Employee Training as a Strategy for Organizational Success

Introduction

Organizations appreciate the importance of training, but few of them know how they can convert training into a strategy for organizational success. This research aims at assessing how companies can achieve success through effective employee training. For such a research objective, it is essential to use a form of research that dwells on real-life scenarios. Consequently, action research was the ideal approach.

Problem statement

The global business environment is getting more cutthroat. Numerous companies are embracing training as a source of competitive advantage. When employees improve their skills, then they will be better-equipped to sell services and products within their organizations. Well satisfied employees are more likely to be loyal to their organizations and will thus contribute to its success through less attrition and higher revenue generation (Katou and Budhwar, 2007). Regardless of the usefulness of employees training, minimal research exists on how organizational success stems from training. Several businesses rely on obsolete or abstract theories on employee training. It will be useful to have data that directly applies to an institution. Furthermore, companies need to use employee training strategically. They need to dedicate financial resources to methods that work for them. Too much emphasis on methods that do not work create monetary and non monetary losses for organizations. Firms need to be innovative about the methods they apply to increase productivity. This research aims at bridging the gap between company investments and subsequent success in staff members. Companies need to know how to modify or alter their training processes in order to reap the highest rewards from them.

Research indicates that some firms understand the importance of employee training but they have minimal knowledge of how this can alter performance. As a result, many of them have taught their employees how to improve production, but have not adopted a holistic approach to training. These piecemeal strategies have resulted in better quality goods but have not responded to overall needs of the organization. They are one sided and they have not necessarily translated into heightened profits. It is the lack of reliable information on workforce training and its link to organizational performance that has led to such a problem. Companies do not know which training attributes can directly lead to better outcomes. This research intends on filling this gap by finding direct relationships between the two parameters (Latham, 1988).

Many businesses lack tangible ways of relating their missions, visions and goals to training procedures. They need a specific direction on how they can make the most of training programs. If they had this information, then they would use it as a blueprint for alteration and improvement of different functions and sectors within the organization. They do not have mechanisms for altering their work environments or using employee training in order to make them more effective.

Literature review

Scholars are in agreement about the importance of employee training in organizations. Companies cannot exist without employee training as this is a crucial factor to their success. Organizations that do not train their workers often report low performance. They also contend with unsatisfactory growth trends. These entities have minimal ways of enhancing employing performance, which means that employees rarely change their behavior. As a result, their performance may remain the same for years on end. Workers may also have no skills that they can apply to their positions in order to make it more effective.

Some scholars have looked into the relationship between company performance and training, but their focus is on how training facilitates high performance. Seth (1984) reports that training increases competiveness. It works by making firms produce between quality products and services that target consumer needs directly. Training causes employees’ competencies to improve, and this translates into high quality production. However, the latter research used a theoretical approach in the subject. This paper will attempt to solve the problem through action research, where a particular company will be analyzed and plausible recommendations given on how training can translate into effective outcomes.

Companies now value their employees even more than they did in the past. They understand that workers create value in the organization and training alters values that employees have concerning their organization (Katou and Budhwar, 2007). Knowledge acquired from training assists in adjusting these employees’ attitudes. Many of them become more creative and innovative and are better equipped to handle competitive situations. Organizations that create wealth do so by retaining employees that have the right skills needed to compete. On the flipside, employees that do not have training will not rise to the occasion in situations of excessive competition. Furthermore, many of them may not lead the company into greater heights of success even in ordinary situations. Research on the value of employee training is clear. However, minimal knowledge exists on how to make training translate into success. This research aims at filling in that gap.

Some scholars have established that it is not enough to train workers; they have realized that companies must use effective programs. Latham (1988) explains that firms need to set aside adequate financial resources for training. This is because businesses need to pay their employees as well as focus on training and development needs. In addition, training ought to be done in a way that encourages workers to work efficiently. Latham (1988) provides vital information on how firms can translate training into an effective way of organizational success. However, this research mainly dwells on recommendations rather than first hand experiences of what it takes to make training work for an organization. This research will fill that gap by providing tangible and practical steps needed to make it successful.

Training is a complicated process that relies on several variables for its success. For instance, customer preferences are vital in employee training. Firms need to make customer satisfaction a priority in all areas of performance, including training or development strategies. Some organizations often include consumer input at the tail end of their production process, and this has proven to be ineffective. It makes more sense to inculcate customer preferences at the beginning of training programs or other operational endeavors. Effective training also depends on organizational leadership. If top-level or mid-level managers do not understand their subordinates’ training needs, then they are likely to recommend training strategies that will not work well for the institution. Furthermore, organizations need to align training to the needs of their employees.

