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XYZ company was founded 25 years ago , primarily served as a manufacturer and wholesaler of male and female leather shoes, childrens shoes , industrial safer shoes, casual shoes, slippers and sandals. The company designed , make and delivered to almost 20 chain and departmental stores all around the country
Due to expansion of its business and reputation, the company moved to a larger quarters in Seri Kembangan, Selangor in 2006, making the workforce currently stand to eighty people to which twenty work as core sales personnel.
The company has becoming one the major shoes makers in Malaysia which had gained many years of good reputation. The company also planned on generating and further prompt market growth in the local footwear industry in the future , enabling opportunities for exports of their local quality shoes to foreign countries
1.1 Vision statement
The vision of the company is to be the market leader in the footwear industry through our strong commitment to achieve this goal with hard work, discipline and creative endeavour.
Using the tagline “One Stop Footwear Solution” actually would enable their customers to expeditiously select their desired choices of shoes designs.
2.0 Interview Session
As part of the assignment, an interview was conducted in order to find out the actual practice of training and development and finally recommendation for any issues concerned. Since this is a documented interview with the respondent , questions are intently being italics for easier readable.
2.1 Structure of Training Department
Q: What is your training department called?
Our training unit is a part of the Human resource function , previously was called training department but now have been called Training and Talent Management department.
Q: How many people is there in your department?
A: Currently we have six people , the most prominent is the Head of Training and Talent management , his Personal assistant to assist him , followed by a training manager that manages most of the training functions . He is been assisted by two Executives and a senior clerk. These staffs contributes mostly to administrative and operations duties for the training department. (refer to attachment for training structure)
2.2: Training and Development Plans and Policies
Q: Do you have a strong ongong plan for doing training?
A: Yes, we have two years plan for doing training and we review and evaluate it by end of every year.
Q: Do you have any policies related to your training plans?
A: Yes, as part of the company policy, we will make sure we follow the training and implement the training programmes as planned. We are targeting to accomplished at least 80 % for the staff to attend the training programme. As for the employees , they will have to comply to the training once is implemented for each
2.3 Training and development strategies
Q: Do you have a proper training need analysis conducted prior before the training take place?
A: Yes , we do a training need analysis for each department by end of the year. Each departmental Head will advise us on what type of training and to whom the training is for next year. They will also nominated the appropriate employee for the training. We too will consider if there is any requests for any new courses from all the employees but it has to be related to their day to day tasks or duties.
Q: What training do you have for your staffs?
A: We will try to provide training that covers all level of employees .We have training categorized on 3 main areas for the staffs development which are :
Management skills programmes that includes leadership and supervisor skills ,
Operation programmes that includes warehouse and logistics operations , filing and administrative programmes
Skills enhanced programmes that includes computer skills, communication and language skills
Q: How is your training budget?
Our allocation for this year (2012) is about two hundred and fifty thousand .Since we are also contributing to HRDF training fund so is easier for us to work out the budget for staffs’ development. This is an increment of more than fifty thousands this year compared to last year due to additional of new employees intakes and sponsoring specialized education programmes¸such as Diploma in graphic and product design in which we are offering for selected new staffs as an option if they are interested .The cost will be bear by us but they have to be bonded for a period of a year after completion.
Q: How is your typical work flow in doing training and development activities?
The process is simplified following workflow diagram .
Q: Do you have knowledge sharing session?
A: If we sent the employee to a public programme then they are required to conduct a ten to fifteen minutes of presentation to their own department/unit as this will encouraged them to share their new knowledge or skills to the rest of the employees. Even so, this is only required if we do sent less than five employees for any public programmes and not eligible if it is more than that.
A:Do you have informal learning session ?
Yes, occasionally if during day to day task between the employees or superiors for any assisting, guiding or advising for any issues that arises.
Q: Where does your programme normally conducted?
A: Some are conducted in house as this will lower our overhead cost but not all. Certain specialized courses are better to be done outside and will be beneficial for our staffs to fully focus on the training course as no interference to them.
