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Assignment Four: Training Module
This committee has been tasked with revamping our agency’s initial training program for new employees. The Onboarding program as it is currently known is used to introduce new employees to the organization’s goals, mission, policies and procedures. This program has been in use for the past fifteen years and has served as an ample source of information for new hires. However, the platform by which this training has been given has become outdated and cannot keep up with younger employees who are more technologically advanced than previous employees. The goal of this committee is to create a program that incorporates more technology into our program to keep younger employees engaged but at the same time does not alienate older employees. In addition to adding more technology to our program, the committee will also need to address the order of how the training is introduced. It has been noticed that some information that is been taught on job has been more beneficial than the classroom training provided. A proposed change to the order of training could fix this issue. Rather than have classroom training occur during the first trimester of employment, new hires will begin attending class during the second trimester of employment. A more in-depth explanation of this plan will be discussed further on. To better understand how a change in the training program could affect our organization, it is best to dissect the company as a whole.
Overview of the Organization
This government organization or agency is made up of about 200 full time and part time employees. The agency is headed by a commissioner appointed by the governor and works with an executive branch of three assistant commissioners who then appoint directors and deputies that head the different departments that make up this organization. The branches are broken into a financial department, customer service department and legal services department. Each of these branches work together to provide a service to their customer base. The ratio of men and women is divided evenly throughout the organization. The employee force is also made up of various ethnicities and races. Caucasians make up about 40%, African Americans 30% and other ethnicities make up the remaining 30%. Ages of employees range from their early twenties and late sixties. The majority of the workforce is dominated by younger employees fresh out of college or high school. Younger employees tend to stay for about five years and then seek new employment. Of the ones who do stay, they tend to rise quickly to supervisory positions within the department in which they started, or they move on the different departments within the agency. While the turnover rate is high among younger employees, older employees stay anywhere from twenty to thirty years. The mission of this organization is to provide a welcome and friendly visit for each citizen that interacts with the agency. the vision for the organization is to be Virginia’s Most Trusted State Agency. The goals of this agency are to provide secure and safe credentials each and every time. In addition to this the agency also wants to be a secure, positive and welcome environment for their employees. This can be done by providing a well-rounded and extensive training program that will accommodate employees and also offer support when needed.
Revamping the Current Training
As stated previously, the goal of this organization is to revamp the training program. This will be done by added more technology to the program and by changing the order in which the training is given to employees. Maintaining a well informed and well-trained workforce is essential to having an efficient agency. One way to ensure that each employee receives the proper amount of training is to ensure that the initial instruction is the same across the board. At the present time, employees attend training during the first three months of employment. During the first week they are expected to watch a series of training modules. These modules give an overview of Human Resource policies as well as a quick overview of the agency as a whole. During the second and third week, the new employees shadow with coaches or supervisors in their respective departments. This gives them a chance to see how transactions are processed. During the second and third month after being hired, new employees attend training on an alternating basis. For example, one week they will spend in class and then the week after they will spend time in their departments and work with their coaches to master the learned skill. In addition to this all employees are required to take annual trainings throughout the year. This program has been in place for the last fifteen years and while effective, aspects of it have become outdated. In order to keep with the younger generation of employees adding a more technologically savvy aspect to the training program will help to keep them engaged. One way to do this is to add to the online module listing. For example, adding a video chat feature to the program or a telework aspect would allow employees to revisit aspects of the training at home or while they are away from the classroom. Some of the information given to employees during class can be delivered via electronic methods which will lessen the strain on trainers. In addition to adding more electronic methods to the training program, rearranging the order in which the training is given will allow for new hires to have more hands-on knowledge before attending classroom training sessions.
“On-job training indicates, based on the demands of enterprises, to enhance the professional competence of employees in daily work, containing knowledge, skills, or behaviors” (Shu-Rung, 2017). With this is mind, shifting the training timeline could potentially improve not only the retention rate of information learned but also the retention of employees. The proposed plan would move all classroom training to the second trimester of employment with probation period would allow for employees to get a better grasp of their respective departments as well as weed out the ones who have no intention of staying longer than a few months with the organization. Conducting on the job training in the first three months of employment will give new employees the foundation to better understand what is being taught in class. Also, by allowing new hires to work on the front counter for the first three months of employment will allow management to assess their ability to process transactions and ascertain who will be suitable for full time employment. After new employees attend training during the second trimester they will return to their departments and enter into their assessment phases. Each department has guidelines and output requirements that will be discussed with each new employee. They must come near, meet or exceed those requirements to avoid disciplinary actions and to be on target to exit their probationary period.
