissatisfaction. Use people so they get achievement and responsibility they can growth in their work. “Herzberg’s theory is applicable and relevant to a wide range of managers in all manner of different environment – even a turkey farm” ( Billsberry 1996: 6)

Douglas McGregor

Theory X: Managers have to police their staff, whom they can not trust. In that atmosphere there is impossible to achievement any creative work for the manager and employees.

Theory Y: Manager should let people to develop and watching the development and actualization of people by themselves.

McClelland:

People with different needs are motivated differently. Achieved- motivated people should get challenging projects with reachable goals. For them money are not important motivator, it is an effective form of feedback. They are more concentrated with personal achievement than with rewards of success. In high need for affiliation - people need perform best in a cooperative environment. In high need for power management should provide power seekers the opportunity to manage others.

“Elton Mayo showed that the membership of small groups of workmates exercised great influence on the manner in which they worked”(Vernon 1986: p. 131) .

His experiments showed an increase in worker productivity was produced by the psychological stimulus of being singled out, involved and made to feel important. He believed that work satisfaction was based on security, recognition, being part of a team, over and above monetary rewards.

Research and observation show that well motivated employees are more productive and creative.” Motivation is a key aspect in keeping employees happy and to creating a positive work environment

2.7 Training and performance

It is important that a business provides training that is consistent with the business strategy. The most important steps in developing a training strategy are to , Identifying the skills and abilities needed by trainees, drawing up an action plan to show how investment in training and development will help meet business goals and objectives, Implementing the plan, monitoring progress and training effectiveness.

2.7.1 The Importance of Training:

The significance and value of training has long been recognized. Consider the popular and often repeated quotation, “Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed him for a life time.” This simple but profound saying is attributed to the wisdom of Confucius who lived in the 5th century BC. Given today’s business climate and the exponential growth in technology with its effect on the economy and society at large, the need for training is more pronounced than ever.

Training, in the most simplistic definition, is an activity that changes people’s behavior Increased productivity is often said to be the most important reason for training. But it is only one of the benefits. Training is essential not only to increase productivity but also to motivate and inspire workers by letting the know how important their jobs are and giving the all the information they need to perform those jobs (Anonymous, 1998).McNamara (n.d) lists the following as general benefits from employee training:

Increased job satisfaction and morale

Increased motivation

Increased efficiencies in process, resulting in financial gain

Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods

Increased innovation in strategies and products

Reduced employee turnover

This is only partial listing of the many benefits that result from training. Training that is appropriate to the needs of an organization can add great value. Training is not always the answer to performance problem. Brandt Sakakeeny, training industry analyst for Soloman Smith Barney believes that training can be great investment and training can be a waste of money (Rosner, 1999).training is indeed a waste when the desired behavior does not occur. Gupta acknowledges that not all performance problems can be addressed by training. In many cases, non – training interventions are necessary (Gupta 1999). The key is to identify what problems can be attributed are necessary (Gupta 1999).The key is to identify what problems can be attributed to training deficiencies and, once that is accomplished, to insure that the right training is implemented. Bartram and Gibson, in their Training Needs Analysis Toolkit agree. Without the right training, employees can be the orgainsation’s biggest liability. Trained effectively, however, they can become your biggest asset (Bartram and Gibson, 2000). Rosner (1999) adds another ingredient for success – support after training. He states, “the most effective programs train workers in new behaviors and then train managers to support employees as they apply learning daily (Rosner, 1999). Support and endorsement from management can greatly enhance training results.

Needs of training:

Introduce new trainees to the business ( know as “ induction training”)

Help provide the skills the business needs (in particular asking the workforce more flexible or being trained on new higher technology machinery)

Provide trainees with better knowledge about the business and the market it operates

Provide support for jobs that are complex and for which the required skills and knowledge are often changing (e.g. a firm of lawyers training staff about new legislation)

Support the introduction of new working methods, such as a firm introducing new lean production techniques

Reduce the need for supervision and therefore free up valuable manager time

Help improve quality of product or service and lower customer complaints

Increase employee motivation and loyalty to the business

2.7.2 Linking learning through the senses: Keys to Successful Training

Learning happens when our senses are stimulated. We quickly learn when we are young that if we drink something that is very hot, we will experience the feeling of pain and the lingering effect of burned tongue. How did we learn this? Someone ay have warned us that a beverage was hot, or there may have been a sign or label that told us to be careful, we ay have felt the heat of the beverage through the cup that radiated onto our hands, and by the pain that the words of warning, see the label, feel the heat from the cup, and proceed to take a drink we are very careful. We gathered the information through our senses, learning quickly that if we want to avoid a burned tongue, we should let the beverage cool and sip carefully.

