Everything you need to know about the process of staffing. Staffing as a function of management is primarily responsible for timely fulfillment of the manpower requirements which may arise as a result of either starting a new business, expansion of existing business or filling position as replacement to those who quit, retire, transferred or promoted.
Staffing as a process begins with understanding the manpower requirements, identifying the potential sources to find the right people for right jobs. It involves selecting the most appropriate people, familiarizing the newly appointed people with the organisation through orientation programmes, developing or upgrading specific skills through training.
Various stages involved in the process of staffing are:-
1. Determining the Requirements of Manpower 2. Recruitment 3. Selection 4. Placement and Orientation 5. Retention 6. Training 7. Performance Appraisal 8. Promotion 9. Transfer 10. Separation.
Staffing Process: Estimating the Manpower Requirements, Recruitment, Selection, Placement and Orientation and a Few Others
Process of Staffing – Determining the Requirements of Manpower, Recruitment, Selection, Placement and Orientation, Retention, Training and a Few Others
The scope of the function of staffing or functions included in it or the various activities included in this process can be divided under the following heads:
(1) Determining the Requirements of Manpower,
(4) Placement and orientation,
(7) Performance Appraisal,
(9) Transfer, and
(1) Determines the Requirement of Manpower:
The first step in the process of staffing is to determine the requirements of the employees. The requirements of the employees are determined on the basis of a forecast and generally, this forecast is made in respect of sales. First of all it is decided as to what quantity of different products can be sold.
On the basis of the sales forecast, the production target in respect of all the departments is fixed, and after that an effort is made to find out the manpower needed in every department in order to accomplish the determined target. In this way the details of the total manpower needed in the enterprise are prepared.
After having decided the total manpower required, an effort is made to find out the number of people available in all the departments on various posts. Organisation chart is pressed into service to find out the available manpower which clearly shows the number of posts in the organisation, number of employees posted, number of persons going to retire and the number of people going to be promoted. The difference between the actual need and the manpower available indicates the number of people required.
In this way under the first step in the process of staffing it is decided as to how many people will be needed in different departments, at different posts and at different time.
Once the manpower requirement is determined the process of recruitment commences. The process of recruitment includes the search of the various sources about the availability of the future employees, and encouraging them to send their applications to the enterprise. In other words, recruitment means making available the employees in order to fill various posts.
There are mostly two sources for the recruitment of employees:
a. Internal Sources and
b. External Sources.
In the form of internal source the employees already working in the enterprise are selected to fill other posts; while the chief external sources are the following:
(i) Re-employing the former employees,
(ii) Friends and Relatives of present employees,
(iii) Employment Exchanges,
(iv) Advertising the Vacancies,
(v) Educational Institutions,
(vi) Recruitment at Factory Gate,
(vii) Trade Union, and
(viii) Labour Contractors.
Under the process of selection competent applicants are selected out of a large number of them. It is important to keep in mind that the ability of the applicant and the nature of work must match. The closest matching will bring the best results.
On the other hand, the absence of this close matching will increase the training expenditure and that will be a misuse of resources. It is, therefore, clear that the right man should be posted at the right job. This will result in more and better production and reduction of costs.
Selection is a long process which includes the following major steps:
(i) Scrutiny of Applications,
(ii) Preliminary Interview,
(iii) Filling in of Blank Application Form,
(iv) Employment Tests,
(v) Final Interview.
(vi) Checking Reference,
(vii) Physical or Medical Examination, and
(viii) On the Job Examination.
(4) Placement and Orientation:
Placement means to join the post for which he / she has been selected. Appointment letter is offered to the employees after they are selected. After getting the appointment letter, an employee gives Joining Report to the officer of the concerned department, confirming that he / she is willing to work in the organisation. On doing this the candidate becomes an employee of the organisation.
Orientation means to acquaint the employees with their job and the organisation. This is also known as socialization. Under this new employees are introduced both to their superiors and subordinates so that they can work with them as a team. Apart from this, he / she is informed about the objectives and policies of the organisation. He / she is also informed about their own authorities and responsibilities. In short, the purpose of orientation is to accommodate new employees in the new environment expeditiously.
Since the selection of the employees is in itself a long and costly process, it, therefore, becomes essential that those employees who have been appointed in the enterprise should be kept in their posts for a long time. It means that steps should be taken so that the employees do not leave the enterprise.
In this direction generally the following steps are taken:
(i) Payment of Fair Remuneration- The employees should get a fair remuneration for their work. Not only this they should be given the facilities like medical treatment and insurance, leave with pay, share in profit, free education for children, and promotion, etc., so that they do not leave the enterprise.
