Learning Training And Development Key Terms Management Essay

The purpose of this report is to analyse and evaluate a chosen topic of human resources – Learning, Training and Development – in theory and within Dublin Dental School and Hospital.

The function of learning, training and development in human recourses department will be analysed looking at how organisations should approach, plan, design and implement it within organisation. The importance of learning, training and development in organisation and the methods will be discussed to gain a better understanding of the influence it makes to the company.

Four different behavioural theory approaches to human motivation will be outlined and its importance outlined.

3 Method of Procedure

The report was conducted using a variety of different information channels. It comprises of mainly secondary research and academic theories are applied and used to support the findings.

I used DDSH website (www.dentalschool.ie) to support my analysis of the organisation’s training and development function of Human Resources Department. Some information was gathered over observations and conversations with staff members in DDSH.

In order to analyse and present theory I referred to the handouts given in classes by tutor. I also did the research on the internet and studied different management books available on-line which I accessed through www.books.google.ie/books

4 Learning, Training and Development

We live and work in a changing world. New laws are introduced, new ideas and approaches emerge. In order to survive and grow businesses should develop and change along with its environment.

Employee Learning, Training and Development (L,T&D) represents a significant Human Resources expenses for employer but yet provides a big payoff for organisation by helping to meet its ever changing needs.

4.1 Learning, Training and Development key terms explained

Learning

Employee learning is a process through which individuals assimilate new knowledge’s and skills needed to perform work more efficiently. There are a lot of theories which define learning. Learning can be described as:

An increase in knowledge

Memorising (storing information that can be reproduced)

Acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and used as necessary

Making sense or abstracting meaning. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world

Interpreting and understanding reality in a different way. Learning involves comprehending the world by reinterpreting knowledge.

This shows that learning is a very complex and long process. Learning is something that you do in order to understand the real world. And it’s often done without realising that (unconsciously).

Training

Training in a planed process that involves an expert working with learners where information is transferred to them and certain areas of knowledge or skills are improved in their current jobs. It is a systematic process of changing employees’ attitudes and behaviour in order to increase goal achievement within organisation.

Training is of equal importance for new employees (induction training) as for experienced employees. Training not only improves knowledge and skills of employees but also changes attitudes. It benefits for organisations as well as employees:

Increases motivation and commitment from staff

Staff training is a key element of improved organisation’s performance

Employee Development

Employees’ development is a broad and ongoing, future oriented set of activities (training activities among them) aiming to increase employee’s competence, often to perform some job or new role in the future. It is a process through which individual can achieve his fullest potential over time.

A successful employee development requires a balance between an individual’s career needs and goals and the organization’s need.

Benefits from Employees Training and Development

Increased job satisfaction and motivation among employees

Increased efficiency in company’s development, which can result increased profits

Ability to adopt new technologies and stay up-to-date

Improvement in long term companies development

Reduced employee turnover.

Enhanced companies image

Increase organisations operational efficiency

Human Resource Development

Human Resource Development is the framework to help employees develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities. It covers a broad area of activities including employee training, employee carrier development, coaching, mentoring and organisation development. Human resource development can be formal (i.e. training courses) and informal (i.e. coaching).

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management refers to creating, storing, organising, developing, protecting and using knowledge. It can transform an organization to the new levels of effectiveness, efficiency, and scope of operation.

In other words knowledge management refers to the intellectual assets of the company and its management. Staff of the company is seen as one of the most important assets and the staff training and developing is one of the main objectives to achieve company’s goals.

Learning Organisation

Learning organisation is an organisation that uses continuous learning approach as its philosophy and encourages learning among its staff.

The Learning Organisation is becoming an increasingly widespread philosophy in modern companies.

A Learning Organisation encourages its employees to improve their personal skills so that they can learn and develop. An organisation uses a concept of continuous learning and always improves its techniques, methods and technology.

4.2 Process of Learning, Training and Development in organisation

Top-Down Approach

In recent years, top-down management has been viewed less favourably than other styles of management. However, in the area of L,T&D, suing top-down approach is quite useful.

Using this approach senior leaders in organisation provide training focus, directions and resources. Planning, preparing, executing and evaluating training are the main objectives of the top management of the companies.

It is important to remember that in order for L,T&D strategy to be successful in an organisation bottom up approached is useful to evaluate training and development needs and to receive feedback on employee training proficiency, identify specific training needs for individuals (or groups), and provide training to standard in accordance with L,T&D strategic plan. It is a team effort that maintains training focus, establishes training priorities, and enables effective communication between different management layers in the company.

Training as an Investment

Companies always have questions regards their investment in employee training programs. Often, when companies are faced with the need to reduce costs, training is high on the list of areas to cut.

