PRoject Plan

PART One: 1.0       Working title Howto dramatically improve Blackrock’s Corporate Training and Development program! 2.0     Significance of the Project  Regardless of theirrespective industries or their budget size, organizations are always lookingfor a way to improve their bottom line. One of the key areas that often requirea large chunk of resources is employee training. Trainingis the backbone of workplace success, safety, and performance which serve asthe catalyst for employee skills improvement and development. Blackrock, training has always been an area that they want to improve.

Effective training for new and current employees is essential for Blackrock to carry on beingcompetitive in their industry. Blackrock can make adjustments to their currenttraining plans that will help improve workplace productivity. This project will allow us to find a solution that meets Blackrock’sneeds. 3.0 Aim/s & Objective’sAim: The aim of this report isto improve BlackRock’s’ current Training and Development plan inorder to provide the firm with with recorded results and measurable success.

 Objectives:-         Establish program goals-         Align training goals with corporategoals-         Strive to eliminate any workfor which the cost exceeds the value-         Create useful and engaginglearning-         Improve human performance-         Deliver training to employeesat the right time-         Measure employee satisfactionto determine if training is having the desire effects-         Access and research howwell correlated the results obtained are and come to a valid conclusion.-         The design of a training plancapable of providing efficient training whilst reducing training costs-         The production of a feedbackreport to employees to allow them to anonymously reflect upon their own views  4.0   Personal Learning AchievementsWhen developing my personallearning during this project, I will use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to helpme. Maslow (1970) suggests that all individuals have an in-built need forpersonal development, which occurs through a process called self-actualisation.This theory will be vital in my personal development throughout this project.Maslow says that the extent to which people are able to develop depends oncertain needs being met and these needs form a hierarchy (Maslow, 1970). Thetheory suggest that only at the point when the level of need is fulfilled canyou then move onto trying to fulfil the next level.

 5.0   Approaches and MethodsThe first approach I will take it to look at thecurrent training and development materials that Blackrock are utilizing currently.This will allow me to determine which ones are absolutely necessary and whichones can be removed from the training and development strategy. Better yet, duringthe project I will send out surveys to employees and their managers alongside indepth needs analysis to determine if Blackrock’s current training strategy isactually effective.

All of this will require Blackrock employees to getinvolved with all types of analysis to help us see what they have learned andhow successful the training is working. This will not only allow me to pinpointwhich training courses can be cut, but also to fine tune the courses we do needto keep.I will also take a close look at BlackRock’s currenttraining locations and how the currently deliver the trainings and see how wecan move more training to an online format. With eLearning, you have access toa wealth of multimedia tools and delivery formats.

As such, you have theability to make the training experience more interactive and engaging, whichcan lead to a more effective knowledge/skill set acquisition and retention.More importantly, you gain all of these benefits with a reduced price tag. 6.0   Project StructureFor this project, firstly I want to clearlyidentify a business goal that the training supports so we fulfil BlackRock’sneeds. I don’t want to provide training if it’snot clear why we’re doing it, or if it doesn’t directly support a business goal.

I want to determine the tasks the workers need to perform so Blackrock canreach that goal. Once I have identified thisbusiness goal, I am going to ask myself what Blackrock employees have to do ifthe company is to reach that goal. During this phase, I will identify the“performance gap” between what Blackrock’s workers can do now, and what theymust be able to do.

 I will then determine the training activitiesthat will help Blackrock employees learn to perform the tasks.Thismay include a quick and short explanation of the product, an equally quick andshort overview of the production process, and demonstrations mixed withhands-on practice of the tasks they’ll have to perform on the job. This will bedifferent for all the areas in Blackrock so the employees get the correcttraining for that specific area.I want to then make sure the learningcharacteristics of the workers will make the training more effective.

In aperfect world, I would want to cater training to each individual, but that’snot possible in an organisation like Blackrock and I will have to consider theaverage characteristics of the group as a whole. When implementing this I canconsider many factors like: are they more comfortable with computer-basedtraining or instructor-led training; do they like self-guided or self-pacedlearning, or would they struggle in that environment; are they youngish orolder; are there cultural issues that may factor in; do they learn better fromreading, listening, or doing; etc. It is hard to create a one-sizetraining that fits all, so I need to consider training that blends differentaspects so we have a better chance of reaching everyone and the goals thatBlackrock want to meet. Once I have determined all ofthe above, I then need to begin to implement the changes necessary intoBlackrock’s training plan. After its implemented, it is then key to make surewe use various methods to gain insight to how the training plan is working andwhether there is areas that need to be improved.

