Introduction

Organizations face the need to continuously improve the ability of their employees to deliver their duties accordingly. A quality training program (QTP) is a schedule that enables employees to balance their personal and work life as well as gives employers the possibility to develop the employees’ morale, while enhancing their productivity, satisfaction, and commitment, and improve the health of workers, both physically and psychologically (Armstrong, 2001). The quality training program is relevant to human resource development (HRD) because it enables organizations to improve the ability of their employees to continuously deliver high quality services. As a human resource manager, I need QTP for evaluating the training gaps among the employees and implementing schedules that can enhance their performance. The purpose of this paper is to analyze a current situation that requires a similar program. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is an institution under consideration. It utilizes the STAR format that entails presenting the situation and analyzing the task, action, and the results.

 
 

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Virginia Department of Health has 85,840 employees who constitute the category of the “health support staff.” This group of workers holds an important position in quality training because the applicants do not require a bachelor’s degree. Consequently, quality training helps in improving their skills and general ability to meet the required standards of workplace performance. The health support employees work in diverse locations under the health facility within Virginia. It, thus, means that an effective training program must cover all different working locations of the health support staff for them to effectively benefit. Some of the assistant workers deliver services in critical areas, for example, psychiatric aides who form 17% of the health support staff in the state, while 24.6% of them are occupational therapy assistants (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Owing to the critical nature of the areas where laborers serve, it is important to ensure they possess the right skill sets they can apply to their clients. The outcome of enhancing the skill levels of the employees is the improvement of the quality of health care services the customers receive. Also, such intervention reduces workplace stress and other problems they are likely to experience due to limited qualifications.

Most of the health support workers within the department of health complained about technological changes that have rendered them incompetent. In fact, 79% of them stated that they had experienced technological glitches while trying to use new technologies that the VDH introduced. They stated that they needed a training program that could improve their user interface. They said that at the time of their hiring, there was limited use of technology in the health care services. However, the sector has integrated computer technology and other forms of technologies, e.g. the social media in the service. Consequently, they need a quality training program that can assist them to overcome technological drawbacks and other hitches that undermine their productivity, work satisfaction, and motivation.

The following are the three terms that have links with the topic of QTP. The first one is “employee obsolescence.” The term is defined as a situation when the worker cannot perform the tasks because their skills have become outdated. The second concept is “development,” which is a continuous process of improving the employee’s ability to execute their duties through training and evaluation. “Technological innovation” is defined as the changes that affect the methods of task execution. Due to the fact that new technologies emerge, they require skills that are different from the ones the worker possesses, hence the need to retrain them.

Link of Quality Training Programs to HRD Foundations

The essence of QTP is to address the dynamics (challenges) that emerge in the human resource environment. One of the challenges that QTP solves among adult learners is their technological incompetence (obsolescence). The term “Quality Training” has a connection with adult learning. Apparently, adult learners require a program that can increase the quality of their work. “Technological innovation” is a term under the analysis of VDH. The health support workers under the department face the challenge of using new technologies because they lacked the necessary competencies at the time of their hiring. Thereafter, it is an issue that HRD can address through QTP. The trend of human resource development has evolved to include the aspect of technological training as part of the quality training program.

“Attitude” is a term that is associated with an individual’s psychological predisposition. According to Armstrong (2001), attitude affects adult learning and the results the employee produce after performing a task. Lack of technological competence is a factor that impedes the ability of employees to deliver high quality services. Armstrong (2001) explains that quality programs for training employees must focus on developing the skills, knowledge, and “attitudes” of the workforce in a systematic manner. Also, such programs must continuously adapt to the emerging HR trends. One of such trends is technological development (Armstrong, 2001). The author states that one of the achievements of a quality training program is to update the old talents that employees possess while developing new ones. The health support staff within the department has received traditional training that enables them to give basic services in their different practice areas. However, they need new talents that shall make them relevant to the modern HR trends, specifically the use of technology.

Kulkarni (2013) explains the four core objectives that training and development of the human resource should meet. Firstly, a program for training and developing the workers should include individual objectives. Apparently, such objectives focus on empowering the laborer to achieve his or her personal goals through the job and to possess the right attitudes towards their work. The employees become highly active towards contributing to the organizational success when they meet their personal aspirations (Kulkarni, 2013). The second group of objectives is organizational goals, which are the specific aims that the company would like to reach using its workers. With regard to functional goals, they include particular roles that an employee fulfills within the department to reach the requirements of the organization. Finally, social objectives of a training program enhance the employees’ contribution towards the ethical and social responsibility of the company (Kulkarni, 2013). The effects of reaching these aims through the program include prevention of obsolescence among employees, preparing them for higher level and new tasks, and exposing workers to the latest trends so that they can effectively serve in their current positions.