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So what is the reason for employees to see training as an investment, not an expense?

In a modern society more employers started to recognise the importance of staff training and development and the money spent in this area are not considered to be wasted. Having a well trained and qualified team gives company a competitive advantage which is necessary to survive and grow. It is so necessary to develop company’s staff to stay updated that companies have no other choice but to plan staff training and development.

Training Plan

Training and development management is responsible for drawing up a training plan so that company’s employees could gain skills and knowledge they need to succeed at their jobs. At the same time the management should convince company’s executives that an effective training program benefits the company and contributes to the employees.

Training plan should cover all the areas from needs assessment to the evaluation and feedback of employees L,T&D:

Needs assessment. It is very important to assess training needs before trying to implement any training solutions. There are some general questions that should be asked to get a general understanding of company’s needs towards L,T&D:

How well trained are employees at all levels of organisation?

What methods are used to train and develop employees?

What overall priority is training given?

How company prioritise employees regards their training needs?

What are available resources, including financial?

Training needs can be assessed by analyzing three major human resource areas: the organization as a whole, the job characteristics and the needs of the individuals.

There are different methods used to assess employee training needs depending on organisations size, type, training capacity and other factors. Here are some of the most popular employee needs assessments analyses:

Work analysis. This is analysis of the job and the requirement for performing the job. Its objective is duties and skills level required to perform a job. This helps to ensure that the training will be relevant to the content of the job.

Content Analysis. This analysis concentrates on analysis of relevant documents, laws, procedures, manuals and etc. This method helps to ensure that the training does not conflict with job requirements.

Context Analysis. Business needs and other factors are assessed as why staff training is needed? What is company’s experience in staff training before?

User Analysis. This analysis is orientated towards the employee needs – level of existing knowledge, type of training required.

Training Suitability Analysis. Not all employment problems can be solved by training. This analysis is used to determine if training will be effective in its usage.

Cost-Benefit Analysis. Last, but not least important analysis is the return on investment of training. In other words, if employee will receive training, will the money spent on the courses will return in the form of increased productivity from this employee.

Some organisations in order to assess employee potential and need for training use a Personal Development Plan (PDP). The Personal Development Plan is plan that the manager and employee jointly develop at the beginning of the assessment period (usually yearly) which identifies employee’s career aspirations as well as training and learning objectives for the year. The PDP has two purposes, first, it ensures that the employee maintains satisfying level of job proficiency through continued training and developmental activities. Secondly, the employee identifies the knowledge, skills and abilities he wants to pursue as well as learning activities needed to reach the goal.

It’s important to remember that employee training doesn’t stop with a new training and development procedures of the company. Organizational training needs are ongoing, especially in the rapidly changing twenty-first century workforce.

Training Delivery and Design. After training needs of the company are identified it’s a time to plan how the training will be designed and delivered for selected employees. It is important to determine exactly where training is needed and how the contents of the training should look like. Training methods should be chosen to suit learning styles of trainees.

Selecting the right trainees is important to the success of the program as well. Employee’s motivation and ability to learn and improve should be considered.

There are two main types of the training methods available:

On the Job Methods. This include coaching (one level employees grouped in pairs to help each other), mentoring (one level higher employee supervising other employee), job rotation (move around the organisation so to understand how different jobs are done), by watching other employees working or in-house courses (one employee – expert – running a course for others). This is less expensive method of training.

Off the Job Methods. This include external courses, workshops (i.e. case study, discussions on topic), computer-based training, distance learning, external placement (i.e. sending one employee to another company for a short period of time to watch and learn from them).

Transfer & Evaluation of Learning. In order to have training program successful training should be evaluated at each stage of the process. Evaluation should direct the L,T&D plan towards the goal and some potential problems can be identified and solved saving companies money and time.

Employees should be evaluated by comparing their newly acquired skills with the skills defined by the goals of the training program. Evaluating effectiveness often involves the use measures you can see, i.e., higher ratings on employees’ job satisfaction questionnaires from the trained supervisor, employees ability to perform new task related with the course undergone and other.

5 Behavioural Theory

Motivating employees is extremely important to any establishment. It can benefit towards employee productivity resulting increase in profits, in also creates a good working atmosphere, reduces staff turnover and can benefit towards overall wealth of organisation. The list of benefits of well motivated staff is endless. In order to gain a better understanding about staff motivation, it is useful to look at some behavioural theories.

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Theorists developed motivation theories focusing their understanding on what motivated employees and how they are motivated.

Those theories are classified into three categories, content, process and traditional motivation theories.

