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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT STUDENT WORKBOOK Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development By Fiona L. Robson Project Team Author: Fiona L....

Read the case study, "Southwood School: A Case Study in Training and Development," from the Student Workbook (look for it under Course Documents tab on left) and then answer the following 5 questions. I would expect that your answers are thoughtful and college level writing. Be sure to cut and past the questions below into your submission.

1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the training sessions being led by an external consultant.

2. How would you deal with a participant with a negative attitude toward the training?

3. Would you require any information about your participation before the training session?

4. How can the trainer ensure skills transfer so employees apply the training to the workplace?

5. How can the proposed training program be adapted to meet different learning styles?

6. How does an organization's culture affect learning and development and why is OC important to overall success?



in Training and Development


By Fiona L. Robson Project Team


Author: Fiona L. Robson SHRM project contributors: Bill Schaefer, SPHR


Nancy A. Woolever, SPHR External contributor: Sharon H. Leonard Editor: Courtney J. Cornelius, copy editor Design: Terry Biddle, graphic designer © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson


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08-0769 Southwood School: A Case Study


in Training and Development caSe StUDY NarratIVe




Southwood school administrators realized that a newly designed performance


management system for their support staff 1 would require a formal training


program. Designing and implementing the new performance management system


was a challenge for the organization; the last system was unpopular with employees,


and negative feelings about the value of performance management linger.


Case Overview


As discussed in the fi rst Southwood case study, some of the issues identified with the


previous performance management system included: 1. Annual deadlines to complete the process were missed by many staff members.


Some staff members were confused about what exactly needed to be completed and




There were complaints that the previous system was a “waste of time” and that


there were no measurable outputs.


A trade union representative felt the system was not appropriate for all staff




Criteria on the forms were irrelevant to support staff. For example, support staff


could not set objectives in pupil progress or have lessons observed.


There was little attention on identifying training needs, and where needs had been


identified, there was no follow-up with appropriate actions.


Appraisals were led by teachers with little knowledge of their appraisees’ jobs.


Performance meetings were a one-way process; often, performance goals were


identified before the meeting and without the appraisee’s input.


Examples of support staff jobs include: administrative positions (secretaries, administrators); student support


positions (learning mentors, learning support assistants, special needs assistants, computer technicians);


teacher support positions (teaching assistants, departmental assistants such as science technicians);


and strategic/management positions (HR manager, finance manager, director of administration, director


of information technology). © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson 1 A new system was designed in consultation with all stakeholders to address the


issues raised with the previous system. School leaders felt that a formal training


program was vital to ensure all employees supported the new system. This case


study demonstrates how the training was designed and delivered and some of the


complexities involved in this process.


Case Details


The case study consists of two parts:


I. Designing the training program for managers (appraisers). II. Designing the training program for appraisees. I. DeSIGNING tHe traINING ProGram For maNaGerS (aPPraISerS).


The managers in this case study are the appraisers in the new performance


management process. In some cases, they will be teachers with no formal


management qualifications. In other cases, they will be support staff with specific


management responsibilities in the organization.


Needs Analysis


Initially, the director of administration recommended that a selection of managers


complete a standard Internet-based training program provided by an online


training organization. Managers who completed the online training would receive


a certificate of achievement. Based on input from the HR manager, however, it was


decided that a custom-designed program would be more appropriate because it


would better meet managers’ needs. A custom-designed program would also allow


the school to relate the training back to their new performance management system


and provide flexibility in the program’s delivery.


There were a number of options available to determine who would design and deliver


the program: The HR manager could design and deliver the training.


The HR manager could design the content, and the training could be conducted


by a member of the school’s senior management team.


An external consultant could design and deliver the training.


An external consultant could design the content, and the HR manager could


conduct the training. In the end, it was decided that the HR manager would design and develop the


program with support from the senior management team, if necessary. The reasons


for this decision: Specialized knowledge. The HR manager had developed the new performance


management system and was therefore the most knowledgeable about it. Experience. The HR manager was experienced in developing training programs. Cost. This was the least expensive option; no direct costs would be incurred. 2 © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson note Context. It would be easier to include specifics about the new performance


management system if the training was designed by an internal person.


Flexibility. The sessions could be run at the times convenient to managers, which


may have been more difficult to accommodate with an external trainer. PLeaSe Note: From this point forward, the Hr manager is referred to


as the trainer.


Designing the Training


A focus group was held with five managers to fi nd out what they wanted from the


training and to assess their concerns about performance management. This was a


useful process. The managers wanted to include training in how to deal with difficult


people, which otherwise may not have been included in the program. Including this


also assured managers that their views were important and had been considered in


the program’s design.


