Week 7: Making the Case for Employee Development

The object of this assignment was to develop a PowerPoint presentation to our boss championing for an employee development plan.

 

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Week 7: Personal Development Plan

Individual development plans are great tools that are designed to help achieve developmental goals. According to Noe (2010, pg. 347), “development helps prepare employees for other positions in the company and increases the ability to move into jobs that may not yet exist.” This personal development plan focuses on four goals which I would like to achieve within the next year in my current position in my company.

1. Become a lead training developer on a project

Resource Needed for Development –

  • Job Enlargement – “Job enlargement is a vehicle employers use to put additional workload on employees, perhaps in economical downtime” (Jilani, 2011).
  • Job Rotation – “A job design technique in which employees are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner. The objective is to expose the employees to different experiences and wider variety of skills to enhance job satisfaction and to cross-train them” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).
  • Mentoring – “Employee training system under which a senior or more experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned to act as an advisor, counselor, or guide to a junior or trainee. The mentor is responsible for providing support to, and feedback on, the individual in his or her charge” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).

Rationale –

  • “Job enlargement adds the challenge of new responsibilities to an employee’s current job” (Noe, 2010, pg. 366). “Some motivational theories suggest that the boredom and alienation caused by the division of labour can actually cause efficiency to fall. Thus, job enlargement seeks to motivate workers through reversing the process of specialization. However the prospect of ‘job creep’ can increase the size of an employee’s workload and make the work unmanageable” (Jilani, 2011).
  • I added job rotation and mentoring to this developmental goal because I think that as Noe (pg. 349) stated, “companies use multiple approaches to achieve their employee development plans.” Working on a rotation basis within the company can have a great impact on how an employee “sees” the company. Sometimes in our jobs we can be only one-sided to our needs and fail to realize the impact that affects another department when we make a request of their time. “Job rotation helps employees gain an overall appreciation of the company’s goals, increases their understanding of different company functions, develops a network of contacts, and improves their problem-solving and decision-making skills” (Noe, pg. 367).
  • I mention also mentoring for this goal because I think that developing good interpersonal relationships are essential to developing good leadership skills also. Stolovich (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.) mentions that employee development should focus on leadership skills and the “ability to see the broader business model in the community and the industry.”

Actions to Obtain Goal –

  • Subscribe to blogs in order to keep up with new technological trends affecting my company’s technology.
  • Request additional work from lead training developer.
  • Develop a closer working relationship with lead developer to develop skills.

Timeframe for Goal Attainment –

  • Six months after newly acquired skills.
  • After professional feedback from Program Manager.

2. Increase training skills to better develop junior developers

Resource Needed for Development –

  • Job Rotation – “A job design technique in which employees are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner. The objective is to expose the employees to different experiences and wider variety of skills to enhance job satisfaction and to cross-train them” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).

Rationale –

  • According to Noe (pg. 367), “job rotation has been shown to be related to skill acquisition, salary growth, and promotion rates.” All employers want an employee who is versatile. What is important is that “all employees have equal opportunities for job rotation assignments, regardless of their demographic group” (Noe, pg. 368).
  • If I understand every aspect of the job, then I will be better prepared to assist those junior to me.

Actions to Obtain Goal –

  • Serve three months in each department.

Timeframe for Goal Attainment –

  • One year.

3. Serve as a mentor for my junior developers

Resource Needed for Development –

  • Coaching –
    “Extending traditional training methods to include focus on an individual’s needs and accomplishments, close observation, and impartial and non-judgmental feedback on performance” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).
  • Assessment Test – “Collecting information and providing feedback to employees about their behavior, communication style, values, or skills” (Noe, pg. 355).

Rationale –

  • As the most senior training developer in my division, I am held responsible for training newly hired employees. My patience when training others can sometimes be very trying. In order for me to be able to serve as a mentor to others, I must first find a mentor for myself. I will need that person to help me develop my interpersonal relationship skills in order to be an effect and efficient leader. This is why I need to develop a “coaching relationship” with a more experienced individual. Coaches work with employees to “motivate then, help develop skills, and provide reinforcement and feedback” (Noe, pg. 375). Coaches are not only limited to your immediate workplace. My the coach of my choosing just so happens to be a Senior Training developer in another division within the company. I see many of my personal work ethics and characteristics in this person, and she can help me to bring out the better qualities within myself through her patience and guidance. “The best coaches are empathetic, supportive, practical, and self-confident, but do not appear to know all the answers or want to tell others what to do” (Noe, pg. 376).

