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The aim of this assignment is to submit a report on how Training and Development is an integral part of the Employee Resourcing Strategy. Today, no organisation is spared from the pressure of globalisation and everyone is challenged by the speed of change, technological advancement and customer expectations. "Training of employees is not an option; it is an intrinsic part of the practice of HRM and is an investment in people", (Keep, 1989). Training should be an ongoing process.
However, training and development is a very controversial managerial issue. Some researchers have expressed doubts about the validity and implementation of the process. On the other hand, there are advocates of training and development who claim that it may well be the most critical of all human resource management tools. Hence, our research will be based on how training and development and management are used in reality and give recommendation on how to improve the system - A case study at ABC Motors.
List of Abbreviations
AIDCA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction and Action
F&I - Finance and Insurance
HRM - Human Resource Management
SKA - Skills, Knowledge and Attitude
TNA - Training Needs Analysis
1. LITERATURE REVIEW
1.1 Distinction between training and development
"Training is a process whereby people acquire capabilities to aid in the achievement of organisational goals" (Mathis & Jackson, 2005).
Training is generally defined "as a systematic effort to modify and develop knowledge, skills and attitudes through learning experiences to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities" (Garavan et al, 1995).
Training is a systematic modification of behaviour through learning, which occurs as a result of education, instruction, and development and planned experience. It means investing in people to enable them to perform better and to empower them to make best use of their natural abilities, (Armstrong, 2001).
Training may be defined as the "planned effort by a company to facilitate employees' learning of job-related competencies. These competencies include knowledge, skills or behaviour that are critical for successful job performance" (Noe et al, 2008: 267).
Grobler et al (2006: 300) identify training as being task-oriented and focused on improving the learner's job performance. Development, on the other hand, is argued to be directed towards "creating ongoing learning opportunities so that employees can improve over a longer period of time and learn skills other than those required in the current job", (Kleynhans et al, 2007: 117).
Snell & Bohlander's (2006: 282) distinction between the concepts of training and development focuses on the orientation of the learning intervention. It is argued that training "tends to be more narrowly focused and oriented towards short term performance concerns" (Snell & Bohlander, 2006: 282) while development is future-oriented and focuses on "broadening an individual's skills for future responsibilities" (Snell & Bohlander, 2006: 282).
"Training is planned process to modify skills, knowledge and attitude (SKA) through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. In work situations, its purpose is to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy the current and future needs of the organisation", (Beardwell-Holden, 1994).
As per the definition of Beardwell-Holden 1994, the three broad components of training are to modify skills, knowledge and attitude.
Skills - "a skill is the learned ability to bring about a pre-determined result with maximum certainty and minimum time and effort."
It is necessary to distinguish training from closely related concepts of:
Learning - The process whereby individuals acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes through experience, reflection, study or instruction.
Education - A process and a series of activities which aim at enabling an individual to assimilate and develop knowledge, skills, values and understanding that are not simply related to a narrow field of activity but allow a broad range of problems to be defined and solved. Education would mean any long term learning activity aimed at preparing individuals for a variety of roles in society; as citizens, workers and members of family.
Development - Development can be seen as any learning which is directed towards future needs rather than present needs, and which is concerned more with career growth than immediate performance. The focus of development tends to be primarily on an organisation's future manpower requirements, and secondly on the growth needs of individuals in the workplace through training.
1.2 Purpose of training
Training means investing in human resources to enable them to perform better and empowering them to optimise the use of their abilities and capabilities. The aim of training is to help an organisation achieve its objectives by adding value to the people it employs. The purpose of training is to:
Develop the skills and competences of employees and improve their performance;
Give employees the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to grow within the organisation;
Prepare employees for future assignments;
Reduce the learning time for employees starting in new jobs, transfer and promotion.
1.3 Training policy
First of all, there should be a well-defined training and development policy statement which sets out what the organisation is prepared to in terms of training and development of its employees.