5.1 Frederic W. Taylor

Frederic W. Taylor’s represents traditional motivation theory. In this most famous book “Principles of scientific management” he argued that labour problems such as low productivity, high turnover and a conflict-driven relationship between management and staff were caused by improper production and organisation methods. He believed that productivity can be increased if job could be broken into continuant parts, analysed and then reassembled to see if it could be done quicker.

The four objectives of Taylor’s behavioural theory are:

The development of a science for each element of a man’s work

The scientific selection, training and development of workers

The development of a spirit of cooperation between workers and management to ensure that work would be carried out in accordance with scientific procedures

The division of work between workers and the management

Taylors theory of behaviour and motivation did not bring a long term success for the manufacturers, but it have putted together important concepts of work design, production, control and other functions that had changes the nature of industry. Before scientific management, such departments as personnel, maintenance and quality control did not exist.

5.2 Abraham Maslow

One of the content theories creators was Abraham Maslow. His Hierarchy of Needs theory remains extremely popular today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development needs.

Maslow believed that individual needs come in hierarchical order, meaning when lower needs are met they stop working as a motivator. That person is motivated by the prospect of fulfilment of the following need. The hierarchy of needs is as follows:

Physiological needs (food and shelter)

Security needs (stability)

Belonging needs (to be a part of the group)

Esteem needs (achievement, responsibility, reputation)

Self actualisation (personal growth and fulfilment)

According to Maslow a need higher in the hierarchy becomes a motive of behaviour as long as the needs below have been satisfied. Unsatisfied lower needs dominate over unsatisfied higher needs and must be satisfied before the person can climb up the hierarchy.

Maslow saw these motivation issues fifty years ago: the fact that employees have a basic human need. Employees’ rights for self-actualisation brought a different understanding of human motivation needs in a lot of different disciplines from psychology to the modern business world.

5.3 Clayton Alderfer

Clayton Alderfer’s theory of behaviour hierarchy is similar to Maslow’s only his ERG theory has three layers of needs: Existence needs (like food, shelter and security), relatedness needs (relationship with others) and growth needs (self-development, competence, growth).

The major difference form Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is that Alderfer believed, that human motivation is much more complex, and sometimes one can be motivated by needs of the different layers at the same time. For example, motivation for going to work can be existence needs (to buy food and shelter) as well as relatedness (making friends with co-workers) and growth needs (expecting to be promoted).

5.4 Frederick Hertzberg

Frederick Hertzberg developed a list of factors that are based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, except his version is more closely related to the working environment, called Dual-Factor theory:

According to Hertzberg, there are two sets of factors affecting motivation at work, which he called “Hygiene”, or “Dissatisfiers”: working condition, salary and benefits, status, job security, co-worker, personal life and policies and administrative practices. “Motivators” or “Satisffiers” included recognition, achievements, advancement, growth, responsibility and job challenge.

Hygiene factors must be present in the job before motivators can be used to motivate that person. This means, that you cannot use motivators until all the hygiene factors are met. Herzberg’s needs are job related when Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs reflects all the needs in a person’s life.

6 Staff Education, Training and Development at Dublin Dental School and Hospital

Human Resources Department at Dublin Dental School and Hospital (DDSH) states that “We at the DDSH are committed to investing in the Training & Development of our employees. We view learning as a continuous life long process and try to encompass this into work-life. Everyone is encouraged to continue their professional development in areas that are of benefit to both the hospital and the individual. The HR department championed TRANSFORMATION – a programme that was designed to provide DDSH employees with the tools to unleash their potential”.

This statement covers all important areas of staff E,T&D within organisation.

DDSH considers itself a “learning organisation” and uses Pedler, Burgoyne and Boydel definition stating that “Learning organisation is an organisation which facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself”.

DDSH implements staff E,T&D through the programme called “Transformation”. This programme is designed, implemented and available to all staff members though the hospital. The program covers most possible academic areas of E,T&D and adapts them according to organisations needs.

6.1 Education, Training and Development Process in Dublin Dental School and Hospital

The E,T&D process in DDSH is managed using Personal Development Plan (PDP). Human Resources Department manages E,T&D by setting up a PDP for each employee. This involves HR and employee communication and cooperation.

Needs assessment

DDSH recognises the importance of E,T&D and implements it in the organisation effectively. Personal needs for each employee are assessed using PDP, which is updated formally on a yearly basis. However, employees are encouraged to review their PDP on a regular basis so the employee could review how his plan reflects his changing needs. This plan outlines employees’ personal objectives for the year and identifies the resources and specific actions required.

The HR management team then, taking into account training budget, employees and organisations needs designs the training plan for the year for organisation and then for each individual employee when needed. .

Training Delivery and Design

After performing needs assessment for each individual employee though PDP the needs for training and the types of training preferred are identified. Then it is time to design, prepare plan of actions and implement the training for the employees.

