How far training and career development lead to organizational effectiveness? A case study at....
Training and career development are the concern of all the employees in the organization whether it is in public or private sector. For most of the employees, having training and a career in the organization, are a source of motivation and job security in life.
Fortunately, organizations now realize that it is their human resources who are the key for the success and lasting of the business. Moreover, they are the biggest asset and they are the one that can make things to happen. For instance, an organization may have the latest technologies but has no proper human resources to drive them, is sure to fail compare to one which has more or less a good technology and has proper human resources with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Employees, who are properly trained, are the centre of all development in the organization and they are the one who will make the difference between success and failure. However, due to the unstable economic environment, training and career development must be a continual process and is absolutely essential to update from time to time in order to face new challenges and to meet organizational objectives. Obviously, higher productivity, better quality of goods and services and greater customer satisfaction are heavily dependent on employees.
Background of the study
The world of business today is becoming so challenging that any organizations need to provide their employees with new skills, knowledge and attitudes to compete with the competitors. So, managing their human resources who are their greatest asset, has become vital for the survival and lasting of the organization. In addition from the basic HR functions which some are them are pay, planning, recruitment and selection, the functions have become more complex where there is a must to attract, retain the high and potential caliber employees and at the same time need to motivate the existing employees.
For an organization to be successful, the only way and the only resource is to value and put emphasis on its human resources as should be and to recognize their importance with the organization. Furthermore, this asset has to be constantly upgraded through training and development for maximum efficiency and before sending someone on training, it is vital to carry out a training needs analysis (TNA) which is partly concerned with defining the gap what is happening and what should happen.
Aims of the study
With the unstable economic environment and where there is high cut-throat competition, many organizations may face new challenges at any time and should be already prepare for that. Success will therefore depends to what extent we train our human resources, giving them the necessary skills and to develop a new mindset and new ways to do things in order to keep competitive advantage on our competitors.
The problem statement
The pace of change is so rapid and job is becoming so complex that there should be a continuous process of training and development of the employees so as to obtain new skills, knowledge and attitudes.
However, some organizations are reluctant to send their employees on training because it costs a lot of money for the organizations and sometimes may cause disruption of work when especially core employees are sent on training. Moreover, some organizations developed their training programmes without a proper training needs analysis just because for the sake of training as it forms part of the policy.
Therefore, this study is done to investigate to what extent training and career development can lead to organizational effectiveness.
Objectives of the study
- To identify the employees' preferences and priorities within the organization
- To assess how the employees view training and career development in relation to their duties
- To analyze the different methods used by the organization for training and the opportunities given to employees to develop their career
- To make recommendations to the management so that all employees without distinction have the opportunities to go on training and to have a career development for them as far as possible
- What are the importance of training and career development from the view of employees?
- What are the different methods used by the organizations for training?
- What can be done for the effectiveness for both the organization and the employees?
Significance of the study
This study will allow the management of the organization to know where they stand exactly when it comes to training and career development of their employees. They will also able to know where their weakness lie and hence find means and ways to improve. It is then after that the organization will be able to fill the gap between the level of knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes required by job and the level of knowledge and skills possed by the employee.
The final analysis together with the recommendations may serve as a guide for the organization to value their HR resources as it should be, with the provision of proper training and to develop their own capabilities. Furthermore, this study will evaluate how training and career development of employees can be a source of motivation which can lead to organizational effectiveness.
Training and career development are two related processes that increase the capacity of the employees to contribute to the organization's mission and vision. Thus, the challenge is to continually find ways to invest in the development of the employees while balancing the requirements of the current work.
Due to the turbulent and increasingly competitive business environment in which we are living nowadays, organizations are becoming aware that it is their people that are their greatest asset, the source of any longer competitive advantage and also they are the ones that drive and make things to happen. So, in order to be competitive and successful, many organizations whether big and small, as well as private or public, are investing in their human resources in terms of training and development. Moreover, it is also a question of survival and of lasting among the competitors. Obviously, it is important for the employees to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for the overall effectiveness of the organization and career development is a source of motivation for employees to perform better.
