MADS 6609 Unit 3 Organizational Needs & Performance Analysis People are hired for positions in an organization. When this happens, the organization needs to identify specific skills that are needed for the positions. Applicants are then screened against these required skills to determine if they are a good match for the positions. Think about a job that you applied for in the past. Did you research the position before you applied? Did you know what the job entailed? Were you a good candidate for the position? Why did you make this decision? Objectives This unit will look at organizational and individual needs and methods for addressing deficiencies. In addition, this unit will also introduce performance analysis and how mapping may be useful for improving individual and organizational performance. By the end of this unit, participants will be able to: Relate the human resource management processes to the development of the individual’s potential within the organization Identify evolutionary changes in human resources management and operations management Articulate theories of human relations and organizational development Identify interventions that increase productivity Needs Assessment Organizations should understand what their competencies are and where improvement is needed for future success. Organizational needs and individual career needs should be linked in such a way that meeting an individual need advances the organization toward its strategic goals. Addressing the organization’s needs must take into account any major strategic issues the organization may face in the next two years. Accordingly, the organization must determine its most critical needs as well as the major challenges that will be encountered during that period of time. In order for the organization to address those challenges, it must assess the critical skills, knowledge and abilities, and experience it will need. Staffing levels for the future must also be determined so the organization can recruit the kind of staff needed to meet the future challenges. Individuals need specific skills, knowledges, and abilities (SKAs) to be successful. How these specific SKAs are identified and addressed becomes part of a needs assessment process. Utilizing the competency model, information can be obtained through the use of surveys, interviews, informal and formal group discussions, and other tools. Any such process should involve a broad range of employees representing different groups of workers. The goal is to identify the needs and problems of each group. This will form the basis for developing processes to address problems that individuals and the organization will face. Performance Analysis The purpose of an appraisal system is to improve the performance of the individual as well as the productivity for the organization. In increasing numbers, appraisal systems are using an individual’s customer focus as a key performance indicator. Most organizations use an annual performance appraisal system. At times, it may be necessary to look at specific capacities or abilities that individuals must have to succeed in a specific job. This is appraised as aptitude. These aptitudes may include color discrimination, eye-hand-foot coordination, clerical knowledge, form perception, spatial aptitude, numerical aptitude, verbal aptitude, and general learning ability. In a work situation, an analyst must determine the acceptable performance level for each required aptitude. The assignment of a specific acceptable level is based on an analysis of the tasks of the job relative to the definitions and work activities for each level. The scores are described in relation to the population: extremely high aptitude or in the top 10% of the population; high aptitude or highest third of population (not considering the top 10%); medium aptitude of middle third of population; lower degree or lowest third (not considering the lowest 10%); and markedly low aptitude or lowest 10%. Most organizations use an annual performance appraisal system. Do these performance appraisals really assess the tasks being performed? What types of appraisal systems are used and are they effective? In addition to basic assessments, the organization should identify best practices for output performance for specific jobs. Process models define effective workflows that result in the desired outputs. A gap analysis determines the distance between the desired level of performance and the actual performance, or between the desired state and the current state. A cause analysis determines the reasons for performance gaps and may overlap other assessment models. To perform any assessments, it is necessary to have methodologies to capture data and complete its analysis. How do we know if individuals are properly performing their jobs? Most organizations use a performance appraisal system that notes on a yearly basis how well a person is performing. Do these performance appraisals really analyze the job being done? What types of appraisal systems are used and are they effective? These are the issues that need to be investigated so that the appraisal process can be improved. Orientation New employees typically have much to learn about the organization they have joined. In many cases, the workplace is strange and frightening. The best way to begin is to have an effective orientation session. The program can best be developed by including representatives from each staffing level to ensure that the new employee is exposed to all areas of the organization. The benefits of an orientation include increased productivity, reduced performance anxiety, and improved employee morale as employees are aware of expectations. When done effectively, orientation increases retention and lowers recruitment costs as well as turnover rates. New hires have a high initial cost to an organization. Orientation Session The orientation session will vary in length depending on the size of the organization, but the following points should be covered: What is the assigned work area? Who is the supervisor? What does the unit do? What are the employee’s duties? What is the value of the work to the organization? Who are the co-workers? What are hours of work (including starting time, ending time, coffee breaks, lunch breaks)? What clothing is appropriate? Where are facilities (rest rooms, lunch rooms, etc.)