Actions to Obtain Goal –

  • Spend two hours a week working with the coach.
  • Ask coach to provide feedback on interpersonal relationship skills progress.
  • Conduct a Myer-Briggs Type Indicator test.

Timeframe for Goal Attainment –

  • Conduct a quarterly informal evaluation.
  • Final evaluation during yearly evaluation.

4. Decrease the percentage of mistakes from 30% to 10% during lesson reviews

Resource Needed for Development –

  • Performance Appraisals – “The process by which a manager examines and evaluates an employee’s work behavior by comparing it with preset standards, documents the results of the comparison, and uses the results to provide feedback to the employee to show where improvements are needed and why” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).
  • Job Rotation – “A job design technique in which employees are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner. The objective is to expose the employees to different experiences and wider variety of skills to enhance job satisfaction and to cross-train them” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).

Rationale –

  • According to Noe (pg. 360-1), “performance appraisals are the process of measuring an employee’s performance. The appraisal system must give employee’s specific information about their performance problems and ways they can improve their performance.” A modified version of an upward feedback appraisal could be given to assess my writing skills and grammar by the QC personnel. This appraisal by the QC department would help me by pinpointing the exact areas of special focus that I should be reviewing prior to submitting a lesson to the QC department.
  • In addition to using performance appraisals, I think that it would help to complete a six month job rotation to the QC department to “see through their eyes” what is expect of a quality lesson before being released to a customer.

Actions to Obtain Goal –

  • Request a final upward feedback appraisal at the end of the project.
  • Serve six months in the Quality Assurance and Control department.

Timeframe for Goal Attainment –

  • Attain monthly QC percentages to track progress.
  • Receive final feedback from QC at the end of the project.

References:

Business Dictionary. (n.d.). Job Rotation. Retrieved on June 19, 2011, at http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/job-rotation.html.

Jilani. (2011). Difference Between Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment. Retrieved on June 19, 2011, at http://www.differencebetween.net/business/difference-between-job-enlargement-and-job-enrichment/.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.). Employee Development [Multimedia]. Training and Development. Retrieved from Week seven resources.

Noe, R. A.  (2010).  Employee training and development (5th ed.).  New York, NY:  McGraw Hill.

Week 6: High-Tech Training

It has been said that we tend to write what we know most about. My entire adult life has been spent in the military and I tend to gravitate towards technologies and advancements that impact the military. My job involves designing training for the military community, so I am interested in the latest technologies being used to conduct their training. This week’s assignment involved selecting five technologies or technological advancements which impacts training and the transfer of learning. My blog will focus on how these technologies have impacted training for the military. Noe (2010, pg. 298) states that “technology allows digital collaboration to occur.” What is amazing about digital collaboration, is that it allows employees to use technology to “enhance and extend” their ability to work or train, regardless of geographical location.

Mobile Technologies

  •  Allows learning to occur anywhere at any time
  • Provides technicians with access to job aids
  • Used as a primary method of delivering training or follow-up training conducted in a face-to- face format 
  • Used to track customers, employees, and properties

 

According to an article on the website Big Cell Shop (2010), “the U.S. Army plans to issue smartphones to soldiers as part of their standard equipment, in an effort to integrate smartphones into the military experience and revolutionize the way the service trains and fights. The military-issued devices, which are part of an Army program, called “Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications,” or CSDA, aims to bring technology to the battlefield and training ground.” Due to the burden of multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, the implementation of smartphones will impact a Soldier’s availability to training, information, and collaboration among peers. GPS and RFID technologies are logistical necessities when preparing for deployments. According to Tom Kaneshige (2010), “last year the U.S. military doled out the iPod Touch to Soldiers in order for them to stay electronically linked to other troops, as well as have cultural and language information at their fingertips. The voice-to-voice translation app developer Jibbigo came out with a version of its iPhone app—a translator for an Iraqi dialect of Arabic—to help soldiers in these efforts.

 Virtual Worlds

  • “Computer-based, online simulated environments that include a three-dimensional representation of the real world and place to host learning programs or experiences” (Noe, 2010, pg. 321).
  • Employees are afforded the opportunity to practice their skills in an environment which imitates their actual workplace (Noe, 2010, pg. 322).
  •  Enhances transfer of learning by making the training fun and interactive (Noe, 2010, pg. 322).
  • “Provides a place to meet with trainers, managers, or other employees who can serve as teachers(Noe,2010, pg. 322).  

