Sample Essay on Training and Development in Small Businesses
Key Elements of Training and Development
The first element of training and development geared towards the improvement of performance for the small-size restaurant is requiring that all employees engage in orientation programs upon hire. During the orientation program, the employees would become accustomed to all the members of the various departments and the intricate working of the organization. For example, it is during the orientation programs that the new employees would know the history of the restaurant, especially the culture of transparency that exists between customers, management and all the staff. Apart from knowing who is who within the business, the orientation program helps in creating a rapport between the new and the older employees, especially those in the higher levels of management. The new employees can identify the person whom they feel free to contact in case they run into challenges during their time with the business.
The other key element is mentorship. Mentorship is an important aspect of the training and development of the restaurant especially for the employees in the kitchen and marketing department. In this process, new employees are paired with experienced staff at the small business to be trained and oriented in some matters that are delicate for the business. This is essential in helping the new employees build confidence and also build their toolbox of skills that are instrumental in ensuring that they perform to the expected high standards. For example, because the restaurant has been providing outside catering services to over 20 customers within a 10-mile radius for the last two decades, new employees have to be introduced to these loyal group of customers before they can be hired. This is important because these employees often spend a significant amount of time working in the homes of these customers and they, therefore, need to be accepted into the customer's trusted circle of associates.
The last key element of training and development is job rotation. According to Pande and Basak, this is an important strategy for small businesses in adapting to market changes and lowering costs (436). For example, in case one employee from an essential department such as the kitchen quits their job or is unable to come to work for a prolonged period, someone from another department can slot in for a few days during which a replacement can be sought. This strategy reduces hiring costs and can also help a business adapt to market changes by putting more labor into performing departments without the need to hire from outside. This strategy has also helped in reducing turnover in business organizations because an employee from a redundant department can be absorbed into a performing team from another department, therefore, helping to keep talent from draining away from the business.
Potential Challenges to the Managers
In addressing organizational performance, one of the potential challenges for the manager is how to manage the millennials. This group of workers is primarily composed of young workers who are keen to progress quickly up the corporate ladder and they are full of new ideas and enthusiasm. However, the problem with this group of workers is that it is composed of an impatient lot. While older employees are comfortable just arriving on time at work and leaving after their shift, the millennials in the organization are passionate about new technological additions to the business including social media pages, new exciting point of sale systems and new cuisines. However, as Klikauer observes, when the buzz dies and the monotony sets in, they are quickly frustrated and their performance drops (72). The most formidable challenge for older managers is to keep this lot of employees motivated.
The other major potential challenge for the manager is working within a limited budget. The business organization is essentially a family business that was started from the ground up with personal savings. The challenge comes in working with this limited budget to address the performance of the business. For example, in the last few years, the owners have been encouraging employees to perform higher by offering end-of-year bonuses. However, the fact is that unless the business expands tremendously, probably with borrowed funds, it might not be able to keep this performance reward system alive. It remains a very serious challenge to the manager to come up with another plan in addressing the performance of the organization within the new very limited budget.
Besides, the manager has a serious potential challenge of eliminating the entitlement mentality. The entitlement mentality minimizes the effectiveness of performance rewards. This is a family business and there are a lot of employees who are closely related to the owner of the business. These groups of employees feel that every year, they are entitled to a performance-based raise or bonus regardless of the performance that they put in the business (Pande and Basak 436). Because this is a mentality that was created a long time ago and reinforced through years of increments that are not based on performance, the manager will have a task cut out for him when working on a lean budget now. It is difficult to change this mentality but it is not impossible. In an environment of true pay for performance, it is the performance that is supposed to warrant the pay as well as other HR actions revolving around pay increase.
The last potential challenge for the manager is the lack of personnel. In addressing organizational performance, one of the issues that often arise is that the best-skilled personnel move out to seek for better opportunities in the higher paying companies and often bigger business organizations. This is especially true of the most experienced and skilled employees who have been with the business for many years. These employees are approached by competitors and offered better wages and other incentives, making them move into these companies. This brain-drain has been an inevitable problem because the business does not have the financial muscle to compete with these circling giants. Hence, in the foreseeable future, the manager will have to struggle with this challenge as the best performing and experienced staff keeps leaving in search of better opportunities.
Effects of Detecting Organizational Gaps in Small Business
One of the effects of detecting organizational gaps in a small business is finding hidden talents in the existing workforce. Sometimes, a business organization can spend a lot of time and money looking out for talent only to come to realize that all along, the talent was just within. Internal job mobility is an excellent way of providing workers with flexible career paths. By designing tools and evaluating the capabilities of the employees, managers can easily encourage internal job mobility and assign these employees roles that fit their skills, to the benefit of the organization. By detecting and finding these hidden talents early, organizations can save a lot of money and time among other resources which are often limited for these small businesses.
Another effect of detecting organizational gaps in small businesses is providing the right kind of internal environment to keep top talents. Organizations with the best working environments can motivate and keep top talent. After investing in periodic training and development programs, it is then critical to retain the workers within the organization. The solution is not always to overpay workers to keep them. Sometimes, the solution is to introduce changes to the workplace that can motivate the employees and make them feel an integral part of the entire organization (Becker, Mark and Richard 197). There are a host of strategies that managers can initiate to ensure that all the employees experience job satisfaction and remain with the organization for a long time. A small business can benefit a lot from keeping its workforce intact.
The last type of effect of detecting organizational gaps in small businesses is the right type of technology. Money is usually a scarce resource for many small businesses and this call for wise use of it. It is, therefore, imperative that the business should invest in the right type of technology as a means of increasing its performance or reducing its running expenses. For example, while teleconferencing may help large companies to reduce travel costs, it may not be ideal for a small business that is only located in a single geographical location. Hence, these gaps in technology, as well as the right type of technology, can be revealed and addressed.
Competitive Training Strategy
To improve the position of the business in the market, the business should adopt these three training strategies: role-playing training strategy, employee behavior training strategy and leadership training strategy. Role-playing is a training strategy that employers use for jobs that have a lot of contact with the public. The restaurant is one of the businesses where the employees are in almost constant contact with the members of the public. Customer service, repair, and sales personnel should be engaged in regular role-playing training to teach them how to engage with the customers.
For example, learning to be keen on customer’s requests, processing customer’s orders quickly and effectively as well as learning how to answer questions from customers is a huge return on investment because it not only retains the existing customers but the employees can use the opportunity to make customers aware of a new product or service. Also, to help the business promote from within, a leadership training program should be rolled out. This training program makes sure that selected employees undergo training classes in management and perhaps, a third-party held seminar that specializes in management training.
Employee behavior training is a strategy that is increasingly becoming important in the modern workplace. This straining strategy is aimed at increasing communication between employees, reducing harassment and increasing sensitivity among the workforce (Rainbird, 65). For instance, sexual harassment should include reciting the company policy on sexual harassment as well as inviting a qualified lawyer to go over the employment law and the sexual harassment laws. For example, employee behavior training should include the explanation of what zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment or racial discrimination means on the career of the offending employee.
Becker, Brian E, Mark A. Huselid, and Richard W. Beatty. The Differentiated Workforce: Translating Talent into Strategic Impact. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2009. Print.
Klikauer, Thomas. Managing People in Organizations. London: Red Globe Press, 2018. Print.
Pande, Sharon, and Swapnalekha Basak. Human Resource Management: Text & Cases. 2nd. New York: Vikas Publishing House, 2017. Print.
Rainbird, Helen. Training in the Workplace. Hoboken: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. Print.
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