The Role Of Managers In Staff Training Management Essay

This paper explores how the organization benefited by training process. The purpose of this paper is to assess the benefits for the training and development in Retail organization. One of the most important resources of retail is their staff. In order to provide satisfactory service to their customer and able to face the future challenges, the staff should have proper skills which are continually develop.( Gower handbook,1991). It also outlines the special issue which identifies developments in the field of training for employees, recruitment, their transition to work, and their continuous development.

Research objectives

The research is focused on training and development on Marks and spencer with a view to wider application to other retailer in the country.

Its objectives are to

-Critically examine training needs in retail organization

-Examine the role of managers in staff training and development

-Examine approaches to training and development in the United Kingdom.

Theoretical perspective relevant to the topics such as motivation

Identify the approaches which could be adopted and make recommendations.

Research Methods

The research methodology will seek the answers to these questions as well as evidence as to which training needs have priority and which approach are most effective and relevant to the organization. The argument to be developed in this dissertation is that the most cost effective and culturally acceptable approach will be to identify training as an essential part of all manager roles and show how this might be implemented.

The following are the types of research design that could be used

-Research reviews

-Qualitative research

-Analysis of existing records

-Ad hoc sample survey and regular surveys

-Case study

-longitudinal studies


Literature Review

In order to explain the importance of training and development in an organisation the chapter is begin with the history of the subject, describe and discuses its definitions and benefits. It considers some model of training and development and some organisation of UK are using some of the models.

History of training and development

Human resources are considered by many to be the most important asset of an organization. Until now very few employers are able to exploit the full potential from their employees.(Jeff & Lee,2005) Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is concerned with the contributions which human resource strategies can make to achieve organizational effectiveness and the ways to achieve those contributions (Jeff E & Lee D, 2005). Strategic human resource development is the most current form of training and development where training and learning are strategically integrated vertically with organisational goals and horizontally to other HR activities (Millmore, Lewis, Saunders, thornhill and morrow 2007)

Training and development can be identified as a planned process to improve the human capacity by modifying their skills, knowledge and attitudes. More recently the training and development term has been replaced by the term HRD (human resource development) which mainly focus on individual and organisational learning. The systematic approach training is described by as a cycle of four activities identify of HRD needs, plan and design HRD interventions to meet those indentify needs, implement the HRD interventions and finally evaluate the outcomes.( Millmore, Lewis, Saunders, thornhill and morrow 2007).This approach will be briefly discuss later part of the report.

According to McCracken and Wallace, (2000) Strategic human resource development is a creation of a learning culture in which a range of training, development and learning strategies both respond to corporate strategy and help to shape and influence it. Based on the Garavan’s (1991) work, they redefined the nine key characteristic of SHRD practice. In their work they present SHRD as very strategically mature and compare with HRD and training where strategic maturity is absence.

(Millmore, Lewis, Saunders, thornhill and morrow 2007)

Key SHRD characteristics

Integration with organisational missions and goals.

Top management support.

Environmental scanning.

HRD plans and policies.

Line manager commitment and involvement.

Existence of complementary HRM activities.

Expanded trainer role.

Recognition of culture.

Emphasis on evaluation

Source: McCracken and Wallace (2000)

Garavan(1995) state that many trainers find the tern SHRM difficult to accept, while they prefer the more softer term ’employee development’ or ‘training and development’. According to him HRD term is nowadays widely acceptable which means the planned learning and development of people as individual or group to benefit the organisation. McCracken and Wallace, (2000) state that, HRD is viewed as a strategic lever in organisations which helping the business to implement its business strategies. In their work they use the concept of training where they describe the level of sophistication which the organisation has with regard to training which helps to shape and formulate corporate strategy. McCracken and Wallace, (2000) suggested that the strategic HRD should shape and influence the organisational mission and goals.

McCracken and Wallace, (2000) noted that SHRD should have a much more proactive and influential role which leads to a new model of SHRD which disguises the differences between Training which has a reactive and ad hoc implementation role in relation to corporate strategy. Organisation is very immature in terms of HRD and has no learning culture. Meanwhile HRD has a systematic implementation role which shows signs of corporate strategy. Organisation shows that it is beginning to develop a maturity in terms of HRD with the presence of nine Gravan (1991) characteristic and learning culture is also developing. Finally SHRD role is working toward shaping and responding to corporate strategy. The organisation has become strategically mature and there is a evidence of improved Garavan (1991) characteristic as well as presence of a strong learning culture (McCracken and Wallace, 2000).A model of SHRD which shows the continuum of HRD strategic maturity is portrayed below adopted from Millmore, Lewis, Saunders, thornhill and morrow 2007 work.