The policy must specify the amount of money to be invested on training and development, the approach to be adopted, whether training will take place within the organisation or have recourse to external specialised organisations, employee's career development and management development schemes.
The training policy will also provide a framework within which training will operate that is, guidelines on the amount of training that should be given to each category of employees as well as managerial, professional and technical cadres.
1.4 Systematic Approach to Training
The systematic approach to training is a model by which all training events are designed to meet defined needs. It is planned and provided by people who know how to train and the impact of training is carefully evaluated.
The Training Process
1.5 Identify Training Needs
The process of identifying exactly what training is required to fill the gap is called "Training Needs Analysis" (TNA). The function of TNA is to research and analyse the nature of a particular job or role in a systematic way in order to identify the gap between job/role performance and the future requirements of the job/role.
An identified gap between present and future performance requirements will assist in determining the training need, providing job/role holder with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to meet the requirements of future performance.
1.6 Levels of analysis for determining training needs
There are three levels of analysis for determining the needs that training can fulfill, namely:
The Individual Level;
The Organisational Level; and
The Job Level.
1.6.1 The Individual Level
The needs analysis at an individual level will consist of:
Identifying the person specification and comparing it with job specification.
Identifying critical incidents that have recurred and caused stress over a period of time.
Identifying individual strengths and weaknesses and finding ways of developing the strengths and minimising weaknesses.
1.6.2 The Organisational Level
The needs of the organisation will be analysed based on the following:
Change in business strategy.
Change in organisation structure.
Development and trends in the market.
Level of competition.
1.6.3 The Job Level
The needs analysis at the job level will consist of:
Identifying the job description and changes that have taken place.
Analysing the information from the person specification to know the kind of person required.
Identify the training priorities.
1.7 Location of Training
If the training will be held in the organisation itself, then there must be a comfortable room with sufficient space for the trainees with all the training materials and facilities required and the necessary comforts for trainees. If the training is off-the-job, the location should be easily accessible to all trainees.
1.8 Selection of Training Techniques
There are several methods which can be used to train and develop staff both on and off-the-job. However, it is important to recognise that no one method is inherently superior to any other, but that different methods are suitable for different sets of circumstances. Appropriate training techniques should be chosen which would attain training objectives in the best way. Sometimes, a combination of two or more training techniques should be used.
Hereunder are a few examples of training techniques most commonly used:
Lectures, presentation and videos - these are appropriate for large number of people to be given the same information at the same time.
Demonstration - it is a technique of telling or showing trainees how to do a job and then allowing them to get on with it.
Coaching - it is a person-to-person technique and provides guidance while the trainee is actually performing the job.
Handouts, brochures and pamphlets - many organisations rely a lot on these techniques to train and modify the attitudes of staff.
1.9 Selection and Training of Trainers
The selection and training of trainers is very important because the quality of training is heavily dependent upon the ability of trainers to plan, organise, execute and evaluate the training program. Trainees should be motivated in order to get their attention and commitment. Hence, if the trainers fail to motivate the trainees, the training programme is not likely to attain its aims and objectives.
A trainer must have a broad knowledge and a rich experience and skills about the job where training is being given. The trainer must have the ability to expose and present the materials in a language that is easily understood by the trainees and, with the learning materials, have good communication skills so as to obtain feedback from the trainees. He must have patience with trainees lagging behind and help them to cope with the material program by giving them special attention.
Also, the trainer must be able to evaluate the performance of the trainees. Now if the trainer lacks a few of the skills and abilities, he must be trained so that he can execute the training programme effectively. The trainer must develop a sense of mutual trust where the trainees are confident and may, thus, participate fully.
1.10 Implementation of Training Programme
Before executing the training programme some organisations adopting an open participative style of management, will consult the trainees and bring certain modifications to the training programme if required and whenever applicable. There must be a time table for executing the training programme, for example 9.00 am to 4.00 pm with appropriate breaks. However, any problem encountered during the execution of the training programme should be tackled and solved immediately so that it does not delay the training programme.
