SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRAINING ON ENHANCING EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMUNICATION SKI by iaemedu

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									   INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976
 International Journal of Management (IJM), OF MANAGEMENT (IJM) -
 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 4, July-August (2013)

ISSN 0976-6502 (Print)
ISSN 0976-6510 (Online)                                                               IJM
Volume 4, Issue 4, July-August, pp. 01-08
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      SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRAINING ON ENHANCING EFFECTIVENESS
             OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS IN THE IT INDUSTRY

                          M.Sudarsan                       PonRamalingam
                       Research Scholar                         Registrar
                      Hindustan University                Hindustan University
                    Chennai, Tamilnadu, India           Chennai, Tamilnadu, India


 ABSTRACT

         The appropriate use of human assets decides the destiny of any organization whether success
 or failures. All other assets in the organization are only supplementary to the use of human assets.
 Due to constant changes in the business environment, both to cope up with the change of the
 environment and to augment the human resources, the organization has to concentrate necessarily on
 developing the ability, wisdom and skills of its workforce. For such a development of human asset,
 ‘training’ becomes the base. Training is a tool to attain individual, organizational needs related to the
 jobs undertaken and is also intended to improve the productivity of the employees and ultimately a
 positive impact on the performance of the organization. An ideal training programme can be
 expected to change the attitude, skills and develop forward vision of the employees towards the
 work, colleagues and the organization as a whole. This paper summarizes the results based on the
 findings of the survey among the employees in the IT sector on the Significance of Training and
 development on enhancing the effectiveness of communication skills of the employees in the IT
 Industry

 Keywords: Performance, organization development, employee development, Training effectiveness,
 Communication.

 1.      INTRODUCTION

         Every organization works in an external environment through its internal environment. The
 internal environment is in terms of task, structure, technology, social and economic variables, while
 the external environment is in terms of the larger social, political, economic and cultural factors
 (Washington, 2005). To function effectively, organization has to achieve equilibrium with the
 environmental factors. For any organization, change which is very much constant in the modern day
 business is very much inevitable. Changes occur in almost all organizations due to technological
 innovations, competition, advancement of communication and other information systems and
 because of updating of management techniques and industrial innovations. If the organization is not

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able to adapt itself to the changes of the environment or if its struggles to keep pace with the ever
changing environment it suffers various setbacks (Shelby, 2001).
        The organization faces many challenges due to changes and all these factors make the
organization to be a learning organization, thus training and development becomes very much
inevitable for the organization. It has become an accepted fact that beside money, material and
machines, the success of any organization depends on the quality of human resources (McMillan,
2004). The training programs are to promote organization needs and achieve organizational goals in
a process. The goals of the organization are both qualitative and quantitative. Both these aspects have
been concentrated on employees and supervisors level and the result of performance change due to
training has been evaluated because this has huge impact on the ultimate goals of the organization
(Kules, 2008).
        Therefore almost all organizations in the IT sector adopt training and development
programmes at the time of induction, promotion and other situation. In this research paper an attempt
is made to learn that whether training and development on enhancing the communication skills in the
IT industry exists and if so to find out their impact to generate efficiency of employees to cater to the
need of their respective organization. This paper on the evaluation of the significance of training
development in IT industry in enhancing the communication skills revolves around the following
objectives, to find out what kind of communication training programs the employees have
underwent, to evaluate the impact of such training programs on the employees, to find out the
opinion of the employees who underwent training programs with a view to suggest a comprehensive
training module for enhancing the communication skills in the IT industry.

2.     NEED FOR THE STUDY

        The modern day HR managers approach to the employees is very much different from
traditional HR management theories on managing the employees, for he modern day workers or
employees working in for an organization are now being considered as ‘human assets’ although to be
precise HR in department in the originations use the term like ‘staff’, ‘manpower’, ‘personnel’ and
so on. The emerging trend in HR management is to treat them as ‘human assets’ or ‘human
resources’. According to Bostain (2000), “The success of any organization depends on appropriate
use of human assets available in the organization. All other assets could only be supplementary to
human assets. Towards augmenting the human resources and to cope with changes – both internal
and external, the organization has to concentrate necessarily on developing the ability, wisdom and
skills of its workforce.” Therefore the training and development programmes of the organization
should focus on individual and organizational development.
        As discussed above, constant changes take place in the internal and external levels of an
organization, it is necessary for the HR of the organization to restructure and reinforce the human
assets to adapt itself to changes (Scott, 2007). Thereby it is of paramount importance to any orga-
nization to strive for the development of its employees and for such development of the human assets
of the organization training and development is the foreword.
        One such requirement for an effective training and development program, to meet the
constant changes of the business environment is to impart excellent communication skills to its
employees. In the context of the rapidly expanding IT Industry in India, issues relating to diversity
and convergence in the way that English is used become strongly foregrounded. Through
telecommunications, regular meetings with clients, interpersonal relations and so on, employees are
brought into contact from diverse socio-economic, geographical and ethno-linguistic backgrounds in
this globalized workspace. Complex information and services must then be negotiated only through
English which serves as a common language. Language proficiency and standards of performance
have increasingly become the focus of IT industry English language capacity for the employees are
seen by many as a key factor for future expansion and sustainability for the IT industry. In this IT

