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ASSIGNMENT ON

Unit 23 –Human Resources Development

Name of the Teacher: Mr Peter Emelone

Name of the Student: Monika sz

Student ID:

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Task: 1 Understanding Learning Theories and Learning Styles 4

1.1 Comparing Different Learning Styles 4

1.2 Explain the Role of the Learning Curve and the Importance of Transferring Learning to the Workplace 9

1.3 Assessing the Contribution of Learning Styles and Theories when Planning and Designing a Learning Event 11

Task: 2 Gaining Ability to Plan and Design Training and Development 12

2.1 Comparing the Training Needs for Staff at Different Levels in an Organisation 12

2.2 Assessing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Training Methods Used in an Organisation 14

2.3 Using a Systematic Approach to Plan Training and Development for a Training Event 16

Task: 3 Gaining Ability to Evaluate a Training Event 17

3.1 Preparing an Evaluation Using Suitable Techniques 17

3.2 Carrying out an Evaluation of a Training Event 18

3.3 Reviewing the Success of the Methods Used in Evaluation 20

Task: 4 Understanding the Government-led Skills Development Initiatives 21

4.1 Explaining the Role of Government in Training, Development and Lifelong Learning 21

4.2 Explaining How the Development of the Competency Movement has impacted on the Public and Private Sectors 23

4.3 Assessing how Contemporary Training Initiatives Introduced by the UK Government Contribute to Human Resources Development for an Organisation. 24

Conclusion 25

References 26

Introduction

Human Resource Development (HRD) is the studies and practices designed solely to develop the quality of a person and make him competent for a given job (Academy of Human Resource Development, 1998). This is a vast subject and contains many conceptual and practical knowledge and findings. Training and development is a part of the overall HRD and palys an important role in the quality building of the employees.

In this brief assignment we are going to present different learning style and learning theories, the role of learning curve and the importance of transferring learning to the workplace. We will also present the need to training in different level s of an organization, the types of training methods and implications and effectiveness of the training methods. Then we will describe the way to be able to design a training program and evaluation process. And finally will conclude by stating the government's role in training and development and particularly the steps taken by the UK government. In this assignment we describe pure concepts as well as its application in the real world. The asked criteria of evolution will be incorporated in due places.

Task: 1 Understanding Learning Theories and Learning Styles

Men's comprehension capacity is different. They react differently in a same situation. That's why the mode of learning varies from one person to another. In today's competitive and challenging workplace learning events and training sessions plays an important role in developing and maintaining the quality of the personnel as well as the products or services provided by the organization (Academy of Human Resource Development, 1999). Practical and sound knowledge of different learning theory and learning styles have an impact on designing and carrying out an effective learning event.

In the following sections we are going to describe and compare different learning styles, explain what a learning curve is and the role of the learning curve, the importance of transferring the learning to workplace and what role have a learning theory and learning style in designing a learning event.

1.1 Comparing Different Learning Styles

Learning is linked with the concepts of knowledge, skills, behavior, values and preferences. Learning can be defined as acquiring these things or modifying or reinforcing the previous acquisition of these things (Bratton and Gold, 2000). In other words learning is a process which deals with the 3-Ws; what, how and why.  True learning is not a sudden happening rather it is a result of consistent and gradual process. Human being has a general tendency for learning and it can also be instigated. The mind and prior knowledge or previous knowledge plays an important role in learning.

The way a person acquires new knowledge, skills, etiquette, values or preference through different ways and styles. The subject which deals with the ways of learning is called learning theories.  There are different theories about learning. Some early commentators say that learning is a result of active engagement, others says that learning is not only a personal matter rather it is a social phenomenon and people learn from social exposure. Basically Learning theories are conceptual frameworks that describe how a new knowledge or skills are acquired.

Many experts had given their own views about learning. Among the scholars of learning style David Kolb advocates a certain type of learning style and Peter Honey and Alan Mumford supported a different learning style. Here is a brief comparison between the 2 famous learning styles:

Kolb's Learning Styles:

David Kolb suggested that people follow four learning styles in learning which is based upon a learning-cycle composed of 4 stages. The four-stage learning cycle is as follows:

The Learning Cycle:

Kolb said that each people learn through this cyclic process and their learning can be one of the following styles:

1. Diverging learning style:

The people who follow this learning style tend to watch and observe first rather than doing immediately. This kind of people is good at artistic works and the jobs which require brainwork instead of physical effort. This is a people focused learning style.

2. Assimilating learning  style:

The people who follow this learning style tend to follow the pure conceptual and logical knowledge. They focused on the concept rather than the people. These kinds of people are good at scientific research and inventions.

