Training And Development Play An Important Role Management Essay

5445 words (22 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Management Reference this

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Training and development is a system, a set of activities or process designed to help expand and improve a persons skills and knowledge which are related to his or her job scope. It is also a good way to help to improve the attitudes and competencies of employees. Training focuses more on current and present jobs, whereas development emphasizes more on long term and future jobs. Training and development programs can enhance the capabilities of employees to achieve organizational goals and effectiveness and efficiency of the operations within the organization. Trainings make better for business development and help the company to become more competitive and profitable.

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Training and development plays an important role in human resources management. One of the reasons is due to the significant changes of technologies in this modern era, where some business functions are becoming older and outdated. If the organization does not introduce new methods of accomplishing tasks and make changes to its existing business functions, the organization will fade out from its market eventually. Therefore, it is of paramount importance for an organization to implement training and development strategies to ascertain that the employees possess the skills and knowledge needed to operate the latest technologies.

In addition, training and development programs will help to save cost for a company in the long run. An organization can launch training and development program to train and improve the skills of existing employees instead of hiring new employees to handle a project as the cost of training existing employees will be cheaper than hiring a new employee. Besides reducing the turnover rate of employees, effective training programs will help to increase job satisfaction, motivation and morale of employees. This is because employees will feel that the company cares for their welfare and appreciates their contributions, thus they will be loyal and work for the company for a long period of time. When a company gives its employees an opportunity to learn and develop new skills, they will feel that they have value in the company and try their best to contribute in building a stronger and more competitive organization. In short, training and development programs are essential for increasing productivity, effectiveness and efficiency of an organization besides enhancing the image of the company.

The major aim and objective of training and development is to add value to a firm’s human assets. These programs raise the capacity level of the company and help the company to overcome the rapid changes of technology in the globalized business world. Furthermore, it tends to increase the power of a company to compete with its competitors in the global market. Training and development programs also act as motivational tools to boost the enthusiasm of employees in performing their jobs. This will reduce the requirement for close supervisions and improve the effectiveness, efficiencies and performance of employees in the organization.

Content

Theories and Concepts

Training and development is a set of planned programs and procedures aimed to improve employees’ capacity and organizational performance. The performance of employees in terms of one’s attitude, behavior, skills and knowledge can be improved through the training programs implemented by an organization. Therefore, training and development programs can effectively improve the overall performance of the business. Trainings are normally targeted at technical staff, lower level management, middle and also senior level management. Normally, when programs are applied to lower and middle level management, they are known as “trainings” whereas when applied to senior level management, they are called “development programs”. Some general purposes of training and development are to enhance employees’ growth, improve the quality of workforce, bridge the gap between planning and implementation and help new comers. There are few relevant theories which are associated with training and development, namely the sensory stimulation theory, the reinforcement theory, the action theory, the experiential learning and the adult learning.

Sensory theory states that when multi-sensory stimulation effect is great, learning takes place. In order words, efficient training will occur when the senses are inspired or stimulated. Some research found that 75% adults’ knowledge is learned by seeing, hearing and the other 13% is by other senses like smell, taste as well as touch.

Reinforcement theory can be further classified as positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. In positive reinforcement, trainee will repeat the desired behaviour; in negative reinforcement, trainee can strengthen behaviour when a negative condition is stopped. This theory focuses on the significance of experience, meaning, the development of insight and problem-solving skills. For instance, many trainers believe that trainees will develop problem-solving abilities when they are exposed to various situations and varied experiences.

Action learning is a dynamic process that involves a group of people solving real-life problems. But at the same time, they must concentrate on what they are learning and how the learning can benefit the group members, the group itself as well as the organization as a whole. Nowadays, action learning becomes one of the key training and problem-solving tools for some large companies such as Nokia, Motorola, British Airways, US Department of Agriculture and Marriott. (Michael, 2004)

Experiential learning defines learning as a process of creating the trainees’ knowledge via the transformation of experience. There are four stages in experiential learning. Firstly, the experiential learning is through concrete experience, which is putting something into practice. Secondly, it is through observation and reflection, in which one objectively analyzes the outcome. Thirdly, it is through abstract conceptualization, in which one review your conceptual understanding. Lastly, it is through active experimentation, which is experimenting to find solution. The diagram below shows the experiential learning cycle and the basic learning styles.

stage.jpg

Lastly, adult learning is a theory that holds six assumptions about how adults learn and this theory emphasizes on the value of the process of learning. There are six assumptions of adult learning, which are adults need to know why they need learning, readiness to learn, self-concept, motivation to learn, orientation to learning and learners’ experience. This approach is problem-based and collaborative rather than precept and also focus on more equality between the trainer and trainee. (Benefits and Problems, n.d.)

In addition, there are two dimensions of training and development processes, which are the degree of formality and the balance between self-directed as well as other-directed learning. These two choices of the dimensions result in 4 overall methods. For instance, one can take a formal training to self-directed or other directed learning, likewise one can take informal training to self-directed or other directed learning. Trainers make decision about what approach to be taken into training depending on several factors, such as the amount of money which can be invested for training, timeliness of training needed, specificity and complexity of the skills and knowledge needed as well as capacity and motivation of the learner.

Undeniably, formal and other-directed learning and development programs are more expensive than other approaches. However, through this approach learner can achieve the desired skills and knowledge in a timely basis. This form of learning is mostly used in colleges, universities and training centres, which normally grants diplomas and certificates. Employee development plans is another form of formal and other-directed training. Employee development plans help to identify performance goals, the ways to achieve the goals, by when and whom to verify their result. Besides, in formal and self-directed training, learner should set his or her own learning goals, methods and means to verify the accomplishment. For example, supervisors and employees work together to achieve formal and self-directed learning in the workplace, at the same time they collaborate to accomplish continuous learning for continued productivity and learning.