The training would take place in-house and outside the normal workday. It was


agreed that the most appropriate method was a two-hour workshop. The workshop


would include various activities geared to develop the skills and knowledge of the


participants: Trainer-led interactive presentations. Role play exercises. Use of a specially designed case study. Small-group exercises. By developing and delivering the session in-house, training materials specific to


the new performance management system could be created, rather than relying


on generic training materials. It was hoped that this would facilitate the transfer


from training to the workplace. The training would be mandatory for all appraisers


to ensure consistency. The trainer developed a plan for the two-hour session


and included activities that would appeal to participants of various learning


styles. Appropriate resources and handouts were designed. The trainer used


the organization’s generic training evaluation form (provided at the end of this


workbook) to evaluate the program.


The program would include the following: How to develop questioning and listening skills. How to complete the new performance management documents. How to develop SMART objectives (objectives that are specific, measurable,


achievable, relevant and time-bound).


How to help employees identify training and development opportunities. © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson 3 Training Delivery


Participants were asked to read all the documents related to the new performance


management system before the training. The session was held in a classroom with


the necessary IT equipment during non-school hours. Eighty percent of appraisers


attended this scheduled session; the remaining 20 percent participated in another


presentation four weeks later.


Evaluation of the Training Program: The Trainer’s Perspective


The following is an excerpt from the trainer’s evaluation report:


Overall, I thought the session went really well. I covered all of the materials and had


some good responses.


I think most of the participants now have a good understanding of how to carry out


a performance review, but I am not entirely sure they believe there are benefits to a


performance appraisal system.


I was a bit disappointed with two participants who did not actively participate in the


activities. Perhaps they thought they already knew the information.


I might have misjudged one of the communication activities. I estimated that


it would take about 45 minutes, but everyone completed it in 20 minutes.


Unfortunately I didn’t have any extra activities, so I had to stretch out the fi nal


discussion so we didn’t fi nish too early. Evaluation of the Training Program: The Managers’ Perspective


Managers were asked to provide feedback at the end of the training. Some of the


results are shown below:


How would you rate the… Percentage who rated it as good/very


good Quality of materials 78% Knowledge of trainer 90% Presentation skills of trainer 70% Location of training event 50% Duration of event 85% rate the following statements: Percentage who rated it as agree/


strongly agree The session met the stated objectives. 78% I feel confident in leading performance reviews with members of my team. 80% The training methods used were appropriate. 60% 4 © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson Qualitative feedback was also offered: “The trainer was very good and was clearly knowledgeable about the subject.” “I found the practical tips to be really useful.” “It was a bit annoying when the administrators kept interrupting us to pass on




“It would have been easier if everyone had read the new performance management


documents before they arrived at the session.”


“Some of the activities were a bit too childish – I think the trainer forgot that we


are all teachers.”


“Some of the handouts are really good.”


“I am still not convinced that performance management is something which


benefits us – it seems like another paper exercise.” II. DeSIGNING tHe traINING ProGram For aPPraISeeS


Needs Analysis


The HR manager was assigned responsibility for this program because of the


successful design and delivery of the manager’s training. This session was internally


led, for the same reasons the manager’s training was internally led.


Past experience showed that it was difficult to hold focus groups with support staff


members. Instead, an e-mail was sent to all support staff asking them what they


wanted to be included in their training program. Less than 10 percent of the support


staff responded to the e-mail.


The following instructional methods were chosen for this program based on


experience with previous training programs (see “Sample Training Program


Schedules”): Presentations by trainer Practical activities Role plays Worksheets Training Delivery


The appraisees were not assigned pre-work before the training because this may


have intimidated some participants. Although details of the new performance


management system had been shared with appraisees in an earlier e-mail, most


participants had not seen the actual documents that would be used. The documents


were distributed during the session so the trainer could guide them through and


answer any questions immediately.


The session was held in a school classroom, but was scheduled outside of normal


working hours (see “Appraisee Training Program Agenda”) to avoid disrupting staff © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson 5 and students during the normal school day. To compensate for the inconvenience,


attendees received overtime for the two hours spent in the training.


Training Program Evaluation


The trainer ran out of time during training. Consequently, no formal evaluations


were submitted by participants. The trainer thought it had been a challenging


session; it had been difficult to engage the participants. The participants had very


different needs and it was difficult to accommodate them within a two-hour session.


The trainer also reported that few trainees participated in the activities or asked any






This case study shows that there are many issues to consider when planning,


designing and delivering training programs. It is also clear that because people have


different needs and learning styles, it is difficult to produce a program that will be


rated well by everyone. In this instance, it was harder to satisfy people because of


the topic; negative experiences with the school’s previous performance management


system made this training unpopular. 6 © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson Sample Training Program Schedules


Program 1—Manager/Appraiser Training Program


Suggested Timing for Each Session Segment


Total Time: 2 hours Introduction to session: 15 minutes Lecture on general communication skills: 15 minutes Refreshment break: 10 minutes Lecture on how to complete performance management documentation: 25 minutes Video on performance management: 30 minutes Questions and answers: 10 minutes Computer-based test: 15 minutes Program 2—Appraisee Training Program


