Research Methods Ont He Effect of Training and Development

Research Methods Ont He Effect of Training and Development

Master of Business Administration
Research Methods
TITLE: The Effects of Training and Development on Employee Performance: A case study of Resourcery PLC
4,013 Words
Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction – page 1
1.1 Research Questions – page 3
1.2 Research Objectives – page 3
2.0 Literature Review – page 4
2.1 Definition of Employee Performance – page 4
2.2 Definition of Training – page 5
2.3 Training Design – page 6
2.4 Work Environment – page 6
2.5 Impact of Training on Employee Performance – page 7
3.0 Methodology – page 9
3.1 Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies – Page 9
3.2 Theoretical Framework – Page 10
3.3 Research Variables – page 10
3.4 Research Design – page 11
3.5 Sampling Frame – page 11
3.6 Population – page 12
3.7 Sampling Method – page 12
3.8 Sampling Size – page 13
3.9 Unit of Analysis – page 13
3.10 Data Collection procedures – page 13
3.11 Instrument – page 14
3.12 Data Analysis – page 14
4.0 Reflection and Resources – page 1
4.1 Timeline – page 15
4.2 Reflections – page 15
5.0 Bibliography – page 17
1.0 INTRODUCTION
With the increase in international business and globalization trends, organizations find themselves in a rapidly changing environment. To adapt, organizations must have a skilled workforce to be able to perform effectively and training and development plays a pivotal role in this area. Some researches argue that training and developing employees increases organizations’ overall performance and effectiveness. It is crucial for an organization or institution to understand the relationship between training and job performance in order to ensure that the knowledge and skills imparted to employees are translated to increased job performance. To get a better understanding of how this works, this research will study the effects of training and developing employees on their performance then evaluate the importance of effective training and development to job performance, discuss the relationship between training and the overall organizational performance and offer some recommendations on how to structure effective training and development plans within an organization.
The rapidly changing environment places a high demand on organizations in areas of flexibility, variety, innovation and constant development. More importantly, it demands a highly skilled human resource that is expected to influence customer satisfaction and organizational performance. Considering the nature of the world economy and business environment where the number of start-up businesses are rapidly increasing and existing businesses are reinventing themselves, organizations are confronted with stiff and aggressive competition and must create a competitive advantage to stay ahead of the competition. Human resource management has therefore become a strategic function within organizations to help in achieving the overall goals of the company. Some scholars have said that for employees to develop these required skills and capabilities they need to be trained according to their needs. Goldstein and Gilliam suggest that training is one of the most important strategies for organizations to help employees gain proper knowledge and skills needed to meet the environmental challenges (Goldstein and Gilliam, 1990). This can be interpreted as a deliberate attempt by an organization to expedite employees’ learning of job competencies, even though organizations may not become effective and reap the benefits until employees develop and apply their knowledge and skills. As organizations come to terms with the need to use best practices in training and development to improve their competitive advantage, training and development has gradually become an indispensable component of every organization’s business structure. Employees will also be more likely to respond to an organization that invests in a process which addresses activities that enhance job performance as well as those that also generate growth of the character of the employees. Renaud et al (2004) buttress this in saying that, investment in training by the organization will increase the value of human capital and lead to better performance and productivity.
Despite existing studies and theories as well as efforts made by some organizations there is still a gap between the actual and expected or desired performance of some employees who have been trained. There is also a trend being noticed especially in Resourcery PLC, that some employees who haven’t been sent out on training match the performance and sometimes exceed that of trained employees and therefore there is a need to find out what guarantees employee performance. The main objective of this study is to determine if training and developing an employee is a guarantee for improved employee performance. In doing this, I will also identify the causes for employees not to be performing as expected after attending training programs, the training factors that contribute to job performance and discuss the overall relationship between training and job performance. The outcome of this study will be the understanding of the benefits of training employees and how organizations can get the best out of training programs and employees that attend.
