Development in Small Businesses Today’s business world Is very competitive. This can be attributed to more organizations entering the market and the current economic climate. This has many companies thinking of ways to increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage. In order to successfully continue to operate and grow, organizations often have to change strategies and better develop employees. This applies to any size organization. However, small businesses must ensure that these strategies are in place in order to attract and maintain a good customer base.
Small businesses deed to consider human resources as one of the most important determinants of profitability. They must provide competitive compensation, performance management, and training and development. This paper will address this in regards to a small business by the name of the Downtown Business Club, a restaurant catering to corporate business clientele in the downtown Johnstown, Pennsylvania, area. This paper will address key elements of training and development geared toward Improving the performance of The Downtown Business Club.
This paper will also discuss the potential challenges that the managers of The Downtown Business Club could face while addressing organizational performance. Additionally, this paper seeks to Justify the effects of detecting organizational gaps in small businesses. And finally, this paper will talk about a proposed competitive training strategy that can be used to improve the position of The Downtown Business Club in the market. The Downtown Business club provides lunch to local company executives, lawyers, and judges from within the downtown area.
It also is used by reservation as a private function venue. It has a vision of ensuring exclusive privacy for conducting lunch meetings, while providing the finest menu in the area. The Downtown Business Club is a small business employing a staff of ten that are managed by the current chef. The Club is also looking to expand on their private function business to Include private parties and private company presentation functions. The competition In the restaurant business Is fierce.
Because of this, there Is a definite need to maintain a well-informed group of employees who will not only prepare good dishes, but also offer quality services to customers. This can be done through training and development. Training and development refers to the process of providing the knowledge and skills necessary to perform more effectively. Blanchard ; Thacker, 2013) At the Downtown Business Club, training is conducted by the manager. The manager conducts training through employee orientation, on the Job training, and employee job shadowing.
As a consultant, the first item to be pointed out would be the elements of training and development. These would include a strategic plan, a training needs analysis, the training plan, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of training and development. (Ibex training, n. D. , p. 4) The first element that will need to be addressed should be to design the training and development strategic plan. A strategic plan will define The Downtown Business Club’s challenges and goals. This plan will also define the way to achieve these goals while keeping the business priorities in mind.
The second element is conducting a Analysis are: evaluating what the organization is doing now; comparing this to what the organizations wants to do in the future; analyzing the reasons for the performance gap; and identifying the training that will bridge the gap. The gap is where the training need is. The gap can usually be viewed on three levels: a knowledge gap, a skills gap, and/or an attitudinal gap. Ibex training, n. D. , p. 8) Training needs analysis diagnostics should include both management and employees. These diagnostics are varied and can be chosen in a variety of ways.
One professional program, The Thomas International System, is comprised of a Job analysis questionnaire (HAJJ) which is completed by both the Job holder and his/her manager Jointly to assess the demands of the Job. The personality profile is then completed by the Job holder to assess strengths and weaknesses. This is then compared with the requirements of the Job and the resulting training needs identified. A computer program is used to assess these needs based on the information inputted into the computer. Another often used training needs analysis tool is brainstorming and Meta planning.
This diagnostic uses two techniques – the first is brainstorming which involves staff putting forward their ideas regarding the skills and knowledge that they think are appropriate and required; the second technique is called Meta planning and this is used to allow the staff group to select and prioritize their training needs. Developing the training plan is the third element of training and development. For a training and development plan to be effective there must be a clear link to the business plan and the identified training needs.
The training plan should address the reason for the training and what the intended outcomes are for both the staff and The Downtown Business Club. It should also address the learning objectives, content, and method of delivery. Cost of the training will need to be considered during development of the training. It will also be necessary to determine how the training will be evaluated once it has been completed. The fourth element of training and development is evaluating the raining. A combination of evaluation methods will give a more comprehensive review of the training carried out.
Based on this feedback, future training needs can be established in a systematic and planned way as well as recording the successes attributable to the training process. The most well-known and used model for According to his model, there are four levels at which training should be evaluated: reaction, learning, behavior, and results. The reaction level is determining the staffs initial reaction to the training by use of a simple questionnaire at the conclusion of the training. The learning level is usually determined by the use off pre-test and a post-test of the training material.
The behavior level measures the staffs capabilities to perform learned skills back on the Job. This can be done through tests or by observation. The final level is results. This level attempts to gauge the overall effectiveness of the training event by assessing the impact on The Downtown Business Club in areas such as monetary impact, effect on efficiency, impact on teamwork. This is the ultimate measure of the success of the training. There are many challenges that businesses face when addressing organizational performance wrought employee training and development.