This is simple example is applicable to any of successful training or learning, by linking learning through engaging the senses we are more likely to remember ,retain, and use the information. The goal of any training interaction should be make learning easy, effective, engaging and productive. To do this, it is essential to understand how people learn. As we discussed here, one mode is through the senses. Our senses are information superhighways, by taking in information through a variety of channels and processing the information at extremely high rates. Our brains process information taken in by sight faster than hearing. Our abilities to master knowledge, concepts and skills are directly linked to our senses. Information presented through learning tools that invoke both words and pictures in seven times more likely to be retrained than words alone. In addition to visual aids, adding materials that can be manipulated by the learner and incorporate taste/smell, the opportunity for learning and information that is retained and remembered increases to rate ten times ore than through words alone.

2.7.3 Learning theories

There are any different theories of how people learn. It is interesting to think about your own particular way of learning and to recognize that everyone does not learn the way you do. Burns (1995, pp99) ‘conceives of learning as a relatively permanent change in behavior with behavior including both observable activity and internal process such as thinking, attitudes and emotions.’ It is clear that burns include motivation in this definition of learning.

Sensory stimulation theory

Traditional sensory stimulation theory has as its basic premise that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated (Laird, 1985). Laird quotes research that found that the vast majority of knowledge held by adults (75%) is learned through seeing. Hearing is the next most effective (about 13%) and other senses- touch, smell and taste account for 12 % of what we know. By stimulating the senses, especially the visual sense, learning can be enhanced. However, this theory says that if multi – senses are stimulated, greater learning takes place. Stimulation through the senses is achieved through a greater variety of colors , volume levels, strong statements facts presented visually, use of variety of techniques and media.

Reinforcement theory

This theory was developed by the behaviorist school of psychology, notably by B.F.Skinner earlier this century (Laird 1985, Burns 1995). Skinner believed that behavior is a function of its consequences. The learner will repeat the desired behavior if positive reinforcement (a pleasant consequence) follows the behavior.

Positive reinforcement, or ‘rewards’ can include verbal reinforcement such as 'ThatÕs great' or ‘You’re certainly on the right track’ through to more tangible rewards such as a certificate at the end of the course or promotion to a higher level in an organization.

Negative reinforcement also strengthens a behavior and refers to a situation when a negative condition is stopped or avoid as a consequence of the behavior. Punishment, on the other hand, weakens a behavior because a negative condition is introduced or experienced as a consequence of the behavior and teaches the individual not to repeat the behavior which was negatively reinforced. Burns says that punishment is widely used in everyday life although it only works for a short tie and often only when the punishing agency is present.

Cognitive –Gestalt approaches

The emphasis here is on the importance of experience, meaning, problem solving and the department of insights (Burns 1995, p.112). Burns notes that this theory has developed the concept that individuals have different needs and concerns at different times, and that they have subjective interpretations in different contexts.

Hoslistic learning theory

The basic premise of this theory is that the ‘individual personality consists of many elements… specifically… the intellect, emotions, the body impulse (or desire), intuition and imagination (Laird, 1985, p.121) that all require activation if learning is to be more effective.

Facilitation theory (the humanist approach)

Carl Rogers and others have developed the theory of facilitative learning. The basic premise of this theory is that learning will occur by the educator acting as a facilitator, that is by establishing an atmosphere in which learners feel comfortable to consider new ideas and are not threatened by external factors (Laird 1985)

2.7.4 Experiential learning

Kolb proposed a four – stage learning process with a model that is often referred to in describing experiential learning (Mc Gill & Beaty 1995). The process can begin at any of the stages and is continuous, i.e there is no limit to the number of cycles ,can make in a learning situation. This theory asserts that without reflection we would simply continue to repeat our mistakes.

Kolb’s research found that people learn in four ways with the likelihood of developing one mode of learning more than another.