 According to Pursel (2008), “the combination of virtual worlds and online gaming approaches to e-learning could lead to monumental advances in online education and large scale training. The opportunity to innovate the entire field of e-learning is limited only be designer’s and developer’s creativity. Now instead of just getting an email from the instructor, you could actually come to a virtual classroom, a synchronous, graphical environment, interact with your instructor in a meaningful way, as well as interact with other students.” ASTD’s 2002 Industry Report claims that organizations have “budgeted $54 billion dollars for training in the United States alone, focusing on e-learning.” This type of learning not only will impact individuals at the student level, but also professionals in the workforce (Pursel, 2008). According to Brewin (2010), “the Army wants to develop a massive virtual world populated by 10,000 avatars that are managed by artificial intelligence and operate over a 32-mile square simulated landscape.”

 Simulations

  •  According to Noe (2010, pg. 337), simulations “create a more realistic training environment, which can make the material more meaningful, and increase the probability that training will transfer to the job.”
  • Simulations usually occur when equipment is unavailable to all trainees or too expensive or dangerous to allow trainees to use the real equipment.
  • Employees spend time learning valuable lessons in a “safe” virtual environment yet living a lifelike experience.
  • Simulations are “meaningful and get the trainees involved in learning” (Noe, 2010, pg. 320).
  • Simulators encourage trainees to practice and work at their own pace. (Noe, 2010, pg. 320).
  •  Although simulators tend to be expensive, the costs of producing the simulation continue to decrease, resulting in “shorter training times and increased return on investment” (Noe, 2010, pg. 320).

 

http://www.rt-immersive.com/SMP/StrobeMediaPlayback.swf

According to Givens (2011), “The Dismounted Soldier Training System will use CryEngine 3 to create a fully immersive, photorealistic graphics simulation that enables Soldiers to virtually interact with their physical environment, using combat equipment such as weapons, scopes and munitions. They will use natural motions just as they would in a live environment to perform complex motions, whether that is leaning around an obstacle, or arm and hand signals to communicate with others. An immersive 360 degree surround sound field is provided by the system to totally envelop the Soldier, creating dynamic sounds that automatically react to distance, time of-day or ambient noise. Even the sound of munitions will be accurate, matching the sounds of impacts with specific materials, allowing the identification of sound sources, down to the type of weapon. Better yet, full support for showing human expressions such as fear, anger and aggression will be included, counteracting the often negative effect of blank expressionless faces.” According to Intelligence Decisions, Inc. (2011), “the system reduces the traditional expenses associated with large instruction facilities where travel and location maintenance are required. In addition, Dismounted Soldier meets the latest in training needs of today’s leaders and their Soldiers by increasing productivity and shortening conventional content and scenario development time.”

Learning Management Systems

 

According to Noe (2010, pg. 331), learning management systems easily automates the “administration, development, and delivery of all of a company’s training programs.”

  • Provides the ability for simultaneous searches of databases and a company’s intranet.
  •  Helps reduce travel and associated costs with training. 
  • Increases employee’s access to training.
  • Tracks completion and course enrollments.

The Army Learning Management System (ALMS) is the heart of the Army’s Distributed Learning System. The ALMS will streamline, consolidate, and provide overall direction to the Army’s training processes. The ALMS will manage a student’s training activities from initial entry into the military, and continue throughout his or her career. The ALMS will also provide course and training resource management, scheduling and registration functions, courseware distribution and storage, and learning collaboration. Learning management systems will impact companies because they provide the “centralized management of learning activities, track regulatory compliance, measure training usage, and measure employee performance.” The will also help businesses determine how training dollars are spent and determine their return on investment (Noe, 2010, pg. 332).

Videoconferencing

 

 Videoconferencing allows trainers to teach people who are geographically separated through the use of a company’s intranet. With intranet videoconferencing, a single instructor can teach a live class, with people across the intranet and the country following along on their computers via a desktop-to-desktop videoconferencing program like CU-See-Me. When utilizing the CU-See-Me program, participants can be seen, heard, and encouraged to interact with the instructor and fellow students. Videoconferencing technology has impacted foreign language distance learning programs. According to Guichon (2010, pg. 17), “because distance videoconferencing affords synchronous online communication, the medium seems especially adapted to the development of oral skills (listening comprehension and speaking) and can therefore provide speaking practice, the lack of which most distant learners deplore in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) environments.”

