Human resource training and development Essay
Human resource training and development
Employees play a vital role in organization performance. Effective training and development are very important because it can help an organization to improve on its performance as well as on its productivity. Gilmore and Williams (2009) pointed out that only the trained workforce can effectively respond to the new challenges as well as to the existing ones in their jobs .Basically, skills are capacities and expertise in particular occupation. Gilmore and Williams (2009) continue saying that higher productivity is increasingly driven by skills. Besides, the degree of competitive advantage of a firm depends increasingly on its skilled labor
1.1 Definition of Training
Training is the modification of behavior through learning (Kisire, 2010). The main aim of training progress is to help employees to do things differently for better performance and to increase their level of job satisfaction. Basically, training touches on knowledge, skills and abilities. Thus training should be done strategically in order to meet the long term development of the people and achieve organizational goals. In fact, it is only when employees understand very well the right way to do their jobs that the employer can hope for excellent results.
1.2 Justification for Training by (Armstrong 2011)
•The knowledge or skills cannot be acquired satisfactorily in the workplace or by self directed learning.
•Different skills are required by a number of people which have to be developed quickly to meet new demands and cannot be gained by relying on experience.
•The tasks to be carried out are so specialized or complex that people are unlikely to master them on their own initiative at a reasonable speed.
•When a learning need to be common to a number of people, has to meet that which can readily be dealt with in a training event or programme e.g. induction, essential IT skills, and communication skills.
•Training helps the organization to gain competitive advantage. That is, the training practices have to help the business to grow and improve customer service by providing employees with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.
•Training prepares employees to use new technologies, function in new work systems such as virtual teams, and communicate and cooperate with peers or customers who may be from different cultural backgrounds.
•Training helps organizations provide high quality service for example through quick responds to clients needs.
Bernardin (2010) describes development as learning opportunities designed to help employees grow. Developing people in organizational context is to help them to progress within their careers. One key factor in employee motivation and retention is the opportunity employees want to continue to grow and develop job and career by enhancing their skills level of performance and productivity .Gary Dessler (2011) describes training as a process with 4 steps that an employer uses to give new or present employees the skills required for effective performance. Training and development process emphasize on what employees want in training and development opportunities. Providing training to employees benefits both organization and employees themselves.
2.0 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
•Training raises knowledge and skills required for efficient performance of a particular job, while development is a continuous general and dynamic expansion of skills and knowledge, and is aimed at long term career growth rather than immediate performance.
•Training focuses on short term (basing on the current job) while development focuses on the long term (the future careers) e.g. finding a mentor within your organization to introduce you to the structure and culture at senior levels in your organization and give you more exposure to senior management.
3.0 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRAINING AND EDUCATION
•Purpose of learning: In training the employee acquire new skills and knowledge while in education the purpose is to acquire or deepen mindset or profession. Thus education is general and wider in general purpose than training.
•Length of the learning process: in education it takes one to four years while in training it takes one to five days or several weeks. •Place of delivery: Training is generally imparted at the work place while education is imparted in schools or colleges.
•Training effect: Training has immediate effect as compared to education.
•Change: In education, change program requires one to be skillful at thinking, transformational, deeper and more radical while in training needs to be skillful at doing shallower and more superficial programs
4.0 NEED FOR TRAINING
•Increases organizational commitment
•Develops the cognitive, physical and spiritual dimensions of the employee
•Improves job performance
•Contributes to flexibility to adapt to changing internal and external factors
•Develops interpersonal skills
•Creates an interesting and challenging environment
•Fosters greater organizational stability less employee turnover and conflicts
•Helps reduce costs in the secretariat
•Heightens employee morale
•Increases knowledge and awareness of the total environment
•Helps achieve overall organizational objectives
•Helps retain a competent and efficient workforce
•Develops creativity and problem solving skills
•Helps improve and acquire technical skills.
4.1 Aligning Strategy and Training. To be effective, training must play a strategic role in supporting business. Employers today want to make sure their training programs are supporting their firms’ strategic goals.
