A new manager is starting in the organisation shortly. You have been asked to provide a written briefing note for this new-starter so that they can gain some understanding of the organisation in preparation for their start.
Manager’s Briefing Note
A list of what the organisation produces or the services that it offers to its customers:
Nova Training provides high quality Education, Training & Apprenticeships opportunities. Our Apprenticeships and Study Programme is delivered from one of our 16 centres in the West Midlands.
We cover vocational training divided into seven main areas as follows: Motor Vehicle, Business Administration, Retail, Warehousing, Customer Service and Hair and Beauty and Functional Skills and Employability Training.
Our training and support is tailored to meet the needs of all our clients, with experienced staff guiding young adults throughout their training programmes from foundation to NVQ level 2.
An Identification of the Main Customers
Our programme delivery includes the following studying and training opportunities for
•14 -16 year old School Provisions
•16 – 18 year old Traineeships
•19 – 24 Apprenticeships and vocational training
•Adult Employability Courses ( delivering Maths, English and ITC to those who are looking for employment)
The Purpose and Goals of the Organisation:
Nova was established as a Private Training Provider in September 1992 and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012. Over the years Nova has operated a number of youth and adult training courses and also delivered employer led
courses and qualifications such as NVQ’s and Apprenticeships.
Through a socially inclusive approach we will stimulate demand for learning from employers, young people and adults, improve literacy, numeracy, language and ICT skills so that individuals have the skills for employment and further skill development.
To create and sustain an environment where staff can deliver an innovative, challenging, quality, exciting and inspiring learning experience that meets the needs of learners, non-learners and employers in the local community. (Nova Website)
An analysis of a minimum of 4 external factors and their impact on the business activities of an organisation:
After completing a Pestle Analysis on Nova Training I have identified that the following four external factors impact on our business organisation.
The purpose of Government funding is to promote sustained economic growth thereby reducing unemployment.
At Nova Training all the training courses and qualifications we offer to the public are reliant on Government funding. The process of applying and wining contracts to deliver qualifications in a particular area can be wrought and with no guarantee of any results.
Funding rates are derived from a calculation that takes account of the sector and the demographic of the individual Apprentice. For example, more funding is available to support an Apprenticeship in engineering which typically takes three years to complete and involves the use of specialist facilities and equipment than one in retail, which might take one or two years and involves less technical content.
For the employer, the disadvantages of Government funding are that they are not a reliable regular source of income and are susceptible to many changes from current parliamentary legislation. A company is subject to scrutiny and open observations and funding can be withdrawn and training providers fined for not adhering to strict procedures and processes.
For future the organisation would have to ensure that all practice and procedures are transparent and aligned with all Government guidelines. All staff members are trained to deliver training to a high standard and paperwork is regularly checked and verified.
Working with local employers is essential to our business and to our learner’s success. We aim to provide the very best service to employers to support their training needs, staff development and current job opportunities.
Although we offer a wide range of industry sector training opportunities we have to ensure that the product we are offering is what the employer wants. We rely on our local businesses to support our learners in offering work placements, work experience and Apprenticeship vacancies. In the current climate it is harder for a training provider to predict the needs of a business a year in advance and still have a product and service that is relevant to the current business needs.
My proposal is to keep in touch with the local businesses and keep abreast of changes in the community. If you build up relationships with the local employers and keep updating your information streams you should be aware of where the changes are likely to be for the future and act on them accordingly.
Recruitment of Students
The biggest factor to influence the success of the learner recruitment is the reputation of the company, the training we deliver and outcome of the individual at the end of the course. The qualities of an institution include much more than simple information about courses though, so we need to work hard to paint a picture of what life will be like as a member of our training centre.
Potential students will be attracted to joining a particular community, held in a popular esteem that they would be proud to be associated with. The challenge facing us is to make sure that our reputations are more powerful than flawed. Nigel Rayner (Head of Capita’s Further and Higher Education Business) states “Now more than ever, students expect FE institutions to have a strong online presence. They want to be able to download a prospectus from their Facebook page, for example, communicate online with students already enrolled to ask about their learning experience or ‘like’ a college they’ve had positive contact with.
This is increasingly seen as an extension to traditional word-of-mouth marketing practice” In a competitive marketplace, the results hint that institutions need to strike the right balance in connecting with potential students. In the past, the first contact a would-be learner has with their future place of study might be as they walk through the doors or pick up the phone to request a prospectus. More often than not, this is no longer the case and we need to be looking towards technology for future recruitment enrolment Competitors Activity
All businesses face competition as a Government funded training provider there are many organisations vying for the same business or similar business. Knowing who our competitors are, and what they are offering can help us to make our services and marketing stand out.
With this knowledge we can create marketing strategies that take advantage of your competitors’ weaknesses, and improve your own business performance. We can also assess any threats posed by both new entrants to our market and current competitors. This knowledge will help us to be realistic about how successful we are likely to be. If we are offering a similar service and product we need to research their methods and processes to ensure we match and or stay ahead of the market.