HRD characteristic




HRD strategic maturity

Organisation strategically is not mature in HRD terms

Organisation is strategically is quite mature in HRD terms

Organisation strategically very mature in terms of HRD.

1)Integration with

Organisational missions

And goals.

2) Top management


3)Environmental scanning

4) HRD plan and policies

5)Line manager

Commitment and involvement.

6)Existence of complementary HRM activities

7)Expanded trainer role.

8) Recognition of culture.

9) emphasis on evaluation.

Little integration with organisation missions and goals.

2)very limited support.

3) Little awareness of environment.

4)Ad hoc responses to indentified problem.

5)Limited commitment and involvement.

6) Little or no horizontal integration of HR activities.

7) Lack of expanded trainer role.

8) little recognition of culture.

9)little emphasis on evaluation.

Integration with organisational missions And goals.

2)active support

3)active environmental


4)Systematically integrated with

Organisational strategy.

5)line managers

Commitment and involvement.

6)Existence of complementary HRM


7) Expanded trainer role.

8)recognition of


9)emphasis on evaluation.

shaping organisational

missions and goals.

2)adopt leadership role to HRD.

3)environmental scanning

Done by senior


4)developed with strategy plan and policies.

5)strategic partnership with line management.

6)strategic partnership with HRM.

7)Trainers as organisational change consultants.

8)ability to influence corporate culture.

9)emphasis on cost effectiveness

There are a number of reasons why training and development becomes an important issue for both organisations and management. All organisations in existence need a successful training programme to achieve their goal. It is an investment for any organisation which helps to improve its profitability, reduce its costs, increase the commitment and motivation of its people and release their potential. Training needs vary from one organisation to another and it is important to develop training techniques to meet training goals (www.ictknowledgebase). The Journal of E-learning (2008) stated that the purpose of training is to motivate their employees, to help their potential and develop them better with the current changing business environment of e-learning.

The pace of change is increasing and it it’s really important for employer to keep up to date their employees. Skills gained yesterday are no longer appropriate for today. The combination of recessions, globalisation and changing technology has changed our live. Most of today’s jobs demand multi skill. The days of needing one skill has replaced by the multi-skilled. Employees also need to prove their commitment to their job by developing own skills to maintain their marketability (Tony pont, 2003).

The attitude of employers to training is also changing. Also there are still many employers see training as costly overhead, while many now recognise training is an investment for future.(Tony Pont,2003).

According to training and development journal November 2009, A recent Accountemps/Robert Half survey found that in the past year, 26 percent of companies cut their professional development programs, according to senior executives. At the same time, 28 percent reported that their companies actually strengthened their training initiatives and 45 percent maintained the same programming. The survey also indicate that three quarter of organisation increased training level or kept training expenses at same level.

After the industrial revolution, development of large organisations and systematic approach to manual work training began. Taylor and gilbreths works contributed to the importance of training by identifying the nature of job. Their research was to determine the most productive way of carrying out the work. In early 1930s hawthorns experiment in an electric plant in Chicago establish the fact what motivates staff at work place. After doing his research he was able suggest that management need to concern about the feelings and needs of employees. (Gower 1991).

Defining the terms

Manpower services commissions’ glossary of training terms (1981) identifies training as “A planned process to modify attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Its purpose, in the work situation, is to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy the current and future manpower needs of the organisations”. Training does not only benefit the employees it is also beneficial for organisations. Training and development can be achieved by necessary attitude, skill and knowledge which can be affectively gained by a learner who can become more confident about their abilities.

Training is about developing people and their skills and helping them to become more confident in their jobs. It is not only necessary to create a skilled workforce but also maintain the high level of skills which is demanded by constantly changing work environment (Reid & Barrington, 2007).

Training can be done by many different ways such as On-the-job training, informal training, classroom training, internal training courses, external training courses, on-the-job coaching, life-coaching, mentoring, training assignments and tasks, skills training, product training, technical training, behavioural development training, role-playing and role-play games and exercises, attitudinal training and development, accredited training and learning (Reid & Barrington, 2007).