4.2 Planning and delivering learning events and programs
•Training Needs Analysis
It involves the determination of the types and specific training necessary to improve current knowledge, abilities and skills of the workforce. This can be done through personal, task and organizational level of analysis. The data can come from target participant supervisor’s management, and even from customers, using multiple data gathering methods like survey, interview, observation at work, and performance appraisal results. Other possible sources of training needs are the long-range human resource plans of the company, practices of other organizations, requests for training of affiliate/subsidiary companies, and legislation requirements. The Training Needs Analysis (TNA) results serve as important inputs in designing the training program. TNA should be done regularly to ensure that training would respond to the needs of trainees.
This pertains to the planning of the entire training program. It starts with the identification of the goals and objectives that should be achieved. The topics or contents to be covered and the appropriate training methodologies for adult learning are then determined. The corresponding visual aids and learning materials are also specified. The training design and the TNA are usually done by the training staff of the organization and sometimes by outside consultants. The services of training consultants are usually availed of the large companies for this purpose. A typical training design will contain these parts: Training Title Venue Date Goal Specific Objectives Sequences of Topics Time Allocation Per Topic Methodology Resources Needed Evaluation The training objectives of the training design are a critical element that should be written properly to be able to decide on the contents, methodology, and the duration of tackling the topics.
The preset objectives also become the basis for evaluating the success of the program. The standard criteria for objective formulation is SMART. Whether the training will facilitate the learning of cognitive, affective, or psychomotor skills, it is important that the objectives are specific, measurable/observable, attainable, relevant to training goals, and time-bound. On the other hand, the choices of any or a combination of the following training methodologies will largely depend on the objectives, type of participants, and the duration of the training.
Implementation covers the logistical aspects like venue, food, budget, equipment, resource persons, transportation, and participants. These should be properly attended to during the actual conduct of the training. Therefore, training programs are done within the company or outside depending on the nature of the program and the financial capability of the organization. In cases where the organization has earmarked a sufficient budget for major training program especially for managers, these are done outside of the company with external consultants as trainers.
Companies like Fortune Medicare Inc. and Nestle Philippines have this kind of practice. Based on the above-mentioned importance of training, specific training conducted by the organizations may be classified as technical or behavioral training. The skills/technical type focuses on facilitating the learning of competencies related to the employees’ knowledge and skills. The behavioral type, on the other hand, pertains to ensuring the learning of competencies related to the workforce attitudes and habits.
This last phase of the training process requires the assessment of the conduct of the training activity. The evaluation is concerned with the measurement of the training success or effectiveness to establish whether an investment in a particular training has paid off. The training effectiveness is usually determined based on the achievement of the previously set objectives and results, considering the needs, methods, and other areas of training administration. According to Kirkpatrick (1998), there are four levels of evaluating training programs. These are the (1) reaction; (2) learning; (3) behavioral change; and (4) impact to organization. The reaction level measures the participants’ feedback right after the conduct of the training. Feedback are taken related to attainment of objectives, processes, methodologies, time, reading materials, resource persons/facilitators, and other logistics of the training.
On the other hand, participants’ learning level determines what specific skills, knowledge or even what they learned is commonly asked at the end of the training period. There are many ways by which the training evaluation can be done. The use of the questionnaire form administered at the end of the training is very often done to measure the reaction level. However, it should be noted that using a questionnaire form is only one of the methods to evaluate training. Other ways to assess training according to Hargraues and Jarius (2000) are: (1) formal or informal interviews; (2) feedback from line managers; (3) feedback from the Training Unit; (4) meet a cross-section of suppliers or customers; (5) discuss with staff who attended; (6) wander into offices and talk to people; (7) number of requests to attend other events; (8) academic or practical standards reached; (9) formal certification; and (10) a cost- benefit analysis.
While the paper & pencil or practical test is used to assess knowledge learning of the participants. A good example of this is the pre-test and post-test method using different designs. The learning is usually also undertaken simultaneously within the reaction level. The behavioural change level assesses the changes on the attitude and/or habits of the trainees after the training that is usually observable at the workplace. This will involve a follow up of the trainees in coordination with the immediate supervisor. Examples of behavioural indicators are attendance, promptness, courtesy, cooperation, and level of participation. The impact to organization level measures the effect of the training on the unit where the trainees belong and on the entire organization. This level can focus on productivity sales profits, and customer satisfaction.
