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Specific objectives of the topic:

At the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:-

  • Discuss the legislation relevant to employment in Kenya.
  • Apply the provisions of the legislation to given practical situations in the organisation.

The Employment Act is an Act of Parliament to consolidate with amendments of the law relating to employment and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.

Exemptions to the Provision of the Actm                    


The Provisions of the Act shall not apply to: –

  • The Armed Forces or the reserve
  • Kenya Police, Kenya Prisons Service, Administration Police Force
  • National Youth Service
  • Such person or class such trade or industry or such public body as the Minister may exempt.



The Act defines a casual employee as an individual the terms of whose engagement provide for his payment at the end of each day and who is not engaged for a longer period than 24 hrs at a time.

A child is any individual who has not attained the age of 16 years.

A contract of service: – an agreement, whether oral or written, and whether expressed or implied, to employ or to serve as an employee for any period of time and includes a contract of apprenticeship and indentured learnership.

Piecework: -means any work the pay for which is estimated by the amount of work performed irrespective of the time occupied by its performance.


Conditions of Employment

Payment disposal and Recovery of Wages, Allowances


The entire amount of the wages earned by and payable to an employee shall be paid to him directly in the currency of Kenya. Provision may be paid with the consent of the employee for such an amount to be paid into; an account at a bank, by cheque, postal or money order, to any person (in the absence, but with consent of the employee).


Payment of wages shall be made on a working, during working hours, at or near to the place of employment. Wages payment shall not be made in any place where liquor is sold.

When wages are due:

In the case of a contract for performance of a task or piecework – when a task has not been completed, at the option of his employer, to be paid at the end of the day in proportion to work done.

To complete the task of on the following day, in which case be entitled to full pay at the end completion of the task.

In the case of piecework –to be paid at the end of each month in proportion of work done or completion of the work, whichever date is earlier.

The times when wages shall be deemed due shall be as follows: –

  • For casual employees – at the end of the day.
  • For someone employed for a period more than a day but not exceeding one month, at the end of that period.
  • For someone employed for a period exceeding one month, at the end of each month.
  • For someone employed for an indefinite period or on a journey, at the expiry of each month, or on completion of the journey.


These provisions shall not affect an order or award of the industrial court, or an agreement between employer and employee, whose terms are favourable to the employee.

Where an employee is summarily dismissed for lawful cause, he shall be paid on dismissal all moneys, allowances and benefits due to him up to the date of his dismissal.

Upon termination of a contract the employer must ensure the employee is paid the entire amount of wages earned and payable to him and also the allowances due.


No wages will be paid to the employee in respect to of a period during which he is detained or serving a sentence imposed under the law.

Deductions from Wages.

An employer may deduct from the wages of his employee: –


  • Any amount as a contribution to any provident fund or any other scheme approved by the Labour Commissioner, to which the employee has agreed to contribute.
  • A reasonable amount for any damage or loss of any property lawfully in the possession or custody of the employer caused by wilful default of the employee.
  • An amount not exceeding one day’s wages in respect of each working day for the whole of which the employee, without leave or other lawful cause, absents himself from work.
  • An amount equal to the amount of any shortage of money arising through the negligence or dishonestly of the employee whose contract provides he be entrusted with the receipt, custody and payment of money.
  • Any amount paid to the employee in error as wages in excess of the amount of wages due to him.
  • Any amount of the deduction of which is authorized by any written Law for the time being in force.
  • Any amount, not of benefit to the employer and which the employee has requested the employer in writing to deduct from his wages.
  • Any amount due to the employer as repayment of a loan, but not exceeding 50% of the wages payable to the employee.
  • Such other amounts as the Minister may prescribe.


No deductions shall be made from the wages, as an advance of wages in consideration of, or as a reward, for the provision of employment to the worker or for retaining him in employment.


At any one time, the total amount of deductions shall not exceed half of such wages.

Leave, Housing, Health & Welfare.

Every employee shall be entitled to Leave: –

  • After every 12 consecutive months of service with his employer to not less than 21 working days of leave with full pay.
  • Where employment is terminated after the completion of 2 or more consecutive months of service during any 12 months’ leaving-earning period, to not less than one and three-quarter days of leave with full pay, for each completed month of service in that period, to be taken consecutively.
  • A woman employee shall be entitled to two months maternity leave with full pay. Such a woman, who has taken 2-months maternity leave, shall forfeit her annual leave in that year.
  • After 2 consecutive months of service with his employer, an employee shall be entitled to sick leave of not less than seven days with days with full pay and thereafter to sick leave of seven days with half pay, in each period of 12 consecutive months of service. Such will be granted on production of a certificate of incapacity, signed by a medical practitioner.
  • The leave granted to an employee in (i) above shall be additional to all public holidays, weekly rest days and any sick leave.
  • Every employee shall be entitled to at least one rest day in every period of seven days.


Every employer shall at all, at his own expense, provide reasonable housing accommodation for each of employees, or shall pay to the employee such sufficient as rent, in addition to his wages or salary, as will enable the employee to obtain reasonable accommodation.



Every employer shall provide a sufficient supply of wholesome water for the use of his employees at the place of employment and within a reasonable distance of any housing accommodation provided for them by him.



Every employee shall, where the provision of food has been expressly agreed to in or at the time of entering into a contract of service, ensure that every employee is properly fed and supplied with sufficient and proper cooking utensils and means of cooking, at the employer’s expense. These provisions shall not be deemed to impose upon an employer any liability in respect of any employee during the time such an employee is absent from his place of employment without the permission of the employer or without lawful expense.


Medical Attention:

Every employer shall ensure the provision for his employees of proper medicines during illnesses and of medical attendance during serious illness, and shall take all measures to ensure the illness is brought to his notice.


Death of an employee:

The employer shall inform the labour officer or DC of the areas where the employee was employed upon learning of his death. He will then pay to this officer or DC all wages due to the employee at the date of his death and shall deliver to him all property belonging to the deceased employee for transmission to the person legally entitled to.


Contracts of Service, Termination, Dismissal, etc.

Every contract of service for a period equivalent to 6 working months or more or one which provides for the performance of any specified work, to be completed in a period equivalent to 6 months or more shall be in writing. The employee may either sign on it or imprint the impression of his thumb /fingers as a sign of consent.


The employer is the one who will ensure the contract is drawn up and consented upon.


Every contract of service not being a contract to perform some specific work, and with no reference to time or to undertake a journey:

  • Where it is a contract to pay wages daily, be terminable by either party at the close of any day, without notice.
  • Where it is a contract where wages are paid periodically, at intervals of less than one month, a contract terminable by either party at the end of the period next following the giving notice in writing.
  • Where a contract to pay wages or salaries periodically at intervals of or not exceeding one month, a contract terminable by either party at the end of   the period of 28 days next following the giving of notice in writing.

Either party may terminate the contract without notice upon payment    to the other party of wages or salary, which have been earned by the other party in respect of the period of notice required to be given.

A contract of service shall not be terminated on account of redundancy unless the following conditions are complied with: –


The employees union or the areas labour officer is informed of the reasons, for and extent of the intended redundancy.


The employer shall have due regard to seniority in time and in skill, ability and reliability of each employee of the particular class of employees affected by the redundancy.


No employee shall be placed at a disadvantage for being or not being a member of the trade union.


Any leave due to any employee who is declared redundant shall be paid off in cash.


Any employee declared redundant shall be entitled to one month’s notice or one month’s pay in lieu of notice.


An employee declared redundant shall be entitled to severance pay at the rate of not less than 15 days pay for each completed year of service as severance pay.


Summary dismissal

The following matters may amount to gross misconduct and may justify the summary dismissal of an employee: –


  • If without leave or lawful cause, an employee absents himself from his place of work – the workstation.
  • If, during working hours, by becoming intoxicated or being intoxicated, an employee renders himself unwilling or incapable to perform his work.
  • If the employee wilfully neglects to perform any work, which it was his duty to perform, or if he carelessly and improperly performs any work which he should have performed carefully and proper.
  • If an employee uses abusive or insulting language, or behaves in a manner insulting to his employer or to a person placed in authority over him by his employer.
  • If the employee knowingly fails or refuses to obey a lawful and proper command which it was within the scope of his duty to obey, issued by his employer or a person placed in authority over him by his employer.
  • If the employee is arrested for an offence punishable by imprisonment and is not within 10 days either released on bail or on bond or set at liberty.
  • If the employee commits or is suspected of having committed a criminal offence against or at the detriment of his employers property.


Certificate of Service.


Every employee who has worked for a period of more than 4 consecutive weeks is entitled to a certificate of service, which shall contain: –


  • Name and postal address of his employer
  • Name of employee
  • Date when employment commenced
  • Nature and usual place of employment
  • Date when employment ceased
  • Such other particulars as may be prescribed.


No employer is bound to give am employee a testimonial, reference or certificate relating to the character or performance of an employee.


A foreign contract of service is a contract of service made within Kenya and to be performed in all or part outside Kenya. Such a contract of service shall be binding; when the labour office is satisfied;


  • That the employee’s consent has been given.
  • There was no coercion, fraud or undue influence to the employee to enter the contract.
  • The contract is in the prescribed form.
  • That the terms and conditions of employment are within the provisions of the Employment Act 226, and are understood by the employee.
  • That the employee is medically fit for the performance of his duties under the contract.
  • That the employee is not to serve under any other contract of service during the period provided in the foreign contract.


  • No child shall be employed in an industrial undertaking. The provisions do not apply to the employment of a child in an industrial undertaking.
  • The provisions of the Act shall not cover a child duly employed under the provisions of the Industrial Training Act.
  • No child shall be employed in attendance on machinery.
  • No child shall be employed in any open-cast workings or sub-surface workings which are entered by means of a shaft or adit.


No woman or juvenile shall be employed between the hours of 6.30 pm and 6.30 am in an industrial undertaking. The women and young persons may only be employed in such circumstances,


  • In cases of emergencies, that are unforeseen and which interfere with normal work.
  • Where their work is connected with raw materials, which     need their presence during such hours to preserve the material from certain loss.
  • Women, holding positions of managerial or technical nature or employed in health and welfare services and not manual work.
  • In cases of emergencies, the Minister may suspend, by Gazette Notice, the above section as it affects women and male young persons.


No female shall be employed on underground work in a mine, EXCEPT, in the following circumstances.


  • One holding a management position and does not perform manual work.
  • One engaged in health or welfare services.
  • One, who is in the course of her studies, spends a period of time training in the underground parts of the mine.
  • One who for some reason is forced to enter the mine on a non-manual occupation?


Employees who employ a juvenile must keep and maintain a register of their age or date of birth, date of entry into and leaving the employment and any such other particulars as may be prescribed.


An authorized officer may require any juvenile in employment                  to be medically examined at any time during the period of his employment.


During the hearing of a charge for an offence under this Act, the court may for its own reasons determine the Age of such person, using other available evidence and if not available, using a medical officer.


If a labour officer deems it that the employer is an undesirable persons, or that the employment is immoral, dangerous or likely to be injurious to one’s health, he may by notice in writing served to the employer, prohibit him from employing juveniles.


Every employer shall keep a written record of all employees employed by him and maintain their personnel details and avail them for inspection by an authorized officer.

Nothing in this Act, shall prevent an employer or employee from being proceeded against according to law for an offence punishable under any law in force.



Every authorized officer shall be given a certificate of his appointment, by the labour commissioner.


Such a person will notify the employer or his representative on inspection or visit, of his presence unless such notification is seen prejudicial to the performance of the inspector’s duties. He will, if requested, produce his certificate of appointment for the attention of the employer.


Powers of Authorized Officers

  • Enter, inspect and examine any land or building or other structure on which he has reasonable ground for believing that an employee is living, residing or employed; so as to determine whether the provisions of the Act are being complied with.
  • Require an employer to produce an employee in his employment and a document relating to the employment.
  • Examine and take copies of a register, record, book or other document relating to employment and take possession of that register, record, book or other document which he has reason to believe may contain evidence of an offence under this Act.
  • Enter, inspect and examine all latrines and other sanitary arrangements or water supply.
  • Inspect and examine all food provided or appearing to be provided for the use of employees and take samples, in the presence of the employer, seal one for taking away and another to be left with the employer.
  • Order that all buildings and premises where employees are housed or employed be kept clean and in good sanitary conditions.
  • Institute proceedings in respect of any contravention or any offence committed by an employer under this Act.
  • Institute on behalf of any employee in any civil proceedings by an employee against his employer in respect of any matter, thing arising out of employment.
  • Take custody and return to his parent or guardian or other person, any child employed in contravention of this Act.
  • Subject to any direction of the labour commissioner, delegate to any labour inspector any of the powers conferred upon him under this section.


Powers of a Medical Officer

Medical Officer (See Act Cap. 226.P.5)

  • A medical officer means: –
  • A medical practitioner registered under the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act.
  • A person licensed under Section 13 of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act.
  • The Medical Officer of Health of any local authority for the purposes of the Public Health Act.


A medical officer may for the purposes of this Act exercise the powers conferred upon an authorized officer by points (a) and (f) under the authorized officer.


  • Order an employee, who he thinks is sick and for whom the conditions prevailing at the place of employment are not conducive to the rapid recovery of his health or strength to return to his engagement or to proceed to hospital. The employer shall at the earliest opportunity and at his own expense send the employee to his place of engagement or to the hospital.
  • Condemn any food for employees which, in his opinion is unfit for human consumption, and all food so condemned shall be destroyed forthwith in his presence.
  • Condemn any building or other structure, whether permanent or temporary in which an employee is living, residing or employed – in his opinion, it is unfitted by reason of its construction, situation or condition for the purpose to which it is put.
  • Order at the expense of the employer such variety of food for an employee as he may deem necessary – provided that the cost of the food supplied under such order shall not exceed the normal cost of rations ordinarily supplied by employers to employees in that area.
  • Order the employer to supply an employee working under a written contract of service with one or more blankets or with clothing and such cost is to be deducted from the employee’s wages.
  • Inspect all drugs and medicines provided for the use of employees.




The minister may make rules providing for all or any of the purposes that may be convenient for the administration of this Act. This may include: –

  • Prescribing anything under this Act that is to be or may be prescribed.
  • Controlling the conditions under which employees may be housed or employed, including sanitary arrangements and water supply.
  • Controlling the feeding of the employees in cases where food is to be supplied by the employer under the contract of service – Quantity, variety, etc.
  • Regulating the care of sick and injured employees.
  • Prescribing books to be kept & returns to be rendered by employers.
  • Prescribing: –
  • For any period the maximum number of hours an employee will be required to work.
  • Intervals to be allowed to them for meals and rest.
  • Holidays or half – holidays allowed to them.
  • Any other conditions of employment.
  • Appoint labour supervisors where employees of one employer exceed maximum allowed.
  • Registration and employment of casual employees.
  • Establishment and administration of employment exchanges.
  • Prohibiting where necessary, employment of women, young persons or children in specified trades or occupations.
  • Requiring employers of children to furnish information and returns to any specified officer in respect of such children.
  • The issue by employers or any class of employers to employees in relation to any particular kind of employment, employment cards, etc.
  • Prescribing particulars to be included in Certificate of Service.
  • Prescribing the form and providing for the display in places of employment, of notices relating to wages and the terms and conditions of employment.
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This is an internal method of recruitment in which notices of available jobs are posted in central locations throughout the organization and employees are given a specified length of time to apply for the available jobs. Other methods used in publicizing jobs include memos to supervisors and listings in employee publications.

Normally the job notice specifies the job title, rates of pay and necessary qualifications. A successful job posting and bidding programme requires the development of specific implementation policies.

Some suggestions include the following

  • Both promotions and transfers should be posted
  • Openings should be posted for a specified time period before internal recruitment begins
  • Eligibility rules for the job posting system need to be developed and communicated e.g. that no employee can apply for a posted position unless he/she has been in his/her present position for a period of not less than 6 months
  • Specific standards for selection should be included in the notice
  • Job bidders should be required to list their qualifications and reasons requesting a transfer or promotion.

In unionised organizations, job posting and bidding procedures are usually spelled out in collective Bargaining Agreement.




External recruiting is needed in organizations that are growing rapidly or have a large demand for technical, skilled or managerial employees. The pool of talent in the external sources is much larger than anywhere else.


The following are some of the methods used for external recruitment.


  1. Recommendations by present employees, also termed, employee referrals are used especially to fill low cadre vacancies-the semi skilled and unskilled jobs.


  1. Unsolicited Applications-These are job applications received from candidates without a vacancy existing in the company. The candidates may send their details to the company as a general enquiry.


  • Direct Link-Happens where an organization has an established relationship with a training school or university. The institutions liase with the recruiting organization and provide details of suitable candidates. The organization may be involved with the institution through provision of education material or even scholarships.


  1. Campus Recruiting: Such activities are co-coordinated by the university placement centre. Organizations send some recruiters to the campus and the most promising recruits are then invited to visit the office or plant before a final employment decision is made. A related method of tapping the products of institution of higher learning is through Co-operating work programmes.


  1. Co-operative Work Programmes: Through these programmes, students may work part-time and go to school part-time, or they may go to school and work at different times of the year. Such programmes are attractive as they offer opportunities for both a formal education and work experience.


  1. This newest recruitment source offers an inexpensive way to advertise available positions to a national and global audience. The Internet has various advantages, including a vast pool of potential candidates, extensive search capabilities, reduced paperwork, and the ability to update information as often as necessary.


  • Retiree job Banks. Company retires who are already familiar with the company’s culture are a great resource for filling short-term and part-time positions
  • Professional Recruiting Firms: These are Human Resource consultants who provide employee recruitment services. They include Manpower Services, Hawkins and Associates and so on.
  1. Temporary Help Agencies & Employee Leasing Companies: One of the fastest growing areas of recruitment is temporary help hired through employment agencies. The agency pays the salary and benefits of the temporary help; the organization pays the employment agency an agreed-upon figure for the services of the temporary help.