Informal training and development is more casual and incidental. Normally, there are no specific training goals and ways to evaluate their level of accomplishment of goals. Make an example of informal and other-directed training, supervisors send their employees to training regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Informal and self-directed learning can be very low cost and this training approach may take longer time than other-directed forms. However, the learner must have the capacity and motivation to pursue their own training. For example, there are informal discussions among employees on a certain topic or organizations sending their employees to attend talks by famous speakers, as long as the learners select the activities and topics by themselves. (Carter Mcnamara, n.d.)

Contributions and Significance

Training and development programs can contribute to an organization by helping it to save cost. Normally, a successor will be trained by someone who is an expert in a particular field to refill a position if there is a sudden vacancy within the organization. This can help the company to save recruiting cost, training cost, and keep the organization operating smoothly. By this way, the company need not hire someone outside the company to train since the training is easily attainable by present employees. Training the successors is better than recruiting people from outside of the organization. In addition, recruiting professional with high skills is much more expensive than training current employee to acquire those skills.

Secondly, training and development can improve the relationship between bosses and subordinates. Training programs will involve different levels of employees in an organization and this increases communication among each other. When the communication breakdown between bosses and subordinates, the business will suffer, the tension will increase and cause other negative consequences to happen. Through training and development process, they can understand their jobs better; therefore some accidents and misunderstanding can be avoided. At the same time, productivity of employees may increase.

Thirdly, training and development will lead to an increased profitability and more positive attitude towards an organization’s goals. These can be done by enhancing employees’ knowledge and polishing their skills at all levels within an organization. When the satisfactions of customers are fulfilled by well-trained employees, this will increase the number of repeated business. At the same time, the reputation of the company is also enhanced because of good services performed by the employees. Therefore, training and development helps an organization to achieve competitive advantage over others in the industry.

Case Development

Company’s Background

Resorts World Sdn Bhd was a private limited company established in year 1980. In year 1989, the company was listed into the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange market to become a public listed company on 14 July. It was subsequently renamed as Resorts World Bhd, in which this company name had been used from year 1989 to 2009. Resorts World Bhd then changed its name again to Genting Malaysia Berhad on 18 June 2009 and this name has been used until today. As everyone knows Resorts World Genting is built in the high mountain areas; the cool and refreshing air is an indispensable factor in attracting visitors. Besides, Resorts World Genting excels in offering full-of-fun entertainment attractions and the luxurious international class destination, in order to satisfy different cultures and needs of tourists.

Generally, Resorts World Genting has established six hotels, namely the First World Hotel, the Theme Park Hotel, the Awana Hotel, the Maxims Genting, the Resort Hotel and the Highlands Hotel. The First World Hotel with a total of 6,118 rooms was the World’s Largest Hotel according to Guinness World Records (Knowles, 2011). In addition, Resorts World Genting also offers close to 200 distinctive dining outlets and shopping stores, business convention facilities and mega shows. The most attractive features of the company are the two theme parks with more than 40 rides and non-stop entertainment. Adult Bumper Car, Flying Dragon, 4D Motion Master, Ride de Paris and other entertainment facilities are provided in indoor theme parks. Moreover, outdoor theme parks provide more fun rides than indoor, such as Pirate Ship, Spinner, Flying Coaster, Corkscrew, Boating, Dinosaur land and Rodeo Rider, which have successfully attracted visitors from all walks of life.

Resorts World Genting also monopolizes the legal gambling market in Malaysia as it operates the one and only casino in Malaysia. Many locals frequent the casino to gamble. The casino offers international gambling games such as Tai Sai, Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, slots and Pokers. Resort World Genting not only operates the entertainment facilities but also the longest cable car system in Southeast Asia, named as Genting Skyway. The cable cars are crossing 3.38km from the hillside to Highlands Hotel at the peak. Therefore, it is obvious that Resorts World Berhad focuses its businesses in entertainment and tourism industry.

Training and Development Practices, Advantages and Disadvantages of the Practices

Resorts World Genting supports and promotes employee development and organizational effectiveness by pursuing personnel policies in training and development, which is in line with the organizational culture, mission and vision. The organization has been actively involved in providing high quality trainings, development programs and opportunities for career development of individual workers. In fact, Resorts World Genting recorded more than 8,500 employees attending internal and external training programs in year 2009. The various training programs carried out to produce competent workers include etiquette, grooming and personal impact, customer service and service delivery aimed at front-line employees and consistent departmental team-building activities.

To improve productivity and effectiveness within the organization, Resorts World Genting offers internal trainings such as on-the-job training and job rotation from time to time. As an effort to support the Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M) launched by the Prime Minister in year 2011, Resorts World Genting has gone all out to provide on-the-job placements to unemployed or underemployed graduates with appropriate qualifications. This scheme requires candidates to achieve a minimum CGPA of 2.5 for a degree from any recognized tertiary institution and possess the ability to converse in Bahasa Malaysia and English. Shortlisted trainees will be given 2 to 3 months soft skill trainings and 9 to 10 months on-the-job training. During the training period, trainees will assist in organizational projects and departmental functions and involve in departmental or organization-wide planning and decision making. Subsequently, trainees are evaluated on their suitability for vacancies in Resorts World Genting.

