Most of the supervisors at Avondale Industries were promoted from within the company and were high performing individuals in their previous positions. However, managing people requires a different skill set. HR wants to build new supervisors’ skills to manage people, purpose, and performance, and set them up for success right from the start, but the training is quite extensive and expensive. How can HR best identify which supervisors need the training and which do not?
- Interviewing the supervisors and observing their interpersonal skills will inform the HR staff immediately about which supervisors need the training.
- Conducting a person analysis will help identify individuals whose behaviors do not meet standard performance requirements and then provide them with appropriate training.
- HR should review the supervisors’ past performance appraisals for information about their management skills as well as their ability to manage conflict.
- HR should talk to the supervisors’ bosses and ask them to provide an assessment of the supervisors’ skills and ability to get along with people.
Avondale Industries’ training and development office met with upper management to determine what next year’s needs and goals of the company were. The office then went to work on designing and developing training that would help the company train its employees to reach the company’s goals. The team was enthusiastic about its training courses and sent out an email listing the schedule and topics, but when the first two training sessions were offered, most managers chose not to send any of their employees. Which statement best explains what the trainers should have done that would have helped increase participation?
- The trainers should have consulted with the supervisors to coordinate the training schedule with the production schedule.
- The trainers should have provided an incentive to participate, either to the supervisors or the employees.
- The trainers should have clearly communicated the purpose of training and how it ties to the company’s goals and vision. Managers and their employees would then participate.
- The trainers should have indicated to employees that the trainings were mandatory because development of the course was driven by upper management.
The onboarding process for the marketers at Avondale Industries has been identified as the first to undergo a major revision. The marketing department wants the initial two-day training to be engaging, interactive, and impactful. In designing the program, the training team identified four activities for the training program.
lectures from the company’s best marketers and upper management (kind of like TED talks)
break-out sessions where experienced marketers team up with new employees to complete hands-on projects
e-learning that has to be completed before meeting in person
video training (stored on the company’s YouTube channel), with videos that answer FAQs, how-to videos, and videos that provide information about current marketing trends
Why did the trainers include diverse activities in the training?
- The diverse activities help the transfer of learning by reinforcing what the employees will be doing in their day-to-day jobs.
- The different activities enhance the training and is in keeping with the original request to make the training engaging, interactive, and impactful.
- The training activities help people learn by observing the experiences of others so they can model their behavior after those who model correct behavior.
- Because people have different learning styles, the trainers have included different activities to meet the needs of a diverse group of people.
The production site of the avionics division of Avondale Industries in Tucson, AZ, close to the US-Mexican border, relies heavily on workers who have immigrated from Mexico. Over the years as the company has added more automation on the production line, the company has found that many of its frontline workers, who have an excellent work ethic, lack the basic reading and math skills needed to solve problems that arise. To address the issue, the company contracted with an online educational software company to improve the employees’ literacy and quantitative skills. Employees who successfully pass courses receive subsequent bumps in salary and promotions. Which of the following statements best explains why the training has been successful?
- Because the training has improved employees’ literacy and quantitative skills on the job, they have been able to use these skills to improve their family and community contributions.
- The employees are able to pace themselves through the online learning platform and learn at the speed that works for them individually.
- Improving oneself is something that all people want to do. Having the company provide such an opportunity is powerful and impactful to the employees.
- The employees are motivated to learn because they can clearly see the benefits for themselves and the company.
Avondale Industries’ unmanned vehicle site in Fort Lauderdale, FL, has been operating for two years with great success. However, the unmanned vehicle site in Denver, CO, which has been in operation for the same amount of time, has struggled with high turnover and a higher level of defective parts. Managers and employees at both sites were surveyed, and the results showed that the manager in Fort Lauderdale was very effective at motivating her employees, addressed issues promptly and appropriately, and set challenging but realistic expectations. However, the employees in Denver reported that their manager struggled with issues stemming from lack of communication and lack of support. The manager wants to keep his job and is willing to participate in training. Which of the following statements best explains what the trainer can do to help the manager improve?
- The trainer should provide the supervisor with articles that he can read to teach him about how he can better engage with his employees.
- Helping the supervisor improve should start with the trainer reviewing his performance appraisals and identifying management skills in which he is weak.
- The trainer should establish learning objectives with the manager that focus on changing his behavior so he can better communicate and support his employees.
