On the job training

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In today's fast paced environment the use of both training and performance appraisals are essential in developing a more effective workforce. This essay will look at different forms of training such as in-house training which is “On The Job Training (OJT)” (Daft 2008:399) such as mentoring, e-learning, corporate universities and job shadowing. Their strengths and weaknesses will be touched upon. Also the different ways in which performance appraisals can be used in identifying the needs of both the company and the employee. When used correctly the lines of communication are opened. What's the nature of the company? What's the size of the company? What's the customer looking for? All these factors affect what kind of training a company will undertake and how to evaluate their performance. Once a company finds the right employee, how do they train them, motivate them and encourage them to stay.

“we want our learning to inform and inspire.”(Speed, G, 2008).

This is the goal for staff training at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, as is with many companies. Training and development keep staff motivated and productivity high. There are many forms of training used in today's global organisations according to Daft(2008:399) the most widely used method of training is on the job training(OJT), an example of this is mentoring or job shadowing where a more senior employee teaches a new start the role of the job. Many companies use this method as it's cost effective. However there's no real induction or orientation into the company and bad habits can be passed on. Lush Cosmetics is one such company that often appears in 'The Best 100 Tables' in The Times, but some employees have commented on the fact that although the company has high moral fibre but the lack of formal training and poor pay makes the employee feel demoralized and devalued.

Other forms of training include e-learning or virtual studies, this has been around for ten years or so. An employee is able to complete on-line courses anytime, anywhere according to their own timeframe. They are in charge of the pace of their development which gives responsibility to the employee, but it also isolates them. Another form includes a comprehensive induction, where new employees are introduced to the background and the ethos of the company, also they will learn what is expected form the workforce. Public Seminars are also a form of training where o group of employees are offered a workshop, that can take place in house or out with the company, this can include case studies, role playing and motivational speaking for example. Other training used would be self study, through books and work manuals. British Airways also use virtual reality simulations as part of their employee training.

If a company want the most from their workforce, Corporate Universities are a popular growing trend. Although McDonalds have had one for nearly half a century, in the last fifteen years companies such as Kwik-Fit, Costa Coffee and Walt Disney all having them. They are growing as training is tailor made for to the company's industry standard. Corporate Universities take in most aspects of training such as class room based, case studies, e-learning and role playing. They give employees a sense of belonging and loyalty to their new company. If employees are given a high standard of training it's most likely going to motivate and encourage them to stay and work up the company career ladder. Companies that use lots of resources on training staff are often keen to promote them through the company. H & M are one such company that believe in internal recruitment as it states on their website. A new staff member can work their way up from the shop floor through to management, marketing or buying. Carphone Warehouse are another company that believe in internal promotions and keeping valuable staff. This shows that companies that invest in their employees are investing in the employees future as well as the future of the company.

Training is only valuable if it's the right kind for the organisation, Performance Appraisals are essential to ensure that training needs are being identified and provided. Performance Appraisals are an important tool in establishing staff performance, salary scale, future training and promotion. It can assist in the correction of any bad training or behaviour. On the CIPD website to give a good appraisal the interviewer has to be a good listener. The person being interviewed must be doing most of the talking and reflecting on their experiences. The lines of communication are opened and any achievements should be recognised, the appraisal should end on a positive note. When a performance appraisal focuses solely on the negative, it becomes an attack. Staff in turn feels demotivated and devalued. If performance appraisal tools are not used correctly it can become about personality. If set goals were unattainable employees most likely stop trying. Targets should be measurable so that staff are motivated to attaining any pay related bonuses. In Daft(2008:402) a popular method is the 360 degree appraisal where employees do self audits, they are also assessed by their superiors, colleagues and clients or customers. This avoids top-down communication as it's a complete process involving the internal and task environment of a company, this gives an impartial non judgemental overview. Performance Appraisals give feedback to both employee and employer, they can keep staff motivated and loyal to the company and this in turn increases the quality of productivity.

So in order for an organisation to develop and maintain an effective workforce performance appraisal tools used correctly back up good training. This essay discussed that in developing a more effective workforce training is essential. It discussed the many different kinds of training such as e-learning and corporate universities. Depending on the size and nature of a company what training tools are best suited and most effective. A smaller company would probably adopt the “under his/her wing approach”(Daft2008:399) although Innocent Drinks which is a relatively small company have an innocent academy. It's what suits the individual companies development needs. A larger global organisation may look towards the growing trend of corporate universities, such as Pixar and Motorola. Again other larger companies such as Britannia Building Society may prefer self development study with regular meetings with management. All these forms of training are both popular and effective. However there are downsides as well such as passing on bad habits or cost. This essay also found that appraisals when practiced correctly are essential to open communication and ensure that training needs are identified and up to standard. Many companies are now adopting the all round approach of 360 degree appraisal. In Daft(2008:402) an appraisal should be continual process, not something done just once a year. This keeps staff motivated and identifies any weaknesses. For a workforce to remain effective without a high turnover, continual training, development and communication are necessary especially in todays ever changing climate.