Online On the Job and Simulation Training Methods Training methods; online training, on-the-job training, computer simulation
Give a short description of each method, state the population(s) for which it is appropriate (for example, leaders, managers, administrative staff, production workers, customer service employees, etc.), and explain why.
Finally, note the advantages and disadvantages of each method and provide at least two metrics for evaluating it.
Online On the Job and Simulation Training Methods Discussion Two: Application
After reading the module for the week, answer the following:
The board of directors of HHS thinks a training program and a process are required to project the skills and certifications that will be needed for the organization in the future. They have given you the following questions to be answered before developing this training program. Provide your responses.
How will the organization’s training needs be determined?
How will HSS know if the training program is being effective?
Module 4: Evaluating, Training, and Development Policies, Procedures, and Practices
Case for Module 4
The following case is an extension of the cases presented in modules 1, 2, and 3. To have a more complete understanding of the situations covered here, be familiar with the previous sections of this case presented in the previous modules.
You have been the human resources manager for Human Solutions Software for six months. These first six months have been difficult at times, with you needing to develop your credibility with the people who work for HSS.
There have been some major changes at HSS since you became the human resources manager. A West Coast branch office, which has 25 new employees, has been set up for HSS in Portland, Oregon; and the former chief of operations has moved to Portland to head that new office. HSS has also received a major contract with a German firm.
Online On the Job and Simulation Training Methods and the Contract
That contract is being managed from the main office in Maryland now, but a European branch office will be opened in the next few months. The German contract has led to the hiring of an additional six employees at HSS headquarters, with four of those employees planning to move to Europe when the branch office opens there.
HSS has also received several new contracts, mostly with private firms, that have led to an additional expansion of 18 more employees at the HSS headquarters. This means that HSS has expanded from 65 employees, when you first started as the human resources manager, to 114 employees now.
As human resources manager you have hired a consultant who has conducted job analyses for all the present positions at HSS. The founders at HSS have finally begun work on a strategic plan for the organization and see you as one of the lead people in developing that plan. You have also set up standardized recruiting and staffing procedures that have been used to hire many of the new employees at HSS.
The hardest part of your job has been convincing several of the founders that these changes were needed. The demands of the organizations that HSS contracts with, and several threatened lawsuits by potential or former employees, have helped you to get these changes approved by the board.
Online On the Job and Simulation Training Methods and Accomplishment
You have accomplished all of this with only one clerical person to help you. Recently you have been putting pressure on the board to hire two human resources generalists to help you in your tasks. You have justified this expense by the money that the organization can save by avoiding lawsuits, by doing more training internally, and by being more efficient in recruiting and staffing positions.
Two months ago you submitted a plan for reorganizing HSS based on the job analyses. This structure included a traditional board of directors (made up of the five founders), a president/CEO, five vice presidents (finance, operations, marketing, technical services, and human resources). This morning you found out that, with a few minor revisions, your plan has been accepted. You will be the new vice president of human resources with the two human resource generalist positions being approved also. The founders have also given you the responsibility to supervise the five personnel who administer and provide quality control for contracts that HSS has.
While you are excited about your new position and the success of HSS, you are aware of all the work that is ahead of you now. You see HSS as an organization that must be led into being a more mature organization, with more established employee policies. One of the first things that you plan to have your new HR generalists do is to work on organizing all of the employee policies at HSS into an employee handbook. You also feel a need to update and review the benefits policies for employees.
In-Depth Scenario 1
A couple of months ago the board fired the head of software development. There had been serious violations of EEO policies in the software development department. The former head had also been upset by not being included in several administrative decisions that affected his department. His firing was a messy affair because he was a close friend of one of the founders. That founder had fought hard to keep him, but it soon became apparent, even to that founder, that the head of software development had not adapted to the growth of HSS and had to go.
While you did what you could to ensure that the termination was handled in a way that would not generate legal questions, there were several issues about it that made you uncomfortable. HSS offered the former head of software development a severance package that was generous, but he turned it down because part of accepting the package was to agree not to sue HSS over the firing. There are some deadlines coming up for the former head of software development to file legal papers dealing with his termination. You have a feeling that he will be filing those papers.
One of the issues you are most concerned with is that the board of directors did a performance appraisal of the head of software development at about the time you were first hired six months ago. This was an essay appraisal, requested by the former head of software development and written by the board member who was a friend of the head of software development and signed by all members of the board. That performance appraisal was very positive and mentioned specific things at which he had excelled.
Other employees were not receiving performance appraisals at that time, and there is still no formal appraisal system in effect for most employees. One of the many things on your list of things to be done to help bring HSS into being a more mature organization is to implement a formal performance appraisal system.
You see the development of a formal performance appraisal system as an excellent project to work on with the two new HR generalists you plan to hire in the next two weeks. Write a five- to seven-page plan for developing a formal performance appraisal system for HSS. Provide guidance for your new employees in this plan, and be sure to include:
what information will have to be gathered to develop the new appraisal system
what legal considerations there might be with the new appraisal system
what ways to measure performance might work best for performance appraisals at HSS
what rater errors should be protected against in doing performance appraisals
what training may need to be considered for raters
how to make the performance appraisals job related and valid for the different positions at HSS
what kind of appeal process might be appropriate for performance appraisals at HSS
how to address the problems that HSS may have with the termination of the former head of software development, and how to avoid similar problems in the future
Be as specific as you can in developing the plan for implementing a formal performance appraisal system at HSS. Remember that your new employees will not have the depth of knowledge and experience that you have in human resources, so they will need specific guidance. Your new employees will be counting on your guidance in this plan.