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industry client satisfaction is closely dependent on the success of communication between amongst
the employees, with the clients and so on. In order to meet the ever-growing needs of the IT sector,
organizations has to become dynamic and updated in modern scenario and also to take up IT industry
to the heights of international excellence requires best combination of new technology and skillful
and talented manpower. To date, little research has been carried out to identify the language and
communication issues in IT industry and thus the need for this study.

3.     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

         According to Leonard (2004), “The success of any organization is determined by the com-
mitment of its workforce and their caliber and aptitude towards the work. The total and sincere
involvement of the employees is the only way for the development of the organization development
and its value addition. Unlike other business assets which may be prone to depreciation over the
years of use, whereas the human asset appreciates over the years of experience, but this is not
possible without proper and planned training and development of the employees. Only training and
development will augment the knowledge, experience and skill which will ultimately help the
organization to tackle the problems and paves the way for innovation.” Therefore if an organization
effectively develops its human resources, it automatically enhances the performance and pro-
ductivity.
         One of the important aspect of this study is that this study not only focusses on the
significance of training and development of the employees in the enhancement of the communication
skills of the employee, also focuses on the needs of the employee, whether such training and
development programs on communication has helped the individual first and finally how such
training and development programs has helped the organization to increase its productivity through
individuals who underwent such programs.
         Since it is a known fact that the individual needs and the organization needs are not
independent, but interdependent. According to Denny and Connell (2000), “The relationship between
organizational and individual goals can be identified by exploring what individuals want from the
organization and what the organization wants from the individuals. Therefore in the course of
redesigning and reinforcing the workforce, the management with appropriate training should make
the people understand the present objectives and channelize the ability for the future. Individuals
must look beyond the advancement into the future; each individual must recognize and develop the
applicability of the skills and techniques in appropriate problem, situation or condition.” Individuals
differ substantially in the abilities as far as the work environment is concerned. It becomes necessary
to shape the ability for changing job environment through training and development. To do the
required job, intellectual ability, inherent intelligence and psychomotor ability that includes physical
abilities to perform the works are to be coordinated. Matching of abilities of employees with job
requires effective training and development. And these are the aspects that are dealt with in this
study.

4.     REVIEW OF LITERATURE

4.1    About the importance of training and development
       “The most valuable asset of a 20th century company was its production Equipment. The most
valuable asset of a 21st century institution will be its knowledge Workers and their productivity
(Drucker 1999).” So to keep such an asset in its best possible shape, training and development of
employees is very inevitable. Training is the act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an
employee for performing a particular job. The major outcome of training is learning. A trainee learns
new habits, refined skills and useful knowledge during the training that helps him improve
performance. Training enables an employee to do his present job more efficiently and prepare

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himself for a higher level job (Anthony, 2004). According to Miller (2002), “Training and
development are continuous process in improving the caliber of employees. It is an attempt to
improve their current and future performance but the organization should keep a track on their
performance after imparting them training it means training needs assessment it is a systematic
process of altering the behavior of employees in a direction to achieve the organization’s goals. A
training programme is an effort by the employer to provide opportunities for the employees to
acquire job related skills, attitudes and knowledge.” One of the major requirements for HR
management is that to provide training and development knowing the needs of the organization and
that of the individuals and cater to it. According to Virmani and Seth (2005) “The purpose of a
training needs assessment is to identify performance requirements or needs within an organization in
order to help direct resources to the areas of greatest need, those that closely relate to fulfilling the
organizational goals and objectives, improving productivity and providing quality products and
services.”
         Some of the findings based on the previous researches on training and development are as
follows. A well planned training and development program did improve self-confidence, motivation,
identification with the management goals, communication ability and skills of the employees
(Banerjee, 2001). Training programs are less effective with respect to their contributions to job per-
formance. According to Bhatia (2001), a shift from knowledge to attitude is the main objective of
training and identifies three areas of training: technical, skills and knowledge. He suggests that the
emphasis on these three must vary according to the levels of the employees. According to Yaw
(2005), the impact of training depends on the caliber of the participants, which varies from individual
to individual. According to Bostain (2000), Effectiveness was determined by assessing the transfer
skills from training to the job to determine the impact of a management development program on
organizational performance and to evaluate the influence of management relations with its
employees.

