Companies must have an effective training plan in place to be successful. A structured training plan for Landslide Limousines ensures that employees receive exposure to the strategic goals and objectives to the organization. Company based training will provide consistent knowledge and experience to an employee about the organizations expectations and procedures. Well trained employees assist with the company in accomplishing and achieving their organizational and personal goals to succeed. The following succinct training plan outlined below is developed for Landslide Limousines that begins with a needs assessment. Training methods are also provided with the strategies necessary to assist with the evaluation of the training program.
Needs Assessment Analysis
The needs assessment will serve as a blueprint for development of Landslide Limousines training plan. The needs assessment will also assist with understanding the processes of implementation and the desired outcomes for the company. By means of the assessment process, improvements can be made to the operation and implement a strategic change for the improvements. In order to meet the mission and the strategic objectives of the organization, the methods will alleviate some of the operations that impede progress and allow for corrections. The needs assessment will focus on environmental, organizational, demographical, operational, and individual analysis.
The purpose for conducting an environmental analysis is for the business to adjust to internal approaches to finances, procedures, technologies, and policies to external environmental factors. Environmental analysis highlights the environmental factors that impact the business. The analysis identifies threats, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses to the organization. The external environment also includes political, technological and sociological actions or developments that can effect an organization, either directly or indirectly (Cascio, 2013). Monitoring and analyzing the relevance of environmental factors assist in forecasting future growth and development.
The strength of the company is an environmental factor that will sustain the company’s competitive edge. Landslide Limousines is entering a part of the industry that is thriving. Austin, TX. provides hospitality to millions of visitors each year (Austin Texas Gov, 2014). The market is viable and equipped to sustain a new limousine service company. The industries weaknesses affects the environmental factors. The weakness is the substantial startup cost and the necessity to establish relationships and a reputation within the community, and develop a network from within that community which will shape the company’s image.
An organizational analysis helps identify the strategic goals of the organization, the resources available that can be used to further these goals, and the training requirements that are needed in order for all of the employees in the organization to get to those strategic goals (Miller & Osinski, 1996). Landslide Limousines plans to hire 25 employees with an expected turnover of 10% in the first year. The projected net revenue is 50,000 in the red with an expected revenue growth of negative 5%. Presenting contingencies assist in formulating effective marketing strategies to break into the Austin, TX market. Similar services are provided by companies that offer Landslide Limousines the opportunity to target a particular market. The opportunity is also available to secure the most talented employees. The opportunity to use technology by means of internet services, proprietary apps, and online booking to acquire market gains is a prospect. Threats to the organization are the competition from franchises and the established companies in the Austin, TX market. Also, fluctuations in the economy can be a threat to a startup business such as Landslide Limousines, which means that the company needs to focus first on building a strong foundation in the market.
Demographical analysis includes examining the present and past dynamics and dimensions of the Austin, TX marketplace. This analysis provides an insight on the population and the demographic composition including race, sex, age, median income, and the geographic expansion of Austin, TX. Both Austin and the metropolitan areas surrounding it are thriving, along with a lively nightlife, which would be considered as a perfect recipe for the success of Landslide Limousines (Robinson, 2014). Census reports for 2013 report over 865,000 people living in the city (US Census Bureau, 2014). The female population is 49.73% and the male population is 50.57%. Forecast predictions suggest a 1.5% annualized growth in the population (US Census Bureau, 2014). Also, 43.9% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher (Austin, Texas Census, 2014). Advanced education and population boom will provide Landslide Limousines the opportunity to acquire the most talented employees. Operational Analysis
An operational analysis determines the training needs for the workplace or work process qualifications requirements. The organizations human resources professional is to analyze Landslide Limousines strategic business goals to set the minimum requirements, qualifications, recruitment, and selection processes of the perspective job applicants. Start-up costs will impact the budget for training, labor, and work-processes. An operational analysis considers all of the factors involved in the market to provide Landslide Limousines service the ability to maintain financial stability and improve employee’s performance to the optimal level. The hiring manager and the human resource professional will implement a budget from which to acquire the most qualified and desired candidates (Cascio, 2013). Landslide Limousines will need to train chauffeurs by enrolling them into a program which includes verbal and personal communication, customer service, limousine training and defensive driving skills. According to an article by Dodrill, a typical course for training a limousine driver lasts approximately 80 hours (Dodrill, 2014). Limousine drivers and chauffeurs need to have basic math and mechanical skills also because they may be required to perform minor corrective and preventative maintenance on the vehicle at any given time (Dodrill, 2014).