   7.0   Methodsand Criteria to evaluate outcomesWhenevaluating the outcomes of the project I am going to look at the most widely used and popular model for theevaluation of training programs. This is known as “The Four Levels ofLearning Evaluation.” The model was defined in 1959 by Donald L.Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick redefined the evaluation model with his 1998 book”Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels.

“His conception behindthe model is for an organization like Blackrock to have paramount evaluation oflearning in the organization. The degree of difficulty increases as you movethrough the calibres. However, the cognizance learned regarding the efficacy ofthe training program more than compensates for this.The four levels ofKirkpatrick’s model are:Level 1: Reaction – Kirkpatrick refers to Level 1 as ameasure of customer satisfaction.

Most of the forms that people fill out at theend of a class or workshop are instruments for measuring Level 1Level2: Learning – Kirkpatrick defines learning as the extentto which participants change attitudes, increase knowledge, and/or increaseskill as a result of attending a program. So for example with the training planwe will create we can ask Blackrock employees what knowledge was learned, whatskills were developed or improved and what attitudes were changed.Level3: Behaviour – Level three can be defined as the extent towhich a change in behaviour has occurred because someone attended a trainingprogram. In order for change in behaviour to occur, four conditions arenecessary: The person must have a desire to change The person must know what to do and how to do it The person must work in the right climate The person must be rewarded for changingLevel4: Results – This involves measuring the final results thatoccurred because a person attended a training session. This can includeincreased production, improved work quality, reduced turnover, etc.

Level fourcan be difficult especially for me as I want to make sure we determine whatfinal results occurred because of attendance and participation in the trainingprogram.This is only one model to lookat when evaluating the outcome of improving Blackrock’s corporate training anddevelopment. I will also look at other models when evaluating the best way toimprove BlackRock’s corporate development. 8.0   Times Schedules      TASK       COMPLETION DATE       Project Outline     25th June 2017   Start focusing on Methods and Approaches     15th July 2017   Fully Implement Project Structure     8th September 2017   Start evaluation of Project Outcomes     12th November 2017   Start evaluation of Personal Learning Achievements     10th December 2017   Draft Hand in     5th January 2018   Final Assignment Completed     26th January 2018                    Part 2: Project Rationale IntroductionTrainingcurrent and new employees is one of Blackrock’s biggest challenges especiallyin the rapidly changing business environment that they operate in. When lookingat fostering employee engagement and loyalty, there a few things that are moreeffective than a well formed training and development plan. Starting withnew hires and continuing throughout an employee’s career, it will allowBlackrock to have the ability to give them the tools and training they needwhich will have a significant impact on the company’s retention rate. Ifyou provide your employees with the relevant corporate training and development,their performance for the company will improve.

That’s because after they’retrained, your employees are betterprepared for their job functions and more skilled in performing them.When employees improve their business skills and broaden their horizons,they’re able to contribute more to the bottom line, and have an impact on strategicbusiness objectives (Group, 2014). Project OutcomesThe value of improving Blackrock’s training anddevelopment plan cannot be measured without defining success.

Therefore itrequires focus on outcomes. The outcomes are the positives that arise from theimprovement in the training and development plan.  One of the main outcomes of this project was the needto transform from classroom based learning to eLearning.

When I decided on theproject, Blackrock’s eLearning capacity was near enough non-existent. I hadspoken to a significant amount of employees at Blackrock about this project andnear enough everyone mentioned eLearning. Changing to eLearning provides manyadvantages.

ELearning has significantly quicker cycle times than traditionalclassroom based instruction. There is no travel time needed to get to thetraining and the employees can set their own pace, rather than the pace of thewhole room. Due to the speed and ease in which eLearning is delivered, thecosts that Blackrock currently pay will be drastically reduced. As part of theproject I decided to hold some eLearning sessions with a few employees fromBlackrock so they could experience eLearning compared to the classroom learningthey are used to. When evaluating the outcome of the effectiveness of this, Ilooked at the Kirkpatrick Four-Level Training Evaluation model. This modellooks at evaluating the effectiveness of training.

 Another outcome for this project was thatBlackrock needed to align its training goals with its corporate goals. “Amere 7% of employees today fully understand their company’s business strategiesand what’s expected of them in order to help achieve company goals.”(Kaplan & Norton, 2001).

