Additional Staff To Handle The Increased Workload Management Essay

Given the importance of a skilful and knowledgeable workforce in a business organisation, hiring additional staff to handle the increased workload is not the only solution. It would be better if staff is more productive and efficient. This is because in this competitive world, training is becoming a major issue for most organisations. Thus, training enables the worker to produce better results by continuously increasing productivity and efficiency.

The importance of training has long been recognized but the significance of training need analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of the training programmes. Without an evaluation, business activities will go on but no value will be added in the level of performance. In most business enterprise, evaluation after training often falls on the low end of the priority list.

Due to the increasing level of competition of service business and high demand of the customers, high quality is crucial to measure the level of satisfaction of the customers dealing with the State Bank of Mauritius. The objective of the study are to determine the area where there is need to increase the quality of service being offered in the organisation so as to increase customer satisfaction as well as competitivity on the market. This will be done by enhancing the training needs assessment in the organisation. And the study will attempt to make recommendations wherever possible to increase the training programmes so as the service offered would be more customer oriented.

To undertake the survey an overview of the organisation is made. A background study is established with the review of the literature on the training, the training needs assessment and the customer service. The review is based on the literature found in books and internet sources.

The questionnaire of this study was design to target 100 customers to be selected randomly, to get their views on the level of quality of service being offered the State Bank of Mauritius. The data will be collected from the questionnaires will be analysed in depth will support of relevant graphs.

Ultimately, recommendations and suggestions will be provided to improve the findings on the field of study.

Abstract

1

Table of content

2

Introduction

3

Management Problem

4

Background of study

5

Literature Review

6-11

Aims of the study

12

Objectives

12

Research Questions

12

Definition of terms

13-14

Nature of the study & Research Design

15

Sample

16

Data Collection

17-18

Data Analysis

19

Validity & Reliability

20

Ethical Considerations

20

Significance of the study

21

Conclusion

22

Bibliography

23-24

Appendices1: Draft Covering Letter

25

Appendices2: Draft Questionnaire

26-28

Table of Content

Introduction

Training has long been an issue for organizations. Time and expense are the main issues that consistently surface in training needs assessment. Specially, there is a great desire for banking organisation to obtain training to be able to give higher and better level of service to the consumer in this industry.

A pivotal aspect of this desire was the goal of stronger communication, cooperation and collaboration between the communities, the business enterprise. Training was identified as an immediate problem to be addressed.

Due to the local and global competition, training is becoming vital for organisation for delivering quality customer service. Therefore, training is said to be crucial both for the employer and the employee. Increase in knowledge and skills make the staff more productive in his workplace and thus will be considered as a valuable asset for the organisation.

However, despite its importance, the evaluation phase is usually inconsistent or totally absent in many cases. This may be due to factors internal to the organisation or perhaps the main reason behind this is that the tasks of evaluation of the training needs are too complex.

The training needs assessment is a critical activity for the training and development function. Whether you are a human resource generalist or a specialist, you should be adapting at performing a training needs assessment. It is important to have an overview of the training and development function and how the needs assessment fits into this process, followed by an in-depth look at the core concepts and steps involved in conducting a training needs assessment.

The Training Needs Assessment that resulted is the subject of this research paper.

Management Problem

In spite that the fact that the labor force is highly qualified and that they receive a certain level of training, it has been noted that the training needs assessment still need to be improved at the State Bank of Mauritius. No concrete evaluation has been conducted after delivering the training to assess its real needs and effectiveness. It was recognised that the employees responsible to cater for the customer care were unable to provide high quality service to immediate and external customers even after some level of training has been delivered

The decline in the number if customers are also due to several management issues which result in that fall in number of clients. The main reasons are the rise of other competitive banking organisations which are coming up with efficient marketing strategies which are making their strengths. These competitive banks are bringing innovation in the way they deal with their clients and the various facilities they give them.

Even though, not all performance problems can be addressed by training and in some cases, non-training interventions are necessary. By identifying performance problems that can be improved by training, the assessment will allow the agencies to focus on the real training needs within their organizations.