Q: How do you do evaluate for each participant completed their training ?
A: We have a standard evaluation form that need to be filled in after the training .It is using the Likert scale from 1 to 5 ( 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest) in order to evaluate the participants. From there, we could evaluate the overall effectiveness of the training and if there is any comment or suggestion we could take that into account. We also randomly will ask the participants and even the trainers themselves about the impact of training and learning transfer.
Q: What do you after the evaluation form been submitted ?
A: We compile the result and compute the data to evaluate the effectiveness of each training programme. A training report is being prepared monthly that consists of these data ,together with the details about the training such as number of participants , location , number of days and summary of the training contents.
Q: How is the training report crucial to your organization ?
A: As a training and development department , it is important to documented the evaluation results for these purposes:
To obtained the level of effectiveness as an end result after each training
As a reference to similar type of training in the future
To gauge the overall quality on the training in which participant knowledge or skills should be at the minimum of 70% of what being taught. If the end result does not comply to this standard than we have to evaluate the training performance by asking the participants their feedback . We might not consider of continuing the training programme if we find it is not effective for the participants.
As for the higher management , this report would significantly give this impact whether the return of investment (ROI) for the training programme does comply to the budget as planned.
2.4 Training and development Issues
Q: Do you have any issues related to training ?
A: Yes, we do have two main issues related to training
In our computer training lab , At the moment , some of the computers are not fully updated and this creates an issue especially if participants required a more sophisticated or latest softwares. Most of them complaint that this will affect their performance
Sometimes they will be issues where our staff did not informed us if they are not been released by their superior .This will create high turnover for the programme attendance and sometime creates higher costs as we have to cover overhead cost related to training such as accommodation and meals .
Based on the issues mentioned previously , below are some suggestions for improvement :
Technology update: If budget is not an issue , immediate solution in tackling the technological aspect issues faced by the respondent would be to liaise with the Information Technology department and later update the necessary softwares and hardwares based on their suggestions.
Pre and post computer assessment : As computer skills too plays an important role in providing effective impact to organization, evaluation is easier to obtain as the results can be gauged and approach must be done in obtaining the output. In such, then a pre and post evaluation assessment would be recommended in order to gauge how much each participants will actually learn from the given training.
Using certifications as alternative for assessment: Respondent could even evaluate the effectiveness by having International and professional known Information Technology certifications done after each training programme. Examples of popular certifications are Microsoft , Novell and Adobe certifications . This will further boosts the productivity and skills of employees as most of these certifications are simulation oriented that can be related to their day to day jobs.
Adhere stricter policies during programme implementation : As respondent draws the issues on attendance , stricter policy should be impose with support from the organization. If the employee fails to show up , then a cause letter has to be sent and failing to do so will adhere discipline steps to be taken against the employees. Representative from HRD department too should supervised employees that go for external training programmes, ensuring participants do attend and not go missing without tracking them .
4.0 Articles Review
First Article review : “The Feds Lead the Way in Making Training Evaluations More Effective”
This article highlights the effectiveness in using the right evaluations after training and was referring to government agencies in the US. It provides significant study that shows training will give a positive impact to behaviours , business results .
In this article, the author reviewed on three Government bodies in the U.S that plays important roles in making evaluations more effective which are:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
They developed regulations that agrees on how to implementing process for training that give accomplished results in these areas “i) learning, ii) employee performance, iii) work environment and iv) contribution to mission accomplishment”
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation Board/Office of Accreditation (FLETA/OA)
The Kirkpatrick Model
To what degree participants react favorably to the learning event
To what degree participants acquire the
intended knowledge, skills, and attitudes based on their participation in the learning event
To what degree participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job
To what degree targeted outcomes occur as a result of learning event(s) and subsequent reinforcement.
