"You need to be pro-active; go and seek knowledge so that you can become a valuable resource to Gulf Air and to Bahrain"
Jassim Al Marzooqi, Chief Technical Officer
(Marzooqi, as cited in Gulf Air welcomes…, 2009).
"You kids need to shut your mouths and pay attention for a change!"
"Michael -- if you get up out of your seat one more time, I am going to phone your mother and ask her to keep you home from our meeting next week!"
"Tanisha, how many times do I have to tell you to turn off that cell phone and put it back in your purse!"
Staff at Equipped for Life[footnoteRef:1], a nonprofit organization for youth of prisoners, regularly experience challenges with maintaining order at the group's weekly dinner and socially-oriented meetings. Each Thursday for 46 weeks in the year, the group of approximately 19 -- 23 youth typically consisting of more females than males meets from 5:30 P.M. until 8:30 P.M. In a former grammar school building; remodeled for community educational classes and groups like Equipped for Life. Each week, three of the organization's four counselors, two females and two males, routinely work with the group so that each staff member only works with the group three nights per month. Counselors meet with each youth individually during the week at the organization's center and make regular home visits. Equipped for Life also regularly sponsors a number of other events for the participating youth. [1: Name of organization changed. ]
Due to frustration and challenges working with youth during the Thursday evening dinner/social sessions, staff has recommended these be decreased to once or twice per month. Members on the Board of Equipped for Life, albeit, insist that meetings continue as currently scheduled. If youth do not have their weekly support group meetings, these individuals argue, they will more likely begin to engage in behaviors that could lead them to one day follow the paths their incarcerated parents have taken. The executive director of Equipped for Life has determined to develop training for the organization's counselors to better equip them to fascilitate the Thursday night session in more positive as well as less stressful ways. During the paper, the writer relates components of the training program and presents this information in four segments. The first segment of the paper relates information regarding the writer's designated organization, Equipped for Life, and the project's primary problem.
A positive correlation exists between employee job satisfaction and the level of communication with management regarding the job, the organization, and work issues employees perceive as pertinent. In the study, "Causes of employee turnover in sheriff operated jails, Price, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Kiekbusch, Department of Behavioral Science also at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and Theis (2007), Abbott Turner College of Business at Columbus State University in Georgia that administrations who neglect to address the needs of their jail officers more frequently experience higher turnover rates, which in turn contributes to greater costs in human resource. In jails as well as in organizations like Equipped for Life, this unnecessary expense can be countered through sound management procedures. When administrators implement programs and practices to augment job satisfaction, these tactics help reduce turnover among staff as well as recruitment expenses, training time and lost productivity due to positions not being filled.
As the morale of staff reflects their image of the organization, the organization benefits when administrators invest in and implement training to improve staff morale. In the article, "Training is not an option: Four reasons to invest in professional development," Adamson (2006) asserts: "Training boosts morale, lowers turnover. . . . Studies show that training and development programs strengthen loyalty, self-esteem, and morale" (p. 48). Four positive perks from training include, albeit, may not be limited to the following:
1. Staff attitudes and behaviors reflect investments an organization makes in staff development training.
2. Training boosts staff morale and contributes to lower turnover rates.
3. Training helps ensure the organization as well as staff complies with legal regulations.
4. Training "pays" as it may contribute to positive feedback from clients; consequently earning both staff and the organization an unsullied reputation.
II. Plan for Training Needs Assessment
The second segment of the paper contains the plan for the writer to conduct a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) on Equipped for Life. This section will include an analysis of the writer's chosen organization as well as task, and person analysis. The writer also recounts the techniques to be used and the individuals who would be involved in the TNA. The writer plans to use a questionnaire (Appendix A). The conclusion of section two identifies the desired training outcomes to be utilized during the ensuring sections.
Prior to developing and implementing training, an organization's leaders need to know specifically what learning will encourage the achievement of needed results. Conducting a performance analysis and training needs assessments helps clarify essential and desired training would work best to address the designated problem. In the book, The Oxford handbook of lifelong learning, London (2011), associate dean of the College of Business, professor of management, and director of the Center for Human Resource Management at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, explains that a performance analysis establishes the root cause/s of an employee work performance problem as well as helps discover whether the cause/s can most effectively be addressed utilizing training as a potential solution or by using another possible solution.
After a performance analysis confirms that training can resolve the problem, a training needs assessment proves critical to focus the forthcoming training. London (2011) explains:
Training needs assessment pinpoints what knowledge, skill, or attitudinal gaps in work performance must be met by training A training needs assessment examines the needs of the organization, the targeted employee group and the work tasks. Training needs assessment assesses exactly who will receive training, where they will perform what they learn from training, what they must learn to meet work requirements, and what work expectations are in line with the organization's mission statement, values, strategic plans, external environment, internal environment, and other stakeholder expectations. (London, 2011, p. 151)
Analysis of Equipped for Life Equipped for Life's mission statement asserts: To help equip youth of incarcerated parents with the necessary knowledge, support, and self-esteem to empower them to make positive choices that will help ensure they remain inside society's legal constraints - outside of prison walls. Values Equipped for Life promotes include cleanliness, courage, courtesy, friendliness, helpfulness, honesty, kindness, loyalty, obedience, respect, reverence, and trustworthiness. Strategic plans for the organization include the following:
1. Support youth of incarcerated parents by investing time and personal interest to help them set and attain positive, personal goals.
2. Provide regular counseling sessions for youth of incarcerated parents and encourage them to communicate with their parents; both the parent in prison as well as the parent who is not incarcerated.
3. Host regularly scheduled, supervised social engagements for youth of incarcerated parents to help them learn better communication skills and associate with other law-abiding youth.
Defining and examining components of the organization's external environment enhances the understanding of far-reaching changes occurring in the contemporary world. The external environment of Equipped for Life as in other organizations consists of all elements existing outside the organization's boundary that possess the potential to impact that organization. In the book, Understanding Management, Daft, Professor of Management in the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, and Marcic (2010), at Vanderbilt University in the department of Leadership and Organizations, Peabody College, explain that this particular environment encompasses economic conditions influencing the organization as well as competitors, resources, and technology. The external environment does not include, however, components so extremely remote from the organization they do not significantly impact it. "The organization's external environment can be further conventionalized as having two layers: General and task environments (Daft & Marcic p. 46). Several specific external environment elements impacting Equipped for Life include, however, may not be limited to:
Funding from grants and supporting individuals and organizations
Big Brothers and Big Sisters, a better funded; bigger, non-profit organization
Technology not up-to-date.
Elements within the organization's boundaries comprise its internal environment. These elements include "current employees, management, and especially corporate culture, which defines employee behavior in the internal environment and how well the organization will adapt to the external environment" (Daft & Marcic, 2010, p. 47). A number of specific internal environment elements impacting Equipped for Life include, however, may not be limited to:
Four full-time paid counselors: Two male; two female
One Executive Director
Board of Directors
The executive director and the board of directors meet once a month at Equipped for Life to discuss and assess employee behaviors and concerns as well as ways to enhance the way the organization adapts to the external environment.
In regard to the task analysis, tasks and subtasks relating…