Part A: Training and Development
Training and Development Opportunities at Apple
Employee training and development remains essential to the development of a well-functioning organization. Training and development work, not only as ways of inculcating employees into an organization’s business culture, but also offers employees the opportunity to grow and advance in their careers within the organization (Chen, 2014). One of the organizations with an elaborate training and development program is Apple, the tech company responsible for successful devices including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Conducted at the company’s Apple University, the training and development program inculcates employees into the company’s culture, educating them on the history of the company.
Apple’s training and development program is secretive, in-house and continues year-round. The program has a full-time faculty that consists of editors, writers and instructors, who create and teach the courses (Chen, 2014). The training and development program at Apple is especially custom-made to employees. The program’s courses cut across different subjects using case studies among them some of the events that led to the company’s major decisions. The subjects include communication, company history and achievements. Apple’s courses at the University and the University itself aim at ingraining a culture within its employees, who eventually believe they create the best products, which transform people’s lives (Chen, 2014). The program also teaches founders and employees of newly acquired companies on ways of leveraging Apple’s resources and getting into the Apple culture, while at the same time developing new and seasoned staff in taking up new roles within the company’s hierarchy.
Running parallel programs, where training and development offered on caters to employee’s position and background is a glaring gap on the part of Apple. While such a program works best in specialization, what the company hopes to achieve, it locks employees from pursuing other venture away from their specialization. Having specialized in coding does not necessary mean an employee cannot have interest in design. Thus, such specialization limits the employees’ opportunities, while at the same time dimming their chances in other areas of interest. Additionally, while the company’s program largely has its material based entirely on the company’s history, achievements, and products (Chen, 2014), it will be more invigorating if it used content and case studies from outside its walls, for not only variety but also provide a wider viewpoint to the employees.
How Managers Assist Employee Career Development
The management position means the manager has access to opportunities and means of assisting employees in their career development. One of the ways manager can assist employees is by linking them to professional networks. Olenski (2015) contends than managers should assist employees tap into contacts that can assist their career growth and development. By introducing employees to professional that can serve as mentors; signing them up to professional industry associations and organizing training courses and workshops, managers essentially give a boost to an employee’s career.
The compartmentalization of organizations today, while increasing efficiency, dims employee awareness of other functions within the organization. Managers can therefore assist an employee’s career development by providing opportunities outside the employee’s job function as a way of creating awareness and knowledge of the organization’s operations and functions, as well as exposing employees to opportunities outside their job function (Olensky, 2015).
Managers themselves can assist employees in career development. Aside from working on projects with employees in such a way that employees see the manager at work, providing work experience, the manager should also give constructive feedback. Olenski (2015) argues that through close working with employees, managers can identify gaps in employee skills and recommend areas for further improvement and development.
Additionally, managers should help employees create individual development plans. Managers should be able to sit employees down and discuss the employee’s future in interests and career goals (Olensky, 2015). Such a discussion, especially with high performance employees, helps the manager place employees in paths that work to assist them in achieving their career goals.
Role of Mentoring in Training and Development
Organizations with training and development program sometimes add mentoring into the mix (Merrick, n.d.). Mentoring plays an important role as part of the training and development program as it helps the organization align its goals with the training program as a way of achieving competitive advantage. Moreover, mentoring offers real life experiences and interaction with people employees look up to, adding even more credence to the training and development program.
Part B: Employee Orientation and Socialization
Beginning at a new job can be a painful experience given the new surroundings, work rules, coworkers, responsibilities and bosses (Woods, Johanson & Sciarini, 2012). All these factors combined have an effect on a new employee, in addition to the hundreds of questions the new employees have about the organization. Employee orientation and socialization programs are in place to alleviate employee anxiety, while at the same time answer as many of the employee’s questions as possible.
For a new employee, the first point of the program would be general property orientation. Acquainting the employee with the organization and the property including the mission, management, essential locations within the organization is the first step towards ensuring the employee settles in well in the organization (Woods, Johanson & Sciarini, 2012). After property orientation, specific job orientation should be the second in helping the new employee settle. Here, the employee gets orientation on the specific job responsibilities, as well as a tour of the organization with a bias on the specific working areas within the employee’s job description. Moreover, this tour also involves introducing the employee to specific people he/she will work and interact with in daily undertakings.
The next step will be supplying the employee with an employee handbook as well as a review of goals and job expectations. The handbook should offer information including rules and regulations, breaks, employment laws and acts relevant to the employee’s job, and benefits accorded to the employee. On goals and expectations, this information helps the employee align the company’s goals with his/hers, and help the employee work to achieve the optimal levels expected by the organization.
As the final part of the orientation and socialization program, providing training goes a long way in helping the employee settle. Thus, while it is possible that the employee may have experience, training on the operations of the organization is paramount. Training through seminar and shadowing an employee doing a similar assignment helps in inculcating the employee into the organization’s operation, work ethics and culture. The program is especially ideal as it provides a step-by-step process of introducing the employee to the new organization in addition to practical approaches of ensuring the employee’s transition into the company is as smooth as possible.
Part C: Performance Management
The work of a company writer is to handle company publications with adherence to company direction. However, the writer at the company is struggling with the production of high quality company brochures, in addition to struggling with delivery times. The script below is on the discussion of the issues with the employee.
Manager: Please take a seat. Thank you for your timely arrival and apologies for calling you on such short notice.
Employee: Thank you sir. It did come as a surprise that I’d be called in such short notice, but I am hoping everything is fine.
Manager: Indeed John, except for a few things that we need to discuss. I want to start by saying that I’m very impressed by the work you do. The meeting is not a witch-hunt or a dress down, but an intervention in part of your duties. It is essentially for us to lay down strategies for improving our work relationship and a few adjustments that you need to make.
Employee: Very well sir.
Manager: now part of your duty as the company writer is to produce company brochure among other company correspondences. So far, you have done a great job and I am impressed by the feedback from our partners and customers on these. The brochures, however, need a little tweaking, the complexity of the language does not work with our target audience, and we’d like you to improve on that. Additionally, your delivery times have been wanting, and they require adjustment too.
Employee: Sorry sir. It was never my intention to use complex language in the brochures, I am sure I can adjust both on the language and delivery times.
Manager: very well John. You are taking this very well. What then is your plan for the adjustment?
Employee: I should have the improved drafts of the brochures by tomorrow for your review, and on approval have them delivered in three days. I believe that is an improvement on time.
Manager: Thank you very much John, see to it that you don’t disappoint.
Chen, B., X. (2014). Simplifying the bull: How Picasso helps to teach Apple’s style. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/technology/-inside-apples-internal-training-program-.html.
Merrick, L. (n.d.). How Coaching & Mentoring Can Drive Success in Your Organization. Chronus. Retrieved from https://hru.gov/documents/MentoringStudio/How%20Coaching%20%20Mentoring%20Can%20Drive%20Success%20in%20Your%20Organization.pdf.
Olenski, S. (2015). 8 Key tactics for developing employees. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2015/07/20/8-key-tactics-for-developing-employees/#6ac6424c6373.
Woods, R., H., Johanson, M., M., & Sciarini, M., S. (2012). Managing Hospitality Human Resources, 5th ed. American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute