Human resource development (HRD) is an important aspect of an organisation. Core aspect of this assignment is based on exploring various aspects related to HRD through different tasks. As part of this Leadership Style in HRD Assignment, different learning styles will be evaluated; it will also focus on highlighting the role which learning curve plays and transitioning the learning at the workplace (Werner & DeSimone, 2011). Through the process of analysis contribution which is made by learning styles and theories will be understood. One major aspect of human resource development is the focus on need for training, event planning related to training and various advantages as well as disadvantages of the different training methods. Ultimately this assignment will also focus on evaluating various techniques related to training. It is also important to focus upon the different initiatives and developments which are initiated from government or any other public agencies, and their impact on the people.
The core purpose of this task is to analyse comprehensively about various types of learning styles which are practised. During the course of discussion, importance of learning curve and transferring the learning in an organisational setup will be analysed. Overall, this task will also focus understanding the contribution which learning styles and theories make in human resource development.
P1.1 – Compare different learning styles
Figure 1: Learning Styles.
The way an individual, organisation or person learns about any particular thing highlights the learning style. Hence, pace of learning, level, complexity and the speed at which a particular individual learns about anything identifies his learning style. Based on the image displayed below it can be said that there are multiple types of learning styles. For example, Visual style of learning emphasizes on the visual mediums such as images, for deriving the understanding about any particular concept or thought. Aural style of learning is focused on using music and sound as the enabler of learning about any particular aspect. Physical style of learning is completely based on the body language and touch sensations for making someone teach (Wilson, 2014). Verbal style of learning as the name suggests is based on the method which derives learning from use of words in written or oral forms. Logical style of learning on other hand is dependent on the use of reasoning and logic to make a person learn about any particular concept. When learning takes place through groups and teamwork, then such learning style can be defined as Social style of learning. Ultimately, when an individual learn through self-learning mode without any external support, then such learning is known as Solitary style of learning.Based on the requirement, and the kind of person or group which is trying to learn, appropriate learning style is invoked and used accordingly.
P 1.2 Explain the role of the learning curve and the importance of transferring learning to the workplace.
Figure 2: A learning curve for a single subject
A learning curve can be defined as a graphical representation of the increase of learning (represented by vertical axis) with experience (horizontal axis). Hence, the concept of learning curve is based on the assumption, that as and when an individual or a group gain experience in their respective domain/subject/industry etc. then accordingly, learning related to that particular area also increases subsequently. Hence, it can be said that to a large extent, a learning curve enables in finding out the information on two important factors i.e. experience and learning of a person or an organisation. In an organisational setup, learning of an individual employee is an important asset not only for that particular employee, but also for the organisation, that is why it is necessary to ensure that at appropriate time process of transferring or sharing of learning with other individual within organisation should be done, so that in a situation such a resignation of an employee from the company, his learning or knowledge related to the organisation can be used by other relevant people or organisation without any disruption (Gold et al,2013). Transferring of learning is important because of the following reasons:
- Firstly it helps an individual, or a professional to learn a lot by providing a method, style and an appropriate pace at which learning process can be conducted according to the environment in which they exist.
- Secondly, process of knowledge/learning transfer also enables other people to gain knowledge about new fields which they might not be aware of, eventually adding value to that particular individual’s knowledge as well as organisational knowledge.
- Lastly, it helps in ensuring that for training or any other activity which takes place within organisation there is proper planning before the actual event is done.
P 1.3 Assess the contribution of learning styles and theories when planning and designing a learning event.
There is significant contribution of the learning styles and various theories associated with it, especially when it comes to their contribution in the planning for any event based on the concept of learning. It basically highlights the fact that for every individual they have their own way of learning at a different time period and pace. In such circumstances, it becomes important to ensure that if a particular training or learning activity is planned, then it has to consider the phases or gaps to focus on evaluate the learning, and accordingly assessment should be done. These theories basically, provide a predictive analysis on the resources and the time period which has been used and was required for enabling the learning and growth of any particular organisation. Another major contribution of learning styles and related theories is their contribution towards decision making process in an organisation. Based on the enriched knowledge base, organisations can take better decisions in future which are more appropriate and have high degree of correctness. That is why, organisation of implement specific learning styles or theories before they take any specific strategic or business decisions (Mendenhall et al,2012). It has been observed and should be understood, that in any organisation, learning curve remains high for young or new employees as compared to the one which are already having significant amount of experience. However, it also means that young people are able to learn things more quickly, because they are better equipped to unlearn old things and grasp new aspects, which generally is not that feasible for experienced employees in an organisation. That is why, when an experienced employee leaves an organisation and shifts to a different organisation, then he might experience his learning curve to be extremely steep at times, especially in a situation where he has to learn new things and unlearn several things not relevant in current context.