Many different factors influence training responsibilities and roles. There are six major influences on training responsibilities and roles in the organisation such as the environment, goal and tasks, structure, technology and workforce of the organisation, and its political system. The political factors have such influence on the training role culture, commitment, expertise and interactions (Harrison, 1988).

It is important for the trainer to identify the contribution of training to the business. They need to be aware of the close relationship between training and profit. Management must see training as an investment, which is needed not only to create a skilled workforce but also maintain the skills demanded by the constantly changing working environment. In order to add values to the business training should comply with the direction of the corporate and business strategy, which also need to help to meet business demand.(Tony pont,2003)

According to Harrison, “Development is the all-important process, through which individual and organizational growth can through time achieve their fullest potential. Education is a major contributor to that development process, because it directly and continuously affects the formation not only of knowledge and abilities, but of character and of culture, aspirations and achievements. Training is the shorter-term, systematic process through which an individual is helped to master defined tasks or areas of skill and knowledge to predetermined standards” (Harrison, 1989 cited in Lundy & Cowling, 1996).

The explanation of differences in definition is that in the past the trainer knew the best and therefore they used to establish training needs for learners, they also set objectives; make up a training programme which will help learner to gain higher skills. But today’s changing market individual is given more responsibilities to take care of their learning and development. It is necessary to consider the learners maturity, personal development and motivation.(Kenny and Reid 1986)

Training and employee development is become a current trend of today’s competitive job markets which makes employers more focused on organisational goals. Today’s market is very competitive and an organisation has to fight for survival where training may largely be a matter of continuing to carry out long establishes routine. According to Armstrong (1996), Organisational Structure-Generally goals of an organisations and its total tasks and level of achievement of there tasks are crucial determinants of an organisations primary training needs. The organisations should therefore have a fundamental influence on determining what training activities, responsibilities and roles are to be performed.

According to Harrison(1988), Organisational structure, Organisational technology and the workforce-Organisation need to plan training to improved job performance. There is a training cycle which is adopted by UK and based on a simple four stages model expressed as follows: First identify and specify the training need, then designa training programme, next implement the training and evaluate it. Having defined training strategy it is now necessary to define ‘effective training strategy’.

Effective training Strategy:

The term training strategy means that the overall approach chosen to assess training needs and the particular ways in which training will be carried out in the organisation for instance on the job, off the job etc. (Harrison, 1988).

According to Mayo(2001)There are two main strategies which can be adopted in organisation total or comprehensive strategy and problem centred strategy. These two strategies are not against of each other. They are simple approaches which are the same in their general principle but might be fit in different situation. The Comprehensive strategy starts with strategy starts with an analysis of the corporate plan. This strategy is relevant for the organisation where the environment is relatively stable. And where longer term training can be developed with an acceptable chance. The problem centred apply in the organization where the environment of the organisation either unpredictable or competitive. Organisation like these needs training to help them deal with their immediate and pressing problems.

Models of training and development

For the purpose of this dissertation three models will discussed which is using by two UK’s retail organisation. The models are the systematic training approach, strategic training and self development approach. The two uks organisations are Marks and Spencer and Tesco.

Systematic training approach

A system approach to training views the organisation as a complex set of subsystems and expects changes in one subsystem to acquiesce possible need to another. It is organisational approach but it can also help to produce individual or group plans such as early retirement training needs, a change in work requirements and learning needs.Armstrong1988 state that organisation need to adopt this approach to be successful and this means

Identifying the training needs.

Defining training objectives which must aim to achieve measurable goals in terms of improvement and changing.

Preparing a plan to meet objectives and also the cost related to the whole process.

Implementing the plans

Monitoring and analysing the result

And finally getting the feedback for evaluation

Woods (1992)state that, avoid such problems and to provide complete guidelines, the training needs a systematic approach. He presented a “the training cycle” diagram which begins with developing the needs assessment, goes through training and implementation (identifying training objectives, contents, methods, implementation), and finally evaluating the program.