? What are parking arrangements (including how to obtain a permit)? Who can worker go to if there is a problem and the supervisor is unavailable? How do I handle being late or absent? Who should be notified in case of an accident? How is leave accumulated and how to request time off? What are the pay dates and what deductions will be made? What is the increment system? What are the fringe benefits - health insurance, pension, vision, deferred compensation, etc.? What is the employee’s status? What is the probationary period? What are the advancement possibilities for the position? Because of the initial apprehension about a new job and the great number of new things the individual is exposed to on the first day, it is advisable to meet with the employee regularly in the initial weeks to determine potential problems that can be easily corrected. The first such meeting should be on the second day to determine whether there are any problems or questions the individual may have about the job. Other issues to review would include whether the work assignment and expectations are clear to the individual. If the individual has questions concerning the work or the organization, they should also be answered at this time. During the next two weeks, review with the employee the expected performance standards for the employee’s work. This is also a good time to provide information on the training plans for the current work assignment and for future development of the individual. Determine whether the employee is having difficulty or expects to have difficulty with any of the duties of the job. Asking the employee what areas are the most interesting in the current assignment is also important. Ask if there are any problems with co-workers or the assignment and whether there is an understanding of the work being performed in relation to the work of the entire office. It is essential that the employee understand the performance appraisal process and how the work will be measured. An orientation process should be adapted to the changing conditions of the workplace and should be reviewed on a continuous basis to and modified as needed. The process must be carefully thought out with a checklist of the important aspects developed. It is advisable to have a legal opinion for specific areas such as dismissal and benefits. There should also be a follow-up to the process and an evaluation of the orientation. Training In addition to orientation, organizations need to develop a training program. Training is defined as any procedure initiated by an organization to foster learning among the members. Some new hires will have the requisite knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSAs) when they start work, while others will need extensive training before they are ready to contribute to the organization. The purpose of training is to help the organization meet its objectives, although there is a secondary purpose of helping the trainees effectively perform their jobs. The goal is to bring the KSAs to the level required to meet satisfactory performance standards. Once the basic KSA levels are met, training can present an opportunity for individuals to develop new skills and knowledge to qualify for other positions and advancement. From an organization’s perspective, training is needed to increase competitiveness in the global economy and to meet the challenges of advances in technology. When organizations restructure, skill gaps can develop that need to be addressed through training. Through training, an organization addresses the issue of job mortality and the emerging of new occupations. New occupations require new skill sets that can be learned through training. The systems approach to training is a common approach. This approach formulates objectives, developing learning experiences to achieve objectives, establishes performance objectives, and gathers information that will be used to evaluate the training program. In the initial phase, a needs assessment must be completed. This requires an organizational analysis, a task analysis, a person analysis, and instructional objectives. An organizational analysis examines the goals, resources, and environment of the organization in which the training will take place. The resources are technological, financial, and human. External factors include the rules, laws, regulations, and court decisions that impact the organization. It is necessary to collect data on a wide array of areas, such as the direct and indirect labor costs, the quality of goods and services, absenteeism, turnover, accidents, and other related factors. Additional information includes the estimated number of replacements and the time needed to train them to be productive. A task analysis determines the content of the training program. It is based on the tasks/duties of the job. This includes listing all the tasks and duties in the job, listing all steps needed to complete the tasks, and determining the skills, knowledge, and abilities as well as the duties of the job. The actions include things such as speak, compute, manipulate data, recall, and so on. The personal analysis determines the specific skills, knowledge, and abilities required of the individuals. In determining instructional objectives, the desired outcomes of the training program must be determined. These outcomes should include acquisition of knowledge, skills or changing attitudes. It is necessary to develop an environment where training and development efforts accomplish the desired objectives. The organization needs to create a training environment that allows the trainees to learn most effectively. There is a need to evaluate the training program as well as the learning outcomes. This can be done by using a pre-test and a post-test. Another is to use a comparison group. A comparison group would not receive the training but would have the same qualifications as the trainees in terms of experience, past training, and job level. Things that can be measured would include increased productivity, decreased number of complaints, decreased costs and waste, and other indicators of improved performance. Data would be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. It is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the training and whether the goals are being met. There is the matter of training validity -- whether the trainees learn during training. Another issue is transfer validity -- whether what has been learned can be transferred to enhanced performance in the organization. Intraorganizational validity concerns whether the training of a one group within an organization is consistent with that received by other groups. Interorganizational validity is whether the training in one organization can be used successfully in another organization. Benchmarking is comparing one’s services/products and practices against the recognized leaders in the particular area identified for improvement. The use of measures in training activity, results, and training efficiency can be developed using a benchmarking process. Non-managerial employees can be trained in both on and off the job locations. On the job training can be accomplished through a method by which the employees are given hands-on experience with instruction from their supervisors or other trainers. There are drawbacks to this method since such training may lack a well-structured training environment or there may be the absence of a well-defined job performance criteria tied to the training. Training is only as good as the trainers. Managers may have poor training skills. Organizations can compensate by developing realistic goals and/or measures for each on the job training experience and by having a plan for specific training for each trainee. A training