Discuss about the Learning and Development of People Project Proposal for Finances.
A meeting was convened between the junior managers and middle managers of our company mid this year. During the meeting, finance manager explained the challenges that the company was currently facing which included a focus on staffing, use of finances, public relations, corporate planning and employee conflicts.
The manager explained how the approach to learning and development would be the most appropriate in addressing these issues. After engaging in the discussions, the managers agreed that the approach to learning and development program would be highly beneficial to the company.it was agreed that the finance manager would provide a detailed proposal that describes specifically the learning and development interventions and how it works. This proposal itemizes the finance managers proposed a program which includes; objectives, work profile, problem statement, skills needed, and its details.
The following objectives outline the directions for learning and development:
- To create a culture of learning by developing a range of supporting approaches to learning and development.
- To improve access to cost-effective and quality learning opportunities.
- To develop a skilled workforce that is competitive in the market.
- Needs Analysis conducted
Over 90 staff responded to a survey that was conducted in July 2016 during their annual seminar. Several areas of interest were identified which needed to be looked into. They include; time management, project management, conflict resolution, communication and the use of computer software.
The learning and development program will involve those staff in the marketing and accounting departments. Among these staff, there are some who have been employed permanently while others are contractors. The groups will be heterogenic comprising a mix of the genders, age, personalities and nationality to provide chemistry for proper interactions and achievements. The groups will have a balance of male and female staff, young and old, blacks and whites which will increase the effectiveness of the groups.
The staff in the marketing department are important to the organization since their roles are to monitor competition, transmit brand values, innovation, improve sales process and customers and come up with marketing plans. On the other hand, those in accounting are required to maintain proper books of accounts of the company.
The company has human capital that uses to further its goals and objectives. Staff knowing computer, finance, accounting, management and many others are part of the company's human capital. All these employees have different levels of experience which include entry, skilled and supervisory.
The company’s major competencies include leadership and management. According to (Overton, 2017) leadership is a critical factor in the success of any business. From the research conducted by the company, it was identified that effective communication, management of change, effective engagement of employees and consultation are some of the areas combined to develop leadership capabilities. They are more innovative and willing to embrace change.
The core management capabilities include the establishment of clear roles and goals and encouraging employee involvement in performance management. According to (Van Dooren and Holligan, 2015) attainment of organization goals requires managers to view performance management as their core responsibility. This allows the staff to work under minimal supervision since they have a clear direction.
In as much as there are increased effects of learning and development among employees in organizations, the literature on the human resource development issues are still limited (Jackson and Jiang, 2014 p.33),(Burke and Noumair, 2015)and the increased concern from the company's customers towards the low quality of services. It is worth noting that the existing studies in relation to people learning and development in organizations. Cummings and Worley (2015) have taken a general view of human resource management (HRM) which has created a gap on performance issues such as effects of unclear strategies, poor customer service, lack of professionalism, and many others. These issues have led to customer dissatisfaction leading to decreased overall performance. To close this gap between the need for development and its accessibility, various inexpensive methods have been identified which will, in turn, allow managers to have a better understanding of some aspects in learning and development.
Communication skills. Managers need to listen to the concerns of the staff with full attention. This will allow them to manage conflict that arises in the organization in a way all parties get satisfied (Shockley, 2014). For employees to develop their full potential managers, need to provide positive, constructive feedback which motivates them to perform better.
Managers need to exhibit some leadership skills to execute training for workers effectively. The long-term vision for the department has to be developed and made clear to staff to ensure objectives are met (Anderson, 2016).
Currently, the company uses training as learning and development strategy. The process of training takes place on an individual level or as a team. Staff survey has been widely used in identifying areas that require development though throughout the little training attention was given to ensure consistency existed between learning and the overall organizational strategies.
Understanding the learning and development methods is very important to any organization. For this company, widely accepted and cheaper styles will be adopted which will look at personality traits of staff and aptitude when learning. The strategy adopted aims at aligning training goals with corporate goals and reduce the time to competency. These strategies include: on the job training, workshops, internal and external courses, compliance training, coaching and mentoring.
There are tremendous reasons on why the organization needs to adopt these strategies. Some of these reasons include;
- Improvement of the performance of the business and its productivity. This will help the organization gain a competitive advantage over its competitors in the market.
- Secondly, employees' skills and knowledge for the current roles will be improved. This will allow them to fulfill their organization's long-term and short-term objectives.
- Thirdly, it helps in organizational development whereby change can be easily managed, and shared values can be fostered among the staff.
