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The study was undertaken at Accra Polytechnic on the topic “The effect of training and Development on Employee Performance at Accra Polytechnic”.
The purpose of the study was to investigate whether training and development would have an effect on the performance of employees with Accra Polytechnic as a case study. The methodology that was used for the study was survey. Primary data was collected from a sample of fifty (50) senior staff. Self – administered questionnaire was used in the collection of data for analysis. The study revealed that there were organizational issues such as lack of management support for training and development programmes, which constrained training and development. It was also found that training and development had positive impact on employees of the Polytechnic. The study recommended that in order for Accra Polytechnic to be successful as the first choice Polytechnic in Africa, management must empower all departments to engage in the training and development of employees to build potential and strengthen employees’ competencies.
1.1. Background to the research
“The ergonomics of the work environment, state of the art equipment as well as quality raw materials can make production possible, but it is the human resources that actually make production happen”, Asare-Bediako (2008).
Human resources are a crucial but expensive resource and therefore in order to sustain economic and effective performance of this resource, it is important to optimize their contribution to the achievement of the aims and objectives of the organization through training and development. Training is therefore necessary to ensure an adequate supply of employees that are technically and socially competent for both departmental and management positions. (Mullins, 2007)
According to Heathfield (2012), the right employee training, development and education at the right time, provides big payoffs for the organization in increase productivity, knowledge, loyalty and contribution.
Accra Polytechnic is a public sector tertiary educational institution which was established by an Act of parliament, Act 745, 2007. It is however a semi-autonomous institution and therefore the recruitment, selection and training and development of its employees are the responsibility of the management. Accra Polytechnic (A-Poly) which started as a tertiary institution in 1993 currently has over four hundred (400) employees made up of management, academic staff (lectures and instructors) and administrative staff (office employees, workshop assistants and technicians, drivers, security and cleaners). The administrative staff (0ffice employees) is further structured into management, senior members, senior staff and junior staff. This study however concentrated on the senior staff of the Polytechnic. Interviews were also conducted among management members as well as junior staff in administration. The senior members are the supervisors of both senior staff and junior staff and are also the heads of various departments. The interviews conducted with management and junior staff members supported whatever survey (questionnaire) that were administered to the research units.
Human resource management is today considered as a strategic partner of the other functional areas of business organization, namely; marketing, finance, production, purchasing, management information systems and administration. The human resource of any organization is that which is expected to bring about the competitive difference, since the success or failure of an organization is dependent on the quality of this resource as well as its orientation. This is based on the notion that human resource is the competitive advantage a business organization has. This is because as said earlier, while equipment, infrastructure, methods of production, packaging and distribution strategies could all be copied by other competitive organizations, however the innate quality, innovativeness, knowledge, abilities and skills of the human resource cannot easily be copied.
Training is a very important part of the human resource development (HRD) activity of human resource management practice. For employees to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently they must have the relevant skills, knowledge, values, attitudes and competencies and well as understand their organization’s culture.
More often, newly employed do not have all the competencies usually required for successful or excellent performance on their jobs.
Again while on the job, employees need to be updated through training and development to acquire competencies they did not have at the time of appointment. This is why an organization might need training and development department, often referred to as Human Resource Development (HRD). When suitable job candidates have been selected and appointed, they must be given the appropriate orientation and in addition they must be trained and developed to meet their career needs of the organization.
Beardwell and Holden (1998) gave the following reasons for training and development of employees by an organization.
1. That new employees are in some respect like other raw materials; they have to be processed to become able to perform the tasks of their jobs adequately and to fit into their work-group and into the organization as a whole.
2. That new jobs and tasks may be introduced into the organization and be filled by existing employees who need redirection.
3. That people themselves change – their interest, their skills, their confidence and aspirations, their circumstances.
4. Some employees may move job within the organization on promotion or to widen their experience and so need further training.
5. The organization itself or its context may change or be changed over time, so that employees have to be undated in their ways of working together.
6. The organization may wish to be ready for some future change and require some employees to develop transferable skills.
7. Management requires training and development. This will involve initial training for new managers, further development and training for managers, management succession and the development of potential managers.
From the above reasons given by Beardwell and Holden (1998), it is therefore obvious that training and development are inevitable for organizations that are very serious about winning the competition or at least being the leader in the industry.
According to Ivancevich (2010), training and development is a process that attempts to provide employees with information, skills and understanding of the organization and its goals. Additionally training and development aids an employee to continue to make the necessary positive contribution to the success of employing organization in terms of his / her good performance on the job. To start this whole process is orientation and socialization of employees into the organization.
Cole (1997), says further that training and development is faced by every organization, even though the quality and intensity of the training carried out may from one organization to another. He goes on to list the factors that tend to influence the quality and quantity of the training and development activities of various organizations as follows:
1. That the degree of change in the external environment e. g. technology, legislation and so on has influence on training and development.