Unlike temporary help agencies, which place people on short-term jobs at various companies, employee-leasing companies provide permanent staff to client company’s issue the workers’ pay checks and provide various employment benefits. This borders on the outsourcing by the client company.


  1. Government Employment Agencies: These recruit on behalf of the government and include the TSC and the Public Service Commission.
  2. Employment Agencies: These are brokers who bring employers and employees together. They specialize in specific e.g. accountants, technicians etc. Professional bodies may also be found here offering placement services for its members e.g. ICPAK, IPM etc
  • Executive Search Firms/Head Hunters: These employment agencies seek candidates for high salaried positions e.g. CEO’s. They believe that the best candidates are not those who respond to adverts or look for new jobs in other ways but those who are successful in their present jobs and are not thinking of moving elsewhere.

The term head-hunter apparently comes with the concept of hiring a replacement head of an organization. Customers of such agencies seek to fill high-level vacancies.

Headhunting specifics.


  • Saves administrative and advertising costs
  • Ability to reach the best in the market
  • Confidentiality
  • Gets best fitting candidate for the job
  • Preserves anonymity of recruiting firm



  • Disruptive to companies that lose their managers
  • Head-hunters may be bribed to recommend someone
  • It may mislead potential candidates
  • May not be lawful


  • Hiring at the Gate: This is suitable when employing casual labourers who present themselves at the firm’s gates waiting for an employment opportunity.


  • Advertising: This is one of the most widely used methods of recruitment. Person specification and job descriptions form the basis of every job advert. Advertising is a crucial part of the recruitment process.


Advertising is intended to reach out into the labour market with an attractive offer for employment aimed at producing an adequate response in terms of:

  • Enquiries/requests for details
  • Numbers of suitable applications submitted.

The main sources of job advertising outside the organization are; local newspapers, national newspapers, technical/professional journals, via the Internet, via job centres, via other agencies, posters at the factory gates.

The effectiveness of an advertisement for a job vacancy can be judged by: –


  • Number of inquiries it stimulates
  • Number of applications submitted
  • Suitability of the applicants.


An effective job advertisement is one which: –


  • Identifies the organization/industry with a few preferences
  • Provides brief details about the features of the job
  • Summarizes all the essential personal features required of the job holder
  • Refers briefly to any desirable personal features
  • States the main conditions of employment, including salary, of the job.
  • States how and to whom the enquiry or application is made
  • Presents all the above points in a clear and attractive manner
  • Conforms to legal requirements
  • Attracts sufficient numbers of suitable applicants.


A well written advert should contain: the job title, benefits and incentives, training, company name, to whom they should apply, telephone numbers, closing date for applications.  Its should have a catchy headline and design that will attract candidates, an interesting and catchy content that makes the applicants to keep reading on and an unambiguous text about the job.


An obvious and important query for Human Resources personnel is which method of recruitment supplies the best talent pool. One method proposed for increasing the effectiveness of all recruiting methods is the use of Realistic Job Previews (RJP), which provide complete job information, both positive and negative to the job applicant-a departure from the early attempts to sell the organization and job by making it look good. The RJP has been found to reduce new employee turnover.


Organizational Inducements in Recruitment.


Recruitment seeks to attract a large pool of qualified personnel for the job opening. Organizational inducements are all the positive features and benefits the organization offers to attract job applicants.


Three of the most popular inducements are: –

  1. Compensation systems: Starting salaries, frequency of pay raises, incentives and the nature of the organizations fringe benefits can all influence the number of people attracted via a recruitment process.


  1. Career opportunities: Organizations that have a reputation for providing employees with career opportunities also attract large pools of qualified candidates via a recruitment process. These include employee and management development opportunities, assisting current employees in career planning shows the firm cares, and also serves to attract or as an inducement to potential employees.


  • Organizational reputation: The organization’s reputation is also a great inducement to potential workers.


Factors that affect reputation include: –


  • The organizations general treatment of workers
  • Nature & quality of its products and services
  • Participation in worthwhile social endeavours.



A recruitment policy of an organisation establishes the general guidelines for the staffing process.  It specifies the objectives of recruitment and provides a framework of implementation through well-established procedures.

Recruitment policy involves a commitment to broad principles such as filling vacancies with the best-qualified individuals.  It may embrace several issues such as the extent of promotion from within, attitude of the enterprise in recruiting its old employees, friends, relatives, handicaps, minority groups, women employees and relatives of present employees.  It may also involve the organisations systems and procedures to be followed for implementing a recruiting programme.

Elements of a Recruitment Programme.

A good recruitment policy has the following elements:


  1. Organisations objectives both in the short run and long run must be taken into consideration as basic parameters for recruitment decisions.
  2. Identification of the recruitment needs. The recruiting staff must make decisions regarding the balance of qualitative dimensions of the persons to be recruited.  They should prepare a profile of each category of workers and accordingly work out the recruits specifications, decide the selections, departments or branches where they should be placed and identify the particular responsibilities to be immediately assigned to them.
  • Preferred sources of recruitment, which could be tapped by the organisation – internal and external sources, should be identified.
  1. Identification of selection criteria. A good selection criterion capable of meeting the organisations staffing needs should be decided upon by the management.
  2. Cost of recruitment should be estimated. Cost of recruitment involved should be considered by comparing the sources and methods of recruitment.



o    Describe the relationship among job analysis, personnel planning, recruitment and selection.

o    What are some of the Government of Kenya Labour regulations that impact on recruitment?





Once the organization’s recruitment activities have succeeded in attracting sufficient members of relevant applications from the external labour market, the aim of subsequent selection activities is to identify the most suitable applicants and persuade the to join the organization.


The process of recruitment ends once a company has successfully managed to attract a fair number of replies to a vacancy posting.



  1. Preliminary Interviews
  2. Filling Application Blanks/Forms
  • Selection Interview
  1. Psychometric tests /Employment tests
  2. Assessment Centres
  3. Medical Examination
  • Reference Check
  • Final Selection by the officer in charge.

The preliminary interviews to job applicants is usually conducted by a special interviewer at the employment office. It is essentially a sorting process in which the interviewer compares the applicants’ qualifications with the job requirements.

Assessment Centre



This is one of the most common methods used for collecting information from applicants. Application blanks are meant to secure desired factual information from an applicant in a format convenient for evaluating the applicant’s qualifications.

Application blanks set out the information on candidates in a standardized format the application blank serves the following purposes:

  • They provide the candidates first formal introduction to the company.
  • They generate data in uniform formats and hence make it easy to make cross comparisons of the applicants.
  • They generate data that can serve as a basis to initiate a dialogue in the interview.
  • Data in the application blank can be used for purposes of analysis and research in personnel. The data collected may be stored for subsequent use-development of a databank.


Most application blanks seem to contain the following kinds of information:


  • Personal data
  • Marital data
  • Physical data
  • Educational data
  • Employment data
  • Extra-curricular data
  • References


Normally a member of the human resources department reviews the information on the application form to determine the applicants’ qualifications in relation to the requirements of current available jobs.


Another screening procedure is the use of weighted application forms. These forms assign different weights to different questions.


Sorting Applications.

Applications are usually sorted out by dividing them into three categories: –


  • Clearly suitable
  • Possibles
  • Unsuitable


Clearly suitable applicants are invited for interviews, possible contenders are held temporarily in reserve, while unsuitable applicants are rejected.

Once the shortlist has been drawn up and the candidates invited for interviews, the application form and/or CV takes on a different role, that of aiding the interviewer in the next interactive stage of the selection process: the interview.


The main selection methods are the interview, assessment centres and psychological tests.

An interview is a formal exchange of facts, impressions and viewpoints between a [prospective employer and a prospective employee with a view to their mutual selection or parting. the most common interview options are: –

  • One interviewer
  • Two interviewers
  • A panel of interviewers

Individual Interviews.

The individual interview is the most familiar method of selection. It involves face-to-face discussion and provides the best opportunity for the establishment of close contact and rapport between the interviewer and the candidate.

Interview Panels.

This consists of two or more people gathered together to interview one candidate. More often than not this consists of a manager (personnel) and the line manager.

Selection Boards.

Selection boards are more formal and usually larger interviewing panels convened due to a large number of parties interested in the selection. They enable a number of different people to have a look at the applicants and compare notes on the spot. However; they may waste time due to unplanned questions. Candidates are not allowed to expand their arguments.



This includes questions designed to test achievement or aptitude and is at present the most commonly used method of personality assessment.


Interviews: A selection procedure designed to predict future job performance on the basis of applicants’ oral responses to oral inquiries.


The selection interview is to obtain and assess information about a candidate, which will enable a valid prediction to be made of his, or her future performance in the job in comparison with the predictions made for any other candidate.


Advantages of Interviews

  • Provide opportunities for interviewers to ask probing questions about the candidates’ experiences and explore the extent to which the candidates’ competences match those specified for the job.
  • Enable interviewers to describe the job and organization in greater detail.
  • Provide opportunities for candidates to ask questions about the job and clarify any issues they may have e.g. those concerning training, career prospects, the organization, terms and conditions of employment.
  • Enables a face-to-face encounter so that the interviewer can make an assessment of the candidate.
  • Gives the candidate the same opportunity to assess the organization, the interviewer and the job.
  • Useful for determining if the applicant has requisite communicative or social skills which may be necessary for the job
  • Interviewer can obtain supplementary information
  • Used to appraise candidates’ verbal fluency
  • Can assess the applicant’s job knowledge
  • Can be used for selection among equally qualified applicants
  • Enables the supervisor and/or co-workers to determine if there is compatibility between the applicant and the employees
  • Allows the applicant to ask questions that may reveal additional information useful for making a selection decision
  • The interview may be modified as needed to gather important information



  • Can lack validity as a means of making sound predictions of performance and lack reliability in the sense of measuring the same things for different candidates.
  • Rely on the skill of the interviewer.
  • Do not necessarily assess competence in meeting the demands of the particular job.
  • Can lead to biased and subjective judgments by interviewers.
  • Subjective evaluations are made
  • Decisions tend to be made within the first few minutes of the interview with the remainder of the interview used to validate or justify the original decision
  • Interviewers form stereotypes concerning the characteristics required for success on the job
  • Research has shown disproportionate rates of selection between minority and non-minority members using interviews
  • Negative information seems to be given more weight
  • Not much evidence of validity of the selection procedure
  • Not as reliable as tests



The following is a general pattern of interview arrangements.


  • Candidate should be contacted well in advance and told where and when to come and whom to ask for.
  • Applicants should have somewhere quiet and comfortable in which to wait for the interview.
  • Interviewers must have been fully briefed and trained on interviewing and the programme.
  • Identify private and comfortable rooms for the interview.
  • Allow time for the candidate to be told about the company and job and conditions of employment.
  • Tell candidates what will be the next step after the interview.
  • People who are to conduct the interview must be properly briefed on the job and procedures they will use. Training in interviewing techniques is important here for all the panellists.  The legal requirements on recruitment and selection must be well understood.
  • Careful preparation is essential and this means a careful study of the person specifications and the candidates’ application form / CV. Three fundamental questions need to be answered at this stage.
  • What are the criteria to be used in selecting the candidate? (Experience, qualifications, competence and skills etc)
  • What else needs to be known to ensure the candidate meets the selection criteria?
  • What further information is needed from the interview for an accurate picture of how well the candidate meets the criteria?
  • The interviewer must ensure that the interview will not be interrupted through visitors, telephone calls etc.
  • There should be no desks for interviewees to sit behind as this creates a psychological barrier. Interviewing across a desk that is cluttered up with filling trays, telephones, ornaments and other objects should be avoided as this adds to the psychological barrier.
  • The candidate should be placed on one side of the desk or two chairs with a low table in between may be used.


Train Interviewers.

Improve the interpersonal skills of the interviewer and the interviewer’s ability to make decisions without influence from non-job related information.


Interviewers should be trained to:


  • Avoid asking questions unrelated to the job
  • Avoid making quick decisions about an applicant
  • Avoid stereotyping applicants
  • Avoid giving too much weight to a few characteristics.
  • Try to put the applicant at ease during the interview
  • Communicate clearly with the applicant
  • Maintain consistency in the questions asked


Conducting the Interview.


Generally, an interview can be divided into five sections:


  1. The welcome and introductory remarks.
  2. The major part – Obtaining information about the candidate to assess against the person specification.
  • Provision of information to candidates about the organization and the job.
  1. Answering questions from the candidate.
  2. Closing the interview with an indication of the next step


Most experienced interviewers begin an interview session with a few remarks and questions designed to welcome and set the candidate at ease.

When framing questions, the following should be adhered to:


  • Questions should not suggest their own answers
  • The meaning of questions should be clear and expressed in a way appropriate to the candidate’s experience and education.
  • Probing questions – those that begin with “how, why” should be asked.
  • Irrelevant questions should be avoided.
  • Inappropriate selection criteria MUST be avoided, particularly the “halo effect” – Interviewers assume that one desirable characteristic in an applicant necessarily means that the candidate is equally worthy in other respects, e.g. an attractive physique does not imply that the applicant for a secretary’s job will be a good typist.
  • Record all facts of the interview immediately after the interview.





Among the most frequently suggested skills for interviewing are the following:


  • The ability to prepare adequately.
  • Ability to listen, including picking up points implied in the candidate’s responses.
  • Questioning skills-asking relevant questions at the right time.
  • Ability to analyse the picture of the candidate as is emerging during the interview
  • Ability to summarize and make notes on the candidate’s performance
  • Ability to supply relevant information to the candidate, without boring him
  • Skill in building and maintaining a relationship/rapport with the candidate
  • Ability to control the interview with tact, diplomacy and firmness





  • Prepare job related questions pertaining to the application & resume.
  • Take brief notes
  • Listen carefully
  • Build rapport
  • Demonstrate respect for the candidate
  • Be friendly, yet businesslike
  • Set the agenda
  • Hide your personnel feelings
  • Manage the interview
  • Remain as objective as possible
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Be silent after asking a question
  • Follow up any answers that appear to be evasive and keep track
  • Close interview by stating sequence of events and time frames
  • Jot down notes and your impressions of the candidates. Evaluate each candidate after the interview is concluded.



  • Do not lose eye contact for long periods of time by taking extensive notes.
  • Do not make judgments on one trait without considering all traits. Avoid stereotyping the candidate.
  • Do not overdo it by being too friendly or too stern
  • Do not let the applicant see that you favour or disfavour him.
  • Avoid questions that only allow a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
  • Do not accept general questions. Probe for more specific information.
  • Do not continue to talk just because the applicant does not reply quickly.
  • Do not let yourself become lost or fail to listen carefully to everything being said.
  • Do not use leading, multiple or loaded questions.
  • Do not coach the candidate about the job and requirements before asking your planned question.
  • Do not dominate the interview.


Summary of Interviews

In general, interviews have the following weaknesses:

  • Validity of the interview is relatively low
  • Reliability of the interview is also low
  • Stereotyping by interviewers, in general, may lead to adverse impact against minorities
  • The subjective nature of this procedure may allow bias such as favouritism and politics to enter into the selection process
  • This procedure is not standardized.
  • Not useful when large numbers of applicants must be evaluated and/or selected
What are the possible consequences of not training and briefing the interviewer, before an interview exercise commences.



  1. Patterned/Structured Interviews
  2. Free/Unstructured Interviews
  • Semi-Structured Interviews
  1. Stress Interviews
  2. Behaviour Description Interviews
  3. Situational Interviews
  • Group/Discussion Interviews
  • Oral Interview Boards



This is the most common method of interviewing.  It involves working out in advance the questions to be asked, the kind of information to be sought, how the interview is to be conducted and how much time is to be allotted to it.  Questions are asked in a particular order with very little or no deviations at all.  If an applicant wants to discuss something else, he is quickly guided back to the prepared questions.  Pattered interviews are of two types: –


  • Comprehensive Structured interviews
  • Structured behavioural interviews.

Comprehensive Structured Interviews Candidates are asked questions pertaining to how they would handle job-related situations, job knowledge, worker requirements, and how the candidate would perform various job simulations.

Structured behavioural interviews. This technique involves asking all interviewee’s standardized questions about how they handled past situations that were similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviewer may also ask discretionary probing questions for details of the situations, the interviewee’s behaviour in the situation and the outcome. The interviewee’s responses are then scored with behaviourally anchored rating scales.



This involves a procedure where different questions may be asked of different applicants.  The term refers to unstructured and relatively unplanned type of interview.  In such an interview, the applicant is asked some general questions and he may reply to them for a considerable length of time.  Generally, the interview is conducted in a free atmosphere and the candidate is encouraged to express himself on a variety of subjects such as his expectations, motivation, interests etc.  Interviewee is allowed to express himself fully allowing assessment by the employer.



Here, the interviewer utilizes questions in key areas, which are prepared in advance.



In this type of interview, the interviewer assumes a hostile role towards the applicant.  He deliberately asks questions or makes comments, which are meant to frustrate the interviewee.  Usually, the interviewer in such circumstances asks questions rapidly, criticizes the interviewee’s answers, interrupts frequently etc.


The purpose is to find out how the candidate behaves in a stressful environment – whether he loses temper, gets confused or frightened.



Behaviour Description Interviews Candidates are asked what actions they have taken in prior job situations that are similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviews are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.



Situational Interview Candidates are interviewed about what actions they would take in various job-related situations. The job-related situations are usually identified using the critical incidents job analysis technique. The interviews are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.



