Training in the Workplace
My research report is based around a questionnaire designed to analyse employee’s opinions on work based training.In particular apprenticeships, these are widely used by the government to increase knowledge and to train the current workforce in the work place increasing standards.Their aim is to raise the standard of education within the work place.
“However research has shown that the UK lags behind other advanced countries in the quality and quality of the vocational skills held by its workforce” (Greehalgh 1999). Aim and description of mini project Does age affect employee’s perception of training?
This research will show if the age of the employee has an effect on how they see the training, will the younger employees value the training more because they can see the benefits of possible career progression, training does increase the chances of promotion and job opportunities. The organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD) supports that training does increase prospects. ”Education and training may enhance the potential benefits that individuals can reap from participating in the labour market” (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development 2004).
Will the older staff feel this is a waste of time, they are coming towards the end of their careers and may not want to change? Will the answers help support the policy in France were they start the training at an early age. The research by (OECD) also suggests that training the young and highly educated demonstrates a clear impact on their wages and the older employees this helps in sustaining employment prospects. Are the skills learned actually transferred into the working environment? Using the qualitative approach (Grbich 2013) Carol suggests this is primarily an inductive approach.
The data I will be using in my research to obtain the employees opinions on what has been gained from the training and what they feel are the major benefits. Do the employees feel that there is a benefit at all? The government’s policy in increasing training is supported by Reith L, (2000) she reports that a significant improvement has been reported by several high street chains. Who benefits from apprenticeship training program? Although these staff have all undergone the apprenticeship training, will they use the training in their workplace? Is the training of the correct quality?
This research will show if these employees believe if their training is relevant to their roles and if they feel they will be using it during their working day and how often they feel they will use it. The research process The first stage in my research process was to calculate what I wanted to find out, what were my aims and could I achieve them using a small research sample which may be too small to gain a true picture. I decided as all of the distribution staff who had undertaken the training should be asked to participate, thus giving me an accurate sample within our workplace.
This however could not be multiplied to form an opinion of the whole population as the training provided to our employees was specific to our field and with such a wide range of course type’s opinions could vary extensively from sector to sector. I have considered a range of research ethics when compiling this research, confidentiality was a one of my main concerns however by informing each participant verbally and also writing a statement at the top of the questionnaire reminding them that this was anonymous.
I considered age and as shown in the image 1. 1a I have a spread of age groups. All participants are male, the reason for this is that no females are employed within the sampled department. The reason I personally handed out the questionnaires was to encourage their return, each participant is a member of my distribution team and research has shown that the return rate can be very low unless monetary incentives are used. (Yu, Cooper 1983). I was not in a position to offer payment or reward.
I provided a sealed box with a cut out so each employee could hand it in without me having the ability to read the questionnaires as they were handed in which would have removed the anonymity. By using a paper version this makes it accessible for all participants to take part and the immediate return to me via the box, thus removing the need to use a return date. This also gave me a 100% return rate and no one how was asked to complete the survey refused to do so although all participants were given a choice. Although I debated using a computer based questionnaire, with built in software to analyse the results automatically.
This would have made the analysing part of my research easier, however may not have provided me with a true sample because the older generations within the proposed sample base are not as familiar with computers as the younger staff members. Thus increasing the possibility in their ability and willingness to take part. A report in Sweden suggests Technological advances tend to exclude older adults who grew up without these facilities (Berner, Rennemark et al. 2013) The use of dichotomous questions has allowed me to ask the question and get a distinctive response allowing me to analyse my questions easily.
Likert scale questions have enabled me to gather responses based on the scale of opinion with more choices than either or, yes or no. One of my questions for instance is “How will your training be used in your day to day work? ” this is impossible to gauge without the use of the scale. I would have had to rephrase the question and only had the option of used or not used. The dichotomous and likert scale questions have provided all of the information which is used in the results section of this report. All of my graphs and charts have been produced from these questions.
The use of the open ended questions has provided me with qualitative responses which are not necessarily useful to create statistics or prepare graphs, however they do allow me to get feedback and opinion I may not have been able to gather using other forms of questioning. Pilot Study I conducted a pilot study of my questionnaire with 3 other members of staff who would not be participants in the real questionnaire. This gave me the opportunity to evaluate my questionnaire, is it coherent and that the type and way I asked the questions could be understood.
De Vaus (1993:54) cited in (VanTeijlingen 2001) suggests using this pilot study provides advance warning and this have proved to be the case so served its purpose exactly. One point that was highlighted was the question on educational levels, I was trying to gather what was their previous levels however the tester found this question was not clear and I amended the final version to include the word previous. A very simple mistake but would have rendered that section of the questionnaire useless, as I would have been unable to differentiate who had answered the question based on previous or present after the training.