These proposed learning and development strategies are extremely aligned with the objectives of the organization, and their adoption will mark the beginning of increased performance in the company. Many fast-growing organizations have adopted the 70:20:10 model of learning and development. Michael M Lombardo and Robert W Eichinger found that learning and development are most effective when it includes a combination of different learning approach.70 percent represented structured on the job learning, 20 percent represented relationship base learning, and 10 percent represented formal learning.
On the job training methods are cost-effective and less disruptive because employees are always at work, training is given on the same machines, and the trainee will be earning while learning. Some of these methods include; coaching which is a one on one training and is efficient in the identification of weak areas quickly. Mentoring focuses on developing employees' attitude towards the job. This should be done by a senior manager (Wilson, 2014).
According to (Manuti and Morciano, 2015 p.9), Formal learning is conducted mostly outside the job environment and requires study materials and full concentration from the staff. They include, simulation is the use of an artificial environment which is similar to the exact situation. The techniques to be used in training include; case study, role playing and in-basket training (Phillip, 2016).
Learning and development not only provides benefits to individuals but the organization as well allowing the business to run effectively. Investing in development is worthwhile because of the following outcomes;
- Through development, the organization will be able to identify weaknesses, skill gaps within the existing workforce and train them to fulfill their roles effectively (Ford, 2014)
- Through continued learning, staffs have a higher sense of job satisfaction which improves their motivation towards work.
- Regular learning allows staff to be in touch with the latest technology and can use them comfortably and to its potential.
- Design Considerations
The results of a survey done by the organization showed that employees were more comfortable with on the job training learning styles rather than the off the job because of the practical knowledge give. The formal method of learning will involve groups which will be composed of mixed demographics. The groups will have common goals which have to achieve at the end of the learning period. The employees will be provided with some reinforcements to ensure transfer of training. Some mechanisms to reinforce the training includes giving handouts, popping a post-training interview and provision of continual tips.
The success of any learning and development program depends on the implementation of certain factors affecting it. Since the business has some of the training resources, partial outsourcing will be the sort to complement what is available.in addition financial, human, material resources have to be mobilized for effective learning to take place. Learning should be arranged when it is required the most. Due to this reason, learning will take place at the time when the business is busy, and the dates will be blocked in advance.
Formal and informal ways of measuring learning will be adopted. They include;
- Balanced scorecards will be used where results are matched to strategy and vision of the company.
- Use of adoption reporting. This report will show whether the solutions reached the intended learners.
- Accountability cards and partners will be used in trying to change some behaviors that require observation and coaching.
Short-term retention of knowledge is the best way to evaluate the success of learning program. This can be done through,
Opportunities allow employees to work together, find and share information which is a great way to share knowledge (Agote and Guo, 2016 p.72).Knowledge transfer can also be achieved by the use of technology which captures key information to be used in the future
Supervisors need to use positive reinforcement to increase productivity and morale of employees. They need to encourage good conduct by rewarding good behavior (Sessa and London, 2015).
Conclusion/ Action Plan
Learning and development haven't been given keen interest in the previous years, something that has caused a lot of losses to the business. Based on the interventions discussed above the following needs to be implemented for improved performance: Employees must be mentored and coached so that they can improve their knowledge and skills. The old practice of training department making all decisions doesn’t seem to be effective hence learning requires inputs from the staff themselves (Roseman and Brocke, 2015 p.116)The human resource department needs to develop proper learning and development systems that are aligned with the organization goals.
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Burke, W.W., and Noumair, D.A., 2015. Organization development: A process of learning and changing. FT Press.
Cummings, T.G., and Worley, C.G., 2014. Organization development and change. Cengage Learning
Ford, J.K., 2014. Improving training effectiveness in work organizations. Psychology Press.
Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. and Jiang, K., 2014. An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.
Manuti, A., Pastore, S., Scardigno, A.F., Giancaspro, M.L. and Morciano, D., 2015. Formal and informal learning in the workplace: a research review. International Journal of Training and Development, 19(1), pp.1-17.
Overton, D.O.C.D., 2017. The Relationship between Knowledge Transfer, Team Learning, and Project Success in the Information Technology Field (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University).
Phillips, J.J. and Phillips, P.P., 2016. Handbook of training evaluation and measurement methods. Routledge.
Rosemann, M. and vom Brooke, J., 2015. The six core elements of business process management. In Handbook of business process management 1 (pp. 105-122). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Sessa, V.I. and London, M., 2015. Continuous learning in organizations: Individual, group, and organizational perspectives. Psychology Press.
Shockley-Zalabak, P., 2014. Fundamentals of organizational communication. Pearson.
Wilson, J.P., 2014. International human resource development: Learning, education, and training for individuals and organizations. Development and Learning in Organizations, 28(2).
Van Dooren, W., Bouckaert, G., and Halligan, J., 2015. Performance management in the public sector. Routledge
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