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Human Resource Development In Action

1.1 Introduction

Learning styles refers to the range of contested and competing theories that further aim to account for the differences related to individual learning. It is the individual mode for gaining knowledge over the development of unique approach that helps in developing a particular method of interaction. Learning style is the classification of individual learning practices. Through learning style theory individuals can be categorised into separate groups according to their learning methods. This reference manual will contrast the different learning styles and show the differences among them.

1.2 Learning styles

Learning styles are the separate classifications of individual learning methods that can be observed in a group setting. According to Sternberg and Zhang (2014, p.64), individuals can vastly differ in terms of how they learn. Learning styles theory categorises individuals in separate groups in accordance with their common learning methods among all individuals. There are multiple theories and models regarding learning styles that are intrinsically different from each other (Parkay et al. 2014, p.121). Some of these learning style modes are David Kolb's model, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford's model, Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model among others. In an organisational setting, the Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model is the most applicable model as it focuses on sensory modalities and is applicable to an almost the entire population.

Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model

In the context of organisational learning, the Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model is the most useful and widely applicable model. Truong (2016, p.1186) opined that VARK is an acronym which stands for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic learning styles. These learning styles are based on sensory modalities that are used for interpreting inform ........

teraction. Learning style is the classification of individual learning practices. Through learning style theory individuals can be categorised into separate groups according to their learning methods. This reference manual will contrast the different learning styles and show the differences among them.

1.2 Learning styles

Learning styles are the separate classifications of individual learning methods that can be observed in a group setting. According to Sternberg and Zhang (2014, p.64), individuals can vastly differ in terms of how they learn. Learning styles theory categorises individuals in separate groups in accordance with their common learning methods among all individuals. There are multiple theories and models regarding learning styles that are intrinsically different from each other (Parkay et al. 2014, p.121). Some of these learning style modes are David Kolb's model, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford's model, Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model among others. In an organisational setting, the Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model is the most applicable model as it focuses on sensory modalities and is applicable to an almost the entire population.

Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model

In the context of organisational learning, the Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model is the most useful and widely applicable model. Truong (2016, p.1186) opined that VARK is an acronym which stands for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic learning styles. These learning styles are based on sensory modalities that are used for interpreting information.

Visual learning style: Visual learning style involves learning by means of various methods that utilise the visual perception of an individual. Such methods might involve the use of charts, graphs, diagrams, maps, blueprints among others. In other words, visual learning style can be achieved through the use of objects and other tools that are used to represent something that can be represented in words (Willingham et al. 2015, p.268). Visual learning style enables delivery of complex messages by means of simple visual illustrations that can be interpreted by a wide range of individuals.

Aural learning style: Aural learning style refers to the delivery of information through speech or other auditory stimuli. This type of learning can easily be implemented in any organisational setting at minimal cost making it one of the most widespread and commonly used learning style. Dascalu et al. (2015 p.245) stated that auditory learning style includes learning methods like lectures, discussions, propaganda among others.

Read/Write learning style: The Read/Write learning style involves disseminating information through the use of words in printed or digital media. This is also one of the most commonly used learning styles (Nodoushan, 2014, p.31). The popularity of this learning style is due to the preference of the general population towards reading/write method. This method emphasises on text-based input and output.

Kinesthetic learning style: Kinesthetic learning style can provide the most accurate and realistic learning outcome as the entire learning process is based on reality and experience. As opined by Ma and Oxford (2014, p.110), Kinesthetic learning can be defined as learning through personal experience and trial and error. The methods and tools used for kinesthetic learning are simulation, demonstration, practice, application and other relative methods.

 David Kolb's model

As per the model, multilinear development of the experiential learning theory is focused on the main development and growth model (Sternberg and Zhang, 2014, p.115). In this model experiential learning are used for emphasising the central role in the learning process. Reflective observation was done in this segment further focuses on the communication channels that further helps in developing the vocabulary of the students. There lies the difference of this model with others.

 

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford's model

As per this model, retaining the engagement of the students are given top priority so that style of learning could be made attractive and popular. Questionnaire related to the general behavioral tendencies are to be focused so that preferences of the methods could be developed easily. Segregation of the theories can be focused so that constant goal of the same could be established. Drawing new information and focusing on the tendencies can be focused and there lies the difference. This type of model further focuses on extracting new information that helps in enhancing the key management skills.

1.3 Comparison of different learning styles

Neil Fleming's VAK/VARK model provides four different learning styles and methods associated with those styles. These learning styles have several strengths and weaknesses that complement each other (Arbuthnott and Krätzig, 2015, p.06). The applicability of one style over the other can vastly differ based on the specific scenario of implementation. The table below illustrates a comparison between the different learning styles.