Henceforth, I feel that analysis of the outcome of the training is important that is training needs assessment need to be carried on to know whether the training is having a positive impact on the quality of service being delivered.

This study attempted to assess the training needs of a State Bank of Mauritius. It is a banking organisation in Mauritius which I assumed to be facing a fall in the amount of clients as there is a failure in the efficiency of delivering customer service.

Background of the study

Training is concerned of all concerned of all categories of the workforce as well as the management, irrespective of their grades, gender and status in an enterprise. This is because there is a rise in globalisation, the level of competition is more intense and thus training is becoming an essential tool for the organisation in order to deliver quality customer service.

Training is a useful means to increase the knowledge and skills of the labor force. An effective training session will increase the worker’s productivity in the organisation and make them become a valuable asset.

Training has long been an issue for organizations that exist in the banking sector. Time and expense are the main issues that consistently surface in any training needs. And time and expense impact smaller agencies to a much greater degree than larger banks. A pivotal aspect of this desire was the goal of stronger communication, cooperation and collaboration between the community, and the State Bank of Mauritius. These could provide training and other opportunities for the enterprise.

Training is identified as an immediate problem to be addressed in the banking system on the organisation as it has much to do in order to compete with the other banking firms. A more skilled and motivate workforce will help to tackle this problem and solve many other issues relating to low quality customer service. The Training Needs Assessment that resulted is the subject of this research paper. I feel that the analysis of the outcomes of the training will be essential indicator in the improvement being achieved.

It is believed that training deficiencies exist with resultant employee performance problems within the state banks mainly among the customer service officer who need to deal with the customers directly, the impact they make on the organisation as a whole is significant. The problem is to determine if training deficiencies do exist and, if so, to identify the common training needs will improve the customer satisfaction as the customer service agents, the cashier and other members of the management will cater for their needs and wants. I believe that if the study deals with this problem it may help the organisation to find innovative and competitive solutions as the work force will be trained and they may work in coordination with the management to improve the current condition of the State Bank of Mauritius.

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Literature Review

There has been considerable research and attention directed towards evaluating training needs, understanding the importance of training to reduce cost and be more profitable. However, limited research has been made towards the evaluation phase.

The literature reviews will examine the research and the literature relating to the awareness of the current state of knowledge in training and to show the thesis relates to other’s work and findings. This will be performed in order to develop a good understanding and insight into relevant previous research, a review of the definitions of training, quality service, customer service, customer service training, training needs, and training needs assessment from various authors.

At this stage, I will present a critical summary on training needs assessment definition and other key terms that I will be using in the research project. The information was collected in books, magazines and web sites. The explanation of these terms will help to make the research proposal to be more clear and specific.

The Importance of Training

The significance and value of training has long been recognized. Given today’s business climate and the exponential growth in technology with its effect on the economy and society at large, the need for training is more pronounced than ever. Training, in the most simplistic definition, is an activity that changes people’s behaviour. Increased productivity is often said to be the most important reason for training. But it is only one of the benefits. Training is essential not only to increase productivity but also to motivate and inspire workers by letting them know how important their jobs are and giving them all the information they need to perform those jobs (Anonymous, 1998).

McNamara (n.d.) lists the following as general benefits from employee training:

increased job satisfaction and morale

increased motivation

increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain

increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods

increased innovation in strategies and products

reduced employee turnover

This is only a partial listing of the many benefits that result from training. Training that is appropriate to the needs of an organization can add great value.

Training is not always the answer to performance problems. Brandt Sakakeeny, training industry analyst for Solomon Smith Barney believes that training can be a great investment and training can be a waste of money (Rosner, 1999). Training is indeed a waste of money when the desired behaviour does not occur.

Gupta acknowledges that not all performance problems can be addressed by training. In many cases, non-training interventions are necessary (Gupta 1999). The key is to identify what problems can be attributed to training deficiencies and, once that is accomplished, to insure that the right training is implemented.