1.1 Research Questions
* Is training and developing an employee a guarantee for employee performance?
* What are the causes of employees not performing to standard after training programs
* What are the training factors that contribute to the job performance?
* What is the relationship between training program and job performance?
1.2 Research Objectives
The objectives of this study are:
* To study relevant learning & performance theories
* Identify how training and development is supposed to contribute to employee performance
* Identify the current trends in the level of job performance after attending training programs
* Examine the relationship between training programs and job performance.
* Identify how organizations can structure effective training and development plans within an organization.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Definition of Employee Performance
The main resources of an organization are its human resources. The human resources form the backbone and so organizations invest a vast amount of capital on them because their high performance will translate to increased performance of the organization. According to Mwita (2000), performance is a multifaceted concept expected to yield results and is tightly linked with achieving a company’s vision and goals. An employee’s job performance comprises of a number of elements; the individual, the context, and the activity, therefore, to increase job performance, change must occur in the discrete elements or in a combination of some or all the elements. The important question to be discussed is how employees can be more efficient and effective on their job thereby adding to the productivity and growth of the organization. According to Torrington et al (2008) it is no good having all the right people all in the right place, but not delivering the goods. The essence of training and developing employees is to increase their capacity to produce the results expected of them, cultivate and nurture expansive and innovative work styles and gradually induce an environment where people are continually learning. Hamtini says that training and development can contribute to an increase in the level of an employee’s job performance if the employee is able to transfer the training experience to their job (Hamtini, 2008). Tamkin suggested that this set of employees will have a high output and make significant contributions to the company’s profits (Tamkin, 2005).
2.2 Definition of Training
Training comprises of activities scheduled by top management to facilitate employee’s learning of job related capabilities which includes knowledge, skills and behaviours that are vital for the employee’s job environment and stand to contribute to a successful job performance by the employee (Raymond, 2005). Geet & Deshpande defined training as a systematic process of changing the behaviour, knowledge and motivation of present employees to improve the match between employee characteristics and employment requirements (Geet & Deshpande, 2008). From the aforementioned, the expectation from organizations who train employees is for the employees to build new competencies in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude to apply to their respective jobs expecting that to translate to some sort of advantage for the organization. Researches have said that organizations with a bad training strategy lose time and money (Tsaur and Lin, 2004), so it is imperative for organizations to invest not just money in training employees, but also to invest time and develop an impactful strategy for getting the best out of training employees. Training programs are becoming more performance-oriented which implies that useful trainings should be tailored to suit the employees in attendance and employees should be made to attend relevant training programs. The effect of this is that when there is a guarantee that the training an employee attends is relevant, there can be a concerted expectation for it to translate to improved job performance for the employer as benefits from the investment. Lucie and Stephane indicate that an increase in the level of employee performance after training shouldn’t be taken for granted, but should be measured by using a four component training evaluation criteria which are; learning, reaction, behaviour and result (Lucie and Stephane, 2004).
2.3 Training Design
Training design refers to factors that are integrated to the training framework so as to increase the probability that the transfer of training will occur (Raymond, 2010). The design comprises of features such as the training goals, training content, the opportunity to practice, feedback and physical arrangement of the venue. Chow et al (2010) say the facilitator has to detail the learning objectives as well as the kind of contribution the program should make to the employee’s job and to achieve this it is necessary to do a job analysis. This should be done with the aim of defining the employee’s work process and what is expected after the training program, how it will be measured, evaluated, enhanced and controlled. Doing this correctly will increase the employee’s productivity because the quality of the training program in terms of the design, the content and its relevance will greatly aid the ability to transfer the knowledge gained to the employee’s job and it can then be expected that the employee’s performance will be improved.
