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Table of Content

1 Introduction.......................................................................................................................3
2 Setting Objectives.............................................................................................................4
3 Performance Management................................................................................................6
4 Importance of training and development..........................................................................8
5 Approach to training and development.............................................................................9
6 Training requirements under different business strategies.............................................14
7 Conclusion......................................................................................................................16
8 Recommendations...........................................................................................................17
9 List of References...........................................................................................................18
10 Bibliography.................................................................................................................20
Executive Summary

This essay is based on the problems presented in the case relating to the organization Jet
Red. Jet Red’s competitors are leading them in terms of customer satisfaction, innovation
and level of management sophistication and the management of Jet Red is concerned here
and have asked the new Human Resource manager Linda Church to take corrective
actions. Linda feels that the training the employees are given is not bringing in tangible
results. This leads to Linda falling in differences with Mike Burdell who is the employee
trainer at Jet Red. Linda feels Mike’s training is not adding value or increasing
employees’ performance where as Mike believes the other way. Mike feels that the
employee evaluations are satisfactory which proves he is doing his job correctly. At the
same time Linda also terminates Janice Almira who is the training manager at Jet Red.
Janice being a PhD in social sciences believes highly in people skills and so hired
expensive trainers for ‘people training’.
This essay identifies the problem in the approaches taken by Linda, Janice, Mike and the
management of Jet Red. It first explains how Linda should have and handled the overall
situation by first introducing proper objectives for the employees including Mike and
Janice. Next a performance management model is put forward which would help
eliminate the differences between Linda’s and Mike’s performance expectations. Janice’s
approach to training was also very haphazard which eventually lead to her termination. A
better systematic approach to training is given along with the importance of training and
management to the organization. Lastly a model suggesting the importance of different
business strategies and their training implications is explained that can be quite helpful
for the organization. The underlying problem with Jet Red in the case hints that there was
no integration between the organization goals, the HR department, the employees and the
training strategies.
1 Introduction
The objective of this essay is to identify the problems related to the organization Jet Red
presented in the case and propose different strategies which may solve the problems. The
case suggests that Jet Red has lost its position in the marketplace. According to the
market research conducted by their consultant, Jet Red is lagging behind its competitors
in terms of customer satisfaction, innovation and level of management sophistication. Jet
Red’s new HR manager Linda Church is concerned about the problem and feels that the
Jet Red’s training manager Janice Almira and trainer Mike Burdell are not doing their job
properly. Linda terminates Janice because as a trainer manager Janice lacked the required
approach. Janice was hiring expensive trainers to train the employees only on ‘people
skills’. Her approach lacked the necessary assessment of training needs and the training
outcomes. Linda also fell in differences with Mike when she informs him that his training
is not adding any value to the employees’ skills. Mike differs here with Linda as Mike
feels his evaluations from the employees he train advocates that he is doing the right job.

This essay identifies the main problems at Jet Red and provides solutions to these
problem adopting different models and theories which may be applicable. It starts by
highlighting how Linda should have evaluated Mike’s performance and how she would
have handled the situation, overall. Next the differences between Linda and Mike’s
performance expectations are given along with suggested solutions to avoid these
differences. The importance of training and the training approach that should have been
taken by Janice are specified next. The last part discusses the very important
responsibility of the management that should have been taken in the situation.
2 Setting Objectives

The case suggests that there are differences between how Linda sees Mike performs and
how Mike assesses his own performance. Mike being an old companion in the company,
almost 20 years old, has never been criticized upon his performance. Linda being the new
HR manager is aware of the company’s declining performance and feels Mike’s
performance is not bringing the required results and his training is not adding value to the
skills of the employees trained. Janice the training manager of Jet Red is also terminated
because her work was not bringing any results. Linda took the decision of terminating
Janice and also threatening Mike of losing his job. The harsh decisions that Linda took
and handled the situation overall looks premature keeping in mind her new arrival in the
organization and also her failure to set proper objectives and appraisal systems for the
employees. Before taking her decisions Linda should have set proper objectives for Mike
and Janice and all other employees in the organization.

Based on Catt and Miller (1991) setting objectives requires knowing exactly what is to be
accomplished. It includes assigning responsibilities, specifying a time period and
determining a method of evaluation. Figure1 shows a process of setting objectives. The
process includes four factors which have a relationship with the objective. The first
amongst these factors determines what is to be accomplished. This is a statement of
objective which clearly defines what the goal is. The statement of objective should be
very specific and narrowed. The next factor is of assigning responsibility. A
responsibility should be given to the person and it should be made sure that it is
communicated well so that the person knows that he will be accountable for the results.
The third step of the process is about setting deadlines and including a time frame in
which the targets have to be achieved. The last step is about measuring the results.
Evaluation is necessary so that one can find out what went wrong if the actual results
differ from the expectations. The employees given the task to achieve the objective
should also know through a feed back about how well they conducted their task.
What is
to be
accomplished?

