1.Give a description of the Organisation, and explain the need for a training program to address its current problem/situation.
2.Describe the characteristics of adult learners you are developing the training program for.
3.Discuss the various strategies you will use to implement the proposed training program.
4.Discuss the evaluation method you will use to assess the effectiveness of the training program.
The current assignment studies the importance of strategic human resource development for the growth and sustenance of the Woolworths Company in the global market. The Woolworths Company is an Australia based supermarket/grocery store chain owned by the Woolworths limited. The Woolworths supermarket along with the Coles group account for 80% of the Australian supermarket. Thus, the market share of the organization being huge calls for effective measures to be adopted for strategic human resource management of the organization. There is a wide range of products offered by the Woolworths supermarket are fresh fruits, vegetables, sea food, freshly baked products along with freezers and drinks. Some of the other products offered by the company are pet and baby products along with household items.
The organization comprises of a number of different departments and sub-department. However, for the smooth functioning of the organization, there is a need to provide sufficient growth opportunities to the workforce. This is accomplished by means of strategic human resource development programs aimed at training the workforce. Thus, a well-trained workforce helps in enhancing the productivity of the organization. The current assignment focuses on the impact of the training program in addressing the problem situation of the organization. However, for the purpose of the implementation of the training programs the learning need and requirements of the workforce needs to be analysed.
1.Description of the organization and need of the training program to address the current problem situation
Description of the organization
The Woolworths supermarket along with the Coles group of companies holds the majority of the share of the Australian supermarket. The market provides a wide variety of products such as the basic groceries, packed food items, freezers and pantry. It also customises in baby foods and household or beauty products. The organization consists of a number of department and sub-departments comprising of a huge number of workforce. However, as argued by Purce (2014), the shortage of skilled employees possessing relevant marketing skills can act as a hindrance for the company. As commented by Steffen et al. (2015), half of the jobseekers in the current Australian scenario are the migrants.
Thus, a number of challenges need to be addressed in the recruitment of the migrants within the Woolworths company. Some of the challenges faced here are language barriers among the few. Most of the migrants are from countries such as China, Vietnam, Italy, being some of the few. As commented by MacArthur et al. (2014), a seismic wave has resulted in the Australian job sector due to a huge exodus of indigenous Australians. Most of the indigenous Australians have failed to find a job within their own specialisations, thus promulgating the exodus. In order to settle the huge workforce gap, there is a need to absorb more people from different nationalities on board. However, as argued by Alfes et al. (2013), language often becomes a constraint in most of the cases. This results in a huge communication gap within the organization resulting in differences of opinion within the workforce. In the last few months, the Woolworths supermarket has seen a huge number of employee turnovers. A survey conducted within the organization have pointed out that stringent policy measures along with the inability to cater to the development needs of the employees have been a major cause for the employee turnover.
Need of training
The aim of Woolworths Limited has been “to treat our people with dignity and respect”. Thus, the organization has always strived at providing sufficient growth opportunities for the overall well being of their employees. However, the current statistical reports have pointed out towards a number of gaps or loophole. The figures and statistics have reported that the employee turnover rate within the age group of 15-24 is as high as 63%. Similarly, the number of full-time workers of the organization is only 29%. Thus, unpaid overtime and highly strict demands are some of the factors, which have resulted in a huge rate of employee turnover. Reports and evidence in the form of feedbacks posted by the ex-employees in job sites such as Indeed Australia have pointed out at managing strict demands from the customers as one of the downsides of working with Woolworths. Moreover, many have even complained about being bullied by customers on being unable to redress their demands properly.
The aim of designing the training program was to help by providing the employees with sufficient skills and marketing gimmick in order to deal with the hard-to-handle customers.
2.Characteristics of adult learners
In order to develop a suitable training program for the workforce of the organization, there is a need to focus on the characteristics of the adult learners. The needs and requirements of the workforce need to be evaluated in order to design effective training programs. As commented by Kehoe & Wright (2013), tailoring the training as per the suitability of the learner can help in the development of a positive culture of work within the respective organization. The adults like to take control their own learning and development needs. Thus, the training needs to provide a self –direction to the employees. As asserted by Noe et al. (2014), the employees should be able to access their own performances throughout the training program. They can establish that with the help of establishing a strong relationship with their peers and instructor. The learning measures should be supported by multiple options to ease the process of learning of the employees. As commented by Guise et al. (2017), effective participation from the instructor is required. This particularly helps in figuring out the difficulties that the participants may be facing throughout the learning program.
The adults are practical and result oriented, therefore, more comprehensive content needs to be designed for them. It should be able to answer the different queries one might have regarding practical marketing approaches. Thus, ready-made and full proof solutions need to be provided which will help them in meeting the requirements of the highly demanding jobs. As commented by Noe et al. (2014), the adults are more resistant to change owing to life experiences. The past learning experiences have a much more rigid imprint on the adult mind. Therefore, as commented by Kehoe & Wright (2013), each theory need to be supported by a “why”. This helps in substantiating the new concepts and replacing the old ones.
The Woolworths chain of company advocates discussion and sharing of knowledge over large-scale platforms. It is mostly encouraged by the past work life experiences of the employees in similar or different organizations. As argued by Guise et al. (2017), such sharing of knowledge helps in deeper integration of knowledge. Learning in adulthood is driven by intrinsic motivation rather than forced compulsion. As argued by Noe et al. (2014), the lack of motivation in the employees can act as a hindrance to achieving the objectives of the concerned organization. Thus, the Woolworth organization needs to promote more motivational spirits in the employees for participating in the training programs. In this context, one of the practices adopted by the Woolworths supermarket chains is providing of performance bonus and incentives to the employees. This helps in generating interest in the employees towards attending the training programmes. The adults constantly have to juggle between a number of roles and responsibilities. Therefore, there is a need to design tailor made programs which would be both time and cost effective.
