The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of employee training and development on the performance of senior staff of University of Energy and Natural Resources. Employee training has been viewed as a tool for better productivity, general workforce skill development and motivation. The descriptive survey design was employed for the study. Data was collected using questionnaire to select a total of 47 respondents (senior staff, administrators) for the study. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 21, and the analytical tool used was a descriptive statistic using percentages and frequencies. The results revealed among others that training programmes are not administered regularly, the University make use of both off-the-job and on-the-job training method, but it predominantly uses on-the-job training method which is mostly facilitated through job rotation, and the job performance of the senior staff, increases whenever training is provided for them. The following recommendations were made; management should involve employees in the job rotation process making sure employees can see how their jobs relate to the organization’s overall mission, training sessions should be conducted more regularly at least once every semester (twice a year) Supervisors/Managers should take the initiative to develop the employee skills in various fields so that total human efforts will be displayed in the respective job tasks to further enhance performance.

The economic development of most developed countries such as Britain, Japan, China and United States of America can be attributed to the important role that its human resources have played. Therefore, considering the rich natural resources Ghana possesses and sufficient financial support, Ghana can also attain this economic success if the needed attention is given to the training and development of human resource. Human resources are a crucial but expensive resource and therefore in order to sustain economic and effective performance of this resource, it is important to optimize their contribution to the achievement of the aims and objectives of the organization through training and development. Training and development is therefore necessary to ensure an adequate supply of employees that are technically and socially competent for both departmental and management positions. (Mullins, 2007).

According to Heathfield (2012), the right employee training, development and education at the right time, provides big payoffs for the organization in increase productivity, knowledge, loyalty and contribution. Training and developing human capital is tremendously important in the effective management and maintenance of a skilled workforce. Training and development is very important for organizational development and success. It is fruitful for employers as well as employees in organizations. If employees are trained well, they become more efficient and productive. This study, therefore, goes on to discuss one of the core functions of human resource which is training and development, employee performance, and how the earlier affects the latter.

Background of the study
Staff training and development has been identified by various scholars to be very crucial to an organization and its effectiveness. In the light of the above, organizations are therefore encouraged to train and develop their staff to the maximum of their ability in order to enhance their effectiveness. Employee training and development are typically associated with improving performance, knowledge and skills of employees in their current job positions.

Training and development plays a very important role in any organization, and it is said to be the backbone of strategy implementation. Training is one of the ways of improving organization’s effectiveness. It plays a central role in nurturing and strengthening employee competencies. Most new employees join organizations with most of the qualifications, knowledge, skills and abilities needed to start working. Others may require extensive training before they are ready to make much of a contribution to their organizations.

However, almost every employee needs some type of training on an ongoing basis to maintain effective performance or to adjust to new ways of work. In order to implement the right training methods, organization should be aware of the training methods and their effectiveness. Training is widely understood as communication directed at a defined population for the purpose of developing skills, modifying behavior, and increasing competence. Generally, training focuses exclusively on what needs to be known.

Training is an effort initiated by an organization to foster learning among its members. Due to changing trends in technology, organizational changes, and changes in task and the nature of jobs, it has become imperative for organizations to train their members. Training can be defined as the acquisition of knowledge and competencies as a result of learning that relate to specific useful competencies. It has specific goals of improving one's capacity, capability, productivity and performance. Training is also needed to maintain, upgrade and update skills throughout the working life. In an organization, once the selection of employees is done, training them for the specific tasks they have been assigned is of great importance. In fact, training is an important activity in many organizations. It serves as the vehicle which increase the knowledge and skills of staff up to a level required for satisfactory performance.

Development on the other hand is any process aimed at preparing staff for future challenges and a variety of tasks that they may be performed in future towards the achievement of the organizational strategic goals. It is a way of broadening employee’s skills for future responsibilities. Improved capabilities, knowledge and skills of the talented workforce proved to be a major source of competitive advantage in a global market (McKinsey, 2006). To develop the desired knowledge, skills and abilities of the employees, to perform well on the job, requires effective training programs that may also affect employee motivation and commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991). In order to prepare the workers to do their job as desired, organizations provide training as to optimize their employee’s potential.

Training and development is a learning experience that is planned and carried out by the organization to enable more skilled task behaviour. It imparts the ability to detect and correct errors. Furthermore, it provides skills and abilities that may be called upon in the future to satisfy the organizations human resource needs. This study is an attempt to assess, examine, explore the importance of training in an organization. A very good training program is vital to the success of any business but surprisingly it is most often overlooked.

