Purpose and Introduction
This reflection paper explores my learning curve from the time I enrolled in an interesting summer class to a well-modelled human resource officer who understands and applies the principles learnt in class. The past eight weeks have been an eye-opening experience for me as I have learned from scholarly readings, literature, experienced tutors, sharing with others, and assigned group tasks. In the beginning, I doubted and even wondered if I would understand the concepts to be a good human resource officer at the end. But looking at the steps I have taken so far, I believe I am on the right course and have gained profound incites in the discipline.
This was a very opportune time for me to enroll in such a course. I had the dream of pursuing it ever since I finished high school and was looking forward to expanding my knowledge. I have always been interested in employee development in the workplace, organization development, and the necessary steps required to attain them in reality. During this course, I managed to finish the supervisor series workshops from IU Human Resources. The approaches learnt in those works, the class readings from this semester, and what I gained from my classmates have contributed to my vast knowledge in the discipline.
Key points learned
Leading the discussion group leaderboard was an eye-opening experience about the things that matter in training and development. It provided a chance to get the viewpoints of my classmates and helped me understand how other people relate to the topic. A supportive working environment provided by the senior leaders was imperative in ensuring that training and development succeeded. I now recognize that a supportive work climate encourages employees to attend programs and be motivated to learn. I also noticed that the relationship between the employer and the employees could hinder the establishment of an environment that fosters growth and learning. Personal interactions dictate how employees behave in a training session and any disagreement can compromise the process.
Successful training comprises a series of events and a lot of preparation to ensure that you have the required resources for the training. The design, delivery, and implementation are critical parts of the process. The best way to ensure employees practice what they learn is through training transfer in which employees are encouraged to apply their knowledge and skills into everything they do at the workplace. The approach ensures that organizations acquire tangible benefits from the investments made.
Semester-long project work
Through this course, I attained new knowledge on the importance of growing and developing the career of employees in the workplace. I always thought that employers had little to do with how an employee advances their career. I merely believed that career development was a personal drive that involved the employee alone with no assistance. I realized I was wrong since any organization operating in a rapidly growing market requires career development to enhance human resources. I now understand that career development is a combination of individual and organizational aspects. Employees having a flexible career find it easier to develop more opportunities to become reliable.
It was intriguing to realize that individual career development is not as easy as many people assume. The process is difficult as many employees do not have a clue on what they are interested in. In fact, I asked my classmates the same question and very few provided relevant answers. As such, the employer must understand the employee to provide the necessary assistance to help them realize their interests. The employer can introduce a dedicated counsellor whose speciality is assessing employees and helping them identify their interests. However, very few companies adopt this strategy due to the lack of enough resources to support the venture. Others worry that employing such individuals may increase operational costs yet they are not needed throughout.
The semester-long project confirmed that employees have varying interests that require different types of approaches. I realized that companies that adopt an all-inclusive strategy are wrong since the approach is inapplicable. Besides, it is very hard for all employees to agree on an issue. Companies can enhance effectiveness by implementing different strategies depending on the character of employees. The managers must take time to understand the employees, categorize them into groups, and apply strategies that can work for them.
Managers have to admit that it is hard to match workers with everything that they want. The company has finite resources that manager have to use effectively to maximize employees output and minimize wastage. I also realized that employees must integrate the knowledge, attitude, and skills learnt in their routine activities for the process to be successful. The strategy plays an important role in personal and professional development that enhances individual and organizational growth. The realization helped me understand why some companies underperform despite the many training and development activities put in place by the management.
The class readings uncovered another interesting topic that I would want to expound further. I realized that the organization plays an important role in career development. Therefore, recruiters should hire individuals who understand the culture of the organization as it plays an important role in growing customer relationships. Culture articulates goals through values and beliefs and guides the employees into fostering organizational development. In this line, I understood why the leading companies insist on having a specific business culture tailored to motivate the employees and help them attain their career dreams.
The final presentation for a client
The semester-long project work provided me with an opportunity to interact with other like-minded individuals in the training summit. Such opportunities are rare to find, which made me take the chance to explore the outside world using the research skills learnt in class. I was privileged to be given a chance to identify the strengths and areas that require improvement in future summit training of VISTA members. I realized that planning is an essential part before carrying out any research activities as it gives one the chance to develop the framework to be used in the process and get time to interact with the involved stakeholders.
As the current VISTA leader on the team, I had the responsibility of ensuring that the interview process remains objective throughout the sessions. The experience made me understand the reason tutors insisted that honesty is paramount to solving real-time problems. As such, I had to keep on reminding the interviewees to give honest answers so I can better understand their problems and come up with effective solutions. The event provided a chance to interact with interviewees. Through the summit, I got to understand the unseen challenges that interviewers face when carrying out their duties. For example, all VISTA employees were not operating from the same location and I had to remain focused to ensure I maintained an effective and quick communication channel to ensure the success of the project. I now understand that anything can happen along the way and managers must be ready to adjust to overcome such situations.
Two things that stood out during the research was on the impacts of knowledgeable trainers and the power of summits. I realized that the mode that a trainer uses when delivering content to workers determines their effectiveness. A facilitator that has great communication and interpersonal skills will find it easier to train employees. In fact, it was encouraging to hear employees describing the trainers and associating them with different influences. One notable response was that positive qualities from the trainers encouraged employees to have a positive outlook on the training program. The responses revealed that employees understand the importance of raining and that managers have a responsibility of ensuring that only motivated and skilful individuals run the program. The platform enabled me to understand the importance of summits to the employees. Workers narrated stories of how participating in such events allows them to interact with new colleagues outside the workplace. Therefore, I think managers underestimate the value of holding regular summits. In fact, they should introduce occasional training programs to keep the employees motivated and energized.
The highlight of the event was the realization that most workplaces assume that all workers are interested in attending the organized summits. Most employees despise events organized by their employers. Moreover, most have a negative attitude towards training, especially when they see that the functions add no value to their responsibilities in the workplace. The realization made me wonder how many times employers evaluate the effectiveness of summits and whether they consider the opinions of the employees before holding such events. On a good note, the interested parties raised concerns on the time allocated for the event. The complaints made me realize that there is a need to increase the duration of the outdoor event as employees can reap massive benefits by interacting with other people. In addition, the members express their opinions and seek clarification over the concepts they failed to comprehend. Eventually, these individuals gain skills that benefit the employer immensely.
When I look back at all the class discussions and project work, I believe that they helped me gain insightful knowledge and skills. Attending the classes was fun and interacting with classmates and tutors helped me understand the perceptions people have towards various issues. At some point, I felt like the course work put too much pressure on me especially when carrying out the final project. Every time I found myself reading ahead of coursework to ensure that my project was on the right track. Although I enjoyed the content, it was mentally exhausting and I even wondered whether I would complete it successfully. Therefore, I would urge tutors to allocate more time to the project work so that students can blend the theory learnt in class with practice in the workplace. Nonetheless, the learning process was worthwhile, and I cannot wait to start practicing in the real world.
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