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1. Which of the following is a document listing the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for the job, drawn up after studying job analysis notes and the job description? (a) Job design (b) Application form (c) Employee specification (d) Job evaluation (e) Job enlargement. 2. Which of the following is/are true with regard to application processing? I. All applications must be acknowledged. II. Applications should be compared with the current employees‘ career plans. III. Applications should be divided into three piles: potentially suitable, suitable and unsuitable. (a) Only (I) above (b) Only (II) above (c) Both (I) and (II) above (d) Both (I) and (III) above (e) Both (II) and (III) above. 3. As recruitment is a two-way process, a selection interview serves dual purpose. How can this dual purpose be achieved? I. A quiet room must be made available so that interviewer and the interviewee can relax and concentrate on each other. II. Limited time of interviewing should be set aside so that the exchange of information is rushed. III. An interview plan-outlining the key topics and questions to be asked-should be drawn up so that all the important areas of mutual interest are covered. (a) Only (II) above (b) Both (I) and (II) above (c) Both (I) and (III) above (d) Both (II) and (III) above (e) All (I), (II) and (III) above. 4. Once the interviewer has decided on the format, he starts formulating specific questions. In the interview, interviewer puts questions like, ”can you deal with the pressures involved with this post ‘, ”you‘d be happy to work overtime when necessary, wouldn‘t you‘, etc. How do you classify such questions? (a) Leading questions (b) Open questions (c) Closed questions (d) Probing questions (e) Hypothetical questions. 5. The process of seeking and attracting a pool of people from which qualified candidates for the job vacancies can be choosen is defined as (a) Placement (b) Selection (c) Induction (d) Recruitment (e) Socialization. 6. For recruitment to be successful, the company needs to adhere closely to a sequence of separate steps. In this regard, the step after screening applicants, is (a) Planning staff requirements (b) Interviewing candidates (c) Attracting applicants (d) Testing candidates (e) Making a job offer. 7. The acquisition of knowledge or skill through study, practice or experience is referred as (a) Socialization (b) Learning (c) Appraisal (d) Induction (e) Orientation. 8. The kinds of feelings trainers must have to induce a favorable climate include I. An absorbing interest and excitement in the subject and work. II. Acceptance of participants as people with differing needs and personalities. III. Eagerness to share the task and help participants grow into taking more responsibility. (a) Only (I) above (b) Only (II) above (c) Both (I) and (II) above (d) Both (II) and (III) above (e) All (I), (II) and (III) above 9. Which of the following is the second step in designing a training program? (a) To use the specifications of different training methods in order to arrive at the total time and facilities required for meeting an objective. (b) To decide on the different packages in which the program could be offered and to ask the organization to select one. (c) To break the general training objectives into constituent parts. (d) To use the training strategy that the organization and system have settled on together for —roughing out“ an overall design. (e) To dovetail detailed training events into training sequences and into the shape of total program package. Read the caselet carefully and answer the following questions: 1. In what way is distance training useful in the current business environment? Explain. ( 6 marks) 3. IBM claimed to have saved millions of dollars by adopting online training methods. What, according to you are the benefits of training employees through e-learning? How do employers gain from it? What can be possible disadvantages of e-learning? Explain. ( 8 marks) In 1997, Louis Gerstner (Gerstner), the then CEO of IBM, conducted a research to identify the unique characteristics of best executives and managers. The research revealed that the ability to train employees was an essential skill, which differentiated best executives and managers. Therefore, Gerstner aimed at improving the managers‘ training skills. Gerstner adopted a coaching methodology of Sir John Whitmore, which was taught to the managers through training workshops. In 1999, IBM launched the pilot Basic Blue management training program, which was fully deployed in 2000. Basic Blue was an in-house management training program for new managers. It imparted 75 percent of the training online and the remaining 25 percent through the traditional classroom mode. The e-learning part included articles, simulations, job aids and short courses. The founding principle of Basic Blue was that ”learning is an extended process, not a one-time event.‘ Basic Blue was based on a ”4-Tier blended learning model‘. The first three tiers were delivered online and the fourth tier included one-week long traditional classroom training. The program offered basic skills and knowledge to managers so that they can become effective leaders and people-oriented managers. The managers were divided into groups of 24 members each. Each group then entered the first tier of the Basic Blue program (without interaction with the other members of the group- learning from information). The content for the first tier was delivered through IBM‘s Intranet. The first tier trained them on the fundamental skills required to be an IBM manager and offered ”just-in-time‘ performance support. In this tier, the managers were provided access to a lot of information including a database of questions, answers and sample scenarios called Manager Quick Views. This information addressed the issues like evaluation, retention, conflict resolution and so on, which managers came across. A Manager who faced a problem could either access the relevant topic directly, or find the relevant information using a search engine. He/she had direct access to materials on the computer‘s desktop for online reading. The material also highlighted other important web sites to be browsed for further information. IBM believed that its managers should be aware of practices and policies followed in different countries. Hence, the groups were formed virtually by videoconferencing with team members from all over the world. In the second tier, the managers were provided with simulated situations. Senior managers trained the managers online. The simulations enabled the managers to learn about employee skill-building, compensation and benefits, multicultural issues, work/life balance issues and business conduct in an interactive manner. Some of the content for this tier was offered by Harvard Business School and the simulations were created by Cognitive Arts of Chicago. The online Coaching Simulator offered eight scenarios with 5000 scenes of action, decision points and branching results. IBM Management Development‘s web