4.3 Identification of Training Needs
Many organizations see performance appraisal schemes as an integral part of their employee development strategy. Schemes vary considerably from one organization to another, and nowadays may have a variety of names, but almost all of them include the identification of training needs as a key component. Most also consider the longer-term career options available to employees, and allow them to express their preferences. It follows that anyone with responsibility for training and development should influence the design of the scheme and ensure that notice is taken of the information generated by it. This is not always readily achieved. Sometimes the scheme will focus on short-term performance issues, and line managers may not regard the consideration of developmental issues as important.
The appraisal may also be considered to be confidential within the department concerned. Sometimes the section covering training and development needs is detachable, so that the training function only gets to see the appropriate information. This approach has its merits, but excludes the underlying performance issues which contribute towards identifying the training and development needs. There are many issues to be addressed when designing and implementing an appraisal scheme, and some of the aims of the process may conflict with each other. For example, a scheme linked to the determination of pay increases may inhibit the appraisee from being honest about aspects of the job that he or she finds difficult, whereas it is precisely these aspects that must be discussed to identify training needs. Care is required to minimize these conflicts
. •Survey Methods
Surveys can be very useful in the gathering of data, including information on attitudes. People usually participate willingly if the completion of a survey form is not too complex or lengthy and if they think some good will come out of the exercise. When designing a survey you must decide on: 1) the size and nature of the sample 2) the format of the questions 3) exactly how the survey is to be conducted.
Interviewing is a technique that can appear to be very simple when used by an experienced practitioner. Although some people are naturally better at interviewing, the key skills of a good investigative interviewer are all capable of being learned. The first two skills are common to all types of interview – questioning and listening. These two investigative skills are inseparable; one supports and reinforces the other. For trainers these skills are crucial not only at the stage of identifying training needs but also during instruction and evaluation. Many trainers who recognise that the ability to talk well is vital often underestimate the importance of questioning and listening.
Hearing, which is an ability that may be difficult to improve, is not the same as listening which is a skill that can be significantly enhanced by training. Questioning is something that everyone can do, but which some people learn to do much more effectively than others. In an interview to determine training needs, the interviewer may be delving into very emotive and sensitive areas. To ensure that the interviewee feels comfortable in talking about these issues, the interviewer must appear to be listening. To ensure that full understanding is attained, the interviewer must not only appear to listen, but must actually do so with real concentration.
•Job and Task Analysis
There are many reasons for analyzing jobs and tasks. One common reason is to provide a basis for job evaluation; another is to be precise about requirements in a selection situation. There are also many different systems of analysis. Some seem to generate a multitude of documents; others use highly involved and sophisticated methodology. Different types of analysis are: Job analysis; Task analysis; Skills analysis and Fault analysis.
5.0 TRANSFER OF TRAINING
Be relevant, avoid difficult material. Transfer is more likely if systematic training and just in time training approaches are used.
5.1 Systematic Training
We have to ensure that training is specifically designed, planned and implemented to meet defined needs. It is provided by people who know to train and the impact of training is evaluated. Systematic training follows five steps ADDIE) model. Effective training uses the systematic approach with an emphasis on skills analysis. The focus of training should be to develop transferable skills. The training should be evaluated on the basis of the extent to which it has achieved its purpose.
5.2 Just in Time Training
It is delivered as close as possible to the time when the activity is taking place. The training will be based on an identification of the latest requirements, priorities and plans of the participants.
5.3 Types of Training
Armstrong (2012), indicates that training programs or events can be concerned with any of the following:
•Manual skills including apprenticeship
•Information Technology(IT) skills
•Team leader or supervisory training
•Interpersonal skills such as leadership, teambuilding and group dynamics
•Personal skills for example assertiveness, coaching, communicating and time management.
•Training in organizational procedures or practices such as induction, health and safety, performance management, equal opportunity or managing diversity policy and practice.
6.0 IMPLEMENTING TRAINING PROGRAMS (TRAINING METHODS)
6.1 On the Job Training
On-the-job training is training that takes place while employees are actually working. It means that skills can be gained while trainees are carrying out their jobs. This benefits both employees and the business. Employees learn in the real work environment and gain experience dealing with the tasks and challenges that they will meet during a normal working day. The business benefits by ensuring that the training is specific to the job. It also does not have to meet the additional costs of providing off-the-job training or losing working time. Requirements for effective On the Job Training (OJT) programs by (CIDP 2008a)
•A policy statement that describes the purpose of OJT and emphasizes the company’s support for it.
•A clear specification of who is accountable for conducting OJT. If managers conduct OJT, this is mentioned in their job descriptions and is part of their performance evaluation
•A thorough review of OJT practices (program content, types of jobs, length of program, cost savings) at other companies in similar industries. •Training of managers and peers in the principles of structured OJT
•Availability of lesson plans, checklists, procedure manuals, training manuals, learning contracts and progress report forms for use by employees who conduct OJT •Evaluation of employees levels of basic skills (reading, computation, and writing) before OJT. The virtual classroom: This is another training technique as presented by Dessler (2011).
It uses special collaboration software to enable multiple remote learners, using their PCs or laptops to participate in live audio and visual discussions, communicate via written text and learn via content such as PowerPoint slides. Informal learning: Informal learning occurs e.g. through capitalizing on work related discussions, for example, to place tools in strategic areas like cafeteria to take advantage of the work-related discussions taking place. Apprenticeship Training: An apprenticeship program combines on-the-job training with academic instruction for those entering the workforce.
Also called dual-training programs because of the combined occupational and in-class components, apprenticeships help individuals put their academic skills to practical use in various careers. Whereas internships are often short-term, rarely lasting more than a year, apprenticeships can last as many as four or five years. Apprenticeships also differ from internships in that most apprentices are paid, with salary increasing as the apprentice completes parts of the program.. Job Instruction Training: (JIT) is a step-by-step, relatively simple technique used to train employees on the job. It is especially suitable for teaching manual skills or procedures; the trainer is usually an employee’s supervisor but can be a co-worker. Lectures: Don’t start out on the wrong foot. For instance, don’t open with an irrelevant joke or by saying something like “I really don’t know why I was asked to speak here today.”
Give your listeners signals if for example you have a list of items, start by saying something like, “There are four reasons why the sales reports are necessary….the first…. Again be alert to your audience, maintain eye contact with your audience during your presentation, and break a long talk into a series of 5 minutes talks Programmed learning: It is a learning methodology or technique first proposed by the behaviorist B. F. Skinner in 1958. According to Skinner, the purpose of programmed learning is to “manage human learning under controlled conditions”. The medium can be a textbook, Personal Computer (PC), or internet. Programmed learning is a step by step, self learning method that consists of three parts: presenting questions and facts to the learner, allowing the person to respond, and providing the learner feedback on the accuracy of answers. The advantage is that it reduces training time Computer based training (CBT): A type of education in which the student learns by executing special training programs on a computer.
CBT is especially effective for training people to use computer applications because the CBT program can be integrated with the applications so that students can practice using the application as they learn. Training via the internet and learning portals. The training may include posting videos, written lectures or power point slides or sophisticated simulations. This method may be applied in colleges where the employer use internet based learning to training. Company’s also convey their employee training through their internal internet portals for example by contracting with service providers such as skill soft (www.skillsoft.com) or for health and safety training, pure safety (www.puresafety.com) to deliver online training courses to the firms employees. Mobile learning: This refers to delivering of learning content on demand via devices like cell phones and i-phones whenever the learner wants to access it.
Audiovisual and traditional distance learning techniques: Audiovisual tools including DVDs, films and closed circuit TV e.g. firms’ use various distance learning methods for training which may include traditional correspondence courses as well as video conferencing and internet based classes. Behavior modeling: It involves showing trainees the right (or Model) way of doing something, letting each person practice the right way to do it and providing feedback regarding performance. The basic behavior modeling procedure is:
•Modeling: first trainee watch DVDs, showing model persons behaving effectively in a problem situation.
•Role playing: the trainees are given roles to play in a stimulated situation.