1.11 Assessing the Effectiveness of Training
The final logical stage in the training process is to find out how effective the training has been. There are few who would disagree with and yet in many organisations, validation of training is either ignored or it is approached in an unconvincing or an unprofessional manner. Some trainers have reflected a defensive approach to validation because they have felt that it invites criticism and apportions blame when training has not been as successful as it might have been.
Another term which is used in the process of assessing the effectiveness of training is evaluation. The levels in the evaluation stages are described below:
This is concerned with the evaluation of the opinions and attitudes of the trainees towards the trainer, the training methods and involvement.
The feedback will provide information about the learning process which has taken place. The learning is concerned with knowledge, skills and aptitudes acquired through the training.
Job Behaviour Level
This refers to changes in job behaviour and performance resulting from the training or how learning at the previous level has been applied by students. Feedback will show if there has been a change in behaviour at the job stage.
The feedback will provide information about the change in the way the job is performed after the training. It is measured in terms of changes in productivity and performance levels.
2. COMPANY PROFILE
2.1 ABC Group
The ABC Group of companies, today an economic powerhouse, dates back to 1931, the year when its founder, Sir Moilin Jean Ah Chuen, set up shop in one of the busiest streets of Port Louis. This modest venture was set up opposite the Central Market. This first ABC store (standing for Au Bazar Central or "At the Central Marketplace") was also interpreted as meaning Aux Bonnes Choses. This in French was an invitation to customers to buy top quality goods and services and translated into a real brand name as the business became known as "The House of Quality & Service".
From this first successful venture, Sir Moilin embarked into the expansion of his business adding cold storage, food imports, wholesale and general distribution which he traded under the name of Chue Wing & Co. Ltd. The 80's were yet another fruitful decade for the business as the ABC group added Shipping and Freight forwarding into its activities.
However, 1985 was probably one of the most important turning points for the ABC Group when it clinched the dealership of Nissan vehicles in Mauritius. The Group operates under 4 main Divisions which are Automobile (Nissan is the leading car dealership brand in Mauritius), Food, Shipping & Logistics as well as Financial Services.
2.2 ABC Motors Co. Ltd
ABC Motors markets a wide range of Nissan passenger and commercial vehicles as well as Nissan Diesel trucks, tractor sand buses.
Since its establishment in 1985, the Company is ranked among the leading sales performers in the vehicles market and has received numerous awards on its Sales Performance, after sales, service and Spare Parts facilities, winning the Nissan Gold Prize Award on several occasions, the Nissan Global Award 2005, 2007, and 2008, Special Nissan Recognition Award 1996 to 2010, and Nissan Champion Distributor Recognition for 2011.
For the year 2011, ABC Motors was again the No. 1 company, both as a Brand Leader and in terms of overall market share of motor vehicles sold in Mauritius during the year. ABC Motors has been the market leader for the past 16 consecutive years.
2.2.1 ABC Motors' Vision
Always be the outstanding automotive company in Mauritius
2.2.2 ABC Motors' Mission
Providing the best service and unique enriching experience in the automotive industry that delivers superior value to our stakeholders*.
*Our stakeholders include customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, as well as the communities where we work and operate.
ABC Automobile is committed in:
providing continuous training to its employees,
driving its quality of operations with customer-driven mindset,
seeking sustainable profitable growth,
sharing the passion and commitment that drives our future,
Stretching the boundaries in wider, better directions.
ABC Motors' values have recently been articulated to reinforce its new mission
Customer mindset driven
Obsession for excellence
Your opinion matters
2.2.3 People at ABC Motors Co. Ltd
"The organisation considers their people as a key strategic resource. They are the brain cells of Knowledge Capital within the organisation. In our relentless effort to deliver greater value, we are always looking for people who creatively solve problems, thrive on challenges and make the difference for the clients. The quality of the firm lies in the wide spectrum of qualification, background and experience of the people who originate from all over the world. This multicultural manpower confers the firm a unique, open corporate culture which allows the organisation to rapidly assimilate clients from very diverse countries over sub-Saharan Africa."
