Human Resources Management

Question 1

  1. Although both employee training and development aim at improving the productivity and performance of employees, they vary in many ways. In training, the employer imparts technical skills and knowledge related to the specific job by improving the abilities of every employee. In contrast, employee development is a sort of educational process focusing on the growth and maturity of employees. Training can be termed as a short-term process of three to six months while development is a long-term process, as it is continuous. Development has a wider scope as it is career oriented and different from training, which has a limited scope, as it is specific job oriented. Although training programs may collectively include a group of individuals, development follows a self-assessment approach where an individual develops their own skills. Training applies well-defined and specific objectives where an employee is trained on how to use a particular program, new protocols, and obtain specific personal skills. In contrast, development has broader objectives where it explores improving skills, changing habits, and philosophical issues.
  2. Training is an essential way of developing a workforce, which also benefits the organization output in the long-term. Training improves the performance of employees, their morale, and the profit of an organization. Training is a source of skills and knowledge required to remain up-to-date to the organization’s operations. Through this, a company remains ahead of its competitors. Collings and Mellahi (2009) explain that training employees attract new talents and increase the retention rate of employees. A company that trains its employees illustrates its level of employee value, as well as, their developments, which ensures employees are motivated by following every step of the onboarding process. Training, which is particularly done during the onboarding process, instills the employee with the foundational knowledge of the company, where they understand their job description and responsibilities. Through this, employees are better engaged, and the management will view their talent in the future by developing their skills. Therefore, training options can support employee development in the future.
  3. Career planning and development can be defined as the continuous process that an organization manages the employees’  leisure, learning, training, and work progress during their day-to-day operations (Noe et al., 2017). The process is inclusive of attaining and applying knowledge and skills required during the formulation of a plan, as well as, the formulation of informed decision about work, education, and training in an on-going process. One of the key areas to career planning is an engaged employee. The best success for an engaged employee is training and employee development. Offering employees with training and development opportunities exposes them to the desire to further their study. In addition, internal promotion (development) opens the need for the employee to plan about their career due to the open opportunities in the career. Career planning and development is a win-win aspect that focuses on the needs of the employees, as well as, the benefits of the business. 

Question 2

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Human resource managers play a vital role in career development programs. The human resource managers (HRM) are responsible for formulating the right type of career development programs that will boost employees to grow towards their full potential. Career development programs ensure that there is sufficient supply of talents and abilities. The human resource managers play the crucial role of centering the whole efforts of the business. Unlike in training, an HRM manager in career development program assists and empowers employees to be more capable and enriched. One of the roles of HRM is providing employees with the required career information, which in return help them improve their work. The HRM applies the performance appraisal system, which according to Storey (2007), promotes the discussion on the strengths and the weakness of employees, which opens the avenue for areas that require improvement. 

The managers’ role in career development programs is to retain talented, competent, and skilled employees. The managers use career development programs to identify the pool of available talent for posting and promotion. The manager develops and implements specific policies including promotion, counseling employees, and providing opportunities excellent in preparing the employee in their career. Development of career promotes experiences, skills, and knowledge, as well as, behavioral modifications and refinement techniques, which adds value to the employee and in return improve their output. 

Many business and individuals view career development as the sole responsibility of the employee. Nonetheless, the managers of an organization should understand that career development is a vital aspect of employee development. Therefore, the success of an employee’s career depends on the organization. For example, an employee working in a facility that denies them time to further their education will frustrate the employee, which can lead to employee’s career failure. However, successful employees will be happy knowing they have support from their managers. Generally, maximum performance and employee satisfaction require ongoing input and feedback from the management.

Several factors influence career and career development either directly or indirectly. The first factor is the personality of the employees, which is a prerequisite for working on certain job positions. Career development may also be influenced by Behavior and self – presentation, which in some instances, may be more superior to job performance, where an employer may consider the career goal of the employees. The fourth factor influencing career development is education level, as well as, completed courses and training where some employees will be at better chances for advancement due to their education status. 

Although previously organizations were in charge of career development, employees are taking an active role in the planning and implementation of their individual’s career development. It is challenging for employees to rely fully on employers for their career plans. The second challenge results from the overemphasis on career development and enhancement, which can negatively affect an organization. For example, an employee with extreme careerist orientation may be more concerned about their image rather than their performance (Chen et al., 2004). Lastly, diverse employees may raise issues where barriers arise from the advancement of minorities and women and aspects that may be hard to eliminate. 