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DDSH hospital uses a huge variety of on-the-job and off-the-job training methods:

Induction Programme. This programme is delivered using 3 methods: online induction programme, one-to-one induction programme with lane manager/induction buddy and quarterly induction training day. Those methods are used with the aim of helping new employees to settle in to the company and to help them familiarise with company’s policies and procedures.

Internal Trainers. HR in DDSH encourages staff to get involved in training as a trainer. A number of staff members have completed “Train the Trainer” and Presentation courses and now deliver in-house training courses to staff.

Dedicated Training Days. DDSH has dedicated training days in April, August and September of each calendar year. During this period internal and external trainers deliver core courses to the hospital’s staff. The core courses (chosen by staff) cover team building, problem solving, communication skills, customer service, health and safety, conflict resolution, leadership and motivation, personal development planning and personal awareness programmes. The contents of these courses change according to the employee and organisation changing needs.

Management Development Coaching. In 2005 DDSH introduced a Management Development Programme (MDP) for senior and middle managers. Program includes a personality/management style profile, one-on-one sessions with an accredited business coach and a series of workshops on coaching skills, also one day course on leadership and motivation.

Further Education. To assist staff in obtaining further qualifications, skills and knowledge DDSH has a Further Education Subsidy Scheme. The scheme is offered once a year and enables staff to apply for funding in relation to courses relevant to their role. The funding is available starting from short courses to postgraduate qualification. The different funding, depending on organisations and employees objectives is available (from course fees only to a comprehensive package including study leave, exam fees, text books, accommodation and travel.

All those different training and staff development methods allow DDSH to deliver training for their staff in the most suitable and cost effective way. DDSH effectively uses staff as a training tool (Internal Trainers) so the costs of staff training can be reduced without compromising on quality.

Transfer & Evaluation of Learning

In DDSH transfer and evaluation of learning is assessed using two different approaches. First, success of individual employees training is assessed using PDP. Manager together with employee reviews ones a year the PDP, checks were the training goals achieved, also employee’s personal reflection about his/her training is recorded. This allows HR department to prepare PDP for the next year so that company can evaluate and plan future training needs for the employees.

Second, Transfer and evaluation of learning is assessed looking at overall company’s performance for the year in comparison to the previous years.

DDSH states, that “The success of the TRANSFORMATION programme is dependent on the programme being responsive to staff needs. The programme has been developed taking into account feedback received from staff regarding their training needs. We encourage all staff to contribute any ideas regarding the programme to the HR Department.”

6.2 Education, Training and Development programme’s impact on DDSH staff motivation

Education, Training and Development is well developed and meets different needs of organisations employees. Every employee is given an opportunity to develop and undergo training what is proven to not only provide employees with a new or improved skills, but also leads to a higher job satisfaction leading to increased motivation.

Human Resources in DDSH not only responses to their staff needs for E,T&D which are at the higher level of hierarchy according to Maslow (to achieve self-esteem and self-actualisation) but also looks after the needs of its employees, that are at the lower level of hierarchy, such as physical and psychological needs. The program called “Links” is developed and implemented in DDSH. The aim of the programme is to promote health and well-being and to encourage employees effectively manage their work/life balance. The programme covers areas including: heath awareness, exercise, diet and nutrition, social events and relaxation/stress management.

HR management in DDSH does its best to look after its employee’s wealth and well-being thus keeping its staff motivated at their work.

DDSH declares, that “The School & Hospital has achieved the FAS Excellence Through People award and continues to strive for excellence in regard to training and development. We encourage all staff to transform themselves using our training resources and to continue to deliver excellence in education, research and patient care.” This award proves organisations ability to motivate its staff in the best possible way.

7 Conclusions and recommendations

The importance of staff motivation was analysed by number of theoretic. Different approaches where used of how to motivate staff, but they all agreed on one thing – the importance of staff motivation.

One of the ways to motivate staff is through employees’ learning, training and development. This not only motivates the staff and increases job satisfaction, but also is an essential part of company’ successful development in the modern business world.

DDSH is doing extremely well in the Human Resource Management area of staff Learning, Training and Development. It has formal procedures in place as well as has developed a Personal Development Plan for each employee which has proved to be a great success. A wide range of training methods are used in DDSH providing employees with interesting and vibrant learning environment to work in. The hospital declares itself as a “learning organisation” and is seeking to develop and improve on the regular basis.

The Excellence Through people award received from FAS proves that DDSH has developed a successful system of staff motivation and development programs enabling its employees to reach their best potential as well as with a help of qualified and well trained staff to work towards achieving organisations strategic goals.

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