There are several advantages that can be yield through the on-the-job training. Resorts World Genting’s effort has actually helped to enhance the employability of unemployed graduates to compete for jobs that match their qualifications. Through SL1M, trainees acquire necessary soft skills such as communication skills, critical thinking and organizational adaptability to increase their competency in the job market. As the organization usually customizes the learning to fit business purposes, trainees will be well-prepared to perform real job tasks because they will be taught to master the tools needed to perform their specific roles. Therefore, SL1M improves the quality and helps fresh graduates to be more marketable in the labor market.

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On the contrary, there are also certain drawbacks towards Resorts World Genting through the implementation of SL1M on-the-job training. This scheme lacks of consistency as the training is closely dependent on experienced senior workers to give out instructions that are purported to be essential in completing a task efficiently and effectively. As the instructions vary with each trainer, there is no standardized learning carried out across the organization. It is also insufficient for a trainee to learn the skills and knowledge from only a trainer. Besides, when there is no structured guidance on training lessons, trainees will only learn about the routines and solve daily problems that arise in the normal course of working. They will face difficulties and feel humiliated in the future when they are confronted with complex and rare problems which are not taught during the SL1M scheme. Under close supervision by a trainer, the trainee can be easily influenced by the trainer’s habits and attitudes towards various aspects of the job such as management and interaction techniques. They can quickly adopt lazy habits and take shortcuts in performing their tasks, which in return will bring unfavorable consequences towards Resorts World Genting.

Resorts World Genting also offers Management Trainee Program which provides job rotation opportunities to potential employees. Its purpose is to discover and develop the next generation of leaders to hold higher managerial positions in the future by equipping them with the required skills, judgment and qualities of an effective manager. Under the Management Trainee Program of Resorts World Genting, trainees will be given the chance to conduct cross-functional assignments and special projects to develop leadership skills. The 18-24 months program allows trainees to explore different areas of the corporation such as Casino Operations, Theme Park Operation, Theme Park Technical and Human Resource. Successful trainees will be posted to Senior Executive or Assistant Manager positions. According to the official website of Resorts World Genting, 19 management trainees successfully graduated and recruited as permanent employees in year 2009.

The Management Trainee Program has benefited Resorts World Genting’s employees in many ways. Selected trainees will have good prospects in their career advancement as they are exposed to all facets of the business, from marketing to customer service, to human resource and operations. Thus, they can be easily promoted to a managerial position once a vacancy comes up within the organization. Besides, the program helps to identify and develop potential talents as a means of providing a good succession planning and enhancing morale in the organization. It helps to foster teamwork within the organization, promote good camaraderie and improve communication among teams because trainees usually collaborate with different team members at different levels.

A major disadvantage of the Management Trainee Program is that successful trainees tend to be more self-centered and expect preferential treatment such as higher compensation and benefits from the organization. They might think high of themselves with the qualifications possessed. As the management trainees undergo job rotation, there is a tendency that the trainees could not master the operations and have an in-depth understanding of the functions in a department before switching to another department in just a few months. Consequently, they will become ‘Jack of all trades and a master of none’. The result might be harmful to the organization as these future-to-be managers might not be good managers.

In addition, off-the-job learning is conducted by Resorts World Genting. Scholarships were awarded to 21 high-performing employees in the year 2009. Deserving employees received scholarships to further their studies at MAHTEC, Kolej Antarabangsa Genting Inti and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). In year 2011, 22 scholarships worth RM1.7 million were awarded under the Genting Malaysia Education Fund to outstanding employees and other external recipients. Moreover, the organization partners with colleges and universities and professional associations such as Genting INTI International College (GIIC), ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW to provide the opportunity for employees to enhance their qualifications. For instance, Resorts World Genting’s Finance Department has been recognized by professional accountancy bodies such as ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW to provide trainings to accounting field’s employees to become qualified accountants.

One of the advantages of Resorts World Genting offering further studies opportunities is that the employees with higher qualifications and professionalism can contribute more to the organization in various aspects of the organization. These professionals such as accountants, risk management experts and investment analysts can make better planning, professional evaluations and decisions for the organization in the business dealings. This will in turn help Resorts World Genting to minimize cost, maximize profits and penetrate into more profitable markets in various countries. When the organization has a good reputation of offering scholarships to high-performers, there will be a larger pool of qualified unsolicited candidates for the organization to make selection for a vacancy. Therefore, Resorts World Genting is less likely to face the problem of lack of qualified candidates for selection process.

However, offering scholarships might be costly to Resorts World Genting as the organization has to fork out a whopping amount to support the increasing cost of living and tuition fees of scholarship recipients. This is much more expensive compared to other internal training programs. The organization also faces the risk that it might lose its high-quality employees after they have finished their studies. This is because when the high-performers have completed their duration of work as stipulated in the scholarship agreement, they might be “poached” by Resorts World Genting’s competitors by being offered a higher compensation and more benefits.

Furthermore, Resorts World Genting has also organized many seminars and conferences to help develop the professionalism of the senior management. For example, in October 2011, the organization carried out the 23rd Genting Malaysia Senior Managers’ Conference in Awana Kijal, Terengganu to encourage workers to be passionately committed to achieving the organization’s goals and core values. Last but not least, besides organizing departmental team-building activities, Resorts World Genting emphasizes on work-life balance programs which improve employees’ wellbeing. To highlight holistic development of all levels of employees, the organization has also organized sports events and self-improvement activities. Some of the programs involved in inculcating team-spirit and lifelong learning include “Coaching Leadership – A Future for Women in Leadership”, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”, Labour Day celebration and Genting Employee Carnival.

