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How Human Resources are affecting Business

THE CHALLENGES IN TRAINING AND MOTIVATING WORKERS WITHIN A MULTINATIONAL ENTITY.

My study examines the impact of employee perceptions on formal training and how motivational techniques are applied upon said employees within multinational entities. More specifically, I intend to investigate the challenges that arise from these two issues and how said issues are dealt with, within a multinational entity.

Training is the process of increasing the knowledge and skills of the workforce to enable them to perform their jobs effectively, whereby an individual acquires job-related skills and knowledge. Training costs can be significant in any business. However, many employers are prepared to incur these costs because they expect their business to benefit from employees' development and progress. Implementing high-quality, effective training techniques result in enhanced productivity, improved motivation, better recruitment and a lower requirement for supervision. Ultimately, these benefits lead to a more efficient and productive workforce, therefore a higher profit for the entity.

There are two broad types of training available to businesses: on-the-job and off-the-job techniques. Individual circumstances of the training determine which method the multinational entity will use. On-the-job training is delivered to employees while they perform their regular jobs. In this way, they do not lose time while they are learning. After a plan is developed for what should be taught, employees should be informed of the details. A timetable should be established with periodic evaluations to inform employees about their progress. On-the-job techniques include orientations, job instruction training, apprenticeships, internships and assistantships, job rotation and coaching. Off-the-job techniques include lectures, special study, films, television conferences or discussions, case studies, role playing, simulation, programmed instruction and laboratory training. Most of these techniques can be used by small businesses although, some may be too costly. U.S. firms spent about $156 billion on employee learning in 2011, the most recent data available, according to the American Society for Training and Development. 

Motivation is about more than simply the will to work, commitment or completing tasks. Motivation can come from the enjoyment of the work itself and/or from the desire to achieve certain goals, for example, earning more money or achieving promotion, but it can also come from the sense of satisfaction gained from completing something, or achieving a successful outcome after a difficult project or problem solved. In short, motivation matters in business because people’s behaviour is determined by what motivates them.

The performance of employees is a product of both their abilities and motivation. A talented employee who feels de-motivated is unlikely to perform well at work, whereas a motivated employee can often deliver far more than is expected from them.

 

Training is often given as a reaction to perceived needs without taking time to analyse the root cause of performance issues. Multinational corporation generally don’t take the time to investigate issues fully, as the issue has most likely appeared in a previous situation and thus they already have a solution.

The most prominent effect that these issues have on the human resource cycle is that it inhibits ‘training’ itself. By training employees, the entity can carry on through the cycle - appraisal, retention and eventually separation. Once employees are trained, motivational techniques are implemented to continue high employee performance. But, given the costs for training new employees, many entities often sparsely invest their means into training. Quite often the reason for this is because the benefits of training are more intangible, which also leads to the fear that the newt trained employees can be poached by competitors. 

Workforce planning is a systematic, fully integrated organisational process that involves proactively planning ahead to avoid talent surpluses or shortages. It is based on the premise that a company can be staffed more efficiently if it forecasts its talent needs as well as the actual supply of talent that is or will be available. The issue has minor effects on workforce planning, as the workforce planning actually occurs before - or even during - the training and motivation begins. This chosen issue does not directly affect workforce planning's such, because the issue occurs after the workforce has been planned and hired/managed. Although, it could be construed that extensive workforce planning may affect existing employees. 

Change management entails thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation, and above all, consultation with, and involvement of, the people affected by the changes. If you force change on people normally problems arise. Change must be realistic, achievable and measurable. 

Employees in the fast food industry - full of multinational ‘giants’ - agreed with the fact that a employee of an entity can spot problems easier and faster than another employee with the same ability. This may possibly be that the other employee might be putting in noticeable effort at the beginning of their job and may be his or her effort is not noticed while the other employee’s effort is being noticed. Therefore, the other employee will be more active and motivated more than the one who can’t spot problems faster and easier. If an employee completes a task well at work and their manager gives them public praise for it, then the person is likely to perform in the same manner again and in other way, if a person completes a task well at work and their manager did not give them any praise, then the employee is not likely to perform In the same manner again. This is probably the most typical and regular form of motivation affliction seen in multinational corporations today, and is therefore the biggest challenge for motivating the employees.

