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THE EFFECT OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT ON EMPLOYEES PERFORMANCE
In the field of human resource management, training and development is the field concerned with organizational activity aimed at improving the performance of individuals and groups in an organizational setting. It has been known by several names, including employee development, human resource development, and learning and development. This study aimed at examining the effect of training and development on employee performance with a case study of Safaricom Call Center. Literature review, based on other scholars contribution to the subject, discussed overview of training, methods of training, benefits of training, employee performance, evaluation of training, relationship between training and development and employee performance which led to gap analysis as a conclusion of the chapter. The study adopted a case study approach where data was collected across a population through sampling of 340 employees at the Call Center which forms the Customer Care Division of Safaricom. The sample included managers, support/analyst and customer experience executives. Primary data was collected by use of both structured and unstructured questions across the strata and secondary data was gathered from various sources such as the Safaricom Strategic Plan 2012, Employee Booklet and Call Center Performance Reports. Responses were analyzed using both descriptive and graphical techniques. It was observed that training and development has a positive impact on both motivations of employees as well as performance. This contributed by the variant, relevant and high quality training. The study concluded that there is need for continuous training and development taking into consideration the competition, market dynamics, customer satisfaction, and net promoter score among others. The study recommends that training needs at Safaricom should be considered on the basis of overall company objectives. In addition, the goals of the company should determine what training programs are to be organized for staff.
Human capital can be regarded as the prime asset of an organization and businesses need to invest in that asset to ensure their survival and growth. The organization should ensure that, it obtains and retains skilled, committed and well-motivated workforce it needs. This means taking steps to assess and satisfy future people needs and to enhance and develop the inherent capacities of people- their contributions, potential and employability- by providing learning and continuous development opportunities.
Global competition has caused organizations to focus on every aspect of their operations, questioning how each function and process can contribute to strategic goals. Training departments are also under pressure to demonstrate their organizational value in the same terms Steed, (2000), this is because organizations spend a considerable time, effort and money in training their employees, but the benefits from these efforts are not clearly visible in organizations in terms of improved performance. To make training and development useful, it should be well planned and systematically implemented Rao and Nair, (1990). The capacity of staff in a firm influences the ability to achieve the desired targets particularly in performance driven enterprises. Human resource is recognized as a critical resource for success. In order to sustain performance of the organization, it is important to optimize the contribution of employees towards achievement of the aims and goals of an organization (Armstrong, 1999).
Armstrong, (2001) defines training as the formal and systematic modification of behavior through learning, which occurs as a result of education, instructions and development and planned experience. Training is the process of equipping the workforce with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to tackle the job responsibilities. Staff development on the other hand is improvement of the employees‘ competences for future environmental demands and adaptability. Beardwell and Hidden (1994) consider training and development as a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge or skill behavior through learning experiences to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Corporations are offering a variety of training programs to meet their organizational needs. These include content on IT and systems, processes, procedures and business practices, industry-specific trainings, managerial or supervisory training, interpersonal skills, compliance, sales, executive development, basic skills, new employee orientation, customer service and quality. As Reynolds (2004) points out, training has a complementary role to play in accelerating learning. It should be reserved for situations that justify amore directed expected approach rather than viewing it as a comprehensive and all-pervasive people development solution. He also commented that the conventional training model has a tendency to emphasize subject –specific knowledge rather than trying to build core learning abilities.
Development is a long term education process utilizing a systematic and organized procedure by which managerial personnel learn conceptual and theoretical knowledge for general purpose. According to Campbell (1971) development implies an individual
growth and self-realization in a brand base. Cole (1990) suggests a broader view of knowledge and skills acquisition training. He suggests that he is more concerned with employee potential than immediate skills and views employees as adaptable resource aiming at personal growth and realization of potential of an employee. Armstrong (2001) indicates individual development is the progression by individuals in their career with guidance encouragement and help from the manager.
Training and Development improves the workforce competence in order to create a competitive advantage and contribute to organizational success. Training and development is also a means for employers to address the employees‘ needs. By offering the training and development opportunities employers help employees develop their own competitive advantage and ensure long term employability, Jackson (2008). Development implies it is an ongoing process and that progress is made over time and this fits also with the emphasis on long life learning.
Holton (1995) defines performances a multi-dimensional construct, the measurement of which varies depending on variety of factors. Armstrong (2000) on the other hand indicates performance as both behavior and results and emphasizes that both behavior (input) and results (output) need to be considered when managing performance. Performance of an organization is the outcome of acrostic of individuals and units of the organization. Except for the external influences on individual behavior and personal traits, organizations can either influence or control all factors affecting performance of
individuals and units through formal and informal means. Greater influence of individuals can be exercised formally through communication; work culture and management style Kasturi (2006).
Employee performance involves all aspects which directly or indirectly affect and relate to the work of the employees. Performance means both behavior and results. Behavior emanates from the performer and transforms performance from abstraction to action. Not just the instruments for results, behaviors are also outcomes in their own right-the product of mental and physical effort applied to tasks-and can be judged apart from results Brumbranch (1998). Within high performance work systems, training will be aligned and integrated with actual work. Employees need training in group dynamics and interpersonal relations, and in systems thinking to understand better how all parts of their organization fit together and affect each other. Trainers play a key role in providing feedback on employees‘ performance and financial performance of their organization Steed (2000).