•Social reinforcement: the trainer provides praises and constructive feedback based on the trainee performs in the role play. •Transfer of training: finally trainees are encouraged to apply their new skills when they are back on their jobs In summary: Training and development applies both On-the-job and Off-the-Job training methods On the Job Training Methods: On the job training takes various forms including apprenticeships, job rotation, creation of assistant to positions, orientation, delegation, vestibule training, promotion and transfers and self directed training programs Off the Job Training Methods include training by management institutions, lectures, seminars and conference, case study, brainstorming, management games and role playing
6.1 Advantages of Off-the-job Training method
•Non production error: the employees are trained outside the work environment therefore they are not involved in production process as in on the job training method.
•Economy: A large group of trainees are trained simultaneously at a time.
•Free on production: when the trainees are not involved in production process, the production activities can be carried without any interruption hence, it runs freely, moreover, costly errors and injurious can be avoided
•Less time of training: training will take less time because the trainees are not involved in production.
•It is free from pressures of working environment
•Risk free of damaging organization’s valuable equipment. This is because they are not trained using organization’s facilities. •Off- the- job development techniques remove individuals from the stresses and ongoing demands of the work place, enabling them focus fully on the learning experience. In addition they provide opportunities for meeting people from other departments or organizations. Thus individuals are exposed to useful new ideas and experiences while they make potentially useful contacts.
6.2 Disadvantages of Off-the-job training method
•Lack of feedback: there is lack of feedback to employees because they are trained away from the organization work environment. •Expensive: organization has to prepare extra place for training outside the actual environment.
•No production: employees are kept away from the actual work place, thus the organization bears cost without output.
•Outside the work station: employees are unknown with actual machines and equipment thus transfer of training is sometimes difficult.
•Not effective: as employees are trained in an artificial classroom they are unfamiliar with actual environment as result of which it requires long time for them to learn.
6.3 Advantages of On-the-Job Training Method
•Organization doesn’t have to pay a training company or college therefore it is less costly.
•Senior highly skilled and experienced staff can teach new staff the exact skills needed for a particular job
•The business can acquire an experience in house training team hence no need for trainees to adjust to real work situations and trainers
•It builds relationships/bonds between learner/teacher in the work place.
6.4 Disadvantages of On-the-Job Training Method
•Productivity can be interrupted
•Senior highly skilled and experienced staff has to leave their job to teach/train.
•Skills learned are job specific leaving staff less flexible to changing roles.
•Working environment can be busy, noisy and not conducive for learning.
•It may lead to high rate of spoilage of material and damage of valuable equipment
7.0 IMPLEMENTING MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
Management Development and training is any attempt to improve managerial performance by imparting knowledge, changing attitudes or increasing skills. It thus includes in-house programs such as courses, coaching and rotational assignments, professional programs such as management seminars and university programs such as executive MBA programs. The ultimate aim of such development programs is to enhance the future performance of the organization itself. For this reason the overall management development process ideally consists of assessing the company’s needs for example to fill the future executive openings, appraising the managers’ performance and then developing managers themselves (CIDP 2008a).
The program should make sense in terms of the company’s strategy and goals. This means involving top management in formulating the program’s aims and in specifying competencies and knowledge outcomes. The most popular development methods include classroom based learning, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, action learning, mentoring and job rotation.
7.1 The Management Development Process
It includes assessing the company’s strategic needs for example to fill future executive openings or to boost competitiveness, appraising managers’ current performance and developing the managers and future managers. Development programs aim to fill specific positions, such as CEO, for example, GE Caterpillar Company spent years developing, testing, and watching potential replacements for CEO before finally choosing Jeffrey Immelt (Dessler 2011). In any case, assessment is usually part of development programs.
8.0 METHODS OF MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROGRAMS
8.1 On-the-Job Methods
On the job methods are usually preferred in management development programs. Often such training is informal. The supervisor trains the worker as he performs the work. David (2009), says there are four major on-the-job development methods:
•Coaching/understudy Approach: here the trainee works directly with senior manager or with a person he or she is to replace. The training of mangers by his or her immediate supervisors- is by far the most effective management development technique; unfortunately, many managers are either unable or unwilling to coach those they supervise. On- the job coaching must be tempered with considerable restraint- managers who cannot develop unless they are allowed to work out problems in their own way.