 

Upon training, managers and employees typically meet to clarify expected outcomes for the year and set objectives that link the employee's job to the entity’s objectives. Objectives define what employees are expected to accomplish. In addition to objectives (which focus on end results) other aspects of performance should be considered. Understanding the approaches and behaviours that employees can use to perform the job is often as important to success as end results. Many approaches, however, are not easy to measure. For this reason, managers and employees should discuss these aspects of performance, sometimes called "performance dimensions," in specific, observable, job-related, behavioural terms. Once performance objectives are set, managers will typically check in regularly with employees to discuss the status of objectives and to provide feedback based on observations of an employee's performance. It is equally important to provide feedback on areas of success as on those requiring improvement.

With these objectives in mind, the employer can now set towards motivating the employee. Typically, the entity will ensure that employee responsibilities are transparent and succinct, which will make the employee feel useful. They will also provide opportunities for increased responsibility and career advancement, encourage employees to take ownership of their jobs and to strive for personal excellence, discuss skills that are essential to be successful in the job and give honest recognition for work achievements.

To encourage employees to be proactive and motivate themselves, entities should encourage employees to do an honest assessment of the job responsibilities and determine where they may have skill shortfalls or skills not being fully utilised. Additionally, the should provide opportunities for employees to develop themselves, discuss and create a development plan during the performance planning cycle and provide behavioural feedback on performance and discuss ways to improve their approach to the job.

Simply providing additional training to familiarise employees with organisational changes isn't sufficient to motivate workers and increase knowledge. Focusing on the development of employees in terms of emotional maturity, integrity and compassion allows employees to feel personally invested in the organisational changes. Employees who feel more invested in the process of company change show higher levels of motivation and internalise new methods of operation. This allows for a smoother transition and helps your company increase overall productivity. Aligning the business goals of your company with the personal goals of your employees can help you increase workforce motivation through an organisational change. For example, stating the goals of your business in terms of building positive community relationships and sustaining responsible profit levels allows workers to identify with those business goals, because they can apply the concepts to personal desires. Workers who understand and approve of your company's goals work harder to help your business achieve those milestones. 

Training is a two-way process. Management provides learning opportunities, but employees must show interest by participating. The real test of learning is when staff internalise and apply new knowledge to their jobs. When employees fail to take responsibility for their own development, training does not succeed. The HR department must engage employees even before training is conducted by soliciting feedback, suggestions and ideas. Employees show greater acceptance if they set their own objectives and recommend training based on their specific needs.

One of the biggest issues that multinational entities have with training is that there is stigma around the cost of training both new and existing employees. Training is now more accessible through the use of technology. Online courses have made it easier and less costly to train. Organisations can also use other training tools that do not cost anything, such as mentoring, on-the-job training and shadowing.

Training is an investment that will almost always show returns. Often, it is difficult to see the actual impact of training. An evaluation form completed at the end of training only shows participant reactions. Senior management needs concrete proof, such as increase in productivity and sales. Training must also result in a decrease in errors, customer complaints, accidents and down time. Training becomes of value when it contributes to the bottom line. The HR department must provide metrics that support the training expense.

 

References

Paul Marginson, (30 Jan 2007) Retrieved from: 

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/

Alexander Newmana, Rani Thanacoodyb & Wendy Huia, (12 May 2011) Retrieved from: 

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/

Evan Carmichael, (Unknown publish date) Retrieved from:

    http://www.evancarmichael.com/Human-Resources/789/

Link Staffing Services (07 Dec 2012) Retrieved from:

    http://www.linkstaffing.com/a-real-answer-for-the-challenge-of-motivating-employees

Billie Nordmeyer, (Unknown publish date) Retrieved from:

    http://work.chron.com/top-five-employee-motivation-problems-22613.html

Dr. John Sullivan, (24 Oct 2004) Retrieved from:

    http://www.workforce.com/articles/why-you-need-workforce-planning

Meri Liraz, (Unknown publish date) Retrieved from:

    http://www.bizmove.com/personnel/m4d.htm

Journal of Business Administration Online (Fall 2012) Retrieved from:

    https://www.atu.edu/jbao/Emoloyee_motivation_in_large_scale_organizations.pdf

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