DEVELOPING ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY (ALDI)
8th, April, 2013
The human resources management (HRM) of a company is a key determinant of the success of the company. Training and development is an important HR practice in companies. Most companies invest in this exercise, due to the proven myriad of benefits this bears. In order to sustain top position in the market, various companies emphasize continued training and development among employees (Brandes & Brandes 2012). It is appropriate for various companies to develop their distinct training and development programs, which they will adhere to, for achievement of their objectives, and sustenance of competitiveness in the market. An efficient training and development program for a company involves systematic steps and procedures before, during, and after the training process, which must be adhered to, in order to achieve the objectives of the training and development process (Hameed & Waheed 2011). Before undertaking training, a company ought to ensure that it creates a conducive environment for training and that it is able to sustain the training process. During training, it is important that the mind of the trainee is transformed in order to ensure utilization of training knowledge. On the other hand, after training, a company ought to ensure that the trainees have gained the necessary knowledge and skills. In addition, it is important to evaluate the training strategies and tools to ensure their effectiveness in future (Hameed & Waheed 2011). Overall, the HRM of a company must ensure effectiveness in is practice and strategies, to achieve company goals.
Analysis of the Training and Development Processes at Aldi
Aldi is one of the companies that are committed to training and development of their employees. This company follows systematic process in training and developing its employees (Brandes & Brandes 2012). First, there is the identification of training needs for employees. Aldi conducts workforce planning, in order to determine the future labour needs of the company. In addition, the company bases on the analysis of its performance in key areas to determine the kind of training employees need in future. It is important for a company to identify its training needs for it to remain competitive in the market (Hameed & Waheed 2011). This ensures that a company has the appropriate number of employees, with the relevant skills for their job. Workforce planning is also important as it helps in the identification of gaps in the skills of employees, and addressing them in order to achieve goals (Brandes & Brandes 2012).
Since Aldi plans to expand by opening more stores, it is important that the company perform an analysis of the skills that employees will need to have. In addition, the type of training to be undertaken by employees also will need to be decided. This will help Aldi to sustain its competitiveness in the market, since the company will have employees with the right skills, thus minimal knowledge and skills gap. In addition, this will help the company fill any gaps created within its workforce due to promotions of some employees in the company (Brandes & Brandes 2012).
Aldi also ensures that it employs the right people by specifying the job requirements in their vacancy advertisements. Job descriptions for employees, which are well developed, serve as a tool for communication. These bear the responsibilities of the employee, the qualifications, and experience, as well as the relationships of the specified job with other job positions (Hameed & Waheed 2011). This therefore, helps to give the applicant a direction and determines to them whether they are relevant for the job or not. This also communicates the employer’s expectations of the potential employee. Nonetheless, this is important for both the company and the employees. For employees, it gives them directions about what is expected of them in the job. For the company, this ensures that the right candidates, with relevant skills are selected (Wagner & Hollenbeck 2009). Aldi has put this factor into consideration, and this might explain the success of the company.
After the interview and assessment process, Aldi performs an induction training for the new employees in order for them to adapt to its corporate culture. Such a training programme is important for employees and the company. This helps employees to be integrated into the new organizational culture. Failure to initiate new employees in the organizational culture might result in high employee turnover levels in the company, as the new employees will experience difficulties fitting in the culture of the company (Wagner & Hollenbeck 2009).
Aldi employs both on-the-job and off-the-job training for its employees, depending on the aspect of training. On-job training for employees is more advantageous to Aldi compared to off-job training. Employees on on-job training can still work while being trained. On the other hand, off-job training is performed away from the workplace; therefore, employees cannot work while training. Although off-job training offers the employees a more relaxed environment, it is more expensive, compared to on-job training, therefore, costing the company more expenses (Armstrong 2009). Additionally, Aldi uses its store managers to train new employees. This is cost-effective, as the company does not have to hire external trainers (Brandes & Brandes 2012).
Aldi has embraced apprenticeship as a way of developing its employees and making them learn. This helps in development of new skills in employees, for the benefit of the company. In addition, this results in a workforce that is loyal and motivated. New apprentices in Aldi are fresh college and university graduates. However, the apprenticeship program also applies to the core employees in the company, who are taught new skills. This serves as an incentive to the employees, as the company invests in their self-development, even by posting them to other company branches in different countries. This therefore, motivates employees and ensures they are satisfied with their job. In return, the company benefits through increased efficiency and productivity of employees (Brandes & Brandes 2012).