They should master their workers’ skills and natural abilities. Consequently, training will only make employees more effective at what they do naturally rather than take them outside their comfort zones. Lastly, companies need to consider their respective organizational cultures. They should work towards changing organizational culture through training. This means that skill improvement should not be the sole purpose of training. It needs to alter the mindsets of workers. They need to learn how to improve the vision they have for themselves as well as the one they have for the institution. In this regard, training should not simply merge into the existing culture, but should challenge it and improve it for the better. Since companies have to make plenty of considerations when implementing training programs, it is crucial for them to prioritize these areas, and the research intends on assisting organizations to achieve this goal (Vijayabanu and Amudha, 2012).

The proposal

This research will utilize action research, which is a reflective and participatory form of analysis. It will dwell on solving problems within an organization while conducting the research. The main objective of this study is to determine the impact of training on business success. Business success refers to increased profitability and other dimensions of strategic business like growth, in this research. The study will seek to investigate whether companies can achieve success through intended and properly directed training outcomes. In order to meet this objective, aspects of training assessment and training demand will be evaluated in light of organizational outcomes.

As mentioned earlier, action research focuses on solving problems during the actual research process. In this case, the researcher will work hand in hand with individuals from Toronto Dominion Bank in order to determine the impact of training on their success. Input from junior and senior level managers will be vital in making sure that the training strategy adopted by the bank is effective. Not only will this research depend on input from respective employees, but it will also obtain information from previous assessments done by the company. In that way, the organization can establish mechanisms for boosting its outcomes through better training approaches. This research will also analyze worker satisfaction with the training program as they are responsible for the implementation of what they learn within the organization. It is essential to understand what they value in training during assessment of its impact.

Research method

The research will utilize both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative research will entail interviews and observation. The latter approach was necessary in order to get additional details from participants. The quantitative approach will be useful in getting basic information while qualitative methods will be insightful in shedding more light on the first aspect. The quantitative aspect will also assist in data analysis as it is numerical. Here, the researcher will employ closed-ended questions to investigate the responses. Some of the qualitative information will also be converted into quantitative information (Creswell, 2003).

Toronto Dominion Bank will be the participating institution in this research. Because a vast amount of information is required from the institution, then a relatively large sample size will be used. 100 employees will be selected through random sampling. Surveys will be conducted for a period of one week and information will be collected on different days of the week for those respondents who cannot participate in the research due to certain commitments, they will be included using skype. Impartiality will be ensured through the use of random participants and representatives from various levels of management. Some of them will be junior level employees while others will be departmental heads. Additionally, a number of them will be low level employees from different sections of the bank. Consent will be obtained from all members and anonymity maintained.

Data will be collected through the use of open ended and closed ended questionnaires. The quantitative part of data collection will consist of Likert scale questions such that participants may select their responses on the basis of what is available. However, in order to increase the effectiveness of the questionnaire assessment, a pilot test will be conducted. It will establish the time it takes to fill in the questionnaires. Interviewees will also be asked several open-ended questions and all the information will be analyzed.

Data analysis will consist of data reduction as the first process; data will be selected and converted into useful information from observations made within the bank. Additionally, the qualitative and quantitative information will be checked for consistencies. Thereafter, coding of the open – ended questions will be done. Here, the data will be demarcated in accordance to certain themes. After a thorough coding process, qualitative data will be converted to quantitative data where statistical analysis will take place. It will facilitate the easy presentation of all information on tables, charts, and graphs. All the information from the observations, qualitative and quantitative aspects of the research will be analyzed in order to come up with a comprehensive outcome on each. Questions such as “how can the company improve the outcomes of its training program?” will generate some plausible solutions for the institution. Such questions will contribute towards action research that was mentioned earlier.

Conclusion

Completion of this research will not just benefit employees in Toronto Dominion Bank but it will also assist other organizations that do not know how to relate their training programs to tangible organizational benefits. This research will assist in use of practical solutions and non abstract methods of research.

References

Creswell, J. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Katou, A., & Budhwar, P. (2007). The effect of HRM policies on organizational performance in Greek manufacturing firms. Thunderbird International Business Review, 49(1), 1-35.

Latham, G. (1988). Human resource training and development. Annual Review of Psychology, 39, 545-582.

Seth, P. (1984). Impact of training on personnel managers. Productivity, 25(2), 207-216.

Vijayabanu, C. & Amudha, R. (2012). A study on efficacy of employee training: review of literature. Business: Theory & Practice, 13 (3), 275-282.