Bartram and Gibson, in their Training Needs Analysis Toolkit agree. Without the right training, employees can be the organization’s biggest liability. Trained effectively, however, they can become your biggest asset (Bartram and Gibson, 2000). Rosner (1999) adds another ingredient for success – support after training. He states, “The most effective programs train workers in new behaviours and then train managers to support employees as they apply learning daily (Rosner, 1999, p.43). Support and endorsement from management can greatly enhance training results. One can conclude that training is not always the answer, and when it is the answer, it has to be the right training.

Training is big business. In 1998, American companies spent $60 billion on training (Rosner, 1999). So, how does an organization train effectively so that the investment results in growth and success? To make training count, it must be matched directly to the needs of the organization and people in it. One tool that is used to accomplish this is the Training Needs Assessment.

Training in Banking Sector

Banking organisation is one of the fastest growing segments of our emerging bold new economy (Glasrud, 1999). The sector now employs more than eleven million employees – in the private and public sector nation’s total workforce (Salamon, 1999).

This growth is likely to continue as the demand for services provided by the sector continues to rise and the role of government in meeting individual needs continues to diminish (Boris and Steuerle, 1999). To be able to grow and serve the community, bank executives must realign their thinking about the economies of service deliveries and who shall deliver those services.

In combination, the increasing presence of the banking sector and the shedding of the direct provision of services by government have served to create a growing demand for professionally trained banking administrators (Dolan, 2002).

To summarize, quite simply — our nation’s banks face continued growth to meet increased demand with lessening resources and increased needs for training.

As anyone in the corporate training field knows, training often falls on the low end of the priority list. That’s especially true in the banking world. Another barrier to training is that some agencies have considerable turnover. They aren’t eager to spend their scarce resources training employees who may later leave (Frye, 2000). Technology has impacted everyone, but it has become an especially pressing issue for banks.

According to Gordon (1998), the technology revolution has yet to make significant inroads in the banking sector. The banking sector is growing and all indicators suggest continued growth. Human and financial resources are being stretched to extreme limits. Training for the banking sector is problematic, especially in the area of technology training. The rapid rate of change in the technology field has some business enterprise behind. The gap will only increase if effective training programs are not implemented.

Why a Training Needs Assessment?

Some organizational and individual training needs are not as clearly defined as others. Even when training needs appear to be obvious, it is still necessary to choose appropriate methods that will meet them. Many training needs are not so obvious.

A training needs assessment is one of the most basic and common forms of assessment used by HRD professionals in the workplace (Gupta, 1999). Needs assessments help determine when training is the answer – and when it is not. Assessment insures that training programs have relevance to the people being trained.

Gupta, in his book A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment, gives the following overview of the training needs assessment:

A needs assessment provides the information that is usually necessary for designing training programs. The basic purpose of a training needs assessment is twofold:

To identify the knowledge and skills that people must possess in order to perform effectively on the job, and

To prescribe appropriate interventions that can close these gaps.

There are two main reasons to conduct a training needs assessment:

• It ensures that training programs are developed based on identified needs; and

• It is relatively easy to implement (Gupta, 1999).

Some performance problems can be addressed by training. Some problems training can’t fix. Training isn’t the answer to a problem when it’s used to cover up the symptoms (Rosner, 1999). A needs assessment avoids misdiagnosing a non-training problem as a training problem.

A Review of Methods Commonly Used to Assess Training Needs

Data gathering is the cornerstone of any needs-assessment project (Gupta, 1999). The fundamental premise of needs assessment is that in order to make effective decisions about current or future training needs, data must first be gathered (Gupta, 1999).

There are many ways to collect data. Commonly used methods are interviews, focus groups, surveys and questionnaires, and observation. Other methods include the nominal group technique, action research, and Dacum (developing a curriculum). Most needs assessments employ one or several data-gathering techniques (Gupta, 1999).

Interviews are one of the easiest tools for gathering information. Interviews can be conducted face-to-face or over the phone. The biggest benefit of one-to-one interviews is the human interaction that occurs (Gupta, 1999).

Phone interviews are more effective when small pieces of information must be gathered. One-to-one and phone interviews can be conducted in either a structured or unstructured manner.