Suggested Timing for Each Session Segment


Total Time: 2 hours Introduction to the training (includes goals and objectives): 10 minutes Discussion with participants about what they want to get out of the session: 5 minutes Lecture on why performance management is important: 10 minutes Case study on dealing with difficult situations (whole group discussion): 20 minutes Role-play on dealing with difficult situations (pairs with a


third person providing feedback): 20 minutes


Interactive presentation on SMART objectives and training needs analysis: 10 minutes


Small group case study on setting SMART objectives


and identifying training needs: 15 minutes


Whole group discussion on how to complete performance


management documentation: 15 minutes


Introduction to additional resources, including handouts


and website addresses: 10 minutes


Session evaluation: 5 minutes © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson 7 TRAINING EVALUATION FORM


Your name:


Name of training session:


Name of trainer:


Why did you attend this training session? Very Good Good Satisfactory Poor Very Poor Strongly


Agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly


Disagree Please rate the following aspects of the training: Quality of materials


Knowledge of trainer


Presentation skills of trainer


Location of training event


Duration of event The session met the stated objectives.


The activities in the training session worked well.


The training methods were appropriate.


This training helped me develop my knowledge in this area.


This training helped me develop my skills in this area.


I now feel confident conducting performance reviews with members of my team.




on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, rate your level of knowledge before the program.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, rate your level of knowledge after the program.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Additional comments or suggestions: Thank you for taking the time to complete this evaluation. 8 © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson aPPraISee traINING ProGram aGeNDa: PerFormaNce maNaGemeNt Session introduction (led by trainer)


• Session overview


• Goals and objectives


• Question-and-answer period for initial questions from participants Introduction to performance management


(interactive presentation led by trainer)


• What does performance management mean?


• Why does the school have a performance management system?


• What are the benefits of performance management? review of the new system (lecture by trainer) Practical considerations


• Who will conduct staff appraisals?


• How long will the appraisals take?


• Where will the appraisals take place?


• How far in advance will appraisees know the date for their performance review (one week, more)?


• What documents/evidence will you need to show your appraiser? Review the new documents and explain how they were designed. Explain how to complete the new documents. role-play activity The group will be split into teams of three and will receive a completed performance


review preparation sheet. One person will play the appraise, one person will be the


appraiser, and a third person will observe and provide feedback. communication skills After a brief interactive presentation, the trainer will work with the groups through


role-play scenarios. How to make the most out of your performance management review


• Five tips for a successful performance review.


• Dealing with difficult issues.


• Following up after your meeting. Question-and-answer session followed by the distribution of the performance


management documents


Session evaluation © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson 9 Bibliography/Additional Reading


Please note that the main text for this case study is Dessler’s Human Resource


Management. It is required reading to successfully complete the case.




Dessler, G. (2005). Human Resource Management. 10th edition. Prentice Hall


Ivancevich, J.M. (2006). Human Resource Management. 10th edition. McGraw-Hill.




Horwitz, F.M. (1999). The emergence of strategic training and development: the


current state of play. Journal of European Industrial Training. 23 (4/5), 180-190.


Hughey, A.W., and Mussnug, K.J. (1997). Designing effective employee training


progammes. Training for Quality. 5(2), 52-57.


Roffe, I. (1999). Innovation and creativity in organisations: a review of the


implications for training and development. Journal of European Industrial Training.


23 (4/5), 224-241.


Shen, J. (2005). International training and management development: theory and


reality. The Journal of Management Development. 24(7), pp. 656-666.


Skinner, D., Saunders, M.N.K., and Beresford, R. (2004). Towards a shared


understanding of skill shortages: differing perceptions of training and development


needs. Education & Training. 46(4), 182-193.


Stern, D., Song, Y., and O’Brien, B. (2004). Company training in the United States


1970–2000: what have been the trends over time? International Journal of Training


and Development. 8(3), 191-209.


Tannenbaum, S.I., and Yukl, G. (1992). Training and Development in work


organizations. Annual Review of Psychology. 43, 399-441.


Arthur, W., and Bennett, W. (2003). Effectiveness of Training in Organizations:


A Meta-Analysis of Design and Evaluation Features. Journal of Applied Psychology.


88(2), 234-245. 10 © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson Internet Sources


CIPD (2007). Creative Learning Methods (online).


subjects/training/trnmthds/creatmthds (Accessed 14 August 2007).


CIPD (2007). Identifying Learning and training needs (online)


(Accessed 15 August 2007).


NWLink (2007). Instructional System Design (online). (Accessed 27 October 2007).


Free Management Library (2007). Systematic approaches to Training and


Development (online).


(Accessed 27 October 2007). © 2008 Society for Human Resource Management. Fiona L. Robson 11 SHRM members can download this case study and many others free of charge at


If you are not a SHRM member and would like to become one, please visit 1800 Duke Street


Alexandria, VA 22314-3499


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