4.2      About the importance of communication
         It is important to understand the term ‘communication’ and what is meant by ‘communication
skills’ for HR managers to organize training and development program on imparting communication
skills to its employees to develop their abilities in this area. This can be complicated for a number of
reasons. The term ‘communication’ is sometimes used as a ‘catch all’ phrase which encompasses
both the actual communication process and the values, behaviors and attitudes which underpin or
impact on that process. Interpersonal communication is concerned with what is said i.e. the language
used, and how it is said such as body language and facial expressions. The tone, pitch, stress and
intonation that are attached to the use of language are also considered to be important aspects of
interpersonal communication (Heaven and Maguire, 2006).
Hargie (2006) develops this understanding further by introducing a notion of interpersonal
communication and relations as a form of skilled activity which consists of various key skill areas
that include certain characteristics such as non-verbal communication, listening, explanation,
questioning, negotiation, reinforcement, persuasion, reflecting, opening & closing and self-
disclosure. This description effectively captures the totality of communication and relationships
capability that is explored in this study.
Effective communication skills are acknowledged as an essential prerequisite for providing high
quality services in the IT field. It is recognized that a consistent approach to the development of
communication and relationship skills within the IT industry is still lacking in India.

4.3     Training and development on enhancement of communication skills
        In this study how the training on enhancing communication skills is incorporated in the
organization is the focus and this is based on the following theory, the transfer of new learning from
the training room to the workplace is often described as the extent to which learners effectively apply

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the knowledge, understanding, behaviors, skills and attitudes acquired in a training context to their
everyday practice with patients and members of the public (Baldwin & Ford, 1988). Training-related
changes should result in improved job performance and other positive changes like acquisition of
new skills and incorporation of such acquired skills in the work (Hargie, 2006) that serve as
antecedents of job performance (Anthony, 2004). Training not only may affect declarative
knowledge or procedural knowledge, but also may enhance strategic knowledge, defined as knowing
when to apply a specific knowledge or skill (Anthony, 2004). Bostain (2000) refers to this as training
for adaptive expertise. In addition, training may enable consistency in performance across
conditions. The extent of relevance of these theories is studied in this paper.

5.     METHODOLOGY OF STUDY

        A research design is purely and simply the framework of plan for a study that guides the
collection and analysis of data (Arlene, 2002). The research design is descriptive in nature for the
purpose of this study. This paper aims to analyze the developments and impact of in-built training
programmes on communication carried out on the basis of pre-training arrangements, for which
descriptive design is ideal. This paper also aims to study the impact of programmes on various levels
of workforce – employees, supervisors and executives which might vary according to their age,
experience and designations and so on. The study has been conducted among the employees working
various organizations from IT sector in Chennai. For the purpose of analysis the researcher has
undertaken a survey using a pre-planned structured questionnaire to get opinions from different level
executives, supervisors and employees. Convenience sampling technique is followed and as many as
208 employees from various organizations from IT sector in Chennai participated in the study during
2013.

6.     RESULTS AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY

        According to Yaw (2005), “Assessment of the employee’s knowledge potential for education,
vocational experience, position level, decision acceptance degree and responsibility, self- sufficiency
at work, work culture, technology used at work, work difficulty level, motivation and worker’s
influence on reaching organization objectives is essential.” This is being exactly done through this
study on significance of training on the enhancement of communication skills of the employees in
the IT sector. The appropriate training and familiarizing employees with possible challenges in the
job will help the employees to develop a proper attitude towards job.

6.1     Findings of the study
        Following are some of the major findings of the study. 62% of the participants in the survey
are males. Majority of the respondents that is around 38% of them are in the age group 26 years to 35
years. Almost 40% of the employees have work experience of only 2 years in this IT field. Majority
of the respondents have not attended much of the training programs, as 40% of respondents have
attended only 1 training programs so far and only 4% of the respondents have attended more than 12
training programs. Nearly 27% of the respondents have attended training programs on
communication in the area of networking, while 31% of the respondents have attended training
programs on communication in the area of soft skills. Almost 28% of the respondents are of the
opinion that these training programs on communication have only a very low impact. While for 24%
of the respondents such training programs have increased their confidence levels. 25% of the
respondents are of the view that these training programs on communication have impact on the
productivity of the worker. On the other hand the interpersonal skills have improved to a large
extent, and this has been endorsed by nearly 60% of the respondents. Almost 56% of the respondents
are of the view that the managers, employees at supervisory levels are not attending such training

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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 -
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programs on communication. The various tests of hypothesis showed that there is relationship
between the various demographic factors of the respondent like gender, age, experience and
designation of the respondent with the level of impact of training program on the employees.