Question 3

  1. Although mentoring and coaching may seem similar, they also have differences. These two are similar in terms of their functions where they are geared towards personal and professional development. The two build a concrete and positive change among employees where knowledge is transmitted from the mentor/coach to the employee. Although the two concepts may be explained differently, Garvey, Strokes, and Megginson (2010) argue that coaching and mentoring has one similar aim; the career growth of employees. One of the major differences between mentoring and coaching is that coaching aims at achieving certain goals like strategic thinking development and speech structuring in employee management. In contrast, mentoring places the employees on the first line. Coaching process can be completed with a few lessons while mentoring needs mutual acquaintances and calls for a longer duration. In terms of efficiency and development, coaching improves personal efficiency while mentoring is a form of continuous development.

Coaching and mentoring are practiced in the workplace while the management identifies some of the personnel required to improve their potentials (Eraut, 2007). Coaching and mentoring are essential particularly in career development and are one of the top strategies for career development. It creates an alliance where the employer and the employee can have a dialogue. It can either be formal or informal depending on the circumstances. Some of the practical benefits of mentoring include the avoidance of obstacles and pitfalls, enhanced training and career development, and widened professional networks.

  1. I believe each workplace has its way of conducting mentoring and coaching. In my workplace, I have seen several coaches and mentors, and of the thing that stands out is that coaches do not need specialty in a field to be coaches. However, I have seen knowledgeable managers as coaches who ask pertinent questions and answer exhaustively to questions raised by employees. One of the strategies that coaches and mentors apply is education and training where they provide knowledge to employees and some of the expected behaviors while faced with certain situations.

For the mentors, they go to levels of sharing their experiences including the failures, successes, and the lessons learned that relates to the situation at hand. One of the strategies that my mentor applies is that he explains and demonstrates the validity of the process by providing examples of how others succeeded. Through these coaching and mentoring, one develops skills and expertise, which is crucial for employees to attain the business objective.

Question 5

  1. Performance management is the process an organization applies to identify, measure, manage, and develop HR in an organization. On the other hand, performance appraisal is the ongoing process, which an organization applies to evaluate employees. DeNisi and Pritchard (2006) argue that performance management is the process used by an organization to assist the employee to continue in their development of being better for the employer. In contrary, a performance appraisal is a process applied by a business to evaluate their progress to assess and measure the actual performance of the employee on a regular basis. Performance appraisal explores the immediate past of the appraisal process, while performance management focuses on the present and the future. Another difference is that while performance management is a proactive process, performance appraisal is a reactive process (DeNisi and Pritchard, 2006).  However, performance management is more effective than performance appraisal as the latter is one piece of the larger puzzle of performance management. Performance management does not only concentrate on human resources but evaluates their impact on the company. Performance appraisals face varying negatives either as a result of a one-on-one meeting that is held for the appraisal interaction or due to the general system of performance appraisal. There is an increased need for feedback annually, and performance appraisal is challenging in the contemporary working environment. For example, in my previous workplace, performance appraisal was greatly applied, and it was challenging for employees to set goals annually and follow them. Personally, I prefer weekly, monthly, or even daily feedback to identify the success and areas that require rectification. Annual performance appraisals are prone to a one-way lecture where the employees are given a chance to raise issues. The major challenge is that annual performance appraisals do not focus on employee development through skills and knowledge.
  2. A manager cannot be highly performing while his employees are performing poorly. I believe it is every manager’s responsibility to get their employees to perform better at the highest levels possible. I have worked in several organizations and one aspect of performance evaluation is that it effectively promotes employee engagement. Every manager’s responsibility is to ensure employees perform better where although not all at highest performing positions, but all are able to meet the employer’s standards of performance. 

There is one organization where I was operating where the level of performance management was low. Personally, I was disengaged, which was the reason I resigned from the workplace. The management was a failure and dictatorship form of leadership was applied. The only known performance strategy was performance appraisal where the managers read the performance levels of the varying departments, highlighted what each department was required to do, required the employee to set goals, but there was no feedback from the managers until the following financial year. This was frustrating particularly seeing the employee demotivated. However, I have worked in companies with a high-performance level where the employees are treated as the core to business success. In such institutions, the employees are treated as part of every area in the business, they are mentored, and the level of performance is high.

References

Chen, T. Y., Chang, P. L., & Yeh, C. W. (2004). A study of career needs, career development programs, job satisfaction and the turnover intentions of R&D personnel. Career development international9(4), 424-437.

Collings, D. G., & Mellahi, K. (2009). Strategic talent management: A review and research agenda. Human resource management review19(4), 304-313.

DeNisi, A. S., & Pritchard, R. D. (2006). Performance appraisal, performance management and improving individual performance: A motivational framework. management and Organization Review, 2(2), 253-277.

Eraut, M. (2007). Learning from other people in the workplace. Oxford review of education33(4), 403-422.

Garvey, R., Strokes, P., & Megginson, D. (2010). Coaching and mentoring: Theory and practice.

Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2017). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.Storey, J. (2007). Human resource management: A critical text. Cengage Learning EMEA.

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