(ii) Labour Relation- Good labour relations should be established.
(iii) Safety- If the appointment has been made for some risky job, absolute security arrangements should be made.
The next step in the process of staffing is imparting training to the employees so that their efficiency is increased. Training benefits both the enterprise and the employees. Through the medium of training employees’ efficiency is enhanced which brightens their future prospects.
Training gives security to the employees which keep them satisfied. The enterprise gets the manifold advantages of training in the form of decrease in the production cost; the best maintenance of machines and tools; less number of accidents; quality improvement, etc. Therefore, this part of staffing has a special significance.
(7) Performance Appraisal:
It is not sufficient to select the employees and give them training for the attainment of the pre-determined objectives of the enterprise but it is equally important to evaluate the progress of their work. At this step the capability of every employee is judged. To judge his capability his actual work performance is compared with the work assigned to him.
If the results are unfavourable he is again given training in order to achieve favourable results. If, however, there is no possibility of getting favourable results even after this training, the employee is put on some other work.
Promotion is that process through which an employee gets Better Salary, Better Status. Better opportunities, Better Reputation, Better Working Environment, More Responsibility and Better Amenities. Generally, the basis of promotion is the devotion of the employees to the organisation, discipline, efficiency, etc. Hence, under this step in the process of staffing employees get promoted to higher posts on the basis of their capability.
Under staffing the employees are transferred from one department to another or from one place to another. In this way their efficiency can be used to the maximum.
The last step in the process of staffing is separating the employees from their job.
This can be done in three ways:
(i) Retirement- Separating the employee from his job after a certain age is called retirement.
(ii) Termination- If the work of an employee happens to be unsatisfactory and there is no improvement even after giving him warning from time to time, his services are terminated.
(iii) Retrenchment- Under this an employee is permanently removed from service because of some economic difficulties in connection with the work. Apart from this modernisation can also be the cause for retrenchment.
Thus, the process of staffing passes through various steps right from determining the requirement of manpower down to the process of separating employees from their work.
Process of Staffing – 5 Important Stages: Estimating the Manpower Requirements, Recruitment, Selection, Placement and Orientation and Training and Development
Staffing as a function of management is primarily responsible for timely fulfillment of the manpower requirements which may arise as a result of either starting a new business, expansion of existing business or filling position as replacement to those who quit, retire, transferred or promoted.
Staffing as a process begins with understanding the manpower requirements, identifying the potential sources to find the right people for right jobs. It involves selecting the most appropriate people, familiarizing the newly appointed people with the organisation through orientation programmes, developing or upgrading specific skills through training.
Let us discuss the various stages in the process of staffing:
Stage # 1. Estimating the Manpower Requirements:
Staffing as a function of management is responsible to fill in the jobs created in the organisational structure by appointing personnel with required qualification, skills, experience etc. Thus it is important for the human resource department to understand how many and what type of personnel are required in the organisation. To have a clear understanding of manpower requirements the analysis of workforce and workload is important.
i. Workload analysis enables an assessment of the number and types of human resources necessary for the performance of various jobs and accomplishment of organisational objectives. The workload analysis can be used to prepare specific job descriptions and the desirable profile of people required to fulfill the responsibilities.
ii. Workforce analysis estimates the number and type of human resources available. It would help the staffing personnel to find out if the organisation is over-staffed, under-staffed or optimally staffed. In case of overstaffing, some of the existing employees may be removed or transferred and under-staffing may require appointment of new people. Thus, the workforce analysis enables the personnel managers to ensure that the organisation is optimally staffed.
For example – The workload analysis of Commerce department of a school indicates that the department requires four teachers to teach Business Studies and Accountancy and workforce analysis shows that there are three teachers available in the department. This analysis will help the principal to plan and appoint one more teacher so that there is no disruption in the teaching process.
Stage # 2. Recruitment:
Recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation. The workload analysis provides job description and desirable profile to fill the vacant positions. The job description and job profile are used to advertise jobs within or outside the organisation.
Recruitment process performs following activities:
i. Identification of various sources of recruitment – The positions may be filled internally or by inviting applications from people outside the organisation.
ii. Choosing the medium to advertise – The recruiting personnel may advertise the ‘situations vacant’ on the factory/office gate, use print or electronic media, employment exchange, and consultants etc. to locate the potential candidates and stimulate them to apply for the jobs.
For example – The principal may choose to advertise the position of Accountancy teacher in the leading newspapers, school website or may spread the word around so that other teachers may recommend some good teachers they may know of.