The conferences organized by Resorts World Genting have benefited the organization as the senior managers and top management have the chance to exchange various viewpoints regarding the course of businesses run by the organization. This encourages communication and collaboration among all levels of managers of different departments within the organization instead of emphasizing on only one department. As a grand decision made by one department affects another, it is essential that all departments involved discuss and analyze a matter before making a final decision. Besides, the programs and activities carried out help to drive the behaviors and personal goals of employees to be in line with the organizational purpose, which in turn contributes to a highly-productive working environment. These activities are effective motivators for the employees to perform better and achieve organizational objectives.

In contrast, attending various seminars and programs may be a loss of productivity and a waste of time for the employees of Resorts World Genting. Discouraged workers tend to take these activities as distractions to escape from work. There are also times that the information presented during seminars or the activities organized do not interest a particular individual. Moreover, the information presented by external parties may be incorrect, flawed and biased. The information cannot appeal to all the needs of the employees from different departments in the organization and it may be just a reiteration of what the employees have known. What the speakers provide are mostly theoretical and these theories cannot be applied in real-life situations due to various factors.

The above are the human resource practices implemented by Resorts World Genting to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the employees. There are advantages and disadvantages for each activity organized by the organization. The top managers should look into the boon and bane of a practice before implementing it to maximize productivity within the organization.

Critiques of Practices on the Effectiveness of the Company

There are several critiques on the effectiveness of training and development practices implemented by Resorts World Genting on the normal course of business.

The first method used by Resorts World Genting is on-the-job training, which is Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M). This method mainly helps the unemployed or fresh graduates to brush up their qualifications so that they have the capacity to meet the skills and knowledge needed by the jobs. This scheme is actually less effective to the operations of the organization as there is no structured and detailed handbook or guidelines to follow. Since this scheme has so many disadvantages such as inconsistency in training, too subjective and only dependent on one senior worker for each trainee, it would be cost-consuming to retain workers which are not well-trained. In long-term, this method will reduce the productivity of the company. Therefore, SL1M might be useful in decreasing the unemployment rate in the country but this scheme is unfavorable towards Resorts World Genting as it reduces the effectiveness of the organization.

The second method applied by Resorts World Genting is job-rotation trainings that are offered to train potential employees to hold managerial positions in the future. Overall, the management trainee program increases the productivity and effectiveness of the organization. The disadvantages of the management trainee program are minor as they can be easily eliminated through some modifications of the program. This program usually has a higher requirement from its trainees as the trainees must be able to work under high pressure. Since they will be exposed to the functioning of every department within Resorts World Genting, they will be able to master all the operations when they have completed their training. Thus, the high-performing and well-trained employees will be able to manage high positions effectively and meet the organizational goals.

In addition, Resorts World Genting also provides off-the-job learning by offering scholarships and opportunities to further studies to high-performing employees. This will be cost-saving in a way that the actual amount spent on scholarships is much lower than the cost of recruiting and selecting a new employee. The organization will have low turnover rate as this increases the job satisfaction of the employees. It will also be able to retain its pool of talents, and this human asset will provide comparative advantage to the organization to compete with other competitors. Professionals trained by the organization could make better professional analysis and decisions which in turn will increases the effectiveness in the business dealings. Therefore, off-the-job training increases the effectiveness and efficiency of Resorts World Genting in the long-run.

Seminars and talks organized by Resorts World Genting appear to be less effective in training the employees as majority of these seminars involve only theoretical presentation. It is also not cheap to invite external speakers to give talks to the employees which will then be considered as a waste of time. As it is difficult to control human behavior, the company also cannot avoid the fact that some lazy employees take this chance to escape work. In short, organizing seminars and talks would decrease the effectiveness and productivity of the operations in Resorts World Genting.

Recommendation

There are some recommendations for Resorts World Genting to improve their training and development programs.

First and foremost, there are few recommendations to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of on-the-job training, which is Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M) implemented by Resorts World Genting. The organization can set a standardized and structured on-the-job training scheme, alongside with clear and detailed handbook for every trainer and trainee. Trainers can follow the scheme and handbook which detail all workplace procedures to train the new employees and make sure that the trainees fully understand their jobs. Besides, Resorts World Genting has to choose the trainers carefully. Trainers must achieve the level of qualification required to train the new employees and the organization must make sure that they do not show bad habits or examples. This is because a good trainer will influence a trainee to become a good employee in the future. Besides teaching the trainees on how to solve their daily problems, the experienced trainers should also emphasize on rare and potential problems that might happen in the future, or at least the trainees are taught about these problems using theories. Furthermore, Resorts World Genting can assign more supervisors to observe how trainers and trainees work in their positions and require weekly report from the trainers. Trainers and trainees will then concentrate and pay more effort on their jobs because they do not wish to obtain bad comments in their report.

Secondly, there are some recommendations for Management Trainee Program. Resorts World Genting can first try to observe the characteristics of potential employees and then decide which department is suitable for the individuals. Besides, managers can also interview the potential employees and tests their abilities in each and every sector. This can help to enhance the skills and knowledge that the management trainee lacks in a particular sector. Furthermore, Resorts World Genting also can set the period of job rotation longer. Potential employees can learn and discover more on a post before they change to another position if the job rotation duration is longer. Since these potential employees are going to handle managerial positions in the future, it is important for them to practice job ethics. Therefore, Resorts World Genting should show their employees that the organization emphasizes ethical ways of doing jobs. This will influence the employees and may change their decisions and actions to become more ethical in performing their job.