It is known that there is a strong correlationbetween a company’s financial performance and an effective goal settingprocess. I thought that if Blackrock made sure during their training toemployees they aligned their corporate goals then the company would see muchhigher levels of financial success. To achieve goal alignment at Blackrock, it needs tobe made sure that Blackrock clearly communicates its strategic businessobjectives in its training plan and indicates how employees play a part in themachieving that goal. To help me with this outcome I looked at a Training NeedsAnalysis (TNA). TNA is used to assess a company’s trainings needs. At the heartof TNA is gap analysis.

This is an assessment of thegap between the knowledge, skills and attitudes that the people in theorganization currently possess and the knowledge, skills and attitudes thatthey require to meet the organization’s objectives (Allan, 2003). Project delivery toolkitWhenlooking at the effectiveness of eLearning compared to Classroom learning, Idecided to evaluate the outcome by looking at the Kirkpatrick Four-leveltraining evaluation model. The model is well known for measuring theeffectiveness of training. Donald Kirkpatrick developed it in the late 1950’s.The model looks at 4 different levels.

 ·   Level 4 – ResultsWhatmeasurable organizational benefits resulted from the training in terms such asproductivity, efficiency and sales revenue?·   Level 3 – BehaviourTowhat extent did participants change their behaviour back in the workplace as aresult of the training?·   Level 2 – LearningTowhat extent did participants improve knowledge and skills and change attitudesas a result of the training?·   Level 1 – ReactionTowhat extent did the participants find the training useful, challenging,well-structured, organized, and so on?Figure 1 -Kirkpatrick Model for Evaluating Effectiveness of Training Programs (Allan,2003) Theobjective of the model is that at every level you make an evaluation, whichtells you if the training provided did in fact meet its goal. Every level ofthe model is important. I evaluated the outcome of eLearning over a number ofmonths.

I started with evaluating level 1, which looks at Reaction. Thisrelates to understanding how the employees felt about the learning experience.The best way I thought for understanding the employee’s feelings about thetraining was to hand out questionnaires. This was a very quick and easy way forme to obtain Level 1 and very inexpensive. Ithen moved on to look at Level 2, the Learning level. This looks at if thetraining provided increased the employees Knowledge. When evaluating this level,I found it easy to set up some time with the whole group of employees that tookpart in the eLearning and asked them various questions relating to the trainingthey had just taken. This was an easy to set up but would not work if we werelooking at something like attitudinal development.

Following this evaluation, Imoved on to looking at the third level, behaviour evaluation. This looked atthe extent to which the employees applied the learning and changed theirbehaviour. For this evaluation we used self-assessment.

  This evaluation came a month after thetraining. We let the employee’s judge how they felt the training had affectedthem in their jobs since taking part. I thought this was relevant indicator ofbehaviour change evaluation. Thefinal level looks at the results. This is the effect on the business andenvironment resulting from the improved performance of the employees. The way Ievaluated this Level was linking up mangers of the employees three months afterthey had taken the eLearning courses. I think gave an evaluation from for themanager to fill out that looked at their performance since the training.

Combined with this I also spoke to the employees again individually to gettheir personal feedback on how they feel they have developed since thetraining. Once the analysis was gathered, it could be seen that eLearningshowed a higher retention rate compared to classroom learning and allowed employeesto be flexible when taking the training.Weused a different analysis when focusing on aligning training goals withcorporate goals at Blackrock. It seemed that conducting a Training NeedsAnalysis was the best option.

Training needs analysis is concerned with addressingskills gaps at the organisational level, the group level and the individuallevel, and falls under the remit of learning anddevelopment (“What is Training Needs Analysis?”, 2018). Theanalysis has 4 steps. Step 1 is Identifying the Business need. Our businessneed was to make sure the corporate goals are aligned with the training goals.Identifying this need allowed us to focus our efforts on areas of trainingsthat are necessary to achieve this.

The next step was to perform a gap analysis.This was where we assessed the current employees understanding of the companyand its goals compared to the desired level Blackrock would like them at. Tohelp with this I sent out a questionnaire that quizzed the employees on theircurrent understanding. I then conducted step three which looked at needsanalysis. This step allowed me to identify the types of needs to address theroot cause. This step led to the final step which was reporting Training Needsand Recommending a training plan.

The considerations for this were looking atwhat training is already being offered and should it continue to be offered andcoming up with a final plan. After gathering the analysis, we decided to comeup with a plan to fix the issue of alignment. Our final plan was to make surewe have specific training courses (eLearning and classroom learning) onBlackrock goals that employees could take to ensure they fully understand the firm’sstance. We also suggested sending all employees a video made by senior managersof the firm that explained the firm’s goals and the reason behind them and theexpectation of all employees in playing a role in them. To monitor my personal learning during thisproject, I looked at Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs. As humans you are desired toachieve goals.

