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HRD division at The King Company
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
The HRD division at The King Company is managed by training director Karmen Scholl, who supervises two other employees: a trainer and an administrative assistant, who coordinate the logistics of King`s training programs. Recognizing the continuous dynamics of the high-tech industry, King has been a strong supporter of employee development.
With approval of the immediate supervisor, King encourages employees to attend training seminars, and tuition reimbursement is available for college-level courses that are related to the employee`s job. In-house training is conducted regularly to ensure all employees are up-to-date on sexual harassment and safety procedures. Other training is made available as the need arises. Whenever possible, training programs are developed and facilitated by in-house staff members. When that is not practicable, a request for proposal is generated and King hires outside facilitators.
Since the labor problem a few years back, Scholl aggressively trained management employees with particular emphasis on skills for first-line supervisors. She wants to see improvement in people skills and consistent implementation of King`s policies across department lines. Unfortunately, her efforts are not universally well received. Some managers grumble that HR just gets in the way and ties their hands when dealing with difficult employees. All too often Smith hears managers say that there is the "classroom way" and the "shop floor way." She sees training for King managers as an ongoing process.
Last year`s strategic planning process identified knowledge management as an area for organization-wide improvement. King has a history of employees working in silos, with little communication across functions. Hoping to bridge the gap and encourage collaborative exchange, Scholl established "communities of practice," where individuals could meet to problem solve and exchange ideas. Her first community-of-practice group consisted of individuals from research and development, engineering and production. A number of other communities have since been established. More informally, Scholl encourages "snack and chat" meetings on Friday afternoons, where employees can drop by for a snack and talk about their work.
To increase information exchange with employees working off-site, an idea blog was added to the company`s intranet, where staff could share information about their successes and failures on various projects. At first, people were reluctant to comment, and it took some time before they were willing to share their knowledge and ideas. Scholl had not anticipated how proprietary some individuals would be about their work methods. Progress has been made; with increasing postings, the blog is becoming a source of ideas and information sharing. To manage the volume of information generated by the blog and to make it easier for more employees to use the system, Scholl submitted a budget request to add enhanced knowledge software to the intranet.
To capture knowledge that might be leaving the organization, Scholl worked with Employee Relations Manager Shaun White to improve the exit interview process. Departing employees are encouraged to talk informally about their career at King and to pass on information other employees need to know. There has been some success here, but as expected, not all exit interviews generate a positive exchange.
As part of the recent directives to "tighten up" for increased results, HRD was asked to update and improve the company`s performance management system. In addition, the organization is looking closely at all training expenses, and Scholl was asked to identify the return on investment for all programs. She is worried about her management training program and feels certain that tuition reimbursement will fall under the ax.
Please answer the following questions utilizing no less than 4 references in a paper between 4-5 pages.
1. Identify the goals of King`s training programs. Are they meeting these goals? What could be improved? Why?
2. Discuss King`s efforts to retain and transfer knowledge. Are these efforts effective? What could be done to improve the process? Why?
3. What should HRD do to improve transfer of training?
4. How can HRD demonstrate return on investment to prevent cuts in the training budget?