Groups rather than individuals are interviewed.  The interviewees are given certain problems and are asked to reach a decision within a specified time limit.  The assumption underlying this type of interview is that behaviour displayed during problem solving is related to the potential success of the job.


The objective is to see how well individuals perform on a particular task or particular situation.  These interviews are held for top managerial positions.



Oral Interview Boards This technique entails the job candidate giving oral responses to job-related questions asked by a panel of interviewers. Each member of the panel then rates each interviewee on such dimensions as work history, motivation, creative thinking, and presentation. The scoring procedure for oral interview boards has typically been subjective; thus, it would be subject to personal biases of those individuals sitting on the board. This technique may not be feasible for jobs in which there are a large number of applicants that must be interviewed.




The term Psychometric Tests is used to refer to tests of personality, motivation and psychological make-up.  The three most important tests conducted during the selection process are: –


  1. Aptitude or Intelligence Tests
  2. Work Sample/performance/Achievement Tests
  3. Personality Tests


  1. a) Aptitude Tests or Intelligence Tests


These tests are used to measure intellectual ability of an individual candidate.  They focus attention on a particular type of talent e.g. learning and reasoning.


Cognitive Abilities Tests. These are Paper and pencil or individualized assessment measures of an individual’s general mental ability or intelligence. They are intended to measure the general intelligence (IQ) of a job candidate.


Ability tests measure job related characteristics such as number, verbal, perceptual or mechanical ability.


Aptitude Tests are job specific tests designed to predict the potential an individual has to perform tasks within a job.


Examples of such tests include;

  • The 16 PF Test – assumes 16 clusters of behaviour, relating to excitability, assertiveness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, extrovert, introvert, cheerfulness, depression.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – seeks to categorize test subjects under four main headings; objective/intuitive, logical/emotional, decisive/hesitant, introvert/extrovert.
  • DISC Test – aims to identify the extents of Dominance, or Inducement, Submission or Steadiness and Compliance in test-subjects personalities.


Advantages of Psychometric Tests.

  • Easy and cheap to administer.
  • Assists make distinctions among candidates with same academic qualifications and work experience.
  • Assists other selection procedures
  • Assists weed out mentally incapable candidates.
  • People with less education but genuine intellectual abilities are identifiable.
  • Highly reliable
  • Verbal reasoning and numerical tests have shown high validity for a wide range of jobs
  • The validity rises with increasing complexity of the job
  • Combinations of aptitude tests have higher validities than individual tests alone
  • May be administered in group settings where many applicants can be tested at the same time
  • Scoring of the tests may be completed by computer scanning equipment
  • Lower cost than personality tests


Disadvantages of psychometric tests.

  • May turnout in unfairness
  • May lead to poor allocation of roles
  • Persons may practice so well to pass tests.
  • Persons’ state of mind, may affect results.
  • Persons worth depends on so many other factors
  • Makes people feel nervous and fearful – leading to loss of self-confidence and poor performance.
  • Differences between males and females in abilities (e.g., knowledge of mathematics) may negatively impact the scores of female applicants

Examples of Cognitive Ability Tests

  • Employee Aptitude Survey a battery of employment tests designed to meet the practical requirements of a personnel office. Consists of 10 cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor ability tests. Nine of the 10 tests have 5-minute time limits.  Such tests seek to understand; verbal comprehension, numerical ability, visual pursuit, visual speed, space visualization, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, word fluency, manual speed and accuracy and, symbolic reasoning.
  • Progressive matrices. A nonverbal test designed for use as an aid in assessing mental ability. Requires the examinee to solve problems presented in abstract figures and designs.
  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Brief individually administered measure of verbal and nonverbal intelligence for people aged 4-90. Developed specifically for screening purposes and for those situations where it would be difficult to do a more in-depth assessment.
  • Short-term Memory Tests A form of cognitive ability test that are exemplified by short-term memory tasks such as forward digit span and serial rote learning, which do not require mental manipulation of inputs in order to provide an output. Short-term memory tests lack face validity in predicting job performance.
  • Information Processing Tests Selection tests that have the same information processing requirements that occur on the job. In other words, the tests are tailored for each particular job. There is some evidence that adverse impact is reduced


Work Sample/performance/Achievement Tests

These tests measure an individual’s current achievement at the time of testing and thus they check on the practical ability that the job applicant claims to have on a specific job.


Work sample tests measure ones range and depth of knowledge of a subject and the individuals grasp of basic principles which are acquired as a result of education, training or on the job experience.  Achievement tests are of two types;


  1. Tests for measuring job knowledge, which may be oral or written.  These tests are administered to determine the proficiency of a candidate in performing a particular job activity.
  2. Work sample tests – which requires the actual performance of a job as a means of testing what the individual is capable of achieving.


Work Sample tests are based on the premise that the best predictor of future behaviour is observed behaviour under similar situations. These tests require the examinee to perform tasks that are similar to those that are performed on the job.


Personality tests include the following types of tests; self-report, projective tests, self-assessment, group discussions, physical indications and situational tests.



  • High reliability as it exposes candidates’ true abilities.
  • Directly relevant to the work to be done.
  • High content validity since work samples are a sample of the actual work performed on the job
  • Low adverse impact
  • Because of their relationship to the job, these tests are typically viewed more favourable by examinees than aptitude or personality tests
  • Difficult for applicants to fake job proficiency which helps to increase the relationship between score on the test and performance on the job
  • Work Sample tests use equipment that is the same or substantially similar to the actual equipment used on the job



  • Covers only part of the duties of the vacant job.
  • Tests conditions (Nervousness, fear, stress) may give poor results.
  • Those who have done similar tests before may fair better.
  • Candidates who pass may think they know everything.
  • Internal candidates who fail may suffer loss of confidence
  • Access to education and training is a disadvantage.
  • High-test scores is no guarantee for good performance.
  • Tests do not evaluate the entire person.
  • Costly to administer; often can only be administered to one applicant at a time
  • Although useful for jobs where tasks and duties can be completed in a short period of time, these tests have less ability to predict performance on jobs where tasks may take days or weeks to complete
  • Less able to measure aptitudes of an applicant thus restricting the test to measuring ability to perform the work sample and not more difficult tasks that may be encountered on the job


Types of Work Sample Tests

Work-Sample Tests of Trainability. These are tests through a period of instruction when the applicant is expected to learn tasks involved in a work sample. The work-sample tests of trainability are suitable for untrained applicants with no previous job experience.


Simulation of an Event. These tests present the candidate with a picture of an incident along with quotations from those involved. The candidates then respond to a series of questions in which they write down the decisions they would make. The test is scored by subject matter experts.


Low Fidelity Simulations These tests present applicants with descriptions of work situations and five alternative responses for each situation. Applicants choose the responses they would most likely and least likely make in each situation.


Work-samples Applicants perform observable, job-related behaviours as predictors of criterion performance. It is not feasible to adapt certain work behaviours for testing. Work samples often are not conducive to group administration and, therefore, were dropped from consideration because of concerns regarding test security.

Personality Tests

These aim at measuring those basic characteristics of an individual, which are non-intellectual in nature.  They probe deeply to discover clues about an individual’s value system, emotional reactions, maturity, motivation, interests, ability to adjust to the stress of everyday life and capacity for interpersonal relations and self-image.


Personality Tests refer to the selection procedure that measures the personality characteristics of applicants that are related to future job performance. Personality tests typically measure one or more of five personality dimensions: extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.



  • Can result in lower turnover due if applicants are selected for traits that are highly correlated with employees who have high longevity within the organization
  • Can reveal more information about applicant’s abilities and interests
  • Can identify interpersonal traits that may be needed for certain jobs


  • Disadvantages
  • Difficult to measure personality traits that may not be well defined
  • Applicant’s training and experience may have greater impact on job performance than applicant’s personality
  • Responses by applicant may be altered by applicant’s desire to respond in a way they feel would result in their selection especially where there is awareness of being examined.  Applicants are likely to display only desired personality traits.
  • Lack of diversity if all selected applicants have same personality traits
  • They ignore the average behaviour of the individual.
  • Likelihood of different personality descriptions by different assessors.
  • Cost may be prohibitive for both the test and interpretation of results
  • Lack of evidence to support validity of use of personality tests


The techniques for personality testing include;


  • Projective tests – describing the meaning of objects and shapes.
  • Assessment of contribution to a leaderless group discussion
  • Self analysis sessions – candidates assess their own behaviour and motivations
  • Physical indications tests
  • Situational tests for personality.
  • Physical Abilities Tests
  • Physical Abilities Tests: Tests typically test applicants on some physical requirement such as lifting strength, rope climbing, or obstacle course completion.



  • Can identify individuals who are physically unable to perform the essential functions of a job without risking injury to themselves or others
  • Can result in decreased costs related to disability/medical claims, insurance, and workers compensation
  • Decreased absenteeism



  • Costly to administer
  • Requirements must be shown to be job related through a thorough job analysis.
  • May have age based disparate impact against older applicants


This technique involves applicants generating self-ratings on relevant performance over time; self-assessments can be useful to clarify job performance expectations between employees and supervisors.


Problems with this approach:

  • Self-ratings show greater leniency, less variability, more bias, and less agreement with the judgments of others
  • The predictive validity of this technique is questionable the predictors related to self-assessments and supervisors ratings may show a lack of congruence.
  • Research suggests that applicants may not honestly respond to this type of technique
  • Self-assessment scores tend to be inflated
  • Evidence suggests there is low face validity and perceived fairness associated with using this technique to promote law enforcement personnel.
  • The evidence suggests low accuracy compared to objective measures.
  • Self-assessments may not correspond to ratings from other sources (e.g., peers) due to a lack of congruence on which specific job dimensions are to be assessed and the relative importance of specific job dimensions.
  • Congruency in ratings between supervisors and employees may be affected by the decision of supervisors to agree with the self-assessments of employees to avoid potential employee relation conflicts.



Biographical Inventories

Techniques for scoring application forms or biographical questionnaires to be used for selection of applicants.



  • Useful for jobs where a large number of employees are performing the same or similar job
  • Useful for jobs where there are a large number of applicants relative to the number of openings


Future Autobiographies

A candidate is asked to write a future autobiography stating what he/she would be doing in five years. The autobiographies are then scored by two judges for differentiation, demand, and agency. Agency is defined as the extent to which a person sees himself/herself as the prime agent in determining the course of his/her future life. Demand is defined as the extent to which an individual portrays his/her life as a long-term, continuing effort on his/her part. Differentiation is defined as the extent to which an individual has created a complex, detailed mapping of his/her future.


Problems with this technique:

  • This test does not measure any of the KSA’s that were identified through the job analysis.
  • There is no evidence that this method would reduce adverse impact.
; What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the CV in the selection process?

; What is a self-report questionnaire and how exactly does it work?



An Assessment Centre consists of a standardized evaluation of behaviour based on multiple evaluations including: job-related simulations, interviews, and/or psychological tests. Job Simulations are used to evaluate candidates on behaviours relevant to the most critical aspects (or competencies) of the job.

The term “assessment centre” refers to a controlled environment used to predict the probable managerial success of individuals mainly on the basis of evaluation of their behaviour in a variety of simulated situations.

Assessment centres usually have some sort of in-basket exercise, which contains contents similar to those, which are found in the in-basket for the job, which is being tested.

Other possibilities include oral exercises, counselling simulations, problem analysis exercises, interview simulations, role-play exercises, written report/analysis exercises, and leaderless group exercises. Assessment centres allow candidates to demonstrate more of their skills through a number of job relevant situations.

Several trained observers and techniques are used. Judgments about behaviour are made and recorded. These judgments are pooled in a meeting among the assessors or by an averaging process. In discussion among assessors, comprehensive accounts of behaviour, often including ratings, are pooled. The discussion results in evaluations of the performance of the assessed on the dimensions or other variables.


An Assessment Centre can be defined as “a variety of testing techniques designed to allow candidates to demonstrate, under standardized conditions, the skills and abilities that are most essential for success in a given job”.

Assessment centres incorporate a range of assessment techniques and typically have the following features:


  • The focus of the centre is on behaviour.
  • Exercises are used to capture and simulate the key dimensions of the job.
  • Interviews and tests will be used in addition to group exercises.
  • Several candidates or participants are assessed together to allow interaction and to make the experience more open and participative.
  • Several assessors or observers are used in order to increase the objectivity of assessments.

Assessment centres provide good opportunities for indicating the extent to which the candidates match the culture of the organization. They give the candidates a better feel for the organization and its values so that they can decide for themselves whether or not they are likely to fit.

An assessment centre is a process, not a place that incorporates multiple forms of assessment-simulation exercises, in-tray exercises, psychological tests and interviews.

It is distinguished by its: –

  • Combination of assessment methods
  • The central role of simulation exercises
  • Groups of candidates assessed by groups of observers
  • Extended period of selection process



  • Considerable data about the candidates can be collected
  • Candidates can display a range of knowledge and skills over the course of the half to one-and-a half days
  • If successful, can produce valid and reliable choices of candidates
  • Has the potential for use as a staff development tool as well as for selection purposes
  • Provides useful experience for assessors-testing own judgment against that of others.



  • Complexities of putting an assessment centre together (selecting tests, devising simulations, organizing interviews and assessors etc)
  • Costliness of setting up and then running a centre.
  • Assessment centres cannot accurately measure tacit skills or capabilities.


Leaderless Group Discussion

The leaderless group discussion is a type of assessment centre exercise where groups of applicants meet as a group to discuss an actual job-related problem. As the meeting proceeds, the behaviour of the candidates is observed to see how they interact and what leadership and communications skills each person displays.

Problems with this technique:

  • This type of exercise was not feasible for selecting candidates from a potential applicant pool of 8000 individuals because of the time and cost involved with training the individuals rating the applicants.
  • Since every group would be different, individuals could argue that the process is biased or unfair.
  • The process is not standardized.


Role Playing

Role-playing is a type of assessment centre exercise where the candidate assumes the role of the incumbent of the position and must deal with another person in a job- related situation. A trained role player is used and responds “in character” to the actions of the candidate. Observing raters assesses performance.


Problems with this technique:

  • Since this technique is not conducive to group administration, test security would be an issue.
  • Job content areas identified in the job analysis were not as amenable to this type of exercise as they were to the selection techniques utilized in the final test

While assessment centres vary in the number and type of exercises included, two of the most common exercises are the in-basket and the oral exercise.


In a traditional in-basket exercise, candidates are given time to review the material and initiate in writing whatever actions they believe to be most appropriate in relation to each in-basket item. When time is called for the exercise, the in-basket materials and any notes, letters, memos, or other correspondence written by the candidate are collected for review by one or more assessors. Often the candidates are then interviewed to ensure that the assessor(s) understand actions taken by the candidate and the rationale for the actions. If an interview is not possible, it is also quite common to have the candidate complete a summary sheet (i.e., a questionnaire).


Like all assessment centre exercises, oral exercises can take many forms depending on the work behaviours or factors of the job being simulated. Common forms of oral exercises include press conference exercises, formal presentations, and informal presentations (briefing exercise).

In oral presentation exercises, candidates are given a brief period of time in which to plan/organize their thoughts, make notes, etc., for the presentation/briefing.


Traditionally, the audience is played by the assessor(s) who observes the presentation and makes ratings. Candidates may also be asked a series of questions following their briefing/presentation. The questions may or may not relate directly to the topic of the presentation.


Physical and medical examination is conducted to determine whether a candidate is medically fit for certain types of jobs which may require unusual stamina, strength or tolerance of working conditions.


A physical or medical examination could therefore qualify an individual for a particular job if he is medically fit for the job.  Candidates are examined by the company’s doctor or by a doctor approved by the company.


The medical and physical examination is therefore resorted to by employers to;


  • Determine whether the applicant has the physical ability to carry on the duties and responsibilities of the job effectively.
  • Ascertain whether the applicant has a record of health problems, which can potentially affect his behaviour on the job adversely.
  • Know whether the applicant is more sensitive to certain aspects of workplace environment such as chemicals.

Before one is offered the job, a reference check is made.  This may include verification from past teachers, employers or public people and even police verification.

The main objective of this is to get background information of the job applicant regarding his working ability, cooperativeness, dependability etc.  It is meant to gather additional information about the mental faculties, behaviour and physical health.  It is sought to guard oneself against possible falsification by applicants.


References may be made through mail, telephone, personal contacts or completion of a reference form.



; Discuss the importance of the Factories Act and the Trade Unions Act in the employee selection process.

; What is meant by the term screening?

; What is the purpose of screening and how well is it achieved?

; Which are the best methods of recruitment for positions below supervisory level?

Finally, after the candidates has undergone all the selection steps administered by the company including checking a reference check and the management is satisfied that the candidate is qualified, the manager concerned approves the appointment of this person and the employment letter containing the terms and conditions of employment and reporting date is sent to the qualified candidate.





PLACEMENT refers to assigning rank and responsibility to an individual, identifying him with a particular job.  It is the determination of the job to which an accepted candidate is to be assigned and his assignments for that particular job.  It is a matching of what the supervisor has reason to think the candidate can do with the job demands (job requirements).


If the person adjusts himself to the job and continues to perform as per expectations, it might mean that the candidate is properly placed.  However, if the candidate is seen to have problems in adjusting himself to the job, the supervisor must find out whether the person is properly placed as per his aptitude and potential. Placement problems usually arise out of wrong selection or improper placement or both.  Cases of employees performing below expectation and potential, and employee related problems such as turnover, absenteeism, low morale, accidents etc may be related to placement problems.



Induction is the process of receiving employees when they begin work, introducing them to the company and their colleagues and informing them of the activities, customs and traditions of the company.