2.4 Work Environment
For the work environment of the employee to aid their development and performance, it must be well structured with positive processes and principles such as sociable and supportive environs either by co-workers or management staff. Clark (2009) supports that in order to create the well-structured environment for employee development; an organization should encourage individual growth and development as well as provide the necessary support and resources like tuition fees, in-house programs and dedicated time for employees to take part in the learning activities. Raymond (2010) stated that there are some factors in the work environment that affect the transfer of training such as management support, peer support, technology support, a favourable environment and the opportunity to make use of the newly gained knowledge, skills and abilities on the job. The positive work environment will provide a positive outcome of the efficiency of the program as the employees will receive the full support of their management and colleagues to implement newly acquired knowledge, skills and abilities. Westerman and Cyr (2004) support this in saying that an enabling work environment gives remarkable support and impact towards employees being efficient in the office. Employees who are in a work environment that fit are more likely to naturally enjoy their work and this will translate to improved job performance as opposed to those who discover they are not suitable for the organizations existing work environment. Therefore, after any training program, an employee must be places in a position and environment that they feel is fit and adequate for them to express themselves and sharpen their new skills, knowledge and abilities.
2.5 Impact of Training on Employee Performance
In evolving organizations, training plays a key role in increasing performance as well as productivity. This ultimately gives organizations a strategic advantage in overcoming competition and staying at the top. This indicates that there is a substantial difference between the companies that train their employees and the ones that do not (April, 2010). Training yields returns for the employee as well as the employer by influencing employee performance via the increase of employee skills, knowledge and ability (April, 2010). Evans and Lindsay (1999) said that companies that are obliged to making profits for investors, by providing value to customers, invest in the training of its employees. The more a trainee is motivated, the more they quickly pick up new skills, knowledge and abilities. Thus, training should be linked to something the employee’s desire. According to Leslie (1990), there are four requirements for learning: First is motivation. Cue is the next prerequisite. The trainee can identify significant indicators (cue) and link them to the desired responses via training. Thirdly is response. For the learner to feel the response, training should immediately be followed by progressive reinforcement. Lastly is feedback, and here the quality of the trainee’s response is determined in the information received from them. An employee’s performance can be defined as the accomplishment of a specific task compared to a set standard in terms of completeness, accuracy, speed and cost. In any employee’s engagement contract, performance is considered to be the achievement of an obligation in a way that discharges the performer from all liabilities laid down under the contract. The employee’s effectiveness and efficiency are also constituents of performance asides from those stated above. Kenney et al., (1992) indicated that an employee's performance should be assessed against the standards set by the organization. Good performance means how well employees performed on given assignments. In all companies, there are certain expectations from the employees in respect of their performance. Good performers are the ones who perform up to the set standard by the company. An effective organisation and presentation of a task by the employee, which reflects the quality or work desired by the company, can also be deemed as performance. Thus, it is noteworthy to say that training alone is not enough to increase an employee’s performance. Requirements like motivation, ability to transfer knowledge to the job and an enabling work environment must be available for the knowledge, skills and abilities gained through training to be used to increase the employee performance.
3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1 Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies
Wright (1995) terms qualitative research as a research where figures and statistical techniques are not the essential concerns, where an effort is made to approach data source in its normal setting. This includes a collection of methods which comprise of content analysis, participant observation, surveys, unobtrusive measures, case studies, videotaping, formal and informal interviewing, and several forms of analysis. Wright (1995) postulated that since qualitative research emphasises holistic, broad and symbiotic structures that are dynamic, it can reconcile inconsistent outcomes of discrete studies because the role of a particular variable is taken as the result of a combination of different variables, and what is vital is the relation.
Quantitative research on the other hand, involves the use of logical and refined techniques to test, prove and verify hypotheses (Glaser and Strauss, 1968). Quantitative method, is appropriate where the objective of the research is to determine how many, what and where. In looking for such answers, a quantitative methodology depends on the use of pre-set response classifications via standard data collection instruments such as surveys and semi-structured interviews so as to facilitate statistical methods to be used to support the interpretation of data. Thus quantitative research is useful when you need to forecast attitudes, behaviours and performance and measure awareness with questions such as how many?, what is?, which of these?.