 

Topic

Visual

Aural

Read/Write

Kinesthetic

Method

Visual learning style involves learning through visual perception

Aural learning style involves learning through auditory perception

Read/Write learning method is associated with learning through text-based input and output

Kinesthetic learning is the process of learning through personal experience

Tools

Visual learning utilises tools and techniques like charts, diagrams, pictures, blueprints, models and objects

Aural learning can be achieved through speech and hearing methods like lectures, discussions and other auditory stimuli

Read/Write learning uses any form of text-based tools and techniques which includes things like books, articles, websites, advertisements, pamphlets among others

Kinesthetic learning occurs due to physical experience and trial and error. The processes that can induce this kind of learning are simulations, workshops, hands-on training and practice

Advantages

Visual learning can provide an overall understanding of a specific topic to almost all individuals involved in the learning process

Auditory learning style can be very easy to implement in almost any organisation due to the low resource and cost requirement of the processes associated with the particular learning process

Read/Write learning can be an extremely effective and efficient tool as almost all individuals are familiar with this learning style throughout their education process

Kinesthetic learning style can provide the most extensive and in-depth learning about a particular subject. This is due to the fact that through kinesthetic learning an individual can get hands-on experience

Disadvantages

Visual learning might not be applicable to all the industries of the current market as some industries are based on text-based or auditory products and services

Auditory learning has a very acute disadvantage of being limited by the language barrier.

Similar to Auditory learning style Read/Write learning style also has the disadvantage of the language barrier.

Kinesthetic learning style can be somewhat expensive on the resources as it requires hands-on experience. Thus it increases the cost of organisational learning

Table 1: Comparison of different learning styles

(Source: Author’s conceptualisation)

1.4 Learning curve and the importance of learning transfer in the workplace

The learning curve can be defined as the representation of organisational learning over a certain timespan. In other words, the learning curve is a representation of the change in organisational learning pace in a defined interval. The representation can be done in various visual elements like charts, graphs among others (Grey et al. 2015, p.47).

Figure 1: Learning Curve

(Source: Sternberg and Zhang, 2014, p.115)

Learning Transfer is the process of transferring information to an organisation and association or application of the information in organisational processes. Feldman et al. (2015, p.175) have opined that learning transfer has huge implications on the organisational performance. New employees of a certain organisation must be trained for them to be effective in the work processes. Transfer of information across the workplace also ensures that the products and services of the organisation meet the quality requirements. Cost-effectiveness and motivation are given top priority so that motivated staff can make positive contribution towards the growth and development. Skills development is given top priority so that positive working environment and efficient employees could be developed easily.

1.5 Importance of learning styles and theories when planning and designing a learning event

According to Balakrishnan and Gan (2016, p.809), learning theories help in understanding the organisational factors that might affect organisational learning and workforce. The learning style is selected based on the understandings of the theory. The selected learning style determines the plan for the organisational learning event. The learning event is designed in order to meet certain organisational goals and needs. Through learning theory, the organisational deficiencies such as deficiencies in employee skill, knowledge, efficiency and overall performance can be determined. The learning theory also provides an overall understanding of the organisational workforce in general. Theories like, Kolb's learning cycle, Skinner and Pavlov Theory and social learning theory focuses on the development of reflective observation that further focuses on the development of vocabulary so that knowledge of the technical terms could be understood easily. this can help in the development of employee productivity as a whole. Different and modern training methods can be used for improving the effective delivery of work procedure by the employees. The learning style is determined according to the workforce in order to address the deficiencies. The plan for the organisational learning event is based on the learning style and the issues that are determined (Buckley and Doyle, 2017, p. 50).

1.6 Conclusion

Learning styles are the staple of organisational learning event planning. Rogowsky et al. (2015, p.64) stated that the learning style that is implemented in a specific learning event determines how well the information has been delivered. Due to this reason, the learning style selection can determine the success or failure of a certain learning event. This reference manual shows the importance of learning transfer and learning styles in organisations and learning events.

 

 

Task 2.0 Plan and Design of A Training And Development Workshop (AC 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)

2.1 Introduction

Dyson is a technology company that has more than 7000 employees and multiple outlets worldwide. Through the progress of this document, a plan for an organisational learning workshop and training for the company Dyson is illustrated. The advantages and disadvantages of the different training methods are also described and the training needs for staffs of various levels of Dyson are compared. Training needs at operational, individual level are to be focused and must be given top priority. Strategic overview and KPIs are to be used for rating the performance metric of individual employee. Training events and previous experiences of the management team can be included in the training schedule so that junior team members can also share this experience while performing their daily chores. Identification of the area where problem has occurred can be developed by forming well-developed knowledge of the same. This further can be improved by the help of proper training program.