How will
results be The Who is
measured? Objective responsible?

When is it
to be
Accomplished?

Figure.1 The process of setting objectives


Source: Catt and Miller 1991
3 Performance Management

There is a difference between Linda’s and Mike’s performance expectations. Mike thinks
that the evaluation from the employees he trains is satisfactory while Linda thinks there
are no tangible results. The problem is here that there is no proper way of performance
management or appraisal.

Based on (Mabey, Salaman &Storey 1998) a systematic model of performance


management is proposed which may have solved the above differences. The base of this
model is the performance management cycle shown in Figure 2. The figure shows five
main areas which should be taken step by step in order to measure performance. The first
main area is setting performance objectives or goals. This is the expectation of the
management from the employee and employee is expected to achieve particular targets.
Next is the measurement of outcomes. How far the employee has been able to achieve the
objectives is found at this stage. In the third area of feedback of results the employee is
informed how well he did with his tasks to achieve the objectives and in which areas his
performance lacked. Based on the outcomes the employer is rewarded on his job. The last
stage is about making amendments in objectives and activities and this cycle continues.
This cycle shows a systematic approach to performance management or an appraisal
system so that employees are aware of their objectives and their performance through
feedback. The case between Linda and Mike shows that there was not a proper evaluation
or appraisal system in place which could have helped them achieve specific goals.
Measurement of
performance

Setting Feedback of
objectives results

Amendments of Rewards
objectives and (based on
activities outcomes)

Figure.2 Performance Management cycle


Source: Mabey, Salaman & Storey 1998
4 Importance of training and development

The goal of training and development of all organizations is to maintain or improve the
performance of individuals. The HR professionals in many organizations now realize that
to stay competitive training along with other HR activities have to work together in order
to support and strengthen corporate strategy. Training according to (Anthony, Kacmar
&Perrewe 2002) refer to providing instructions to develop skills that can be used
immediately on the job whereas development has a much broader focus and it involves
developing skills and knowledge that may be used immediately or sometime in future.
The need for training and development in organizations usually arises when the
competition is rising and enhancement in technical and managerial skills is needed to
keep up with rapid growth (Reigeluth 2004). Companies than strive to become learning
organizations that are capable of adapting quickly to market changes.
5 Approach to training and development

Janice the training manager of Jet Red was given freedom by the management to choose
on her own the kind of training the employees need and also the trainers that will coach
the employees. Janice thus hired expensive trainers to do the job and they were only
training the employees in improving the interpersonal or people skills. The idea of people
oriented training may not be wrong, but this was not be the only area where the
employees needed to be trained. Looking at this aspect it seems that both the
management and Janice did not have specific goals set for the training program and
neither the training seemed to support any of the corporate goals (Ivancevich & Hoon,
2002). Moreover there was no method of evaluation of employees after training. The
approach taken by Janice was a haphazard approach (Nankervis, Compton &Baird 2002).
A better approach pursued by Janice here would have been a systematic approach
(Anthony, Kacmar &Perrewe 2002) to training which has three main stages. The three
main stages are assessment, training and evaluation stage.

Assessment stage: Before any training program is carried out the need for it is first
determined. This is referred to as the assessment stage. In this stage the training needs of
the organization, the particular job, individuals, training objectives and criteria for
training evaluation are examined (Anthony, Kacmar &Perrewe 2002). The assessment of
organization needs helps examine the purpose of training with respect to the
organization’s goals, objectives and strategies. Things to consider here are whether the
goals of the training programs align with the goals and objectives of the organization.
The goals of the organization may be short term which may be a period of less than one
year or they can be long term such as five or ten years. The proposed training program
should ensure that the employees develop the necessary skills and abilities in order to
meet the organizations needs at the right time (Reigeluth 2005).
The assessment of the particular job or task needs help in order to discover what
qualifications are necessary to do the job and also to find out any qualification and skill
deficiencies. One of the tools used in job design which is job description is helpful in
determining the training needs for the job. Job specification describes employee
qualifications, such as experience, knowledge, skills or abilities that are required to
perform a particular job.
The third part of the assessment stage determines the individual or the employee needs.
Here it is determined whether a gap exists between the requirement of a job and skills of
the employee who perform it. This is a very important part of assessment because here it
is finally decided what particular kind of training the employee should be given in order
to work on his job.
The fourth part of this stage is the development of training objectives. Before the training
begins the objectives should be identified and these objectives should include what the
outcome of training is expected to be so that there is a way to measure how far the
objectives have been met (Ivancevich & Hoon 2002).
The last part is the development of criteria for training evaluation. To determine whether
the training has achieved objectives a criteria against which to measure the result must be
developed. The criteria can include different methods such as testing the employees with
an exam, monitoring the reaction of employees and the changes in behavior of the
trainees.