As we are assessing the benefits of training needs and its benefits through organisation Woods training circle helps us to look at the four steps which should be followed by the organisation to gain the effectiveness. The first in the training process is the analysing the needs because every training program effect the work unit and organisation. The next step is identifications of training objectives. Woods (1992) recommended four categories of training goals:

1. Reaction-based: Investigates how employees feel about the issue.

2. Learning-acquired.: Examines how a trainee obtains knowledge about dealing with differences.

3. On-the-job behaviour: Analyzes the degree of behaviour change after the training.

4. Results-oriented: Measures the influence of training in improving technical skills for dealing with diverse people.

The third stage in the training cycle is the establishment of the proper training content.

The next stage is choosing and implementing the training program using proper methods. According to Harris and West, (1993).The methods of training vary substantially according to the circumstances of the company. Training can be done either on-the-job or in a place outside the workplace. On-the-job training can be effective when supervisors or trained instructors are involved in the actual work setting, while off-the-job training, including lectures, simulation and case studies, can be done without interrupting the everyday routine. While traditional methods are still useful, technology-based training using CD-ROM is increasingly in demand.

The final stage of the training cycle is evaluation. Milkovich and Boudreau (1991) highlighted that training programs need to verify whether the training is successful in trainees’ performances in work settings.

Strategic training approach

Rothwell and kazanas 1989 state that the strategic training approach is based on the learners need for the future condition. This model is based on problem finding rather than problem solving. It will help reduce the gap between what the leaners need to know and what they should know.

In order to identify the proper utilisation of this model, it is important to consider what needs to be done and what skills and knowledge needed. There is a difference between the skills and knowledge needed and the skills and knowledge currently employees have. Before implementing the plan it is necessary for employers to identify those gaps.

The main aims of this approach is to identify training and non training needs.the training may be related to high cost but this cost can be avoid by selecting right training method. The learners need could be made through employee record, informal discussions, observations and interviews.

To implementing this approach future learner expected to have the ability to learn, anticipation and motivation. They also require having some background skills and knowledge of strategic thinking.

This approach aims to reduce cost; choice of method is depend on time, skills and available learning material. Training method can be selected from case studies, classroom lecture, role playing, group exercise, brain storming etc.

Self-development training approach

This model encourages managers to draw up their own self development plan.

Reid, Barrington and brown (2004) state that, if managers are operating an environment where learning practice are encouraged, then thy should be focused on their own development without any doubt. But self development should not seen as alternative for the involvement of the managers. It is important for the mangers to show their staff that they take time to develop their own skills and competences. If management can prove staff their role as self developer, it will ensure their staff that self development is not as a responsibility but a benefit.

Development is a step forward to a new level of potential where it requires external challenges and right internal perception of challenge. It is a self initiated challenges which need self discipline, creativity and learning. The primary motivation will come from self achievement, self fulfilment while reward and punishment should take as secondary. The self developer should be willing to take their own risk and able to judge where necessary. (Pedler, 1981).

Assessing the benefits of an effective training and development strategy

According to Armstrong (1996), A well-formulated training strategy should be able to influence an individual’s Mind, Behaviour, Attitude, Communication, Critical analysis skills, Problem-solving, Interpersonal skills/relationship with peers and management, Working practices, Productivity, Performance, Time management, And motivation towards his/her responsibilities as an employee in an organisation. Those factors are important operationally and tactically, because in any organisation these are important aspects in relation to an organisation’s well being and successful functioning & running, strategists and the top-level management of a company .According to Mayo(2001) Organisation may design and formulate Training Strategies, but it is the tactical and operational managers and their teams who eventually implement and execute those polices and strategies and it is necessary to understand that employees and workers at tactical and operational levels have the right training and development given to them to enable them to successfully forward and reach the organisations aims, goals, and mottos. If the training strategy successfully enhances it will make all employees to give better contributors to the aims and objectives of the organisation, then the successful internal relationship between employees and the management of the organisation should make them a better organisation for their clients/customers and suppliers & dealers.(Mayo,2001)

There are so many debates going on now a day is training really useful for organisation or it’s just a waste of money. According to David (2008) training is just a waste of money and time for the organisation as because after giving trained employee a new area company just send them back in previous work role which is simply waste of time. He argues that before implementing any training programme it has to be well designed and effective which will help people to explore their experience, knowledge, self-awareness. For getting out the most from the training it is important to train people in their regular basic work where they can develop their skills. Before implement any strategy We have to ask ourselves a simple question which will help us to realise, at the end of the day who is the training strategy for, what is it for, and why is it there, what is it meant to accomplish and achieve for an organisation (David, 2008).