Another advantage is that the interviewer can clarify answers when necessary and ask whether interviewees have additional questions at the end. Vicki S. Kaman (Allen, 1990) agrees. She lists the advantages of interviews as:

(1) Employees can be encouraged to share their ideas;

(2) Interviews provide process, as well as content information, and

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(3) Interviews provide two-way communication. Interviews also work quite well when the target group is small in number.

Focus groups implement a group-interview method. People with similar experiences are brought together and asked their opinions and/or ideas about a specific subject. To be effective, focus groups require good facilitators (Gupta, 1999).

Preparing and implementing surveys and questionnaires require several stages including preparing, designing, developing questions, writing instructions, writing cover letters and pilot testing, (Gupta, 1999).

Observation is also a method that can be used to collect data during needs assessments. A problem that occurs when using observation is that people often alter their behaviour when someone is watching. To overcome this, techniques that are not obtrusive must be used.

According to Gupta (1999), the main drawback to the training needs assessment approach is that it lacks the rigor of a strategic needs assessment, competency assessment, or job and task analysis.

Results of Other Training Needs Assessments

A review of the literature identified three recent assessments of the training needs of specific banking organizations. Highlights of

(1) A banks needs survey;

(2) Surveys of bank directors; and

(3) An Educational Program Assessment.

Conclusions

A review of the literature has resulted in the following conclusions which are deemed the most important to consider as the research methodology is designed.

Training is not always the answer to performance problems. Non-training interventions may also provide solutions to problems. A training need assessment will help determine when training is the answer.

Time and is the most significant barriers to training for the workers.

The banking sector will continue to grow. The problems of time will not disappear. Agencies must look to innovative ways to close the gap.

Programs that require short amounts of time (half-day, one-day seminars, etc.) are the preference.

(5) Face-to-face interviews are easy, yet effective in assessing training needs. They are time consuming, but the interaction that occurs can be extremely beneficial. The needs assessment is part of a university effort to reach out to the community. Face-to-face interviews should be carefully considered when determining the methodology of the research.

Aims of the study

The aim of the study is to know the importance of training needs assessment in an organisation and if it contributes to higher level of performance in all the aspect of the enterprise main in the quality of service being offered.

Objective of the study

Training it vital but to evaluate its impact on the organisation and the results in brings on the level of productivity is even more important.

So, the main objective of this study is to:

See if any training programme is being given.

If these programmes are effective- what is the performance of the employees of the relevance training

To know how the employees of State Bank view training.

To assess the contribution of training of skills, knowledge, job performance and quality of service.

To provide recommendation in areas where training need to be improved

Research Questions

The methods and procedure to be used for the collection of data to carry this study will include questionnaires, interviews and observation on the workplace.

For the questionnaire I will need to consider its content, the question format, the order it will be placed, the types of question I will ask and the validity and reliability of the question in the study. It must be done in such a way that the respondents understand what is being asked.

Then I will need to carry a pilot study with the front office manager so as to examine the first draft and to see if it contains any misunderstanding over the terms and questions.

Example of the research questions:

Is training important in State Bank of Mauritius?

How training can help to improve public relations?

How can training improve the quality of service in the bank?

Are the Human Resource Manager committees to training of staff?

What effect can training have in the organizational performance?

Definition of Terms

What is training?

Training can be defined as the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one’s capability, capacity, and performance.

According to Dale Yoder:

“Training is a means of preparing rank and file workers for promotion to supervisory position and for improving their competence and capability while they hold such leadership assignments. Human Resource at all levels needs frequent refresher training.”

According to Dale S. Beach:

“Training is the organized procedures by which people learn knowledge and skills for definite purpose.”(Rao, 2003, 152)

What is Quality?

It is defined as “A comprehensive customer-focused system that will improve the quality of products and services. It is a way of managing the organisation at all levels from the top management to the front line, to achieve customer satisfaction be involving all employees and continuously improving the work processes of the organisation.”(Lewis, 1991)

Quality is said to be the degree or standard of excellence. It is the whole of the attributes of products or service that meets requirements of the buyer, owner or the end user.