The 21st Century workplace is a fast-paced environment with new techniques, knowledge, and opportunities appearing and disappearing at the speed of the internet. It is critical to keep employees updated and up-to-speed on the latest developments in the field, and the only way to do that is by providing training. In the same way that people upgrade software so that they have the latest, bug-free versions with the highest functionality, companies need to upgrade their employees so that their skills are at their peaks and they can provide maximal value to the company. Although training can be costly both in terms of time and money, the many benefits to the company - including increased efficiency and broader value-creation capabilities, higher employee loyalty, and better interfacing between departments - make training worth it.

Employees are the internal customers of every organization. External customer satisfaction therefore is based on the satisfaction of the internal customer that trickles down to the organization serving its market satisfactorily and profitably. The survival of every organization depends on the quality of employees that are engaged in delivering the services or products to its customers. Employees are the most valuable asset of every company as they can make or break a company’s reputation and can adversely affect profitability. Employees often are responsible for the great bulk of necessary work to be done as well as customer satisfaction and the quality of products and events. Without proper training, employees both new and current do not receive the information and develop the skill sets necessary for accomplishing their tasks at their maximum potential. Employees who undergo proper training tend to keep their jobs longer than those who do not. Training is a necessity in the workplace. Without it, employees do not have a firm grasp on their responsibilities or duties. Employee training refers to programs that provide workers with information, new skills, or professional development opportunities.

In spite of the large number of researches on the relationship between training and employee performance, there appears to be a gap, concerning the study of effect of training on employee performance. The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830, 2011 on December 31, 2011. The University is a public funded national institution which seeks to provide leadership and management of energy and natural resources and be a centre of excellence in these critical areas. This mandate is achievable through a frame work of employee knowledge empowerment to handle the dynamic situations on the ground.

Statement of the Problem
It has been recognized that training and development programs improves the knowledge, skills and capacity of an individual for doing a particular job. Unfortunately, the majority of governmental and private organizations are not recognizing the importance of training to increase their employee's productivity and when the economy slows or when profits decline, many organizations first seek cuts in their training budgets. This will lead to high job turnover then increase the cost to hire new employees which lowers down the organizational profitability.

The University of Energy and Natural Resources is yet to have a staffing policy, training and development policy as well as a succession plan. Training and development is therefore less regularized. It looks like the majority of employees are not trained (oriented) consistently upon appointment. As a result, senior staff’s skills and abilities have over the years not been enhanced to enable them become effective and efficient. The implementation of “training” plans (which is mainly granting of study leave with or without pay for either a master’s or a doctorate degree) has been based on precedence and discretions for senior members. As a results many senior staff are not motivated to go for further training, also training needs provided by senior staff through the yearly performance appraisal forms does not yield positive response by management. This may lead to lack of competence and hence low staff performance.

In view of this, the researcher proposes to examine the effects of training and development activities, its roles, methods of training and how it affects the performance of senior staff in the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani.

Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to help reduce the gap between the effects of training and development on employee performance. This will be done by investigating through the relevant literature, shedding more light into the relationship of training effectiveness, and senior staff performance at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani. The study seeks to examine the training and development mechanisms available for senior staff and to assess and explore the importance of training in an organization. Another purpose is to provide suggestions to the University as to how they can make best use of training programs to make their senior staff perform well on their job.

Research objectives
The main research objective is to examine the effects of employee training and development on performance among senior staff and also to provide recommendations for staff training in UENR.

Specific Objectives
To examine the training and development mechanisms available for senior staff of the University of Energy and Natural Resources.

To assess how often training is conducted for staff in UENR.

To explore the effect of training and development on employee’s performance.

To provide recommendations for employee training and development in the University.

Research Questions
The main research question is “to what extent is job performance influenced by training and development among senior staff of the University of Energy and Natural Resources”?

Specific research questions are
What training and development mechanisms are available for senior staff of the University of Energy and Natural Resources?

How often is training conducted for senior staff in the University of Energy and Natural Resources?

What is the effect of training and development on employee’s performance at University of Energy and Natural Resources?

What recommendations can be provided for further staff training in the University of Energy and Natural Resources?