Individual analysis provides Landslide Limousines the tools to manage people. Factors that influence persons in the work environment are their behavior styles, challenges, self-awareness, other individuals around them, and the individual’s alignment with the business objectives. The analysis assists in people development. People development is part of the mission values and goals of the organization. The goals of the organization is to provide a high standard of customer service, and ensure that each customer has an exceptional experience. Human resources professionals will be required to set up at least semi-annual employee performance evaluations. All Landslide Limousines employees will be evaluated on his or her job performance over the evaluation period. Evaluation indicators of employees will be rated by their knowledge and skills, professionalism, appearance, productivity, attendance, adherence to policy, and attitude during the evaluation cycle (Cascio, 2013).
Four rating categories can be used, specifically, needs improvement, meets expectations, exceeds expectations, and outstanding. If an employee needs improvement, further training will be required and provided to them so that they meets the expectations of management and the strategic goals of the organization. If after two or three consecutive evaluation periods the performance still rates as sub-standard, it may be time to terminate the employee. Methods used for measuring an employee’s performance are to be determined by the supervisor and the human resources professional. Evaluations are conducted to confirm that the employees are striving to achieve the goals of the organization and that they are meeting their personal goals as well. The purpose of the evaluation is to indicate employee strengths and weaknesses. With the supervisor discussing the findings of the evaluation with the employee, he or she may receive additional training to strengthen their weaknesses, and increase their performance (Cascio, 2013).
The social nature of learning requires forcing on relationships and interacting with people of many different abilities, values, and beliefs.
People learn in different ways, as well as differing the way things are perceived and comprehended. The principles of learning that are applied to everyday life are relevant to the learning process (Thorndike, 1974). The goal of developing a training plan for Landslide Limousines is to produce highly trained employees. Proper training has a positive benefit that affects important issues in the business like saving assets and protecting lives. Highly skilled employees possess the knowledge necessary to safely and effectively perform the duties required by the company. How one conducts training is a major decision that every business struggles with every day that they are in operation. Consider all of the factors that effective training involves, like time and cost, training objectives, and the training environment. The way that training is delivered is very important.
If the information is not delivered in the proper way to the employees, they will not be properly trained and the training will have been a waste of time and money, resources, and capital (Ongoing Training: A Method for Success, 2012). There are many methods of training that can be used. The best method for skills or facts retained would be classroom training. Classroom training allows for “Quid-pro-quos.” Quid pro quos allows for training to be provided and productive service to be giving. However, scholarly sources and text books can also be used as a training method as well. Scholarly sources and textbooks also provide facts that can be proven and not misconstrued. Technology based interactive learning is the newest and most effective training tool used these days which uses a computer in conjunction with digital video. Web-based training programs or internet streamed videos are also great methods for providing individualized decentralized training that requires the employee to actively participate in the training.
These methods are great to illustrate scenarios that the trainer would like to emphasize and may be utilized many times within a large group of people at once (Training Methods.HR.com, 2010). The hands-on method is the optimal method due to the increase of knowledge and at the same time implementing the behavior that is desired by the organization. Since this is a limousine company, maybe getting access to some kind of vehicle simulator would be a great start. Having access to a vehicle simulator will allow the employees to drive a simulated vehicle under various conditions such as rain, snow, hail, ice, and even severe fatigue. A vehicle simulator will also give the employees real-time knowledge of what to do in certain situations when under stress while transporting other customers for the company.
This is a combination of observation which involve following and learning from an expert employee or supervisor, explanation, and practice during work. It could be advantageous if the employee is a better hands-on learner rather than listening to an instructor in a formalized training scenario. This method can be very inexpensive to implement into the organization (Training Methods.HR.com, 2010). Individual employees at Landslide Limousines will all have a unique way of learning and retaining facts. “Student motivation determines the result of how the employees will learn” (Principles of Learning, 2014), which increases the support for the hands-on method of training. The responsibility of Landslide Limousines will ensure each employees strengths and weaknesses are utilized.
Along with focusing on the employees most significant training needs in order to increase the likelihood of success for this startup company. Utilizing employee’s most significant training needs will allow the organization to gain valuable knowledge about areas within the company that they were subordinate. It is important to allow the employees to venture outside of their normal scope of duties and try something new to avoid complacency. More so, employees venturing into different areas of their job duties will allow for a better-rounded employee. Therefore, a well-rounded employee will learn and retain facts better by using hands-on methods.
This is a better way of training that may be useful for someone who responds better in a one-on-one learning environment. It is paramount that the person be chosen as the mentor is a good match for the person being mentored for this method to work (Training Methods.HR.com, 2010). Then, the employee can demonstrate the skills learned and their proficiency. In addition, they can teach others what they have learned. The Roman philosopher Seneca said “While we teach, we learn” (Time Magazine: The Protégé Effect, 2011).