I would suggest that we build relationships with other training companies in the area. If we are offering something different to our competitors we could strike up a working relationship together where we could refer suitable candidates on a mutual basis.
How the Departments Work Together
An explanation of how these different functions and senior management work together within the organisation to optimise performance.
The Finance Department The role of the finance department is to oversee all financial aspects of company strategy and is responsible for the flow of financial information to the chief executive, the board and external parties such as Skills Funding Agencies and awarding bodies.
The Finance Director will control all the company’s accounting functions, transactions and audit systems and ensure all statutory bodies are met regarding all financial affairs. The FD will run reports of the learner journey and progress and highlight any areas of concerns that could affect payment or funding to the CEO and HR for action.
The HR Department
The HR Department has ultimate responsibility for all people based activity within an organisation from both an operational and strategic perspective. The Head of HR is involved in many areas, such as: resource planning and recruitment; training; managing a variety of ER issues at any one time and being the first point of contact for all employee related issues. The Head of HR works closely and in support of the CEO Financial Director and other department heads.
The Marketing Department
The Marketing Department performs a strategic role and is responsible in developing marketing campaigns to promote our training courses and company image including planning, advertising, public relations, event organisation, product development and research. The Marketing Director works very closely with the Finance Director and CEO in planning and budgeting for future campaigns.
The IT Department is responsible for securing the data and the IT systems against loss or attack by computer viruses or other external threat to protect corporate data on employees and learners personal details and ensure that all the information is protected at all times. The IT department works closely with HR to ensure that all Data Protection and policies are incorporated at all times. They are responsible for operating and supporting all IT functions and ensuring that all information is relevant, accurate and fit for purpose.
The Cultural Web
Legend has it that the Managing Director started the business after one of his two children dropped out of main stream education. Having researched opportunities locally in area he realised that there was a shortage of vocational options available to young people who were not academically gifted. He started up one training centre in the Midlands offering young people the opportunity to gain work experience whilst learning at the same time the business has grown to over 16 training centres. The young son that was the catalyst for the business is now the current Managing Director.
The work ethic has historically been relaxed with an open door policy given to all employees to input opinions and voice their ideas and suggestions. Over the past 12 months the company has recruited top management directors from commercial backgrounds to improve the business. The whole work strategy and procedures have been analysed and amended with stringent Key Performance Indicators being set for every job role within the business whilst employees are given the responsibility to achieve results.
Company Culture and Effects on Operations
When I first started with this organisation 9 months ago I came from a commercial target driven environment. The working ethos appeared to be very relaxed and laid back. Once the learner’s left the Centre at 3.00pm the tutors, assessors and admin staff would down tools and use this time to talk, chat and gossip about other topics. I couldn’t understand this as every moment of my working day has always been accounted for.
Over the past 6 months, however, it has been noticeable that the company is now more aware of the working culture and is setting strident targets and KPI’s to all roles within the company. All staff have been given more responsibilities outside their job role and are urged to hold more meetings and training sessions from 3.00pm onwards to utilise their time. Last week we have had cameras and microphones installed in every class room and around the public areas. This has had a big impact on the staff as they are aware that they could be monitored at any time throughout the day. 3 HR Activities That Support the Organisations Strategy.
Recruitment and Selection – play a pivotal role within shaping the organisations future. They are responsible for recruiting the right person the right job first time.
Company Induction – The transition to new employment can be a challenging time for new employees and the induction process and is intended to enable the new starter to become a useful, integrated member of the team, rather than being “thrown in at the deep end” Performance Management – Aligning the organisational objectives and targets with the employees agreed measures based on personal skills, competency requirements and development plans for the delivery of results.
3 Ways HR Support the Line Managers and Staff
The human resources function has a crucial role to play in coaching and working with line managers to help them to better understand the range of tools at their disposal to help develop and retain talent.
1. Sickness and Absence Reports
Our HR function will monitor sickness and absence and will provide guidance and practical skills for managing absence and sickness procedures.
2. Disciplinary Procedures
Our HR support and advice to our line managers on clarity around the disciplinary procedures. They will advise whether it’s a performance management issue or disciplinary matter and equip the manager with the information needed to conduct a disciplinary hearing.
3. Equality and Diversity
As we are in the education and training industry it is important that all staff are aware their rights, responsibilities and expectations around equality and diversity and those of the learners in our care. All staff are encouraged to complete the e-learning equality and diversity package within the first month of joining the company and Managers should encourage their staff to complete the training as part staff induction or through staff development discussions in annual appraisals.
Pestle Analysis – CIPD Factsheet
Nigel Rayner Head of Capita’s Further and Higher Education Business http://www.capita.co.uk/news-and-opinion/news/2013/91-of-fe-staff-say-student-numbers-healthy.aspx.