In addition, to achieve cost-effectiveness, Resorts World Genting can offer their employees scholarships to further studies in local educational institutions instead of overseas. The tuition fees in local educational institutions are much cheaper compared to those abroad. Furthermore, the cost of living is also lower than staying overseas. Resorts World Genting can also plan to set up their own educational institution instead of partnering with other colleges. By taking this initiative, Resorts World Genting can save much cost for scholarships and attract more students to study in

Training and development is a system, a set of activities or process designed to help expand and improve a persons skills and knowledge which are related to his or her job scope. It is also a good way to help to improve the attitudes and competencies of employees. Training focuses more on current and present jobs, whereas development emphasizes more on long term and future jobs. Training and development programs can enhance the capabilities of employees to achieve organizational goals and effectiveness and efficiency of the operations within the organization. Trainings make better for business development and help the company to become more competitive and profitable.

Training and development plays an important role in human resources management. One of the reasons is due to the significant changes of technologies in this modern era, where some business functions are becoming older and outdated. If the organization does not introduce new methods of accomplishing tasks and make changes to its existing business functions, the organization will fade out from its market eventually. Therefore, it is of paramount importance for an organization to implement training and development strategies to ascertain that the employees possess the skills and knowledge needed to operate the latest technologies.

In addition, training and development programs will help to save cost for a company in the long run. An organization can launch training and development program to train and improve the skills of existing employees instead of hiring new employees to handle a project as the cost of training existing employees will be cheaper than hiring a new employee. Besides reducing the turnover rate of employees, effective training programs will help to increase job satisfaction, motivation and morale of employees. This is because employees will feel that the company cares for their welfare and appreciates their contributions, thus they will be loyal and work for the company for a long period of time. When a company gives its employees an opportunity to learn and develop new skills, they will feel that they have value in the company and try their best to contribute in building a stronger and more competitive organization. In short, training and development programs are essential for increasing productivity, effectiveness and efficiency of an organization besides enhancing the image of the company.

The major aim and objective of training and development is to add value to a firm’s human assets. These programs raise the capacity level of the company and help the company to overcome the rapid changes of technology in the globalized business world. Furthermore, it tends to increase the power of a company to compete with its competitors in the global market. Training and development programs also act as motivational tools to boost the enthusiasm of employees in performing their jobs. This will reduce the requirement for close supervisions and improve the effectiveness, efficiencies and performance of employees in the organization.

Content

Theories and Concepts

Training and development is a set of planned programs and procedures aimed to improve employees’ capacity and organizational performance. The performance of employees in terms of one’s attitude, behavior, skills and knowledge can be improved through the training programs implemented by an organization. Therefore, training and development programs can effectively improve the overall performance of the business. Trainings are normally targeted at technical staff, lower level management, middle and also senior level management. Normally, when programs are applied to lower and middle level management, they are known as “trainings” whereas when applied to senior level management, they are called “development programs”. Some general purposes of training and development are to enhance employees’ growth, improve the quality of workforce, bridge the gap between planning and implementation and help new comers. There are few relevant theories which are associated with training and development, namely the sensory stimulation theory, the reinforcement theory, the action theory, the experiential learning and the adult learning.

Sensory theory states that when multi-sensory stimulation effect is great, learning takes place. In order words, efficient training will occur when the senses are inspired or stimulated. Some research found that 75% adults’ knowledge is learned by seeing, hearing and the other 13% is by other senses like smell, taste as well as touch.

Reinforcement theory can be further classified as positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. In positive reinforcement, trainee will repeat the desired behaviour; in negative reinforcement, trainee can strengthen behaviour when a negative condition is stopped. This theory focuses on the significance of experience, meaning, the development of insight and problem-solving skills. For instance, many trainers believe that trainees will develop problem-solving abilities when they are exposed to various situations and varied experiences.

Action learning is a dynamic process that involves a group of people solving real-life problems. But at the same time, they must concentrate on what they are learning and how the learning can benefit the group members, the group itself as well as the organization as a whole. Nowadays, action learning becomes one of the key training and problem-solving tools for some large companies such as Nokia, Motorola, British Airways, US Department of Agriculture and Marriott. (Michael, 2004)

Experiential learning defines learning as a process of creating the trainees’ knowledge via the transformation of experience. There are four stages in experiential learning. Firstly, the experiential learning is through concrete experience, which is putting something into practice. Secondly, it is through observation and reflection, in which one objectively analyzes the outcome. Thirdly, it is through abstract conceptualization, in which one review your conceptual understanding. Lastly, it is through active experimentation, which is experimenting to find solution. The diagram below shows the experiential learning cycle and the basic learning styles.

stage.jpg

Lastly, adult learning is a theory that holds six assumptions about how adults learn and this theory emphasizes on the value of the process of learning. There are six assumptions of adult learning, which are adults need to know why they need learning, readiness to learn, self-concept, motivation to learn, orientation to learning and learners’ experience. This approach is problem-based and collaborative rather than precept and also focus on more equality between the trainer and trainee. (Benefits and Problems, n.d.)

In addition, there are two dimensions of training and development processes, which are the degree of formality and the balance between self-directed as well as other-directed learning. These two choices of the dimensions result in 4 overall methods. For instance, one can take a formal training to self-directed or other directed learning, likewise one can take informal training to self-directed or other directed learning. Trainers make decision about what approach to be taken into training depending on several factors, such as the amount of money which can be invested for training, timeliness of training needed, specificity and complexity of the skills and knowledge needed as well as capacity and motivation of the learner.

Undeniably, formal and other-directed learning and development programs are more expensive than other approaches. However, through this approach learner can achieve the desired skills and knowledge in a timely basis. This form of learning is mostly used in colleges, universities and training centres, which normally grants diplomas and certificates. Employee development plans is another form of formal and other-directed training. Employee development plans help to identify performance goals, the ways to achieve the goals, by when and whom to verify their result. Besides, in formal and self-directed training, learner should set his or her own learning goals, methods and means to verify the accomplishment. For example, supervisors and employees work together to achieve formal and self-directed learning in the workplace, at the same time they collaborate to accomplish continuous learning for continued productivity and learning.

