A7: Making the Case for Employee Development

WK7AssgnPart1BlogSimonG first initial.doc

 

A7: Making the Case for Employee Development Part 2-The Personal Development Plan Employment development is the process organizations use for each employee that provides the means for him or her to grow in knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform at their ultimate best, all aspects of the present positions.  The employee is able to grow and season in ways beyond his or her imagining and in ways that are valuable to him or her (Laureate Education, Inc. 2011).  The employee is able to make a greater impact in and for the organization’s success.  Employee development prepares each employee for future positions important for the organization and important for him or her. Employee development shows the employee the organization is committed to his or her present and future growth, development, and success.  The employee finds enjoyment in work, increases his or her engagement, and is willing to commit and remain with the organization (Noe, 2013). The Personal Development Plan I would like my organization to provide for me is one that begins with an employee development plan.  The development plan follows a four-step process.  My manager and I work together to first, assess my strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values, followed by a reality check on what needs are realistic to develop and appropriate for the long-range plans of the organization.  The next steps of the plan are goal setting and action planning.  My manager and I will identify goals that are important, specific, and directly related to my present and future position’s growth and development.  The action planning will lay out the steps to follow, resources or initiatives to use, and the timetable for accomplishing each goal identified. Four development initiatives I would like to take part in are formal education programs, the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), job enlargement, and temporary assignments. Formal Education Programs  My future goal is to be a part of Instructional Design, as a trainer and/or employee development manager for the organization.  I know I do not have the necessary computer skills to perform this position as successfully as needed.  I would like to take a course or series of courses that teach computer technology skills.  I want to build my technology skills, to know and use each function so I am able to design, create, and perform at my optimum best when using my systems (work and personal).  I want to be able to problem-solve if an issue arises that inhabits continued use of the system.  I want to know how to use computer technologies to develop, design, and implement interactive trainings and employee developments needed for the organization.  The organization can offer the course (s) in-house, using organizational experts in technology as the instructors, or the organization can provide an outside resource to use to take the course (s). The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory is an assessment (based of Carl Jung’s personality type theory) that measures a person’s basic personality characteristics or types.  The personality characteristics/types influence how we understand the world, process information, and socialize (Now, 2013).  The assessment will help to increase and improve my self-insight so I can view situations from different perspectives, provide support to others, work more effectively as a team member, inspire others, and efficiently/effectively communicate and implement new ideas.  These are behaviors and skills important to have for my present position and future position goals. Job Enlargement will make it possible for me to broaden my skills, knowledge, and abilities for the position I presently hold with the organization and prepare me for future positions that require wider range of expertise.  Through job enlargement, I am able to add challenges and new responsibilities to my current position that not only helps the team, but also assists the manager and the organization.  Job enlargement can include working on special projects assignments for the degrees, the organization, and/or the teams in the organization.  It can involve taking on a different role in the team and researching/reporting on new developments and/or initiatives with the organization, the government, our accrediting organizations, other universities, and our present and future clients. Temporary Assignments will allow me to take a position of interest or of need for the organization for a specified period.  This will enable me to grow my skill base and expertise, contribute more to the organization, and become a more valuable employee for the knowledge and experience I gain in the temporary position.  Temporary assignments will also make it possible for me to work at one or more of the other universities of the parent company, where I can share my expertise as an adviser at my university and learn the expertise of the advisers at the university (s) I am temporarily assigned.  Temporary assignments open the opportunity for employees (such as myself) to gain a stronger understanding of the position they hold and its importance to the organization as a whole.  Employees are able to build network contacts that span across the country and the world. Employment development will help me to grow in ways that leads to stronger skills, expanded knowledge, and more expertise in the position I presently have, so I am ready to move into a position of greater responsibilities and/or advancement.  I am able to build value in myself and become valuable to the organization for the experiences gained through each initiative.  I will be able to align my career goals with the goals of the organization, so I can work better in ways that leads to the organization’s success (which in turn, is my success).