•Job rotation: It involves shifting mangers from position to position so they can broaden their experience and familiarize themselves with various aspects of the firms operations.The trainee can be a recent college graduate, and spend several months in each department, learning the department’s business by actually doing it. Or can be a senior manager being groomed for CEO by being exposed to a range of domestic and foreign challenges.
•Training positions: Trainees are given staff posts immediately under an experienced manager, often with the title of assistant. Such assignments give trainees a chance to work with and model themselves after outstanding managers who might otherwise have little contact with them.
•Planned work activities: This involves, giving trainees important work assignments to develop their experience and ability. Trainees may be asked to head a task force or participate in an important committee meeting. Such experiences help them gain insight into how organizations operate and also improve their human relations.
8.2 Off-the-Job Methods
The most common off the job development methods are in-house classroom instruction and management development programs sponsored by universities and organizations such as American Management association. Almost every management development program includes some form of classroom instruction in which specialists from inside or outside the organization teach trainees a particular subject. Classroom instruction is often supplemented, with case studies, role playing and business games or simulations. For example managers may be asked to play roles on both sides in simulated labor- management dispute. Some organizations send selected employees to university-sponsored management programs. Many major universities have such programs, which range in length from one week to three or more.
Off-the-Job Management Training and Development Techniques
•The case study Method: The case study method presents a trainee with a written description of an organizational problem. The trainee then analyses the case, diagnoses the problem and presents his or her findings and solutions in a discussion with other trainees. E.g. crime investigation, u can write a script showing all the procedures. The scenario aim is to develop specific training skills, such as interviewing witnesses.
•Management games: Management games are effective; people learn best by being involved. With computerized management games trainees divide into five or six person groups each of which competes with the others in simulated marketplace. Each group must decide for example how much to spend on advertising, how much to produce, how much inventory and how many of which product to produce. Thus they make computerized decisions.
•Outside seminars: Many universities and companies offer web-based and traditional classroom management development seminars and conferences. E.g. specialized associations such as Society of Human Resource Management, provide specialized seminars for their professional members.
•University related programs: Many universities provide executive education and continuing education programs in leadership, supervision etc. these can range 1 to 4 day programs to execute development programs lasting 1 to 4 months. The advanced Management Program of Harvard’s graduate school of Business administration is a well known example according to (Dessler 2011). Students are experienced managers from around the world. The school uses cases and lectures to provide them with the latest management skills.
•Role playing: The aim of role playing is to create a realistic situation and then have the trainees assume the parts or roles of specific persons in that situation. The role play can trigger the discussions among the role players/trainees. The aim is to develop trainees’ skills in areas like leadership and delegating.
•Corporate Universities: Many universities particularly the larger ones establish in-house development centers; IBM is one of the examples. In-house development centers typically offer a catalogue of courses and programs aimed at supporting the employers, management training and development program providers and web-based education portals to create packages of programs and materials. For example Brain and Company, a management consulting firm, has such a web based virtual university for its employees. It provides a means not only for coordinating all the company’s training efforts but also for delivering web based modules and cover topics from strategic management to mentoring.
•Executive Coaches: Firms retain executive coaches to develop their top managers’ effectiveness. An executive coach is an outside consultant who questions the executive boss, peers, subordinates and sometimes family in order to identify the executive’s strengths and weaknesses and counsel the executive so he or she can capitalize on those strengths and overcome the weaknesses. •The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Learning System: SHRM, encourages HR professionals to qualify for certification by taking examinations. The society offers several preparatory training programs. The self-study option includes text and DVD. The college/university option provides classroom interaction with instructors and other students.
8.3 Other Methods
•Inter-group Discussion or Exchange
•Index Card Match
•Dyadic Discussion or Exchange
•Trio Discussion or Exchange
•Self-Assessment and Self-Evaluation
•Small Group Discussion
•Read and Discuss
•Read and Teach Group
Organizations make arrangement for development of its executives so as to improve efficiency of management. Managers need generalized knowledge in lieu of technical skills on particular job. Therefore, training of executives is often known as development. It is good to focus both on Training and development to ensure that our team members are able to perform to the best of their ability, not only in short term (their current job) but also in the long term (their future careers).
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