Though concrete experience

Through observation reflection

Through abstract conceptualization

Through active experimentation

Differences in learning styles:

As already discussed, the idea that people learn in different ways has been explored over the last few decades by researchers. Kolb, one of the most influential of these, found that individuals begin with their preferred style in the experiential learning cycle

Honey and Mumford building on Kolb’s work, identified four learning styles:

Activist ( enjoys the experience itself)

Reflector ( spends a great deal of time and effort reflecting)

Theorist (good at making connections and abstracting ideas from experience)

Pragmatist (enjoys the planning stage)

There are strengths and weaknesses in each of these styles Honey and Mumfors argue that learning is enhanced when we think about our learning style so that we can build on strengths and work towards minimizing weakness to improve the quality of learning.

2.7.5 Action Learning:

Action learning is the approach that links the world of learning with the world of the action through a reflective process within small cooperative learning groups known as ‘action learning sets’. The ‘sets’ meet regularly to work on individual memebers ‘real-life issues with the aim of learning with and from each other. The ‘father’ of Action Learning , Reg Revans, has said that there can be no learning without action and no action without learning.

Revans argued that learning can be shown by the following equation, where L is learning; P is programmed knowledge (eg traditional instruction) and Q is questioning insight

L = P + Q

Revans, along with many others who have used , researched and taught about this approach, argued that action learning is ideal for finding solutions to problem that do not have a ‘right’ answer because the necessary questioning insight can be facilitated by people learning with and from each other in action learning ‘sets’.

2.7.6 Adult learning

Malcolm Knowles (1978, 1990) is the theorist who brought the concept of adult learning to the fore. He has argued that adulthood has arrived when people behave in adult ways and believes themselves to be adults. Then they should be treated as adult learning was special in a number of ways.

Pogson and Tennant (1995) provide a perspective of adulthood as a social construction. They say that the concept of a life’s course varies for different individuals and different cultures: therefore trainers and trainees educators should be wary of definitive views of adults and their behavior.

An adult emotional response can affect learning

Some adults can approach formal educational settings with anxiety and feelings of high or low self – efficacy. Their approach to new learning contexts can be influenced by how they appraise or evaluate the new experience.

The Behaviorism Approach

Behaviorism views development as a continuous process in which children play a relatively passive role. It is also a general approach that is used in a variety of setting including both clinical and educational.

Early Theorists

Ivan P.Pavlov is Russia’s most famous scientist. He had discovered “conditioning” For Pavlov, all behavior was reflexive. But how do such behaviors differ the behavior commonly called “instinctive”? Instinctive behavior is sometimes said to be motivated. The animal has to be hungry, to be sexually aroused, or to have nest – building hormones before these kinds of instinctive behavior can occur. At a more abstract level, Pavlov though that all learning, whether of elicited responses in animals or of highly conceptual behaviors in humans, was due to the mechanisms of classical conditioning.

John B. Watson was one of the most colorful personalities in the history of psychology. Although he did not invent Behaviorism, he became widely know as its chief spokesman and protagonist.

It was Watson, more than Pavlov or any other one person, who convinced psychologists that the real explanation of behavior lay in the nervous system and that as soon as we understood the brain a little better, most of the mysteries would disappear. And, it was mainly because of Watson that so many psychologists came to believe that what they called ‘conditioning’ was so important (Bolles)

B.F.Skinner is considered by many authorities to have been the greatest behavioral Psychologist of all time. Earlier behaviorisms has been concerned with stimulus-response connections. Skinner looked at the learning process in the opposite way, investing how learning was affected by stimuli presented after an act was performed. He found that certain stimuli caused the organism to repeat an act more frequently. He called stimuli with this effect the “reinforces”. Watson found that by providing reinforcement in a systematic way one could shape the behavior in desired directions. “Link to Operant”

Trainers have benefited the most from Skinner’s fundamental work in reinforcement as a means of controlling and motivating trainees behavior. Its various applications to training room practice are commonly called “behavior modification”, a technique that many trainers consider to be one of their most valuable tools for improving both learning and behavior of their trainees.

2.7.7 Types of learning

Classical conditioning is demonstrated when a neutral stimulus acquires the eliciting properties of the unconditioned stimulus through pairing the unconditioned stimulus with a neutral stimulus. Behavior is controlled by association.

Operant conditioning is demonstrated when the reinforcing consequences immediately following the response increase its future like hood; aversive consequences immediately following the response to decrease its future likelihood.

In looking for more direct and effective explanation of the development of children’s social behavior, psychologists sparked the emergence of observational learning (or Social Learning Theory). Albert Bandura demonstrated that modeling or observational learning is the basis for a variety of children’s behaviors. He stated that children acquire many favorable and unfavorable responses by simply watching and listening to others around them. A child who kicks other children after he sees it occurs at the babysitter’s house, a student who shaves her hair because her friends did, and the boy who is always late for class because others are , are all displaying there results of observational learning.