Induction refers to the introduction of a new person to the job and the organisation. The purpose is to make this person feel at ease and develop a sense of pride in the organisation and a commitment to the job.  The process is supposed to indoctrinate, orient, acclimatize and acculturate the employee to the job and the organisation.  Induction may be regarded as the beginning of training or the final stage of the selection process.


Objectives of induction

A new employee in an organisation is a stranger to the people, the workplace and the work environment.  He may feel insecure, shy and nervous.  The first few days may be full of anxiety – caused by not being able to follow the new practices, procedures and lack of understanding of the new policies. If such a person is left unattended, he may develop discouragement, disillusion or even defensive behaviour.  Induction is therefore supposed to reduce this feeling to the most comfortable level possible.


The induction process provides new employees with basic background information they need to perform their jobs satisfactorily – a process that is part of the new employees socialization (socialization is the ongoing process of instilling in all employees the prevailing attitudes, standards, values and patterns of behaviour that are expected by the organisation and its departments.


Objectives of an induction programme therefore are:

  • Introduce the new employee to the new work procedures, rules and regulations.
  • Familiarize the new employee with his work environment, workmates and immediate supervisor or departmental head.
  • Set a new employee at ease with his new job and instil confidence in him.
  • Reduce fear and anxiety associated with working in new environments.  Feelings of insecurity, shyness and nervousness are therefore reduced.


Induction Procedure

An induction process consists of two stages; the introduction to the work group and introduction to the organisations background.

An organisation has an obligation to make integration of a new employee into its setup as smooth and as anxiety free as possible.  This is achieved through a formal and also informal induction process.  Such programmes depend on the size of the organisation and the complexity of individuals in the new environment.

Some organisations have developed formal orientation programmes; which include a detailed process of introduction to the work, the workplace and its environment and the organisation.

New employees usually get a handbook or printed materials that cover issues such as working hours, performance reviews, getting on the payroll, vacations and a tour of the facilities.  Other handbook information includes; personnel policies, the employees daily routine, company organisation and operations and safety and health measures and regulations.

Other organisations may utilize informal orientation programmes, which might include being assigned to a senior worker who will not only introduce the new worker to other members of staff but also show him other things of interest.  However, this must be done carefully as there are possible negative effects of an informal orientation programme.


; Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an informal staff orientation process

; What are the disadvantages of the formal staff orientation programmes?





Formal orientation programmes usually cover such things like introduction to the work itself; its processes, tasks, procedures and responsibilities and the terms and conditions of employment; compensation, benefits, personnel policies, employees’ daily routine, company organisation and operations, safety and health among other things. The supervisors may have a checklist of requirements for the induction process.

This may include;

  • Word of welcome.
  • Explanation of overall departmental organisation and its relationship to other activities of the company.
  • Explaining employee’s individual contributions to the objectives of the department and his broad terms.
  • Discussing job content with employee and give him a copy of the job description if available.
  • Explaining departmental training programmes and salary increase practices and procedures.
  • Discussing where the employee lives and transport facilities provided by the company.
  • Explaining working conditions.
  • Hours of work
  • Use of employee entrance and exit.
  • Lunch hours
  • Coffee breaks
  • Personal telephone calls and internet/e-mail usage.
  • Overtime policy and requirements.
  • Other issues – safety habits and security arrangements.
  • Requirement for continuance of employment – explaining company standards as regards the:
  • Performance of duties.
  • Attendance and punctuality.
  • Handling confidential information.
  • Behaviour
  • General appearance
  • Wearing of uniform (where applicable)
  • Introducing the new staff member to manager and other personnel and supervisors of the company.  Special attention should be paid to the staff member to whom the new employee will be assigned.
  • Releasing the new employee to his immediate supervisor who will then:
  • Introduce the new staff to fellow workers.
  • Familiarize the employee with his new workplace.
  • Begin the on the job training.
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Human resource planning (HRP) is an attempt to forecast how many and what kind of employees will be required in the future, and to what extent this demand is likely to be met.  It involves the comparison of an organization’s current human resources with likely future needs and consequently the establishment of programmes for hiring, training, redeploying and possible discarding employees.  Effective HRP should result in the right people doing the right things in the right place at precisely the right time.

HRP is seen as a strategy for the acquisition, utilization improvement and retention of an enterprise’s human resources.  HRP is therefore a strategic process.

HRP is the process for ensuring that the HR requirements of an organization are identified and plans are made for satisfying those requirements.  It addresses HR needs in both qualitative and quantitative terms i.e., how many people and what sort of people.

HRP is also known as workforce planning or personnel planning.  HRP is the process of matching the supply of people – internally (existing employees) – and externally (those to be hired or searched for) – with the openings the organization expects to have over a given period time frame.


The context of HRP is dominated by:-

  • The state of demand for the organization’s goods or services
  • The supply of people in the labour market
  • The time-scale involved.


This is basically seen as either, the external labour market or the internal labour market.  The external labour market consists of the local, regional, national and international labour markets.  The internal labour market is the market for labour within firms – the stocks available and the flow of people within the firm from entry, through various stages of their career, until they leave.

The internal labour market can be the main source of labour through policies of: –


  • Development
  • Training
  • Promotion
  • Career planning
  • Management succession


Purpose of HRP

  • HRP can help management in making decisions in the following areas:
  • Recruitment
  • Avoidance of redundancies
  • Training-numbers and categories
  • Management development
  • Estimates of labour costs
  • Productivity bargaining
  • Accommodation requirements


Importance of HRP

  • To enable organizations carry out their activities
  • To replace personnel, who are no longer use or are old.
  • To fill vacancies arising from labour turnover.
  • To meet the needs of the expansion programmes which may include the increase in demand for goods and services of the organization.
  • To meet the challenges f new and changing technologies
  • To identify areas of surplus personnel or areas in which there is shortage of personnel.
  • Plan for labour costs – as a basis for drawing up HR budgets.


A critical decision facing organizations before procurement is done is the determination of the number and type of personnel that should be provided to the organization.  HRP seeks to ensure that a certain desired number of people with the correct skills will be available at some specified time in future.


The determination of HR requirements therefore involves: –


  1. HR Demand forecasting
  2. HR supply forecasting
  • HR actions



Demand forecasting is the process of estimating the future numbers of people required and the likely skills and competence they will need. Demand forecasting may be determined by taking into consideration:


  • Long range factors
  • Short range factors


Though specific numbers are difficult to develop in forecasts, encompassing 2-5 years or more, those responsible for HRP, must consider the following: –

  • The firms long range business plans
  • Demographic trends
  • Economic factors
  • Technological trends
  • Social trends
  1. The firms Long Range Business Plans

Such plans may be to expand the firms operations by moving into new product lines.  This would require estimates of the needed number of employees and skills of the anticipated growth.


If plans call for more efforts in the international market in future, then decisions must be made regarding the utilization of the host country’s nationals.  Long-range plans may also call for reduction in labour due to elimination or product LINES OR PLANTS.  Relocation of a company may also have HRP implications.

  1. Demographic trends

Demographic trends in a country can determine future demand patterns of labour by organizations.  Fluctuations in population affect the labour supply available in various categories – education, size, age characteristics, gender characteristics, diseases, birth & death rates.

  1. Economic Trends

Movement from prosperity to recession and back to prosperity poses considerable problems for HR Managers.  During prosperity demand for jobs by firms is likely to increase.  The reverse happens during a recession.


  1. Technological Trends

Advances in technology have definite effect on the nature and mixture of jobs available.  For instance, advances in I.T, resulted in a decrease in the number of bookkeepers and an increase in demand for computer programmers.  It has been noted that the current level of technology for building robots will enable the replacement of 2/3 of the factory workforce.


  1. Social Trends

Changes in custom and civil rights would influence labour projections.  Mobility of personnel due to family commitments also affects demand for labour.



The short factors to be considered in demand forecasting include:-


  • Production schedules/budgets.
  • Affirmative action plans.
  • Relocation/plant closings.


  1. Production Schedules/Budgets

Specific sales forecasts for the coming year must be translated into a work programme for the various sections of an enterprise. Some plans must be made concerning the amount of work that each segment of the organization is expected to accomplish during some coming period.



  1. Affirmative Action Planning

An organization may be forced to hire certain categories of employees – minority tribes or females. This must be reflected in the HRP.


  1. Relocation/Plant Closings

Recession in the economy may lead to temporary closures or relocations.  This may lead to reduction in the labour force.  Poor company development and expansion strategy also may lead to relocations and closures.



There are several things to consider when forecasting personnel needs.  The expected demand for your product or service is paramount.  These sales are generally estimated first.  Then the staff required to achieve this volume of output is estimated. Other things to consider are;


  • Projected turnover – resignations/terminations
  • Quality and skills of your employees – in relation to the changing needs of the organization
  • Decisions to upgrade the quality of products or services that enter into the market.
  • Technological and other changes resulting in increased productivity.
  • The financial resources available to the department

Whichever method one uses, managerial judgment will play a big role. Judgment is thus needed to modify the forecast based on factors – such as projected turnover, or a desire to enter new markets.


In a particular situation the following factors in addition to other factors may affect future labour demand:-

  • Organizational goals and plans
  • Changes in productivity
  • Changes in organizational structure or job design

The above factors are known as Leading Indicators.  The task in forecasting labour demand is;

First to obtain direction in which the leading indicators are moving and

Second, to assess the likely effects of these events on the number and type of   employees that will be needed by the organization.

The methods of demand forecasting involve the following 4 steps: –

  1. Select from among the leading indictors, those most likely to be relevant in the particular situation at hand.
  2. Establish the nature of historical relationships between the leading indicators selected and the labour demand
  • Obtain forecasts or projections of the leading indicators
  1. Forecast demand (make estimates using data from steps (ii) & (iii). This helps identify the gap between the current and needed workforce.



The following are the basic demand forecasting methods for estimating the numbers of people required: –


  1. Managerial judgment
  2. Ratio-trend analysis
  • Work-study techniques
  1. Modelling
  2. Delphi technique
  3. Time series analysis
  • Scatter plot
  • Regression analysis
  1. Productivity ratios p=workload/people



Under the managerial estimates method, managers make estimates of future staff needs based primarily on past experience.  These estimates can be made by top-level managers and passed on to other managers.  The managers simply, sit, think about their future workloads, and decide how many people they need.  It may be a top-down or bottom-up process.  The forecasts made one man reviewed and agreed with departmental managers.


Discuss the factors on the basis of which managers can be able to make judgment about personnel needs.










The best way to managerial estimates is by se of both top-down and bottom-up processes.  The two forecasts are reviewed by a HR planning committee and approved. This is known as the right-angle method.



This is carried out by studying past ratios between the number of direct workers and indirect workers (support) in a manufacturing plant and forecasting future ratios.  The number of direct workers needed can be used to determine the number of indirect workers needed.


This means making forecast based on the ratio between (i) Same causal factor (e.g. sales volume) and ii) number of employees required.  Ratio analysis assumes that productivity remains about the same.




These can be used when it is possible to apply work measurement to calculate how long operations should take and the number of people required.  This starts from a company’s production budget.  Work-study techniques for direct workers can be combined with ratio-trend analysis to calculate the number of indirect workers needed.



Mathematical modelling techniques using computers and spreadsheets can help in the preparation of demand and supply forecasts.


Employers also use computer programs to forecast personnel requirements.  Typically data needed include direct labour hours needed to produce one unit of the product and three sales projections – minimum, maximum and probable.  Based on such data a typical programme generates figures on average staff levels required to meet production demands, as well as separate computerized forecasts for direct labour and indirect staff, plus the exempt staff.  Method also known as modelling.


Describe the process of demand forecasting using the work study technique.


Examples of statistical modelling techniques.


Past staffing levels (instead of workload indicators) are sued to project future HR requirements.  Past staffing levels are examined to isolate seasonal and cyclical variations, long-term trends and random movements.  Long-term trends are then extrapolated or projected.

Here one studies a company’s employment level over the last 5 years or so to predict future needs.  Trend analysis is valuable as an initial estimate, but employment levels rarely depend solely on the passage of time.


Historical data are used to examine past levels of a productivity index.


P    =               Workload    

Number of people


Where constant, or systematic, relationships are found human resource requirements could be computed by dividing predicted workloads by P.


Past levels of various workload indicators, such as sales, production levels and value added are examined for statistical relationships with staffing levels.  Where sufficiently strong relationships are found, a regression model is derived.  Forecasted levels of the related indicator are entered into the resulting model and used to calculate the associated level of HR requirements.


With this method, each member of a panel of experts makes an independent estimate of what the future demand will be, along with any underlying assumptions. An intermediary then presents each experts forecast and assumptions to the others and allows the experts to revise their positions if they desire.  This continues until some consensus is reached.


This can be used to determine whether two factors – a measure of business activity and the staff levels are related. If they are, then one can forecast the measure of business activity he should be able to get and also estimate the HR requirements.




q  What is the role of the HR Personnel in the HR planning process?

q  List the common pitfalls in HR planning.








  1. Equips the organization to cope with the HR consequences of changed circumstances.
  2. May enable a firm to discover new and improved ways of managing human resources.
  • Helps create and develop employee training and management succession programmes.
  1. Labour shortfalls and surpluses may be avoided.
  2. May enable a company foresee some of the consequences amid needs of managing change.
  3. Compels management to examine the strengths and weaknesses of its labour force and personnel policies.
  • Duplication of effort among employees may be avoided.
  • Improves co-ordination and integration of workers efforts.
  1. Assists in career management and management development programmes.


In assessing the supply of labour available to the organization there are tow major areas to be reviewed.


  1. The existing workforce (the internal labour market)
  2. The supply of potential employees (the external labour market)


Supply forecasting measures the number of people likely to be available from within and from outside the organization, having allowed for absenteeism, internal movements and promotions, wastage and changes in hours and other conditions of work.


The supply analysis covers: –


  • Existing human resources
  • Potential losses to existing resources through employee wastage
  • Potential changes to existing resources through internal promotions
  • Effect of changing conditions of work and absenteeism
  • Sources of supply from within the organization
  • Sources of supply from outside the organization – national and local labour markets


A typical analysis of supply will focus on the following: –


  • Existing staff:

Numbers, categories, skills, performance, flexibility, promotability

  • Potential staff:

Location, categories, skills, trainability, attitudes and competition

  • Less Leavers:

Retirement, wastage rates, redundancies and dismissals

Manpower Flows in an Organization


The basic analysis should classify employees by function or department, occupation, level of skill and status.  The aim is to identify “resource centres” consisting of broadly homogeneous groups from which forecasts of supply need t be made.

A detailed analysis is needed to provide inventories of skills and potential, and knowledge of the number of promotable people available.  An analysis of employees by age helps to identify problems arising from a sudden rush of retirements, a block in promotion prospects or a preponderance of older employees.

Length of service analysis will provide survival rates, which are a necessary tool for use by planners in predicting future resources.

The analysis of current resources should look at the existing ratios between different categories of employees – mangers and tam leaders, skilled to semi-skilled, direct to indirect, office staff to production.  Recent movements in these ratios should be studies to provide guidance on trends and to highlight areas where raid changes may result in supply problems.

  1. Labour Turnover or Wastage

A common index of labour performance is labour turnover.  It provides information about the ratio of leavers to the average numbers employed during the course of a year.  It is usually examined as: –

Number of Employees leaving during the year   x 100

Average numbers employed during the year

A turnover rate of 25% would be considered satisfactory, while a turnover rate of 100% is considered a major problem.

The above index however has some disadvantages; it does not indicate in which areas of the organization the rate of leavers is high; it does not identify the length of service of the leavers; it does not indicate any sudden changes in the numbers employed from one year to the next.

Some organizations, in addition to the labour index, make use of a labour stability index which links the leaving rate with length of service.

Number of leavers with more than one years service     x 100

Number employed one year ago

The result of the measure of performance is to identify the extent to which new recruits leave, rather than longer serving employees.

Employee turnover should be analysed in order to forecast future losses and to identify the reasons for people leaving the organization.

The stability index provides an indication of the tendency for longer-service employees to remain with the company – the degree to which there is continuity of employment.  The index will however not show the vastly different situations that exist in a company or department with a high proportion of long-serving employees in comparison with one where the majority of employees are short service.

The shortcomings of the stability index may be partly overcome if an analysis is also made of the average length of service of people who leave – length of service analysis.

Period 1 Jan – 31 Dec


Category Less than 6 months 6 to 12


1 to 2


3 to 5


6 to 10



* Leavers by length of service


If required such an analysis could be further refined to show leavers by department or unit as well as by length of service.


Another method of analysing turnover is the survival rate.  This is the proportion of employees who are engaged within a certain period who remain with the organization after so many months or years of service.  Thus, an analysis of trainees who have completed training might show that after 2 years, 10 of the original cohort of 20 were still with the company – a survival rate of 50%. HR planners must allow for half the recruits in any one-year to be lost over the next couple of years, unless they take care of the factors causing the wastage.


A simpler concept derived from survival rate analysis is that the half – life index – time taken for a group or cohort of starters to reduce to half its original size through the wastage process.



Labour turnover is the movement of people into and out of firm.  The term separation is used to denote an employee who leaves for any reason.  Staff turnover has a number of advantages and disadvantages.


  • It provides an incentive to recruit fresh staff
  • It enables organizations to shed staff more easily when redundancies are planned (i.e. through natural wastage)
  • It opens up promotion channels for longer – serving staff.
  • It introduces an element of ‘self-selection’ among new employees, which may save dismissals at a later date.


  • Additional cost of replacement recruitment
  • Disruptions to production of gods or services caused by leavers.
  • Additional training costs, especially induction and initial job training
  • Wasted investment in people
  • May lead to difficulties in attracting new staff


Separations and their consequent replacements can be expensive.  The cost of labour turnover increases when employees are more specialized, more difficult to find and require more training.  The cost of labour turnover is made up of some or all of the following components.