plan needs to specify a time for evaluation and feedback. It is essential that managers establish a non- threatening environment for training so that learning can take place. Periodic evaluations must be completed at the end of training to prevent regression. Off the job training can include attendance at events such as conferences where employees can learn or enhance skills. Formal classroom training is another off the job training method. Using a simulation method, the individual works through a process prior to actually doing the job. There is also programmed instruction that uses books, manuals, or computers. Computer-based training includes computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and computer managed instruction (CMI.) CMI is a system normally used with CAI that uses the computer to generate and score tests to determine the level of training proficiency. Additional training tools include teleconferencing and closed circuit conferences. Distance learning initiatives that have been developed in recent years have the potential of providing additional learning opportunities through the Internet. This web-based program is one such model that has already had a major impact on learning. In a number of occupations, the use of apprenticeships is very effective. In this system, a worker gets instruction in both on and of the job in the practical applications and the theoretical underpinnings of the work. Cooperative training is another system that contains practical on-the- job experience with formal educational classes. In internship programs, an organization and a school jointly sponsor an opportunity to gain real life experience while allowing the individual to determine how well they will perform in the work organization. Job Analysis There is a lot of information available about improving jobs and the workplace, but such data is not always used properly or at all. Utilization of appropriate selection criteria is essential for hiring individuals for a job at a proficiency level necessary to maintain cost-effectiveness. Accomplishing this is not a random activity but involves efforts to provide an accurate tool to assist in the hiring process. When properly done, it becomes a cost-saving process as individuals hired are appropriate for the position and are able to meet or exceed performance needs. Gathering information concerning a job is defined as a job analysis. In simple terms, the process involves looking at a job and determining major tasks, activities, behaviors, or duties that must be performed on the job. Once these factors are determined, there is a need to look at how frequently these tasks are performed or how important the tasks may be. KSAs essential to the job also must be identified. There also may be other characteristics that may be essential for a job such as personality factors, physical traits, aptitudes, and mental traits. Data collection for job analyses can be through observations, performing the job, interviews, critical incidents, diaries, background records, historical data, or questionnaires. For any job, there are various components that must be studied to accurately picture the positions. These aspects include the function of the worker, the techniques used, work tools or aids used, the end product or service, and specific worker characteristics. A job analysis investigates the positions in terms of these aspects. Such analysis is then used to determine if characteristics of an applicant or worker meet the needs of the position. Organizations utilize different terminology. In this unit, the following definitions will be used. An occupation is a group of jobs. These jobs can be found at more than one organization, but they have common tasks, methodologies, products, or worker characteristics. A job is a group of positions at a single employing unit that are the same with respects to significant tasks. There can be a single individual or many people in a job. Organizations denote positions for individuals, a unique collection of tasks that comprise the total work assignment for an individual. If there is any human effort to accomplish a particular outcome, a task is created. A task is an element, or more than one element, that is a logical step to get the work done. Tasks can be broken down into elements, the most basic part of a task that can be analyzed. It was these elements that were studied by early theorists in the Scientific Management field. In completing a job analysis, it is necessary to look at the job as it is at the time of the analysis. It should not be how the job was or how it should be. There are two separate dimensions of a job that need to be considered in the analysis process. The first involves the work that is performed. This dimension looks at the actual activities that are performed. It includes the work function, which is the way the worker must function to perform the job. Mental, interpersonal, and physical actions are important aspects to be included in this part of the assessment. It also includes how the work gets done. The last area includes basic materials that are processed, products that are made, data, and services that are provided. The second dimension is worker characteristics. This area consists of general educational development, special vocational preparation, aptitudes, temperament, interest areas, and physical demand and environmental conditions. The worker characteristic components parallel the skills, knowledge, and abilities aspect that many organizations use in hiring and promoting individuals. Job Design Organizations have objectives to meet and establish jobs for that purpose. Job design is a product of a job analysis. It is how the organization wants to improve performance through technological and human considerations. Its purpose is to enhance organizational efficiency and employee satisfaction. A scientific approach to this area is industrial engineering, a field of study that involved analysis of the work and the establishing time standards. The industrial engineering staff has a responsibility to identify and time the work cycle elements. In many cases, the increased efficiency can be obtained by simplifying the work. There are other concerns that impact the design. The industrial engineer looks at the tasks and not psychologically sound choices. The human factors that are integral parts of jobs are not considered. Jobs are also designed through human engineering. Human engineering is concerned with the worker’s physical and mental capabilities. Since many jobs are changed with the increase of technology, it is important to undertake an interdisciplinary approach to designing both the machines and the systems that could be used in an effective and efficient manner by people. The intent is to fit the machinery to the workers as opposed to the workers to the machines. This has lead to the focus on ergonomic design for workstations. Employees can have high internal motivation and provide high quality work products. When this happens, employees have high job satisfaction with their