However, it is not just only that human resources have become the most valuable, greatest and dependable asset within the organization but also an asset which has become the extremely disposable one's whenever the organization is facing a loss.Training
Several views exist by different authors for the definition of training; the Manpower Services commission's (1981:62), glossary of the training terms, defines training as 'a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities'. Its purpose in the work situation is to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy the current and future needs of the organization. According to Armstrong (2001), 'training is the formal and systematic modification of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience'. On the other hand, The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, CEDEFOP (1996:52), defines training as an 'activity or programme of activities designed to teach the skills and knowledge required for particular kinds of work'. Moreover, L.Goetsch & B.Davis define training as 'an organized, systematic series of activities designed to enhance an individual's work-related knowledge, skills and understanding or motivation'. Whatever the above different definitions of training, the meaning means more or less the same thing but in different words.
Training is the corner stone for sound management, for it makes employees more effective and productive. It is actively and intimately connected with all personnel and managerial activities and moreover forms an integral part of the whole management programme, with all its many activities inter related.
Reasons for training
Training can be initiated for a variety of reasons for an employee or group of employees.
- To increase productivity and quality whenever there is a desire to produce more with the same amount of money or less
- To help the organization fulfill its future personnel needs which forms part of succession planning
- Whenever a performance appraisal indicates that performance improvement is needed in a specific area
- To help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization and to build the capacity of the individual to take ownership
- To benchmark the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort
- To pilot or test the operation of a new performance management system
- Ability to use properly and effectively the best and latest technologies
- To improve health and safety
- As part of an overall professional development programme
- To train about a specific topic, for e.g. communications, computer skills, human relations, quality initiatives, diversity, ethics, customer service and sexual harassment
- Retain high and potential caliber staff
Importance of training
- Helps employees to develop and rise within the organization and thus increase their market value, earning power and job security
- Heightens the morale of employees for it helps in reducing dissatisfaction, complaints, grievances and absenteeism, thus reducing turnover
- New and changed techniques may be taken advantage of and improvements effected in the old methods
- Moulds the employees' attitudes and help them to achieve a better co operation and loyalty within the company
- Trained employees make a better and economical use of materials and equipments, thus reducing wastage and spoilage
- Reducing the degree of supervision
Benefits of training
Having a good training policy within the organization is beneficial to both the organization and employees in the way that an effective training is likely to achieve results oriented in terms of
- Ability to respond more quickly to market changes
- Acquisition of new knowledge and skills
- Improve output, quality and overall productivity together at a higher speed
- Increase job satisfaction and commitment of employees by encouraging them to take ownership
- Encourage teamwork
- Help to develop a positive culture
- Help employees to become polyvalent and can do several things at a time
- Reduce the number of accidents
- Provide quality service to customers
- Increase self-confidence within the employees
- Minimize costs
- Systematic training
Training doesn't happen in a vacuum but it needs to be plan. This type of training is specially designed to meet defined needs. It is planned and provided by people who know how to train and the impact of training is carefully evaluated. According to Armstrong (2001), systematic training is based on a simple four-stage model:
- Define training needs
- Decide what sort of training is required to satisfy these needs
- Use experience and trained trainers to plan and implement training
- Follow up and evaluate training to ensure that it is effective
According to Kenney and Reid (1994), planned training is 'a deliberate intervention aimed at achieving the learning necessary for improved job performance'. The process consists of the following steps:
- Identify and define training needs
- Define the learning required
- Define the objectives of learning
- Plan training programmes
- Decide who provide the training
- Implement training
- Evaluate training
- Amend and extend training as necessary
This type of training is a continuous process as it builds the capacity of managers and team leaders to an extensive and concentrated knowledge. Therefore, it should be established as a continuing activity at all levels of management.
As the name suggest, the aim is to equip sales representatives or agents with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits to meet or exceed sales targets.