Here , the author showed by this government agency strictly follows the Kirkpatrick model of evaluation as shown above , as a result to it, each participant could be evaluate level by level.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
This government agency implement this strategy for their training evaluation which are :
“aligning objectives to level 4 business results”
“leveraging technology-enabled learning”
“reducing use of instructors and coaches”
“maximizing existing learner knowledge, skills, and abilities”(James D. Kirkpatrick, Wendy K. Kirkpatrick, 2009)
Second article review: “Evaluation of training in organisations: a proposal for an integrated model”
This article explains the importance for evaluation in training in most research done in countries in Europe . The author mentioned about Cranfield Executive study report done in 2005 that shows companies in Europe allocated 2.99% of their payroll for training and in Spain was 1.95 % of their payrolls. Evaluation plays an important role in making sure its effectiveness. One of the suggested model of evaluation is using the Donald Kirkpatrick but it shows several weakness in the evaluation process. In such, further research was made and came up with six level of when designing a training evaluation process which are :
Using effective instruments for evaluation will ensure its validity and relevancy which are:
Performance observation – is a systematic but unfortunately a slow instrument for repetitive and more complex tasks
Interview session- can be done to the participants or by the superior to obtain more prompt responses
Questionnaires- for the participants or other workers.With the data obtained can be compared against the findings usingthe previous instruments. This could also use for self-assessment report and the strengths and weaknesses can be point out.
Reports of superiors on the effectiveness of knowledge transfer with detailed data on the results.
Action plans that are developed by the participants should be revised in a fixed time duration and used as an assessment tool.
The author also suggested the following strategies to improve the evaluation of training that could be implemented in the respondent situation:
Evaluation must be in a position to prior results in order to define the achievements properly and is often accumulating with the set of objectives. The evaluation plan should be based on a detailed analysis of the existing material and functional possibilities for its implementation. Thus, the available information should be considered, as well as the tools and resources at hand, the time required and the approximate costs involved. Ultimately, the evaluation plan must be feasible and realistic.
The evaluation plan must be accepted by everyone involved in the evaluation,from participants to managers. Evaluation is an assurance for success , failing to do so will be a failure, if the agents do not accept the projected plan (Russ-Eftand Preskill, 2008). Thus, it is better to design a simple assessment plan accepted by all rather than a difficult plan that does not receive support from the organisation.
Third Article Review: “The Differences Between Hard and Soft Skills and Their Relative Impact on Training Transfer “
In view of this article towards respondent situation is basically to know and differences of training transfer between soft skills and hard skills. As respondent training programmes involves in having both these trainings , it is essentials to know the major differences to avoid more costly in time, money and energy unnecessarily. The author has identifies many key factors mainly showing the differences between these two categories of training which are as following.
1) “Prior learning and experiences” -In soft skills , mostly participants can relate to previous work experience and learning they had previously.
2) “Trainee resistance to learning”- In hard skills , is easier for participants to participate as it involves with their knowledge to master the usage and regard them as expert in handling the equipment.
3) “Organizational resistance to transfer”- the impact of existing organizational factors are normally interlaced with an individual’s present behaviors.
4) “Managerial support and resistance” – With soft skills , managers plays an important role in interacting with the participants but in hard skills, managers do not show the capabilities since technical areas are not the key component for them.
5) “Identification of training needs and objectives”- In hard skill training, it determines of what the participants should and need to know to do a particular job .it primary to copy of what the work environment is and such making it more restricted setting. In soft skills, is identifies participants to be taught in a good to know basis.
6) “The immediacy ,relevant feedback and consequences”- Is more difficult to receive output from participants from softskills training , compared to hard skills which is easier to give feedback once the steps is not understood or need of repetition.
7) “Degree of similarity between training, work and work environments”-
8) “Level of proficiency ( mastery) achieved in and after training”- After each soft skills training, trainee could be identified with adding of more mastery and proficiency . This is highlighted because mastery of soft skills training includes continued or guidance posttraining itself.
9 ) “Degree of self-efficacy achieved”- Bandura (1977), explained that all changes involving behaviours happened in both the trainer and trainees ability to behave correctly for a desired outcomes.
