Table of Contents
Background of Fabrics, Inc.
Fabrics, Inc. is a small organization that at first had 40 employees and has recently encountered a fantastic development with a capacity of more than 200 workers. Nevertheless, with the quick development the organization has been facing a few issues, leaving it with no option other than to utilize advisors to explore these issues. As indicated by the owner, some of the issues concern new supervisors, while customers are not treated well.
Advantages that accompany training of employees include the following: training guarantees efficiency, workplace wellbeing, and fulfillment on both ends (producer and consumer). Workers learn and get valuable aptitudes, for example, relational abilities that improve their capacities in their individual work environments. They get roused and feel recognized. Emphasis on their rights and obligations is given. They are offered authentications, which update their Curriculum Vitae and make them feel better perceived. Training prompts quality performance and upgrades their reasoning. It guarantees success of the organization as employees get to be efficient and proficient in their work (Jehanzeb & Bashir, 2013).
Apparently, at Fabrics Inc. there was a culture of failing to define training requirements clearly, which is why the consultant suggested carrying out the needs analysis. The significance of the needs analysis becomes even greater in circumstances when the need is not adequately defined (Werner & DeSimone, 2012). The counselor initiated the needs analysis by interviewing Fabrics, Inc.’s proprietor. This would allow him to ask some questions concerning the focus of the organization. Through studying these issues, the consultant was able to conduct an organizational analysis of Fabrics, Inc. An organizational analysis is a procedure for evaluating improvement, workplace environment, staff, and operation of a business or another kind of affiliation (Werner & DeSimone, 2012).
The analysis assisted him with understanding strengths and weaknesses of the company, which could help him draw conclusions that were crucial for providing the final report regarding the training program. The consultant asked the owner questions regarding the company’s mission. In responses, the owner stated that the organization did not have any mission since he had never had time to implement it. The proprietor further said that employees did not require any mission because they were aware of what they had to do to complete tasks.
Moreover, the consultant interviewed about the HR system that Fabrics, Inc. utilized during selection, transfer, and promotion of individuals. The questions also concerned job design, performance expectation, compensation scheme implemented to increase the staff’s morale, and methods used to ensure daily tasks were completed. The organizational analysis carried by the consultant proved to be important since it revealed the company’s internal weaknesses such as the lack of a mission, objectives, and organizational goals. Consequently, the advisor was able to narrow down some internal factors, which needed to be addressed before establishing a training program. From this investigation, it can be deduced that for an organization to make a move forward, the management team and owners should institute ideas and strategies to solve existing problems. Failing to establish organizational goals, objectives, mission, clear policies, processes, as well as defining rules, it will undoubtedly prove to be a difficult task to develop an effective learning program.
Further, the counselor conducted an operational analysis. The analysis entailed interviewing nine supervisors of Fabrics, Inc. concerning how they performed their daily job activities. During the period of analysis, the consultant asked the supervisors several questions, which assisted him in establishing whether there was a structure set for carrying out job tasks at the organization. The advisor realized that all the supervisors performed their duties to the best of their abilities. A job structure is essential since it provides a sense of direction and is the best way to ensure consistency in performance. Since the operational analysis was not completed, other questions that should have been asked include the following:
- Do conflicts in the workplace arise?
- Who helps solve them when they arise?
- Are there measures implemented on how to go about them?
- How are decisions made regarding conflict solving?
- Should the parties involved be punished? How and why?
After carrying out the needs analysis, the advisor established a list of areas where the supervisors required training. For example, effective feedback is one of the areas listed in which the supervisors could be trained. On a very basic level, feedback is something good. For managers, it is a vital device for forming practices and encouraging learning that will drive better performance. In terms of immediate reports, it is an open door for advancement and profession development. Giving and listening to feedback effectively are necessary aptitudes for directors who are concerned with enhancing organizational performance (Weitzel, 2014).
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The counselor could have utilized the ABC model of active feedback during training, which involves a three-step process. The three-step process incorporates A that stands for Action. Action entails appropriate information gathering so that the feedback discussion concentrates on a particular issue and is hence less inclined to be seen as a vague attack on an individual. Information is an indispensable part in this step of the feedback procedure. A successful A-statement is intended to start a discussion given there are accurate data and all parties have the same data. The utilization of information depersonalizes the opening exchange, consequently lessening conceivable discordant responses. Information is what gives the foundation to putting forth an exact and confident explanation. Without factual information, the propensity is to put forth generalized statements that tend to focus on individuals and not what they are doing (Sommer & Rockey, 2011).
B stands for ‘because’. This step concentrates on why the issue raised in Step A should be addressed. At this stage, the discussion focuses on showing the effect of the activity on the effectiveness of an individual, group, and organization. C stands for ‘Could We’. This step concentrates on creating real answers for tending to the issue. At this stage, the supervisor identifies resources, needs, and activity plans to move ahead instead of being stuck in the blame game (Sommer & Rockey, 2011).
While developing a training design for giving active feedback, the consultant should have developed the following learning objectives for the supervisors:
- The supervisors will demonstrate that they can collect information regarding a particular issue without aggravating defensiveness and will show that they can act on it.
- The trainees will establish a credible aim for providing feedback to the employee, as well as emphasizing expected results for the individual.
- The trainees will demonstrate that they can develop real solutions for solving the issue by identifying resources, needs, and action plans to move ahead.
Even though the ABC approach brings about an effective way of receiving effective feedback, training the supervisors using this design component can pose some difficulties. The reason is that it does not address the fact that people are different. Not everyone has various social skills required to interact with other people. For instance, some supervisors in this training program may not be able to communicate effectively with employees of Fabrics, Inc. since they have poor socializing skills. Therefore, they will not be able to collect the required data needed to complete the steps in this model.