- The trainer can connect the supervisor with his counterpart in Denver so he can learn what she does with her employees that is so successful.
Avondale Industries’ senior management team has worked hard to define company values and provide an inspiring strategic direction. Members of the team have identified a need for training for themselves in the following skills: change management, communication, strategy development and alignment, and team leadership. The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) has asked the training and development office to submit a proposal on how the senior team can best be trained over a short period of time. Which of the following proposals might best address the training needs of the company leaders?
- Using an external trainer can bring in an outside perspective and provide honest feedback without fear of someone’s career being hurt.
- Engaging an external trainer for the executives will allow the training and development office to focus on training for which they are more qualified, since they are not executives themselves.
- Because the time frame for training is limited, having a company trainer provide the instruction will be more efficient.
- An internal trainer will understand the company better and will know best which executives need to change their behavior, which they can point out during the training.
Avondale Industries just hired a new trainer, a recent graduate from a prestigious master’s program in human resources. After two weeks on the job, he was sent to conduct a training session for new HR employees in Avondale’s two sites in Texas. Feedback from the training revealed the training was poorly received, and the trainer especially received negative feedback. The new trainer was highly recommended by the university (Avondale recruits there regularly), and so the company does not want to dismiss him because of one failed attempt. Which option is best for the company to do to help this new trainer improve and have a successful career?
- The training and development office can provide opportunities to sit in on other training programs to learn from those who are more experienced and successful.
- Because a company invests so much in new hires, the company should be careful about what is said to the employee in case additional negative feedback causes him to quit.
- The training and development office can work with the new employee and his university to identify areas that could be improved in the curriculum to address these shortcomings.
- Because the trainer had one negative experience does not mean that it will happen again. The company should have him keep trying until he learns and does better.
The training provided for new accountants at Avondale Industries was not as successful as training provided for other areas in the company. When the HR department reviewed the training, it was discovered that the accountants were trained off-site so as to not interrupt the flow of business in the office. The training was very similar to a college lecture course, with a senior accountant sharing knowledge via a PowerPoint presentation. Which statement best explains how the training could be improved?
- Making the training as similar as possible to what the accountants would encounter in their jobs would help them transfer their learning more rapidly and effectively.
- The training could be improved by including the supervisors of the new employees so they will feel more accountable for their learning.
- Improving the training should include preparing the accountants so that their expectations would match what is being taught in the training.
- The training could be improved by replacing the senior accountant with someone who could relate better to the new accountants, who were probably much younger.
Avondale Industries engaged the services of a consultant to help company executives as they developed the company’s strategy plan for the next five years. The consultant, an expert in strategy, insisted that, as part of his assignment, he be allowed to visit the different departments in company headquarters where he could meet with employees and question them about job challenges, company culture, and work climate. The consultant spent two days with frontline employees before meeting with the executives. Which of the following best explains why it was important that the consultant familiarize himself with the company this way?
- Familiarizing himself with the company helped the consultant understand the challenges the company faced and helped him feel more comfortable about providing guidance and direction.
- Having been in the trenches, the consultant was able to express the feelings and opinions of the frontline workers more effectively to the executives.
- Because the executives knew the consultant was familiar with the company, they felt he better understood their challenges and could more effectively direct the strategic discussion.
- Because the consultant was more familiar with the company, he was able to target the areas in which he was expert and provide insight and feedback for improvement in those areas.
Avondale Industries spent thousands of dollars for three of its business analysts to attend an off-site week-long training program. Their boss’s expectations were high for what the analysts would learn and what improvements they would bring back to the company. The analysts came back to the office, reported they had learned a lot, had a good time, and jumped right back into work, which was extremely busy at that time. Their boss, because he too was busy, did not follow up with the analysts until several months later, at which time he asked the analysts to report on how they had implemented what they had learned. They reported that they had made no changes at all and had forgotten most of what they learned. The boss, greatly disappointed, said he was not going to waste resources like that again. How might the analysts have done better with the transfer of learning?
- The analysts should have set goals to transfer learning and monitored their own progress—identifying and overcoming obstacles for meeting those goals. They would have then been more successful in transferring learning back to their jobs.
- The analysts should have taken time when they returned, regardless of what was going on in their jobs, to report out to their boss and share with him what they had learned so he could select the learning that might best help the office.
- The analysts should have been more proactive about sharing their knowledge with their boss and others in the office.