Stage # 3. Selection:
Selection is the process of choosing the best candidate from among the pool of the prospective candidates developed at recruitment stage. The selection process involves conducting tests and interviews. The candidates who are able to successfully pass through the test and interview are offered an employment contract.
Selection process ensures:
i. That the organisation gets the best among the available.
ii. That selected candidates are conveyed the seriousness with which the activities are done in the organisation.
iii. That the self-esteem and prestige of selected candidates is enhanced.
For example – Once the position of the Accountancy teacher is advertised, the school administrative staff will receive numerous applications from fresh or experienced teachers. The head of commerce department may select the best resumes and call the selected candidates for interviews. The shortlisted teachers may be asked to demonstrate their teaching skills so that the best available teacher is selected. I am sure you all must have experienced and enjoyed the demo lessons during your school time.
Stage # 4. Placement and Orientation:
Placement refers to the employee occupying the position or post for which the person has been selected. Orientation refers to introducing the new joinee to other employees and familiarising him/her with the rules and policies of the organisation. The main aim of orientation and placement is to make the employee comfortable in the organisation.
Thus it ensures that:
i. Employee receives brief presentation about the organisation.
ii. Employee is introduced to the work place, his superiors, subordinates and the colleagues.
iii. Employee is given charge of the job for which he/she has been selected.
For example – Once the selection process is over and the teacher is selected, the principal may introduce him/her to entire staff and the head of department introduces him/her to the students, shows him/her around the school, and gives him/her all the important documents, information and instructions related to job assigned to him/her.
Stage # 5. Training and Development:
Training is a process which facilitates employee learning. It increases employee’s knowledge, aptitude, skills and abilities. Development refers to the learning opportunities provided to employees to acquire new skills for career advancement and growth. To ensure continued learning organisations provide either in-house training or sponsor training programmes for its employees.
Training and development aims to:
i. Provide employees the opportunities to learn new skills, adapt the technological changes and rise to the top.
ii. Enhance employee motivation, strengthen their competencies for an effective and efficient performance.
iii. Help organisation to increase profitability and retain its talented people.
For example – If the new teacher selected is inexperienced she may be asked to sit in a few classes of her seniors to understand methodology and acquire the required skills before he/she actually starts teaching on his/her own. The schools regularly hold workshops to help teachers to adapt to new teaching strategies.
To conclude we can say that staffing as a process helps an organisation to acquire, retain and develop its most important resource the ‘human capital’.
Process of Staffing – Nature of Job to be Performed, Recruitment, Selection, Socialising, Training and Development, Performance Appraisal and Training
In the fast changing environment, globalisation, competition, increased opportunities and career orientation and many other factors have made the traditional approach to personnel management obsolete. The present situation demands a complete and strategic approach to HRM. HRM strategy must fit in the overall strategy of the organisation because it involves long-term implications.
The modern approach to the management acknowledges the interest of the employees – the major stakeholders of the organisation. Every step in HRM is of great importance and of them selection decisions stands out to be the most important.
Selection decision can be sub divided into the following functions:
i. Determining the nature of the job to be filled
ii. Determining the type of personnel required
iii. Determining the sources of recruitment, and
iv. Determining the selection process.
1. Nature of Job to be Performed:
The first step in ‘placing the right man in the right job at the right time’ is determining the nature of the job to be performed. In order to do the HR manager must consult the concerned line manager and find out the specific nature of the job.
Once the job profile has been made, the characteristics of the candidate to fill in the job should be determined. The next step is to decide the source from which we can procure the right people. This could be either be from within the organisation or from outside.
A good recruitment plan has the following basic elements:
i. Job profile
ii. Job specification, and
iii. Recruitment source.
Recruitment can be defined as the process of locating, identifying and attracting prospective and capable employees to the organisation.
i. Job Description:
Before the employees can be recruited, the manager must have a clear idea about the activities and responsibilities required in the job being filled. Therefore job analysis is an early step in the recruitment process. The accuracy of the individual specification and of all the subsequent stages in selection will depend on the quality of the job analysis. Therefore it is important to have it right.
A meeting between the person responsible for selection and the head of the relevant department is necessary to decide the following:
a. The key characteristics of the job and the people who will fill it.
b. A time schedule for selection, based on the urgency with which the vacancy has to be filled up.
c. How the exercise has to be handled-internal/ external.
d. The terms and conditions on which the job will be filled.
Once the job description has been determined and accompanying hiring or person specification is developed. Hiring or person specification defines the education, experience, skills that an individual should have in order to perform effectively in the position. The characteristics specified should be relevant.
Only those, which are demonstrably connected with success or failure in the job, should be specified and independent. Any over lapping elements should be avoided and assessable. The attributes that can be assessed with the selection tools available should be included.
