Business growth through the company’s high-performance working environment contributes a lot to the development of the UK’s economy. There are certain evidence that show that high-performance working environment enhances the productivity and performance of the organization which will lead to the overall increase in the economy’s performance. If the organizations adopt the high-performance working practices in all of its units, it will improve the firm’s performance. Here, the adoption of high-performance working by A David & Co. Ltd will be analyzed. High-performance working is a strategy that is followed by A David & Co. Ltd. in order to achieve the organizational goal by engaging the employees (Belloc, H. 2008). The manager evaluates the employee knowledge, skills and behaviors as it required for a high-performance working practice. Some important factors will be considered when implementing and evaluating inclusive learning and development to drive sustainable business performance (Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. 2006). For an effective high-performance working environment, the implementation of performance management is crucial for A David and Co. Ltd. Some approaches that can be followed by A David & Co. Ltd will be evaluated as performance management is an integral part of the high-performance working system.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
What does this mean?
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) definition, CPD is “the need for individuals to keep up to date with rapidly changing knowledge.” Any activity that workers do on a day to day basis which increases knowledge, experience, understanding and improves performance by ensuring continuous confidence, competence and particularly as roles to develop or change or for their better careers (Bratton, J. and Gold, J. 2004). CPD helps the organization to get something extra from the employees beyond the involvement of initial training. CPD is necessary for the business as the demands for products is changing rapidly and the structure of the business environment grows with a dynamic direction.
How do we engage in CPD?
It is the individual’s responsibility to anticipate change, keep updated, build on strengths and develop new skills. They have to maintain the desired level of capability and competence to perform well in their current job roles. It is also expected that the employee and employer comply with legal and other mandatory requirements at the same time through demonstrating motivation and enthusiasm for learning, and developing self and others (Finnigan, J. (2014). Practitioners should register themselves with their professional body and maintain their membership. CPD includes both formal and informal learning and it helps the individuals to set his/her own goals and objectives. They can continue their learning from their personal experience and also from the other employees’ help.
How and why should CPD be recorded and evaluated?
First of all, there should have a realistic assessment of what needs to be achieved to meet the individual demands of their professional practice. So, learning objectives should be clear and serve both the individual and organizational needs (Silverthorne, C. 2005). Lifelong learning through CPD can bring continuous development of the person beyond a specific learning activity. Hence a personal development plan can be very much useful to start the employee CPD plan.
It is very important to undertake and record CPD continually throughout working life which should contain a format covering all the requirements for a CPD profile. Practitioners are often required to submit this for an audit to more than one regulating body such as - their employer, professional body and registration council (Reid, M. and Barrington, H. 2012). Practitioners should devise their own plans for personal and professional development. Their learning activities should also be recorded and kept electronically or in a portfolio.
CPD evidence should be kept up-to-date so that any professional can present their portfolio to RCCP for verification at any time. CPD profile should contain:
What are the benefits of CPD?
It helps to be more productive, understanding and also helps to be interested in applying for technological advances. It assists in preparing for employment/career changes, meeting the quality of service and professional competence which the public expects (Belloc, H. 2008). Focused CPD opens employees up to new possibilities, new knowledge, and new skill areas and thus it can lead to increased public confidence. CDP helps to document the required skills and professional learning and helps to get the up to date information about any change in the environment. The overview of the professional development of the individuals can help them to interpret how far they have progressed compared to the industry. It directs the careers of the individuals and finds out the gap in their capabilities and learning. As it demonstrates the standing to the managers and the other employees, it will help to open up further development needs.
Frameworks for CPD: The CPD frameworks can be used to structure CPD activities and to provide opportunities for reflection and evaluation. Frameworks for CPD should be an on-going, planned, learning and development process so that it can:
Reflective learning: It can be considered as a philosophy and a concept. The use of reflective learning helps to gain a deeper and objective insight into levels of performance in comparison to levels of expectation (Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. 2006). Reflective learning is a strategy or process that turns the personal experience of an employee to professional learning. Reflective learning is critical for the performance of the organization. Reflective learning is needed for both the individuals of the organization or teams. However, In most of the cases, we may found reflectional learning in the educational context and the little work has done for the individuals, teams and whole organizations.
Feedback for learning: It is used as part of the learning cycle where feedback informs reflection which in turn informs action. Without proper feedback, it is important to realize either the learning was useful or not and whether employees have perfectly completed the task or not (Reid, M. and Barrington, H. 2012). Feedback for leaning is an essential element in the organization as it enhance the confidence and competencies of the employees.