10) “Scope of training responsibilities and methods of instruction”-In hard skill training , method of instruction are more on hands on skills in contrast to soft skills which are more of experiential.
Fourth Article Review: “Effectiveness of Simulation Based Training – An Overview”
This author discussed on how a simulation based training has helped many organisations in US. Research done by Faria (1998) showed that 75 percent of US based business organizations with more than a thousand employees used simulation training expansively and 97.5 percent of business school also used simulations in their curriculum.
Kozlowski and Bell (2007) explained that well developed simulation can delivered the training well for the participants. This article also discussed on issues that related to simulation training. Summers (2004) explained that leveraging the learners control without direct participation form the instructor is a part of simulations training. This can encourage active learning and allow build new concepts with their existing existing knowledge. In short, using simulation is another alternative in making learning transfer to be successful but points to be considered is that , it might be highly cost to develop and active involvement from participants is expected since trainer’s or facilitator’s role is being minimize.
Fifth Article Review: “Effective Training for Adult Learners”
This article was done in a training safety organization by author, It shows nine key objectives that could be implemented in the respondent’s organisation to ensure as a guidance in training programme .
Learning Objectives should be properly designed
Learning objectives should be set as following the SMART oriented that is Specific, Measureable, Action oriented, relevant and timely and the usage of proper verbs will indicate the specificity of the objectives
To Improve Readability of Training & Testing Materials, using the Flesch-Kincaid score method
Flesch Kincaid is a scoring method that was developed by J. Peter Kincaid and his team that shows result for comprehension readability in academic English. This scoring method includes two test: Flesch Reading easiness and Flesch Kincaid grade level to better readability and comprehend of learning materials especially for participants from lower education grade.
Using of visuals to improve comprehension of technical material
Learning materials especially involving in technical information should be easier understood if it is presented in visual format. A test shows that TWA flight attendants used visuals for test improves their score from 70% to 100%. Visuals may include photos, graphs, charts , diagrams and mind maps will enhance one’s memory and retention to remember.
Use presentations using powerpoint more effectively
A few suggestion in using effective powerpoint during training includes:
Use a minimum 24-point type and 32 point for the title.
Avoid using all caps as it is difficult to read
For emphasis ,use bold or underline of text.
Use more visuals than words.
Avoiding transitions and moving text.
Contrast colors between the text and background.
Information levels for training
This is to identify beforehand the level to whom the training group is focused to, mainly done for technical training as it require different skills and knowledge. In this case it is divided into 4 levels of competencies :
Mastery: those who are in a higher position and in the management level
Competence: Skilled workers that capable of operating the equipment easily
Familiarity: New workers that need to familiar with the machine
Awareness: Other workers that not in direct of working with the equipment.
Memory Aids to Improve Retention in Learners
To break apart long information as it will increases on the power of remembering, use visual, auditory (repeating the words ) and kinaesthetic ( writing the words) that enhances memorizing of information.
Negative or Defensive Types of Nonverbal Communication
Trainers need to identify the non verbal communication portrayed by the participants. Body language shows what the participants are feeling. Sagging body language , and negative indicators could be easily identified and trainer should give a break or change of training delivery to more interactive session. Trainers too should create more friendlier action by smiling and continuous eye interaction towards the participants.
Before Training Begins, Identifying ways for Participants to learn
This could be done by
Distinguish Four Different Levels of Training Evaluations
Training and development is about giving skills that will enable the human capital to develop
their full potential and influence the maximum to the organization in which they work, not only in the present but also in the future. It should be part of philosophy and culture of the organization as long as it operates. Training will allow employees to:
Develop a healthy and constructive attitude. Training programme in organizations is aimed at shaping attitudes workers to support the planned activities of the organization and to obtain more cooperation and commitment loyalty.
Increase confidence and employee morale. With increased knowledge and skills that have been given, employee will have his work with confidence and
Create a strong relationship between the employee and his work.They need to update skills by learning new things so that they can increase their effectiveness working.
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