In the recruitment process, the HR department normally has primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with the mass of legislation and subsequent legal decisions concerning discrimination. Access discrimination refers to hiring considerations and practices that are based on the candidate’s membership in a particular population subgroup and not related in any way to present or future job performance.
Treatment discrimination involves practices unrelated to job performance that treat subgroup members differently from others once they are in the work force. Ultimately, however, the human resources department must instruct and educate managers in the implications of compliance for their respective departments. Even job titles can be sexist and reflect de facto discrimination. For example, the job titles foreman and salesman are now outmoded. Many companies have replaced them with supervisor and salesperson, respectively.
In recent years, a host of social issues are affecting both recruitment and management more and more. The use of drug testing, AIDS testing, computer surveillance and even genetic screening by many companies has stirred fears among workers and other that employers are delving too far into worker’s personal lives.
ii. Sources of Recruitment:
Recruitment takes place within a labour market. This includes a mass of available people who have the skills to fill open positions. Sources for recruitment depend on the availability of the right kinds of people in the local labour market as well as on the nature of the positions to be filled. An organisation’s ability to recruit employees often hinges as much on the organisation’s reputation and the attractiveness of its location as on the attractiveness of the specific job offer.
In general, the sources of employment can be classified into the following two types:
Many organisations have a policy of recruiting or promoting from within except in very exceptional circumstances.
Filling a job opening from within the organisation has the following advantages:
a. Individuals recruited from within are already familiar with the organisation and its members and this knowledge increases the likelihood they will success.
b. A promotion from within fosters loyalty and inspires greater effort among organisation members.
c. It is usually less expensive to recruit or promote from within than to hire from outside the organisation.
The disadvantages of the internal recruitment are as follows:
a. The obvious limitations of available talents.
b. It may encourage complacency among the employees who assume promotions.
c. It reduces the chances of fresh viewpoints entering the organisation.
Once the recruiting effort has developed a pool of candidates, the next step in the HRM process is to determine who is best qualified for the job. This step is called the selection process. Selection involves mutual decision and prediction. The enterprise decides whether to make a job offer and how attractive the offer should be.
The job candidate decides whether the enterprise and the job offer fit his or her needs and personal goals. The process also seeks to predict which applicants will be successful if hired. Success, in this case, means performing well on the criteria the enterprise uses to evaluate employees.
Correct selection decisions are those where the candidate was predicted to be successful in advance and prove to be successful on the job. At times the applicant is predicted to be unsuccessful and, as expected, performs unsatisfactorily after getting selected. While in the first case, we the worker is successfully accepted, in the later the worker is successfully rejected.
Errors arise when we reject a candidate who would have performed successfully on the job. This is termed as reject error. In certain situations a worker is accepted ultimately and performs unsatisfactorily. This is called accept errors. Both the above errors can be minimised if the system is impartial, has a degree of objectivity and follows a fairly uniform standard of assessment. A skilled manager should understand the benefits of good selection and also should be aware of the cost of poor selection decision.
4. Socialising, Training and Development:
Like every individual, every organisation too has a unique personality. Every new employee needs to know the organisation and its culture well to become effective at work. The culture is the system of shared values and beliefs within an organisation and guides the behaviour of its members.
Strong work culture helps the organisation to realise its business goal easily and effectively. Culture includes longstanding and often, unwritten rules and regulations. It has a special language that facilitates communication among members, shared standards of relevance regarding the critical aspects of the work that is to be done, matter-of-fact prejudices, standards for social etiquette and demeanour. It also includes established customs for how members should relate to peers, subordinates, superiors and outsiders and other traditions that clarify to members about the appropriate and smart behaviour within the organisation.
This calls for giving proper orientation to the new employees on socialising norms to shape their behaviour and actions in line with the philosophy and culture of the organisation. This is basically molding people to internalise the systems and practices of the organisation to feel comfortable with. A new employee irrespective of his knowledge and competencies needs to understand, appreciate and acclimatise himself with the culture of the organisation.
Upon entry into a new job or a new organisation, all employees initially need to learn how things are done in the new environment. This includes things they cannot find in any policy and procedure manual. Moreover, new hires may have insufficient skills and technological changes may require new job skills. Job redesign sometimes also requires the employees to learn more skills. The employees who are transferred or promoted may need to acquire new skills and knowledge.
A new product could also require technologies not used earlier by employees or changes in company strategy may mean that senior management needs to adopt new leadership behaviour and acquire new business knowledge. In some cases, the need for socialisation, training and development can be immediate. While in other cases, the future needs can be anticipated and planned. When done well, socialisation creates intensely loyal employees. Companies that have perfected the socialisation process include IBM, Wal-Mart, Procter and Gamble and Nestle.