Barriers to CPD: the implementation of CPD varies from firms to firms. Though it is an important practice for the betterment of the organization, it is not clearly defined. Such as: the policies, procedures of the organization to reflect the fact. As the definition is varied for different businesses, the acceptance of this approach is questionable for some individuals and the implementation of this approach is difficult at least for the initial period. There might have lack of flexible local learning provision tailored to workplace needs, enough IT resources and skills and lack of effective evaluation of learning. Different organization perceives different activity as a part of CPD. So, it is an ambiguous term to the new people.
Supporting organizational and individual learning: Learning should be based on several strategic and tactical goals and it also should be informed by GAP analysis or a skills evaluation. If the organization can achieve the strategic goals, then it will give the firm a competitive advantage against the other firms. The tactical goals support the firm to achieve the strategic goals. The practitioners should consider how learning can be determined and implemented. Both organizational and individual learning should be supported in this way (Bratton, J. and Gold, J. 2004). the employer can get the information about the required learning or training of its staffs by using tools such as: Gap Analysis and Skill Evaluation. These tools are described below:
Gap Analysis: The gap analysis shows the difference between the skill the workgroup is offering to the employers and the level of skills that are actually required by the individuals. The manager ranks the critical skills that should be earned in order to perform the job perfectly. After observing the required skills of the employee, the manager offers some training facilities so that they can learn the required skills quickly.
Skill Evaluation: in this process, the manager evaluates the employees current condition and offer those jobs that are suitable for the employees. The skills of the employees actually indicate in which job he/she will do the required task perfectly. The employer may assess the employees job on different angle. Such as: cognitive ability, mathematical ability, critical reason or handing the situation etc.
The learning organization: The effective use of many formal and informal learning across an organization should be ensured. These will help to develop individual, team and organizational skill sets. Implementation of this learning organization can lead any institution to the path of sustainable business performance (Finnigan, J. 2014).
Training or development: Training can be defined as a one-off event or series of activities that generally focus on a more specific and narrower area of improvement. But it is largely different from development to the fact that development has a more protracted timescale and builds on the skills and knowledge gained during training (Reid, M. and Barrington, H. 2012). Organisations should focus both on training and development. Because mere training can’t give the best output until or unless practitioners become able to use the results of training practically providing maximum value to the organization.
The learning cycle: It should be recognized that learning is continuous through the use of learning cycle theories developed by Kolb, Honey and Mumford, and Lewin. Learning should not be stopped in any way (Finnigan, J. 2014). So to get the maximum output it is important to continue the learning as one step to another in an unending way.
Barriers to learning: While learning practitioners may recognize various environmental, physical, psychological and cognitive barriers. But they should know and find out the ways to overcome them.
High-performance working (HPW): High-performance working is a strategy that is followed by A David & Co. Ltd. in order to achieve the organizational goal by engaging the employees. The employees also help each other by sharing their goals, leadership, and communication.
High-performance working organizations (HPWO): High-performance working organizations are different from the traditional working organization as they emphasize on the technological advantage and motivate the employees so that they will give extra effort voluntarily (Belloc, H. 2008). In A David & Co. Ltd., as a High-performance working organization has the following characteristics. Such as: providing superior values and services to the customers, having the superior adaptability to rapid changes in the business environment and a rich quality of work life for the employees. These characteristics help both the employer and employee by achieving sustainability in the business environment. This practice helps the employer by ensuring that the resources will be utilized in a profitable way (Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. 2006). This practice also helps the worker as they can make a decision in their position.
Barriers to High-performance working: The main barrier to high-performance working is that coordinating all the employees is a tough task. The relationship among the employees is vital for a successful high-performance working organization (Silverthorne, C. 2005). Trust is also important in the because the efficiency and performance of the employees will be reduced without having a good trust on the other team members.
High-performance HRM practices: High-performance working and High-performance HRM are related to each other. High-performance HRM ensures High-performance working as it is necessary in order to achieve the organizational goals. Like other organizations, A David & Co. Ltd. follows High-performance HRM practices as human capital is the potential source of competitive advantage. Other traditional competitive advantages such as quality, cost, and economies of scale can be imitated by any company but human capital cannot be imitated quickly (Bratton, J. and Gold, J. 2004). A David & Co. Ltd. follows high-performance HRM practices because the demand for the product is changing rapidly and the business structure is not under control for the company.
