Human Resource Development
Individual characteristics and HRD
Human resource development is a function of the human resource management that focuses on improving the performance, career development, and personal growth through training. Organizations should ensure that the individual characteristics are well developed during the training to achieve the desired results. Therefore, the four stage model of training can help prepare the employees and the organization for training. The first stage focuses on identifying the training needs. The assessment of the needs help identify the specific job performance, skills needed, the trainees’ attitude and develop performance objectives based on the deficiency (Gold et al., 2013). The second stage focuses on designing the requirements. It involves coming up with the tools required to training the employees. The techniques of training are identified and the training environment. Once this is done, the delivering activity stage is emphasized. This is the actual training where the attitudes and skills are changed. The training activities are then evaluated to identify the effectiveness of the training. It is during this process that the individual characteristics are developed.
Self-efficacy is the belief of the trainees that their ability influences the training results. This is acquired during or before training and helps the trainee feel motivated to learn. Such people are eager and willing to participate in a training program that develop their skills and improve performance (Salas et.al, 2012). Another characteristic is the goal orientation. Trainees should have learning orientation that motivates then to seek new skills necessary for performance and career development. Motivation to learn is also an individual characteristic that improves the learning outcomes. The trainees will be willing to engage in learning, concentrate during training and change their attitudes and performance after the training.
Career, learning, and future plans
There has been increased need for learning in the current business environment. Competition has increased, and professionals are competing for high positions in the organizations or seek for high performance in their organizations. As a result, a continuous learning is crucial to gain necessary skills required for improved performance. In my career as a manager, I aspire to continue in career development through sets of the training programs and achievement of the set goals. I have engaged in various stages of career development and seek to continue with the process to become an outstanding performer in my organization. Since the early schooling, it has been my goal to attain skills that will help in the work environment as well as personal growth. I have been involved in a series of positions in the job market, and I am on the stage of career management where I need to make critical life choices and transitions. Goals setting theory is a major motivation in my career life. I set career goals and get motivated to learning new skills that will help achieve the goals. I also have the need for achievement. Mclelland’s need for achievement theory helps in achieving the set standards. I have the desire and need for excellence in my career (Noe & Winkler, 2012). This is a motivation to learn through different techniques such as formal education and e-learning. My future career goal is to become an excellent leader. I also seek ensure comprehensive growth as a leader and offer advice to upcoming leaders. In the career development stages, I have heard challenges like lack of motivation at one point. The other challenge is taking a high position job without enough skills. However, I have heard opportunities of learning new skills on the job, in school and even from on-line programs.
PART questionnaire. I believe that the scores reflect my actual life. I believe in trying out ideas and theories and put them into practice. Through this process, I learn and master the required skills to complete a particular task. I am comfortable with the pragmatist’s style. The advantage of this style is that one can become a fast learner because of searching for ideas and trying them out. It is also possible to solve problems as fast as possible. However, the disadvantage is that the style affects the trainer and becomes impatient with the slow learners. One tends to impose their decisions on others. The other training style I am comfortable with is the theorist style. The advantage is that it can lead to creativity and do things perfectly. The disadvantage is that one can do things at a slow pace that may pile up tasks.
VARK questionnaire. I believe that the results reflect my learning styles. I prefer read and write strategies because this is when ideas are sticking in my mind. If I read and write what I learn, I find it easy to understand concepts. I also do fairly well with the visuals and kinesthetic strategies. Using diagrams, I can translate concepts and understand them. I also prefer learning through experience and practice.
People have different learning styles. As a HR professional, I would ensure that the various learning styles are used to cater for the needs of the trainees. For example, in designing the media to use in training, there will be a combination of various methods such as instructional materials, visuals, and audio. Trainees will also be asked to share their experiences as a way of learning and also helping others.
I have discovered that experience is quite essential in effective learning. The experiences that an individual has can create knowledge that is quickly passed on to other people. Training another person is an opportunity to learn things that had not been clear when the information was not shared. I was once engaged in training a group of people in the workplace on the need for improved communication skills. The training was going for three days, and each group was trained on communication skills. When I started with the first group, my training was not quite effective as it did with group two and three. In the first training session, there were some questions about communication skills that I did not adequately answer. However, after the session, I had to study and focus on the questions so that the next day I would better address them. This was an opportunity to learn and master the concepts. The second and third sessions were effective. From the first session, I had learned the concepts to focus on during training, the training techniques and way to influence the attitudes of the trainees. According to Noe & Winker (2012), verbal information, and intellectual skills are necessary for learning. Understanding the concepts required by the employees to improve their performance is quite essential for managers. Experiencing a situation also helps improve learning of an individual. This was a successful opportunity for learning through sharing the knowledge and information I had on communication skills.
Social learning theory is quite essential to understanding the learning experience. The theory helps influence other people’s behavior and attitudes through reward and punishment. Modeling is also crucial in changing the behaviors of the individuals. The learning experience I had during the training was effective and influenced by social learning theory. I used the techniques of reward by complementing the trainees that took part in the discussion (Noe & Winkler, 2012). This encouraged concentration and at the same time was a learning experience because I improved my confidence and training skills. Also, I improved my communication skills and managed to persuade and encourage the trainees about the need for learning communication skills. During the training, I remembered my mentor who always mention about confidence and need to pass knowledge to trainees. As a result, I was encouraged to carry on with the training and share my knowledge with others. Therefore, I find social learning theory to have a positive effect on my life and my learning experiences. I learn from others and also aim at becoming a model to other learners.
Goal setting theory is also essential in my learning experience. Goal setting helps influence the person’s behavior and improves the learning outcome. In my training experience, I had set goals of informing the trainees of the relevant communication skills. As a result, I read books and gathered online information relating to communication skill. As a result, I delivered relevant information regarding communication skills. According to Locke & Latham (2006), goal setting theory and self-efficacy help increase confidence. Commitment to the goal leads to improved learning. As a result, of the two theories, I had a positive learning experience. My attitudes and knowledge about communication skills were tremendously improved.
Extent to which theories are useful
Goal setting theory is quite useful in understanding the learning experience. Every day there are goals set, and they help one accomplish the tasks given for that particular day. In my learning, when I set goals I am capable of accomplishing the learning activities (Locke, 1996). I get the motivation to engage in learning activities that are relevant to my career and job performance. For example, I have set goals that have been a motivation to go through higher education. I also work hard to improve performance both in school and at work. In future, I seek always to set specific and challenging but attainable that helps in improving my knowledge. For example, I will ensure that when on the job I engage in learning programs such as seminars and conferences to help achieve the goals set in my organization. Goal setting will also facilitate other’s learning because in my organization I will engage employees in goal-setting so that they can learn and feel motivated from the goal setting process. I will also facilitate learning by providing feedback relating to achievement of the performance goals. This will help improve learning and correcting or revising goals to facilitate efficient performance (Lunenberg, 2011).
The extent to which social learning theory is useful in learning is quite high. The theory emphasizes that people learn through observation from people that are knowledgeable and successful. Behavior is changed through experiencing and repeating the new skills. This theory has been useful in my life. I have observed models such as my teachers, parents and managers that have influenced my behavior and taught me new skills. For example, I admire my boss at work that makes me go back to school to acquire more knowledge and skills that can help in getting a promotion (Grusec, 1992). In future, I seek have a relationship with influential leaders that will be my mentors and models. As a result, I will learn leadership skills that will be effective in the organization. I will also help others learn by becoming a good leader and a mentor to my employees and pass on the skills of leadership to them (Smith & Berge, 2002).
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Smith, M. & Berge, Z. (2009). Social learning theory in second life. Journal of Online Learning and teaching. Vol. 5. No. 2