Based on Linda and Hennessey (2003), Hershey’s food which is one of largest consumer
packaged goods (CPG) company in America, developed a very good process of
connecting training with the company’s strategies and goals. Hershey’s developed a new
promotional strategy which was called the blue chip strategy. The training program had a
clear goal. The goal was to help Hershey’s sales professionals develop the skills, plans
and confidence necessary to implement the new blue chip strategy with its North
American customers. The job needs were also determined where it was found out that
that Customer Service Executives were required to conduct marketing due intelligence
and negotiate with the customers in order to increase the sales. Employee’s assessment
was also made in order to find out the skill gap and then training programs were proposed
tailored to the specific need of each Customer Service Executive selling to different kinds
of customers.
Training stage: The training stage is used to design and select training procedures that
the employees will be offered. The training procedures fall under two main categories.
They are On-the-job training and Off-the-job training.

On-the-job training: One of the most commonly used methods is the On-the-job training
method. This method is usually adopted in order to provide the employee with the skills
to do a minimum level at the job. Most frequently used techniques include expansion of
job duties, assignments and responsibilities both horizontally and vertically in the
organization. Methods of job rotation are also used in order to expose the employee to
different tasks in different departments in the organization (Nankervis, Compton &Baird
2002). Sometimes individuals are also placed as assistants to higher level jobs so that
they are acquainted with these jobs and it becomes easier for the organization in
succession planning. The other method used which was also carried by the Jet Red is in-
company training done by company trainers as well as outside consultants.

Off-the-job training: The methods used in the off-the-job training procedures vary from
one organization to another and also upon the level of skill required by the employees.
Off-the-job training can be in the form of short courses and seminars conducted by
educational institutions or professional training firms, college degree and certificate
programs, outside meetings and conferences, computer assisted instructions and others.

Evaluation Stage: There are a number of approaches available for evaluating the
training programs. Based on (Anthony, Kacmar &Perrewe 2002) there are four different
levels of evaluation developed by Donald Kirkpatrick. These levels are:

Reaction: The reaction of the participants or the employees in the training program is the
first form of evaluation. Here the information is gathered about what the employees
thought about the program, the performance of the trainers and the content of the
program (Klein & Richey 2005). Information can be gathered through a questionnaire
distributed to the employees.
Learning: Here the goal is to find out the degree of learning the employees have taken
after the training. Different forms of tests are conducted to find out the nature and quality
of skills the employees have adopted after the training.

Behavior: This level of evaluation examines whether participants display behavior


changes in their jobs. The data and information gathered here usually comes from
supervisors or colleagues who work closely with the employee trained.

Results: This level is the final level and this concerns the effect of training on the
organization. Evaluation at this level should directly relate to the goals of the
organization determined at the assessment stage. Data collected to evaluate this level
might be increase in productivity, increase in sales, cost savings lower labor turnover and
return on investment (ROI). The method of evaluating ROI is discussed later in the essay.

Looking at Janice’s approach to training and development it is very clear that her
approach was not systematic. This can be justified through many of her actions. First of
all due to her firm belief that every employee and every manager should be ‘people-
oriented’ led to training employees only on people skills. This shows that her training
approach lacked any assessment of the organization, job and employee needs prior to
exposing employees to training. Had Janice properly judged and assess the employee
skill gap and the organization’s strategies she would have proposed different training
programs to different employees which would have been more specific and tailor made to
each one (Caudron 1998). The other area where her approach was lacking was the area of
evaluation. Janice hired expensive training consultants but did not evaluate the results in
terms of the return on investment in training.
Based on Rowden (2005) there are two common formulas used to calculate the return on
investment on training. They are cost/benefit ratio (CBR) and return on investment
(ROI). To find the CBR and ROI the cost and benefits of the training program should be
known in monetary terms. To find the CBR you divide the total benefits from the total
cost. In the ROI the costs are subtracted from the total benefits to produce net benefits
which are than divided by the total costs. An illustration is provided with assumed
numerical figures to show the results.