  1. Lower production during the learning period
  2. Lost production while the employee is being replaced
  • Payment to other employees at overtime rates while waiting for a replacement
  1. Possible diversion of efforts of more highly skilled employees while waiting for a replacement
  2. Cost of recruitment, selection and medical examination
  3. Training costs
  • Administrative cost of removing from and adding to payroll


Reducing Labour Turnover

If an employing firm wishes to reduce its labour turnover, because it considers it excessive, it may take the following action:


  • Recalculate: the separation rate for various categories of the firms employees departments, are groups, occupations to see I turnover in any of these categories is particularly high; and if so be investigated.
  • Ensure: that selection procedures are adequate; suitable employees are more likely to stay than the unsuitable.
  • Ensure: that the immediate supervisor, by being involved in selection, feels some responsibility towards a new employee.
  • Check: that employees are being fully utilized – some may be leaving because of boredom or job dissatisfaction.
  • Overhaul: the pay structure perhaps using job evaluation.
  • Introduce: or improve an induction course.
  • Give new employees appropriate training
  • Show that prospects in the company are good by promoting from within wherever possible.
  • Ensure that physical working conditions are adequate.


The supply forecast should indicate the number of vacancies that will have to be filled to meet the demand forecast.  In a large organization, persistent patterns or of promotion or transfer may develop and it may be possible to predict the proportions of employees in particular categories who are likely to be promoted or moved in the future by starting with a forecast of the chain reaction factor, to give a broad indication of the number of displacements that may occur.


Assessing changes in conditions of work and absenteeism

This assessment should cover factors operating within the firm such as changes in all the following; normal weekly hours of work, overtime policies, the length and time of holidays, retirement policy, the policy for employing part-timers and shift systems.  The effect of absenteeism on the future supply of employees should also be allowed, and trends in absenteeism should be analysed to trace causes and identify possible remedial actions.



Internal labour market sources include the output from established schemes or management development programmes and the reservoirs of skill and potential that already exists within the organization. But the availability pf people from the local and national labour markets is also a vital factor when preparing plans.


It is necessary to identify at an early stage any categories of employees where there might be difficulties in recruiting the numbers required so that action can be taken in good time to prepare a recruiting campaign, or to develop training or re-training programmes to convert available staff to meet the company’s needs.


The factors that can have an important bearing on the supply of manpower are: –


  1. Local Labour Market
  • Population densities within reach of the company
  • Current and future competition for employees from other employers
  • Local unemployment levels
  • Traditional pattern of employment locally, and the availability of people with the required qualifications and skills
  • The output from the local educational system and training establishments.
  • The attractiveness of the area as a place to live
  • The attractiveness of the company as a place to work
  • The availability of part-time employees
  • Local housing, shopping and transport facilities.


  1. National Labour Supply
  • Demographic trends in the number of school-leavers and the size of the working population.
  • National demands for special categories of employees – graduates, professional staff, technologists, technicians, and skilled workers.
  • The output of the universities, professional institutions and other educational and training establishments
  • The effect f changing educational patterns
  • The impact of national training initiatives
  • Impact of government employment regulations

Figure: Factors Affecting Nature of External labour Market



Discuss the specific government activities that have an impact on the national labour supply.


Upon completion of forecasts of labour and demand and supply the results must be reconciled before HR actions can be determined and taken.


Example of reconciliation table


Job category          labour demand     labour supply                      gap       interpretation


1                                  140                     137                         -3                     shortage

2                                  200                     251                         +51                 surplus

3                                  300                     282                         -18                  shortage

4                                  375                     282                         -93                  shortage



Action plans are derived from the broad resourcing strategies and the more detailed analysis of demand and supply factors. Action pans should be made in the following areas: –


  1. An overall plan as required to deal with shortages arising if there are demographic pressures
  2. A human resource development plan
  • A recruitment plan
  1. A retention plan
  2. A plan to achieve greater flexibility
  3. A productivity plan
  • A downsizing plan



Demographic pressures are likely to be experienced even during a recession as there are still areas where skill shortage exists and these may multiply in the future. It is, as such, advisable to be prepared to take a selection of the following steps as part of an overall HR plan.


  • Improve methods of identifying the sort of young people the organisation wants to recruit
  • Establishing links with schools and colleges to gain their interest in the organisation
  • Develop career programmes and training packages to attract young people
  • Widening the recruitment net to include, for example, more women re-entering the labour market
  • Finding ways of tapping alternative pools of suitable workers e.g. part time employees
  • Adapting working hours and arrangements to the needs of new employees and those with domestic responsibilities
  • Providing more attractive benefit packages e.g. child care facilities
  • Developing the talents and making better use of existing employees
  • Providing retraining for existing and new employees to develop different skills
  • Making every effort to retain new recruits and existing staff.



The HR development plan will show:


  • Number of trainees required and the programme for recruiting and training them
  • Number of existing staff who need training, retraining and the training programmes required
  • The need learning programmes to be developed or the changes to be made existing programmes and courses
  • How the required flow of promotable managers can be maintained



This will take account of the flow of trainees or retraining staff and set out: –


  • Numbers and types of employees required to take care of the deficit
  • Likely sources of recruits
  • Methods of attracting good candidates training and development programmes, attractive pay and benefits packages, golden hellos (money paid up front to recruits), flexible working arrangements, generous relocation payments, child care facilities and so on.



This should be based on why people want to leave. Exit interviews may provide some information but they can be unreliable – people rarely give the full reasons why they are leaving. A better method is to have attitude surveys on a regular basis. A retention plan should address each of the areas in which lack of commitment and dissatisfaction can arise. Such areas include:

  1. a) PAY

Problems arise because of uncompetitive, in equitable or unfair pay systems. Remedial action may include: –


  • Review of pay levels
  • Job evaluation – to provide equitable grading decisions
  • Ensure people understand the link between performance and reward
  • Review performance – related pay schemes – ensure they are fair.
  • Adapt payment – by – results systems to ensure that employees are not penalized when they are engaged only on short runs
  • Tailor benefits to individual requirements and preferences
  • Involve employees in developing and operating job evaluation and PRP schemes


  1. b) JOBS

Dissatisfaction arises if jobs are unrewarding in themselves. Job design should maximize skill variety, task significance, autonomy and feedback and provide opportunities for learning and growth



Unclear responsibilities and performance standards may cause demotivation. The following actions can be taken. The following actions can be taken.


  • Express performance requirements as had but attainable goals
  • Get employees and managers to agree on performance goals and what should be done to achieve them
  • Encourage managers to praise employees for good performance, give regular performance feedback and discuss performance problems.


  1. d) Train managers in performance review techniquesg. counselling; brief employees on how the performance management system works and obtain feedback from the workers



  1. e) TRAINING

Lack of proper training may increase resignation s and turnover.  Learning programmes and training schemes should be developed and introduced which: –


  • Give employees the competence and confidence to achieve set performance standards
  • Enhance existing skills and competence
  • Help people to acquire new skills and competence – make use of their abilities, take greater responsibility, variety of tasks and earn more under skill and competence based pay schemes.



– What are the four basic steps in the HRP process?

– What is the role of HR personnel in the HRP process?

– List and explain eight common pitfalls in HRP



Dissatisfaction with career prospects is a major cause of turnover. Companies should plan to provide career opportunities by: –

  • Providing employees with wider experience
  • Introducing more systematic procedures for identifying potential such as assessment or development centres
  • Encourage promotion procedures
  • Provide advice and guidance on career paths.



This can be increased by: –

  • Explaining organisations mission, value and strategies
  • Commitment to all employees on time
  • Provide opportunities for employees to contribute their ides on improving work systems



Employees feel isolated and unhappy if they are not part of a cohesive team.

This can be tackled through: Teamwork, setting up self – managed or autonomous work groups, Team building


A common reason for resignations is the feeling that management and supervisors are not providing leadership, are treating people unfairly or bullying their staff. This can be solved by: –


  • Selecting managers/supervisors with well-developed qualities
  • Training in leadership skills, conflict resolution and dealing with grievances
  • Have better grievance handling procedures



Turnover may result from poor selection or promotion decisions. Selection and promotion procedures must match the capacities of individuals and demands of the work they have to do.



Creating expectations about career development opportunities, training programs and interesting work and not matching this with reality may lead directly to dissatisfaction and early resignation. Take care not to oversell, the firm’s employee development policies.



Such a plan should aim to: –

  • Provide for greater operational flexibility
  • Improve the utilization of employees skills and capacities
  • Help to achieve downsizing smoothly, avoiding compulsory redundancies
  • Increase productivity


A flexibility plan should consider: –

  • New arrangements for flexible hours
  • Alternatives to full-time permanent staff
  • New overtime arrangements
  • New shift working arrangements
  • Flexible hour arrangements


Alternative to full-time permanent staff includes us of temporary workers, job sharing, home working and teleworking, subcontracting and so on.


What are the advantages of using part time workers, and what are the disadvantages



This sets out programmes for improving productivity or reducing employment costs in such areas as: –

  • Improving or streamlining methods, procedures and systems mechanization, automation or computerization
  • Use of financial and non-financial incentives



Such a plan should be based on the timing of reductions and forecasts of the extent to which these can be achieved by natural wastage or voluntary redundancy. The plan should set out:-


  • Number of people who have to go, when and from which departments
  • Arrangements for communicating to the employees and union
  • The redundancy terms
  • Financial inducements
  • Arrangements for retraining counselling sessions


The HRP should include budgets; targets and standards clarify responsibilities for implementation and control and establish reporting procedures



Identify and discuss some of the alternative activities to retrenchment that a company may undertake

Reducing the total number of employees, downsizing, can be undertaken in four basic ways: – layoffs, terminations, early retirement inducements and voluntary resignation inducements.

A layoff as opposed to a termination, assumes it is likely that the employee will be recalled at some later date.

Approaches that do not result in employees leaving the organisation include; reclassification (either a demotion of an employee, downgrading of job responsibilities or a combination of the two), transfer and work sharing.



Unfortunately HRP is not always successful. The following are some of the common pitfalls


  • The identify crisis – HR planners work in an environment characterized by ambiguous regulations, company politics and diverse management style. HR planners spend so much time looking for something meaningful to do while the organisation questions the reason for their existence
  • Sponsorship of top Management – for HRP to work, it must have the support of at least one influential senior executive. If this is missing the process may fail
  • Size of the initial effort – many HRP programmes fail because of an overcomplicated initial effort. A good programme should start slow and gradually expand. An accurate skills inventory and replacement chart is a good place to start.
  • Coordination with the Management and HR functions – HRP must be coordinated with the other management and HR functions. Unfortunately, HRP tends to become absorbed in their own function and fail to interact with others
  • Integration with organizational plans – HRP must be derived from organisation plans. If this does not happen, the process is doomed to fail
  • Quantitative Vs Qualitative approaches – a strictly quantitative approach HRP is numbers game – in, out, up, down and across, while a strictly qualitative approach focuses on concerns for promotability and for career development. A balanced approach is one that may yield better results
  • Non – involvement of operating managers – HRP is strictly not a HR department function. Successful HRP requires a coordinated effort on the parts of operating managers and the HR personnel
  • The technique trap – there is sometimes a tendency to adopt one or more of the HRP methods not for what they can do, but rather because every one is using them. Pre occupation with the ‘in thing’ can be a major shortage.



HR planning can be difficult and often in accurate. The chief reasons are:

  1. Type of industry – some depend on new product development in an extremely competitive environment; others may depend on political decisions which are impossible to forecast, while others work on a tendering basis
  2. Opposition or scepticism among members of management; all must be convinced of the value of HRP if it is to be a success
  3. Resistance to the changes expressed in the plan. Forecasts of labour structure, with their effects on skills and status, may be regarded as a threat
  4. The difficulty of forecasting social and economic changes accurately, especially in an era of high unemployment
  5. The need to have very complete and accurate employee records, to be used to detect trends in employee movement. Such may be unreliable in times of high unemployment
  6. Rapid growth of new technologies
  7. The plan may indicate recruitment and training, which although desirable, may not be possible due to cash flow constraints


o    The physical relocation of a business’s premises creates a number of HRM problems. Which ones are these?

o    Discuss examples of outplacement procedures that may be undertaken by an organisation

o    Define outplacement and explain how it operates

o    State some ways in which labour turnover may be reduced











The following tools are available to assist in the HRP process


  1. Skills inventory
  2. Succession planning/organisation replacement chart
  3. Commitment manpower planning
  4. Ratio planning



This consolidates information about the organisation human resources. It provides basic information on all employees, including in its simplest form a list of names, certain characterizes and skills of employees.


Because the information from a skills inventory is used as input into promotion and transfer decisions, it should contain information about each employee’s portfolio of skills and not just those relevant to the employee’s current job. The following broad categories of information should be included in a skills inventory


  • Personal data, age, sex, marital status
  • Skills; education, job experience, training
  • Special qualifications: membership in professional groups, special achievements
  • Salary and job history: present and past salary, dates of raises, various jobs held
  • Company data; benefit plan data, retirement information, seniority
  • Capacity of individual; test scores on psychological and other tests, health information
  • Special preferences of individual; geographical location type of job


The primary advantage of a skills inventory is that it finishes a means to quickly and accurately evaluate the skills available within the organisation. In addition to helping determine promotion and transfer decisions, this information is necessary for making other decisions, such as whether to bid on a new contract or introduce a new product.


A skills inventory also aids in planning future employee training and management development programmes and in recruiting and selecting new employees


This identifies specific people to fill key positions throughout the organisations. It almost always involves use of a replacement chart. Succession planning is basically a plan for identifying who is currently in post and who is available and qualified to take over in the event of retirement, voluntary leaving, dismissal or sickness.

A typical succession chart is as shown below: – (such information is contained in an organisation replacement chart, which shows both incumbents and potential replacements for given positions.





Name ——————————–                                           Place of birth ———–

Age ———————————-                                            Present address ——–

Gender —————————–                                            Tel No ———————-

Marital status ———————-




School/college/university attended with years ————————————

Diploma/degree obtained (with distinctions) ————————————–

Details of training completed ————————————————————-




Job areas/ field of specialization ——————————————————–

Special skills ————————————————————————————–

Title / title of job / jobs held / with period / duration —————————–




Pay/salary ———————————–                               Grade ———————Performance /evaluation ratings ——————–

Absenteeism period ———————————————————————

Disciplinary records ——————————————————————–

Career plans ——————————————————————————


Department Manager Date
Present Management Jobholders Possible successors Ready
Post Jobholder Age Performance First choice:

Second choice







                        A Management succession chart


To be effective replacement charts must be periodically updated to reflect changes in scenarios and potential requirements. Under an optimal succession planning system, individuals are initially identified as candidates to move up after being nominated by management. Then performance appraisal data are reviewed, potential is assessed, developmental programmes are formulated and career paths are mapped out.


A potential problem with many succession plans is the “crowned prince syndrome” – which occurs when management considers for advancement only those who have managed to become visible to senior management.  Another problem with succession planning is that so much information must be tracked that it is very difficult to do it manually.



This is a relatively recent approach, to HR planning designed to get managers and their employees thinking about and involved in HRP. In addition to encouraging managers and employees to think about HRP, CMP provides a systematic approach to HRP.


CMP generates three reports that supply the following information;


  • The supply of employees and the promotability and placement status of each
  • The organizations demand, arising from new positions and turnover and projected vacancies for each job title and
  • The balance or status of supply versus demand, including the name, job and location of all those suitable for promotions



Two basic premises apply here.


First, that an organisation is “vital” in terms of its human resources to the extent that it has people with high potential who are promotable, either now or in future and backups have been identified to replace the incumbents.


Second, is that an organisation is “stagnant” to the extent that employees are not promotable and no backups have been identified to replace the incumbents. The end product ratio analysis is an overall organizational vitality index (OVI). This is calculated based on the number of promotable personnel and the number of existing backups in the organisation.




At the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to: –

  • Explain the meaning of recruitment and selection
  • Explain the basis for determining when to recruit
  • Identify sources of recruitment
  • Apply the procedure for recruitment
  • Determine appropriate organization’s policy on disadvantaged groups
  • Definitions
  • Recruitment involves seeking and attracting a pool of people from which qualified candidates for job vacancies can be chosen.

There is a minor distinction between recruitment and selection.  Recruitment involves the attraction of suitable candidates to vacant positions, both internally and externally to the organisation.  Selection involves the choosing of suitable candidates attracted via the recruitment process.

It is seen as the process of seeking out and attempting to attract individuals in external labour markets who are capable of and interested in filling available job vacancies. It is concerned with developing or generating a pool of job candidates in line with the HR plan.

Recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating and encouraging them to apply for jobs in an organization. Since it involves the process of searching for prospective employees, it is concerned with the range of sources of supply of labour and the techniques involved in getting the employees into an organisation.

It is an intermediate activity whose primary function is to serve as a link between HRP and selection. The purpose of recruitment is to provide a large pool of job candidates so that the organisation will be able to select qualified candidates it needs.

Recruitment therefore has no direct effect on the quality of employees taken into an organisation; rather selection is relied upon to pick candidates who have the ability and motivation to become productive employees of the organisation


Significance of the Recruitment Process

Recruitment enables organisations to receive a large pool of job applicants from where short listing and selection of the right candidates can be done. Recruitment is an activity used by organisations to fill job vacancies with qualified individuals and hence the attainment of organizational goals.