Socialisation may occur at different phases. The new employees may have to learn company values and organisational folklore, including the importance of product quality and the dedication and commitment of the retired employees. This intense socialisation results in increased commitment to the success of the company, willingness to work for long hours and decreased absenteeism and employee turnover. Moreover, an employee takes pride in identifying himself with the organisation which has its past glory to share.
Socialisation, in an organisational context, is basically a process of adaptation to a new culture of the organisation. The term refers to all the processes undergone by employees. For instance, when one begins a new job or accepts a lateral transfer or get a promotion, one is required to understand the new dynamics and unwritten practices that exist which helps in making adjustments.
One should adapt to a new environment, different work activities, a new boss, a different group of co-workers and probably a different set of standards for what constitutes a good performance. Employee socialisation, training and development are an organisation’s intentional efforts to improve current and future performance by increasing capabilities.
It is not unusual to confuse a new employee’s initial orientation on the job with the socialisation process. In reality, orientation is only a small part of the overall socialisation of a new organisation member.
Orientation involves in introducing a new employee to the activities of the organisation and to his (or her) work unit to make him more comfortable and effective in the new environment. It helps the new entrants to get rid of their apprehensions, anxiety and unknown feeling in a new organisation. A good orientation program familiarises the new member with the organisation’s objectives, history, philosophy, procedures and rules.
It communicates relevant human resource policies such as hours of work, pay procedures, overtime requirements, fringe benefits, review the specific duties and responsibilities of the new member’s job, provide information on the organisation’s physical facilities and introduce the employee to his or her superior and coworker. Orientation program may or may not be a formal exercise with a systematic schedule of activities to be undertaken.
Normally, large organisations have a very systematic program drawn for the new entrants which they follow religiously as they give maximum importance to this activity. However, in many small organisations this is done more informally.
Socialisation can be conceptualised as a process made up of the following three stages:
ii. Encounter, and
The process impacts on the new member’s work productivity, commitment to the organisation’s objectives and his or her decision to stay with the organisation. The pre-arrival stage explicitly recognises that each individual enters with a set of values, attitudes, and expectations of their own. In case of experienced people, they come with the cultural mindset of their previous organisation. In both the cases, it is essential to acclimatise them with the culture, values and functioning of the new organisation.
A fresher, who comes directly from the campus, only has conceptual knowledge and some of the information regarding the functioning of the organisation during the classroom teaching. In practice, most of the things are completely different which may not match with the expectation of these fresher.
In the selection process, organisations try to look for candidates who could adapt to the culture and requirements of the organisation. Hence, the candidates who correctly anticipate the expectations of the employer are likely to be picked up by the organisation. In this process, the candidate tries to understand and learn about the organisation from different sources to make himself/herself suitable for the job.
Upon joining the organisation, the new employees enter the encounter stage. At this stage, the individuals confront with the reality which may be just the reverse to their expectations about their job, their co-workers, their boss and the organisation in general.
If expectations prove to be more or less accurate, the encounter stage merely provides a confirmation of the perception gained earlier. In reverse situation, there is a culture shock that needs to be managed. In this case, the experienced people need to unlearn before they learn new values, philosophies and culture. If this is not done properly, then the individual may feel suffocated and incline to quit the job.
The new members should work out any problems discovered during the encounter stage. This may mean going through changes. Hence, we call this the metamorphosis stage. We can say that the metamorphosis is complete when the new members have become comfortable with the organisation and their job. They have internalised the norms and practices of the new organisation and their work groups.
The new members feel accepted by their peers as trusted and valued individuals. They are self-confident that they have the competence to complete their job successfully. They understand the system and especially their own tasks. They also understand the rules, procedures and informally accepted practices.
Orientation is a process, as mentioned earlier, of acquainting the new employees with the existing culture and practices of the new organisation. It includes the activities of introducing a new employee to the organisation and the work unit.
The focus of orientation is to make the induction process smooth in breaking initial anxieties of the new recruits. This involves a gamut of activities like familiarising the new members with the organisation’s objectives, history, philosophy, procedures and rules.
This also includes communicating to them relevant HRM policies such as work hours, pay procedures, overtime requirements, company benefits and at the same time reviewing the specific duties and responsibilities for the job as well as organisation’s physical facilities offered to the employees. Introducing the employee to his or her manager and co-workers is also an important part of orientation.