Total cost of training: $10,000


Total benefits from the training: $ 25,000

CBR= Total benefits/Total cost


CBR= 25,000/10,000
CBR= 2.5
This means that for every $1 invested $2.5 in benefits are returned.

ROI=> Total benefits – Total cost= Net benefits/Total cost= ROI

=>25,000-10,000=15,000=Net benefits.
ROI= 15000/10000= 1.5= 150%.

This shows that for every $1 invested there was a return of $1.5 in net benefits.
6 Training requirements under different business
strategies

When an organization spends an amount on hiring expensive trainers it must make sure
that the training program is such that it adds value to the employees existing skills
which are needed by them in order to achieve and implement organizational strategies.
Management of the organization has a role to play here and it should take responsibility
to make sure that the training practices are aligned properly with the business strategy
(Noe 2001). Table 1 shows four business strategies which are concentration, internal
growth, external growth and disinvestment and highlights the implication of each for
training practices. The four strategies are:

Concentration strategy: A concentration strategy focuses on reducing costs, increasing


market share and maintaining a market niche for products. For such a strategy an
organization will have to spend on the development of its employees and provide
training specific to their needs which will help them carry this strategy.
Internal growth strategy: This strategy focuses on new market and product
development, innovation and joint ventures. The organization here will probably create
new jobs and the new employees will need cultural training and most importantly
technical training for innovation and product development.
External growth strategy: This strategy emphasizes on acquisition of other firms with
similar or different businesses in order to expand into new markets and even buying
vendors and supplier businesses. Here the skills and capabilities of employees of the
acquired firm are to be determined and then the training needs.
Disinvestment: This strategy is adopted when the company is declining and it is selling
out most of its business. The employees here need to be trained to be more efficient so
that the company starts generating more profits and also increase its revenues.

The management of Jet Red should support its training programs with its business
strategies in order to make sure that its training courses add value.
Table 1 Implications of Business strategy for Training
Strategy Emphasis How achieved Key issues Training implications
• Increase market • Improve product • Development of • Team building
share quality existing work • Specialized programs
Concentration
• Reduce operating • Improve force • Interpersonal skills
cost productivity • On-the-job training

• Market • Create new • Create new jobs • Technical competence in job


development products and tasks • Cultural training
Internal growth
• Innovation • Add distribution • Innovation • Development of culture that
• Joint ventures channels values creative thinking
• Expand globally • Conflict negotiation skills

• Horizontal • Acquire firms • Integration • Determining capabilities of


integration delivering similar • Redundancy employees in acquired firms
External growth
• Vertical or different • Restructuring • Integrating training systems
(Acquisition) integration products • Methods and procedures of
• Concentric • Acquire firms combined firms
diversification that supply
products
• Retrenchment • Reduce cost • Efficiency • Motivation, goal setting
• Liquidation • Reduce assets • Leadership training
Disinvestment
• Divestiture • Generate revenue • Interpersonal communication
• Redefine goals • Outplacement assistance

Source: Noe 2001


7 Conclusion

Jet Red is going through problems and it has lost its position in the market place. The
HR manager Linda is asked by the management to take corrective actions and she feels
the training manager Janice and trainer Mike is responsible for this. The findings in the
essay indicate that Janice and Mike are the not the only people who should be
responsible for Jet Red’s poor performance or to be more particular the poor training of
the employees. The case clearly hints that the management was also responsible as
there was no proper alignment of company’s strategy with the training program Linda
also got a little ahead in making her decisions by terminating Janice and also making
her differences with Mike. For both Mike and Janice Linda should have first set proper
objectives and goals to achieve and then should measured their performance through a
proper appraisal system as advised above in the essay. However Janice’s approach
seemed far more influenced from her qualifications than the actual needs of the
company. She should have taken a more systematic approach to training as explained
above. The underlying problem in Jet Red is the improper communication of goals and
strategies from the top management to the HR department and from the HR department
to employees.
8 Recommendations
Following are some of the recommendations and a list of actions based on the case that
Jet Red should adopt and apply to answer their problems.

