Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
Work based learning is one of the learning processes that take place at workplace; moreover, you cannot learn it in a classroom. The main purpose of this report is to adequately evaluate a training course I attended for Employment Tribunals by a UK law firm at the end of 2011. Unfortunately, the training records are absent and, therefore, the documentary evidence required for my learning process may be inadequate.
The study embraced on Harrison (2009) model of designing learning programmes and accesses the learning process. Harrison based model was used since it sufficiently assess the human resource issues and challenges such as learning process in a concise clear and adequate manner. It relies on online assessment and development of knowledge based learning in a practical manner and therefore, it is preferred.
Establishing the Partnership
The main objective and purpose of the training process was to gain knowledge on UK Employment Tribunals. At the beginning of the training, my experience was limited to only Guernsey and Jersey where Tribunals and the legal system were significantly different. Therefore, the whole training process was a cornerstone for me in order to improve my performance at work and hopefully to manage employee relations hence eventually add value on the profitability level of the business; UK Employment Tribunal through proper defence. Therefore, the main driver of the learning process was to seal the knowledge gap, because my role was heavily embedded on jurisdiction within UK Employment Tribunal practices.
The training course took two days and the last hour of the second day was used as a feedback session on what we had learned. Some of the partners were UK government lawyers, judges, solicitor general among other key judicial dignitaries. In the training process, shared responsibilities played a key role in promoting the work-based learning work. The feedback facilitation helped me identify what were the primary points I had picked up, but also provided the trainers with an idea on what needed should be handled in the next training process. This improved the partnership process further because date and venues for next training were announced.
Integrating Planning and Evaluation
The evaluation process was termed as an essential part of the learning process as the literature offered relevant examples on how to establish link between work-based learning, changes in practice, and the quality of services.
Many scholars and researchers suggested that learning process can take place within and out of work provided that it aims to improve the working performance level (Harrison 2009; Gold et al. 2011). In my case, the learning process took place out of work place. It was not designed with my company, but rather an over-view of the current legal system and what recent case law had been challenged.
This had taken place prior to me joining the company, but played a fundamental part of maritime case law for offshore crewing companies who employed UK crew. Given that the training process included other candidates who were from different organizations ensured that there was a broad range of experiences, I found it particularly useful during the discussion sessions and group work. I felt that a training course, which had been designed specifically for my organization may have succeeded in the same manner. My trainer was sharing with me his experience and knowledge; moreover, I was also gaining an insight into how other organizations dealt with potential situations and also, using some examples that the other delegates. Evaluation was included in the planning schedule after the training process and it embraced discussion with the trainers and tests on what we learned.
Identifying Training and Learning Needs
The CIPD model (2006) was used whereby it states that presence of a gap between current and required level of performance trigger ‘learning need’. Although this was not my case, there might have been a presence of learning need so as to improve my knowledge of UK Employment Tribunals affecting my performance and hence improve my role in near future.
Learning needs are normally defined at one of three levels:
An organisational need as a result of new legislative requirements, technological development, or major restructuring
A group or job need as a result of changing requirements or new specifications
An individual need due to sub-standard performance or, when starting a new job, a transfer, promotion or secondment requiring new skills.
The trainers could also rely on Training Needs Analysis (TNA) accompanied by questionnaires and brief interviews about the UK tribunal duties. This helps in identifying the needs of the employees and suggests appropriate measures that the company may undertake to improve performance. The main advantage of TNA was that it involves skill tests and observations.
Agreeing Learning Principles and Strategy
Currently, the company does have a ‘Study Leave’ policy and not ‘Learning and Development’ policy. However, the culture of the company does actively encourage a range of learning to take place. The most popular is short courses for skills based learning strategies. The strategies relating to off the training are highly effective, because the employees were relaxed and they can match what they learn and application practically. Usually, the line management supported the course training and feedback based sessions after the training process where the main points were adequately discussed. This ensured that the training was worthwhile, and whether or not it had sufficiently met the training need. There was a meeting on knowledge gap that had been established after the learning process to a discussion on ‘what next’.
The workshop style training event was sufficient to meet the current need. It had also highlighted an overall requirement to ensure that future knowledge gaps could be identified and filled, it was, therefore, agreed that the PG Diploma would help me to compete for self-assessment on my role. This was highly welcoming because I will directly report to finance director and not to the HR practitioner. Therefore, it was my responsibility to ensure that I appropriately gain the knowledge necessary for my workplace. Moreover, the planning process embraced cost and budget allocation necessary in attending the training process.