Results and finding Image 1. 1a shows the age demographics of the sample As shown in image 1. 1 above there is a random spread of age groups within this sample. I do not have any employees in the department sampled under 18 years of age which would have affected the ethics. No employees are over the age of 65 which also gave me 0%. However the largest age group within the sample are between 26 – 33 years old, a 12% increase on the nearest group. Image 1. 1b below shows the mean, mode and median of the age sample. Image 1. 1b Mean Mode Median 4. 2 26- 33 4 Image 1.
2 below shows that 52% have answered very relevant when asked about the relevance of the training in their employment. The mode shows that this is positive and the answers indicate that the training is worthwhile. 16% (4 responses) indicated that the training was not relevant, this can partially be explained by the fact that 2 members of this team are currently helping out within another department and most of the training is not suitable. None of the sample who indicated that the training was not relevant was from a particular age bracket, therefore suggesting that there is no correlation between the two and answering my first objective.
From the sample used neither the younger or older age groups answered in one particular way. Had the sample been in the thousands this may have yielded a clearer correlation. Image 1. 2 shows the percentage on how relevant is the training. Image 1. 3 demonstrates how the employees feel they will use their training Image 1. 3 above suggests that the training received would be used more often than not. Again the 16 percent can be attributed to those who are currently carrying out other roles. The mode is I will use it every day. Altogether 84% are positive about the training and when they will use it.
Not one respondent felt they would not use the training provided. Image 1. 4 below is very surprising, only 4 participants (16%) have indicated that English and Maths training would help them in their work. Thus suggesting that most employees already had the required standard and possibly suggesting that the government training is too low of a level for the majority and should be tailored to suit the individuals needs more specifically. (Steedman 1990) argued that NVQ level 1 is too low to constitute an adequate measure of skill for a worker in an advanced industrial economy.
However the City and guilds training body states “Maths and English skills are surely the most valuable vocational skills of all” (City and Guilds 2013) 3 of the 4 (75%) who indicated that this training was useful also answered that they did not have any previous qualifications. Image 1. 5 shows all respondents previous level of education. Image 1. 4 Has English and Maths training helped you in your work? Previous Level of Education Answer Tally Frequency Percent Answer Tally Frequency Percent Degree higher education 1. 1 2 8. 00% A Level 0 0. 00% 0 Level 1. 1. 1. 1 4 16. 00% GCSE 1. 1. 1. 1 4
16. 00% Apprenticeship 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1 8 32. 00% NVQ 1. 1. 1. 1 4 16. 00% No Qualifications 1. 1. 1 3 12. 00% 25 25 100. 00% Mean Mode Median 3. 6 Apprenticeship 4 With the exception of English and Maths training my findings show that the training was positive and that this will be used within the employee’s duties and will be useful in the workplace. This indicates that further investment in employee training would be of benefit. This provides the answers to my second and third objective. The question what is most important to you was seeking to clarify the employees main motivation.
60% chose self-satisfaction in their ability to complete a qualification as their first choice. While showing your employer you are capable was their second choice and thinking they may get a pay rise was the last option for 87%. (Kovach 1987) supports my theory that monetary reward is not the highest motivator. Abraham Maslow (Maslow 1948) hierarchy of needs also supports my findings as he demonstrates that self-esteem and self-actualizing needs are in the top layers of the hierarchical pyramid, personal worth and fulfilling one’s own potential are high on people’s needs.
The majority also answered the question on whether their employer was correct to invest in staff training answered yes. Reasons provided for answering yes to this questions were provided from my open ended questions which provided me with qualitative data. Respondent A “because better drivers mean less crashes, so better for the insurance and also reduces fuel consumption” I felt this was answering the question as taught on the training, this is what it set out to achieve in part. Respondent B “investment in the future of the company”
None of the above have mentioned the benefit to themselves and the possible motivational value. Reflection The initial intention of handing out the questionnaires would have worked to my initial planning had in not been for a last minute change to my working patterns. Although this could not have been foreseen, planning for any future questionnaire would now be altered and I would distribute these in the staff pigeon holes and the use of a return date would help, this might have reduced the responses hoverer it would have proved a faster return and not relied on me personally seeing each member of the team.
The sample used was selected by me and therefore is classed and non-probability because this was not a random sample and could be a bias sample because of my position within the company I cannot verify if the answers are a true reflection and truthful, I did however allow these to be handed in anonymously and told each participant to be honest. Combining a mixture of qualitative and quantitative provided me with some advantages, the ability to obtain answers from different perspectives and enhancing the validity of my findings, this is suggested by (Grbich 2013).
