Development Programs

Development programs are important for groups and organizations, as they support useful changes and improvements. The advantage of using development programs is that they structure the improvements in a way that is efficiently manageable and easy to implement. However, different circumstances make for a different approach for a development program to be effective. Thus, individuals, groups, and organizations as a whole have different requirements. In developing programs, there are also three important elements that can be taken into consideration. There is goal setting, behavior modification, and team building.

Each can be used solely or complement each other for an individual, group, or organization to achieve its goals. Individuals Development programs for an individual give focus on the person and his differing needs. According to Miller and Osinski (1996), individual development programs aim to patch shortcomings and instigate improvements in an individual who needs development, as well as institute improvement on all individuals for the benefit of himself and his role. In treating an individual, his needs and the way that these needs differ from those of other people are given consideration.

This is an especially important fact when making a development program geared towards influencing individual persons. There should be more weight put on what can interest each of the target audience of the program to achieve success. A needs assessment begins the program. The individual is evaluated from which his needs are known. This needs become the basis of the training and development customized for him. The program is designed and implemented, though changes may be instituted from time to time to fit the changing individual.

After the program, the individual and the program are evaluated to find out if the development program has been effective, and if improvements may be necessary. Groups Development program for groups, on the other hand, has a different focal point. Avelino and Lifton (2001) assert that group programs in organizations help increase the productivity of the individuals involved in the organization. However, the group shall have to be a work team first who is both effective and efficient. When this has been accomplished, the group which is now a team can start with their development program.

A group’s development program begins with an acquaintance stage for the members of the team. It is only when the members already know about each other that they can effectively communicate. When this has been done, a brainstorming can be called to order. The brainstorming is where ideas and objectives come from. These ideas define what roles and tasks can be divided to each member on the next stage, the norming phase. When each member has been delegated, members start working and consulting each other about how the work can be done. Finally, members verbally accept or modify the tasks put on them.

(Avelino and Lifton, 2001) Group development programs focus on tasks. Thus, most items included in this program are based on job descriptions, assessments of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities (KSA), identifying and evaluating the standards of performance, work performance observations, and identification of problems of each individual if there are any. (Miller and Osinski, 1996) In facilitating so, needed solutions can be instituted properly and timely. Organizations In organizations, development programs go through phases to be accomplished.

There is also an assessment of the organizational needs, but apart from that there is a study of the objectives of development instruction, development instruction design, the implementation stage, and the evaluation of the program. (Miller and Osinski, 1996) The needs assessment creates a foundation for the development program. This is where topics of instruction or development focus will be based. The needs of the organization, however, differ from that of individuals’ and groups’ in such a way that many of their developmental needs are based on organizational vision and missions.

This includes the needs of the individuals who are part of the organization as well as the need of the organization as a whole. Development programs for organizations also needs to follow a set of instruction objectives based on the organization’s assessed needs. These objectives are instructed following an instruction design which will be the way the program is carried out in the implementation stage. After the implementation, an evaluation of the program shall be done to identify the successes of the initiative as well as improvements that may be in order.

Organizational development programs also take into consideration factors which are outside of the workplace such as political and lawmaking changes, organizational changes, environmental effects, and goals that the organization is ready to focus on. Development programs for organizations are led by senior administrators, human resources managers, or a group of people directly managing the organization. In all types of development program, whether it is for an individual, group, or an organization, the evaluation is a key developmental stage.

The evaluation phase enables the proponents of a program to know if each of the target participants of development has been properly reached by the program, and if they learned anything from it. Miller and Osinski (1996) states that evaluations determine if the objectives developed in the beginning of the program were achieved, know how the participants of the program react to it, what the participants learned and how much, and how well are they willing and able to bring what they have learned from the program.

There are many ways in evaluating a development program in an organization. There can be a written examination, a one-on-one interview/observation, an open-group discussion, a feedback solicitation process such as using a feedback form or a feedback forum, or there is also the post-program observation to determine if objectives were met and if goals were absorbed by the participants of the program. Goal Setting Goal setting, behavior modification, and team building are necessary business processes that allow organizations and individuals to improve.

They are essential in development program in that goals make focus possible, behavioral modification makes positive behavior remain, and teams allow for synergy and cooperation. While they may have interrelated and even similar purposes, each of them are different in their own respects. Each has different characteristics as well. Goal setting, for instance, gives a person, a group, or organization a focal point. With focus, it is easier for a person to know what his priorities are, and how these priorities can be implemented.

Goals also give motivation, and helps one identify if the goals are smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Goals may be in a personal, group, or organizational level. (Personal goal setting, 2007) On a personal level, goal setting is focused on what an individual assumes to achieve in a specific period of time. It may be a short-term goal he aims to achieve now or in a matter of days or weeks, or a mid-term goal achievable in a matter of months, or a long-term goal set for accomplishment in years.

The goal may concern oneself or what oneself wants to do toward another person or thing. As well, the goals of an individual are often smaller in scale compared to those set by a group or an organization. (Personal goal setting, 2007) On a group level, goal setting takes the needs and wants of a group. Before these goals are set, it is important that disagreements have been reconciled. The group must have carried out an agreement of what their goals will be. This will avoid any later problems that may arise.

When goals have been agreed on and set out, this is the time when the members can delegate tasks and commit to each. It differs from individual goal setting because this time the goals do not concern any one person’s interest but the collective interest of the members of the group. An organization goal setting is wholly different as it gives focus on the vision and missions of the organization. In the absence of this, the needs and wants that the management would like to achieve is where the organization can base goals.

The organization may create these goals from the individual needs of the workforce, or of the company as a whole. Organizational goals, when set, are then studied so that implementation and instructional techniques are identified and put into place. These goals differ from individual goals because they have no focus on one person, yet differ from group goals as well because goals are based on the needs of many groups under the organization’s care. Behavior Modification Behavior modification, on the other hand, uses a rewards system.

The thrust of this is that rewarding positive behavior increases the occurrence of such behavior. Thus, when individuals are productive and achieve results, behavior modification allows the, to enjoy the fruits of their labor through compensation. For instance, an employee who exceeds the standards required of their position receives bonus compensation. In doing so the management encourages them to continue their exemplary performance, while also influencing those who are underperforming, or just meeting their standards equally, to compete and do the same.

(Behavior modification, 2007) Team Building Team building is done to make group function effectively, and avoid pitfalls as each of their members function together as one. For team building to be successful, each member should follow a singular goal and focus on it. Every member should be functioning towards the implementation of these goals. Each member of the team should have a clear task, and should know how to efficiently carry out these tasks. (Team building, 1995) It is not enough for a group of people to assemble to be called a team.

Teams require a special bonding and correlation. Otherwise, they are called plainly as a group. This also denies the members the opportunity to work in synergy with the other members of the group. Without this synergy, the group will have no focus and goals will be hard to achieve. Cooperation is the key premise of team building. Cooperation means that team members should be responsible of their assigned tasks, as well as be sensitive about other members who may need help. This is because should one of these assignments fail, the whole team will not work.

References

Avelino, J. and Lifton, H. 2001. How to develop a group into an effective work team. Retrieved July 28, 2007, from http://www.aednet.org/ced/feb99/people_points.htm

Behavior modification. 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2007, from http://add.about.com/cs/discipline/a/behavior.htm

Miller, J. and Osinski, D. 1996. Training needs assessment. Retrieved July 28, 2007, from http://www.ispi.org/pdf/suggestedReading/Miller_Osinski.pdf

Personal goal setting. 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2007, from http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

Team building. 1995. Retrieved July 28, 2007, from http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/teambuilding.htm