Designing and Delivering Training
The main objective of the training was to provide the trainees with pre-requisite skills about the knowledge need in UK based tribunal. In order to deliver the training well; the training methods applied involved:
- Case study
- Group discussion
- Scenario/role-playing based learning
- Honey and Mumford and also Kolb's learning styles
I felt that the case study and group discussion methods were useful when integrated with theories. Gibbs’ (2011) strategies aimed at promoting a deep approach to learning and improving the quality of learning, including, learning by doing, emphasizing the learners’ active involvement through such stratagems as role-play, simulations, use of games, workplace visits. Some of the theories used in the training process include Stakeholder theory (Berman et al. 2004) that has been widely used in the management literature and which has been widely relied on accounting and public sector departments to improve performance and interaction skills among employees. Off the job training’ theory was also provided through Honey and Mumford, and also Kolb’s learning styles where the trainers emphasized on employees to attend off the job training seminars and workshop.
It is through these training that they end up assembling more knowledge about work place skills. Therefore, the learning of this event could be measured from my involvement in subsequent UK Employment Tribunals. By having knowledge of what is required and how the tribunals are completed, I could recognize the differences between the local tribunals and those of the London, UK. It was the case matter that ultimately determined whether we won or lost. I believe that by having a sound knowledge of the system contributed towards our success. Since the training has been completed, I have been involved in two UK Employment Tribunals which have both been won by the company.
Monitoring and Evaluating Outcomes
To best evaluate my learning, I have decided to use Kirkpatrick model for evaluation purposes. If any organization plans to deliver training to the employees and later measure potential effectiveness, then the employer should use Kirkpatrick model. The model analyzes the effectiveness of the training process before illustrating areas of improvement. In the process, there are four models based levels used in the evaluation training programs.
Level 1: Reaction
This level measures how we reacted to the training process. Obviously, the trainer expected to feel that we have gained valuable experience from the topic presentation process, material used among other avenues. It was essential to measure the reaction level because this illustrates how we welcomed the ideas provided by the trainer about UK tribunals. Moreover, out reactions on the topic, theories and case studies provided helped the trainers to understand some of the areas that need further improvement. Moreover, it unveiled some of the missing materials and information found to miss in the training process.
Level 2: Learning
In this level, the trainer and the model measure what I have learnt. This means how much my knowledge in UK tribunals has increased. Usually in any learning process, the training session should be accompanied by specific based learning objectives. In most cases, there should be a clear measurement point of the whole training activities. The researcher was supposed to keep in mind that the learning process measurement varies depending on the objectives of the study, attitudes, knowledge and, eventually, the skills that we had. I required knowledge about UK based tribunal system.
Level 3: Behavior
Essentially, this section involved in testing my behaviour based on the training level that I was provided with. In most cases, it entails how the trainees apply the knowledge acquired through training. It is important to have favourable behaviour meaning that the trainee has learnt anything that is highly effective. However, lack of behavioural change does not amount to the trainee, having learnt nothing. Therefore the boss should ensure that employees acquire it voluntarily. Some trainees may acquire the necessary knowledge but end up not applying it; hence it is the duty of the boss to make a follow up of the knowledge application. This leads to result level.
Level 4: Results
In this level, the trainer should analyze the final results of the training process. This entails outcome I am providing to the organization employees and other business based bottom lines.
CIPD 2006, Change agenda: The value of learning a new model of value and evaluation.
London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. [Accessed 29 May 2013]
Doncaster, D & Garnett, J 2000, Effective work based learning partnerships: Two case studies from Middlesex University.Education through partnership, 4 (1). pp. 18-24.
Gibb, S 2011, Human resource development foundations, process, Contexts. 3rd Ed.
Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gold, J., Holden, R., Iles, P., Stewart, J & Beardwell, J 2010, Human resource development
theory & practice, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Harrison, R 2009, Learning & development. 5th Ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel
Kolb, DA 1984, Experiential learning, experiences as the source of learning and
development. New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
Kirkpatrick, DL 1975, Techniques for evaluating training programs. Evaluating training programs in D. L. Kirkpatrick (ed.) Alexandria, VA: ASTD.
Taylor, S 2008, People resourcing. 4th Ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and