My personal development summary
The professional and personal development course module has proved very effective in teaching me some of the basics of human resource management practices and its underlying significance in the organization. In my first assignment I analysed the role of training and development in Marks and Spencer’s highlighting the need for training and development in the organization and how this could be effectively used to enhance employee productivity and performance.
The feedback that I received for the first essay was positive. My tutor felt that the content of the essay was very good and liked the overall information provided in the write-up. However, it was lacking in presentation since my tutor felt that transition from one theme to another was not very smooth. The clarity in sequencing the thoughts were missing in some sections. The logical flow of ideas and connectivity between paragraphs were missing in some sections of the write-up. The referencing using Harvard style and in-text referencing was not appropriate since I was not familiar with the citation style.
One of the questions that I faced in the viva is my choice of the study topic – training and development in organizations. Since my individuals goals relate to career progression in the field of human resource development, I felt this study would help me in my professional development. Training and development is vital to increase employee productivity and enhance the organizational performance. Businesses today need to equip their workforce with latest skills and market information to gain market competitive advantage. Training provided through workshops that taught soft skills development are more effective in promoting positive behavior and healthy attitude to work. On site training programs are more practical in nature and helps the staff to co-relate the learning objectives to the work process.
In my second essay I focused on the impact of training and development programs on the employee behavior with emphasis on Marks and Spencer’s. As part of this study I discussed the significance of employee training and development in HR policies of organizations, the training methods adopted by organizations and the impact of these training and development programs on the employee behavior. The study also emphasized the training evaluation methods used by organizations to assess the overall effectiveness of the training programs.
The two essays provide a comprehensive picture of the training and development concepts and programs practiced by organizations today. While the first essay provided a detailed insight into the concept of training and development within an organization and identified the specific needs and requirements that drive organizations to implement training and development programs for its staff; the second essay stressed the outcome of implementing such programs within the organization and how this affects employee behavior and attitude towards their work and performance. Training needs in today’s dynamic business environment that are driving market forces is extremely important. Since economies are dependent on knowledge and skill transfer more and more companies are adopting employee development programs. The first essay provides a basic conceptual framework of the process and the second essay provides a practical approach to these concepts in meeting challenging business environment.
I expect the viva after submission of the second essay to be more subjective in approach. Questions that I expect during the viva are:
Why do you think organizations should implement training and development programs?
How do they benefit the organization?
What is your opinion on the impact of staff development programs on employee behavior and attitude?
What is the role of training evaluation tools in making the training programs more effective?
I feel that these questions are vital parameters for judging my knowledge and views on the chosen topic. The questions will help in assessing the major learning points during the course and help in relating my understanding of the course topic. At this stage of the course program I am well prepared to face a viva since I have done extensive research on the subject matter and I feel confident to answer the questions that may be asked in the viva.
A reflection on the course at this stage makes me realize that I have learnt effectively the significance of training and development within organizational context. Additionally the course has developed my skills and abilities to research and analyse the subject matter. Since my topic of analysis was training and development in organizations, its relevance and contribution to employee performance, I did an in-depth study of the subject matter through various journals, academic sources, and the Internet. The study provided me with useful practical insights into the application of training and development programs within Marks and Spencer’s. One of the vital learning points from this study was the role that training and development can play in motivating the workforce and creating a work culture that promotes team work, effective communication, and leadership development that is vital for improved customer service and proactive behavior at work.
The areas that I felt needed more attention or I could have done a better job are my viva and my research on the second essay. I could have handled the viva better through the use of more illustrative statements to exemplify my arguments. The second essay needed more in-depth research in areas of practical application of training programs within businesses. Case studies could have provided a better understanding of the chosen subject area.
The course has taught me how to plan, organize and present my essay. Writing an essay requires extensive researching skills to understand, analyse and interpret the subject matter. The essay writing process involves – understanding the task, gathering information, structuring and organizing the content, writing the first draft and checking and redrafting (Loughborough University, 2008). The course has helped me in honing my skills in writing an essay after an in-depth analysis of the subject matter and planning the layout of the write up. These include choosing a topic that interests you, giving a serious thought about what to write, use simple language styles to communicate the ideas and thoughts, work on the draft before finalizing the essay, cut out unnecessary words and phrases. While writing an essay one should not choose a topic that they do not know, do not try to over-dramatize facts or stray away from the subject matter in an attempt to expand the essay (Stanford School of Medicine, 2008).
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Evaluation of material (how/what will it contribute to your essay or support your argument?)
Training and development – concepts
The articles provided an overview of various theories and concepts related to the subject matter.
Training and development in organizations
Comprehensive information on training and development, its significance in organizations, and impact on employee performance
Human capital management
Current trends adopted by organizations to implement training and development practices
Mind map for training and development subject matter research –
Stanford School of Medicine. 2008. Essay writings – Dos and Donts. http://smysp.stanford.edu/family/essay_writing.html
Loughborough University. 2008. Essay writing. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/library/skills/Advice/EssayWriting.pdf