Considering the earlier stated research questions and objectives, the qualitative methodology is more appropriate for this research and will be used for the study.
3.2 Theoretical Framework
In the literature review, it has been observed that training has an impact on employee Performance and that it is a tool to improve employee performance. It has also been stated that motivation, ability to transfer knowledge to the job and an enabling work environment are also factors that affect employee performance. Examining the relationship between training and performance will therefore indicate the level to which training can impact the employee performance and also help in answering the research questions. A theoretical framework formulated to show the relationship between training and employee performance is as follows;
TRAINING (X)
TRAINING (X)
PERFORMANCE (Y)
PERFORMANCE (Y)
Y = f(X)
Performance (Y) = f1 + f2 Training (X)
f1 = No impact of Training on Performance
f2 = Positive impact of Training on Performance
3.3 Research Variables
In a research, the independent variable is the variable that is varied or manipulated by the researcher, and the dependent variable is the response that is measured. The theoretical foundation in this study is made up of two variables which are; Training as the Independent Variable and Job Performance as the Dependent Variable. The dimensions for the Independent variable will be the Training design, Work Environment and Type of Training. The dimensions for the dependent variable will be employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities. Wimmer & Dominick (2006) stated that an independent variable is the presumed cause, whereas the dependent variable is the presumed effect. Thus the independent variable denotes the condition that the researcher has control over to test their effects on a specific outcome whereas, the dependent variable measures what depicts the outcome of the study. The variables for this study have carefully been chosen to match the objectives of this research and are expected to give the most appropriate outcome.
3.4 Research Design
The research design is the outline of how the research is planned and conducted. It shows the details of the measures required to obtain the data needed to construct and solve the research problem. The design used for this research is correlational study which answers questions about the relationship between variables. Salkind (2006) suggested that correlational research offers some indication as to how the two or more things are related to one another. In other words, the link between the two variables and what they share in common. It is worthwhile here to note the variables as previously defined. They are; Training as the Independent Variable and Job Performance as the Dependent Variable.
3.5 Sampling Frame
Sampling has to do with the selection of discrete observations expected to give some information about a particular population of concern, particularly for statistical interpretation (Salkind, 2006). For this research, the sampling frame comprises of employees of Resourcery PLC, those who have been trained and those who have not been trained, the talent and recruitment manager as well as the learning and performance manager. Information from documentation on trainings and performance metrics will also be examined.
3.6 Population
A research population is usually a large assembly of persons or objects that are the main focus of a logical inquiry. The population in this research refers to the total number of employees from Resourcery PLC some of whom have been trained and others who haven’t. There will be 50 employees who have been trained and 50 employees who haven’t been trained, making a total of 100 employees. Amongst those who have been trained, some will have attended local training programs and others would have attended international training programs.
3.7 Sampling Method
The simple random sampling technique will be used for this research. Salkind (2006) stressed the usefulness of the technique in saying that by making use of it, every member of the population has an equal and independent prospect of being chosen to be a part of the sample. Considering the large sizes of populations, researchers often cannot test every individual in the population because it is too expensive and time-consuming however, there is no predisposition that one person will be chosen rather than another, and this is usually because the choice of one person does not affect the researcher regardless of the outcome. During random sampling, the characteristic of the sample should be very similar to the population. Thus, this permits each employee that worked with Resourcery to have an equal and independent opportunity of being chosen. An internet based tool on random.org (http://www.random.org/integers/) will be used for the random sampling.
3.8 Sampling Size
A combination of sources was used to determine the sampling size. Salkind (2006) suggests that the sample size should be between 30 and 500 respondents for it to be effective. Krejcie and Morgan (1970) did a study on sampling size and the outcome was a table for determining the sample size for a research. The table by Krejcie & Morgan is usable and consistent because of their expertise. The recommended sample size based on a population of 100 is 80 respondents. Therefore, 80 forms will be used to sample each user. This sample size is sufficient to obtain relevant information and satisfactory feedback from the respondents.