  Achieving those goalssatisfies your needs and desires. Needs are categorized into a hierarchy, in whichcertain needs must be met before others (Maslow, 1943). Maslow’s theory looksat the stages of growth for humans. His theory has always been shown in theshape of a pyramid with the necessary needs at the bottom and the needs forself-actualization at the top. For this project, focusing on various outcomeswas necessary so using Maslow’s theory allowed me to understand when I haveachieved certain goals which satisfied me to then move on to other outcomes. Project monitoring,evaluation and learning toolkitDuringthis project there was many monitoring and evaluation toolkits I could haveused.

I focused on three for various reasons. I looked at Kirkpatrick’s fourlevel training evaluation model, Training Needs Analysis and finally Maslow’shierarchy of Needs.Whenlooking at Kirkpatrick’s model, I thought this was very useful as the modelwhen used can give immensely valuable information about the employees, what isworking for them, what’s not working and the best way for them to performbetter. Even though Kirkpatrick’s model is widely used, there are a fewconsiderations that need to be taken into account when using it. The mainconsiderations for this model are time, expense and effort.

For example, whenlooking at the final level in the model specifically for my project, it had topartly be carried out by the employee’s managers.  But it has to be taken into account that mostmanagers don’t take trainings seriously enough to think that it deserves thelevel of evaluation I carried out. Therefore how serious are the managerstaking the final evaluation. This leads to the worry of how accurate are theresults we have obtained. After using this tool I looked into other models thatexpand on Kirkpatrick’s model.

If I was to redo my project I would us thePhilips model which adds a fifth level that looks at Return on Investment.Rae (2000) denotes that Training NeedsAnalysis (TNA) is theprocess that defines what is missing in the performance of the employees andprovides organizations a base on what to be dealt with. Personally I think TNAworked well as an analysis tool for this project as it helped me understand obstructionsthat were effecting Blackrock employees being fully aligned when it came tounderstand the firm’s objectives. The analysis provided valuable learningopportunities which is imperative to Blackrock for future growth.

It has to benoted that TNA does have its limitations. Peters (1994) arguesthat the problembehind training needs analysis is that it focuses only on the needs of theemployees and organizations and does not emphasize the good performances of theemployees, which, in fact, is a very good indication of understanding whatothers really need and determining this fact can result in effective trainingneeds analysis. I would say that for this project did the analysis I carry outtruly focus on the needs of the employees and the business. I think it couldhave concentrated on this more carefully so therefore it could be argued thatthe TNA carried out is ineffective. For evaluating my personaldevelopment during this project, I used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow’stheory is one of the most widely recognized theories for self-development. Ithought this was beneficial as it’s a great way of understanding my needs and allowingme to focus on specific areas that I knew would be beneficial in this project.This theory does have considerations that need to be taken into account. Themain pro of the model is its simplicity but for this project I undertook Iwould say I needed deeper investigation into my needs. Maslow’s model onlylooks at basic needs so therefore I would say it wasn’t the best model to lookat my personal development for this project.  ConclusionIn conclusion, for a company like Blackrock to remaincompetitive and grow their business, they need to focus more on Training andDevelopment. They not only increase the employee’s abilities and knowledge butalso strengthen the relationship that exists between the workforce and themembers of leadership with the company (Ivan, 2014).

During this project it wasevident that the firm needs to transition from Classroom learning to eLearning.Not only does this cut down cost and time but the analysis showed there was ahigher learning retention compared to classroom training. There was alsothought around implementing training videos conducted by senior managers of thefirm that provide the firms goals and how employees can contribute to reachingthat goal. This shows not only do the senior leadership care about the trainingbeing delivered but also that the only way they can succeed in achieving thesesgoals is by the involvement of the employees.This project has allowed me to personally develop immensely.

I think my strengths of this project where understanding the need for Blackrockto improve on their current training program and the understanding ofimplementing technology to help train employees. I feel like areas of weaknessduring this project were communication and employee participation. I think toreally evaluate how successful the training programs are requires a significantamount of participation and this project lacked that.

From a communication standpointI feel that I could have been stronger on delivering my desired outcomes for thisproject to employees as I don’t think they took it 100% seriously. This alsogoes for manager’s feedback when evaluating employee’s performance after thetraining sessions.To conclude, there was positives and negatives that aroseduring the undertaking of this project. I feel like valuable information wasgained that will benefit Blackrock and help them improve the current trainingand development that have in place.

Looking back I would have chosen more specifictheories to help with the analysis and have had a bigger group of employeestaking part.

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