During any orientation, it is important to convey that organisation believes in continuous learning and improvement. A well-planned programme, though requires sincere effort, expenditure and more time, it always pays substantially to the individual employee and the organisation in terms of performance. The first encounter in job is essentially crucial in developing a good or bad experience. Hence, they should get all the support while passing through this transition phase.
The way they are treated can help them in making a smooth transition to their new organisation, or can cause them unnecessary anxiety. Many employees report feeling confused and lost during their first weeks at work, not knowing where to go for information or help.
Superiors and colleagues can influence the new employee’s learning, motivation, productivity, satisfaction and retention with a good orientation program. Designing and developing a program needs to focus on the content, approach and people to be involved in delivering the content. A sequential, layered program with various staff members sharing responsibility for orientation seems to work the best.
The presence and the interaction of the CEO in the orientation program is a very important activity. This boosts the morale of the new employees that they are important in the organisation. Moreover, the experience shared by the CEO helps the participant to understand the mission-vision strategy of the organisation and also the leadership style prevailing in the organisation. The address of the CEO, being the top executive of the organisations, normally impacts the new entrants which helps in molding them to the new culture.
It is essential to orient a person with the system, practices and culture of the organisation. It is the most difficult proposition because one needs to unlearn many past experience and mindset of the participants to prepare them to learn the new things.
Orientation as a process has the following three stages:
i. A general orientation.
ii. A departmental orientation.
iii. A specific job orientation.
i. General Orientation:
In this phase, the basic objective is to make the employee feel at ease and comfortable and to motivate him/her to go through the orientation process seriously to adapt properly to the organisation. This part should include exposing them to the history of the organisation, business goals and processes of the organisation.
They should be taken for a visit to the whole organisation to understand the business processes. The classroom input should be given and after that they should be placed in each department as a trainee to understand the processes and also to appreciate that each activity is important in the organisation for the final outcome.
It is essential to create team spirit among the newcomers by assigning different team based assignments. The new work force, during the orientation, should be treated with dignity and respect. They should not be treated as strangers to the organisations. Senior executives should be invited to address the newcomers to share their experiences and also to interact with them in formal as well as informal ways.
This helps the newcomers to gain confidence and feel motivated. It is essential to draw an alignment between the organisational goal and the individual goal. The organisation’s goal should be dearly explained to the newcomers so that they can draw the relevance out of it for them. These initiatives ensure an effective orientation program for the new incumbents and also reduce the initial apprehensions which in turn help in developing trust, cooperation and motivation.
ii. Orientation to a Department:
The individuals are oriented to their department where they are going to work. The role, responsibility of the individual in the department and the departmental operating practices need to be told to the new incumbent. Initially the employees should be exposed to each and every activity of the department for a couple of months to understand the activities involved and to develop an acquaintance with the superiors, peers and subordinates. It is only later that they should be assigned any specific job.
iii. Orientation to a Specific Job:
A specific assignment, with a job description, may be given to the individual. The person needs to be oriented with the methodology to be adopted for a particular job. This means that the role involved in that particular job has to be clearly stated and also the role expectation of the significant others has to be communicated to the incumbent. The superior if required should adapt a hand holding approach to guide the person in the role.
Training and Development:
Training may be defined as a planned program designed to improve performance and to bring about measurable changes in knowledge, skills, attitude and social behaviour of employees for doing a particular job. Nowadays, training has an additional purpose of facilitating change. And management training is basically equipping managers with such knowledge, skills and techniques as are relevant to managerial tasks and functions.
Today and tomorrow’s training programmes should focus on soft-skills such as interpersonal communication, teamwork, innovation and leadership. Most importantly, the training has to be comprehensive, systematic and continuous. It should be closely linked to the strategy with which the company is planning to fight the competition. In the future, it is training that acts as catalyst between people, between strategy and systems, between customers and the organisation.
Irrespective of whether we are involved in employee training or employee development, the same result is required. Training for employee development is different in terms of approach and the teaching required. Training is basically the learning experience that brings a permanent change in an individual, thereby improving his/her ability to perform on the job. Learning is mostly the modification of behaviour in the light of past experience which is a continuous process to keep the employees competent and good performer.
