MNCs need to consider when devising strategy for training and development?
Nowadays quality management philosophy is given great importance as its role is considered in all the explanations of the major decision making policies regarding training in Multinationals (MNCs). As, Prajogo and McDermott (2006) and Reed et al. (2000) have described, in their respective studies, the importance and impact of the quality management philosophy on training. The positive effect that quality management and human resources training has on the company can also be measured by the number of MNCs who have got it in all their high-performance workplaces (Ashton and Sung, 2002; Smith et al., 2004). According to Arora and Asundi (2000) the IT industry of India has adopted the quality management philosophy to a great extent.
It was observed in a review of the last ten years of HRD research and scholarship, which was done in 2006 by Short that, the wishes and expectations of a client/customer from the MNC are often ignored or are acknowledged only on paper when it comes to the decision making concerning training done by them (Bing et al., 2003; Leimbach and Baldwin, 1997). According to Banerjee (2004), it is very important for a company to provide services and products that the customer needs and wants as every company is highly dependent on the relationship between these external factors and the coordination between the client and the products and services provided by the MNC. In this paper we will focus on the HR development and HR training that is necessary for the employees in the MNCs.
One primary challenge with HR training is that it is not what it used to be as MNCs continue to change so as the field of training and development of employees. Employees are an essential tool of the organization in moving forward towards competitive advantage and the HR needs to follow through by providing the necessary programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of the employees. MNCs as observed in the past years continue to eliminate hierarchical chains of command and management is flattened out. With this, power is dispersed giving the employees a chance to hold power over critical decisions, however they should be prepared to handle such power for the organization to benefit. This is where training and development comes in, to help employees prepare themselves in the coming changes and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to handle new responsibilities brought about by change (Sims 1998).
Orientations in Training
Since training should cast away from traditional thinking any organization that wanted to have competitive advantage through its people will need to focus on the following factors and should be integrated in their HR training and development program; this is another factor lacking in HR today (Sims 1998).
Training should be carefully designed in accordance with the mission, business strategy, tools and culture of the MNC which is one of the major challenges of HR. This is to make sure that the training is at par with what is happening within the organization. It should be in line with the overall business strategy and is designed to follow the same direction as the company. It must answer the needs of the employees as well as of the upper management and must be compatible with the type of employees the organization has. Once employees undergo the training, the HR program aims to make them more efficient, adaptable, accommodating and motivated. If the training module is designed in accordance with the business strategies, it becomes a strategic tool for the organization to mold its employees in or towards the direction it wants to take (Sims, 1998).
In addition to considering the internal situations of the MNCs, another challenge is that HR must and should also be concerned with external or environmental situations to make the module more comprehensive. Through this way HR could achieve the needed flexibility from the employees (Sims, 1998). They are not only skilled in dealing with internal issues of the organization but are also skilled in adapting to external factors. To take this strategic approach, the Training department or HR department should conduct the following activities (a) identify existing training being executed and assess whether they are still needed; (b) examine within the training programs which modules can be removed; (c) remaining training modules should be re-evaluated on how these can be more aligned with the business strategy and reinforce the mission and vision of the organization; and (d) identify new modules that can be added to strengthen the training program. The underlying principle in this orientation is that an HR training that is aligned with the existing strategies and future direction of the organization can greatly increase performance (Sims, 1998).
For HR training to be fully encompassing and effective, some MNCs take time to involve their customers in the design of training programs. This is just logical since the customers are the first persons to experience the benefits of HR training. Take for example a sales representative that just received training about the store's product, etiquette and conduct. This employee will surely be able to answer all the questions of the customer about the product he is interested in and it is also possible that the sales representative could offer additional information that the customer might not know about the product (Sims, 1998). And since etiquette and conduct was included, the representative will be more cordial and accommodating to the customer. This could result to a sure sale, plus a satisfied customer. Thus, it is important to hear out what the customer thinks about the company's service or product to be able to know the areas that need further improvement. Their feedback should be taken into consideration since they know first-hand what works for them and what does not. Acquiring their feedback can be done through surveys, commentaries, interviews and letters or e-mails. With the advancement of technology, there are various ways this could be done. Taking this step signals to the customer that they are valued and that the organization cares about what they think (Sims 1998).
Human Resource Management
Sinkula et al. (1997) said that you can find solutions for many HR problems if you base the learning framework of your MNC on the market demand. They further tested the relationships between a knowledge-questioning value (Argyris and Schon, 1978), learning orientation of an organization (LO), the behavior that produces knowledge (Kohli et al., 1993; Sinkula et al., 1997), the knowledge-questioning value and the behaviors regarding market information or the market orientation (MO). Although, the learning orientation (LO) can be explained in many ways but according to Argyris and Schon (1978) Sinkula et al. (1997) LO generally means the ability of an organization to grow and improve by having an acceptance towards learning and remaining open minded to new ideas and this can only happen through shared vision. Likewise, many definitions have been given for MO, but according to Kohli et al. (1993), whose conceptualization has been followed by Sinkula et al. (1997), MO is the ability of a company/organization to realize the present and upcoming wants and needs of the consumer market through good marketing approaches, making this information known to all the hierarchical levels in the organization and then forming the appropriate products/services as well as good marketing strategies.
Factors affecting the training and motivation
In the meta-analytical review done by Colquitt et al. (2000) a lot of concepts regarding HR training motivational challenges such as the relationship between training outcome and its motivation and its antecedents were analyzed. The motivation of an employee before the training, can be triggered and influenced by a number of factors regarding the trainee's personality (Martocchio, 1993; Colquitt and Simmering, 1998) as well as other factors such as
Self efficiency (Chiaburu and Marinova, 2005; Quinones, 1995; Switzer et al., 2005),
Job involvement (Noe and Schmitt, 1986; Tracey et al., 2001),
Organizational commitment (Carlson et al., 2000; Facteau et al., 1995; Tracey et al., 2001),
Goal orientation (Chiaburu and Marinova, 2005; Colquitt and Simmering, 1998; Klein et al., 2006; Orvis et al., 2009; Smith et al., 2008),
Career exploration and planning (Noe, 1986) and Attitude towards training (Carlson et al., 2000).
Goal orientation generally means the goals that are set by an individual to be achieved for the betterment of his/her career or life. However, according to Colquitt and Simmering (1998, p. 655) goal orientation is referred to as "a variable that holds untapped promise for training application." In the literature it is also suggested that the proper examination and analyzing of the goal orientation would make the training motivation theory more advance (Colquitt et al., 2000). According to Button et al. (1996), there are two types of goal orientation:
1. Learning goal orientation.
2. Performance goal orientation.
The employees or the workers in MNCs that prefer going after learning goal orientation try to work on the projects which require more efforts,…