Chapter 2 (Strategic Training) A business strategy is a plan that integrates the company’s goals, policies, and actions. The strategy influences how the company uses physical capital, financial capital, and human capital. The business strategy helps direct the company’s activities to reach specific goals. The goals are what the company hopes to achieve in the medium- and long-term future. Most companies’ goals include financial goals but companies have other goals related to employee satisfaction, industry position, and community service. There is both a direct and indirect link between training and business strategy and goals. Giving employees opportunities to learn and develop creates a positive work environment, which supports the business strategy by attracting talented employees as well as motivating and retaining current employees. Strategy has a particularly strong influence on determining: 1. The amount of training devoted to current or future job skills. 2. Which training is customized or developed based on the needs of a team, unit, or division. 3. Whether training is restricted or open to all employees. 4. Whether training is planned and systematically administered or developed spontaneously. 5. The importance placed on training compared to other human resource management practices such as selection and compensation. The Evolution of Training’s Program: From an Event to learning: The evolution of training’s role from a program focuses to a broader focus on learning and creating and sharing knowledge. Training’s role has to evolve to include an emphasis on learning and creating and sharing knowledge. Learning occurs through training, development, informal learning and knowledge management. Training and development program that are organized and created by the company are one way to ensure that employees learn. In less strategic approaches, training involves a series of programs or events that employees are required to attend. Also, which training programs provide no information that would help employees understand the relationship between the training content and their job performance or business goals are usually fails to improve workplace performance and meet business needs. This approach assumes that business conditions are predictable; they can be controlled by the company. This assumption is true for certain skills. Learning As A Strategic Focus: Learning Organization is a company that has an enhanced capacity to learn, adapt and change. Training processes are carefully scrutinized and aligned with company goals. In a learning organization training is seen as one part of a system designed to create human capital. The learning organization emphasizes knowledge management. Key Features of a learning Organization Supportive learning environment Employees feel safe expressing their thoughts about work. Different functional and cultural perspectives are appreciated. Employees are encouraged to take risk, innovate and explore the unknown. Thoughtful review of the company’s processes is encouraged. Learning process and practice Knowledge creation, dissemination, sharing and application are appreciated. Systems are developed for creating, capturing and sharing knowledge. Managers reinforce learning Managers actively question and listen to employees. Managers are willing to consider alternative point of view. Learning is rewarded, promoted and supported. The Strategic Training and Development Process: The model shows that the process begins with identifying the business strategy. Next, strategic training and development initiatives that support the strategy are chosen. Translating these strategic training and development initiatives into concrete training and development activities is the next step of the process. The final step involves identifying measures or metrics Identify the Company’s Business Strategy: mission is the company’s reason for existing, vision is the picture of the future that the company wants to achieve. Values are what the company stands for. Goals are what the company hopes to achieve in the medium- and longterm future. Strategic training and development initiatives: are learning-related actions that a company should take to achieve its business strategy. The initiatives are based on the business environment, an understanding of the company’s goals and resources. Strategic Training and Development Activities: include developing initiatives related to use of new technology in training, increasing access to training programs for certain groups of employees, reducing development time, and developing new or expanded course offerings. Metrics that Show value of Training: This determination involves identifying and collecting outcome measures, or metrics. The metrics that are typically used to identify training success or effectiveness include trainees’ satisfaction with the training program. ` Formulation of business strategy: Five major components are part of developing a new business strategy or changing an existing one. Organizational Characteristic’s that influence training: Training function in a company are influenced 1. Employee and manager roles; 2. Top management support for training; 3. Integration of business units; 4. Global presence 5. Business conditions; 6. Human resource management practices including staffing strategies and human resource planning; by the company’s extent of unionization; and by the extent of involvement in training and development by managers, employees, and human resource staff. Employee and manager roles Traditionally, employees’ roles were to perform their jobs according to the managers ‘directions. Line managers spend more time managing individual performance and developing employees. Midlevel managers and executives are planning and allocating resources, coordinating interdependent groups, and managing group performance. Managers in traditional work environments are expected to do the following: Manage individual performance. Develop employees. Plan and allocate resources Coordinate interdependent groups Manage group performance Monitor the business environment Represent one’s work unit. Top management support for training Top managers are engaged in training and development in many different ways, including providing input into learning program development, serving as trainers or co-trainers, visiting courses as executive speakers, or serving as advisory council members. top manager in the company is responsible for: A clear direction for learning (vision). Encouragement, resources, and commitment for strategic learning (sponsor). Taking an active role in governing learning to measure training effectiveness (governor). Developing new learning programs for the company (subject-matter expert). Teaching programs or providing resources online (faculty). Serving as a role model for learning for the entire company (learner). Promoting the company’s commitment to learning by advocating it in speeches, annual reports, interviews, and other public relations tools (marketing agent). Integration of business units In a highly integrated business, employees need to understand other units, services, and products in the company. Training likely includes rotating employees between jobs in different businesses so they can gain an understanding of the whole business. Global presence For companies with global operations, training is used to prepare employees for temporary or long-term overseas assignments. Companies need to determine whether training will be conducted and coordinated from a central facility or located near overseas facilities. Business conditions When unemployment is low or businesses are growing at a high rate and need more employees, companies often find it difficult to attract new employees, find employees with necessary skills, and retain current employees. In many cases, companies downsize their work forces as a way of cutting costs. Other Human resource management practices Consist of the management activities related to investments in staffing, performance management, training, and compensation and benefits. The resources devoted to training are influenced by the strategy that adopted for two human resource management practices: staffing and human resource planning. Staffing strategy refers to the company’s decisions regarding where to find employees, how to select them, and the desired mix of employee skills and statuses (temporary, fulltime, etc.). Two aspects of a company’s staffing strategy influence training: assignment flow, supply flow. Human resource planning: Training can be used to prepare employees for increased responsibilities in their current job, promotions, lateral moves, transfers, and downward job opportunities that are predicted by the human resource plan. Extent of Unionization: Unions ‘interest in training has resulted in joint union-management programs designed to help employees prepare for new jobs. When companies begin retraining and productivity-improvement efforts without involving unions, the efforts are likely to fail. Staff Involvement in Training and Development Training program is used are affected by the degree to which managers, employees, and specialized development staff are involved in the process. If managers are not involved in the training process training may be unrelated to business needs. Outsourcing Training: Outsourcing refers to the use of an outside company (an external services firm) that takes complete responsibility and control of some training or development activities or that takes over all or most of a company’s training including administration, design, delivery, and development. Business process outsourcing refers to the outsourcing of any business process, such as human resource management, production, or training.