References

Laureate Education, Inc.  (Producer).  (2011). EIDT-6501-01 Training and Development.  Employee development [Video file].  Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_4857388_1%26url%3D

Noe, R. A.  (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.).  New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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A6: Blog Post: High-Tech Training

A6: Blog Post: High-Tech Training

Technology is having a major impact in the training and development environments of organizations/companies in today’s world.  Its use in training and development plays a significant role in supporting business goals and strategies and the needs of the learners (Noe, 2013).  Technology makes it possible for organizations to reduce the cost of delivering training to employees, increase the learning environment’s effectiveness, and help training contribute to the business goals set up by the organization.

Examples of new technologies being used by organizations in training are blended learning, e-learning, online learning, computer-based training, webcasts/webinars, podcasts, social medias, shared workspaces, RSS feeds, chat rooms and discussion boards, and microblogs or microsharing (Twitter). Many of them can be combined with traditional training methods to maximize learning and improve learning effectiveness (transfer of training).  Four of the technologies listed above that have an important impact in the organization I work in are blended learning, online learning, webcasts/webinars, and podcasts.  A fifth technology that the trainers of the organization are using to design more engaging and inspiring training programs is Autodesk software.

Blended learning has become the primary form of training the trainers in my organization use when conducting “Instructor-led Trainings.” Blended learning combines face-to-face instruction, technology instructions, and technology-based deliveries into the training courses.  Blended learning makes it possible for learners to have more control in the learning process, to be self-directed, and take more responsibility for their learning.  Blended learning provides more face-to-face interaction and ensures some of the instruction is presented in a learning dedicated environment (Noe, 2013).  It is found to be more effective in motivating employees to learn and for teaching declarative knowledge (fact-based information).  Blended learning courses take the advantages and positive features of both face-to-face training and web-based instruction.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pfi.4140430810/abstract

The organization for which I work is an Online Learning university.  It is one of the largest, most reputable, accredited universities in the United States and in some countries across the world.  Online learning is extremely important to the organization.  Online learning makes it possible for learners to interact with the training content, other learners, and the instructor/trainer.  Learners are able to learn from anywhere, at anytime, as long as there is internet access.  Features that can be added into online learning include content, collaboration and sharing, links to resources, learner control, delivery, and administration (Noe, 2013).  Advantages to online learning are its potential to reach a larger audience than traditional learning and/or training.  Online learning is delivered faster and to more learners/employees in a short period of time, at one time or at anytime.  Online learning reduces travel cost, time, and the inconvenience of travel for instructors and learners alike.  Online learning is the second most popular approach to learning/training.  Online learning is effective for building knowledge, skills, and behaviors.  It is most effective for training that emphasizes cognitive outcomes (Noe, 2013).  It may also be an excellent tool to use for social interaction between learners than in class learning.  Online learning is a technology that can be combined with traditional instruction to make it more efficient and effective for the organization and the learners involved.

http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/ASTD-Links/ASTD-Links-Articles/2010/11/Using-ROI-to-Understand-the-Effectiveness-of-Faculty-Training-and-Development-to-Deliver-Quality-Dis

Webcasts/web-conferencing/webinars are technologies that are often used in the organization to conduct trainings that involve advisers and/or managers from all site locations at one time.  Organizational personnel also use them to train students of the university.  The trainings are live and interactive.  Everyone in the webcasts/web-conferencing/webinars receive the same information, at the same time.  The trainings allow those involved to ask questions and/or make comments as the training progresses or at the end.  The trainings may also be taped and then made available for future viewing.

http://webcastinc.com/what-is-webcasting/benefits-of-streaming-events

Podcasts have become a very popular and useful form of technology training the organization has started using.  It allows employees/advisers to use mobile devices to learn new material at their own pace and review and/or skip over content according to their own needs, at a time that is most convenient for them.  Podcast are audio or video programs distributed in episodes using software such as RSS.  The best use of podcasts is for the narrative-based content to be enhanced with sound effects and/or music so it can inspire the users.  Podcasts are cheap and easy for organizations to produce.  Learners can listen to them at any time or any place, using different mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, or notebook computers (Noe, 2013).  Podcasts allow training and learning to occur naturally throughout the workday.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall93/donnelly93.htm