HPW and external stakeholders: HPW is created in order to fulfill the external stakeholder's needs as it makes positive changes for the external stakeholder by providing high-quality values and services. Internal stakeholders also get benefited from the HPW systems. If the high-performance working system ensures better working environment, the contribution of the employees to the improvement of organizational goals fulfillment will be achieved (Reid, M. and Barrington, H. 2012). And this will lead to the competitive advantage of the firm with its counterparts. The following model shows a typical HR-Shareholder value relationship:
[Figure 1: A model of the HR-shareholder value relationship.]
[Source: (Silverthorne, C. 2005)]
The external and internal stakeholders perceive the HPW in the following ways. Such as: transparent selection process of better employees and that is consistent with the firm’s goals, good reward system that ensures that the employees can modify their reward requirement based on their needs and develop strategies that ensure that the managers and employees get the proper training in order to achieve the business’s objectives (Finnigan, J. 2014).
Partnerships in an HPWO: Partnerships in a High-performance working organization will inevitably enhance the employees’ motivation in the workplace. When the form of partnerships is being included in the high-performance working organization a deep sense of responsibility is emerged on the employees. Mutual accountability and a clear understanding among the employees.
The use of HPW champions to act as catalysts: Through multidimensional approaches, the HPW performance and system can be implemented successfully. Firms which successfully adopted the HPW performance and system can act as a catalyst by improving others working system. If certain firms establish HPW successfully, it will act as a catalyst to adopt by other firms (Belloc, H. 2008).
The number of users of HPW increases day by day and it will be adopted by other firms gradually. The firms which will facilitate HPW in their working system may include their staffs in the decision-making process and giving them greater ownership and control in their position. There are some firms in which, the employees may not accept the change initially (Silverthorne, C. 2005). So, they should be educated about the usage of HPW in their firms on a long-term basis.
Performance management is a strategy by which the manager and the employees keep the performance of the organization on an on-going basis. It is not like another traditional method where the performances are evaluated after the end of the period. Performance management can be followed by using the following approaches in the firm (Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. 2006). Some approaches which can support high-performance culture and commitment are showing below with some specific examples:
[Figure 02: Different approaches to performance management.]
[Source: Stanworth, M. and Curran, J. (2000)]
Collaborative working: Collaborative working can be referred to ‘partnership working’ where two or more organizations come together to help each other in achieving their objectives. A David & Co. Ltd performs collaborative working on a permanent arrangement. Sometimes the groups maintain independence but work jointly (Bratton, J. and Gold, J. 2004).
Shared goals: In A David & Co. Ltd the goals which are common are communicated to the management and staffs so that these goals can be achieved quickly. This will also increase morale among of the employees and trust among them.
Decision making: if the management hears the words of the employees, the employee will be motivated to working for the firm routinely and they will try to obey the decision of the management also. So, the employees, who are doing very well should be provided with enough authority and control so that they can implement their action (Reid, M. and Barrington, H. 2012).
Building bridges: building bridges between the management and the employees is very crucial as it ensures the trust and commitment which will help the employees to achieve their objectives. In David & Co. Ltd, the condition of the working environment is more civilized and there are some restraints and understandings about the actions in the organization (Finnigan, J. 2014).
Recognizing Contribution: if there is an environment of recognizing the contribution of the hardworking employees, they will continue their efforts on a long-time basis. There is an environment of the acknowledgment of the staffs’ effort so that their level of engagement will be higher.
Positive Support: In A David & Co. Ltd, the performance of the employees is reviewed on a timely basis and any discrepancies are eroded by implementing proper actions. The managers actively evaluate the activities of the employees and support them in case of any disadvantageous situation (Belloc, H. 2008).
At the end of the report, it can be concluded that the skills and knowledges of the employees are important for implementing the high-performance working in any organization. Form this report it also can be concluded that developing knowledge and skills is a cross-organization activity. It is clearly understood from the report how A David & Co. Ltd. can offer different learning activity to its employees. In this report, the knowledge and required skills of the employees are analyzed at first and then the factors that should be considered when implementing and evaluating inclusive learning and development to drive sustainable business performance are identified. Some knowledge and understanding are also analyzed to the ways in which high performance working (HPW) contributes to employee engagement and competitive advantage.
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