Informal training and development is more casual and incidental. Normally, there are no specific training goals and ways to evaluate their level of accomplishment of goals. Make an example of informal and other-directed training, supervisors send their employees to training regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Informal and self-directed learning can be very low cost and this training approach may take longer time than other-directed forms. However, the learner must have the capacity and motivation to pursue their own training. For example, there are informal discussions among employees on a certain topic or organizations sending their employees to attend talks by famous speakers, as long as the learners select the activities and topics by themselves. (Carter Mcnamara, n.d.)

Contributions and Significance

Training and development programs can contribute to an organization by helping it to save cost. Normally, a successor will be trained by someone who is an expert in a particular field to refill a position if there is a sudden vacancy within the organization. This can help the company to save recruiting cost, training cost, and keep the organization operating smoothly. By this way, the company need not hire someone outside the company to train since the training is easily attainable by present employees. Training the successors is better than recruiting people from outside of the organization. In addition, recruiting professional with high skills is much more expensive than training current employee to acquire those skills.

Secondly, training and development can improve the relationship between bosses and subordinates. Training programs will involve different levels of employees in an organization and this increases communication among each other. When the communication breakdown between bosses and subordinates, the business will suffer, the tension will increase and cause other negative consequences to happen. Through training and development process, they can understand their jobs better; therefore some accidents and misunderstanding can be avoided. At the same time, productivity of employees may increase.

Thirdly, training and development will lead to an increased profitability and more positive attitude towards an organization’s goals. These can be done by enhancing employees’ knowledge and polishing their skills at all levels within an organization. When the satisfactions of customers are fulfilled by well-trained employees, this will increase the number of repeated business. At the same time, the reputation of the company is also enhanced because of good services performed by the employees. Therefore, training and development helps an organization to achieve competitive advantage over others in the industry.

Case Development

Company’s Background

Resorts World Sdn Bhd was a private limited company established in year 1980. In year 1989, the company was listed into the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange market to become a public listed company on 14 July. It was subsequently renamed as Resorts World Bhd, in which this company name had been used from year 1989 to 2009. Resorts World Bhd then changed its name again to Genting Malaysia Berhad on 18 June 2009 and this name has been used until today. As everyone knows Resorts World Genting is built in the high mountain areas; the cool and refreshing air is an indispensable factor in attracting visitors. Besides, Resorts World Genting excels in offering full-of-fun entertainment attractions and the luxurious international class destination, in order to satisfy different cultures and needs of tourists.

Generally, Resorts World Genting has established six hotels, namely the First World Hotel, the Theme Park Hotel, the Awana Hotel, the Maxims Genting, the Resort Hotel and the Highlands Hotel. The First World Hotel with a total of 6,118 rooms was the World’s Largest Hotel according to Guinness World Records (Knowles, 2011). In addition, Resorts World Genting also offers close to 200 distinctive dining outlets and shopping stores, business convention facilities and mega shows. The most attractive features of the company are the two theme parks with more than 40 rides and non-stop entertainment. Adult Bumper Car, Flying Dragon, 4D Motion Master, Ride de Paris and other entertainment facilities are provided in indoor theme parks. Moreover, outdoor theme parks provide more fun rides than indoor, such as Pirate Ship, Spinner, Flying Coaster, Corkscrew, Boating, Dinosaur land and Rodeo Rider, which have successfully attracted visitors from all walks of life.

Resorts World Genting also monopolizes the legal gambling market in Malaysia as it operates the one and only casino in Malaysia. Many locals frequent the casino to gamble. The casino offers international gambling games such as Tai Sai, Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, slots and Pokers. Resort World Genting not only operates the entertainment facilities but also the longest cable car system in Southeast Asia, named as Genting Skyway. The cable cars are crossing 3.38km from the hillside to Highlands Hotel at the peak. Therefore, it is obvious that Resorts World Berhad focuses its businesses in entertainment and tourism industry.

Training and Development Practices, Advantages and Disadvantages of the Practices

Resorts World Genting supports and promotes employee development and organizational effectiveness by pursuing personnel policies in training and development, which is in line with the organizational culture, mission and vision. The organization has been actively involved in providing high quality trainings, development programs and opportunities for career development of individual workers. In fact, Resorts World Genting recorded more than 8,500 employees attending internal and external training programs in year 2009. The various training programs carried out to produce competent workers include etiquette, grooming and personal impact, customer service and service delivery aimed at front-line employees and consistent departmental team-building activities.

To improve productivity and effectiveness within the organization, Resorts World Genting offers internal trainings such as on-the-job training and job rotation from time to time. As an effort to support the Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M) launched by the Prime Minister in year 2011, Resorts World Genting has gone all out to provide on-the-job placements to unemployed or underemployed graduates with appropriate qualifications. This scheme requires candidates to achieve a minimum CGPA of 2.5 for a degree from any recognized tertiary institution and possess the ability to converse in Bahasa Malaysia and English. Shortlisted trainees will be given 2 to 3 months soft skill trainings and 9 to 10 months on-the-job training. During the training period, trainees will assist in organizational projects and departmental functions and involve in departmental or organization-wide planning and decision making. Subsequently, trainees are evaluated on their suitability for vacancies in Resorts World Genting.

There are several advantages that can be yield through the on-the-job training. Resorts World Genting’s effort has actually helped to enhance the employability of unemployed graduates to compete for jobs that match their qualifications. Through SL1M, trainees acquire necessary soft skills such as communication skills, critical thinking and organizational adaptability to increase their competency in the job market. As the organization usually customizes the learning to fit business purposes, trainees will be well-prepared to perform real job tasks because they will be taught to master the tools needed to perform their specific roles. Therefore, SL1M improves the quality and helps fresh graduates to be more marketable in the labor market.