3.9 Unit of Analysis
The unit of analysis being the major entity that is being examined in the research will the Resourcery PLC employees that either have or have not been trained
3.10 Data Collection Procedures
For the purpose of this research, a survey will be used for data collection. The survey will be propagated to the respondents via a web based survey tool – survey monkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/). The questions will be prepared and uploaded on the website by the researcher, and the respondents will be contacted via email to respond with accurate information. The researcher will give the respondents two weeks to complete the questions and will follow up with the respondents to ensure they fill out the forms. Once this is done the researcher will then download the results from the survey tool online.
3.11 Instrument
The instrument to be used for data collection in this research is the survey. The survey will be sent to selected recipients involved in the research objectives and question. The survey will consist of a section for demographics, another section related to the types of training while the last section comprises of questions related to the employee’s performance. The survey will capture specific information relating to the employee’s training experience that will help arrive at the required outcome. It will consist of questions relating to the training experience, the training design, the employee’s understanding of training, the employee’s perception of the program and other relevant areas that will give information relevant to the research.
3.12 Data Analysis
Quantitative methods of data analysis are of significant importance to the researcher who is attempting to draw meaningful results from a large body of qualitative data (Abeyasekera, 2005). It allows the reporting of summary results in numerical terms to be given with a specified degree of confidence. The hypothesis in this research will be tested, using statistical techniques, some of which are beneficial for describing the results of measuring single variables. They include frequency distributions, graphs, measures of central tendency and variation, and reliability tests. The data collected will be analysed by using the SPSS Statistics version 17.0. The analysis to be done will include mean and standard deviation, regression analysis and Pearson correlation. These statistics will be used to determine the relationship between the two variables which are training and performance.
4.0 RESOURCES AND REFLECTIONS
4.1 Timelines
The timeline for the research will be as indicated in the table below. This will commence from when the research project is approved.
Serial No. | Activity | Timelines |
1 | Receive approval of Research project |   |
2 | Discuss with and seek approval from supervisor | 1 week |
3 | Make any corrections | 2 weeks |
4 | Develop Instruments | 1 week |
5 | Review Instruments and draft with supervisor | 1 week |
6 | Compile list of respondents | 1 week |
7 | Inform respondents of plan | 1 week |
8 | Administer instruments | 1 week |
9 | Write first draft | 2 weeks |
10 | Collect results | 1 week |
11 | Analyze results | 1 week |
12 | Review results with supervisor | 1 week |
13 | Write second draft | 2 weeks |
14 | Submit draft for review | 1 week |
15 | Make corrections | 2 weeks |
16 | Write conclusion and recommendation | 3 weeks |
17 | Finalize references | 1 week |
18 | Submit Final Dissertation |   |
  | Total Duration | 22 weeks |
Table 4.1 Timeline for Dissertation Project
4.2 Reflections
The writer’s perception of research had been that it was a process of extensive reading, then organization, reflection, and finally writing, similar to looking-up information before teaching or making a presentation. As the writer progressed, he became conscious of the fact that there are many ways of finding information and that research could be complex. Now, the writer perceives research to be more than just assembling facts and making inferences rather, an investigation of a problematic situation by means of research tools with an aim of creating beneficial knowledge for people to apply to the situation. Krause (2007) agrees with this, in saying that research writing is writing that uses evidence from journals, books, magazines, the Internet, experts, etc. to persuade or inform an audience about a particular point. To come up with the topic, the writer considered several issues encountered in several workplaces. The course content and materials also provided a source of inspiration for the topic. This study is significant in order for the employers in Nigeria to understand how to get a higher performance level in employees through training and development. Employees, will have a better understanding of the role they are to play, while they will have a deeper understanding of the root cause of why employees fail to perform after being trained and thereby be able to maximize their returns on training investments.

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