Focus of this task is on the analysis of training requirements of the staff working at different levels within the same organisation. As part of the task, advantages and disadvantages of different HRM training methods and techniques will be discussed as well. In order to have better understanding, company selected for this task is Virgin Holidays, and accordingly systems are discussed w.r.t to the context of Virgin Holidays.
P2.1 – Compare the training needs for staff at different levels in your chosen organization.
It is important to understand that within an organisation like Virgin Holidays, there are different types of business functions, departments or operational areas. Each of these functional areas has its own set of training need specific to their activity and often differs from what other business area seek for. For example training need for sales department for its sales person of Virgin Holidays will be completely different when compared to training needs of HR employees in same organisation. Hence, sales team for example will require more material related to market data in UK holiday sector for imparting better training, whereas HR employees might require training material related to soft skills such as employee engagement etc. Important point to be understood in this context is that there is no universal training approach which can be applied for all types of business processes within an organisation. Trainers and other people involved in the process of training, first need to identify the need of training. Once the requirement is identified, then accordingly the expectations should be identified, or what exactly people who are supposed to be trained are expecting from the trainers (Budhwar & Debrah, 2013). However in an organisation like Virgin Holidays, its business objectives and need for training of its specific employees should be in alignment with the business objective, especially since training is a cost intensive process for the organisation.
P 2.2 Assess the advantages and disadvantages of training methods used in your chosen organization.
As discussed in above section, that there is no single universal method for training, hence following are the various types of training methods which are used in Virgin Holidays, along with their advantages and disadvantages:
Training on the job: In virgin this is one of the most commonly used training methods. This training method is used for new employees in the organisation. Hence, there training goes in parallel with their day-to-day activities. Hence, for example if a new sales person is hired then every time he makes a cold call, then the process of making a cold call in itself is training which is evaluated properly and feedback is provided for any further improvement. Advantage of this method is that, it saves time for the company as the trainee can learn while he is performing his/her duty. However, this method at times might prove to be wrong if the trainee makes a mistake due to lack of experience and training. That is why, selection of training material and scenario in such case should be done carefully.
Job training external to organisation: Such type of training method is focused on training outside the organisational environment. For example HR team of Virgin Holidays might be taken to a weekend trip to a nearby resort where various types of sessions are conducted related to their job HR skills. Advantage of this type of training method is that, it provides focused attention to the training subject, with no diversion of thoughts. However, disadvantage of such method is that it is cost intensive of the organisation, and at times it is not possible to completely shut down a business operations just to enable the training process.
Training through group discussion and tutorials: training through this type of method is conducted by bringing together people with similar skillset and asking them to discuss on certain specific subject. Based on the discussion knowledge can be derived and formalised for future purpose. Advantage of this type of training method is that it allows active participation of all the trainees which improves the overall quality output of the training. However, at times formalising the output from the process of group discussion or tutorial might fizzle out quickly leading to less learning (Berman et al,2012).
Hence, above mentioned three training methods are used extensively in Virgin Holidays based on the situation and requirements.
P 2.3 Use a systematic approach to plan training event in your organization.
Training planning has to be done in a systematic approach. Unplanned training can spoil the efforts and objectives which are expected to be fulfilled by imparting the training. Effective planning prior to training can ensure better resource allocation for enabling the process of training. These resources can be trainers, tools such as projectors, training rooms etc. Also, if the training is external to the organisation then accordingly fund allocation is also required which can be done effectively through prior planning. Following are steps to plan a training event in Virgin Holidays:
- Finalisation of the training agenda: Agenda of the training is the foremost thing which should be fixed. It helps in fixing the purpose, time and target audience of the training. In a way it lays down the entire roadmap which guides the process of training from start to end.
- Identification and designing of learning objectives: This stage of the plan will completely focus on clearly identifying the learning objectives which are expected to be achieved as part of the training, or the purpose for which training is being conducted.
- Sending of training related information and invites: At times some training are mandatory for specific set of employees, however there are certain training which are optional in nature. For such trainings prior information needs to be sent in advance so that people who want to join the training can plan in advance.
- Designing of training resources and training activities: Once the agenda of the training is fixed, then accordingly training material should be designed which will be used by the trainees.
- Final implementation: this step will include conducting the training of the trainees who might have enrolled for getting trained.
- Feedback session: An important part of the training process is getting feedback from the trainees. Hence, once the training ends, trainer should ensure that through surveys or questionnaires he/she should collect feedback which can be used to improve future trainings.