On the contrary, there are also certain drawbacks towards Resorts World Genting through the implementation of SL1M on-the-job training. This scheme lacks of consistency as the training is closely dependent on experienced senior workers to give out instructions that are purported to be essential in completing a task efficiently and effectively. As the instructions vary with each trainer, there is no standardized learning carried out across the organization. It is also insufficient for a trainee to learn the skills and knowledge from only a trainer. Besides, when there is no structured guidance on training lessons, trainees will only learn about the routines and solve daily problems that arise in the normal course of working. They will face difficulties and feel humiliated in the future when they are confronted with complex and rare problems which are not taught during the SL1M scheme. Under close supervision by a trainer, the trainee can be easily influenced by the trainer’s habits and attitudes towards various aspects of the job such as management and interaction techniques. They can quickly adopt lazy habits and take shortcuts in performing their tasks, which in return will bring unfavorable consequences towards Resorts World Genting.

Resorts World Genting also offers Management Trainee Program which provides job rotation opportunities to potential employees. Its purpose is to discover and develop the next generation of leaders to hold higher managerial positions in the future by equipping them with the required skills, judgment and qualities of an effective manager. Under the Management Trainee Program of Resorts World Genting, trainees will be given the chance to conduct cross-functional assignments and special projects to develop leadership skills. The 18-24 months program allows trainees to explore different areas of the corporation such as Casino Operations, Theme Park Operation, Theme Park Technical and Human Resource. Successful trainees will be posted to Senior Executive or Assistant Manager positions. According to the official website of Resorts World Genting, 19 management trainees successfully graduated and recruited as permanent employees in year 2009.

The Management Trainee Program has benefited Resorts World Genting’s employees in many ways. Selected trainees will have good prospects in their career advancement as they are exposed to all facets of the business, from marketing to customer service, to human resource and operations. Thus, they can be easily promoted to a managerial position once a vacancy comes up within the organization. Besides, the program helps to identify and develop potential talents as a means of providing a good succession planning and enhancing morale in the organization. It helps to foster teamwork within the organization, promote good camaraderie and improve communication among teams because trainees usually collaborate with different team members at different levels.

A major disadvantage of the Management Trainee Program is that successful trainees tend to be more self-centered and expect preferential treatment such as higher compensation and benefits from the organization. They might think high of themselves with the qualifications possessed. As the management trainees undergo job rotation, there is a tendency that the trainees could not master the operations and have an in-depth understanding of the functions in a department before switching to another department in just a few months. Consequently, they will become ‘Jack of all trades and a master of none’. The result might be harmful to the organization as these future-to-be managers might not be good managers.

In addition, off-the-job learning is conducted by Resorts World Genting. Scholarships were awarded to 21 high-performing employees in the year 2009. Deserving employees received scholarships to further their studies at MAHTEC, Kolej Antarabangsa Genting Inti and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). In year 2011, 22 scholarships worth RM1.7 million were awarded under the Genting Malaysia Education Fund to outstanding employees and other external recipients. Moreover, the organization partners with colleges and universities and professional associations such as Genting INTI International College (GIIC), ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW to provide the opportunity for employees to enhance their qualifications. For instance, Resorts World Genting’s Finance Department has been recognized by professional accountancy bodies such as ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW to provide trainings to accounting field’s employees to become qualified accountants.

One of the advantages of Resorts World Genting offering further studies opportunities is that the employees with higher qualifications and professionalism can contribute more to the organization in various aspects of the organization. These professionals such as accountants, risk management experts and investment analysts can make better planning, professional evaluations and decisions for the organization in the business dealings. This will in turn help Resorts World Genting to minimize cost, maximize profits and penetrate into more profitable markets in various countries. When the organization has a good reputation of offering scholarships to high-performers, there will be a larger pool of qualified unsolicited candidates for the organization to make selection for a vacancy. Therefore, Resorts World Genting is less likely to face the problem of lack of qualified candidates for selection process.

However, offering scholarships might be costly to Resorts World Genting as the organization has to fork out a whopping amount to support the increasing cost of living and tuition fees of scholarship recipients. This is much more expensive compared to other internal training programs. The organization also faces the risk that it might lose its high-quality employees after they have finished their studies. This is because when the high-performers have completed their duration of work as stipulated in the scholarship agreement, they might be “poached” by Resorts World Genting’s competitors by being offered a higher compensation and more benefits.

Furthermore, Resorts World Genting has also organized many seminars and conferences to help develop the professionalism of the senior management. For example, in October 2011, the organization carried out the 23rd Genting Malaysia Senior Managers’ Conference in Awana Kijal, Terengganu to encourage workers to be passionately committed to achieving the organization’s goals and core values. Last but not least, besides organizing departmental team-building activities, Resorts World Genting emphasizes on work-life balance programs which improve employees’ wellbeing. To highlight holistic development of all levels of employees, the organization has also organized sports events and self-improvement activities. Some of the programs involved in inculcating team-spirit and lifelong learning include “Coaching Leadership – A Future for Women in Leadership”, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”, Labour Day celebration and Genting Employee Carnival.

The conferences organized by Resorts World Genting have benefited the organization as the senior managers and top management have the chance to exchange various viewpoints regarding the course of businesses run by the organization. This encourages communication and collaboration among all levels of managers of different departments within the organization instead of emphasizing on only one department. As a grand decision made by one department affects another, it is essential that all departments involved discuss and analyze a matter before making a final decision. Besides, the programs and activities carried out help to drive the behaviors and personal goals of employees to be in line with the organizational purpose, which in turn contributes to a highly-productive working environment. These activities are effective motivators for the employees to perform better and achieve organizational objectives.

