Fair price stores has the greatest capacity to grow within a short period of time though effective management. Learning and development has been the major drive for business growth in the world for centuries. Proper learning and training is expected to give maximum returns to the business enterprise. This is because this is geared towards the achievement of individual and corporate needs in an organisation. Learning being a continuous process it needs to be embrace at all levels of organisation. For instance, the changes in terms of science and technology require both individuals and organisation to be abreast with those changes. Reliance on random learning seems to be ineffective and as such proper structure of learning should be put in place within an organisation. Evidence has it that proper planning enhances an individual’s capacity to perform a particular duty. At fair price store it has been found that most employees do not have training, for instance, the supervisors are not able to control the simple cases of absenteeism. This is because they are doing their wok manually instead of having a written plan which is more effective. The learning process here needs to be well evaluated in terms of individual needs before its implementation.
A case in point is the difference between the manager’s needs and those of the employees. Training therefore should target individuals if it has to give the desired results. There is also a need for seminars where learning and development professionals are invited to give more insight and this can only be achieved if the top manager laid proper strategies. Factually, there is a need to embrace IT which is very important in cost benefit analysis. The use of technology gives more output within shorter time and also increases efficiency and effectiveness. For maximum output learning and development is very important and therefore improving the input should entail training of the employees. The department of L&D should introduce several training skills. Employees are valuable to an organisation in their present potential as well as their future contribution in the fulfillment of the business objectives.
Terms of reference
Charged with the responsibility of being a store manager for fair price store I thought it rational to carry out a research in order to find appropriate ways to improve the welfare of the organisation. This report shall be presented to the area manager with necessary recommendations for further action. The scope of the report is based on the analysis of the stores performance for the period of one year. The report shall point out the strengths and weakness of the organisational structures and how they affect the performance.
Organisations make investments in e-learning solutions with the expectation that the solutions will have a measurable impact on performance by achieving specific business outcomes. Measuring the value of learning solutions enables organisations to demonstrate the return on investment they make in training. In addition, organisations that measure training are able to increase the contribution of their learning solutions using continuous improvement processes that drive higher levels of return through enhanced performance over time.
This report is based on a research done within Fair Price stores which is the road path to expand and even become a mega store in town.
The methods used in the collection of the information include;
Ø Observation of the employees as they performed their duties. Of course this was done unconscious of the employees.
Ø Interviewing some of the employees in the supermarket in order to ascertain what their beliefs were in regards to their jobs, management and employee development.
Ø Consultation with Jill Stuart a specialist in learning and development at the R.G.U
Ø Use of questionnaires. These were administered to the supervisors who gave necessary details on their department.
The many employees interviewed confessed their inability to use modern technology was a set back to their performance. It was found that within Fair Price most of the employees lack proper training that will assist them in problem solving. An example is the supervisors who could not even recognise the number of people absent due to lack proper record for tracking those who are absent from their work.
It was also found that the organisation does not accommodate new changes. The Laissez Faire form of leadership has prevailed in the organisation and seemingly rubbed on to the supervisors who are unable to implement other more effective leadership styles. In addition the IT in the organisation has been given a back seat which in turn has resulted in low output and expansion of the business.
Disparity in the organisation workforce was also evident. It was established that 75% of the 200 staff members are women. This translates to 150 staff members being women and 50 staff members being men yet at managerial level was an obvious absence of female mangers.
The customer care skills were also found to be wanting. This is because must of the employees were not trained on customer care needs. It was also established that because of the expansion of the store through the buying of the Gateway Supermarket there was a need to recruit new employees to occupy vacancies and creating more jobs to the people.
Business justification for training and development strategy
Training of employees is very important as will lead to personal betterment which will consequently lead positive outcomes in the actual performance for the organisation. Training essentially is meant to sharpen the skills of an individual in relation to the job opportunity one is performing. Within an organisation there is a need to promote individuals into higher capacities. It is then through training that this individuals acquire new skills that would prepare an individual for future challenges. (Cunningham, Dawes & Bennett, 2004 Hackett, 2003). Training with assist both the individual and the organisation at large thus it is important for an organisation to improve specific skill areas that are related to businesses. For instance employees should be encouraged to take courses in customer care and leadership skills. This will also help in erasing the ingrained culture of a laizzers faire work atmosphere. The managers too need training in management. Honestly, the management at fair price is shoddy and not up to date. Perhaps this is the reason behind the absenteeism. The employees do not feel valued by management.
At this point the issue of the disparity in management arises. I feel that it is time the women in the company were given a chance to advance in the workplace and take up more demanding and powerful post. This is because they would bring about equality in the organisation and compensate the areas that their male counterparts may be lacking. For example, they would be better placed in understanding the issues that afflict the women employees as well as designing training programs suitable for the female workers.