2.2.4 Working Environment
A career at ABC Motors offers opportunities to experience a variety of unique and dynamic work environments.
At ABC Motors, we believe that our most precious resource lies in our people, the people that form part of the ABC family. We believe that it is their passion, drive and ingenuity that have kept us at the top for all these years.
This is why we recruit new talents by their merit. Our people come from different backgrounds and cultures and we are proud of this diversity.
Our Human Resource policies are constantly improving and we are always looking for new and better ways to promote the professional and personal growth of our employees.
3.1 Group meetings
The assignment was discussed in depth to make sure that each one has understood what is expected from him/her. Ideas were shared, interpersonal skills were developed and we learnt about the spirit of team-building.
Face-to-face interviews have been conducted with the manager to know how she deals with performance management and also to know how it functions in general.
We also prepared a list of questions for the manager. This acted as a guideline for us to know what we were to talk during the interview and most important of all, where to start from
4.1 Analysis of data
The overall success of the automobile industry ultimately depends upon sales. There is a huge demand for well-trained auto salespersons who have the ability and aptitude to meet the ever-changing world of technology. Dealerships that invest time and money in an auto sales training program will receive the best results with a highly qualified sales staff. A good auto sales training program provides the proper education and motivation that is needed in today's highly competitive field of auto sales.
Auto sales training, important for both new and used car sales, is available through online courses, formal and informal on-the-job training, and through offsite seminars and workshops. Initial auto sales training should be given to every new salesman to ensure he is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in his career.
Effective auto sales training includes rewarding the salesperson with certificates and other forms of recognition in acknowledgement of the individual's progress in meeting the sales goals set by management.
In addition, subsequent training and development must be ongoing to ensure the professionalism of the sales staff is maintained. Internet forums and blogs should be accessible and made a part of auto sales training. Auto sales training forms the foundation for successful auto sales, but daily interaction and close communication between management and the sales staff further guarantees that maximum results are obtained.
Comprehensive auto sales training outlines in considerable detail the responsibilities of the salesman toward prospective buyers, while emphasising the importance of courtesy, integrity, diplomacy, and basic common sense. The auto salesman will learn how to communicate effectively with the client, what questions are essential, and what are the ways to demonstrate the advantages and appeal of the product he is selling.
An auto sales training program will guide the salesperson through each step of a potential sale, from the initial approach to the final closing of the sale. The salesperson will learn to listen to every concern of the prospective buyer and avoid the tendency to oversell. Selling takes patience and it requires a genuine interest on the part of the salesperson for his client.
Financing, or F&I, is another important aspect of auto sales training. Salespeople need to be knowledgeable of credit reporting, financing options, and the benefits of buying vs. leasing, as well as any incentives and rebates, in order to give the customer as much information as needed.
The salesperson must be able to negotiate, cooperate, and suggest if he or she is to succeed in making the sale. Auto sales training will give him the know-how to do so. Auto sales training should include the latest advancements in automobile technology in order to thoroughly familiarise the salesperson with the products he or she is selling.
The top performers in auto sales are the ones who have received the benefits of good auto sales training. They have learned to listen patiently to the customer and interpret their personal preferences. Success in auto sales is based upon establishing a positive relationship between the salesman and his client.
Clients today are wary of over-aggressive salespeople and have learned to avoid the high-pressure tactics of the past. After all, no one wants to buy from a disagreeable, uncooperative salesperson. The salesperson must be taught the skills of establishing good interpersonal relationships. The importance of meeting the primary goal of customer satisfaction is stressed throughout auto sales training.
The auto dealership is in the business to make money and providing the best possible training for its staff will ensure that it does. Auto sales training is mutually beneficial it is a worthwhile investment in the future of the automobile industry.
AIDCA is the original sales training acronym, from the late 1950s, when selling was first treated as a professional discipline, and sales training began. The model is said to have evolved from earlier work by American psychologists concerning assimilation and understanding of communications and information. Walter Dill Scott's 'Attention-Comprehension-Understanding' model, developed by 1913 at the Chicago Northwestern University, is cited as one example of possible contributory thinking, although this is by no means a specific single origin; in fact it is unlikely that a specific single origin for AIDCA actually exists.