• A proper communication of specified goals and strategies should take place


between the organization and the HR department to that there is an alignment in
the HR policies and the company’s goals. Similarly the organization should first
find out its business strategy and then consider the training implications with
HR manager. The training manager of Jet Red as well as the trainers should also
take part in deciding the types of training program and its implications.
• The training approach taken by the training manager should be a systematic one.
The training manager should first do all the necessary assessments relating
organization, job and individual needs and then choose the training program
which may or may not be specific to individual needs. In the end a proper
evaluation of training should take place and most importantly the returns on
training should be measured in terms of financial costs through ROI.
• Linda should formulate a proper procedure of setting objectives in the
organization for the employees. Employees should be assigned a task, explained
and be clearly specified that they are responsible for the task and they will be
answerable to the results. The employees should also be given proper feedback
on their work so they keep improving themselves.
• The last important action should be to construct a proper performance appraisal
system. A proper management or appraisal system will help reduce the
differences in performance expectations that resulted between Linda and Mike.
9 List of References

Anthony, P, Kacmar, K & Perrewe, P 2002, ‘Human Resource Management: A strategic


approach’, 4th edn, South-Western, Ohio, USA, pp. 326-340

Catt, S & Miller, D 1991, ‘Supervision: Working with people’, 2nd edn, Richard D. Irwin,
USA, pp. 83-85

Caudron, S 1998, ‘Integrate HR and training: Working together toward shared goals’,
Workforce, vol. 77, no. 5, pp. 88-92, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Ivancevich, M & Hoon, Lee 2002, Human Resource Management in Asia, McGraw-Hill
Education, Singapore, pp. 145-147

Klein, J & Richey, R 2005, ‘Improving individual and organizational’: Performance


Improvement, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 9 -16, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Linda, S & Hennessey, P 2003, ‘Training sweetens Hershey’s core strategy’, Training
and Development, vol. 57, no. 5, pp. 84-94, retrieved from ProQuest database.
Mabey, C, Salaman, G & Storey, J 1998, ‘Human Resource Management: A Strategic
Introduction’, 2nd edn, Black Well publishers Ltd, Oxford, UK, pp.127-128

Nankervis, A, Compton, R & Baird, M 2002, ‘Strategic Human Resource Management’,


4th edn, Nelson Australia Pvt. Ltd, Australia, pp. 318-320

Noe, R 2002, ‘Employee Training and Development’, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill companies,
NY, USA, pp. 51-52.

Reigeluth, C 2005, ‘A study of organizational learning at small-town hospital’,


Performance Improvement, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 34-41, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Rowden, R 2005, ‘Exploring methods to evaluate the Return-on-Investment from


training’, Business Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 31-37, retrieved from ProQuest database.
10 Bibliography

Anthony, P, Kacmar, K & Perrewe, P 2002, ‘Human Resource Management: A strategic


approach’, 4th edn, South-Western, Ohio, USA, pp. 326-340

Catt, S & Miller, D 1991, ‘Supervision: Working with people’, 2nd edn, Richard D. Irwin,
USA, pp. 83-85

Caudron, S 1998, ‘Integrate HR and training: Working together toward shared goals’,
Workforce, vol. 77, no. 5, pp. 88-92, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Clark, R & Kwinn, A 2005, ‘Aligning training to business results’, Business Acumen,
viewed at 27th November 2005, <http://www.shrm.org/login.asp?
clickth=http://www.shrm.org/hrmagazine/articles/1205/1205tyler.asp>

Ivancevich, M & Hoon, Lee 2002, Human Resource Management in Asia, McGraw-Hill
Education, Singapore, pp. 145-147

Joiner, T, Bartram, T & Garreffa, T, ’The effects of mentoring on perceived career


Success, Commitment and turnover’, Journal of American Academy of Business,
Cambridge, vol. 5, no. ½, pp. 164-171, retrieved from ProQuest database.
Klein, J & Richey, R 2005, ‘Improving individual and organizational’: Performance
Improvement, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 9 -16, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Linda, S & Hennessey, P 2003, ‘Training sweetens Hershey’s core strategy’, Training
and Development, vol. 57, no. 5, pp. 84-94, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Mabey, C, Salaman, G & Storey, J 1998, ‘Human Resource Management: A Strategic


Introduction’, 2nd edn, Black Well publishers Ltd, Oxford, UK, pp.127-128

Nankervis, A, Compton, R & Baird, M 2002, ‘Strategic Human Resource Management’,


4th edn, Nelson Australia Pvt. Ltd, Australia, pp. 318-320

Noe, R 2002, ‘Employee Training and Development’, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill companies,
NY, USA, pp. 51-52.

Reigeluth, C 2005, ‘A study of organizational learning at small-town hospital’,


Performance Improvement, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 34-41, retrieved from ProQuest database.

Rowden, R 2005, ‘Exploring methods to evaluate the Return-on-Investment from


training’, Business Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 31-37, retrieved from ProQuest database.