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Write an essay on L&D at Lloyds.

UK Lloyds Banking Group is a major financial institution in British (Schoenmaker, 2014). The organization is currently undergoing a major restructuring and in the interest of increasing cost to income ratio is laying off 9000 employees. The layoff is of the physical branches that are barely used due to revolution of online banking. The organization has committed to improve their IT services to ensure that the negative impact of a reduced workforce is effectively reduced. Also, to ensure that the negative impact stays minimum, Lloyds have decided to support the front line managers through L&D programs. To succeed in the same, the learning needs of the line managers need to be addressed (Senge, 2014).

The below report analyzes methods to identify L&D needs, the context in which L&D needs arise, how L&D effects organizational performance and compares various techniques and methods of learning. Furthermore, an understanding of how these needs can be met and validating the effectiveness of the same in reported below

For the case of Lloyds the report identifies coaching and induction as the best way to meet the learning needs of line managers. The other learning methods such as mentoring and shadowing have been considered but rejected as the same are not effective with a reduced workforce. The needs would be majorly met through focus groups, observation and discussion, online training and on job experience, keeping in mind the limited availability of branch staff and management (Liben, 2013). Also, the above L&D plan is initially deployed only in selected branches of Lloyds to test the increase in performance data and accordingly reconfigure the L&D plan if required

2.1 Methods to identify L&D needs

Organizations are increasingly recognizing the need for human resource development. Learning and Development is one of the key methods to ensure efficient workforce. The L&D program designed should be aligned to the business needs and priorities to achieve value. Also, the program should be cost-efficient delivering performance improvement and effective career development. Hence, it is no wonder that organizational requirements and priorities have to be initially identified to understand L&D requirements (Moon, 2013).

Organizational Requirements at Lloyds:

Develop skills of the existing workforce to ensure minimum negative impact of the layoff

Develop an efficient L&D practice to ensure that the organizational restricting does not affect the financial output of the organization

To be the best bank for customers

Ensure customer satisfaction by providing quick and efficient services

To ensure minimum errors and complaints that may lead to damage of reputation (Kolb, 2014)

Note that all the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled by Line mangers and hence enhancing their skills is crucial.

Need analysis can be made through

Document research: Reviewing the various documents on business plans, goal statements, critical issue reports, staffing reports and so on.

Interviews: Talking to both senior and junior employees to understand what they need to achieve the company’s goals

Observations: Watching how tasks are being done and how they can be changed to meet the business requirements

Surveys: Collecting requirements through questionnaire

Group discussion: Conducting discussion groups. (Edwards, 2013)

In case of Lloyd’s all the above method analysis techniques have to be optimally implemented to understand the programs that need to be developed to support line managers to work in a limited workforce environment.

2.2 What leads to L&D needs

L&D needs are required in cases where an improvement in the skills of the employees of the organization is needed. L&D is present in Lloyds at all levels as learning is a continuous process that leads to efficient employees and management, also ensure professional development. The below are some of the contexts where the requirement of L&D is high

Organizational Restructuring: A change in the organizational design and business process is one of the key factors that raise the need of L&D. To redefine how an organization works, the employees of the organization should be trained first to be change ready and later be ready to learn and understand the processes in place (Robbins, 2013).

Layoffs: When a reduction in workforce is seen, it is obvious that the remaining employees would have to compensate for the loss. To make sure that the impact of layoff is kept to minimum, the existing workforce has to be trained and their skills need to be sharpened (Guthrie, 2014).

Performance Improvement: To ensure increase in productive levels of employees

Professional development: To ensure all round development of employees

Cost-effective labor: To help employees perform multiple tasks at one go.

An efficient and skilled employee would be able to work quickly and be effective at assisting a customer. The knowledge acquired through various learning activities would help the employee, deal with the customer in an improved manner, ensuring that the customer is satisfied. All this inevitably leads to improvement in the organizational performance, as organization itself is made up of employees and the development of an employee directly effects the organizational performance.

2.3 Learning Methods and techniques

In the context of Lloyds, four main learning methods are identified.

