Case Brief: Construction Co
Your L&TD team are part of a medium-sized construction company which is seeking to grow and expand its current operations. It was set up five years ago and is establishing itself within the local regional market in the North of England, but is now reaching into the national UK market more strongly. However, over the past couple of years there have been a small number of serious health and safety incidents across three of the five main operational sites. Given that health and safety is of paramount importance to the company and its reputation, you are very much aware that you need to implement an L&D intervention that builds a strong health and safety culture. There are five sites, each managed by an Operations Manager (OM)and approximately 300 employees spread evenly across the five sites. The OMs have informed you that not only do they find the current e-learning provision (a 1-hour PowerPoint based instruction through the intranet system followed by a multiple-choice quiz) on safety inadequate, they also find it difficult to monitor and share information about potential safety concerns with each other. You therefore need to design an L&TD intervention that overhauls the current e-learning provision and enables the operations managers to share information and insights with each other so that any potential safety concerns are identified and acted upon quickly. Should you decide to outsource any training provision then there is budget available however there is always pressure to keep costs down.
The Systematic Training Cycle framework must be used to structure your plan for a learning intervention.
Summary of organisation/case brief
Conduct a Learning Needs Analysis Identifying Training and Learning Needs
Training and learning needs have to be analysed and understood within the context of performance gaps – whether that be at organisational, team or individual level
Training and learning needs analysis (TNA) must be consistent with the culture and strategy of the organisation, and in line with changes in market and industry
Individual’s needs to be considered alongside the nature and context of the task at hand
TNA tools and techniques are available – while these are rational there remains a need to understand the motivations of the individual and the teams in question
Setting Purpose and Objectives (i.e. overarching objectives, definition/purpose, specific L&TD objectives). Objectives must be SMART.
Aligning the plan with broader organisational strategies and goals – i.e. developing the business case to gain support/buy-in
Defining what is meant by key terms and concepts
Scoping out the boundaries of the core purpose
Drilling down into specific learning and behavioural outcomes
Think of a ‘funnel’ you are starting off with a broad overarching purpose that narrows down into specific outcomes and objectives
Clear learning objectives, which are based on a systematic review of training needs analysis of an individual, should develop outcomes that should be achievable, pragmatic and measurable during the performance appraisal reviews. In other words, learning objectives and the design of training methods should be geared to individuals, learning styles and training needs (Kolb 1984; Honey and Mumford 1992).
Identifying Key Stakeholders (i.e. Power x Interest) and Risks Mapping
Identify the key stakeholders and their agenda
Identify any risks, barriers or resource issues that need to be considered
develop strategies to help develop stakeholder’s relations and reduce risks/barriers/issues. This is more about how you present and articulate the plan/strategy. E.g. enabling channels for voice and consultation, communication and information, contingency (back-up) plans
Design and Develop the Learning Intervention/Program
Deciding on a strategy to meet training needs, e.g., by designing courses / modules, suggesting various methodologies, deciding key learning points trainees must grasp and also sending some learning material (preview) to trainees
A wide range of formal and informal interventions are introduced which are strongly linked to organisational strategy
Decide exactly what you’re going to do to accomplish the objectives you set
Decide the type of delivery that will be the focus to achieve the best results: onsite classroom, virtual classroom, self-paced e-learning, performance support tools, self-study, or a combination of these and others in a blended learning solution
Determine the location of the training. Questions such as, number of participants who need new knowledge and/or skills, participant’s location, time required, how much consistency is needed etc. will help determine the training location.
Given thousands of products available, you may decide instead to purchase pre-designed off-the-shelf content and customize it. You also build in methods to ensure that the learning is applied back on the job, and a process to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.
If you design it, a big task ahead of you is developing the materials. What participant materials do the learners need? What audiovisual materials and equipment will you use? If it is an online course, what technical support will you require? Will your learners require job aids — either paper or online?
Resources, direct and indirect costs must be fully considered
Factors that may affect the choice of training methods must be considered
Individual learning style must be taken into consideration throughout the programme, because it is evident that individual learners may have a preference for learning in a particular way as they tend to favour some learning behaviours over others (Kolb, 1984)
Psychological and sociological learning theories to underpin proposals
The learning activities should be underpinned by various learning theories, such as Situated Learning Theory (Lave and Wenger, 1991), Cognitive Learning Theory (Burns, 2002) , Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977) and Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 1984).
A clear, balance, rigorous and critical evaluation of the chosen learning intervention, using a range of appropriate contemporary research to support the argument.
Implement the Design
Learners are assessed against the required learning outcomes, including the use of both formative assessment during training, which gives learners and teachers time to adjust the learning experience, and summative assessment at its completion, to certify that learning occurred and provide data for future improvements
Evaluating Success of the Learning Intervention
The final part of systematic training is to use suitable measuring techniques to assess: The quality of training provided, whether this resulted in improved performance; and whether the training was worth doing etc..
Additional data and opinions are collected from learners and others involved in the training and used to improve both the training in process and future training.
Kirkpatrick’s Four Model of Learning Evaluation should be for evaluation
A clear, balance, rigorous and critical evaluation of the chosen evaluation theory, using a range of appropriate contemporary research to support the argument