Autodesk software is free software that can be used by educators, professionals, and students alike.  The software allows the user to design and create images in 3D and/or animation, to access, store, and send documents to any desired location, and to develop working simulations and track their performance.  Autodesk’s professional software, creative applications, and learning resources are being used to advance learning outcomes both in and outside of classrooms worldwide (NMC Horizon Report, 2014).  Autodesk software is a technology the trainers in the organization are using to design and develop training programs with 3D images and interactive animation to make them more attention getting, to help keep the focus of the learners, and to aid in retention and learning of the material.  Autodesk is one of the new technologies presented in the NMC Horizon Report for 2014 Higher Education.

http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/all

 

References

NMC Horizon Report (2014).  Higher Education Edition.  Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/publications/2014-horizon-report-higher-ed

Noe, R. A.  (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.).  New York, NY: McGraw Hill

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A2: Blog Post: Planning for a Needs Assessment

Initial Post: Gayle Simon

A2: Blog Post: Planning for a Needs Assessment

The organization for the needs analysis is Whole Foods.  It is an organization that devotes itself to making a difference in the communities and environments it operates, the customers it serves, the lives of its Team Members (employees), and the resources and suppliers it uses.  This is the Whole Foods mission.  Whole Foods centers its core values on its mission.  The cores values are to provide and be the best to its customers, its people, stakeholders, communities, environments, and suppliers and resources.  The organization ensures the products it sells are the highest quality, organic, natural, and sustainable.  Whole Foods is recognized and awarded as one of the 100 best organizations to work for, the most ethical, the world’s most admired, and the national top workplace out of 150 organizations.  This is due to the commitment and investment Whole Foods makes in its people, their professional growth and development, their benefits, and the culture and environment they work.  The organization, which began in 1980, continues to grow in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  It presently has over 281 stores.  John Mackey, co-founder and Walter Robb, Co-CEO, followed by eight other leaders that serve on the Board of Directors, heads Whole Foods.

When an organization, such as Whole Foods, wants to train all of its employees on its new product brand that will be in each of its stores, in all departments, in all three countries, the first step is to designing the training program is to conduct a needs assessment.  The needs assessment is the process used to determine whether training is necessary (Noe, 2013).  Needs assessment usually includes an organizational analysis, which links the appropriateness of training to the business strategy of Whole Foods, the resources it has for training, and the support from its managers and peers for training activities.  The next analyses are person analysis and task analysis.  The person analysis includes determining whether there is a performance problem in the people of Whole Foods.  The performance problem can stem from a lack of knowledge or skill.  The analysis identifies who needs training and their readiness for training.  In this case, training is necessary, because all employees of Whole Foods need to know about the new product brand they will be selling in each of their departments.  The task analysis pinpoints the important tasks and knowledge, skills, and behaviors training will emphasize for employees to complete.

The stakeholders that will take part in the needs analysis are the Executive Managers of Whole Foods, the Regional Managers, the Store Managers, and the trainers.  The organizational analysis usually performed first, needs the support and assurance for training on the new product brand, from the group.  They will determine if training aligns with the strategic objectives and if the budget, time, and training expertise are available.  The group will determine the need for employee training, which employees to include in training, and their levels of readiness (the person analysis).  The task analysis completed in conjunction with the person analysis, needs the group’s input and support as well, for they will determine the important tasks and knowledge, skills, and behaviors employees need to acquire in training and use on the job.

The questions to ask the managing groups and trainers relate to their concerns for the each of the three analyses.  The Executive Managers of Whole Foods will answer questions for the organizational analysis, such as, “Will training be important in reaching our business objectives?”  “Does training link to our strategic business plan?”   “Does training strengthen or weaken our employee talent base?”  The organizational analysis questions for the Regional Managers and Store Managers focus on, “Do I want to spend my regional money or store money on training?”  “How much money do I need to use for my region or store?”  “How will this training aid in meeting my region’s or store’s business goals?”  “Are top performers to be included in the training?”  The trainers’ questions for the organizational analysis address, “Do I have budget money for the training?”  “Do I have the support from the managers, on the training?”  The person analysis will ask questions of the Executive Manager.  The questions include, “Which specific employees need training?”  “What is necessary for the employees to do to accomplish our business objective?”  The Regional and Store Managers will address, “Who is to be trained?”  “Does training include regional and store managers, department heads, all selling staff?”  The trainers question focuses on, “How will I know which employees to train?”  “How will I identify them?”  The task analysis question for the Executive Managers is, “Does Whole Foods have employees with the knowledge, skill, and competency bases to be competitive in our market?”  The Regional and Store Managers will answer, “What are the positions of our people where training will provide the greatest impact in our business, products, and customers?”  The trainers will address, “What are the training tasks for the employees?”  “What is the knowledge, skill, ability and other important characteristics do employees need to have to be successful in training?”