That is no different with the Downtown Business Club. Three of those challenges are resistance from employees, lack of of the most common challenges faced when training is introduced. There are four main factors that cause employees to resist change; 1) employees are unaware of the initiative, 2) employees do not understand how the change will affect them, 3) employees are worried how the transformation may change their roles and responsibilities, 4) employees are concerned if they will be able to master the needed skills and knowledge to perform in the changed environment. People & Performance Solutions, n. . , p. 2) If their questions are addressed effectively and they see how they fit into the solution, the risk and their perceptions are managed and in return productivity should begin to increase. The lack of adequate resources refers to the funds necessary to implement the training. These are funds that will be used to pay trainers or buy training materials. This can be a greater challenge to smaller businesses. There are many resources out there to assist in obtaining training. These include “train the trainer” programs, in-house training, trade magazines, and online avenues.
Some of these suggestions can ago long way to saving the business money. (“Training options,” n. D. ) One of the most prevalent challenges is lack of adequate time. For The Downtown Business Club, training may involve closing the business in order to conduct the necessary training. This will lead too loss of revenue. It may be possible to conduct these trainings at off-peak times or in the evenings to preclude this from being a challenge. Identifying organizational gaps reveal what’s keeping your business from reaching its full potential.
It can be performed for the company as a whole or focused on one department or business area. In either case, it alerts you to areas of underperformed, whether the problems are related to internal inefficiencies or external challenges. This then allows you to develop a strategy to eliminate the gap and maximize your profits. Organizational gaps may include lack of adequate manpower, lack of motivation among staff, and unskilled employees. (Blanchard ; Thacker, 2013) Being aware of the gaps enables the organization to determine the necessary changes that may need to be made.
Not all of these gaps require training. A change in an internal procedure may be needed, such as streamlining work processes to lower your cost trucker. Other approaches could require looking outside the organization, perhaps by forming an alliance with another business to market a gap product, rather than spending the resources to develop that capacity yourself. (Barman, n. D. , Para. 5) Strategies are defined as a method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution too problem. (Business Dictionary, n. D. Figure 1) As a consultant for The Downtown Business Club, I would advise them to adopt organizational development as competitive strategy to improve the position of the business in the market. One classic definition of organization development comes from Richard Backhand’s 1969 Organization Development: Strategies and Models: Organization Development is an effort (1) planned, (2) organization-wide, and (3) managed from the top, to (4) increase organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned interventions in the organizations “processes,” using behavioral- science knowledge. Organization Development Network, n. D. , Para. 1) It will be much wiser for The Downtown Business Club to develop a more informal strategic plan. In order to develop this strategic plan, they will need to ask themselves a few questions: . What are the key things we are trying to achieve? 3. Who is our competition, and how can we beat them? 4. What sort of ground rules should we be following to get the Job done right? 5. How should we organize ourselves to reach our goals and beat the competition? 6. How much detail do we need to provide so that everyone knows what to do?
How we make sure that everyone gets the information? 7. What are the few key things that will determine whether we make it? How do we address and keep track of them? (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013, table 2-5) The answers to these questions will assist in determining what direction The Downtown Business Club would like to go. It will also assist them in determining what training will benefit both them and the staff. There are many low-cost, effective approaches that can be used when it comes to training. The Office of Personnel Management offers a tip sheet for low-cost training options for the private sector.
Some of these tips include websites such as Linked to find seminars, speaker presentations, and workshops. On-the-Job training, “train the trainer” programs, cross training, and coaching are also a variety of lower cost training options. Additionally, action learning can be set as an agenda of training activities. Action learning can be described as simulations and role-playing. Through this kind of training, the staff is made to work together and reflect on their actions. In turn the staff will be able to procure skills and knowledge in tackling real life issues.
When done effectively, an investment in an organizational development strategy plan can produce a positive return on investment (ROI). For example, coaching the manager to conduct training in a manner which accurately increases the competencies required to be a top performer, will result in having a staff of above average performers. If top reformers entice repeat customers and new customers, for example, 10% more than average performers, the organization will realize a significant ROI. In today’s economic market, there is a definite increase in the level of competition.
Small businesses have not been spared as they face immense competition from the bigger, more established organizations. In order to enhance productivity and efficiency, the small business needs to focus on training and development. These smaller companies will face many challenges while facing organizational performance. Some of these challenges come in the form of lack of adequate funding, resistance from employees and time constraints. The Downtown Business Club can utilize organizational development as a competitive training strategy as it is a key element in employee effectiveness and productivity.
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