3. Converging learning style:

This kind of learning style is totally different than the previous two styles. Instead of focusing on people or abstract concept this style focuses on practical works. Those who follow this style are good at practical problem solving.

4. Accommodating learning style:

Accommodating learning style is an interesting learning style described by David Kolb. People who follow this style for learning actually follow their inner feelings than practical reasoning. They don't bother about any logical explanation rather they follow intuition. They don't do any research or analysis. They took other people's finding and work on that basis.

Honey and Mumford's Style:

Honey and Mumford advocates completely 4 different style of learning. They didn't suggest any learning cycle as Kolb did. The learning cycle of Honey and Mumford are as follow:

1. Activists learning style:

This kind of learning style is followed by those who like to experience new things. They don't bother about the consequence and like to face new issues in the practical fields.

2. Reflectors learning style:

The reflectors are very cautious people and due to their cautiousness they like to collect primary and secondary data from all possible sources and after analyzing them they reach to any conclusions. They like to listen to other people's ideas before stating their own opinion.

3. Theorist learning style:

The people who follow this kind of learning style like to formulate new theories out of their new experiment and observations. This kind of people thinks that logical derivation is a good way to solve a problems.

4. Pragmatics learning style:

Pragmatics likes to experiment new ideas and theories which was never been in any real world implementations. They consider the problems and difficulties as new challenges which have to be faced and been overcome.

In the practical world different people follow different learning styles. All learning styles have its own justification and according to this it can be applied in its given field and obtain good results.

1.2 Explain the Role of the Learning Curve and the Importance of Transferring Learning to the Workplace

Learning curve has an impact on the overall learning process because it represents the track record of the performance of the learners. On the other hand learning doesn't have any impact if they are not transferred to real world, i.e. the   workplace. Every learning style has its own objective and it can only be achieved if it is transferred to the workplace (Werner and DeSimone, 2009).

The role of learning curve and the importance of transferring learning to the workplace are stated bellow:

Role of Learning Curve:

Like any other curve a learning curve is also a graphical representation. It represents the increase or decrease of learning in respect to experience. It's a great tool for assessing the impact of any learning or training program as it shows the track record.

The learning curve is used to identify the key elements of learners' progress and formulate education policy. It also shows the common elements of effective learning.

Learning curve is widely used in resource requirement planning and setting up incentive rate schemes.

Importance of transferring learning to workplace:

All kind of organisations arrange training and learning sessions for the employees (Walton, 1999). They use time, fund and energy to train the personnel to have some benefit in the competitive market place. So it is highly expected that the learners should transfer their learnings to the work place. The importance of transferring learning to the workplace can be stated as follow:

1. Add Value:

The prime objective of the learning session is to add value to the organisation. So if the learning is not transferred to the workplace no value will be added to the organisation.

2. Proper utilization of Fund:

 Each training and learning session requires funding. Organisations have spent a lot to develop its employees. So if the learning is not transferred to the work place then this spent money will not be utilized in a proper way.

3. Face and Overcome Challenges:

Employees may face practical obstacles in doing his assigned responsibility. Sometimes he may face a challenge about which he doesn't have any prior knowledge. Learning sessions contains such case studies. So if the learning is transferred to the workplace it will help the employees to come up with the new environment and face and overcome challenges.

1.3 Assessing the Contribution of Learning Styles and Theories when Planning and Designing a Learning Event

The practical knowledge about the different learning style and theories are very much critical to any kind of learning event designing because this is more of a psychological job (DeCenzo and Robbins, 1996). This matter is explained in the following example:

Case:

Mr. A is a teacher.

Mr. B is a doctor.

Mr. C is a policeman.

Mr. D is a banker.

If I assume myself as a learning event designer and organizer I have to think about their reality first. What kind of learning they need and their current area of work and their potential future roles in their respective jobs should be my first consideration.

Then I need to know how humans behave and how their brains functions and the role of prior knowledge or information they have.  This will help me to understand the psychology of the learner.

They I should gather clear understanding about the learning styles. Then according to the reality and necessity of the learners I should design a learning event.

Then I should set up the activities and learning material on the basis of the style of learning I have chosen.

In the case above Mr. A, Mr. B, Mr. C and Mr. D all have different background and different learning needs. They may have different prior knowledge and different psychologies. So if I don't have the proper knowledge of the learning theories and learning styles then I certainly will not be able to design an effective learning event.

Task: 2 Gaining Ability to Plan and Design Training and Development

Planning and designing is a practical and real-world work. It requires some conceptual knowledge as well as some real-life experience. Planning and designing a training and development is not an exception of this (Dessler, 2000). This requires the knowledge of the different training need for staffs at different level and knowing the feasibility and merits and demerits of each training method.

