Wegmans has a few organizational needs that go hand in hand with the training provided to its employees. In other words, training at Wegmans complements and drives its organizational needs. One of these needs is encouraging a friendly culture and positive values within the organization (Bingham & Galagan, 2005). Training helps achieve this because it gives older and well-established employees the opportunity to spend time with younger newer ones and train or help them when they are stuck. This promotes a positive and caring organizational culture.
Also, a team of skilled employees is an organizational need for Wegmans that is very positively met by training the employees. Training employees about the products and teaching them cooking techniques enhances their skills and allows them to better sell the company’s products. Moreover, another one of Wegmans’ organizational need is to have a team of motivated employees. Training at Wegmans is critical for motivating employees because as stated by Jo Natale, a company spokesperson, training employees and increasing their knowledge about the products makes them want to learn more techniques (Bingham & Galagan, 2005).
Employees that have in-depth product knowledge are eager to learn what to do with this knowledge and how to better serve their customers. Wegmans places heavy importance on customer service and it ensures that its employees know that good customer service is a value at Wegmans. Therefore, training employees also enables the company to meet its objective of good customer service because as mentioned earlier, skilled/trained and motivated employees can better sell the company’s products to the customers by adding value to the products as well as the customer experience.
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According to the case, how does Wegmans’ measure the success of its training?
At Wegmans, the success of a training programme or any employee training is measured by the sales volume. If the sales and profits are growing, this can be attributed to highly skilled and well-trained employees. Even the performance of the director of training and development is measured by the level of sales volume and profit.
Do you think e-learning might be an appropriate training method at Wegmans? Why or Why not?
For what aspect of training might it be most beneficial? Read about Wegmans Social Responsibility
Even though e-learning reduces costs and learning times, and allows employees the opportunity to self-pace their learning (Kruse, 2004), it might not be the best training option for Wegmans. The reason for this is that as Danny Wegman, CEO at Wegman pointed out, in the food business, it is important to learn using “all the five senses” (Bingham & Galagan, 2005). With the implementation of e-learning this will not be entirely possible. Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning, however, can still take place online.
On a more specific note, the reason why e-learning at Wegmans will not be appropriate is because most f the training conducted is practical such as ways to cook and bake. Now, even if a computer decides to teach cooking and baking and employees have the option of timing it according to their pace, portability might still be an issue. Furthermore, even if this issue is resolved with using technologies such as PDAs, it will increase costs for the company. Moreover, two important values at Wegmans are customer service and working towards common goals in a cooperative manner. Read about Pros and cons of on the job training
To train employees for providing better customer service, Wegmans believes in brining them face-to face with them. Therefore, with the introduction of e-learning, they will be required to let go of this practice and adopt another approach to training employees for better customer service. The second value given importance at Wegmans is working together in a friendly manner towards common goals. Under such a culture, older employees feel responsible and happy to help out younger ones when they find themselves in a problem. This kind of learning motivates younger employees, makes them feel special and instates in them the values of the company.
This will also be not possible with the introduction of e-learning. Therefore, in my opinion, e-learning at Wegmans will not be the most appropriate training method because of the ‘practicality’ involved in the current training. However, e-learning can be employed to train employees on other matters that do not require first hand practical experience such as product knowledge.
Discuss how on-going training for employees can have a positive impact on employee retention.
On-going training means to keep training employees for the whole length of time that they spend in the organization.
On-going training for employees make them feel like their employers think about them and their skills development (Villegas, 2006). They feel like they are expected to do better at the job and that their employers are providing for this. Therefore, they stay motivated, feel important, and feel the need to keep coming back. Hence, there is a direct positive link between on-going training and employee retention (Villegas, 2006). More on-going training keeps them coming back.
However, it is important to note that on-going training may not be sufficient to retain employees.
It needs to be partnered with other methods such as coaching (Villegas, 2006), and maybe increased monetary benefits so that employees do not think about switching to other companies.
Bingham, T. & Galagan, P. (2005). A Higher Level of Learning. T&D. Kruse, K. (2004).
The Benefits and Drawbacks of e-Learning. Retrieved on May 1, 2010, from http://www. e-learningguru. com/articles/art1_3. htm
Villegas J. & Villegas, R. (2006). Training is Not Enough. Retrieved on May 1, 2010, from Saipan Tribune http://www. saipantribune. com/newsstory. aspx? cat=3&newsID=62172
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