6.2    Implications of the study

        In most previous researchers it is found out that although informal learning was most
commonly preferred, the role of formal training courses in developing communication and
relationships capability cannot be denied. There is clearly a challenge for practitioners and managers
in making training on communication a priority, at least partly because there are so many competing
training agendas available to the HR managers in the IT sector. It would be even better if managers
can be encouraged to assess or review the needs of their staff in relation to communication skills
using an objective framework or tool, before considering what training they may or may not need.
There are indications from previous research that training can sometimes be described as being
‘disconnected’ from the work environment with the challenge being about how to bridge the gap
between learning and practice (Heaven and Maguire, 2006). This theory is proved wrong in this
study. Training in enhancing communication is more strongly linked to the transfer and integration
of learning into everyday practice, this statement emanates based on the results of this study.

7.     SUGGESTIONS OF THE STUDY

        Based on the survey findings and the suggestions provided by the existing employees in the
IT sector following recommendations are provided to make the training and development programs
in the area of communication more effective.

7.1    For HR managers who plan training program on communication
       The training program on enhancing communication skills should include opportunities for
       managers and/or supervisors to participate (since this study indicated that most of superiors
       are not participating in the training programs), further training for experienced professionals
       are also important rather than just focusing on trainees as it is always hard to address
       communication issues in senior staff.
       The people who arrange training programs should establish specific, measurable and time-
       targeted objectives for the application of communication skills.
       The HR team should also to have a focus upon ‘self-directed’ learning, including peer
       support for individuals post-training to discuss implementation experiences through doubling
       up with colleagues where more instant feedback could be provided to each other.

7.2.   For better training methodologies
       There is a need to explore, develop, offer and evaluate flexible and creative training solutions
       such as practice based coaching, distance learning including the use of video review and
       online/live demonstrations, and peer-supported learning and E-learning communication
       module and so on.
       Ensure that training content and goals are conceptually linked to outcomes that are important
       for both clients and IT professionals.
       Training that utilizes scenario work and role-play should be used in training for enhancement
       of communication skills of the employees.
       Future efforts to improve communication should include a significant focus on supporting
       practitioners to reflect on and critique their skills, attitudes, behaviors and approaches with
       support from managers/supervisors. Both self-review and feedback from
       managers/supervisors/seniors has a role to play in developing communication capability.

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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 -
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          Improved access to information in general, resources, tools and information on available
          training.

7.3       For Post training methodologies
          More emphasis should be made upon models of behavior change and links to communication
          consistently after the training program on communication.
          Encouragement and support is needed for managers/supervisors to identify where
          communication could be improved, even if there is not a serious or obvious problem in that
          area. Managers/supervisors should be encouraged and supported to regularly review the
          communication capability of their staff, for example, by having it as a standard item on
          support and supervision agendas.
          Since most of the respondents are of the opinion that the impact of training program on
          communication towards the job, unlike the findings in the previous researches that training
          programs will have a direct relationship towards performance of the employees on the work,
          superiors should work on the employees mindset by challenging negative beliefs and to
          reinforce the benefits of good communication.
          The managers at supervisory level should incorporate activities in work which will promote
          the transfer of skills into practice, particularly those that augment or improve supervisory
          practice and support.

8.        CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY

        It is widely accepted that the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately is essential
for the provision of quality services to clients in the IT sector. Based on the review of literature an
effective communication requires a cluster of particular skills, behaviors and approaches, and it
should be well supported by appropriate attitudes and values. This study revealed that the
participants in the training programs are initial level employees with less experience in this filed and
undergo one or two training programs and it is very clear that there is no comprehensive system for
ensuring continuous professional development in this area. This study has highlighted that training
can be effective in enhancing skills , because it is very clear from the findings that this has improved
the interpersonal skills among the employees. Helpful criteria have been recommended to the HR
managers who arrange training that will ensure that communication skills training can be as effective
as possible in improving practice. In addition to this post training methodologies also has been
provided through key factors to support the adoption of new learning in relation to communication
have been highlighted, including opportunities for providing learning opportunities as part of
everyday practice. Effective training on communication affects the organizational performance by
two ways. The first is means of increase in knowledge and skills, which improves the client satis-
faction and the second is the employee retention which ultimately increases employee satisfaction.

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