Other examples of observational learning include: modeling, imitation, vicarious, learning, identification, copying, social facilitation, contagion, and role play. In studying animal behaviors, the term imprinting is introduced by Lorenz. Imprinting refers to the appearance of complex behaviors apparently as a result of exposure to an appropriate object at critical time. This is demonstrated with newly hatched ducklings which will follow the first moving object they encounter and became attached to it.

Applications: Commonly used applications by a behaviorist include: Positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, token economy, self management, extinction, shaping, contracts, time out, and systematic desensitization

Applying the concepts: Using Self – Modification to Change Behavior

The Theories and research of the Behaviorist approach gave rise to therapies designed to change behavior by using learning principles. Many of these therapies have been remarkably successful for several trainees who have specific behaviors or habits that they want to alter.

3. Research Methodology

3.1 Definition of Research Method

The research paper is based on two main research methodologies which include: Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research.

Firstly, definitions of these methods will be presented. Then, similarities and differences of the qualitative and quantitative research will be identified. Next, their usual distinctions will be discussed in different perspectives, which will be summed up by the implications of the two major researches and conclusion.

To begin with, let us define what is qualitative and quantitative research as to ease the understanding of the forthcoming discussions. Although there are dissimilar definitions by different writers, I have summarized the main points as the followings:

Qualitative Research is commonly not concerned with numbers and entails gathering a great deal of information about a small number of people. The information collected is normally not presentable in numerical form and it is used to understand human’s behaviour and situation (Veal, 1997). Besides, it generally avoid the workings of objective, scientific research (Cunningham, 1999). In addition, it tends to be naturally explanatory, directional and is designed to bring out issues associated with the subject matter as well as trace you in to the best general direction to proceed (Kyle, 2003). Therefore, this research is designed to investigate specific cases to explore individual’s behaviour, experiences or feelings about an issue. Data collection and interpretation proceed in parallel and interact. Usually, it is used to develop hypothesis that may be later subjected to testing through the use of a quantitative questionnaire survey.

Quantitative Research basically involves statistical analysis and relies on numerical evidence to draw conclusions or to test hypothesis. To be reliable, it encompasses large numbers of people and to use computers to analyse the data (Veal, 1997). Furthermore, it is the sort of scientific research with a strict set of rules that govern the use of research (Cunningham, 1999). Also, it is usually designed to be analytical and rigid with statistical accuracy (Kyle, 2003). As a result, it is a research method that data are collected and subsequently analysed. The findings of quantitative research can be verified for accuracy through tests of statistical probability. In general, this research is employed when what is required is a simple count of numbers. For instance, the numbers of people entering a particular attraction or the average spending in a shop or restaurant can be carried out.

In order to conduct an effective research, it is imperative to understand the similarities and differences in between these two methods, since they are useful in different areas.

3.2 Similarities of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

No matter which kind of research methodology that we are going to use, it is apparent that we will have to define the problem statement and objectives clearly, then we will also need to identify the sources of information that we will require as well as developing the research plan for both researches. Before discussing the details of qualitative and quantitative research methods, it is necessary to understand the fundamental similarities of the above methodologies.

Table 1: Three Sources of Knowledge of Qualitative & Quantitative Methodology

QUALITATIVE

QUANTITATIVE

KNOWLEDGE

1. Paradigm Knowledge

2. Qualitative Analysis Knowledge

3. Interpretive Framework Knowledge

1. Paradigm Knowledge

2. Statistical Knowledge

3. Substantive Theory Knowledge

In function, those three sources of knowledge in the above table are parallel in both methods. You must first understand the strengths and weaknesses of the research paradigm, afterwards, the knowledge of analysis presumes that you have an awareness of how to analyse the information associated with the chosen paradigm. At last, it is preferable to have an interpretative framework to explain and consolidate the analysis result.