Methods of training
A training method is the process, technique or approach which a trainer uses in teaching. It exists different methods of training and each one of them has its own uses, its advantages and disadvantages. Most training takes place on the job because this can be attributed to the simplicity and usually it costs lower on-the-job training methods. However, on-the-job training can disrupt the workplace and result in an increase in errors as learning proceeds. Training skills which are too complex to learn on the job, it should take place outside the work setting and is known as off-the-job training.
Induction training is important as it enables a new recruit to become productive as quickly as possible and can avoid costly mistakes by recruits not knowing the procedures or techniques of their new jobs. However, the length of induction training will vary from job to job and will depend on the complexity of the job, the size of the business and the level or position of the job within the business. Induction training can include
- Learning about the duties of the job
- Meeting new colleagues
- Seeing the layout premises
- Learning the values and aims of the business
- Learning about the internal workings and policies of the business
This is the most common, the most widely used and accepted and the most necessary method of training of employees in their skills essential for acceptable job performance. Workers learn under the watchful eyes of a master and receive immediate feedback and at the same time, pick up the skills whilst working along side experienced workers at their place of work. This method of training is relatively short period of time, cheaper and less time-consuming. Examples of on-the-job training are coaching, job rotation, special assignment and apprenticeship.Off-the-job training
It refers to training that is not part of everyday job activity. Off-the-job training takes place on special courses or in training centres which have been specially equipped and staffed for training or with associations which have no connection with the company. The more popular of off-the-job training are classrooms, lectures, conferences, videos and simulation exercises.
Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
TNA is carried out to identify the piticular area where a specific training programme is required to help the employees to acquire the skills and knowledge to perform his job efficiently and effectively. However, the training programme should be in-line with the objectives of the organization (mission, vision and direction). Training needs should be analyzed first for the organization as a whole, secondly for the departments or teams and thirdly for individual needs.
Same as training, several different definitions exist for the term career development. The term career on individuals is the course or progress through life and is considered to pertain to remunerative work. However, the term career in the 20th century referred to the series of jobs or positions by which one earned one's money and where a person's worth is often measured by the career success or failings. Career development is a process by which employees strategically explore, plan and create their future at work by designing a personal learning plan to achieve their potential and fulfill the organization's mission requirements. Moreover, it involves continual learning, seeking opportunities, taking risks and findings ways to contribute to the organization in a productive and motivated manner. According to Byars & Rue (2004), career development is 'an ongoing, formalized effort by an organization that focuses on developing and enriching the organization's human resources in light of both the employees' and the organization's needs'. On the other hand, the National Career Development Association Board of Directors (2003), defines career development as 'the total constellation of psychological, sociological, educational, physical, economic and chance factors that combine to influence the nature and significance of work in the total lifespan of any given individual'. From the point of view of Patricia Mc.Lagan (1989), career development is one of the core themes of human resource development and defines it as 'assuring an alignment of individual career planning and organization career-management processes to achieve an optimal match of individual and organization needs'.
Why is career development necessary?
Career development has nowadays become a strategic tool to maintain competitive edge. Organizations have become more and more dependent on highly qualified and adaptative knowledge workers who will contribute to the intellectual capital of the enterprise. From the point of view of the organization, career development can reduce costs due to employee turnover and employees are less likely to quit the organization especially when there is a proper assistance in developing their career plans and plans which are likely to be closely tied to the organization. Furthermore, career development can also improve morale, boost productivity and help the organization become more efficient. The fact that an organization shows interest in an employee's career development, this will definitely motivate the employee to give the best for the organization.
According to Byars & Rue (2004), career development has three objectives:
- To meet the immediate and future human resources needs of the organization on a timely basis
- To better inform the organization and the individual about potential career paths within the organization
- To utilize existing human resources programmes to the fullest by integrating the activities that select, assign, develop and manage individual careers with the organization's plans.
The organization should provide an effective training and career development to the workforce and use that as a strategic tool. This will improve employees' motivation, productivity and loyalty thus reducing absenteeism and labor turnover.
- Armstrong. M (2001) Human Resource Management practice
- Byars & Rue (7th edition) human resource Management
- Walton. J (1999) Strategic Human Resource Development
- Cole. G. A (5th edition) Management theory and practice