Failure to generate adequate numbers of reasonably qualified job candidates can be costly to an organisation in the following ways: –


  • It may greatly complicate the selection process e.g. by leading in extreme cases, to the lowering of the set hiring standards. Lower qualities hires mean an extra expenditure on employee development and supervision to attain satisfactory levels of performance.
  • When recruitment fails to meet organizational needs for talent, a typical response is to rise they pay level but this may however distort traditional wage and salary relationships in the organisation. A rise in pay level will be needed to attract highly skilled manpower that will be stimulated and encouraged to apply for an organisation vacant position.
  • Lack of qualified candidates may lead to added costs through re-advertisement



One of the first steps in planning for recruitment of employees into an organisation is to establish adequate polices and procedures. A recruitment policy represents the organization’s code of conduct in this area of activity.


Before recruitment is undertaken, the need for recruitment must be determined. A determination by the organisation, on when to recruit involves conducting HR planning and analysing the HRP results. If the projected labour demand is more than projected supply, the organisation should fill the gap through recruitment. Recruitment will thus be sourced from internal and external sources.


Vacancies must be determined for various positions in various departments. Most organisations use a Personnel Requisition Form to officially request the HR manager to take action to fill a particular position. The Form describes the reason for the need to hire a new person and the requirements for the job. It is a good idea to attach a Job Description and personnel specifications to the Requisition Form.

Factors Influencing the Need for Recruitment

  1. Expansion and growth of organisations
  2. Separations; voluntary quits, death, retirement, retrenchment
  3. Mergers and take over – this may call for a need for critical skills absent in the organisation especially the top position
  4. Setting up a new enterprise
  5. Changes in technology and methods of operation – new computers machines etc
  6. Restructuring or reengineering
  7. Introduction of new products or services



An organisation may fill a particular job either with someone already deployed by the organisation (Internal sources) or with someone from outside (External sources). Each source has advantages and also disadvantages

Internal Sources of Recruitment

This includes personnel already on the payroll of an organisation – its workforce. It is the best place to source someone to fill a vacancy but only for organisations that have been effective in recruiting and selecting employees in the past.

Recruitment is a costly business.  If the position can be filled in any other way other than direct recruitment, then it will be worthwhile for the organisation to pursue such possibilities.

Instead of spending lots of money recruiting a candidate externally, a company can fill a vacancy in a number of ways:

  • Job Sharing: The job can be arranged so that the tasks are shared out among two or maybe three people. This is done on a part-time/job sharing basis.  This pattern is suitable for mothers who have returned to work after having a family and who want to combine looking after their families with a career.
  • Overtime: This is a method used to resource peaks in production or demand. Employees work a set amount of hours over their usual contractual hours and usually get paid a higher premium than their normal hourly rate – sometimes “time and a half or double time”
  • Secondment: This operates by staff being temporarily transferred to work in another section or department. This can be on both a full time or part time basis.
  • Sub-contract: By sub-contracting certain jobs and duties, employers avoid on-costs like national insurance contributions, tax and sick pay. Many large employers use sub-contracting on a regular basis.  Sub-contracting is also known as outsourcing.
  • Use of a recruitment agency: This is an option, which many companies use to fill temporary or permanent positions. It is also used by companies to cover maternity or long-term sick leave.


Whenever a vacancy occurs, someone from within the organisation is upgrade, transferred, promoted or sometimes even demoted.



  1. Better motivation of employees because their capabilities are considered and opportunities offered for promotion.
  2. Better utilization of employees because the company can often make better use of their abilities in a different job
  3. The employer is in a better position to evaluate those presently employed than the outside candidates
  4. It is more reliable because a present employee is known more thoroughly than an external candidate
  5. It promotes loyalty among employees for it gives them a sense of job security and opportunities for advancement
  6. A present employee is more likely to stay with the company than an external candidate
  7. It is quicker and cheaper than external sources
  8. Since those employed are fully aware of and well acquainted with the organisations polices and operating procedures, they require little training and even induction
  9. More accurate data and available concerning current employees thus reducing the chances of making a wrong decision
  10. Full utilization of the abilities of the organisations employees improves the organization’s return on its investment – this takes into consideration that organisations have a sizable investment in their workforce



  1. Leads to inbreeding and discourages new blood, from joining an organization
  2. Infighting for promotions can become overly intense and have a negative effect on the morale and performance of people who are not promoted
  • There are possibilities that internal sources may “dry up” and it may be difficult to find the required person from within an organisation
  1. As promotion is mostly based on seniority, the danger is that really capable people may not be chosen for promotion the likes and dislikes of the management may also play an important role in selection of personnel
  2. It seldom contributes new ideas or innovations that may be very important for progress in a competitive economy
  3. Internal sources should only be used if the vacancy to be filled is within the capacity of present employees and if adequate employee records have been maintained and an opportunity is provided in advance for employees to prepare themselves for promotion.
  • If an organisation promotions from within, it needs a strong employee and management development programme to ensure its people can handle larger responsibilities.


External Sources of Recruitment  

External recruiting is needed in organisations that are growing rapidly or have a large demand for technical skilled or managerial employees.


External sources of personnel include: –


  • New entrants – to the labour market e.g. fresh college graduates, school leavers
  • The unemployed already in the labour market with a wide range of skills and abilities
  • Retired experienced persons
  • Employed persons from other organisations



  • The pool of talent is much larger than that available from internal sources. The best selection can be made
  • External sources provide personnel having skills and training and education as required by the hiring organisation
  • Employees hired from outside can bring new insights and perspectives to the organisation
  • It is cheaper to hire technical, skilled or managerial people from outside rather than training and developing them internally – in case of immediate demand for the talent.



  • Attracting, contacting and evaluating potential employees is more difficult
  • Employees hired from outside need a longer adjustment or orientation period
  • Recruiting externally may cause morale problems among employees within the organisation and who feel qualified to do the job
  • Method may be expensive and time consuming
  • There is uncertainty due to changes in demand and supply of labour in the labour market


Summary of a recruitment and selection process

  • Determine the vacancy
  • Job analysis
  • Job descriptions
  • Personnel specifications
  • Drafting the advert
  • Sources of recruitment
  • Arrival of applicants
  • Pre-selection of candidates using CV’s/Resumes/Application forms
  • The interview
  • The job offer
  • The induction process
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This course is intended to cover the techniques of manpower planning, recruitment, selection and placement in order to meet the present and future needs of the organization.

General Objectives

At the end of this unit, the trainee should be able to: –

  • Understand the dynamics of the labour market in Kenya and how they affect selection and hiring processes
  • Understand the relationship between organizational structure and the HR requirements for the organization
  • Appreciate the need for HR planning
  • Draw up a short term and long term HR plan for the organization
  • Appreciate the need for job analysis in the procurement processes
  • Develop competence in the area of employee procurement


Topic to Be Covered

  • Labour Economics
  • Job Analysis
  • Human Resource Planning
  • Recruitment And Selection
  • Legislation Governing Employment In Kenya


Specific Objectives

At the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to: –

  • Identify factors influencing labour market in Kenya
  • Analyse ways of increasing productivity of labour
  • Identify methods of controlling labour costs
  • Evaluate impact of education and training on the employment opportunity



Employee resourcing is concerned with ensuring that the organisation obtains and retains the people it needs and employs them productively. It is also about those aspects of employment practice that are concerned with welcoming people to the organisation, and if there is no alternative release them.


Labour is a factor of production. It is a different factor of production since it’s not a substitute for land in overpopulated countries labour is ‘abundant’ while land is scarce.


One needs to make a distinction between physical or unskilled labour and skilled labour. Some countries have an abundant supply of unskilled labour but an acute shortage of skilled labour of all types a major hindrance to economic growth.


Supply and Demand for Labour


Demand for a factor is known as derived demand, i.e. it s derived from the demand for the product it can produce. E.g. if demand for sugar increases, the demand for sugar increases, the demand for workers in the sugar estates will increase. It therefore follows that labour is in abundant supply where derived demand is high.

Supply of labour can be seen from the entire economy point of view the size of the national workforce. Determinants affecting the size of the economically active population or national workforce include; the size of the population itself, the age structure, ratio of men to women, the average working day and efficiency of quality of the labour effort. A developing nation is characterized by unlimited supply of labour form the rural areas – consisting of underemployed workers. The supply curve of labour to an industry or economy slopes up form left to right. If the price of labour (wage rate) goes up, the amount of labour supplied will increase.

However in developing countries, the supply curve of labour is “backward sloping” – the supply curve of labour is “backward sloping”. The supply curve slopes down form left to right, so that an increase in wage results in a decrease in the amount. People prefer leisure to money to an extent that an increase in money earnings is more likely to lead to a decrease in the amount of work done.

Income and Substitution Effects

With any form of labour anywhere, there must be some point at which the amount of labour supplied by an individual ceases to increase or decrease, as the wage rate increases. This is because money income is not desired for its own sake, but for the goods it can buy. And the enjoyment of these goods will be impossible without at least a minimum amount of leisure; as one sets better off he is likely at some point to take at least part of the increased standard of living n the form of more leisure – and thus work fewer hours. The increase in real income is therefore an incentive to work less hard, to consume more leisure. This is known as the income effect (rise in income leading to more leisure) and the substitution effect caused by the change in the price of the leisure (less income taken).


The Downward Sloping Demand Curve

Firms need workers to produce goods and services. The demand curve for labour shows how many workers will be hired at any given wage rate over a particular time period. Economic theory suggests that the higher the price of labour, the less labour firms will hire. The higher the wage rate, the more likely it s that firms will substitute machines for workers and hence the lower the demand for labour.


In the third world, where labour is cheap relative to capital, firms tend to choose labour intensive methods of production. In the first world, labour is relatively expensive and hence more capital-intensive techniques of production are chosen.


The Supply Curve of Labour

A rise in real wage rates may or may not increase the supply of labour by individual workers in the industry. However, it is likely to attract new workers in the industry. The supply curve of labour is likely to be upward sloping. The higher the wages the more workers will want to enter the particular industry.


Key Terms

  • Activity or participation rates – the percentage or proportion of any given population in the labour force.
  • Economically active – the number of workers in the workforce who are in a job or are unemployed.
  • Net migration – immigration minus emigration.
  • Workforce/labour force – those economically active and therefore in work or seeking work.
  • Workforce jobs – the number of workers in employment. It excludes the unemployed.
Factors influencing the labour market in Kenya:  A summary

o    Supply and demand for labour

o    Production techniques/technology

o    Quality of labour/education levels

o    Cost of labour/wage rates

o    Population dynamics – migration, age etc

o    Government – legislation EEO, wage guidance, age requirements, entertainment, culture

o    Socio cultural factors

o    Environment and climate


  1. The Supply of Labour

Supply may be taken to mean the total number of people of working age. It may also mean the supply of labour service available. The total supply of labour in an economy depends upon: –

Size of the population. Size of population: – this sets an obvious limit to the total supply of labour.

The proportion of the population which works/available for employment. This is determined chiefly by age distribution, social institutions, customs, participation rate of married women and the wages offered.

The amount of work offered by each individual labourer. Number of hours worked by each person per year. Higher rates of pay usually induce a person to work overtime, the increased reward encouraging him to substitute work for leisure.  But this is not always so.


  1. Production Techniques and Technology

In the developing world where technology is not extensively applied the demand for labour is high. This s as compared to the developed world where machines are used to replace people. Our production techniques are labour intensive and as such demand for labour is high.


  1. Quality of labour

There is an important difference between low wages and cheap labour. Despite low wages in labour – abundant countries, labour is not nearly as cheap as it appears since low wages are to a great extent offset by low productivity. This is attributed to the poor education levels among the labour force. The higher the levels of education, the scarcer the unskilled labourers become.

  1. Wage rates

High relative wages outside Kenya have attracted highly skilled professional in such countries as Botswana and South Africa. High labour costs may also make a company resort to technology. High wage rates are also known to attract and hold labour in most unattractive areas of the country. Unpleasant but unskilled jobs are often poorly paid because anyone can do them. Shifts in earnings may create substantial inflows of workers into an expanding occupation, industry or area and an outflow of workers from a depressed occupation, industry or area.

  1. Population Dynamics

The number of people searching for work in a developing country depend primarily on the size and age composition of the population. The age structure of the population also affects the labour market. An aging population has fewer workforces and therefore few people are available for work.


The rapid reductions in death rates experienced by most developing economies have expanded the size of their present labour force while continuous high birth-rates create high dependency ratios and rapidly expanding future labour force.


  1. Government Legislation

Governments may affect the labour market through various legislations such as; equal employment opportunity, age limit for employment and retirement and minimum wage limits. The trade union movement activities may also have an impact on the labour market.



There are two main factors, which reduce the supply of labour – the longer period of education and the shorter workweek. Efficiency of labour is the ability to achieve a greater output in a shorter time without any falling off in the quality of the work – increased productivity per man employed. The efficacy of the labour force depends on a number of influences: –

  • Climate – this can be an important influence on the willingness to work, for extremes of temperature or humidity are not conducive to concentration on tasks.
  • Health of the worker – workers must be adequately fed, clothed and housed. Attention to the employee’s physical welfare reduces time lost from sickness and improves general efficiency. The cost of a health service might be offset to some extent by increased production
  • Peace of mind – anxiety is detrimental to efficacy. A social security scheme relives people from worry about the future by providing form them in times of sickness, unemployment and old age
  • Working conditions – the general conditions under which people work can affect their output. Workplace health and safety is an important consideration here. Heating, lighting, ventilation, noise, provision of rest pauses and tea breaks help reduce fatigue and increase output. Provision of recreation facilities and canteens has the same objective
  • Education and training – this factor has 3 aspects general education, technical education, and training with industry. General education is a foundation upon which more specialized vocational training can be based. Training within industry is offered by each firm that opts to train its own employees, in the correct manner that it desires work to be done.
  • Efficiency of the factors – the productivity of labour will be increased if the quality of the other factors of production is high. Fertile land, sufficient capital and division of labour all increase the efficiency of labour.

Education and Manpower

Governments have expanded educational budgets in part because they have seen education as an investment in human capital and the training of manpower needed for development.

Education may have important labour market effects, accelerating rural – urban migration and increasing the amount of labour force and even wastage of manpower.

Education may through its effects on the wage and salary structure effect income distribution and equality of opportunity to jobs.

The type of education offered could influence attitudes, attitudes to manual or agricultural work, interest in business and risk taking.

Due to the importance of education to manpower, governments are now formulating HRD programmes, which make explicit the role of education in labour force development. This can be seen in provision of formal or informal education, and in manpower planning.


Formally educated manpower is always in abundance in the developing world, taking up the rates of unemployment and labour wastage.


A different approach towards planning educational investment is the method of manpower planning. The approach here is to make a demand projection or forecast of the economy’s requirements of different categories of labour in future time periods, and a supply projection for the same categories and periods, comparing them and determining which categories of manpower will be short supply. Training programmes can then be adjusted to alleviate the shortages.


The key to mobility among occupations is education. Many skills are learned rather than inherited. This is the stock of personal capital acquired by each worker. Since investment in labour skills is similar to investment in physical capital, acquired skills are called HUMAN CAPITAL. The supply of some particular skill increases when more people find it worthwhile to acquire the necessary human capital and decreases when fewer do so. Because acquiring human capital is costly, the more highly skilled the job, the more it must pay if enough people are to be attracted to train for it.


There is a relatively slow growth of employment in the developing countries due to low wage levels. However, on the other hand increases in real wages re a significant factor restraining growth in employment. Rapid increases in real wages retard paid employment opportunities.



  • The stock of capital available; money, machinery and other capital equipment used in the organisation.
  • The nature of the human resources available in the organisation; skilled and experienced manpower.
  • Conducive working environment; encouraging workers through motivation, team work etc.
  • Level of technology; on the machines and tools used at the places of work e.g. latest technology would contribute to higher productivity.
  • Effective organisational procedures, policies, rules and regulations.
  • Motivational measures adopted by the organisation. It includes job enlargement and enrichment.
  • Strength of the management team. A strong management team will improve employee morale leading to high work performance and productivity.


  1. Providing training and development programmes to employees to improve their skills and level of performance, hence a high level of productivity.
  2. Improving working facilities and equipment e.g. installation of modern equipment, machinery and computers.
  • Effective organisational structures e.g. departmentation, delegation of authority etc.
  1. Effective job design i.e. the level of job enlargement or job enrichment in the organisation.
  2. Improve working conditions; fair and appropriate rules and regulations; democratic leadership approaches to management.
  3. Conducive working environment and god organisational climate; level of cleanliness, sanitary conditions of the organisation; friendly working environment; employee health and safety measures.
  • Motivation or incentive measures provided by the organisation; attractive employment packages, wages and salaries, medical, housing etc; opportunity for promotions through internal recruitment.
  • Provision of social amenities to staff; sports, club membership. These enable workers to reduce stress and strain of the workplace.
  1. Provision of rest breaks at places of work; tea break, lunch break etc.
  2. Provision of leave; annual, sick off etc.
  3. Friendly work environment; team spirit, knowing employees in great detail, concept of shared fate (that the company belongs to everyone and if it goes down all will suffer; and if it succeeds all will benefit)
  • Client/service chain concept; all employees must understand that all their activities are meant to serve the “customer” – the person who uses the product of their work.