Coaching: It is a one-on-one discussions of employees to understand the learning needs and focuses on improving performance and development skills of individuals. The coach observes, listens to what the line manager is doing and guides him to align his work to the business requirements (Crane, 2014). Coaching is usually done by an experienced managers who themselves are trained in delivery the business requirements

Mentoring: It is extremely similar to coaching and hence the words are used interchangeably. However, mentoring usually involves highly skilled managers who have focused experience on a particular job and are expert in one key area (Johnson, 2015). These managers guide the line manager to improve the skills of line managers.

Shadowing: It is more of an on job training where the trainee follow the trainers to observer how the trainer work on various tasks and handle customers

Material Learning: This method provides documents written on various business process and the trainee has to read through all of them and give a written test to improve skills

Of the above mentioned methods Coaching and Mentoring are considered by Lloyd as these can be done even if focused group setup. Due to the reduce in workforce shadowing is not ideal and material learning is time consuming

To meet the L&D needs, Lloyds can use two main methods of learning intervention.

Induction: Induction is the process of helping the employees get accustomed to the new environment of work. The induction program comprises of orientation, where the expectation from the employee and the business requirements are clearly explained. All the key policies, functions, an introduction to senior employees and so on are done to help the employees understand their role in the organization (Kutsyuruba, 2015). At Lloyds orientation would be done to all the new front line managers to set expectations and goals, and provide them a socializing platform with their mentors.

The available training programs, L&D policies, departmental organization, performance management system etc., would be detailed to the employees

E-learning: One other effective learning intervention is e-learning. An e-learning portal can be established to provide formal training, through recorded sessions by various managers, online documentation, webinars, virtual learning environments and so on. The major advantage with e-learning activities is that the training sessions can happen from anywhere around the world and it is not necessary to gather groups in one place (Marquardt, 2014).

Learning Methods and Techniques

E-learning followed by coaching and mentoring will provide a complete L&D program for the line managers of Lloyds.

The L&D program has induction as its first action, where the line managers are explained their roles and responsibilities, the business requirements and are informed regarding the various L&D programs both mandatory and optional they would have to undergo, to achieve organizational goals. The second step is to conduct e-learning sessions, where all the basic material that helps the employees understand how things work and how they need to work to ensure customer satisfaction. Several classes on soft skills are also delivered as a part of the activity (Robles, 2012). Then the line managers has focused group discussions with the senior management to understand if all the formal learning needs have been fulfilled. The line managers are then divided into smaller groups and are coached by senior managers as a part of on job training. In case a line manager requires additional intervention mentoring is done.

4. Conclusion

The L&D practices of coaching and mentoring when combined with induction programs and e-learning activities can prove to be highly beneficial especially in contexts where a reduction in workforce is seen. However, this strategy is designed based on the business requirements at Lloyds. The same may not be true for all organizations and hence, a critical need analysis should be done to develop L&D programs for individual organizations. 

5. References

Crane, T.G. and Patrick, L.N., 2014. The heart of coaching: Using transformational coaching to create a high-performance coaching culture.

Edwards, G., Elliott, C., Iszatt-White, M. and Schedlitzki, D., 2013. Critical and alternative approaches to leadership learning and development. Management Learning, 44(1), pp.3-10.

Guthrie, J.P., Li, P. and Meschke, F., 2014, January. Layoffs, Affective Human Capital, and Firm Performance. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2014, No. 1, p. 15663). Academy of Management.

Johnson, W.B. and Ridley, C.R., 2015. The elements of mentoring. Macmillan.

Kolb, D.A., 2014. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press.

Kutsyuruba, B. and Walker, K., 2015. The Role of Trust in Developing Teacher Leaders Through Early-Career Induction and Mentoring Programs. Antistasis, 5(1).

Liben, L.S. ed., 2013. Development and learning: conflict or congruence?. Psychology Press.
Moon, J.A., 2013. Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice. Routledge.

Marquardt, M.J., 2014. Building the learning organization: Mastering the 5 elements for corporate learning. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Robbins, S., Judge, T.A., Millett, B. and Boyle, M., 2013. Organisational behaviour. Pearson Higher Education AU.

Robles, M.M., 2012. Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), pp.453-465.

Schoenmaker, D. and Peek, T., 2014. The state of the banking sector in Europe.

Senge, P.M., 2014. The fifth discipline fieldbook: Strategies and tools for building a learning organization. Crown Business.

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