work and exhibit low absenteeism and turnover rates. A recent trend in the workplace that has changed how tasks are accomplished is the use of work teams. Through a team process, employees are able to offer suggestions that have the potential to improve employee production and the organization’s performance. Job Characteristics Model According to the Center for Human Resource Management Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University (http://www.chrms.org/library/), “(J. Richard) Hackman and (Gregg R.) Oldham’s (1975, 1976, 1980) Job Characteristics Model (JCM) is one of the most influential theories ever presented in the field of organizational psychology.” The model establishes relationships between a job’s design and the levels of motivation, satisfaction, and productivity experienced by the worker. Hackman & Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model Core Dimensions Psychological States Outcomes Skill Variety Task Identity Meaningfulness High intrinsic of Work motivation Task Signif. High job per- ormance Responsibility Autonomy for outcomes High job satis- faction Low absentee ism & turnover Knowledge of Feedback Results Fig: Concept Map describing the Job Characteristics Model Hackman & Oldham’s (1976) Job Characteristics Model Source: Center for Human Resource Management Studies (http://www.chrms.org/library/critic/critic1a.htm) Job Design Summary In many occupations, there is a tendency to overspecialization. The tasks become monotonous which potentially leads to decreased productivity. One option would be to assign individuals to specialized tasks for a limited period of time. Job enlargement is another option. Job enlargement increases the number or variety of tasks a worker performs. In some cases, there is the possibility of job rotation or moving an individual from position to position based on seniority or the needs of the organization. Job enrichment is another alternative. This solution enhances a job by adding more meaningful tasks and duties that make the work more rewarding to the individual thus increasing worker satisfaction. This can be done by increasing the level of difficulty of the tasks or increasing the level of responsibility for the job. It can be accomplished by allowing the employee to retain more authority and control over the work or by adding new tasks to the job that require additional training and employee growth. Web sites for additional information on this topic: Virtual Interactive Personnel (VIP) http://www.cpms.osd.mil/vip/per_data/664.htm Job Analysis.net http://www.job-analysis.net US Department of Labor http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/analysis.htm Accel Team.com http://www.accel-team.com/work_design/ EconPapers http://econpapers.hhs.se/paper/cprceprdp/3907.htm Discussion Consider the following questions based on the information in this unit. 1. Training is important for all job levels and in all organizations. How would you conduct a needs analysis for the training of your supervisory level employees? 2. Consider the different types of training (classroom, apprenticeship, computer assisted, on-the- job, etc.) and discuss how you would determine which type would best meets the training needs revealed in the needs analysis? 3. How would you conduct a job analysis for your organization? 4. As you consider your job, are there specific skills, knowledges, and abilities that you need to be successful? How do you know these are the essential to success? 5. In your organization, how would you redesign your job? How would this help to improve organizational productivity and/or individual performance? Go to the discussion board to participate in these discussions. Assignment Performance Appraisal John is a Captain in a medium size police department. When he was promoted to the rank of Captain, he was assigned the task of developing an effective performance appraisal system for sworn officers. The system he inherited consisted simply of feedback from an officer’s supervisor usually when there were problems with performance. Officers were seldom commended for their performance, and individual performance did not play a role in promotions, special training, or assignments. The department’s hiring process for new officers requires each applicant to complete an application and an entrance examination, pass a physical fitness test, undergo a psychological evaluation, and participate in an in-person interview. In addition, each applicant undergoes a complete background investigation. The successful applicant is sent to basic police training at a local police academy. While at the academy, the applicant undergoes additional testing to measure specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in training. After graduation from the police academy, new officers are assigned to a Field Training Officer for additional training. Whereas the academy provides formal training, the Field Training Officer builds on the academy training by introducing the new officer to department specific procedures and the practical aspects of the job. The new officer is on probation for a year. After the initial probationary period, officers continue to master techniques and procedures. After five years of satisfactory performance, an officer becomes eligible for promotion to a Master Police Officer rating. Other promotional opportunities depend on vacancies and funding. John reviewed recent personnel actions and was unable to find justification for why some individuals were promoted and others were not. There were few negative comments in any of the files. Although he felt some officers had performed better than others, nothing appeared in the personnel files to support his opinions. John reviewed the performance evaluation systems of other police departments to find departments against which to benchmark. He found many other departments that lacked any type of appraisal system. However, he did identify other departments with some type of evaluation process. Those departments with systems were asked to supply examples of their system and rating scales including factors that were considered key indicators of performance. John discovered that the frequency of evaluation varied by police department. Some evaluated employees once a year if they were satisfactory or as needed when unsatisfactory. Others evaluated employees more as frequently as monthly or quarterly. Using the information he obtained, John developed an evaluation system that was implemented in his department and modified based on input from officers and supervisors. Answer the following questions concerning this case study: If you were given the task of developing a performance appraisal system, what type of process would you put in place? What factors would you evaluate? What kind of standards would you establish? How would you set these standards? How would you implement this new system? How can having a performance appraisal system improve productivity? Submit your responses to the instructor.
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