The researcher learnt from various writers that most of the training and development benefits take long to occur. Most of the managers do not fancy opening up training oppurtunities for young graduates to fear of losing jobs. Most organization think that the planned training is expensive,they would rather have it an ad hoc basis. During the economic recession it is usually the training budget that is cut down.

A well-designed comprehensive training strategy can bring about advantage to a business and an organisation, then no doubt its employees will be the ones who will be responsible for its practical implementation from top to bottom, and essentially it’s linked to the employee development incentive of any organisation. A training strategy cannot be successfully implemented by itself if employees are not developed up to standards that match the corporate scale of the business world at large and also an organisation. Training Strategy should enable the development and growth of its employees and use the potential, competencies, and the abilities that they seize and is inherent within them (

Mullins (2005) distinguishes Groups and teams, and has mentioned that these two terms are often used interchangeably, according to him Teams tend to have more mutual understanding between each other collectively, and are more closely knit, whereas groups are a number of individuals assigned on a particular task, and the groups usually deconstructs once the task has been achieved, so the clear distinction here is that a team has mutual understanding, where as each person in a group is merely working towards their own individual goals and aspirations without actually showing much concern for the benefit of others in the group. If the training strategy successfully implemented it will improve the relationship between employees and organisation and help them better contribution to their aims and objectives of the organisation.

Communication is an important tool for succession of training strategy. The way strategies are discussed, delegated, explained and communicated from the senior directors of a company to their employees, its help to understand both employees and employers each other need which will help them to implement the strategy more perfectly. Investing in and resourcing people & developing them to a reasonable level will enable employees to feel valued and respected and cared for by their organisations, and this positive feeling will eventually reflect on their performance, and The training strategy should be benefiting two ways – first of all it should up skill the standard of employee competence & performance and these achievements should in turn enable employees to execute their organisations Training Strategy more effectively. (www.go2hr)

Minimise cost and maximise positive outputs for the organisation should be the main objective of an effective training strategy, so a well devised strategy should take into account everything internal and external of relevance, importance, and matter that will be useful in approaching a good strategy as compared to a not so good one. The training strategy designed should also be of high efficiency; practical, feasible, and realistic in accordance with the nature of the organisation(www.go2hr). According to Hutchinson(2004) An effective training strategy should be to retain the best people in the organisation, and the Training Strategy should do this by balancing its corporate needs and providing the right level of employee development incentives to their staff, employees are the money maker of any organisation, they provide support and service if they feel that they are not valued by the organisation than the company would not be able to gain their target success, that is why it is extremely important that employees who are excelling in their role are provided for well during their time with their organisations.

According to Truelove(2006) in any job role motivation is important factor in order for an employee perform towards their employer expectations. It is a complex matter because poor motivation may be due to many things such as boredom, lack of challenge, a feeling of being unappreciated. From the Victor Vroom’s perspective in the motivation there are three variables which he calls ‘valance’, ‘expectancy’ and ‘instrumentality’. Valance is important during motivating the people; it can be positive, neutral or negative personalities and circumstance will affect the perception of the outcome. In a training situation the perception is varied by person to person, may be highly valued by one person but no value for other. Expectancy is the belief that the individual has that he or she can achieve the outcome. The person will not feel motivated to do something if they feel that it is beyond them. So it is important to organise the training program which will help to raise expectancy level which will help to being able to achieve target. Instrumentality situation is linked to the expected outcome which can be actually achieved depend on the management promised. It’s necessary to organise the course that will lead the employee towards their dream job. So in order for an organisation to benefit from its Trainings Strategy, organisations have to apply motivation dependent on the level of creativity and fun within the different job roles in their organisation. Examples may include fringe benefits, bonuses, and performance related pay.

A Training Strategy can only be successfully implemented if an employee have the right knowledge & understanding of the Training Strategy and has the development and training given to them.

Benefits of Training

According to the journal of Development and Learning in Organizations(2002)Global petrochemical group BP found that lack of training means lack of commitment. Few years ago when they look at their staff performance they found out that the turnover is nearly hundred people but the morality was low. People are not as loyal and dedicated they should be. Then the management decide to do a survey and they discover that lack of training is the main reason behind the poor performance. Taking into account this factor BP initiated a training program adding a NVQ [1] programme which attracts most employees and makes them committed to the programme. It’s not only increase the employees pe

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