2. That degree of internal change e. g. new processes, new markets, new competitors, has an effect
3. The availability of suitable skills within the existing workforce
4. Adaptability of existing workforce
5. The extent to which the organization supports the idea of internal career development
6. The commitment of senior management to training as an essential part of economic success
7. The extent to which management sees training as a motivating factor in work and finally
8. Knowledge and skills of those responsible for carrying out the training
While in some organizations there are no plans and systems in respect to training and development, others have training and development policy that are document and hence goes through the cycle of identifying training needs, design training activities, facilitate training and measure or evaluate training results.
1.2 Problem Statement
Even though Accra Polytechnic is described as the premier Polytechnic by its management and employees, it appears that it (Accra Polytechnic) does not currently have a staffing policy, training and development policy as well as a succession plan. Training and development is therefore more or less unplanned and unsystematic. It looks like the majority of the employees are not trained (orientation) upon appointment. As a result, administrative employees’ skills and abilities have over the years not been enhanced to enable them become effective and efficient. Though there is an academic board sub-committee on post-graduate scholarship and staff development, it seems it does not have any laid done policy which directs members in their work. Therefore implementation of “training” plans (which is mainly granting of study leave without or without sponsorship for either a masters or a doctorate degree) has been based on precedence and discretions.
Is an organizational staffing policy necessary? How would the existence of a staffing policy lead to effective and efficient performance of employees? Does training and development affect the performance of employees and the achievement of organizational goals and objectives? What must be the bases for the need for training and development? How is training and development needs determined? Who must determine training needs of employees? Who conducts training for employees? Where and when must training be carried out? Is training and development policy relevant at all? What must be done to ensure skills and competencies acquired from training transfers back to the job situation? What role would performance appraisal and job description play in the determination of training needs of employees?
The research sought to find answers to the questions above as well as other relevant issues that arise from the research in respect to the topic.
The research identified the effects of training and development on employee performance of Accra Polytechnic. But specifically the research has the following objectives:
1. To find out how training and development of employees contribute to the achievement of the goals of Accra Polytechnic.
2. To find out whether there are organizational issues that constrain training and development in the Polytechnic.
3. To investigate how training and development needs of employees are determined.
1.4 Research Questions
At the end of the research, the following questions were answered:
1. 1. Does training and development have an effect on the performance of employees for the achievement of organizational goals in A-Poly?
2. What are the issues that work against training and development in the Accra Polytechnic?
3. How are training and development needs of A-Poly employees determined and by whom?
1.5 Relevance of the Research
The research would not only add to works that have been done in this area, but also provoke further research into the training and development of senior members of both academic and administrative staff and its resultant effect on the achievement of the object of the Polytechnic. It would benefit the Polytechnic in its effort to train and develop its employees.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Research
The research covered Accra Polytechnic as a case study and the coverage was limited to the senior staff members in administration since the polytechnic was elevated to tertiary status in 1993.
Firstly as a worker, the researcher was very much constrained with time. This is because from Monday to Friday, the researcher has to be at work which also sometime included travels into the other regions for weeks and months. At other times the schedule of work took closing time from the office very late. This made it very challenging for the researcher to find enough time to go to the library for research. The time constraints also made quite challenging in following up on respondents to collect questionnaire feedback for the necessary required data for analysis as well as meeting with supervisor for consultations. Additionally, the length of time (4 months) available for this project work from the KNUST’s programme schedule to complete the course made it impossible to cover every aspect of interest to the researcher in minute detail as would have been expected.
Furthermore, busy schedules of respondents at work coupled with their individual social responsibilities made it very challenging for them to respond to the questionnaires in time and to return them for the researcher to continue with data analysis. This further reduced the returns rate of questionnaire.
Finally, financing the research was very challenging because Accra Polytechnic as an institution was neither sponsoring the researcher’s education at the University, nor was it supporting the research financially. The financial challenges were compounded by some respondents demanding honorarium form researcher as motivation before they responded and returned the questionnaires.
1.7 Brief Methodology
The research was a case study of Accra Polytechnic senior staff in administration. A sample size of 50 respondents was chosen. Additionally, interviews were conducted for 3 executive members namely, rector, vice rector and registrar and 10 junior staff members to support the questionnaire that has been administered on the research sample.
1.8 Structure of the Research
Chapter one discussed a general introduction and an overview of the background to the research, statement of the problem, research objective, research questions, significance of the research, scope and limitation of the research, brief methodology and the structure of the research.
Chapter two took a look at the literature review of the research. It discussed training and development concepts and definitions, organization’s need for training and development, identification of training needs, training and transfer of training, training policy, performance appraisal and training and development, training techniques (methods) used, evaluation of training and development and finally benefits of training.
Chapter three focused on the research methodology in terms of research design, research population, sampling technique, sampling size, data collection procedure and data collection and analysis.
Chapter four looked at the presentation and analysis of findings.
Finally, chapter five presented the summary of research findings, conclusions from the findings and recommendations following from the conclusions on the findings.
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