In-Depth Scenario 2
Training at HSS has been informal and external. To be honest, except for a few sexual harassment and diversity workshops that you have conducted yourself, there has been no formal training at HSS. HSS has concentrated on hiring people who already have the training to do what they need to do at HSS.
In the past HSS has missed out on getting several contracts because they did not have the specialized personnel needed to fulfill the obligations of several contracts. Frantic attempts have been made to hire people with the specialized skills that have been needed, but it sometimes takes three months to hire a person with the needed skills. By that time some of the contracts were awarded to other firms.
The biggest problem has been in the software development department. There are many software developers who have experience related to what has been required by the contractors but do not have the certifications that the contractors want to see.
There have been a few other training problems in other departments. Recently the accounting department switched to a new computerized system but did not contract for training the accountants and bookkeepers in the new system. The head of finance felt the training was unnecessary because the system was similar to the old accounting system. The result was that paychecks were on time only after a huge overnight effort that resulted in the accounting department figuring paychecks using calculators rather than computers. There were also several bills that were not paid on time because the accounting staff was not familiar with the new system.
The board of directors feels the need for developing a training program and a process to project what skills and certifications will be needed in the future at HSS. They have provided a list of questions that they feel should be answered before developing this training program. These questions are:
What type of training should be external and what type of training should be internal?
What process should be used to decide which employees get training?
What are the overall objectives for the training?
How will the organization’s training needs be determined?
What techniques might be most effective in providing the training at HSS?
How will HSS know if the training program is being effective?
The board wants you to develop a presentation that answers these questions. Use PowerPoint slides (at least 12) and any other techniques that you think are appropriate to develop an effective presentation. Answer the above questions in a way that will provide guidance to the board and that will provide an outline for your department in developing the training program in the future.
In-Depth Scenario 3
With the fast expansion at HSS the board is concerned that there may not be enough trained employees to fill future supervisory positions. When there was a need to have a branch manager for the Portland branch, the former chief of operations was the only person who was really acceptable to head the branch. Because his wife had a responsible job here in Maryland, he originally did not want to take the position in Portland. There was no one else who was qualified for the position, and the board of directors did not want to hire someone from outside HSS who did not know much about the company to take the position. Luckily, one of the founders knew someone in Portland who was looking for a new employee with the chief of operation’s wife’s qualifications. His wife was persuaded to take the position, so the chief of operations accepted the position of manager of the Portland branch.
Now there are two important positions that must be filled. The board of directors has just approved a new organizational structure with five vice presidents. With the chief of operations having moved to Portland, and the head of software development being fired, there is no one to take over the positions of vice president of operations and vice president of technical services. You are aware that you have a challenge to recruit people to fill these positions, but in the back of your mind is a greater concern. With the fast growth of HSS, you wonder who there will be in the future to fill leadership positions. In a few weeks you will have to find a branch manager for the new European branch office. After that, there are several director of department positions that you project having to fill. While some of these positions can be filled from outside HSS, you want to be able to promote from within as much as possible.
You see one of the strengths at HSS as having hired a number of very bright young people. However, most of those employees are not ready for leadership roles. Some of them need management training, some of them need more technical training, some of them must become certified in various computer skills, and most of them should just be a little more “seasoned” before they can take on supervisory roles.
Create a plan for developing these young people’s talents so HSS will have a pool of qualified people to choose from in the future, when supervisory and management positions must be filled. In this plan include possible training programs, mentoring programs, internship programs, coaching, and anything else you can think of that will help the good people who work at HSS develop their skills and qualifications so they can move up in the organization in the future.
Once you have created the plan, write a four- to six-page memo in which you communicate the need for the plan, and the plan itself, to the board of directors. Be sure to include the costs and benefits (in a general way) for the career-development program you are proposing.
Quick Scenario 1
The acting head of software development came into your office and let you know that she wants to develop an effective performance appraisal system for her department. She remembers, from having taken a human resource management class as an undergraduate, that there are a number of different ways to measure performance and she wants your guidance on the matter. She also wants to make sure that the method chosen to do performance appraisals fits the technical nature of the workers she supervises. What advice will you give her? Write a three-page report outlining the different alternatives that you would think would be most effective for appraising the performance of software developers.
Quick Scenario 2
The vice president of finance has come to you to seek advice on a training issue. As part of one of HSS’s recent contracts with a government agency, that agency is paying for one of the accountants to be trained on the accounting system that the agency uses. This is so that HSS will have an accountant that can advise the software development team on technical accounting matters as they develop the needed software. The training will be in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The vice president of finance is having a difficult time deciding which accountant to send to the training. He has narrowed it down to two different accountants. One of the accountants has been a stellar performer in the accounting department and already has most of the skills he needs to be a technical advisor on the contract. The other accountant is young and inexperienced and has a lot of potential, but seems to be bored with his job lately. Which candidate would you advise the vice president of finance to choose? After you have thought about it, send the vice president of finance a three-page memo with your recommendation, and the reasons for your recommendation.
Quick Scenario 3
Your recent promotion to vice president of human resources at HSS was written up in several professional journals, with one of the journals calling you one of the “most promising, up-and-coming human resource executives.” Since your promotion you have received several calls from recruiters (head hunters), inquiring if you are interested in various positions with other companies. You are proud of what you have accomplished at HSS and want to stay, but one of the other potential offers is very tempting. The offer is for a similar position to what you have at HSS, but at a larger firm and for a better compensation package than you are receiving from HSS now. The big question in your mind is which is a better career move, to take the position, or to stay at HSS. Write a three-page memo to yourself that outlines the advantages and disadvantages to your career of staying with HSS and of taking the other position.