The use of the non-probability sample means that this research cannot be used as a representative sample for the population. Although I found this part of the task easier than expected I feel because of the all-male environment and the small research sample I would like to conduct the same research across multiple companies undergoing the same training and also with mixed sex. It would also be useful to compare my findings alongside those of the management. Conclusion
My conclusion on this research is that from those sampled I cannot find any trends that would suggest from an employee point of view, that the apprenticeship training has a higher value to the younger staff or the older staff. This includes who gains from the training, the employer or the employee. The main motivational reason was self-satisfaction, Demonstrating financial reward is low on most people’s agenda as previous research has shown. The research suggests that from an employee’s point of view the training is relevant and most would use it in the day to day roles within their work place.
This is however with the exception of English and Maths, it identifies that the group who found this part of the training useful were the staff with no previous qualifications, the other 84% did not feel it would not help them in their work. This demonstrates that one solution does not fit all and a more tailored training approach with different levels offered to each employee this may benefit and offer a more suitable training approach in the future. To gain accurate results this study would need to be carried out on all apprenticeship trained employees and if done in
subject areas this would provide a clearer understanding within a subject area. Does level 1 in maths suffice for a hairdresser who rarely counts compared to a warehouseman who counts daily? Their response to the maths question could have the potentially to vary. References BERNER, J. S. , RENNEMARK, M. , JOGREUS, C. and BERGLUND, J. , 2013. Factors associated with change in Internet usage of Swedish older adults (2004–2010). Health Informatics Journal, 19(2), pp. 152-162. CITY AND GUILDS, July 2013, 2013-last update, Putting Maths and English learning into context [Homepage of City and Guilds], [Online]. Available: http://www.
cityandguilds. com/About-Us/Broadsheet-News/July-2013/Maths-and-English-in-context [24th Novembber 2013, 2013]. GRBICH, C. , 2013. Qualitative data analysis : an introduction. 2 edn. London: Sage. GREEHALGH, C. , 1999. Adult vocational training and government policy in France and Britain. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 15(1), pp. 97-113. KOVACH, K. A. , 1987. What motivates employees? Workers and supervisors give different answers. Business horizons, 30(5), pp. 58-65. MASLOW, A. H. , 1948. “Higher” and “Lower” Needs. The Journal of psychology, 25(2), pp. 433-436. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION & DEVELOPMENT, 2004.
OECD Employment Outlook 2004. Revised edn. Org. for Economic Cooperation & Development. STEEDMAN, H. , 1990. Improvements in in workforce Qualifications. Improvements in in workforce Qualifications: Britain and France 1978 – 88, pp. 129. VANTEIJLINGEN, E. , 2001. The Importance of Pilot Studies. Social Research Update, 35, pp. 1-2, 3, 4. YU, J. and COOPER, H. , 1983. A Quantitative Review of Research Design Effects on Response Rates to Questionnaires. Journal of Marketing Research, 20(1), pp. 36-44. Appendix The Questionnaire Training In The workplace I would like to thank you in advance for participating in my questionnaire.
You have been selected to take part because you have undergone apprenticeship training within the last 12 months. The reason I am asking you to complete this is to aid my research at Hull University where I am a part time student. The information provided is anonymous and confidential and will not be shared with any part of the business, your responses will have no effect on your employment and I would appreciate if you could be as honest as possible with your answers. Age Group (circle one age group) 18 – 2526 – 3334 – 41 42 – 4950 – 5758 – 6565+ Gender (tick one answer) MaleFemale
What is your highest level Education / Qualification? (Tick one you’re highest only) Degree Higher Education A Level O level GCSE Apprenticeships NVQ No Qualifications How would you rate the following in the order of what means the most to you. 1 being the most important to you and 5 least important to you. (Please write the numbers 1 to 5 in the boxes next to each option). A Qualification that is transferable in the workplace Self-satisfaction in your ability to complete a qualification Showing your employer you are capable of passing A qualification which enables you to perform better at work
Thinking you may get a pay rise for passing How do you rate the relevance of your training in respect of your employment? (Tick one answer) Very relevant Somewhat Relevant Relevant Not Relevant How will your training be used in your day to day work? (Tick one answer). I will use it every day I will use it most of the time I will use it some times I may use it sometimes I will not use it Part of the training involved key skills maths and English, do you think this element of the training should be included? (Tick one answer). Yes No Would you want to undertake further training? (Tick one answer) Yes No Why did you attend the training?