3.Strategies to implement the training program
A number of strategies can be used for the implementation of the training program. The strategies are designed based on the learning needs of the students such as- structure learning, semi-structured and unstructured learning. The structured learning is where a teacher or an instructor controls the learning. The mode of training is based upon theory session and learning session (Reicks et al. 2014). The theory session is used for the inculcation of deeper levels of knowledge in the employees regarding the marketing skills. The incorporation of the theoretical knowledge helps them in dealing with the high demanding situations with more ease and comfort. This helps in making the staff more competent in enhancing the market sales apart from ensuring customer retention. This helps in providing the organization with a competitive advantage over other similar market players in the industry.
The theory method of teaching can also be supported by lecture method of teaching. The lecture method of teaching helps in addressing a much wide section of audiences at a much nominal rate (Daniels et al. 2014). The theories help in reinstating the values and skills within an individual and have a rigid effect on the mind of the learners.
The semi-structured learning strategies are based on learning through interactions and are mostly encouraged by discussion, case studies and role-plays. In this context, the discussion puts emphasis upon the past life as well as the work experiences of the employees (Kris-Etherton et al. 2014). As commented by Marzano et al. (2014) learning through flaws helps an individual in meeting the required objectives of a high-constrained job. Moreover, the same can act as a stimulus where similar instances of disagreement with the customers can be avoided in the future. As commented by Lin et al. (2013), case studies highlighting similar problem situations can help the employees in being market ready. Additionally, they can be called for role-playing where they engage with each other through practical dialect. It helps them in understanding the situation better where they learn to interpret situations and responses through words. Thus, the role play also plays a crucial role in the aspect of communication where the employees learn to deal with the customers in an effective manner through effective communication. As commented by Kennedy (2014), fluid and transparent communication are crucial with regards to the aspect of customer retention. Additionally, experiential learning cam is beneficial in the development of depth knowledge (Reames et al 2015). In this respect, the experiential learning can be divided into a number of steps such as learning instruments, stimulation and projects. In as commented by Chen (2014), the employees can be asked to gather personal data through drafting survey questionaries. The questionnaires can then be used for generating personal enlightenment and learning stimulation in an individual. The employees could also be asked to conduct projects where they could learn within a practical scenario the different steps, which could be taken for the purpose of enhancement of the productivity of the workforce.
The concept of unstructured learning can be divided into problem-based learning, contract learning and action learning. In this respect, the contract is simply based on course and curriculum design. The study module helps in achieving the step wide learning requirements within a practical setup. The action learning, on the other hand, is based on conducting a research where the employees are provided with a number of multiple options to choose from. This will help the employees in becoming more flexible in meeting the demands and needs of the people. In this respect, the Woolworths supermarket needs to introduce a number of diverse training programs to cater to the diverse needs of the employees. However, as argued by Sikora, & Ferris (2014), a number of challenges are suffered in meeting with the implementation of the training needs and programs. Thus, sufficient support needs to be provided to the organization in terms of funds and investments. As commented by Han et al. (2013), the participation of stakeholders can play an effective role in meeting the demands of the organization. The organization need to conduct a survey of the potential stakeholders and the interest vested upon by them in the sponsoring the training events.
4.Evaluation method to access the effectiveness of the training program
A number of methods may be followed for the evaluation of the training program such as conducting of written tests. The tests help in evaluating the level of knowledge gathered by the employees in the training program. The written tests could further be divided into objective and subjective written test. The objective test would help in testing the level of knowledge possessed by the employees. Additionally, the written test would provide them with the space to elaborate their knowledge. As commented by Wright et al. (2014), dividing the workforce into control group methods would help in testing the learning behaviours of the different employees. It can be a basis of comparative analysis where the employees are asked to provide group wise feedbacks regarding the different marketing campaigns. The Woolworths supermarket can use these campaigns in order to implement the desired changes within the company framework. Additionally, the use of log diaries can be beneficial in taking a note of the different measures which could be undertaken for achieving the changes within the company structure and policies. The logbook helps in keeping a tab on the constant performance and evolvement of the employees.
As commented by Chadwick et al. (2015), the use of models such as Kirkpatrick model can be used in order to achieve the desired outcomes. The model can be broken down into a number of steps such as evaluating the needs and goals, evaluating the HRD design, measuring the learning outcomes. These steps can be helpful in achieving the desired outcomes by the implementation of the required training programs.
The current assignment focuses on the need of the development of strategic human resources for increasing the productivity of the organization. Thus, the organization needs to provide sufficient training and growth opportunities to its employees. This helps in adding a competitive advantage to the organization. The biggest competitors of the Woolworths supermarket are the Coles group. Therefore, there is a constant pressure from the rival organizations in terms of value added services.
Additionally, a well-trained workforce helps in customer retention by providing the best-in-class services to the organization. In this respect, the training measures help in achieving the personal and productive requirements of the staff. In this context, the training program would help in meeting the organizational loopholes by providing the employee with sufficient competency. This further helps in preventing the rapid rates of employee turnover, which has been a problem with the Australian, based Woolworths organization. Thus, answering the deficits and needs of the employees helps in generation of employee motivation. Employee motivation is indispensable for the achievement of the organizational objectives to the fullest.
In this respect, effective strategies and measures need to be adopted for promoting a strategic human resource development. The strategies should be based on the requirements of the employees. Thus, occasional surveys need to be made a part of the organizational policies, which helps in understanding the employee requirements.
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