Investment in training has been given little importance within the organisation for many years this has led to static skills. Of the many factors that come into play when determining the proper training, delivery approach, efficiency, timeliness, consistency, and appropriateness of delivery method the key limitation is typically training program cost. (Forsyth, 2001). Program cost, which includes among other factors, the cost of initial development, instructor’s time, material, travel, and opportunity cost of the learner, can vary widely for similar programs depending on the delivery method. Despite the high cost the outcomes are worthwhile in enhancing service delivery and performance. (Mayo, 2004)
The small sample of employees interviewed offered that they needed more exposure in particular skills say the use of IT, leadership and management customer service among others. The supervisors argued that their subordinates’ lack of vital skills hampered delegation of duties. On the other hand the subordinates argued that their supervisors were not delegating the duties to them. All this counter accusations can be resolved through proper training which instills knowledge and skills among the employees and boosts confidence in the management to more delegate duties. I believe that training will stimulate healthy competition among employees hence dead wood employees will be kept on toes to always be productive. This is an advantage to the company. (Truelove, 2006).
The changes in science and technology need to be recognised as away of improving the results in an organisation. There is a need for the organisation to invest in IT for the employees to get suitable working results. Sponsoring employees to computer training is expected to give them background knowledge skills and up-to-date information needed to support the systems of organisation. ICT has a critical role to play in development efforts around the world. (Bee ; Bee, 2003).
Lately, there has been a great understanding of ICT as an essential component of broader efforts to harness the free flow of information to increase voice, accountability, and economic development. ICT is, and will continue to be, a catalyst in advancing economic growth and poverty reduction. New information and communication technologies overcome the barriers of distance and time, and significantly improve the accessibility of information and knowledge. As a result, the sharing of information and knowledge quickly and effectively becomes feasible and acts as a key element in achieving development goals and mitigating the impact of unforeseen events. The justification for the expenses of career programs is that they decrease turnovers, but increase productivity, instill coordination and also improve efficiency.
The major theme running through human resource management is the acknowledgement that employees are valued assets of the organisation, that there should be an active interplay between a strategy for the human resources and the main strategy for the business. (Armstrong 1992, Sheal, 1994). With technology we shall be expected to wok for few hours have better customer services and employ fewer people to the organisation which will consequently increase the performance. Further training promotes motivation among the workers as it imparts new knowledge and skills to the workers who strive to use the acquired skills. It is paramount that training has both short term and long term benefits. Training promotes understanding between departments by exposing each other to different departments. (Buckley ; Caple, 1996 Reid, Barrington ; Brown, 2004).
This is crucial in the event that one is missing in a particular office the work does not have to stop. Multi-skills is therefore very important in introduction departmental flexibility. The horizontal organisation structures in our organisation necessitate departmental flexibility which can only be achieved by training. Therefore learning and development is vital for organisational success and should be done based on the needs. (Rae, 1998)
The gender issue is a contemporary aspect that needs to be addressed if the organisation is to achieve its goals. In the organisation the self esteem of the women who are many need to be recognised by giving them the same top management posts. This will motivate all the women who are many the organisations as they will feel recognised in their places of work when one of them is elevated.
PRODUCING L;D STRATEGY
L;D strategy involves five steps:
1. Agree on the strategy-making team: this should involve a broad-based group incorporating not only the key functional players but also a range of mindsets to challenge
accepted thinking and generate fresh thinking about L;D strategy. (Simmonds, 2003).
2. Clarify organisational mission: identify the espoused purpose of the organisation and
its long-term goals.
3. Explore core values: carry out internal and external stakeholder analysis to clarify
the organisation’s identity in the eyes of its employees and of the outside world
_ its vision and values, and whether or not they are shared across the organisation.
Values espoused at the top but not reflected in actions and behaviours
in the organisation (whether at the top itself or elsewhere) will hinder the
implementation of any strategy that is underpinned by those values
_ the basic needs it exists to meet, and its ultimate clients. If organisations in the
National Health Service, for example, could truly achieve their mission, what
would the world then look like for their patients and the communities that they
_ what currently stands in the way of the organisation meeting those needs?
_ what makes the L;D function distinctive in this organisation, either in positive or
4. Carry out SWOT analysis to identify the strategic issues facing the organisation:
Draw on professional and business knowledge to analyse the data, relating to the then information generated about the organisation’s enacted mission and values to diagnose the strategic issues faced by the organisation. (Meighan, 2000). Then prioritise these, for example in terms of issues to keep an eye on for the future – they do not need immediate action but they may throw up problems or opportunities at some later point in time issues that the organisation can handle within its ongoing plans and activity and
so need no new strategies to tackle them- issues that are relevant to the HR area – these will provide the frame for the next
and final step.
5. Agree an L;D strategy and strategic plan: agree on L;D goals and strategy to tackle
long and short-term issues that have L;D implications. Long-term goals for the function
should be set, and then a strategy for the shorter term to guide progress towards
them.‘Long-term’ and ‘shorter-term’ are subjective terms. For a small firm ‘long term’
may only be a couple of years, for a large organisation considerably longer. (Simmonds, 2003).