Safaricom customer services started in 2001, when safaricom was still a subsidiary of the Kenya postal and telecommunication company (Telkom Kenya). When safaricom became an independent subsidiary after the government sold 40% shareholding to Vodafone (UK), the customer service section was split into two: The customer care retail Centre and the call center for those customer who did not have a care center in their region due to distance, they could call in and get the same service. Shops have been
turned into revenue centre where they concentrate on sales as well as customer service. The total number of staff in retail shops has 850 while call centre has about 1400 staff, thus forming the largest number of all departments in the company.
The call centre is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. The call centre is located at Sarin Park along Mombasa road and it adopts the name Jambo Contact Centre. The call centre is operated through an open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a headset connected to a telecom switch and supervisor stations. The Jambo Contact Centre is divided into zones adopting animal names such as Twiga, Swara, Nyumbu, Tembo, simba, kifaru, chui and Nyati. Each of these zones is assigned a shift manager, line manager (team leader), support analysts, and call centre agents all charged with different assignments. There is the Quality Assessors team to oversee the quality of service delivered by each agent to our customers. From their assessment the training needs are identified and addressed by the team leaders. Each agent‘s performance is managed through this process, there are set objectives done half yearly and from these the performance levels are determined against the set key performance indices (KPIs), these are further used to determine the salary increase to be awarded, bonuses and in extreme cases dismissals.
The call centre is also equipped with other facilities to make the employees comfortable, these are: the gym, clinics that are run 24 hours with qualified staff and medical facilities, security personnel, entertainment, refreshments, a nursery for the children and a resource
centre. Jambo contact centre being far from the head office in westlands has been provided with representatives from the necessary departments to ensure flow of business; these are the IT staff and human resource business partners. Training rooms are available for any in-house training that is to be carried out.
Staff training and development is recognized as crucial element in the attainment of organizational goals and objectives. In order to sustain economic and effective performance, it‘s important to optimize the contribution of employees to the aims and goals of an organization Armstrong (1999). Training and development activities have implications for attempts to motivate and involve the workforce with an aim of improving performance. One of the primary objectives of human resource management is the creation of conditions whereby the latent potential of the employees will be realized and their commitment to the success of the organization secured. Chang (1994) points out that the scope of evaluating the training effort should explain how training contributes to the ‗big picture‘ as it is implemented to bring about improvement in job performance. The ultimate purpose of training is to help organizations achieve their performance results. Training activities have effect on relative competitiveness and economic performance, at both the aggregate level of the national economy or industrial sector, and at the level of individual enterprises Storey (1999).
Customer service agents at Safaricom Limited spend the most of the time with the customers than anyone else in the organization, they are seen as the frontline contacts in dealing with key business in this case safaricom subscribers, safaricom customers service agent go through vigorous training in issues pertaining to customer: Customer Service training; Telephone etiquette; Products and Services Training; Systems training; Customer Experience Training; Management and Leadership Programs; Quality Assurance training.
There are several studies that have been done in training but have focused on other organizations and departments but not in call Centre in the telecommunications industry. Musili (2010) researched on the perceived effectiveness of training and development on performance of In-Flight attendants in Kenya Airways. She found that there are other factors affecting employees‘ performance in Kenya airways other than training. The employees wanted to be involved in decision making especially regarding personal development. Gakuru (2006) researched on the relationship between training practices and performance, his was a survey of companies listed on the NSE, He considered the organizations in general, he found that the training practices have a significant effect on performance, and that, systematic training yielded better results than non-systematic training. Nguku (2006) researched on staff training and development practices in state corporations in Kenya. She found that employee trainings that are designed to assist employees in acquiring better skills, knowledge and attitudes towards their work yielded better performance. Mohammed (2006) researched on outsourcing of training services by Commercial Banks in Kenya. None of these studies has tackled the relationship between
training and development and employees performance in customer care services (call centers) so far, Musili (2010) remains the only study on training and development on employees‘ performance of in flight attendants in Kenya airways limited.
Thus, this constitutes a knowledge gap that the present study seeks to fill the purpose of the study therefore, it is to establish the relationship between training and development, and employee performance in the call centre.
The objective of the study is to establish the relationship between training and development, and employee performance among the customer care agents in Safaricom limited call centre.
The study will be of use to management by encouraging them to embrace training and development to increase competitiveness, it will also help to establish how training has impacted on performance of customer care agents and what improvements can be done to help equip the agents further as well motivated them to work better for better performance. The study will help the customer service agents come up with suggestion of what they would like to be incorporated in the training and development programs so as to improve their performance.
The study will also be useful to stakeholders who will be able to identify with a growing organization as a result of good performance. This will ensure that they invest in an organization whose performance is promising as a result of effective training and development of its staff. The study will also add value to the researcher in the area of training and development. Scholars will find it important as it will increase the body of knowledge in this area. It can also assist the researchers in doing further studies of the same.
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