2.2 Comparison of the training needs of staff at various levels in Dyson

Dyson follows a hierarchical structure for the organisation processes. The workload of the different organisational levels of Dyson vastly differs from each other. For this reason, training needs for the levels are also different. Following is a table illustrating a comparison of the different training needs.(Dyson.in, 2018)

 

Organisational level

Training needs

General employees

  • The general employees need training regarding the organisational processes
  • They also require training on the rules and guidelines of the organisation such as the code of conduct.

Human resource management

  • The HRM of Dyson requires training regarding the employment market and the general stock market for them to take right organisational decisions.

Production

  • The production teams of Dyson need to be trained on the newer technologies available to them in order to make the production process faster.
  • They also need training on the latest production processes that are available in the market.

R & D

  • The R & D team of Dyson is responsible for research and development of the technological products of the company. They require training in the latest technologies and advancements in the market.
  • They also require training regarding the current consumer trends and market in general.

Table 2: Comparison of training needs of different level staffs in Dyson

(Source: Author’s conceptualisation)

2.3 Advantages and disadvantages of different methods of training

The employees of Dyson can be trained utilising several training methods. Silberman and Biech (2015, p.87) stated that the different training methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. An organisation might implement any specific choice of training method depending on the requirements of the organisation and the training goals. These methods and their respective advantages and disadvantages are described below.

 

Training method

Advantages

Disadvantages

Technology-Based learning

  • Technology-based learning is highly interactive
  • Technology-based learning provides a large selection of training programs
  • Technology-based learning can be intrusive and misleading in some cases
  • Technology-based learning needs a significant amount of resources in order to be implemented properly

Simulation

  • Simulation training can provide in-depth knowledge regarding a specific topic
  • Simulation lets organisations train individuals on the actual work without risking any financial loss
  • Simulation training usually are very expensive
  • Simulation training is not applicable to all industries

On-Job training

  • On-Job training allows for a  hands-on experience and the trainees can get familiar with the different work processes and policies of the organisation
  • This training method allows the employees to be incorporated into the organisation faster
  • Organisations implementing On-job training has a risk of financial loss
  • This kind of training method only lets the organisation train the employees on a specific branch of work. This limits the versatility of the employees

Coaching

  • Coaching allows the trainees to overcome their individual problems regarding the work
  • It also allows the transfer of useful insights to be transferred via the trainer
  • Coaching can incur high cost for an organisation
  • In case the employee is more qualified than the coach, there is not much improvement in the employee’s performance

Lectures

  • Lectures can be presented to a large number of audience.
  • Lectures can be cost-effective and economical for an organisation
  • Trainees are unable to provide feedback regarding individual learning
  • Individual growth is not considered in lectures

Group discussions

  • Group discussion ensures synergy within the workforce and aids in information sharing
  • Group discussion creates teamwork and competency among the employees
  • The sense of responsibility is somewhat diffused in a group discussion setting
  • Similar to lectures the large prospect of group discussions completely ignores individual growth.

Table 3: Advantages and Disadvantages of different training methods

(Source: Author’s conceptualisation)

Organisation’s aim

Analysing training needs

 

 

Setting aim and objectives

Validation

Implementing training strategy

Designing training strategy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: Systematic model of Training

(Source: Bertram et al. 2015, p.477)

In this type of model, the aim and the training needs are to be focused at the prior level. Validation and setting the objectives and aim are done for the effective development of the learning style. Training strategy and implementing the same are to be done so that effective employee productivity could be developed.

2.4 Plan of training event in an area of need

A technology-based problem-solving training will be adopted for implementation in Dyson. The company has proper infrastructure as it is involved in the technology industry. This enables the use of technologies such as computer-aided interactive problem-solving challenges. The employees of Dyson will be divided into small teams and provided with realistic problems and asked to provide possible solutions. The solutions provided by the employees will be evaluated by the managers and the employees will be scored based on the relevance and applicability of the solutions. This training activity should encourage a more adaptive and problem-solving approach among the employees.

2.5 Conclusion

There are many different training methods that are suitable for various kinds of work. In the case of Dyson, the effective choice of training method is technology-based training. This is mainly due to the fact that Dyson is a technology company and has the proper infrastructure to support the training program.