The documents and/or records to examine for the needs assessment that are important to see and review are, from the Executive Managers, their Business Objectives and Strategic Plan for the new product brand.  The Financial Plan set up for training, as an organization, broken down by region and store.  The Employee Training Plan, Whole Foods has developed for each region and store.  The documents and/or records to examine from the Regional Managers and Store Managers are their individual Business Objectives and Plans, their training budgets, and Employee Training Plans.  It would also be good to examine past training results, for their success and/or problems, expenses, and employees involved, from each region and store.  This way, the past results can be documented and where problems existed, they can be addressed for future training.  The trainers’ documents and/or records to review include their Training Budget Plan, as an organization, region, and store.  It is good to see past training programs the trainers have developed and implemented and the results of those programs.  This will help determine if the trainers have the expertise to train all employees on the new product brand or if an outside training group is better suited for the project.

The techniques to employ for the needs assessment are the use of questionnaires, sent to the Executives, Regional and Store Managers, and the trainers.  Questionnaires are inexpensive, they can be sent to a large group of people, in multiple locations.  They are easy to summarize.  The drawbacks are questionnaires require time, the return rate can be low, the can lack detail, and do not provide elaborate detail on information outside of the questions being asked.  Interviews are another technique to use in the needs assessment.  Interviews are beneficial for uncovering details of training needs, exploring problem causes and solutions, and they allow for needed modifications as the interviews progress.  Some of the disadvantages are they are time-consuming, require skilled interviewers, difficult to schedule and analyze, and can be seen as threatening to trainers and/or Subject Matter Experts.  Records and historical reviews are good techniques to use for they are a good source for information on procedures, objectives, task information, and product development.  They are also good for obtaining information on present and past performances and practices.  The difficulties stem from records and/or historical reviews being out-of-date, unavailable, inaccurate, incomplete, and difficult to understand.

The needs assessment will help Whole Foods determine if training for the new product brand is something the organization needs.  The assessment will help the Managers and trainers determine if training aligns with their strategic plan and business objectives.   The assessment will also help them determine who will receive training, who will give the training, and their readiness and ability.  The tasks of training can also be determined through the needs assessment so knowledge, skills, and competencies can be identified and outlined.  Through the needs assessment, Whole Foods has determined training is necessary for training all employees on the new product brand they will release and sell in each store.  Training has the approval and support from all in the organization.

Reference

Noe, R. A.  (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.).  New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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Initial Post: Gayle Simon

Assignment Part 2: Blog Post: The Truth About Training

It is understandable to believe employee training to be something that is not important and/or necessary for your company.  Many companies believe this way.  They too believe their money can be used in other endeavors.  While there are companies that do not invest in training, many more do.  They understand the important role training plays in preparing employees to be productive, motivating and retaining them through all economic conditions, as well as a way for attracting new, more highly skilled employees.  These companies recognize the importance of learning for meeting business challenges and providing them with a competitive advantage (Noe, 2013).  Companies that believe in the importance of training develop strategic training and development initiatives that help them achieve their business strategies.  Training  provides evidence of its value to the company by showing how the outcome of the activities relates directly to increasing the bottom-line and the company reaching its goals.  Training courses the company develops can also add additional revenue to the company through marketing and outsourcing to outside companies that do not have training courses of their own or have employees that need specific training the courses provide.  Training programs have many positive aspects that make investment in them worthwhile to the company.

Reference

Noe, R. A.  (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.).  New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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