Significance of the Study
The research will not only add to works that have been done in this area, but also provoke further research into the training and development of senior staff and its resultant effect on the achievement of the object of the University.

The researcher is motivated by the idea that the University of Energy and Natural Resources should be able to ensure that the efforts of every senior staff be geared towards achieving the mission and vision statements of the University. Therefore, there is the need to reveal whether the University has staff that are oriented to work, understand their jobs and are constantly given training to collectively contribute to the success of the University.

The study will benefit the management of UENR by helping them formulate policy in order to develop programs that will positively affect employee performance. The University will also be able to plan and design how to employ well-trained employees to be able to achieve their goals and meet their objectives. It will also help to identify the training need, the best training method and how to evaluate employees and the training system at large. The need for the improvement in employees’ skill is emphasized by management in other Universities, therefore the findings of this study will be a reference for many Universities and policy makers.

The recommendations will also provide solution to ensure that training mechanisms in the University are improved.

The University of Energy and Natural Resources has three campuses but currently run on two. The main campus is situated in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region and the others in Nsoatre and Dormaa in the same region.

The delimitation of the study is choosing the main campus (Sunyani) as the area for the study although the University has three campuses. Proximity of the study area to the researcher is a contributory factor. Also, the researcher is constrained financially to be able to undertake the study in the other two campuses.

The University is barely five years after its establishment in Ghana. Therefore, findings of the study cannot be used to generalize or reflect the happenings in other Public Universities in Ghana who have been in existence for more than four decades. Again, the uniqueness of respondents in the University may affect their responses and hence may be different from others in different Universities.

Time factor was a major limitation, whether or not the researcher will have access to all senior staff to administer the research tools since administering was done mostly during working hours. The researcher also had to explain to some respondent what is required in the questionnaire. Following up on respondents to collect questionnaire feedback for the necessary required data for analysis as well as meeting with supervisor for consultations.

Another limitation was that respondents were sometimes not willing to give information in the name of confidentiality. Due to this problem, an introductory letter was sent before hand and a follow-up study made. The researcher had to emphasize that the information obtained from the questionnaires would be treated with strict confidentiality and for academic purpose.

Definition of terms
Training technically relates to job specific skills and involves change in attitude, skills or knowledge of a person with the resultant improvement in the behaviour for effective performance at work.

Job Training; is a method of preparing an employee to perform a task by providing them with information about the task, a demonstration of its performance, an opportunity for the employee to imitate the demonstration and subsequent feedback. It provides the employee with facility to gain technical knowledge and to learn new skills to do specific jobs.

Employee learning explains the process of acquiring knowledge through curiosity to learn. It is a mind-set of people who has anxiety to get information. Employee learning will increase the abilities and competency of the employee (Dixon 1999). The abilities and competencies are helpful in employee performance and productivity.

Employee performance is defined as the job-related activities expected of a worker and how well those activities were executed. The outcome or contribution of employees to make them attain goals.

Organizational Effectiveness refers to the achievement of overall organizational goals (Tsui, Schoonhoven, Meyer, Lau, & Milkovich, 2004). Employee development leads to employee performance. Individual performance of an employee will lead to the organizational effectiveness.

Human resource development is the integration of individual, career and organization development roles in order to achieve maximum productivity, quality, opportunity and fulfillment of organizations members as they work to accomplish the goals of the organization (Pace, Smith & Mills 1991)

Development relates to opportunities created to help employees grow. It is more of long term or futuristic in nature as opposed to training, which focus on the current job. It also is not limited to the job avenues in the current organization but may focus on other development aspects also.

Organization is a social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or pursue collective goals. All organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different tasks. Organizations are open systems; they affect and are affected by their environment.

Organization of the study
The work was organized as follows: Chapter One comprises the introduction and problem statement which is the major reason for the research, sets out the methodological considerations and presents the study objectives. It also gives an overview which guides the reader on what to expect in the chapter.

Chapter Two reviews literature, theoretical and conceptual frameworks related to the study. This includes discussion on the concept of job training, performance, effects of training and significance of training and how often training should be conducted and the process among others.

Chapter Three discusses the research method which would look at the research design, population, sampling method, research instruments, and data collection techniques.

Chapter Four analyzes the data collected from the self-administered questionnaires and interviews while Chapter Five presents the summary of the findings, conclusions, recommendations including suggestions for future research.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 83 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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