Purpose of this task is to carry out the process of evaluation of the training process. As part of the task, focus will be to measure various success factors for the training techniques and processes. Based on the analysis of Virgin Holidays, it can be said that not only they conduct training in an effective manner, but they also ensure that they follow a comprehensive process of evaluation.
P3.1 – Prepare an evaluation using suitable techniques
The process of training cannot be restricted to just imparting the training to the trainees. It is much beyond making the trainees understands about the subject of training. An effective training is that, which also focuses on the evaluation practises and procedures, in order to ensure that complete outcome related to measure of effectiveness of training can be done.
First important evaluation of business strategy is to observe and record the data related to response of the participants. Hence, as discussed in one of the above section, once the training gets over a trainer should ensure that feedbacks and responses related to effectiveness of training is collected from the participants. Based on the responses, satisfaction level of the participant can be judged and accordingly future improvements can be done (Swanson & Holton, 2001).
Another important measure to evaluate the success (or failure) of a training is by observing the participant using the learning from training in his/her day-to-day activities in the job. Hence, if the person becomes more efficient or productive in his job because of the training, then definitely training can be considered to be an effective one.
Improvement in business productivity and efficiency: if a participant applies the learning from training which not only improves his efficiency but also adds value to the business in terms of revenue etc. then the training can be considered to be a successful one.
Hence, it can be said that above mentioned techniques are useful in identifying whether or not training has been beneficial for the participants or not, and whether it has any impact on organisation’s productivity or revenue etc. Below mentioned training evaluation form outlines some of the basic points, through which basic evaluation of training can be done.
Evaluation/Feedback Form for the Training
Basic information on training conducted
- Training date:
- Training subject:
- Trainer name:
Feedback on the training content
- Content used in the training was relevant for your training requirements? (Y/N)
- Training material provided was handy, and can be used for future reference if required? (Y/N).
- Did you find complete training useful? Or you found only certain sections useful? (Y/N).
- Any observation related to trainers’ capability to communicate? Was he effective in his communication? (Y/N). In case of any suggestion then please mention it below.
- Was the trainer able to cover all the topics decided for the training? (Y/N)
- Did the trainer successfully answer all the doubts or queries raised during the process of training? (Y/N).
P 3.2 Carry out an evaluation of a training event
Evaluation of a training event can be done through collecting feedback on the trainer who conducted the training. Specific objective questions can be asked from the trainees about the effectiveness of the training content used during the training. Training evaluation can be done in a comprehensive manner, which means that it should focus on evaluation of trainer’s capability, course material used etc. Evaluation should ultimately help in identification of the effectiveness of the training, and organisation should be able to understand that whether its investment on training was useful for it or not. Hence a sample training evaluation form for training on sales process has been mentioned below:
Evaluation/Feedback Form for the Sales Training
Basic information on training conducted
- Training date: 01/02/2015
- Training subject: Sales processes and methods
- Trainer name: Mr XYZ
Feedback on the training content
- Content used in the training was relevant for your training requirements? (YES).
- Training material provided was handy, and can be used for future reference if required? (YES)
- Did you find complete training useful? Or you found only certain sections useful? (No, the complete training was not useful; I found only sections related to practical examples of sales process useful and relevant).
- Any observation related to trainers’ capability to communicate? Was he effective in his communication? In case of any suggestion then please mention it below. (Yes the communication was good. However more practical examples can be used).
- Was the trainer able to cover all the topics decided for the training? (YES).
- Did the trainer successfully answer all the doubts or queries raised during the process of training? (YES).
P 3.3 Review the success of the evaluation methods used.
In order to review the success of the evaluation method used, it is important for the trainer to get feedback from maximum possible trainees. If the trainees are enthusiastic about providing the feedback then it means that the evaluation method used for the training has been successful in generating feedback and responses from the participants. Also, success of the training can be measured by the way people start applying the concept learned from the training in improving their work quality (Gilley et al,2002).
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Based on the discussion and analysis above, it can be said that in development of human resource learning methodologies and training plays a major role. Training and development is one of the essential components of human resource management. Every organisation needs to focus on the training requirements of its employees from time-to-time and accordingly plan trainings. It is important to understand that irrespective of private or public organisation, every individual continuously needs to evolve in terms of knowledge which can be achieved only through various methods of trainings, which eventually enriches professional development of person, and benefits the organisation as well as society in general.
Berman, E. M., Bowman, J. S., West, J. P., & Van Wart, M. R. (2012). Human resource management in public service: Paradoxes, processes, and problems. Sage.
Budhwar, P. S., & Debrah, Y. A. (Eds.). (2013). Human resource management in developing countries. Routledge.
Gilley, J. W., Eggland, S. A., & Gilley, A. M. (2002). Principles of human resource development. Basic Books.