 References

Big Cell Shop. (2010). U.S. Army to Bring Smartphones to Battlefield. Retrieved on June 9, 2011, at http://bigcellshop.com/blog/2010/12/u-s-army-to-bring-smartphones-to-battlefield/.

Guichon, N. (2010). Preparatory study for the design of a desktop videoconferencing platform for synchronous language teaching. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(2), 169-182. doi:10.1080/09588221003666255

Givens, R. (2011). Gaming Technology Used in Upcoming US Army Training Simulator. Retrieved on June 9, 2011, at http://www.examiner.com/video-games-in-aurora/gaming-technology-used-upcoming-us-army-training-simulator#ixzz1OmW9ekVw.

Intelligence Decisions. (2011). U.S. Army to Use First-Ever, Fully Immersive Virtual Simulation Training for American Soldiers. Retrieved on June 9, 2011, at http://www.intelligent.net/idweb/company/pressview.cfm?view=108.

Kaneshige, T. (2010). U.S. Military Will Battle Test the iPhone. Retrieved on June 9, 2011, at http://advice.cio.com/tom_kaneshige/14722/u_s_military_will_battle_test_the_iphone.

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Pursel, B. (2008). The Impact of Virtual Worlds and Online Gaming on Education and Training. Retrieved on June 9, 2011, at http://www.raghu.net/?p=143.

Week 2: Planning for a Needs Assessment

Conducting a needs assessment is the starting point for design a well thought out training plan. The needs assessment process starts with three types of analysis. The organizational analysis involves “identifying whether training supports the company’s strategic direction” (Noe, 2010, pg. 110). The person analysis “identifies the employees who need the training” (Noe, pg. 113), and the task analysis describes the work activities and tasks “performed by the employee and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to complete the tasks” (Noe, pg. 123). For this week’s assignment I chose Delta Airlines for my needs assessment analysis.
 

Delta’s corporate headquarters is housed in a corporate campus on the northern boundary of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, within the city limits of Atlanta. Between its mainline operation and subsidiaries, Delta employs approximately 75,000 people. According to the company’s website, “since Delta was founded, our company has stood for safe and reliable air transportation, distinctive customer service and hospitality from the heart. Our vision is for Delta to build on its traditions of superior customer service and always to meet our customer’s expectations while taking service to even higher levels of excellence. Delta is a great company, and we are a leader in the transportation business and related services. We intend to be an even greater company, and will focus our time, attention, and investment on building that leadership. We are dedicated to being the best airline in the eyes of our customers. We will provide value and distinctive products to our customers, a superior return for investors and challenging and rewarding work for Delta people in an environment that respects and values their contributions” (http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Delta-Air-Lines-Inc-Company-History.html).

In order for Delta to meet this vision, the training of its employees is essential for providing good customer service. These employees include the pilots, flight attendants, ground crews, air traffic control, and various service personnel. Because factors such as budget, time, and training expertise (Noe, pg. 111) for the training are such influencing factors, stakeholder buy-in is crucial to the success of any training program. If I were designing a training program for Delta, I would be concerned with the following stakeholders: management, team leaders, employees being trained, subject matter experts, and I would also include the customer. According to Noe (pg. 111), “studies have found that peer and manager support for training is critical, along with employee enthusiasm and motivation to attend training.”

Delta offers a Training and Consulting Services that focuses on CPR/AED, flight attendant, pilot, and Delta TechOps training. During the organizational analysis I would ask the management two important questions: 1) How might the training content affect your employee’s relationship with the customer?, and 2) How does this program align with Delta’s strategic needs? The person analysis focuses on the employee being training. Interviews can be conducted to gather answers to the following questions: 1) What common types of performance problems do new hires have?, and 2) What were the biggest problems you encountered as a new flight attendant? What mistakes did you make? What lessons have you learned over time? Team leaders are the greatest source of information about what is wrong with a program. They are at “ground zero,” and are the ones dealing with the problems. Task analysis is time consuming, so they should only be conducted “after the organizational analysis has determined that the company wants to devote time and money for training” (Noe, pg. 124). Information for the task analysis should be collected from the subject-matter experts, managers, and job incumbents (Noe, pg. 126). Task statement questionnaires can be utilized to gather data that determines what “task should be included in the training program” (Noe, pg. 124).