Training Evaluation Strategies
Training evaluation strategies provide the optimum solution for training the employees. The results require testing to ensure that the training is effective. Training evaluations provide ways for a company to evaluate employee progress as individuals, a group, or a team (Cascio, 2013). Cascio (2013) posits that the training methods provide guidance and knowledge to change behaviors to a positive outcome for the company. The evaluation methods for training provide the end results, notes employee behavior changes, and the company benefits from that change in behavior that aligns the employee with the strategic objectives of the organization. The evaluation method usually displays financial gain or improvement over a loss. Several methods are available to assist with discovering the changes in behavior after the training has ended. Companies spend a lot of money on training, now more than ever.
Due to the cost of training, companies want to ensure that the training program implemented is worth the money that they spent to train their employees. Landslide Limousines is going to be in its first year of business and for that reason their training budget might limit the opportunities available in order to save money on the front side. Several options are available for companies on how th evaluate the system of training and its effectiveness. One of the formal evaluations is the Kirkpatrick Model of evaluation. The Kirkpatrick Model has four phases: Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results (Rubenstein, 2010). The Kirkpatrick Model allows any size business to determine the effectiveness of their training program. According to Rubenstein (2010) the reaction phase provides information on how the employee values the training offered by the organization. For instance, the reaction phase will require an anonymous questionnaire that the employee fills out and gives feedback pertaing to the value of training.
This step is simple and cost effective to the company (Rubenstein, 2010). The learning phase determines the increase in awareness of the employee and how the employee received the information. For example, the learning phase will implement a two-step method. The first is testing the knowledge of the employees prior to training, maybe a week before. The second phase is the post-test to see what the employee learned from the training, and then compare the two tests. The post-test will supply information on the effectiveness of the training and the information retained from the training (Rubenstein, 2010). The behavior phase provides details on whether or not the training changes the behavior of the employee enough to implement the information learned. For instance, the behavior phase will require some time to make a measurement. At this level, a measure of behavior is whether or not the employee implements the training.
The measurement of behavior is done solely through observation, which can be time consuming.Due to the time constraints of this measurement, the organization will likely implement the use of other techniques such as progress reports, accident reports, and customer service surveys (Rubenstein, 2010). Finally the results phase of the program measures the outcome of implementing the training: did it create a positive outcome for the company and for the employee? For example, the results phase comes with the reviewing of the reports as a whole across the company and determining if the training produces positive results such as high customer satisfaction, high employee satisfaction, and financial gains or prevention of losses due to the changes (Rubenstein, 2010). Therefore implementing the Kirkpatrick Method of Evaluation will emerge the company and prepare for adaptations and changes for growing success.
The final and possibly most important step to evaluating a company’s training system is implementing a feedback mechanism. If a company takes the time to set criteria, pretest employees, monitor and observe training, as well as collect feedback and then does not implement a feedback mechanism, the company has failed not just its employees but also their clients. Feedback is a necessary part of training as it helps us to determine what has been learned and not learned from the employees, make sure that the employee’s follow-up training with the desired performance and behaviors, and it helps to determine future training methods based on its successes and, more importantly, its failures.
The employees reaction to the training program can be used to determine if the methods and materials presented were acceptable and pertinent to meeting performance goals. Did the employees enjoy and understand what was being presented and how it was presented to them? Do observations indicate that behaviors have been positively influenced by the training program? Are the employees acting in such a way as to flow with the organizational structure and the culture of the company? Finally, is the employee’s performance meeting expectations based on the training obtained? Employers can take this information and modify the training process for the future. In addition, a feedback mechanism can enable employers to locate deficits in employee performance and address each employees training needs individually.
In conclusion, upon the completion of the Landslide Limousines Service training plan, employees will become highly trained customer service professionals. The use of the training needs assessment will serve as a blueprint for the development and assist with understanding the processes for implementation and the desired outcomes for the company. The use of training methods will equip employees with the knowledge necessary to safely and effectively perform the duties and responsibilities required by the company, Landslide Limousines, and the training evaluation strategies will ensure that the training program is effective. Therefore, the Landslide Limousine Service will be ready for its entry into the Austin, TX marketplace and stake their claims to providing the best customer service experience in the industry.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/taxi-drivers-and-chauffeurs.htm Cascio, W.F. (2013). Managing human resources: productivity, quality of work life, profits (9th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Dodrill, T. (2014). Limo driver requirements. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from eHow.com: http://www.ehow.com/about_5082902_limo-driver-requirements.html Miller, J.A & Osinski, D.M. (1996). Training needs assessment. Society for Human Resource Management. Alexandria, VA. Retrieved from April 2, 2015, http://www.ispi.org/pdf/suggestedreading/Miller_Osinski.pdf Ongoing Training: A Method for Success. (2012). Retrieved from http://lctmag.com/operations/article/41017/ongoing-training-a-method-for-success Robinson, R. (2014). Top Ten Demographic Trends in Austin, Texas. Retrieved from http://austintexas.gov/page/top-ten-demographic-trends-austin-texas