AIDCA is perhaps more relevant and useful today than when it was first devised, because modern theories and distractions can often cause people to lose appreciation for the most basic and obvious features and requirements of a successful sales engagement.
So, especially for those learning your trade in selling or advertising or communicating with prospective customers, if you remember just one sales or selling model, remember AIDCA.
Often called the 'Hierarchy of Effects', AIDCA describes the basic process by which people become motivated to act on external stimulus, including the way that successful selling happens and sales are made.
A - Attention
I - Interest
D - Desire
C - Commitment
A - Action
The AIDCA process also applies to any advertising or communication that aims to generate a response, and it provides a reliable template for the design of all sorts of marketing material.
Simply, when we buy something we buy according to the AIDCA process. So when we sell something we must sell go through the AIDCA stages. Something first gets our attention; if it's relevant to us we are interested to learn or hear more about it.
If the product or service then appears to closely match our needs and/or aspirations, and resources, particularly if it is special, unique, or rare, we begin to desire it. If we are prompted or stimulated to overcome our natural caution we may then become motivated or susceptible to taking action to buy.
4.2.1 AIDCA pointers
Getting the other person's attention sets the tone: first impressions count, so smile - even on the phone because people can hear it in your voice - be happy (but not annoyingly so) be natural, honest and professional.
If you're not in the mood to smile do some paperwork instead. If you rarely smile then get out of selling.
Getting attention is more difficult than it used to be, because people are less accessible, have less free time, and lots of competing distractions, so think about when it's best to call.
Gimmicks, tricks and crafty techniques don't work, because your prospective customers - like the rest of us - are irritated by hundreds of them every day.
If you are calling on the phone or meeting face-to-face you have about five seconds to attract attention, by which time the other person has formed their first impression of you.
Despite the time pressure, relax and enjoy it - expect mostly to be told 'no thanks' - but remember that every 'no' takes you closer to the next 'okay'.
You now have maybe 5-15 seconds in which to create some interest.
The person you are approaching should have a potential need for your product or service or proposition (which implies that you or somebody else has established a target customer profile).
You must approach the other person at a suitable time (i.e. it's convenient, and that aspects of seasonality and other factors affecting timing have been taken into account)
You must empathise with and understand the other person's situation and issues, and be able to express yourself in their terms (i.e. talk their language).
The sales person needs to be able to identify and agree the prospect's situation, needs, priorities and constraints on personal and organisational levels, through empathic questioning and interpretation.
You must build rapport and trust, and preparedness in the prospect's mind to do business with you personally (thus dispelling the prospect's feelings of doubt or risk about your own integrity and ability).
You must understand your competitors' capabilities and your prospect's other options.
You must obviously understand your product (specification, options, features, advantages, and benefits), and particularly all relevance and implications for your prospect.
You must be able to present, explain and convey solutions with credibility and enthusiasm.
The key is being able to demonstrate how you, your own organisation and your product will suitably, reliably and sustainably 'match' the prospect's needs identified and agreed, within all constraints.
Creating desire is part skill and technique, and part behaviour and style. In modern selling and business, trust and relationship (the 'you' factor) are increasingly significant, as natural competitive development inexorably squeezes and reduces the opportunities for clear product advantage and uniqueness.
Commitment is prior to the action stage. Arguably, Commitment is implicit within the Action stage, but if it suits your sales training purposes then AIDCA is an acceptable interpretation. Commitment means that a prospective customer is more likely to progress to the Action stage if their commitment to the proposition can first be established.
As ever, adding detail make the thing less elegant and flexible, which in this case makes AIDCA non-applicable to selling methods that do not involve a two-way communication, for example, the structure of a sales letter or advert, for which AIDCA remains more helpful. For two-way sales communications, discussions, presentations, etc., then AIDCA is fine.