Besides, all qualitative data can be actually measured and coded using quantitative methods and quantitative research can be generated from qualitative inquiries too. For instance, one can code an open-ended interview with numbers that refer to data specific references. Moreover, we can sort respondents’ open-ended answers into major themes and code the data quantitatively, thus, calculate the correlation of the themes or the respondents. In addition, all quantitative analysis is based on qualitative judgments since numbers in and of themselves cannot be interpreted without understanding the assumptions that underlie them. In detail, all numerical information involves numerous judgements about what the numbers means. Another important point is the assumptions of the two paradigms. Despite, there are some fundamental differences, they lie primarily at the level of assumptions about research (epistemological and ontological assumptions) rather than at the level of the data. Apparently, the heart of the quantitative and qualitative debate is theoretical, not methodological. Many qualitative researchers operate under different epistemological assumptions from quantitative researchers. And for some qualitative researchers, the best way to understand what is going on is to become immersed in it. Many qualitative researchers also operate under different ontological assumptions about the world. They do not assume that there is a single unitary reality apart from our perceptions. Since each of us experiences from our own point of view, each of us experiences a different reality.

Next, the analysis of both methods includes three stages, which are: editing, tabulating and interpreting. Similar methods of analysis can be used in both types of researches, for instance, cross tabulation. Furthermore, both sort of analysis involves inferences founded in empirical data as well as both methods of interpretation are made visible to readers through the research design and attempts to be error free. Instead of either ignoring or defending a particular research paradigm, it is possible and more instructive to see both methods as part of a continuum of research techniques, all of which are appropriate depending on the research objective. Also, both qualitative and quantitative methods may be used appropriately with any research paradigm. Questions of method are secondary to questions of paradigm, which we define as the basic belief system that guides the investigator (Guba & Lincoln, 1989).

3.3 Differences of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

The major difference between qualitative and quantitative research stems from the researcher’s underlying strategies. On one hand, quantitative research is viewed as confirmatory and deductive in nature by using data to test the theories. In contrast, qualitative research is considered to be explanatory and inductive through gathering the data and leaning what is happening from the data, hence, generating theories. In qualitative research, a hypothesis is not needed to begin research. Yet, all quantitative research requires a hypothesis before research can begin. Grounded theory refers to an inductive process (Qualitative) of generating theory from data, ground-up or bottom up processing, but quantitative relies upon the priori assumptions about the world.

While quantitative research is being more objective, qualitative research tends to have more subjective interpretation and mass detail for later analysis. Moreover, procedure is emphasized in quantitative study, replication and other tests of reliability become easier. Nevertheless, the measures of qualitative research may be taken to make research more reliable within the particular study, such as observer training, objective checklist and so on.

Additionally, there are extreme differences in generalizability for the two paradigms too. For qualitative, the majority of results do not extend much further than the original subject pool whereas quantitative results do. The sampling methods of qualitative research (smaller sampling size when compare with quantitative) determine the extent of the study’s generalizability as well as the quota and purposive sampling strategies are used to broaden the generalizability.

In addition, the major disparity between qualitative and quantitative research deals with the underlying assumptions about the role of the researcher. In quantitative research, the researcher is ideally the neither objective observer who neither participates in nor influences what is being studied. In qualitative research, however, it is thought that the researcher can learn the most by participating and, or being immersed in a research situation. These basic underlying assumptions of both methodologies guide and sequence the types of data collection methods employed.

3.4 Different and Unique Characteristics of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

The following highlights of the qualitative and quantitative methods in different dimensions (i.e. characteristics, data collection, instrument, process, validity and data analysis) are based on the usual distinctions of the methodologies only, which mean that these distinctions are not entirely discrete.

Table 2: Characteristics of Qualitative & Quantitative Research

QUALITATIVE

QUANTITATIVE

NATURE

² Explanatory & Exploratory Research

² Subjective & Multiple Reality

² Right brain-oriented

² Confirmatory & Conclusive Research

² Objective & Singular Reality

² Left brain-oriented

RELATIONSHIP

² Researcher interacts

² Value-laden & biased Facts

² Researcher is independent

² Value-free & unbiased Facts

LANGUAGE

² Informal

² Use of expressive language

² Formal

² Scientific & Objective

PARADIGM TYPE

² Constructivist

² Interpretivist

² Critical Theorist

² Post-structuralist

² Positivism

² Post-positivism

GOAL

² Understanding

² Testing

RESOURCE

² Costly

² Time Consuming

² Cheaper

² Quicker

SETTING

² Natural Setting as source of data

² Experimental Setting

Table 3: Data Collection of Qualitative & Quantitative Research

QUALITATIVE

QUANTITATIVE

METHODS

² Case Studies

² Ethnographic Studies

² Phenomenological studies

² Human Observation

² Interviews

² Experiments

² Quasi-experiments

² Surveys

² Mechanical Observation

² Stimulation


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