My personal preferences from gathering data are to use methods of observation, focus groups, questionnaires, and documentation. In my opinion, although the employee’s behavior may be affected by being observed, I think that observation “generates data relevant to the work environment.” Questionnaires are inexpensive and allow the designer to collect data “from a large number of people,” and can be summarized easily. I like focus groups because they allow discussion to flow where a one-on-one interview might stump communications. Although they are time consuming, they are “useful with complex or controversial issues that one person may ne unable or unwilling to explore.” Finally, documentation is a “good source of information on procedures.” I feel especially strongly for this method because I experience the difficulties of developing training for customers who do not provide the sufficient amount of technical information needed to develop a quality product (Noe, pg. 108). To me, this is the most important source of information! (Noe, pg. 108).

Overall, the principles and concepts of developing a needs assessment that we discussed was a good review of the information that I learned in my Instructional Design 1 class. The lack of a needs assessment when developing a training program is like steering and boat with no rudder; it can drift along with no direction.

****I have included this video from Delta which highlights its new safety video. By simply redesigning and making safety entertaining, people tend to watch the video more than its predecessor.****

“As part of the rebranding project a safety video featuring a flight attendant premiered on YouTube in early 2008 garnering over 1 million views and the attention of news outlets, specifically for the video’s camp and cheeky tone mixed with the serious safety message.”

http://youtu.be/MgpzUo_kbFY

References:

Brett, J. (2008). “Deltalina,” a real Delta employee, is loving the safety spotlight. Retrieved on May 12, 2011, at http://www.ajc.com/services/content/business/delta/stories/2008/03/25/deltalina_0325.html.

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Week 1 Assignment: Elevator Speech

Elevator Pitch_HillC   (Click Here)

 

 Three Key Points:

1. Change is inevitable and we must continually acquire and share knowledge.

2. It is important to capture the knowledge of the retiring workforce.

3. Develop a training strategy for reducing employee turnover rates.

 

Change is inevitable. We fear it, resist it, and dislike it. In our global economy, however, it is a fact of life. Organizations must change to grow, outpace or outsmart the competition, and improve profits. Your company can begin to evolve into a learning organization by embracing a culture of lifelong learning and enabling your employees to continually acquire and share their knowledge (Noe, 2010, pg. 16).

We spend a lot of our resources to improve our employees’ performance, but how do we know it’s paying off? What if I told you that you that in the next 10 years, 43 percent of the workforce will be eligible for retirement, while the workforce of the next two generations are about 15 percent smaller (Schwartz, 2006). As a strategic training and development initiative that supports your business strategy, I can help you to develop a training plan that will capture and share the knowledge of this retiring generation before they leave the workforce.

In today’s economy and with today’s demographics, a lot of valuable business knowledge is walking out the door every day. The bottom line is that people are your most valuable resource, and a training solution may be the answer. What is your company’s employee turnover rate? The goal of any company should be to develop a strategy for reducing the turnover rate of talented employees. I can help you develop a training plan that will attract and retain talented employees. The labor force will continue to age and the size of the 16-24-year old youth labor force will decrease to its lowest level in over 30 years. Older individuals are living healthier lives and many of them WANT to work and learn new technologies. Studies have found that turnover rates are lower among older workers when compared to employees of other ages. The advantages to hiring older workers are reliability, stronger work ethic, mentorship for your workers, invaluable experience, and willingness to work varying schedules. Training older workers in new and developing technologies will help to solve your turnover rate. (Pitt-Catsouphes and Smyer, 2005).

Let me help you to align the training and development process with your company’s strategic direction.

 

References

Pitt-Catsouphes, M and Smyer, M. (2005). Businesses: How are They Preparing for the Aging Workforce? Retrieved on May 4, 2011, at http://agingandwork.bc.edu/documents/IB02_BusinessPreparing.pdf.

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Schwartz, E. (2006). Filling the void left by baby-boomer techies. Retrieved on May 4, 2011, at http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/filling-void-left-baby-boomer-techies-938.

Week 1: Introductions

Hi Class,

Welcome to my blog site. I look forward to sharing the exchange of ideas with you within the next couple of months.