site, Going Global offered as many as 300 interactive scenarios on culture clashes. In the third tier, the members of the group started interacting with each other online. This tier used IBM‘s collaboration tools such as chats, and team rooms including IBM e-learning products like the Team Room, Customer Room and Lotus Learning Space. Using these tools, employees could interact online with the instructors as well as with peers in their groups. This tier also used virtual team exercises and included advanced technologies like application sharing, live virtual classrooms and interactive presentations on the web. In this tier, the members of the group had to solve problems as a team by forming virtual groups, using these products. Hence, this tier focused more on developing the collaborative skills of the learners. Though training through e-learning is a form of distance training, it was very successful; IBM believed that classroom training was also essential to develop people skills. Therefore, the fourth tier comprised a classroom training program known as ”Learning Lab‘. By the time the managers reached this tier, they all reached a similar level of knowledge by mastering the content in the first three tiers. Managers had to pass an online test on the content provided in the above three tiers, before entering the fourth tier. In the fourth tier, the managers had to master the information acquired in the above three tiers and develop a deeper understanding and a broader skills set. There were no lectures in these sessions, and the managers had to learn by doing and by coordinating directly with others in the classroom. The tremendous success of the Basic Blue initiative encouraged IBM to extend training through e-learning to its sales personnel and experienced managers as well. By implementing the above programs, IBM was able to reduce its training budget as well as improve employee productivity significantly. In 2000, Basic Blue saved $ 6 million while Sales Compass saved $21 million. In 2001, IBM saved $200 million and its cost of training per-employee reduced significantly - from $400 to $135. E-learning also resulted in a deeper understanding of the learning content by the managers. It also enabled the managers to complete their classroom training modules in lesser time, as compared to the traditional training methods used earlier. The simulation modules and collaboration techniques created a richer learning environment. The e-learning projects also enabled the company to leverage corporate internal knowledge as most of the content they carried came from the internal content experts. Distance training can respond more readily to the need to train large numbers and, with the introduction of new technologies, is becoming increasingly important. It can reach participants wherever they are and hence spread new information rapidly. It also incorporates the advantages of keeping people on the job, letting them learn at their own pace, and greatly simplifying requirements for different organizations to collaborate in training. The rapid spreads of electronic technologies such as video taping, closed circuit and responsive television and rapid data processing for virtually instantaneous feedback have made —distance learning“ highly attractive. Distance training of all kinds starts with combining the training needs of a cohort and preparing relevant curricula for meeting these needs. Later steps include: preparing a series of modules to be used by an individual or small groups of participants as graduated learning experiences; preparing ways of reviewing the progress of participants and giving feedback to them on what they have been able to learn well and where they need to improve further, supplementing cognitive learning with other methods; and reviewing the final learning outcome. E-learning is a form of distance training. 3. To make all the employees of the organization familiar with the training needs the HR Manager converted the training and learning material to an internet format so that the managers and staff could use a browser to access the materials via the group intranet. E-learning also resulted in a deeper understanding of the learning content by the managers. It also enabled the managers to complete their classroom training modules in lesser time, as compared to the traditional training methods used earlier. The simulation modules and collaboration techniques created a richer learning environment. The e- learning projects also enabled the company to leverage corporate internal knowledge as most of the content they carried came from the internal content experts. Though training through e-learning was very successful, IBM believed that classroom training was also essential to develop people skills. Therefore, the fourth tier comprised a classroom training program known as ”Learning Lab‘. By the time the managers reached this tier, they all reached a similar level of knowledge by mastering the content in the first three tiers. Managers had to pass an online test on the content provided in the above three tiers, before entering the fourth tier. In the fourth tier, the managers had to master the information acquired in the above three tiers and develop a deeper understanding and a broader skills set. There were no lectures in these sessions, and the managers had to learn by doing and by coordinating directly with others in the classroom. E-learning has many advantages. Some of them are mentioned below: • It grants employees the freedom to participate in self-paced and self -directed training, irrespective of time or location. • It gives trainees the opportunity to explore training topics in depth, as different websites are connected throughlinks. • Employees find e-learning more enjoyable than other forms of training, since it is interactive and uses multimedia. • Since e-learning grants anonymity to the trainees, they find it easy to comment, ask questions, or even present opposing views. This encourages communication that leads to better learning. • There is no restriction with respect to time, space and content. • Organizations find e-learning reliable and quality oriented, as they are certain that the Internet imparts identical training to all the trainees. It is easy to revise and update training material on the Internet. This aspect of online training saves time and money for organizations. The Disadvantages of e-learning are: • It may not prove beneficial if there are few trainees and are geographically proximate. • The trainees should be familiar with the computer and the internet. • The managers of IBM should make an effort to ensure that they are comfortable working with computers and accessing the internet. • Some managers of IBM may feel that e-learning cannot take the place of traditional classroom mode, as 25 percent importance is given to traditional classroom mode learning also in IBM. • The managers have to be motivated and self-disciplined to use training material successful. • The IBM should have more computing systems and supporting staff.
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