Simply the conversion of potential into actuality, to achieve or move closer to whatever is the aim.
Natural inertia and caution often dictate that clear opportunities are not acted upon, particularly by purchasers of all sorts, so the sales person must suggest, or encourage agreement to move to complete the sale or move to the next stage.
The better the preceding three stages have been conducted, then the less emphasis is required for the action stage; in fact on a few rare occasions in the history of the universe, a sale is so well conducted that the prospect decides to take action without any encouragement at all.
At ABC Motors, training and development process is carried out relative to core competence and projects. Consequently, the outcome would be prejudiced since they will consider only the recent work done. Undeniably, a recent behaviour bias definitely transpires. However, such bias emerges provided that they appraise the personnel only on projects. Nevertheless, if this assessment is to be conducted on both core competence and projects, then the after-math would be undoubtedly different.
In the second place, ABC Motors rates its employees in percentages as mentioned earlier. However, a new recruit, say, a Sales officer, won't show the same performance and quality of work as another Sales officer who has been in this line for years. The contrast in years of service provokes an unfair rating between sales officers as they are both appraised based on the same standards. The former would obviously show lacking but the latter would display more than satisfactory upshot. A revision of the different techniques of training and development is indispensable for a fair performance appraisal among employees. As far as leniency is concerned, the appraiser must exhibit above-board qualities as to be equitable to all employees.
Training and Development encompasses the whole organisation. Everyone has a specific role to play. In an attempt to achieve a satisfactory evaluation, constant follow up of the appraiser is crucial. In view of the hierarchy of the company, the significance of top management is of paramount importance. The upper panel must aid and provide guidance to supervisors to reach a point where the task (appraisal) is being done effectively and efficiently. Prior to this stage, training is sine qua non. However, much attention must be focused to the open-space relationship that prevails from within the company which can put in doubt the way performance appraisal is being done. Lack of formal meetings can trigger poor assessment of subordinates.
In general, many people have attacked the reliability and validity of Training and Development Systems on different grounds, but the fundamental criticism has been founded upon the "judgment role of the supervisor and the antagonistic response of the subordinates".
A first step to improve the system is to give trainings to appraisers as without proper guidelines and knowledge of performance appraisal, the appraisers can take wrong steps.
Also where employees do not know whether good or bad are being written on them, then how are they going to improve. Therefore, effective feedback sessions should be carried out.
When providing feedback, the following concepts should be kept in mind, be it for ABC Motors or any other organisation:
Feedback works best when it relates to a specific goal, such as those established in the employee's training and development plan. Basing feedback on the employee's performance against his or her elements and standards is key to providing tangible, objective, and powerful feedback. Telling employees that they are doing well because they exceeded their goal by 10 percent is more effective than simply saying, "You're doing a good job."
Employees should receive information about how they are doing in as timely a fashion as possible. If they need to improve their performance, the sooner they find out about it, the sooner they can correct the problem. If employees have reached or exceeded a goal, the sooner they receive positive feedback, the more rewarding it is to them. The sessions should be carried out regularly as per rules and regulations.
Feedback should be given in a manner that will best help improve performance. Since people respond better to information presented in a positive way, express feedback in a positive manner. This is not to say that information should be sugar-coated, but present accurate, factual, and complete feedback; it is more effective when it reinforces what the employee did well and then identifies what the employee needs to do in the future to further improve his/her performance. A friendly and good environment is vital for an effective feedback session.
Training and Development forms part of Human Resource Management. They have been established to monitor performances of employees and to verify whether objectives and goals are being met.
As we have observed from ABC Motors Ltd, their training and development have for main objective to identify the weakness of their employees in order to improve quality at work and productivity through proper and personalised training.
Even though questions about the validity and reliability about the training and development system are being raised, it remains a system which if carried out properly would have big impacts upon performance. Trainings should therefore be given to appraisers and rules and regulations should be followed. Last but not the least, steps to carry out effective feedback sessions as mentioned above should be taken.