 

 

3.0 Evaluation of the planning and results of the training event (AC 31.1 and 3.2)

3.1 Evaluation form to consider what the staff have learned, the usefulness of the training and feedback about the trainer

According to Phillips and Phillips (2016, p.142) in order to figure out what are the responses of the employees regarding their individual learning and the usefulness of the training an evaluation form was created. The evaluation form followed the Kirkpatrick’s framework of training effectiveness evaluation. The Kirkpatrick Model is divided into four levels. Each level is specifically designed to address separate aspects of the training (Ho et al. 2016, p.199). The levels of the Kirkpatrick Model are described below.

The Kirkpatrick Model:

  • Level 1 Reaction: How effective and relevant was the training in context to the work.
  • Level 2 Learning: How much knowledge, information, and skills did the participants acquire
  • Level 3 Behaviour: To what extent the participants can apply the acquired knowledge in their respective work
  • Level 4 Results: To what degree does the training meet the targeted outcome

 

Figure 2: The Kirkpatrick Model

(Source: Author’s conceptualisation)

Following the Kirkpatrick Model, an evaluation form was created. The evaluation form was aimed at collecting data from the participants of Dyson regarding the following topics.

  • How effective were the training in building adaptability and problem-solving mentality
  • What did the participants learn from the training
  • How can they implement the newly acquired problem-solving skills in their respective work and how does in help in the work
  • Did the training program help in creating a more adaptive and problem-solving work culture in Dyson

By creating a questionnaire that addresses these topics, relevant data was gathered regarding the impact of the training on the workforce of Dyson. An analysis of the collected data shows if the training was successful or not. The questions related to recording the responses related to the selection of the best training modules are to be done. Based on the feedback ratings best model can be selected easily.

3.2 Evaluation by analysing the responses to the evaluation form

The apparent assumption is that the training was a success as there was adequate participation from the employees and managers of Dyson. The employees were excited and motivated throughout the training process and a good amount of response was received for the evaluation form. The employees were adequately challenged by the tasks that they received and a large variety of solutions were generated for the given problems. The analysis of the responses received regarding the evaluation form provided to the employees shows the following.

  • The training was very interactive and engaging which was good for building employee focus.
  • The training was challenging which forced the employees to be more adaptive and interpretive.
  • The training provided the employees with a brief understanding of potential problems that might arise and how they might overcome those problems.
  • Through this training, the employees will be able to handle further problems with proper care and speed.
  • The training program was able to engage the employees in a problem-solving scenario where they were challenged and forced to make decisive actions in order to mitigate the problems. This ensured that the employees of Dyson were properly trained to be more adaptive and confident when faced with a problem. The end result of the transformation is a more adaptive and problem-solving work culture in Dyson.

3.3 Review how successful was the evaluation form

The evaluation form based on the Kirkpatrick’s framework was very helpful in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the training conducted in Dyson. The Kirkpatrick’s framework provided the conceptual framework for designing the proper questionnaire for the assessment. The use of the Kirkpatrick’s framework provided the expected benefits of the training and the actual benefits were determined by the analysis of the data received in regards to the evaluation form. The Kirkpatrick's framework also helped to resolve the issues that were present in the training process and improved the logical factors of assessment. Hence, the Kirkpatrick's framework aided in making the evaluation form successfully in gathering relevant data regarding the training.

The ratings of the questions and feedback further reflect the effectiveness of the evaluation form.

4.0 Future of skills and lifelong learning in the UK

The UK government has played a critical role in training the employees and workers of private institutions. Several training activities and events are organised in order to educate and train the employed and unemployed population of UK to become more competent in their respective work. In recent years the UK government is emphasising on improving the human resource divisions in both public and private sectors. Several advancements have been made in order to integrate HRM into the organisation structure more effectively. The government of UK is actively and periodically organising training programs to aid firms in developing their HRM divisions to meet the current market standards. The employees are not only just trained in HRM but they are also trained in digital skills. Proper training in digital skills ensures that the workforce of UK remains active and versatile. The technology market has seen a significant surge in the recent years so the UK government is leveraging the workforce in order to get the more economic benefit. Training and assisting the workforce in getting better at digital skills provides UK government with a versatile workforce that can be implemented in multiple industries in order to leverage higher economic advantage. In the recent years, the UK government has introduced certain projects covering the following areas Gov.uk (2018). The responsibility of the government related to providing scholarships further helps in creating versatile and efficient workforce. Funds and donations provided in the form of scholarships further help in developing a team of dedicated professionals.