The total cost of production TC= Fixed cost (FC) + Variable costs (VC)


TC       =          the total cost of production

FC       =          Fixed cost (FC) {Machinery, plant, salaries, taxes, rent}

VC      =          Variable costs (VC) {wages, materials, transport)

The term labour costs refer to additions to the total cost of production contributed by or associated with units of labour (employees).  Methods of controlling labour costs are concerned with measures to reduce the cost of labour and improve efficiency.  The following measures should be undertaken to control the labour costs:

  1. Effective recruitment and selection processes. Scientific recruitment and selection should be conducted to hire the right persons for the right jobs; placement should be carried out to ensure that individuals are matched with jobs in line with their experience and qualifications.
  2. Training and Development. The management should provide their employees with adequate training and development programmes to improve their efficiency. This should reduce poor performance, resulting in a reduction in labour costs.
  • Retrenchment/Downsizing. Most organisations are trying to restructure by cutting down the size of their labour force in order to reduce the cost of labour and improve their profit margin. This is due to the recognition that labour cost contributes the greatest amount to the cost structures of organisations.  Layoffs or redundancies may therefore be carried out due to poor business performance.  Layoffs of employees may be temporary or permanent.
  1. Discharge or dismissal. This action may be taken to stop employment of less productive workers by discharging or dismissing them. As a result, the labour costs will reduce.
  2. Improving work equipment and tools. Outmoded equipment and tools may contribute to labour inefficiencies and therefore high cost of production. Improvement on equipment and tools at the workplace may therefore reduce inefficiencies associated with working using such equipment.  An organisation may also install new technology in order to reduce the labour cost.
  3. Training on effective use of time. Labour costs resulting from poor time management may be reduced by training employees on effective use of time. For instance reporting to work, reporting for meetings, monitoring production activities etc requires effective time management.
  • Improving organisational structures, Job design and job description. Efficient organisational structures, job design and job description may reduce labour costs associated with inefficiency of such structures. Poor organisational design may affect coordination and control.
  • Improving physical work environments and well-being of employees. This will reduce the stress in the work environment and lead to improvement in productivity and reduction in the labour costs.


At the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:-

  • Explain the meaning and purpose for job analysis
  • Discuss the procedure for carrying out job analysis
  • Carry out a job analysis



A job is a collection of tasks assigned to a position in an organization.  Job analysis is the term used to describe a process of examining jobs in order to identify their main features, in particular the duties they fulfil, the results they expect to achieve, the major tasks undertaken and the job’s relationships with other jobs in the organizational hierarchy.


Job analysis is the process by which a description of a job is compiled.

Job analysis is the process of determining and reporting pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job.  It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and of the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the holder for successful job performance.


Job analysis is the process of collecting, analysing and setting out information about the content of jobs in order to provide the basis for a job description and data for recruitment, training, job evaluation and performance management.  Job analysis concentrates on what holders are expected to do.


Job analysis is the cornerstone of all human resource functions.  Data obtained from job analysis produces the following information about a job:


  • Overall purpose – why the job exists, and in essence, what the jobholder is expected to contribute.
  • Content – the nature and scope of the jobs in terms of the tasks and operations to be performed and duties to be carried out i.e. the processes of converting inputs (knowledge, skills and abilities) into outputs (results).
  • Accountabilities – the results or outputs for which the jobholder is accountable.
  • Performance criteria – the criteria, measures or indicators that enable an assessment to be carried out to ascertain the degree to which the job is being performed satisfactorily.
  • Responsibilities – the level of responsibility the job holder has to exercise by reference to the scope and input of the job; the amount of discretion allowed to make decisions; the difficulty; scale, variety and complexity of the problems to be solved.
  • Organizational factors – the reporting relationships of the jobholder, the people reporting directly or indirectly to the jobholder and the extent to which the jobholder is involved in team.
  • Motivation factors – the particular features of the job that are likely to motivate or demotivate jobholders.
  • Development factors – promotion and career prospects, and the opportunity to acquire new skills or expertise.
  • Environmental factors – working conditions, health & safety considerations, unsocial hours, mobility and ergonomic factors relating to the design and use of equipment & workstations.


What Aspects of a Job are analysed.

Job analysis should collect information on the following areas; i.e. content and context of the job


  • Duties and Tasks – The basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. Information to be collected about these items may include; frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards etc.
  • Environment – This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job. The work offensive odours and temperature extremes. There may be definite risks to the jobholder such as noxious fumes, radioactive substances, hostile and aggressive people and dangerous explosives.
  • Tools and Equipment- some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. Equipment may include protective clothing.  These items need to be specified in a job analysis.
  • Relationships – Supervision given and received relationships with internal or external people.
  • Requirements – The knowledge’s, skills and abilities (KSA’s) required performing the job. While and incumbent may have higher KSA’s than those required for the job, a job analysis typically only states the minimum requirements to perform the job.


Basic Terminology

The simplest unit of work is the micromotion.  A micromotion involves a very elementary movement such as reaching, grasping, positioning or releasing an object.  An aggregation of two or more micromotions forms an element.  An element is a complete entity such as picking up, transporting and positioning an item.  A group of working elements makes up a work task.  Related tasks comprise the duties of a job.  Duties when combined with responsibilities (obligations to be performed) define a position.  A group of positions that are identical with respect to their major tasks and responsibilities form a job.


A job may be held by more than one person whereas a position cannot.


Products of Job Analysis

Job analysis involves not only analysing job content but also reporting the results of the analysis.  These results are normally presented in the form of a job description and a job specification.


A job description concentrates on describing the job as it is currently being performed.  It explains, in written form, what the job is called, what is to be done, where it is to be done and how it is to be done.  Most job descriptions contain sections that include; the job name, a brief summary description of the job a listing of job duties and responsibilities and an explanation of organizational relationships pertinent to the job.

A job specification concentrates on the characteristics needed to perform the job.  It describes the competency, educational and experience qualifications the incumbent must possess to perform the job.

Uses of Job Analysis Information

As earlier indicated job analysis information is used in the formulation of job description and specifications.  The information is the basis for a number of HR activities.  These activities include:-

  1. Job definition: A job analysis results in a description of the duties and responsibilities of the job. Such a description is useful to the current jobholders and their supervisors, as well as to prospective employees.  The jobholders can get a clear idea of their main responsibilities from a job description.
  2. Job Redesign: A job analysis often indicates when a job needs to be redesigned.
  • Recruitment: Job analysis clarifies posts for which new recruits are sought. A job analysis not only identifies the job requirements but also outlines the skills needed to perform the job.  This information helps to identify the type of people to be recruited.
  1. Selection and Placement: Selection seeks to match an individual with a job. For this to succeed the job and its requirements must be clearly and precisely known. Job analysis produces job descriptions, which can provide essential evidence for selection interviewers.
  2. Orientation: Effective job orientation cannot be accomplished without a clear understanding of the job requirements. The duties and responsibilities of a job must be clearly defined before a new employee can be taught how to perform the job.
  3. Training: Whether or not a current or potential jobholder needs additional training can be decided only after specific requirements of the job have been determined through a job analysis. Also, the establishment of training objectives is dependent on a job analysis.  Another training-related use of job analysis is to help determine whether a problem is occurring because of a training need or because of some other reason.
  • Career Counselling: managers and HR specialists are in a much better position to counsel employees about their careers when they have a complete understanding of the different jobs in the organization. Employees can better appreciate their career options when they understand the exact requirements of other jobs.
  • Employee Safety: A thorough job analysis often uncovers unsafe practices and/or environmental conditions associated with a job. Focusing precisely on how a job is done usually uncovers any unsafe procedures.
  1. Performance Appraisal: The objective of performance appraisal is to evaluate an individual employee’s performance on a job. A prerequisite is a thorough understanding of exactly what the employee is supposed to do.  Job analysis provides the basic material on which performance assessment can be made.
  2. Compensation: A proper job analysis helps to ensure that employees receive fair compensation for their jobs. Job analyses help establish the worth of a job relative to other jobs and enables the employer determine an equitable wage.

The benefits just described are directed at management, and especially towards line management.  There are also benefits to individuals from job analysis:

  • They can be given a clear idea of their main responsibilities
  • They are provided with a basic for arguing for changes or improvements in their job (e.g. job redesign)
  • They are provided relevant information in respect of any appraisal they may have.
  • They have an opportunity to participate in setting their own short-term targets or objectives

When performing a job analysis, the job and its requirements (as opposed to the characteristics of the person currently holding the job) are studied.


Several methods are available for conducting a job analysis.

Choice of Method

In the selection of a method of job analysis, the criteria for choice are the purpose for which it will be used, its effectiveness in obtaining the data required, the degree of expertise required to conduct the analysis and the resources and amount of time available for the analysis programme.  The following are the most important methods, which may be used in job analysis; four of the most frequent used methods first.

  • Observation
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Functional job analysis
  • Materials of work
  • Previous studies
  • Do-it-yourself
  • Work diaries/worklogs
  • Review of job classification systems
  • Expert panels
  • Checklist
  • Task inventories
  • Hierarchical task analysis
  • Self-description


The interview method requires that the person conducting the job analysis meets with and interviews the jobholder, manager or supervisor.  To obtain the full flavour of a job, it is necessary to interview jobholders and check the findings with their managers or team leaders.  Interviews can be held on the job site, and may be either structured or unstructured.

Unstructured interviews have no definite or pre-planned format; the format develops as the interview unfolds.  A structured interview follows a predesigned format.  Structured interviews have the advantage of ensuring that all pertinent aspects of the job are covered.  Also they make it easier to compare information obtained from different people holding the same job.

A major drawback to the interview method is it can be time consuming – planning and conducting the interview.  Also inaccurate information may be collected due to bias.  If the purpose of interview is not clear, the worker may provide information to protect his own interest.

The interview method is flexible and can provide in depth information and is easy to organize and prepare.  A disadvantage may be seen in unstructured interviews where the information collected is not easy to analyse.


Interview with the Job-Holder

This is always necessary but difficulties always do occur, largely because the worker may be suspicious of the job analysis.  He may exaggerate the importance of the job or occasionally try to make it seem unimportant.  The main problems with such interviews are: –


  • The workers attitude may influence his account of the job.
  • The employee may, even if co-operative, forget some details of the job only remember the most recent events
  • The employee may not be able to express himself clearly
  • The employee may, even if co-operative, forget some details of the job & only remember the most recent events
  • The employee may not be able to express himself clearly


Interview with the supervisor

This is quite inevitable, but its values vary due to the following:-

  • Supervisor may be out of touch with details of the job
  • Some have never performed the job themselves
  • Some allow their description of the job to be influenced by their opinion towards the jobholder.
  • They may exaggerate the duties& responsibilities of the job in order to increase their own performance.


Interview Questions

These may cover such aspects as:-

  • Amount of supervision received and discretion allowed in making decisions
  • Typical problems to be solved and guidance available to solve the problems
  • Relative difficulty of the tasks performed
  • Qualifications and skills required to carry out the work

Conducting the Interview

  • Have questions arranged in a logical sequence to help interviewees to order their thoughts about the job.
  • Probe as necessary to establish what people do
  • Ensure jobholders are not allowed to get away with vague of inflated descriptions of their work
  • Ensure answers contain only relevant data
  • Obtain a clear statement from the jobholder about the amount & level of decision-making allowed for the job.
  • Avoid asking leading questions that make the expected answers obvious
  • Allow the jobholder ample time & opportunity to talk by creating an atmosphere of trust.

Checking Information

It is always advisable to check the information provided by jobholders with the managers or team leaders.  To get systematic information from several jobholders, a checklist is necessary.  The aim is to structure the job analysis interview in line with predetermined headings.

In interviewing several jobholders for the same job, information from different interviews, can be:

  1. Hard to bring together
  2. Have a potential for interviewer bias
  • Certain areas of the work may fail to be picked up
  1. An interview may stress one area & neglect others
  2. There may be problems in interpretation and analysis with the possibility of distorted impressions
  3. Consider subjectivity of the data captured
  • Interviewers need skills in communication & must be trained

Advantage: Allows the incumbent to describe tasks and duties that are not observable


Direct observation of incumbents performing their jobs enables the trained job analyst to obtain first hand knowledge and information about the job being analysed.  Observation method is suited for jobs in which the workers behaviours are: –

  • Observable involving some degree of movement on the part of the jobholder.
  • Job tasks are short in duration allowing for many observations to be made in a short period of time or a significant part of the job analyst can learn information about the job through observation.


Jobs in which the observation method is successful include: –

  • Machine operator/adjuster
  • Construction worker
  • Police officer/patrol officer
  • Flight attendant
  • Bus driver
  • House keeper/janitor
  • Skilled crafts worker

The observation method is derived from the techniques of work-study.  The method is appropriate for situations where a relatively small number of key jobs need to be analysed in depth.

Time and Motion study are the most frequently used observation methods.  Motion or methods study involves determining the most efficient way to do a task or job.  It involves studying the motions and movements necessary for performing a task or job and then designing the most efficient methods for putting those motions and movements together.

Time study is the analysis of a job or task to determine the elements of work required performing it, the order in which these elements occur and the times required to perform them effectively.

Work sampling is a type of observation method based on taking statistical samples of job actions throughout the workday.  By taking an adequate number of samples, inferences can be drawn about the requirements and demands of the job.

Observation is used to analyse jobs that are relatively simple and straightforward.  It can be used independently or in conjunction with other methods of analysis.  Information includes; what was done, how it was done, how long it took, what the job environment was like, and what equipment was used.


  • Simple to use
  • Can be used effectively for manual repetitive tasks



  • A skilled worker can make a job look easy
  • An experienced worker can make a job look difficult
  • Mental processes are not revealed
  • Some manual work is too fast or intricate to be observed accurately
  • Not suitable for highly skilled annual work where the actions are too speedy to observe accurately
  • Observer must be well trained to know what to look for & record


This method involves developing structured or semi-structured questionnaires on different aspects of job-related tasks and behaviour such as coordinating, negotiating, manual and mental processes.  They are usually completed by jobholders and approved by the jobholder’s manager or team leader.

The method can be used to obtain information from a large number of employees in a relatively short time period.  Questionnaires are used when a large input is needed and time and cost are limiting factors.

Questionnaire design is a difficult and time-consuming task.  Questions need to be correct and unambiguous; otherwise the quality of information obtained will fall short of expectation.  To get quality answers, all the questionnaires must be pre-test.

The accuracy of the results depends on the willingness and ability of jobholders to complete questionnaires.  Many people find t difficult to express themselves in writing.  Some jobholders may be suspicious of the questionnaire, not understand the questions and feel restricted by it.  Designing a questionnaire is expensive, since it needs skilled persons to do it.

Examples of Questionnaires

Some of the standard questionnaires used include: –

  • Comprehensive Occupational Data Analysis Programmes (CODAP)
  • Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)
  • Functional Job Analysis (FJA)
  • Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ)
  • Supervisory Task Description Questionnaire (STDQ)


The questionnaire method inhibits direct rapport between analyst and respondent and the respondent’s cooperation and motivation are not guaranteed due to impersonal approach.


A checklist for completion by jobholders is similar to a questionnaire but response requires fewer subjective judgments and tends to be of the YES and NO variety.

Checklists to be thoroughly prepared and a field study is essential to ensure the responses sought are adequate and make sense.  Checklists can be used only where a large number of jobholders exist.

Rating scales or inventories are an improvement of the checklist. They present a jobholder with a list of activities and require him to rate them accordingly to time spent on them and importance.


A study of the tools, working materials, machines, documents, communication, media etc frequently provides a useful check on information obtained in other ways, and may suggest questions to be asked.


Work study records, training manuals and accident reports are sometimes available and can be brought up to date or added to other information.  His approach utilizes existing documentation as a rich source of information about jobs in the structure.  Typical documents studies include; organization charts, budget statements, letters of appointment and statement of objectives for units.  This particular approach is more likely in an organization planning or job redesigned exercise.


This method seeks to distinguish between effective or ineffective behaviours of the workers in the job.  Job holders are requested to describe several incidents based on their past experience on a given job. The incidents collected are analysed and categorized.  The end result draws a fairly clear picture of actual job requirements.

The method is time consuming and requires high level of skill, from the analyst.


In some jobs it is feasible for the analyst to spend some time actually performing the work personally.  The analyst should then be careful not to form too subjective an impression.


This approach requires jobholders to analyse their own jobs by keeping diaries or logs of their activities.


These can be used by the analyst as the basic material for a job description.  The jobholders need guidance on how to keep the diaries and logs.

Diaries and logs are best used for managerial jobs, which are complex and where jobholders have the analytical skills required.  The diaries and logs kept are analysed to obtain a list of duties and their frequency.

Diaries and log are most useful for managerial jobs but they make great demands on jobholders and can be difficult to analyse.  At times, the jobholder forgets to complete the diary of log on time and recollection of a days work may not be reliable.


This breaks down jobs or areas of work into a hierarchical set of tasks, sub-tasks and plans.  Tasks are defined in terms of objectives or end products and the plan needed to achieve the objective is also analysed.  The process starts with an analysis of the overall task.  This is then subjected to further analysis in order to develop a hierarchy of sub-plans needed to achieve them.  The method involves: –

  • Using verbs to describe what has been done.
  • Defining performance standards- desired level of performance
  • Listing the conditions associated with task performance

This method is used for process or manufacturing jobs.


Jobholders can be asked to analyse their own jobs and prepare job descriptions.  This saves time for the analysts.  But jobholders do not always find it easy to describe their jobs objectively.   The method is helpful to produce a model job description to illustrate the format required.


It is the quickest and most economic form of job analysis.  But it relies on the often-limited ability of people to describe their own jobs. It is therefore necessary to offer guidance in the form of questionnaires and checklists.



Clearly job analysis is a sensitive issue.  Certain steps need to be taken to ensure it is conducted effectively.


  • Decide aims and objectives of the analysis e.g. job evaluation, organization planning etc
  • Submit outline plan to senior management
  • Gain support of senior management
  • Discuss plan with line managers and specialists and modify if necessary.
  • Seek co-operation of employee representatives
  • Draw up detailed plan with time table
  • Select and train job analysts, if applicable.
  • Notify all staff
  • Implement plot stage
  • Review results, discuss any problems
  • Proceed with final plan
  • Review results


Once the initial information has been collected, the person responsible for producing a realistic and readable job description now has his work cut out.  The steps towards the production of a job description are as shown in the following sequence.