This stage involves generating options, with careful analysis of what each would involve, its
feasibility and the added value it would bring before agreeing on a strategy and then on a
corporate L;D plan to carry it out. Scenario planning is often used at this stage. Its purpose
is to confront uncertainty by thinking of different possible future scenarios, in this case both
for the organisation and for the L;D function. A team that includes lateral thinkers from a
wide variety of backgrounds is chosen, ideally from outside as well as from within the organisation so that contrasting mindsets and bodies of knowledge are brought to bear on the
planning process. The process aims to produce a clearer understanding of the forces that
drive change in the organisation and in the L;D function by generating a variety of strongly
contrasting possible future paths for both. Through a thorough exploration of these multiple
HRD Performance Evaluation Guide
The planning process sometimes can be intangible bug there are certain indicators of learning to have take place in a person. After learning, evaluation is expected to be applied in order to ascertain whether any skill was imparted to an individual. For this reason the following shall parameters shall be used to test whether positive learning has been achieved and how is it applied. Kirk Patrick’s four levels of training evaluation model can be used essentially to measure.
(a)Reaction of student on what they thought and felt about the training.
(b)Learning-whether positive increase of knowledge and skills has been achieved. This can
be known if the student is able to change theory into practice.
(C) Behaviour-to which extend is the behaviour and capability improved. How is the student
able to apply the knowledge and skills in changing the manner of doing duties.
(d) Results-the effects on the business or environment resulting from the trainee’s
performance. What should b ascertained here is whether the trainee has improved the
All these measures are recommended for full and meaningful evaluation of learning in organisations, although their application broadly increases in complexity. Behaviour changes are actually possible if the employee is given a duty to execute duties that require the use of the knowledge learnt from the training. Development centers should be established where HR department is most likely to see and respond to new opportunities for the support and development of the people and to meet new demands when seen
The following types of tests are very crucial when establishing training and evaluation procedures:
1. Psychometric tests and instruments – these may be administered by Hr or L;D
professionals in order to assist the person and their line manager to explore relevant factors.
2. 360 degree feedback – in many organisations this has become the dominant mode in order
to get richer evidence of needs of individuals within an organisation. The above tests
evaluate three major areas: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor.
n Learning agreements and personal impact maps
n Work samples
n Role plays
n Structured observations
n Surveys of supervisors and direct reports/clients
n Focus groups
n 360/180 degree feedback
n Workplace trials and assessments
n Instructor ratings
The following are some of the ways of collecting information in order to establish whether learning has taken place:
n Structured observations
n Work samples
n Repeat needs assessment/feedback
n Critical incidents
n Assessment centres
n Focus group process
n Individual impact maps
n Individual learning agreements
Instrument Evaluation Criteria and its Effectiveness as learning tool
1 Accuracy of information: contents are tested and actualised by experts,
2 Educational significance of knowledge, relevant
3 Appropriate academic references
4 Suitable levels of detail and difficulty
6 Balanced presentations of ideas
7 The ideas are expressed clearly and concise
8 Without any grammar, syntactic or orthographical error
Effectiveness as Learning Tool
9 Presents clearly the learning objects and the expected competences
10 Ability to motivate, and stimulate the interest of the identified learners
11 Contents are adequate to the proposed learning objects
12 Promote the discovery learning
13 Proposes creative activities and problems resolution according to the objectives
14 Provides an evaluation system suitable to the learning objectives
15 Allows the contents adaptability to the students level
16 Meets students cognitive variety
Training Evaluation ; Feedback
course title ; date ………………………………………………………………
specific highlights and/or suggested improvements?
Enjoyment: Did I enjoy the course?
New knowledge and ideas: Did I learn what I needed to, and did I get some new ideas?
Applying the learning: Will I use the information and ideas?
Effect on results: Do I think that the ideas and information will improve my effectiveness and my results?
Any other general comments?
Table 1.1 showing Kirk Patrick’s four levels of training evaluation model.
Ø I recommend that the IT to be introduced within the organisation to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the checkout points. Technology saves time and increases the output. Computers should be introduced and employees should be trained in their use for maximum impact.
Ø The recruitment and promotion of the staff should be done fairly and in transparency. Notably there is a great disparity in fair price management and women should be given more chances of promotion to management although underlying this exercise is merit based promotions. This implies women who are competent be given more chances of netting promotion. Proper staff shall give excellent results. In this respect I recommend that women should also be considered for management levels to create a balance desired for good results.
Ø Rigorous interviews should be conducted in order to enhance the quality the recruited. This is because the human resource is an important asset that gives competitive edge. Highly qualified employees need less training hence less liability to the company. Good interview questions that can predict the future performance of the interviewee.
Ø Customer care services should be introduced and the employees get necessary training in relation to customer care. This is because the customers are important and they need to be retained if the business is to retain its continuity. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) comprises updating particular areas of competence, developing personal and management skills and broadening experience leading to new opportunities. The challenges and opportunities of the work experience enhance the maintaining CPD.
The future of Fair Price stores is entirely dependent on the organisational structures to be put in place. The poor levels of supervision can be sowed by proper training of those employees working and those to be recruited thereon. The nature of the training will determine the future results in term of attitude, behaviour and habits. A positive transformation is expected especially with the introduction of the IT.
Report compiled by Douglas Forbes (manager fairprice stores)
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