Youth employment: Youth unemployment is a major issue in social and economic aspects around the world. In the UK young people are facing a challenge due to the downturn in the current labor market. The principal cause of the present unemployment situation is the level of demand in the economy of UK. The number of vacancies is significantly lower than the demand. This results in a large number of the youth population to remain unemployed. The current change in the market economy and market structure is also a significant factor in the unemployment issue of the youth. The present labor market has shifted towards a more technology-oriented manufacturing. This has significantly reduced the number of available vacancies in the production department. The current market of labor is gravitating towards technical support and intellectual work rather than manual physical labor. This is preventing a large percentage of the youth population of UK from getting employed (Neumark and Wascher, 2004, p.235).

The UK government has taken various initiatives to utilise the youth workforce in order to gain a sustainable economic and political growth. The UK government has identified the main issues of \youth unemployment and addressed those by implementing various workshops and training programmes to educate the youth and make them technologically and professionally competent with the current market.

Technology demand and utilisation: The technological evolution in the recent years has left a large population of the UK unemployed. According to Hammer (2003, p.114), the modern technologies and production or assembly machinery have also reduced the number of available vacancies in the general market of UK. A relatively large part of the population is not properly educated and is unable to utilise modern technology in professional aspects. The UK government has identified the gap in the technical knowledge of the general population and is conducting various workshops and training sessions to bring people up to par with the current technologies. The Government is also encouraging companies to train and utilise the workforce in order to reduce the unemployment burden of UK.

Creating newer and better industries: The UK government is also making an effort to attract and create different new industries to increase the number of vacancies. Gregg (2015, p.68) stated that the new industries bring a huge scope for employment to the UK as the newer industries can utilise a large number of employees and reduce unemployment by a large margin. The UK government is promoting the establishment of newer industries by providing financial assistance to new industries that plan on expanding to the UK.

The UK government is not only assisting the newer industries but they are assisting the startup businesses as well. The government has identified the startup market as one of the most significant contributors to the innovation and economic growth of the country. The large prospect of the startup businesses allows them to potentially generate a large number of vacancies. The government is providing the startup businesses with risk-free funding and management aerial assistance by training the population on Human Resource and Management in general.

Benefit and tax reforms: In order to ease the burden of unemployment on the general population and the growing industries, the UK government has reduced the tax rates and added various benefits to the marginal tax rates. The reduced tax rates reduce the upkeep for the growing industries and allow them to invest in business expansion and generate more productivity. This ultimately adds to the general economic growth of the country despite having some initial charges.

Benefits of skills and lifelong learning

The benefits of skills training and lifelong learning efforts of the UK government is not initially apparent. The benefits of the skills training and lifelong learning is often indirect and result from the interactions between several factors. The learning provided by the UK government can be divided into three main learning types. These three learning types are formal learning, informal learning, and non-formal learning. Intrinsically all three learning methods provide almost identical results (Merriam and Kee, 2014, p.135). However, the different learning types have different learning effects on different populations. For example, formal learning will have a significant impact on the youth population and a relatively educated population of the UK. But it will not be ideal for the under-qualified part of the population. The underqualified part of the population will require either non-formal or informal learning in order to pick up the desired skills effectively. The beneficial effects of lifelong learning can be seen in several aspects. These are described below:

Health: Evidence-based studies suggested that the lifelong learning provided by the UK government has made a significant impact on the overall health and welfare of the general population. Proper education provided to the population has seen a rise in smoking recession rates, regular clinical screening, nutrition and general health awareness. The education provided by the UK government has also improved the mental health of the general population.

Employment: Training provided by the government has seen the rise in employment in the UK.

Social and Community: Laal et al. (2014, p.4056) the learning that the government provided has improved the social lives of the general population and resulted in a more learning-oriented community.

How the development of the competency movement has impacted public and private sector organisations

Competency refers to the quality or efficiency of an individual while performing a task. Competency frameworks refer to the procedure or the process by which the competence of the employees is developed or measured.  

The training and learning movement has increased the professional competency of the general population of the UK. This has lead to a much more competitive market for the companies. The public and private sector organisations have started to invest in training and workshops in order to bridge the performance gaps of the employees. This improves the overall productivity of the workers and the quality of their work as well.

How contemporary training initiatives by the UK government has contributed to human resources development for Dyson

The UK government has undertaken contemporary training methods to aid the organisations in achieving proper production goals and ensuring employee competitiveness.  The Dyson HRM team was greatly impacted by the governmental training programmes as the training produced higher skilled and competitive candidates. This has let the HRM team of Dyson raise their required standards and hire much more productive employees. Career development loans, funds, and scholarships can be greater help for the individuals. Career counseling further helps in understanding the areas where special interest is possessed by the individual.