In contrast, attending various seminars and programs may be a loss of productivity and a waste of time for the employees of Resorts World Genting. Discouraged workers tend to take these activities as distractions to escape from work. There are also times that the information presented during seminars or the activities organized do not interest a particular individual. Moreover, the information presented by external parties may be incorrect, flawed and biased. The information cannot appeal to all the needs of the employees from different departments in the organization and it may be just a reiteration of what the employees have known. What the speakers provide are mostly theoretical and these theories cannot be applied in real-life situations due to various factors.

The above are the human resource practices implemented by Resorts World Genting to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the employees. There are advantages and disadvantages for each activity organized by the organization. The top managers should look into the boon and bane of a practice before implementing it to maximize productivity within the organization.

Critiques of Practices on the Effectiveness of the Company

There are several critiques on the effectiveness of training and development practices implemented by Resorts World Genting on the normal course of business.

The first method used by Resorts World Genting is on-the-job training, which is Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M). This method mainly helps the unemployed or fresh graduates to brush up their qualifications so that they have the capacity to meet the skills and knowledge needed by the jobs. This scheme is actually less effective to the operations of the organization as there is no structured and detailed handbook or guidelines to follow. Since this scheme has so many disadvantages such as inconsistency in training, too subjective and only dependent on one senior worker for each trainee, it would be cost-consuming to retain workers which are not well-trained. In long-term, this method will reduce the productivity of the company. Therefore, SL1M might be useful in decreasing the unemployment rate in the country but this scheme is unfavorable towards Resorts World Genting as it reduces the effectiveness of the organization.

The second method applied by Resorts World Genting is job-rotation trainings that are offered to train potential employees to hold managerial positions in the future. Overall, the management trainee program increases the productivity and effectiveness of the organization. The disadvantages of the management trainee program are minor as they can be easily eliminated through some modifications of the program. This program usually has a higher requirement from its trainees as the trainees must be able to work under high pressure. Since they will be exposed to the functioning of every department within Resorts World Genting, they will be able to master all the operations when they have completed their training. Thus, the high-performing and well-trained employees will be able to manage high positions effectively and meet the organizational goals.

In addition, Resorts World Genting also provides off-the-job learning by offering scholarships and opportunities to further studies to high-performing employees. This will be cost-saving in a way that the actual amount spent on scholarships is much lower than the cost of recruiting and selecting a new employee. The organization will have low turnover rate as this increases the job satisfaction of the employees. It will also be able to retain its pool of talents, and this human asset will provide comparative advantage to the organization to compete with other competitors. Professionals trained by the organization could make better professional analysis and decisions which in turn will increases the effectiveness in the business dealings. Therefore, off-the-job training increases the effectiveness and efficiency of Resorts World Genting in the long-run.

Seminars and talks organized by Resorts World Genting appear to be less effective in training the employees as majority of these seminars involve only theoretical presentation. It is also not cheap to invite external speakers to give talks to the employees which will then be considered as a waste of time. As it is difficult to control human behavior, the company also cannot avoid the fact that some lazy employees take this chance to escape work. In short, organizing seminars and talks would decrease the effectiveness and productivity of the operations in Resorts World Genting.

Recommendation

There are some recommendations for Resorts World Genting to improve their training and development programs.

First and foremost, there are few recommendations to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of on-the-job training, which is Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M) implemented by Resorts World Genting. The organization can set a standardized and structured on-the-job training scheme, alongside with clear and detailed handbook for every trainer and trainee. Trainers can follow the scheme and handbook which detail all workplace procedures to train the new employees and make sure that the trainees fully understand their jobs. Besides, Resorts World Genting has to choose the trainers carefully. Trainers must achieve the level of qualification required to train the new employees and the organization must make sure that they do not show bad habits or examples. This is because a good trainer will influence a trainee to become a good employee in the future. Besides teaching the trainees on how to solve their daily problems, the experienced trainers should also emphasize on rare and potential problems that might happen in the future, or at least the trainees are taught about these problems using theories. Furthermore, Resorts World Genting can assign more supervisors to observe how trainers and trainees work in their positions and require weekly report from the trainers. Trainers and trainees will then concentrate and pay more effort on their jobs because they do not wish to obtain bad comments in their report.

Secondly, there are some recommendations for Management Trainee Program. Resorts World Genting can first try to observe the characteristics of potential employees and then decide which department is suitable for the individuals. Besides, managers can also interview the potential employees and tests their abilities in each and every sector. This can help to enhance the skills and knowledge that the management trainee lacks in a particular sector. Furthermore, Resorts World Genting also can set the period of job rotation longer. Potential employees can learn and discover more on a post before they change to another position if the job rotation duration is longer. Since these potential employees are going to handle managerial positions in the future, it is important for them to practice job ethics. Therefore, Resorts World Genting should show their employees that the organization emphasizes ethical ways of doing jobs. This will influence the employees and may change their decisions and actions to become more ethical in performing their job.

In addition, to achieve cost-effectiveness, Resorts World Genting can offer their employees scholarships to further studies in local educational institutions instead of overseas. The tuition fees in local educational institutions are much cheaper compared to those abroad. Furthermore, the cost of living is also lower than staying overseas. Resorts World Genting can also plan to set up their own educational institution instead of partnering with other colleges. By taking this initiative, Resorts World Genting can save much cost for scholarships and attract more students to study in

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