What is customer service?

According to Turban et al (2002), Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of satisfaction, that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the needs and wants of the customer which will make them be loyal to the organisation.” Available on Wikipedia.org (Accessed 11 Sept 2012).

Customer service is the provision of service at all the level of purchase and even after. It plays a vital role in the organisation ability to generate income and revenue.

What is customer service training?

Customer service training refers to teaching employees the knowledge, skills, and competencies require increasing customer satisfaction. Employees who are properly trained and who demonstrate professional customer service skills will be able to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will lead to customer retention, increase in profitability and reduce overheads.

Investing in employees through training makes employees feel valued and improves their level of motivation. Consequently, when employees treat customers well by using proper customer service skills which consist of a good listening skills, and good questioning techniques can lead to higher level of productivity in the organisation. (http//en.wikipedia.org, 19 Sept 2012).

What is Training Needs Assessment?

Training Needs Assessment is the evaluation of the value and reliability of the importance of giving training to employees and to assess the effectiveness of the training programmes.

It would be important to point out that there are three levels of needs assessment: organizational analysis, task analysis and individual analysis.

Organizational analysis looks at the effectiveness of the organization and determines where training is needed and under what conditions it will be conducted.

Task analysis provides data about a job or a group of jobs and the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities needed to achieve optimum performance. (Pickard 1992)

Nature of the Study & Research Design

For this study, the research will be both of quantitative and qualitative in nature.

The point of view of the respondent on the field of study will be taken into consideration with the subjective components of the research. This data will be obtained from in depth interview to obtain comments of the respondent on the importance and effectiveness of training and training needs assessment. This can be done by pulling the views of a huge population together with the help of postal questionnaires or web based surveys containing many opened questions.

The research can also be of quantitative nature as it will help to gain a deeper understanding through the study of the numerical data collected on whether training is accredited much importance in the organisation and the effectiveness it has on the quality service being offered to the customers. The survey research to be carried on to obtain quantitative data need to be structured questions and self completion questions that is close ended questions with can be easily be converted into tabular or graphical illustrations. This type of survey is said to be efficient as it allows collecting accurate data on the large number customers and their level of satisfactions.

Sample

With any survey, it is necessary to clearly define the target population, which Collis & Hussey (2003:157), define as follows:

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“A population is any precisely defined set of people or collection of items which is under consideration.”

The participants of this study will consist of 100 customers which will be the sample from the whole population, who deal with the State Bank of Mauritius on different intervals. The selected respondents will be chosen by randomly sampling method. The target population will be specifically chosen for the above in order to validate the practicality of the concepts as presented in the project. The risk of bias, which cannot statistically be eliminated and will be included in the interpretation of the data collected.

Data Collection

Collecting data is the crucial part of the research process in developing the research proposal.

Data gathering is essential to a needs assessment. The data of the present study will be collected by questionnaires documentary analysis.

Instrumentation

The method chosen is to collect data for the assessment is the survey method, specifically, a questionnaire to be administered to the customer trading with the State Bank of Mauritius.

The study is to be descriptive in nature, specifically, training needs assessment. The design of the study will include population, instrumentation and analysis of results.

The Questionnaires (Appendix 2)

Identical questionnaires will be used to assess the training needs of the staff. The open-ended questions required respondents to answer in their own words. This elicited in-depth responses, as opposed to limited responses. Questions were framed so that they could be answered easily. The number of questions was limited so that it could be completed in twenty minutes or so.

Participation needs to be anonymous and voluntary. The time limit for returning the questionnaires was on the same day the customer receive it. Completed questionnaires need to be individually returned. The questionnaire will include a cover letter providing instructions for completing and returning the form and a “Protection of Human Subject’s Consent Form” with no signature requirement.

The fact that the questionnaire will be collected on the same day may represent a compromise on the distribution of the questionnaires and may be disappointing, without a doubt, impact the validity of this portion of the needs assessment as the respondent may be biased in their answer due to lack of time.

