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?
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT STUDENT WORKBOOK Southwood School: A Case Study
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
Note to HR faculty and instructors: SHRM cases and modules are intended for use in HR classrooms at
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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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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). http://www.cipd.co.uk/
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).
http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/sat.html (Accessed 27 October 2007).
Free Management Library (2007). Systematic approaches to Training and
Development (online). http://www.managementhelp.org/trng_dev/basics/isd.htm
(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 www.shrm.org/hreducation/cases.asp.
If you are not a SHRM member and would like to become one, please visit www.shrm.org/join. 1800 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3499
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