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Link to the ADImE Model

This section illustrates how the situation at VDH is related to the ADImE model. The situation’s task entailed “designing” a quality training program for VDH. When designing the program for VDH, the sole aim was to document the employee’s understanding of the tasks and the use of technology to complete them. I also designed the program in a manner that complies with the four objectives. Thus, through training, the beneficiaries would become highly competent and capable of achieving their personal, organizational, functional, and social objectives. Furthermore, the training program’s design aimed to benefit the trainees with technological skills, for example, using the social media for internal and external communication in the organization.

The first stage in the process of developing a training program is the “assessment” of the training needs and areas (Stark, 2009). Using the assessment that I conducted, I established that most of the health support employees (79%) need a program for training them on using new forms of technology. It is also necessary to align such training to the four objectives, while making them better users of modern technologies.

The second procedure is to “design” a checklist that is a summary of development areas. Although the trainees may only need an introduction to the topic, there are cases when they would require in-depth training (Stark, 2009). The health support employees of VDH require in-depth training because they have limited interface with technology. They must also get the necessary skills for managing change because they complained about their workplace becoming diverse to the extent that they are almost unproductive. They face the risk of obsolescence if they do not get proper training in their areas of need.

I identified the resources that the program would utilize. Thereafter, the resources included computers and teleprompters for making presentations, reading literature, e.g. manuals, video tapes, and checklists (Stark, 2009). The final stage, according to Stark (2009), is the development of a procedure for performance evaluation.

The “implementation” phase includes developing a program for training and evaluating employees. Apparently, the program includes identifying the areas where employees need training. The areas that I identified were ICT, social media, and multiculturalism, which is a pertinent emerging change in the field of health care. It would ensure that the trainees become compliant with ICT. They would also understand how to use social media to communicate internally and externally. Finally, they would become culturally competent so that they can serve clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. I followed Stark’s recommendation which states that new employees must undergo an evaluation after thirty days from the date of hiring them. The evaluation should establish deficiencies that new entrants have in their training. For example, it is important to establish whether they can effectively use the social media, computers, and other forms of ICT effectively. I also developed an improvement plan. It is a six-month plan that the department shall use to continuously evaluate its workforce. Through such plan, it is possible for an organization to determine the emerging problems that its workers face as a result of change (Stark, 2009).

Change management is a current issue that many government departments and organizations handle. According to Subba (2009), an effective program for developing a successful workforce must prepare the workers to manage change in the most effective way. The problems that the health support staff at VDH experience are caused by change. Traditionally, most health support staff did not require a bachelor’s degree to apply for their positions. Thereafter, some of them only had high school qualifications (Subba, 2009). As a result of the minimum qualifications that they were to meet, such employees are bound to experience shocks due to workplace changes. For instance, Subba explains that such workers had limited knowledge of computer technology. The social media has also emerged as a modern trend, yet such people may not understand how to use the medium. Consequently, the improvement of the quality of their work requires a program that updates their skill level and increases their technological, social, and ethical skills (Subba, 2009).

The program is effective because it identifies the areas where trainees require assistance, identifies the resources for developing beneficiaries;, develops the procedures for its implementation, and outlines how to evaluate employees. The VDH employees should become highly skilled in ICT, social media, and cross-cultural competence at the end of the program. Furthermore, they should understand how to manage new changes that may occur within the department. The program identifies the importance of evaluating the outcomes among employees. According to its recommendation, the program’s developer emphasizes that each new employee must undergo an assessment after one month of hiring. The evaluation’s essence is to determine the training deficiency. The training of each employee complies with the specific personal requirements, meaning that it is relevant to each trainee at a personal level. The outcome, therefore, is to equip each employee with skills by following the particular needs of the trainee. The program is highly necessary for the department because it marks a shift from the traditional practice where it retains workers who are underqualified to work in the modern environment where technology is the driver of change. The department shall implement the program as an ongoing process. A continuous evaluation of employees under the program shall assist the department to equip its workers with new skills according to the emerging trends in the labor market.

Conclusion

The program is relevant to the situation that VDH faces. The department has a huge number of employees who constitute its health support staff. However, the employees’ hiring followed traditional procedures where employees lacked technological and multicultural competencies. The program follows the standard procedure of identifying the areas of weaknesses, getting the necessary resources, and implementing and evaluating its results. An employee who benefits from the program shall gain competencies such as social media skills, computer literacy, and multiculturalism. It means that at the end of the program, each member of health support staff must demonstrate the knowledge of interacting with the clients, management, and other employees through the social media, use the ICT system, e.g. computers to store and retrieve data, and serve customers from different cultural backgrounds.

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