2.1 Comparing the Training Needs for Staff at Different Levels in an Organisation

Training need is not same for the employees or stuffs at different level in an organisation. The responsibilities of the staffs at different level are not same. They play different role in achieving an organisaiton (Garrick, 2002). Let us consider the following organisation:

XYZ is a manufacturing organization. It has 3 departments; finance and accounting department, marketing department and Production Department. Let us assume that the organisation is planning to conduct a training session for it employees. So the organisation should monitor and assess the training need of the employees of the different level and different departments.

The HR management should design training session based on the need of the employees.

Firstly, let us pick the finance and accounting department:

The managers' need of training is different than the training need of the subordinates. The managers should be given training regarding how they can play their role in achieving the goal of the organisation. The subordinate should be aware of the goal of the organisation but their main concern should be to serve the purpose of the management which don't need any major decision making concerns.

Then, the marketing department,

The manager should be given training to that they become effective team leaders and efficient decision makers and the subordinate should be given training so they become effective in executing the decisions of the management.

And finally the Production department,

The Managers should be given training so that they become well decision maker. The production experts should be given training so that they become more innovative and efficient in doing the production work and the works should be given training so that they can comply with the code of conduct of the department and play their role workers.

So, finally we can say that the training needs for different stuffs of different levels are not the same. The need varies according to the reality and type of responsibility they hold.

2.2 Assessing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Training Methods Used in an Organisation

According to budget and need the organizations chose training methods (Gilmore and Williams, 2009). Assuming the previously mentioned XYZ Company we will now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different training methods used by the company.

1. The classroom or lecture method:

This is a common type of training method. In this training method the trainees are place in a class room and one or more instructor give lectures using a white board or a PowerPoint projector.

The main advantage of this training method is that XYZ Company can conduct a training session for a large number of employees at a time and it is cost effective.

The main disadvantage of this training method is that this method can be applied for the training of the practical production work as there is no scope for laboratory demonstrations. And it can also be monotonous.

2. Demonstrations or practical training method:

This training method requires a practical field where the knowledge or technics are demonstrated to the trainees. The organizations create such an environment where the demonstrations can take place and the trainees can learn by observing the demonstration (Grieves, 2003). After the demonstration there are questions & answer session where the learners can ask questions and remove their confusions.

The main advantage of this training method is that, it is suitable for the production department of XYZ Company. Moreover it can be encouraging and enjoyable for the employees.

The main disadvantage of this training method is that, it cannot be applied where decision making based on practical reality is required; i.e. the management level.

3. Case study method:

This is a training method where a situation is given to the trainees and then asks them to solve the situation based on some assumptions. This method can be applied to any individual or teams.

The main advantage of this method for the XYZ Company is that, it can apply it to the management level to enhance the decision making capacity of the managers. It is also cost effective.

A prime disadvantage of this method of this method is that, it has no effect in the subordinate level. Is cannot be applied to worker level of the company also.

4. Mixed training method:

This is an interesting training method. It combines all possible training method in one umbrella and used to train and develop the employees.

The mixed training method is suitable for XYZ Company because it has different department and different layer in those departments. So if a combined approach is applied it will be easier to train and development.

But the major disadvantage of this method is that, it can be very much costly and time consuming. It can also lead to unnecessary engagement of the employees and lead to stagnant business operation.  

2.3 Using a Systematic Approach to Plan Training and Development for a Training Event

A systematic reproach of training is composed of some systematic stages which come one after another. This is basically a rational approached which starts from identifying the aim of the organization and after certain stage it finishes at implementing the training program (Index to Human Resource Development Review, 2006). For XYZ Company we are going to plan a training event.

Stage 1: Organization's Aim:

The aim of XYZ Company is to dominate the market though innovation and effective marketing and cost minimization. To achieve this aim the organization wants to build a comprehensive product line and cost effective production.

Stage 2: Setting up Training Need:

In this stage XYZ Company identified that the production worker and the marketing agent should be more efficient. Otherwise the organisation is not going to achieve its aim. So the top management decide to conduct 2 different training event for this two departments.

Stage 3: Designing training Strategy:

XYZ Company has designed a demonstrative training strategy for the workers and employees of the production department about how the production can be run in proper and cost effective manner.

The company also designed lecture method where the facts and plans of marketing will be shown to by a PowerPoint to the marketing stuffs and agents.

In designing the training strategy XYZ Company considers the budget and effectiveness of the training events.