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When training on effective feedback with the use of the ABC model, the consultant did not provide a satisfactory training in this area. For example, he did not advise on the right time to offer feedback. Effective feedback entails giving feedback immediately when an issue arises. The adult mind adapts best by being gotten in action. If a director waits for three months to inform an employee that his performance is average, he or she usually cannot get a handle on changes required to alter the situation. It is highly questionable and depends on memory, which can be defective. Beneficial feedback requires providing it regularly. This way, performance audits simply become a reciprocal dialog (Weitzel, 2014).
Development and Implementation
During this phase of the training program, there were no discussions regarding development or implementation of the training conducted at Fabrics, Inc. However, some additional training modules can be formulated based on the learning objectives established in the design phase of the company. These include Action-Desired Behavior model, Behavior-Future-Feelings model, and Situation or Task-Action-Result model. These useful feedback models can be applied to training modules (Cummings & Worley, 2015).
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Action-Desired Behavior model follows two steps, namely action and desired behavior. Action entails that the supervisor should put emphasis on decisions of employees rather than on his interpretations of these decisions. Thus, the supervisor gives feedback based on what he observed or heard, but not on employees’ intentions, their character, or personality. The supervisor should learn to minimize the number of actions that he/she provides feedback about to a level he/she can handle. Hence, it is better to provide feedback on a single action that workers can digest and apply to make a difference instead of discussing numerous things that leave an unclear message. Desired behavior is the next step of this model. The aim of providing feedback is to improve employees’ performance and motivate them. Therefore, this step is essential since it enables the supervisor to establish what will occur next, for example, to correct a mistake or improve a process. At this stage, the supervisor is being trained on how to emphasize what is missing instead of saying what is wrong. The supervisor can use open questions to ask employees how they think activities can be improved or built upon. This may avail surprisingly new ideas from workers, which can improve the relationships between them and the supervisor (Cummings & Worley, 2015).
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The other model, which can be utilized in a training program to improve feedback, is the Behavior-Future-Feelings approach. Behavior entails providing real facts regarding what an individual receiving feedback has done. Hence, the supervisor is being trained on how to present facts that may have caused the problem so that he can reduce the risk of a conflict. Future is the next step of this model. The step entails what the supervisor should expect concerning behavior or performance. It also provides a recommendation for what the employee may do differently in the future. At this stage, the supervisor should emphasize that an action suggested by the employee regarding the issue will be followed in order to ensure that employees show the behavior in line with an expectation. Feelings are the final step of this model. It encompasses establishing the impact of the feedback on the employees’ emotions. Just like many models of effective feedback, this approach is applicable for structuring positive feedback or performance enhancement (Cummings & Worley , 2015).
The final model, which the consultant can apply to train on effective feedback, is the Situation or Task-Action-Result model. The situation or task step incorporates the trainee identifying the problem, challenge, opportunity, or task. The action involves using what the situation entails for handling the issue. Finally, the result step refers to establishing the impact of the worker’s efforts and actions on the outcome (Cummings & Worley, 2015).
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Evaluation of Training
Training program evaluation is a ceaseless and methodical procedure of surveying the quality or potential estimation of a training program. Aftereffects of the assessment are utilized to guide decision making concerning different segments of the training and its general continuation, alteration, or elimination (Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2010). In the case of Fabrics, Inc., utilized evaluation methods include process and outcome approaches. Process evaluation gives an answer to the question of ‘what did you do?’. Its focus is on procedures and actions applied to produce outcomes (Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2010). The process evaluation at Fabrics, Inc. began right from the start of the training. It involved the trainer whose task was to document all the phases during training, as well as offer guidance to other participants throughout the evaluation process. Besides, he was the timekeeper in each of the training modules. The outcomes of this assessment were to be used for comparison with original expectations in the process of the final evaluation.
In turn, outcome evaluation offers answers to the question of ‘What did the contributors do?’. Since results refer to behavior change, the data from the assessment are used to measure what training contributors were able to accomplish at the end of the training, as well as how they utilized the training back in the job (Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2010). In the case of Fabrics, Inc., the trainees were presented with a reaction questionnaire and a paper-and-pencil test to evaluate the trainers and how they presented the training to them. These questionnaires and tests were used together with the learning objectives. This was done to enable the trainer to establish how well the trainee achieved the training objectives. In this case, active listening was the objective being tested.
Fabrics, Inc.’s training evaluation entailed three types of participants, namely an initiator, a trainee, and an evaluator. The trainer presented some scenarios that were the basis for testing how well the trainees understood the active listening objective. The initiator was to respond to some questions asked by the trainee (supervisor) regarding why he acted or failed to act in a certain way concerning a particular issue. The task of the evaluator was to offer feedback on how both the initiator and the trainee handled the scenario. Using this kind of test, the trainer was able to establish if the trainees understood the training and could apply it in their jobs.
The outcomes of the training evaluation at Fabrics, Inc. should be utilized both internally and externally. Internal use of the outcomes encompasses situation when the supervisors collaborate or offer a compromise when trying to solve an issue with the employee. For example, in a situation when an employee is adamant to undertake a particular task since he has another one to tackle, the supervisor can establish a response that will not make him look bossy and will lead to the employee agreeing to handle the task. External use of the evaluation results may entail dealing with external stakeholders of Fabrics, Inc. A supervisor who has practical skills in managing employees will also be able to treat customers appropriately.
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The consultant in this training offered a detailed training program, which raised most controversial issues arising between the supervisors and employees of Fabrics, Inc. Through various stages of training, the trainees were trained on how to handle different matters arising in the process of work. Success of the training involved the consultant providing training on different phases, namely needs analysis, establishment of a training design, training development, training implementation, and training evaluation. It is up to the management of Fabrics, Inc. to determine whether the training program has been effective through assessment of the training outcomes.