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8-10. You’re the supervisor of a group of employees whose task is to assemble disk drives that go into computers. You find that quality is not what it should be and that many of your group’s devices have to be brought back and reworked. Your boss says, “You’d better start doing a better job of training your workers.”
What are some of the staffing factors that could be contributing to this problem?a. Explain how you would go about assessing whether it is in fact a training problem.
8-11. Choose a task with which you are familiar—mowing the lawn, making a salad, or studying for a test—and develop a job instruction sheet for it. 8-12. Working individually or in groups, develop a short, programmed learning program on the subject “Guidelines for Giving a More Effective Lecture.” 8-13. Find three or four actual examples of employers using social media for training purposes. At what levels of managers are the offerings aimed? What seem to be the most popular types of programs? Why do you think that’s the case? 8-14. Working individually or in groups, develop several specific examples to illustrate how a professor teaching human resource management could use at least four of the techniques described in this chapter in teaching his or her HR course. 8-15. Working individually or in groups, develop an orientation program for high school graduates entering your university as freshmen. 8-16. Appendix A , PHR and SPHR Knowledge Base, at the end of this book (pages 580–588) lists the knowledge someone studying for the HRCI certification exam needs to have in each area of human resource management (such as in Strategic Management, Workforce Planning, and Human Resource Development). In groups of four to five students, do four things: (1) review Appendix A ; (2) identify the material in this chapter that relates to the required knowledge Appendix A lists; (3) write four multiple-choice exam questions on this material that you believe would be suitable for inclusion in the HRCI exam; and (4) if time permits, have someone from your team post your team’s questions in front of the class, so that students in all teams can answer the exam questions created by the other teams. 8-17. Perhaps no training task in Afghanistan was more pressing than that involved in creating the country’s new army, which is an ongoing task. These were the people who were to help the coalition bring security to Afghanistan. However, many new soldiers
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and even officers had no experience. There were language barriers between trainers and trainees. And some trainees found themselves quickly under fire from insurgents when they went as trainees out into the field. Based on what you learned about training from this chapter, list the five most important things you would tell the U.S. officer in charge of training to keep in mind as he designs the training program.
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The purpose of this exercise is to give you practice in developing a training program for the job of airline reservation clerk for a major airline.
You should be fully acquainted with the material in this chapter and should read the following description of an airline reservation clerk’s duties:
Customers contact our airline reservation clerks to obtain flight schedules, prices, and itineraries. The reservation clerks look up the requested information on our airline’s online flight schedule systems, which are updated continuously. The reservation clerk must deal courteously and expeditiously with the customer, and be able to find quickly alternative flight arrangements in order to provide the customer with the itinerary that fits his or her needs. Alternative flights and prices must be found quickly, so that the customer is not kept waiting, and so that our reservations operations group maintains its efficiency standards. It is often necessary to look under various routings, since there may be a dozen or more alternative routes between the customer’s starting point and destination.
You may assume that we just hired 30 new clerks, and that you must create a 3-day training program.
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Divide the class into teams of five or six students.
Airline reservation clerks obviously need numerous skills to perform their jobs. JetBlue Airlines has asked you to design quickly the outline of a training program for its new reservation clerks.
8-18. You may want to start by listing the job’s main duties and by reviewing any work you may have done for the exercise at the end of Chapter 6 . 8-19. In any case, please produce the requested outline, making sure to be very specific about what you want to teach the new clerks, and what methods and aids you suggest using to train them.
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Maxene Raices is a senior manager at Wilson Learning, a company that specializes in developing training programs. She describes the best practices that make training most effective. She explains how training sessions have to be planned carefully with an outcome in mind, and have to consist of more than just lecturing. Good training programs help employees do their jobs, and ideally produce measurable results. Managers can use technology to make training even more effective, giving opportunities for people spread over various locations to attend training sessions.
8-20. How does Wilson Learning’s “know, show, do” approach fit with the training processes that this chapter described? 8-21. Explain what specific training tools and processes discussed in this chapter you would use to implement a “know, show, do” training approach. 8-22. What do you think of the experimental design Wilson used to assess the call-center training program? How would you suggest the company improve it? 8-23. Discuss four types of technology Wilson could use to deliver training, based on the information in this chapter. 8-24. What are two reasons that Maxene gives for thinking it is important for different learning styles to be recognized? 8-25. How does identifying the intended outcomes of a training shape the training itself?
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[no longer online] Witness.org trains human rights advocacy groups to capture on video the testimonies of survivors and witnesses to human rights abuses all over the world. The company’s goal is to empower the people who are directly involved in the situations, by giving them the tools necessary to use the power of video to communicate their stories. [no longer online] Witness.org trains advocacy partners on how to use the video equipment, how to tell a story in such a way that it effects change in those who hear it, and how to get the video in front of the people who are able to make a positive change.
[no longer online] Witness.org is run by a core of 28 people with experience in a variety of areas, including speaking multiple languages, managing a nonprofit organization, producing videos, and working with human rights issues. These employees train advocacy groups on the technical aspects of creating a video, as well as safety and security issues related to producing videos containing sensitive materials. The main goal of [no longer online] Witness.org is to achieve changes in policies, laws, or behaviors that are currently causing human suffering.
8-26. Explain how training and development play an important role in [no longer online] Witness.org. 8-27. Describe the challenges incurred in the training and development process at [no longer online] Witness.org. 8-28. Describe the group of experts who conduct the training for [no longer online] Witness.org.