The employee development program employed by Aldi is most important. Even though employee development might turn out to be less beneficial to a company, Aldi has taken the risk of developing its employees through its intensive apprenticeship program. This is the most important, because, apart from developing the skills of employees, it is a source of motivation for employees. In a company, employees are the determinants of the success of a company. Motivation boosts the productivity of employees on the job, as well as the productivity of the company (Wagner & Hollenbeck 2009). Therefore, the apprenticeship program adopted by Aldi ensures employee job satisfaction and increased productivity. On the other hand, Aldi offers its employees promotions within the company, as a way of developing them. Promotions come with increased salary. This therefore, is an incentive for employees, which makes them motivated to perform to their best. Nonetheless, Aldi’s development program allows for employee motivation, which is the driver of company productivity (Hameed & Waheed 2011).
Strategic Factors that will Influence the Training and Development Programmes of Aldi
Various training and development programmes in Aldi are highly influenced by different strategic factors in the company and outside the company. Therefore, each training and development programme in the company is designated to serve specific purposes, which will contribute to the achievement of company goals and objectives. First, improvement of employee performance is a strategy, which Aldi has focused on in order to increase its productivity. Therefore, some of the training and development programmes are solely aimed at improving the performance of employees. For instance, when Aldi analyses the performance of the company in core areas, it establishes the gaps in employee training, hence training them to perform better in their areas of weaknesses. This strategy is beneficial to the company, as well as the employee. The company will benefit from increased productivity of employees resulting from the gained skills and expertise, thus contributing to the achievement of its objectives and goals. On the other hand, employees will experience self-development, which is essential for their personal and career growth (Shahid, M. & Naseem).
Aldi uses promotions as a way of motivating and developing its employees. Employees in the company are promoted to higher positions, depending on various factors, such as experience and performance. After promotions, the promoted employees leave gaps. These gaps have to be filled by other employees. Therefore, the training and development programmes in this company, have to also address the factor of promotions. Training is essential for the newly promoted employees, as they are faced with new tasks, which require them to have new skills and knowledge. Granting employees promotions is a strategy, which also ensures that employees are motivated, since promotions come with additional privileges. Employee motivation results in job satisfaction and increased productivity of employees (Wagner & Hollenbeck 2009).
The expansion of Aldi is another strategic factor, which will influence the company’s training and development programmes. It is crucial that Aldi conducts a research about its competitors, their strengths, and weaknesses, in order to sustain growth. Knowing these might help the company to develop strategies that are more efficient than their competitors’, and which will give them an edge over competitors. Aldi could therefore, incorporate new training aspects into its training and development programmes in order to remain competitive.
Customer satisfaction is yet another important strategic factor, which Aldi will consider during the implementation of its training and development programmes. Companies depend on their customers to make profits and compete favorably in the market. Therefore, Aldi has to consider customer satisfaction as a priority. Mainly, the employees of a company interact with customers. Therefore, employees are responsible for ensuring that they deliver quality services to customers, in order to achieve customer loyalty. The company therefore, has to incorporate aspects of customer service in its training and development programmes, so that employees learn to serve the customers in a quality manner (Wagner & Hollenbeck 2009).
The reward system by Aldi, which is in the form of job promotion and development also influences the company’s training and development programmes. As seen, the promoted employees have to be trained on their responsibilities in the new positions. This kind of reward to employees by Aldi is meant to ensure job security for the employees. When employees know that they are guaranteed a promotion in the company, most will work efficiently in order to obtain the promotion. This therefore, reduces the rate of employee turnover (Pursell & Hutchinson 2007). Aldi utilizes this strategy to maintain its employees, their skills, and expertise, for the benefit of the company. Nonetheless, while most of the strategic factors in Aldi influence the company’s training and development programmes, these are also responsible for the success of the company. These serve as a link between the company’s strategic planning and performance assessment.