The next step in the training revamp is to create the process by which the training will be given. The best way to do this is to understand who you are training, why the training is needed and what the main objectives will be. This section of the proposal will breakdown the process and participants in the new training program. The best place to begin for our training revamp is to begin with the objectives of our program. The three objectives of this program include developing a yearly plan to accomplish learning needs with supervision and rewards, identify specific performance concerns and identify possible solutions, and finally educate staff about the basic guidelines to build efficient and supportive work teams. In prior sections of this proposal the reasons for the training revamp have been discussed in depth. In addition to this, understanding who must take this training and the methods that will be used has been determined. This design model also contains a sample module that students will be able to access. This module will be an overview of how to deal with irate customers. This will give tips on how to calm the situation.
The first objective of this program is to develop a yearly plan that will allow new employees to achieve their learning needs with system of supervision and rewards. For this objective, the training committee has created a system that will assign coaches to each new employee hired. The coaches will be tasked with reinforcing information learned in class. During quarterly reviews employees who are performing above and beyond expectations will receive bonuses to include monetary and non-monetary. For example, an employee who exceeds the expectations of their workgroup could choose between a 3% increase or an additional vacation day. The second objective of the training is to identify specific performance concerns and look for solutions to correct performance issues. This objective focuses on correcting the identified issues as well as identifying any other issues employees have or are concerned with. With these objective employees will be able to express their concerns and help each other and the training committee come up with a plan to correct them. The third and final objective focuses on enhancing stress management while on the job. This will be done by educating staff about basic guidelines to build efficient and supportive teams. This an essential part of making the new training program run smoothly. Having co-workers who are empathetic and understanding of the stressors at work can make day to day activities easier. Highlighting stress fighting skills to a training program will eventually create a more productive team.
The instructional methods that were chosen are On the Job Training or OJT, Lecture, and Demonstration Computer Based modules. These three methods will work to ensure that new employees are prepared for their new positions. The first part of the training process begins on the first day of the new employee’s job. On the Job Training begins when an employee arrives. The way an employee is greeted when they arrive sets the tone for how that employee will do their job. Welcoming them into the fold per say is a great way include them in their new training responsibilities. On the first day new employee should be walked through the office and introduced to everyone including who their coach will be. Once introductions have been made the new employee will shadow their coach to become familiar with what a day the job will be like. During the first few weeks of employment, new hires will shadow and get to know their new work environment. They will even get a chance to process a few simple transactions. During the third week of employment they will move into the next phase of their training which will be the Demonstration Computer based modules.
The Demonstration Computer based modules are an essential part of the new training program. The goal of these modules is to give new employees the tools needed to succeed in the work environment. The first modules will go over basic customer service skills as well as HR policies and procedures. Then the modules increase in difficulty and follow along with the in-classroom training sessions. For example, the new employees will attend classroom training after the first three months of employment. So, in the first three months they have taken their required E-learning modules and have also received the appropriate OJT. They will then begin the first series of modules that will correlate with in classroom sessions. The in-person training will help to reinforce the OJT skills and e-learning.
The lecture method is the final instructional method that this training program will include. This method builds upon the previous methods by enforcing the skills that were learned during the OJT period. This in classroom training will consist of an instructor moderated session that will allow new employees to test skills in a controlled environment, so they can see the do’s and don’ts of processing transactions. The in-person training will also include opportunities to meet other new employees and build relationships. Simulations and in-depth readings of the policies also bolster the skills the employees have learned. These classes will work in conjunction with the other two methods to ensure that a new hire is completely kept in the loop of their training.
To keep the class engaged while preforming necessary assessments it will be necessary to create an interesting method. For example, asking individuals to play a game prior to taking a multiple question test would be more interesting than simply running down a list of topics. Another method would to have employees teach a transaction to the class. Breaking them into groups depending on the class size, then have them teach a transaction that was taught in class, will be an engaging method of gauging their level of understanding. A discussion between new hires is also a good way to assess their level of understanding of the information rather than only using tests. Finally, the use of a module that runs back through the information and then finally allows trainees to answer open ended questions may prove more effective than a multiple question test.
Since we now have a grasp of the methods necessary to complete training, the next step is to discuss the resources needed. For OJT, coaches and providing support to the coaching staff is important. They will need to have access to the online database as well as a training schedule to follow to keep their trainees on task. The computer-based modules will need reliant computer access as well as internet access. The in-classroom training will need an instructor, access to printers, simulation credit machines, PowerPoints, projectors, simulation camera systems along with dummy or shell records to process transactions with. The budget should be flexible to allow for instructors and coaching leads to buy the supplies needed to train properly. New employees will also need to have reliant transportation to make it to their offsite training. The following instructional plan will be given to new employees when they attend the in-classroom training session it will outline goals of the class as well as rules and expectations. Introducing a learning management system to the training department will make it easier to track the progress of new hires and make training universal across the board. In addition to this using a company wiki, where individuals can post questions and receive answers will allow for more seasoned employees to share their knowledge with others. It will also allow the training department to see where new classes may be needed to help teach skills that employees see as useful.
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