The principles of learning are as follows:
i. Initial Motivation or Readiness:
The initial urge drives the individual to learn. Hence, a need, a wish or an ambition is required to motivate the individual to learn. Though learning is a learner’s responsibility, the initial motivation needs to be created by the organisation.
ii. Multiple Response or Response by Trial and Error:
Learning may take place either in a single trial or through multiple trials. The length of the provisional trial and error period depends on the content of the task, the maturity of the learner and the skill, understanding and experience which the person brings to the task. The basic objective of the training is to reduce the trial and error period and to help the learner to master the skills quickly and effectively.
iii. Selection of Responses through Reinforcement or the Law of Effect:
The provisional trial period ends when the correct activity occurs. The right response is reinforced and thereby increases the chances of their subsequent selection and repetition. On the other hand, the response that is not reinforced drops out. This is the law of effect.
iv. Principle of Extinction:
It is important to drop out the responses that are not reinforced. This reduction of occurrence is called extinction. Extinction bears somewhat the same relationship to reinforcement that forgetting does to frequent recall. Hence, reinforced learned skills, though temporarily forgotten, may reappear suddenly.
v. Law of Exercise in Habit Formation:
Once the correct sequence of acts has been established as a result of reinforcement, the skills can be learnt through repetition or exercise.
The quality of employees and their development through training and education are major factors in determining long-term profitability of a small business. If you hire and keep good employees, it is wise to invest in developing their skills so they can increase their productivity. Training is often considered only for new employees. This is many times a mistake because ongoing training for senior employees helps them to update themselves of the rapidly changing job requirements.
Purpose of Training and Development:
The people development in the organisation has been emphasized because of the following advantages:
i. Creating a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may leave or move up in the organisation.
ii. Enhancing the company’s ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a highly knowledgeable staff.
iii. Building a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team which enhances the company’s competitive position and improves employee morale.
iv. Ensuring adequate human resources for expansion into new programmes.
Employees frequently develop a greater sense of self- worth, dignity and wellbeing as they become more valuable to the firm and to the society as a whole. Generally, they will receive a greater share of the material gains that result from their increased productivity. These factors give them a sense of satisfaction through the achievement of personal and company goals.
There are two main types of training.
These are as follows:
i. On the job techniques.
ii. Off the job techniques.
Individual circumstances together with questions such as what and why of the training program determine the type of method that is used.
On the job training is basically learning by doing while one is already working. Training is imparted to employees while they perform their regular jobs. In this method, they do not lose time while they are learning. After a plan is developed for training, employees should be informed of the details.
A timetable should also be prepared with periodic evaluations to inform employees about their progress. On-the-job training includes coaching, orientations, job instruction training, apprenticeships, internships and assistantships, job rotation and coaching.
Off-the-job is imparted outside the work premises. This includes classroom activities such as lectures, special study, films, television conferences or discussions, case studies, roleplaying, simulation, programmed instruction and laboratory training.
The four most popular off-the- job development techniques are as follows:
i. Sensitivity training.
ii. Transactional analysis.
iii. Lecture courses.
iv. Simulation exercises.
Training Needs in a Changed Marketplace:
In a changed economic set-up with fierce competition companies rely on their strategy of beating rivals with new products, new designs and new methods of selling. These companies have to teach teamwork and streamlined production techniques to their employees. On the quality platform, companies have to train their workers in developing the mindset and culture for quality without which the whole effort can fail.
Those companies, which choose to compete on the strength of their innovation, have to train their employees on creativity and lateral thinking. Companies trying to cut costs are compelled to train their employees in problem solving techniques. In the case of companies that globalise in order to expand their markets, find cross- cultural training for their managers a vital imperative.
5. Performance Appraisal:
Organisations are run and steered by people. It is through people that goals are set and objectives realised. The performance of an organisation is, thus, dependent upon the sum total of the performance of its members. An organisation is like a tune. It is not constituted by individual sounds but by their synthesis. The success of an organisation, therefore, depends on its ability to accurately measure the performance of its members and use it objectively to optimise them as vital resources.
The performance of an employee is his resultant behaviour on task which can be observed and evaluated. It refers to the contribution made by an individual in the accomplishment of organisational objectives. Performance can be measured by combining quantity, quality, time and cost. People do not learn unless they are given feedback on the results of their actions.
For learning to take place, feedback should be provided regularly and it should register both successes and failures. It should also follow soon after the relevant action or actions. Performance appraisal system provides management an opportunity to recall as well as give feedback to people. This feedback is pertaining the performance of the worker. This helps them to correct their mistakes and acquire new skills.
Performance appraisal (PA) refers to all those procedures that are used to evaluate the personality, the performance and the potential of its group members. Evaluation is different from judgment. The former is concerned with performance and the latter is concerned with the individual. While evaluation deals with achievement of goals, a judgement has an undercurrent of personal attack and is likely to evoke resistance.
Performance appraisal could be informal or formal. Informal performance appraisal is a continuous process of feeding back information to the subordinates about how well they are doing their work in the organisation. The informal appraisal is conducted on a day-to-day basis.