Stage 4: Implementing the training Program:

Finally the XYZ Company implemented both the training programs in due date and place.

Task: 3 Gaining Ability to Evaluate a Training Event

The XYZ Company has successfully implemented both if it's training programs. Now it is time to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. There are several techniques of evaluation. Effectiveness of training is a key factor in achieving the goal of training.

3.1 Preparing an Evaluation Using Suitable Techniques

Evaluating a training program means measuring the effectiveness of the conducted training program. There are several ways to evaluate a training session (INDEX to HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT REVIEW, 2004).

The objective of the evaluation is assessing whether the training was worth doing or not and whether the performance of the employees improved or not. After assessing the results the organization has to decide whether further training required or not (Torrington, Hall and Torrington, 1998).

For XYZ Company it is very much important to evaluate the two training sessions conducted. For this reason the human resource manager of XYZ Company designed a plan to evaluate the training. He first observed the whole training program and collect date of the personnel's previous performance and historical data. Then he planned to observe the employees for 3 weeks to assess the improvement and in the meantime he planned to collect feedback from the participants of the training program. For feedback collection he prepared a questioner and also planned to talk with them individually.

The HR manage prepared his team of evaluation and brief them the plan. All are ready to start the evaluation process.

3.2 Carrying out an Evaluation of a Training Event

This is the practical step taken by the HR team for evaluation. In this matter the HR team considers the following feedbacks:

1. Satisfaction and participants reaction:

It is the immediate assessment of the trainer. He observes the immediate reaction of the trainees and try to understand whether the training program was effective or not (Joy-Matthews, Megginson and Surtees, 2004). The HR team of XYZ Company finds a good reaction from both of the training sessions.

2. Knowledge Acquisition:

This is another feedback material for the HR team. The HR team of XYZ Company measures the rate of knowledge by immediate question and answering process and that was bevy much interactive and most of the trainees participated and their gesture was good. So the HR team of XYZ Company thinks that the rate of knowledge acquisition rate is good.

3. Behavioral Application:

This was an aftermath of the training program. The overall approach and Behavior of the trainees changed and the improvement was eye-catching. The XYZ Company is very much content to see this improvement.

4. Measurable Business Improvement:

The HR team of XYZ Company observed 2 weeks from the conduction of the training sessions and find measurable business improvement. The production cost minimized at a notables rate due to train of the workers and employees of the production department. And though the training of the Marketing agents the sale of the product increases and the feedbacks from the customers are better than before.

5. Measuring with a Benchmark:

And finally the XYZ Company compare the result obtained from the training program with the previously determined standard. This is the final step of evaluation. XYZ Company finds it pretty impressive and content of the result obtained. Now the organization is on the verge of setting up new a new goal higher than the previous one.

And this is the end of the evaluation process the training sessions conducted by the XYZ Company. It is very much effective to evaluate by using several methods rather than one method. It guarantees more accurate result.

3.3 Reviewing the Success of the Methods Used in Evaluation

The HR team of XYZ Company used 5 different methods for evaluating the two training sessions. Before starting the evaluation the manager discussed about this with his team members. He narrated and convinced the members of his team to accept his decision about using 5 different methods of evaluation (Knowles, Holton and Swanson, 2005).

The HR manager told the other participants of the HR team that any one method can bring a certain feedback and not the overall and comprehensive feedback. He described benefits of each of the methods to them as follows:

1. Satisfaction and participant reaction is a psychological phenomenon and it describes the inner feeling of the trainees about the program they participated.

2. The training was to develop the individuals' personal skills. It's directly linked with the acquisition of knowledge. So it should be measured to find a greater picture of the training impact.

3. This is also a tool to understand a person's improvement. So it was included in the evaluation process and it works finely.

4. The main goal was to improvement the business outcome. So the HR manager collected previous data and compared with the new data obtained by observation. It was a useful tool to evaluate the effectiveness.

In conclusion we can say that the HR manager's decision of using 5 different methods was useful and it helps to get the complete picture of the training impact on the organisaion.

Task: 4 Understanding the Government-led Skills Development Initiatives

Government is the top body of any country which can help and support the people at a greater degree. It has the capacity to do more well-being than any other privately owned organisaiton or individual (Mankin, 2009).  As the supreme body of the country the UK government has a role in developing its subjects and it is contributing well in this regard.

4.1 Explaining the Role of Government in Training, Development and Lifelong Learning

The role of the government in training, development and lifelong learning is very vital. The focusing contributions of government are this perspective is given bellow:

1. Generating a Public Norm:

A government can reach to all. Though its various tolls and means the government can initiate a process to generate a common culture among the public which will help them to train and develop them.