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Jim Delaney, president of Apex Door, has a problem. No matter how often he tells his employees how to do their jobs, they invariably “decide to do it their way,” as he puts it, and arguments ensue between Jim, the employee, and the employee’s supervisor. One example is the door-design department, where the designers are expected to work with the architects to design doors that meet the specifications. While it’s not “rocket science,” as Jim puts it, the designers invariably make mistakes—such as designing in too much steel, a problem that can cost Apex tens of thousands of wasted dollars, once you consider the number of doors in, say, a 30-story office tower.
The order processing department is another example. Jim has a very specific and detailed way he wants the order written up, but most of the order clerks don’t understand how to use the multipage order form. They simply improvise when it comes to a detailed question such as whether to classify the customer as “industrial” or “commercial.”
The current training process is as follows. None of the jobs has a training manual per se, although several have somewhat out-of-date job descriptions. The training for new people is all on the job. Usually, the person leaving the company trains the new person during the 1- or 2-week overlap period, but if there’s no overlap, the new person is trained as well as possible by other employees who have filled in occasionally on the job in the past. The training is the same throughout the company—for machinists, secretaries, assemblers, engineers, and accounting clerks, for example.
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8-29. What do you think of Apex’s training process? Could it help to explain why employees “do things their way”? If so, how? 8-30. What role should job descriptions play in training at Apex? 8-31. Explain in detail what you would do to improve the training process at Apex. Make sure to provide specific suggestions, please.
*Source: Copyright Dr. Gary Dessler.
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The Carter Cleaning Centers currently have no formal orientation or training policies or procedures, and Jennifer believes this is one reason why the standards to which she and her father would like employees to adhere are generally not followed.
The Carters would prefer that certain practices and procedures be used in dealing with the customers at the front counters. For example, all customers should be greeted with what Jack refers to as a “big hello.” Garments they drop off should immediately be inspected for any damage or unusual stains so these can be brought to the customer’s attention, lest the customer later return to pick up the garment and erroneously blame the store. The garments are then supposed to be placed together in a nylon sack immediately to separate them from other customers’ garments. The ticket also has to be carefully written, with the customer’s name and telephone number and the date clearly noted on all copies. The counter person is also supposed to take the opportunity to try to sell the customer additional services such as waterproofing, or simply notify the customer that “Now that people are doing their spring cleaning, we’re having a special on drapery cleaning all this month.” Finally, as the customer leaves, the counter person is supposed to make a courteous comment like “Have a nice day.” Each of the other jobs in the stores—pressing, cleaning and spotting, and so forth—similarly contain certain steps, procedures, and, most importantly, standards the Carters would prefer to see upheld.
The company has had problems, Jennifer feels, because of a lack of adequate employee training and orientation. For example, two new employees became very upset last month when they discovered that they were not paid at the end of the week, on Friday, but instead were paid (as are all Carter employees) on the following Tuesday. The Carters use the extra 2 days in part to give them time to obtain everyone’s hours and compute their pay. The other reason they do it, according to Jack, is that “frankly, when we stay a few days behind in paying employees it helps to ensure that they at least give us a few days’ notice before quitting on us. While we are certainly obligated to pay them anything they earn, we find
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that psychologically they seem to be less likely to just walk out on us Friday evening and not show up Monday morning if they still haven’t gotten their pay from the previous week. This way they at least give us a few days’ notice so we can find a replacement.”
There are other matters that could be covered during orientation and training, says Jennifer. These include company policy regarding paid holidays, lateness and absences, health benefits (there are none, other than workers’ compensation), substance abuse, eating or smoking on the job (both forbidden), and general matters like the maintenance of a clean and safe work area, personal appearance and cleanliness, time sheets, personal telephone calls, and personal e-mail.
Jennifer believes that implementing orientation and training programs would help to ensure that employees know how to do their jobs the right way. And she and her father further believe that it is only when employees understand the right way to do their jobs that there is any hope their jobs will be accomplished the way the Carters want them to be accomplished.
8-32. Specifically, what should the Carters cover in their new employee orientation program and how should they convey this information? 8-33. In the HR management course Jennifer took, the book suggested using a job instruction sheet to identify tasks performed by an employee. Should the Carter Cleaning Centers use a form like this for the counter person’s job? If so, what should the form look like, say, for a counter person? 8-34. Which specific training techniques should Jennifer use to train her pressers, her cleaner/spotters, her managers, and her counter people? Why should these training techniques be used?
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*The accompanying strategy map for this chapter is in the MyManagementLab, and the overall map on the inside back cover of this text outlines the relationships involved.
§Written by and copyright Gary Dessler, PhD.
As she reviewed her company’s training processes, Lisa had many reasons to be concerned. For one thing, the Hotel Paris relied almost exclusively on informal on-the-job training. New security guards attended a one-week program offered by a law enforcement agency, but all other new hires, from assistant manager to housekeeping crew, learned the rudiments of their jobs from their colleagues and their supervisors, on the job. Lisa noted that the drawbacks of this informality were evident when she compared the Hotel Paris’s performance on various training metrics with those of other hotels and service firms. For example, in terms of number of hours training per employee per year, number of hours training for new employees, cost per trainee hour, and percent of payroll spent on training, the Hotel Paris was far from the norm when benchmarked against similar firms.
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