Evaluation of recruitment and selection processes in Aldi and identification of those that ensure commitment to the strategic objectives and people of Aldi
The Human Resources Management (HRM) of any company is responsible for the management of people in the company, ensuring that these contribute positively to the objectives and goals of the company (Armstrong 2009). Therefore, the HRM in a company develops policies, strategies, programmes, and processes that will ensure effective management of people, who are the most valuable asset to the company (Armstrong 2009). In Aldi, there are different HRM practices that have been adopted. These mainly base in selection and recruitment, rewards, training and development, among others. Nonetheless, Armstrong argued that effective HRM in a company gives the company a competitive advantage (2009).
Recruitment and selection is a HRM practice, which aims at successfully identifying and bringing new employees, who are competitive and qualified, in the company. Overall, this involves people resourcing, and ensuring the retention of the company’s human capital. This process of HRM is also concerned with how new employees enter a company and how others, if any, exit a company. Nonetheless, the most important aspect of people resourcing is focusing on the competencies, which a company needs for future growth. Among the factors a company should consider before engaging in people resourcing include a clear definition of the individuals the company needs. This should be in terms of academic qualifications, experience, and personality of the individuals. Secondly, a company ought to ensure that it has sufficient resources that will sustain the new employees. This includes effective strategies in the company, which will help attract more qualified employees, and retain the current employees in the company (Armstrong 2009).
There are various elements of recruitment and selection, which different countries adopt in different manners. In Aldi, the process of recruitment and selection is rigorous. First, the company advertises for its job positions in posts with detailed and specific person specification for the job advertised for. After selection and interviewing, the successful candidates are taken through an induction training to welcome them into the company’s corporate culture, and this also serves as an opportunity for the new employees to be knowledgeable about the roles and relationships of their new positions. The company also recruits fresh graduates to join its apprenticeship programme, where apprentices are trained various skills for different positions in the company, after which they are absorbed in the company. On the other hand, Aldi recruits its top managers from within the company through promotions. Different employees are recruited for top positions in the company depending on their experience and performance.
All the elements of recruitment and selection in Aldi have enabled the company to obtain the right candidates and to retain them (Brandes & Brandes 2012). However, the most important aspect of Aldi’s recruitment and selection processes is the person specification in their job vacancy posts. This is key for a company to get the right candidates, who are qualified and fit for the positions. Specifying the qualifications, experience, responsibilities, and any other requirement needed for the job is essential. This saves the time taken on recruitment and selection, since only the relevant candidates will apply for the job, thus eliminating the unqualified ones. This way the company is also sure that it obtains only successful candidates, who are ready for the job, thus, limiting the level of employee turnover, which is costly to a company.
On the other hand, Aldi recruits over 85% of directors from within the company. This is key in ensuring commitment to the strategic objectives and people of Aldi. Promotions in a company are a form of a reward (Pursell & Hutchinson 2007). Employees who perform well and meet the requirements of a top position in the company are guaranteed a promotion. This is a form of financial reward, since promotions include increase in salary and other benefits. Reward systems are the key drivers of the success of a company. Therefore, the HR strategy and the organizational culture of a company needs to be based on reward systems, as these directly influence the employees (Pursell & Hutchinson 2007). In Aldi, since the company recruits its top directors internally, most employees are assured of a promotion. Therefore, this serves as a motivation to make them work effectively and increase their performance levels, in order to be considered for a promotion in future. This motivation makes employees in the company to be focused on their job and set goals to meet the company’s expectations of them. This in turn increases the productivity of the company, as employees will positively contribute to the objectives of the company. On the other hand, since employees will be committed to their work in the company, employee turnover level will be kept low, thus saving the company on additional expenses (Pursell & Hutchinson 2007). Therefore, if the HR in Aldi develops more rewards for employees, the company will experience better performance, as these will increase the commitment of employees to company goals and objectives.
It is important for all companies to have HR practice, which ensures the management of employees, who are key assets in a company. Employees determine the productivity of a company; therefore, developing a HRM system that manages them effectively is one of the ways of ensuring the competitiveness of a company. HR involves various processes, including recruitment and selection, training, reward systems, among others. As observed, Aldi has adopted all these aspects, and bases on them for its success. The company invests highly in the processes of recruitment and selection, training and development for employees, as well as rewards. These are conducted systematically, while observing the conditions required for each process. Nonetheless, this has resulted in growth for Aldi, as seen through its expansion plans. However, Aldi needs to incorporate more HR strategies, especially with regard to reward systems, as this strategy is proven to result in positive outcomes. Therefore, strengthening the HRM bears more positive results for companies.
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