2. Formulate a HR Policy for All:

The government can formulate a Human Resource Development policy for all of its citizens and help to improve the capability of its citizens.

3. Allocate Fund:

Government can give fund for HRD in private sector as well as in public sector. Usually the governments around the world provide fund to train and develop its state employees. According to government policy and need they can also give fund to the private sector too (Martin, 2009).

4. Promote HRD Study:

Government can help training and development by promoting HR study for all.  It can be done through including an intense syllabus of HRD in the National Curricula.

5. Creating a Favorable Work Environment:

By providing a favorable work environment the government can help in developing the overall capability of the citizens. It can be done in many ways. One of the way can be passing a law containing the rights of the employees and punishments for violations.

So we can say that government can be a pioneer in developing the training and development and lifelong learning.

4.2 Explaining How the Development of the Competency Movement has impacted on the Public and Private Sectors

Competency can be described as the ability to accomplish any given job (Mathis and Jackson, 2003). This ability requires some other qualifications which are a prerequisite to finish a job effectively. The concept of competency can be understood from the following sequence:

1. Novice: Who don't any prior knowledge

2. Experienced beginner: Who got the primary knowledge of the job

3. Practitioner: Working with primary knowledge for a descent time-frame.

4. Knowledgeable Practitioner: Who has gathered all required knowledge of the subject matter, but yet to reach the level of an expert.

5.  An Expert: Who actually become proficient in the subject and developed an in-built understanding of the subject or job.

Competency of a person revolves through this process and there is an impact of competency in the real world workplace.

Both public and private sector are influence by the competency movement. In the past this knowledge of competency was not widely circulated. With the passage of time it becomes a matter of big discussion and standard of competencies become a common debate among the experts. Especially in the public sector the competency of the public servant become a matter of concern. Some said that high competency standard must be maintained in order to sever the public well. They advocated for rigorous competition for the public sector jobs and intense training programs to make them more competent for the job (Megginson, 1993).

For maintaining competitive advantages the private sector accepted a high competency standard and for this reason they offered gigantic salary figures for the competent persons. But during the recession time this competency standard was used in favor of the corporation against many competent employees who lost their jobs in low competency-standard ground.

4.3 Assessing how Contemporary Training Initiatives Introduced by the UK Government Contribute to Human Resources Development for an Organisation.

The UK government has several initiatives in the fields of HRD (Milkovich et al., 1991). The government institutions which look after in this matter are:

1. Department of Trade and Industry.

2. Department of work and Pension.

3. Department of Education and Skill and

4. Department of Health

The services provided by this agencies to the privately own organisations are as follows (Mondy, Noe and Gowan, 2005):

1. Providing business likes to the eager and needy ones.

2. Providing skills for Business Network by Sector Skills Council.

3. Funding and planning education for the over 16's by the Learning and Skills Council.

4. Creating skilled workforce for the industry by the University Of Industry.

5. Creating standard workforce of specific sector by National Vocational Qualifications.

6. Ensuring good practice of work by the Investors in Peoples Standard.

These are the few initiatives taken by the Government of the UK which helps the organization to get better people for their jobs and ensures the commitment of the government to help the private sector.

     Conclusion

In conclusion we can summarize that Human Resource Development is an important study in today's world. The HRD is now an elaborated subject which includes many concepts and studies. Understanding the training need, the learning theories and learning styles, implications of the learning theories and style, ability to design and formulate training events, evaluation process and method etc. are some of the few topics covered by the HRD study. Also the role of government in development of training and development is a significant one. As a government the Government of UK is playing a vital role in the development of training and lifelong learning by many of its publicly funded agencies and some public-private combined funded institutions.  

    References

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Academy of Human Resource Development. (1999). Human Resource Development International, 2(4), pp.443-443.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2000). Human resource management. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

DeCenzo, D. and Robbins, S. (1996). Human resource management. New York: Wiley.

Dessler, G. (2000). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Garrick, J. (2002). Informal learning in the workplace. London: Routledge.

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Knowles, M., Holton, E. and Swanson, R. (2005). The adult learner. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

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Martin, J. (2009). Human resource management. Los Angeles: SAGE.

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Milkovich, G., Boudreau, J., Milkovich, C. and Milkovich, G. (1991). Human resource management. Homewood, IL: Irwin.

Mondy, R., Noe, R. and Gowan, M. (2005). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Torrington, D., Hall, L. and Torrington, D. (1998). Human resource management. London: Prentice Hall Europe.

Walton, J. (1999). Strategic human resource development. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Werner, J. and DeSimone, R. (2009). Human resource development. Mason OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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