It is to be noted that the will consist of about twenty questions, and answer is to be provided for suggestions to be made for the open ended questions(unstructured questions) And for the close ended questions (structured questions) three or five options will be provided and the responded has just to tick one of them.

A variety of questions were asked, but the majority revolved around job duties, education, learning and performance concerning the staff in relation with the customer’s level of satisfaction.

After getting the permission from the management to perform the study a pilot study will have to be undertaken so as to ensure that the questions matches the objective of the study and to ensure that the exact question s and right method are used to obtain the required information. The pilot study will be pre tested on a sample of 5 respondents to identify any problems, design errors, misunderstanding of terms used and flaws. Then, the necessary corrections will be made and clarification will be made to cater for the changes before the final questionnaire is completed.

Question Design

The question instrument will consist of 5 parts as follows;

The first part will contain general background which will include gender, age, occupation, purpose of visits, and frequency of visits.

The training information related to performance and satisfaction.

To ask for customers suggestions about quality service and where training should be enhanced.

Data Analysis

After questionnaires will be collected, there will be the need to process the data and explore the how will training needs assessment contribute to the improvement of quality of customer care service at the State Bank of Mauritius. The frequencies and percentages will be used for calculating and analyzing the data.

The data analysis is crucial part of the study as it helps to interpret and to draw conclusion from data collected.

Besides the use of descriptive statistics of means and average, it will be important to compare the data collected to group the respondent level of satisfaction and view on the level of quality of customer care service being offered. Moreover, the customers point of view on the impact of training on level of service being offered need also to be represented in tabular and graphical form for better understanding of the situation.

It is to be noted that for this study the data analysis and the comparison of data collected to be done SPSS Program and Microsoft Excel 2007 will be used (Statistical software package). The data will be converted in tubular and graphical forms such as pie chart and bar charts.

Moreover, the results will be discussed and summarized with some suggestions for better study.

Validity & Reliability

According to Collis & Hussey (2003:186), validity is concerned with the extent to which the research findings accurately represent what is happening. More specific, whether the data is the true picture of what is being studied.

Reliability also refers to trustworthiness which is concerned with the findings of the research (Collis & Hussey). The findings is said to be reliable if it has a uniform meaning and ambiguity. In this study to assess the reliability of the of the responses to the questions in the questionnaires a pilot study will be made on 5 respondent from the sample as a pre test.

Ethical Consideration

Ethics is very important, particularly with regards to research involving humans (Velasquez et al). According to Velasquez et al “collecting data from respondent often gives rise to ethical concerns.” Thus, it is important to respect respondent’s rights to privacy and protect them.

It will necessary when carrying the study to assure that the information provided are treated confidentially. Thus, a cover letter (Appendix 1) will be included so as to assure and guarantee the participant that the information provided by them will remain anonymous and confidential.

In addition, the participants will need to have the choice to participate or not in the survey. He also needs to be informed of the nature of the study, which will include the potential limitations of the survey.

Moreover, the findings will need to be reported in a completed and honest way without misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the data collected. The data need not be manipulated in order to include bias judgement or to support particular conclusion.

Significance of the study

The project will help to identify how the State Bank of Mauritius can help to train its staff and the manager so as to increase the level of competitiveness. It will help the organisation to create a higher level of motivation among the workforce which will lead to an increase in the quality of the service offered to customer who will result in more sales of the services and more profitability.

This study will be as a practical guideline for the bank management, especially at the front office. The outcome of this study will develop the impact of effective training on the quality of service offered to the customer to meet their needs and satisfy them.

Conclusion

It cannot be denied that an organisation need to survive on a very competitive global market for this to be done training is said to be a vital management tool. Training will help to enhance the knowledge and skills of the employees which will lead to better productivity and improves the quality level of the goods and services being provided in the business organisation.

The research aim is to make an evaluation of the training of the customer care officers and the other members of the organisation. The study tries to find out if the training of the workers is effective according to the quality level of service they provide to customers. The survey will target the customers as it will try to be customer oriented and to address the issue from the root. That is to see how effective the training and the real outcome of the training sessions linked with the customer satisfaction and expectations toward the catering of their needs.

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