- Because of this bad experience, not only the analysts but every employee in the office will have to forego future trainings.
- The boss should have been the one to follow up with the analysts immediately upon their return to discern what knowledge would be most helpful to the office and then encourage the analysts to share what they learned.
Attendance was a problem for the swing shift at Avondale Industries’ Long Beach, CA, site during the summer. The supervisors asked for the training and development office to provide a training session on attendance and why it is important for the company. The trainer who designed the program included four parts.
shared the written attendance policy
set clear attendance expectations as articulated by the supervisors and how the company was impacted by unplanned absences
reminded the employees of the bonus that was given at the end of the year for those who had no unplanned absences
listed the employee support resources for those experiencing personal problems that impacted their attendance
The goal of the training was to reduce absenteeism by 50 percent and increase production by 15 percent. Two months following the training the trainer contacted the swing shift supervisors to see if improvements had been made. The supervisors reported that absenteeism was reduced by 68 percent and their production rate had increased by 21 percent. What conclusion can be drawn from these results?
- The training goals had been achieved and were more successful than the trainers anticipated.
- The results were positive, but the training could have been simplified and focused on just what employees were expected to do.
- The employees responded well to the incentive of the bonus at the end of the year, so the trainers will be sure to include this aspect in future trainings.
- Because there are too many possible causes for the changes, it is impossible to say that the training was the sole cause of the improvements.
Avondale Industries’ training and development office was trying to assess whether their training for new sales personnel for the avionics division was effective. The office set up training for three of the sites, two in the US and one abroad and did not provide training for the remaining three sites, also two in the US and one abroad. A pretest was given to all new sales personnel in the training as well as to those who were not trained. All other job tasks remained the same, and supervisors were instructed to proceed as normal with onboarding their employees. After a month of training, the performance of the new sales personnel in the two groups were compared. Results showed that the sales personnel that were trained outperformed those not trained by 29 percent. Which statement best explains why this experiment was helpful for the training and development office?
- The experiment allowed the training and development office to determine if the training was effective by mostly ruling out alternative reasons for job improvement.
- It helped the training and development office by establishing a testable hypothesis about whether the training would be effective, which it was.
- The experiment helped the training and development office by giving them the ability to compare alternatives.
- It was helpful for the training and development office to see that the results were positive for those who received the training versus those who did not.
Avondale Industries’ training programs all include various types of evaluation that are administered at different times. Why should the training and development office go to the added effort of evaluating its training programs in multiple ways?
- Going to the added effort to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program demonstrates to the employees that the company truly cares about their opinions and success.
- Evaluating training programs in multiple ways will help the trainers know if the participants feel good about what they have learned and think the training is worthwhile.
- Multiple evaluations allow the trainers to adjust the training to better meet the needs of employees, which might change over time.
- Conducting evaluations in multiple ways allows the company to measure that behavioral objectives have been achieved and that results are an actual outcome of the training.
About two months prior to retirement, the training and development office at Avondale Industries works with the retiring employees and their managers to develop a plan of how to capture what they know before they leave the company. Why is it important for the company to retain the knowledge these employees have gained over their many years of experience?
- Gathering the knowledge older employees have gained during their work careers will help younger employees who might want to follow the same career path.
- Capturing the experience and knowledge of older employees will benefit the company because the employee will leave feeling valued and appreciated.
- Because the knowledge of older employees will benefit younger workers in the company who may not have the work ethic or organizational capabilities.
- The critical knowledge of older employees often cannot be easily replaced or recreated, so companies that capture what these employees know will transition easier when they leave.
With the expansion of Avondale Industries to London, Hong Kong, Brisbane, and Bengaluru, the need for cross-cultural training grew as employees moved to work at these sites. The training and development office developed a pre-departure orientation program for employees and their families and engaged a country host who provided in-country training after they arrived. Which statement best explains why is it necessary, and important, to provide these cross-cultural training services for employees moving abroad to work?
- The cross-cultural training will help the employees and their families more quickly adjust and experience less culture shock in the new country.
- The training is necessary because the company wants the employees (and families) to be able to take full advantage of the rich cultural experiences offered during the overseas assignment.
- Employees who receive cross-cultural training have an increased level of motivation and understanding and are more apt to be satisfied with their job assignment.
- The cross-cultural training is important so employees understand the need to be culturally sensitive and not do anything that would embarrass the company or hurt its reputation.
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