For example, the manager spontaneously mentions that a particular piece of work was well performed or poorly performed. It is due to the close connection between the behaviour and the feedback on it, the informal appraisal quickly encourages desirable performance and discourages undesirable performance before it becomes permanently ingrained. Therefore, informal appraisal should not be perceived merely as a casual occurrence but as an important activity and an integral part of the organisation’s culture.
The formal performance appraisal occurs usually annually on formal basis and involves appraise and appraiser in finding answers to the following questions:
i. What performance level has to be achieved during the period?
ii. Has it been achieves?
iii. What has been the shortfall and constraints?
iv. What are we going to do now?
v. How will we know that we have done it?
vi. What kind of feedback can be expected?
vii. What assistance can be expected to improve performance?
viii. What rewards and opportunities are likely to follow from the performance appraisal?
When the employees have this type of information, they are aware of the following specifications:
i. What the organisation expects from them?
ii. What assistance is available?
iii. What can they expect when the required level of performance is achieved?
This increases employee acceptance of the appraisal process and results in the trust that the employee has in the organisation. An environment that affords an opportunity for further growth while minimising stressful situations certainly enhances appraisal acceptance.
Establishing this type of environment goes far beyond the performance appraisal process. Every aspect of managing people and their work relates to the improvement of their quality of work life. Performance appraisal is an integral part of a trusting, healthy and happy work environment that goes a long way in promoting the same.
Performance appraisal has been used for the following three purposes:
A performance appraisal needs to cover all these three purposes with the same focus. If any purpose predominates, the system becomes out of balance. For instance, if remedial purpose is foremost, then the performance appraisal may become a disciplinary tool, a form of a charge sheet and a tool of power instead of instrument of evaluation.
Sometimes maintenance becomes the main objective for an organisation. In this case, the process may become short, skimped and per functionary ritual. If there is too much emphasis on development, then the focus falls on the future assignment rather than on the current job.
Objectives of Performance Appraisal:
Performance appraisal serves the following management objectives:
i. Providing Basis for Promotion/Transfer/Termination:
Identifying those subordinates who deserve promotion or require lateral shift (transfer) or termination and can be used for career planning.
ii. Enhancing Employees’ Effectiveness:
Helping employees in identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Also, informing them about the performance expected from them. This helps them to understand their role well and increases their efficiency at work. The feedback reinforces good performance and discourages poor performance. This also involves identifying employee’s training and development needs. Identifying training and development needs of employees is necessary to prepare them for meeting challenges in their current and future employment.
iii. Aiding in Designing Training and Development Programs:
Identifying skills that need to be developed. This helps in tailor-making training and development programmes.
iv. Removing Work Alienation:
Counseling employees corrects misconceptions which might result in work alienation. Performance appraisal also helps employees in internalising the norms and values of the organisation.
v. Removing Discontent:
Identifying and removing factors responsible for worker’s discontent motivates them for performing better at work. Performance appraisal helps in creating a positive and healthy work environment in the organisation.
vi. Developing Interpersonal Relationship:
Relations between the superiors and subordinates can be improved through realisation that there exists a mutual dependence. This mutual dependence leads to better performance and success. By facilitating employees to do introspection, self-evaluation and goal setting, their behaviour can be modified. Better interpersonal relationships lead to team building.
vii. Aiding Wage Administration:
Performance appraisal can help in development of scientific basis for reward allocation, wage fixation, raises, incentives etc.
viii. Exercising Control:
Performance appraisal also provides a means for exercising control.
ix. Improving Communication:
Performance appraisal serves as a mechanism for communication between superiors and subordinates.
Operation Performance Appraisal System:
The introduction of performance appraisal should be planned during the development stage. The main steps are to train everyone on performance appraisal, and once in operation, to monitor and evaluate how the system is performing in practice.
The importance of thorough training for both appraisers and appraisee, in the skills required to carry out performance appraisal effectively, cannot be overemphasized.
Both parties in the performance appraisal process need guidance and training in the preparation of the following:
i. Performance agreements and plans
ii. Conducting performance reviews, and
iii. Completing review forms.
There is also a need to develop skills required to conduct appraisal discussions, including interpersonal skills.
Training can be provided by formal courses or workshops. It is probably best to develop a series of training modules, as it might be difficult to get people to go through all the training required at one time. It is believed that people are unable to absorb information at one go.
The modules could consist of the following:
i. Introduction to performance appraisal system
ii. Defining key tasks and setting objectives
iii. Working with attributes and competence
iv. Preparing performance and development plans
v. Conducting appraisal discussions
vii. Providing feedback, and
viii. Coaching and counseling.