  • Assemble the key facts about he job, excluding irrelevant or unclear pieces of information
  • Sort the key facts into clusters of related issues or responsibility areas
  • Commence writing up the initial sections of the job description (Title, relationships etc)
  • Write up the main responsibilities as they appear to the analyst
  • Then draft out a statement of the overall purpose of the job
  • Complete rest of description, focusing on the need for accuracy, clarity and conciseness
  • Review the first draft to see if it has completeness about it – that it sounds true.
  • Said a draft to the job-holder, and/or his senior manager for perusal and comment
  • Make alterations only if they are judged to be fair to the facts.
  • Draw up a final version and submit to the senior person concerned in the exercise.
&   TASK

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structured and unstructured interviews in job analysis.
  2. What are some of the disadvantages of the work dairies and logs?




These are derived from job analysis. They provide basic information about the job under the headings of the job title, reporting relationships, overall purpose and principle accountabilities or main tasks or duties. A job description is a broad statement of the purpose, scope, duties and responsibilities of a particular job.

It is customary for a job description to be written up son as to cover the following features of the job:


  • Job title
  • Immediate supervisor
  • Relationship with other jobs
  • Overall purpose of job
  • Main duties/ responsibilities (key tasks)
  • Authority granted
  • Resources available to job holder
  • Principle qualifications required for the job
  • Location
  • Date of analysis
  • Numbers supervised


Job description can be used: –


For organizational, recruitment and performance management purpose.

Here it can be used to: –


  • Define the place of the job in the organisation and to clarify for job holder and others
  • Provide the information required to produce person specifications for recruitment and to inform applicants about the job
  • Be the basis for the contact of employment
  • Provide the framework for setting objectives for performance management.
  • Be the basis for job evaluation and grading jobs

Job description for job evaluation purposes. Such a JD should contain the information included in an organizational description as well as factor analysis of the job. Factor analysis describes the incidence of reach job evaluation factor – knowledge and skills, responsibility, decisions, complexity and contacts.

Job description for training purposes. Such should be based on the format for an organizational job description. This should include an analysis of the attributes and competences used in the job.


A job specification is a detailed statement of the physical and mental activities involved in the job and hen relevant, of social and physical environmental matters. The specification is usually expressed in terms of behaviour.

A job specification concentrates on the characteristics needed to perform the job. It describes the competency, educational and experience qualifications the incumbent must possess to perform the job.

Uses of job specifications

  • For personnel functions a detailed account of the job is necessary. The most important of these are for: –
  • Selection
  • Promotion
  • Appraisal
  • Setting performance standards
  • Job evaluation
  • Training

There is no standard layout or a set of headings for a job specification; it s found that variations are necessary according to the type of work e.g. manual or non-manual, and to the organisation. In general, a job description must emphasize activities and behaviour.


In analysis jobs, certain problems can occur. Some of the problems stem from natural human behaviour, others, from the natural of the job analysis process.

Some problems encountered include: –


  1. Top management support missing. To management should make it clear to all employees that their full and honest participation is needed. Such a message is at times not communicated.
  2. Only a single means and source are used for gathering data. All too often an analysis process depends on only one of the many available methods, when a combination of methods might provide better data.
  • The supervisor and the jobholder do not participate in the design of job analysis. Too many analyses are a one-man show. The job holder and his supervisor should be involved early in the planning of the project
  1. No training or motivation exists for jobholders. Jobholders are the most important sources of information for analysis yet they are seldom trained or prepared to generate quality data. Some are rarely made aware of the importance of the data and almost never rewarded for providing good information.
  2. Employees are not allowed sufficient time to complete the analysis. Usually companies conduct analysis as if it was a crash programme and employees are not given sufficient time to do a thorough job analysis.
  3. Activities may be distorted. Without proper training and supervision, employees may submit distorted data. Those being watched may speed up if they are made aware.
  • There is a failure to critique the job. Many analyses just report what the jobholder currently does. Yet, the job should be critiqued to determine whether it is being done correctly or whether improvements can be made.
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Government of Kenya, The Industrial Training Act Chapter 237, (Government Printer, Nairobi), Revised Edition 1983

Specific Objectives

At the end of the topic, the trainee should be able to: –

  1. Explain the provisions of the Industrial Training Act.
  2. Apply the provisions of the Act to practical situations.

The Act has 32 sections[1].  These notes will attempt to highlight the main aspects in the Act.

The following is a summary of the main features or requirements of the Act.

An Apprentice

The Act defines an apprentice as a person who is bound by a written contract to serve an employer for a determined period of not less than four years, or such lesser period as the council shall determine under section (2) of sec. 20 with a view to acquiring knowledge, including theory and practice, of a trade in which the employer is reciprocally bound to instruct that person (p.3)

An Indentured Learner

Means a person, other than an apprentice, who is bund by a written contract to serve an employer for a determined period less than four years with a view to acquiring knowledge of trade in which the employer is reciprocally bound to instruct that person (p.3

The Act also goes on to define a “minor” as a person under the age of 15 years (p3).  The Act stipulates that there shall be a Director, and such members of Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors of Industrial training.  (p.4). Te Act also talks of a National Industrial Training Council consisting of a chairman and not less that 18 other members (6 representing employers; 6 representing employees and 6 chosen to represent other interests), all appointed by the Minister.  (p.4).

No person shall be appointed as a member if he:-

  1. Is insolvent
  2. Is of unsounded mind
  3. Has been sentenced by a court for a term of 6 months or more within the preceding 5 years (p5)

The Minister may revoke the appointment of a member subject to conditions (a), (b) and (c) above and also if the member is incapacitated physically or mentally, has been absent for 3 consecutive meetings of the council or is unfit or unable to discharge his functions. (p.5. Section 3, sub-sec II).


(Section 5, pgs 6-7)

  1. Secure the greatest possible improvement in the quality and efficiency of the training of personnel engaged in industry.
  2. Ensure an adequate supply of properly trained manpower at all levels in industry.
  3. Share the cost of all industrial training undertaken in pursuance of the Act as evenly as possible between employers.
  4. Advice the Minister from time to time concerning the institution, review and maintenance of a system of holding tests, the granting of certificates and making of reports.
  5. Investigate any dispute or other matter arising out of a contract of apprenticeship or indentured learnership.
  6. Perform such duties and functions in regard to any other matter concerning apprenticeship or indentured learnership.
  7. Investigate and make recommendations to the Minister on any matters connected with the Act.

(Section 5B, p.8)

The Minister may make a training levy order for the purpose of giving effect to proposals submitted by the Council and approved by him.  Such an order may provide for the amendment of a previous training levy order and make different provisions in relation to different classes or description or employer.

The order may contain provisions as to the evidence by which a person’s liability to the levy may be established.  A sum equal to 5% is to be added to any amount that has not been paid n within the time prescribed.

Disbursement of the Training Levy Funds

(Section 5C, pgs. 8-9)

All money, collected as training levy, shall be payable into a Training Levy Fund.  The Director. On the advice of he Council, may make payments out of the fund for any of the following purposes: –

  1. Payment of maintenance and travelling allowances to persons attending training courses.
  2. Making of grants or loans to persons proving courses to training facilities.
  3. Making of fees to persons providing further education in respect of persons who receive it in association with their training.
  4. Reimbursement of an employer for all or part of his training costs including fees, instruction costs, material costs and wages of apprentices/indentured learners while attending training courses.
  5. Payment of sitting allowances and travelling, accommodation and entertainment expenses for committee and sub-committee members on duty.
  6. Payment of examiners fees for setting, moderating, invigilating and marking tests for learners and their travel and accommodation expenses.
  7. Payment of honoraria to instructors for conducting evening courses.
  8. Other expenditure related to training and approved by the Minister.

In cases where the Council or Director withholds approval for payment of any money, the case will be referred to the Minister whose ruling will be final.

Permission to Employ Apprentices or Indentured Learners

To employ such a learner one must first obtain the written permission of the director; which shall specify the maximum number of learners one may employ at any given time. For the permission to be granted, the director must be satisfied that the establishment offers reasonable opportunities for the proper training of the learners. One shall be guilty of an offence if:

  • Employs a learner without first obtaining the written permission of the director to employ
  • Employs learners in excess of the maximum number allowed in the written permission obtained (section 6 and 7, pages 10 and 11)

Requirements for One to Become a Learner (Section 8 Pages 11)

  • Must have attained the apparent age of 15 years.
  • Has completed any period of compulsory education required by Law.
  • Has in the case of a trade or occupation in respect of which a scheme has been made, the qualifications prescribed under the scheme.
  • Hs been certified fit as provided in Section 10 (Having been medically examined, at the expense of the employer, by a medical practitioner and a medical certificate issued.

Registration of Contracts (Section II)

Every contract of Apprenticeship or indentured learnership must be in he prescribed form, or where no form has been prescribed, in a form approved by the Director.  An employer entering into such a contract shall within 14 days lodge with the Director, for registration.

  • The contract
  • A duplicate copy
  • A further copy for filing by the Director
  • The medical certificate (Section 10)

A contract is not binding unless it is registered by the Director.  The Director may refuse to register a contract if:-

  • In his opinion, it is not in the interest of the learner.
  • It is not made in accordance with the provisions of a scheme
  • He may in coming to a decision see that the learner’s prospects of obtaining employment after expiry of contract in that particular occupation are slim.


The Act allows for the transfer of the rights and obligations under a contract of learning, with the consent of the learner and with the Directors approval, from one employer to another.  The Director may withhold his approval if in his opinion the transfer is not in the interests of the learner.  (Section 12, p.13).  No transfer of the rights and obligations of an employer shall take place until the instrument of transfer:-

  • Is in writing
  • Is signed by the employer transferring the rights and obligations, the employer receiving these right and obligations and the learner (or in case of a minor, signed by the guardian parent, or if not available the DO or labour officer).
  • Is registered by the Director as earlier prescribed.

Termination & Extension of Contracts

Section 13, p.14-15

A contract of learning may be terminated or extended:-

  1. By mutual agreement of the parties
  2. By the Director at the instance of any party and if he is satisfied it’s expedient to do so.
  3. By the Director at the instance of the Council.

A notice of one month for termination or extension shall be given by the employer to the Director.  The Director shall only exercise his powers in (b) above after listening to both parties.

A person who induces or attempts to induce a learner to quit the service of his employer, and who is bound by a contract, shall be guilty of an offence.  (Section 14, p.15)


The first 6 months of every contract of learning shall be a period of probation, during and at the expiry of which the contract may be terminated by either party. (Section 15 (i), p.15)


If a learner, bound by a contract, commits a serious breach of the terms of the contract, the employer may suspend him.  This shall be reported Director within 3 days, and the Director will investigate the matter, set aside or confirm the suspension, or vary the terms of the suspension.  (Section 16, p.15).

Whether or not a complaint has been lodged by the employer, he Director may order suspension, pending investigate and shall report his action to the Council.

Where the Director sets aside suspension of a learner, the employer shall pay to the learner all such wages as may have been withheld during the period of suspension.  Failure by the employer to report suspension of learner makes him guilty of an offence.  (Section 16 (4&5) p.16)


Records To Be Kept By the Employer

Records kept by an employer on learners will include:-

  • Remuneration paid
  • Time worked
  • Every learner
  • Any other particulars (Section 17(i), p.16)

The records shall be kept in a manner prescribed by the Director.  Such records must be retained by the employer for a period of 3 years after the last entry in the record.

Limitations in Regard to Method of Payment & Overtime

Wages of the learner shall not be based upon the quantity of work done, or overtime for a learner under 17 years of age (section 18 pages 16)

An employer shall on successful completion of a contract, make out a certificate of apprenticeship or indentured learnership in the prescribed form and manner and submit to the director for counter signature and later give if to the apprentice (section 19 pages 16 – 17).

If an employer fails to give a certificate himself. Failure to give a certificate or giving one which is untrue makes one guilty of an offence


SECTION 21 PAGES 17 – 19

The director after consulting the council may make a scheme or schemes for regulating the training of apprentices or indentured learners in any trade or occupation. A scheme may in respect of any trade or occupation. A scheme may in respect of any trade or occupation to which it relates, specify: –

  1. The qualifications, including age and educational standard required for the learners in that trade or occupation
  2. Period of apprenticeship or indentured learnership (not exceeding 7 years for apprentices and les than 4 years for indentured learnership)
  3. The practical training which employers shall provide for the learners in their employment.
  4. The theoretical training which employers shall provide for the learners, at the expense of the employer, and the manner in which such training shall be provided.
  5. The proficiency tests or examinations, which the learners in that trade or occupation shall undergo from time to time.
  6. Maximum number of ordinary working hours the learners in that trade or occupation may be required to work during any week, day and the day, hours or intervals when they will not be required to work.
  7. Maximum period of overtime the learners will be permitted to work in any given day or week.
  8. Minimum number of paid holidays to be allowed to the learners during any year.
  9. The remuneration and other conditions which shall apply in respect of any period during which the leaner is unable by reason of any condition to render service to his employer during ordinary working hours.
  10. Any other matter which in the opinion of the Director is necessary for the effective operation of the scheme.

A scheme may be amended by a subsequent scheme or by an order made by the director on advice of the council.

Procedure for Making of Schemes

Before making a scheme the director shall publish once in the Gazette and twice (with interval of between 7 – 14 days) between each publication in a newspaper published and circulated in Kenya, a notice of his intention to make a scheme specifying a place where copies of a draft may be inspected. (Section 22 pages 19).

An objection made shall in writing and will state the specific grounds for objection and the deletions, additions or modifications to the scheme. These should be done within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice.

The director after expiring of the 30 days will consider the issues raised and may withdraw the draft scheme or make the scheme as it is in the draft or make the scheme subject to deletions, additions or modifications suggested.

Where the director makes a scheme, he shall publish a notice of intention to make the scheme specifying a place where copies of the scheme may be inspected.

Supervision of the Apprentices or Indentured Learners

(Section 22A Pages 20 – 21)

Every employer of apprentices or indentured learners shall appoint by name form among employee: –

  1. A person responsible for supervising generally the learners under this Act
  2. At every premise or worksite, where learners are regularly employed for a period of not less than 3 months an apprentice or indentured learner master, who shall be responsible for the day to day guidance of the learners in matters concerning the trade or occupation.

The director may not approve the appointment of the apprentice / indentured learner master he deems not competent and may specify the kind of training to be given to the master before the appointment is re-approved.

Where 25 or more learners are employed at any premise or worksite the master shall devote the whole of his time during normal working hours to learner guidance. Where the number is less than 25, the master shall devote that proportion of his time to learner guidance.

Appointment of an Inspector

The minister, by notice in the Gazette, ma, appoint nay person appointed to the public service as a senior training office or levy inspector, to be an inspector for all or any purposes of the Act (section 23) p.21

Powers of the Inspector

An inspector may: –

  1. At any time, enter premises in which he believes a learner is or has within the previous 6 months been employed and take with him and interpreter or other assistant or a police officer
  2. Examine any person whom he finds on the premises entered whom he believes ahs been employment within the proceeding 6 months and require him to be examined
  3. Require any learner to appear before him at a time and place fixed by the inspector and question the learner
  4. Require the production or delivery of any records required to be kept under this Act or any document relating to the business of any person whom the inspector has reason to believe is or was within the last 6 months the employer of a learner
  5. Examine and make extracts from and copies of nay such documents provided

Failure to comply or obstruction of the inspector makes one guilty of an offence. The inspector seeking to exercise his powers and one being required to do so shall produce written evidence of his appointment.

Section 28, pages 23

A person who commits an offence under this Act of which no penalty is provided shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh. 6,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both.


Section 29, pages 23

The minister may make rules for carrying into effect this Act. The following maybe some of the rules.

  1. Form of a contract of learning
  2. Manner in which educational standards or birth may be proved
  3. Nature of returns which employers may be required to furnish to the director and period within which such returns should be made
  4. Procedure for registration and transfer of contracts and notification of the expiry or termination of contracts
  5. Form and manner in which certificates of learning are to be issued by employers
  6. Form and manner in which tests to assess ones skills be conducted
  7. Form of certificate reports and other documentary evidence to be granted by the employer
  8. All or any matter which by this Act are required and permitted


Section 30 pages 24

The director with approval from the council may in the case of a particular contract exempt any person form any provisions of this Act or any rule made in a scheme.

The director with approval of the council may withdraw such exemption.

This Act shall bind the government

It is recommended that each student acquire a copy of the Act for learning purposes. 


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At the end of the lesson, the trainee should be able to: –

  1. Explain the meaning and importance of management development.
  2. Discuss the basis of management development.
  3. Develop the organisation’s programmes for management development.
  4. Coordinate implementation of management development programmes
  5. Evaluate approaches to management development.


Management development is…
  1. Any attempt to improve current or future management performance by imparting knowledge, changing attitudes or increasing skills.
  2. A systematic process of development of effective managers at all levels to meet the requirements of an organisation, involving an analysis of present and future management requirements, assessing the existing and potential skills of managers and devising the best means for their development to meet these requirements.
  • Management development is concerned with developing the experience, attitudes and skills necessary to become or remain an effective manager.
  1. Management development is providing learning and development opportunities, which will increase the capacity of managers to make a significant contribution to achievement organisational goals.

Management development contributes to business success by helping the organisation to grow the managers it needs for present and future requirements, it improves the manager’s performance, gives them development opportunities and provides for management succession.  In particular it aims to: –

  1. Ensure that managers understand what is expected of them.
  2. Identify managers with potential and encouraging them to prepare and implement personal development plans.
  3. Provide for management succession, creating a system to keep this under review.

Management development includes: –

  1. Human resource planning to assess the demand for managers
  2. Appraisal of manager’s present abilities.
  • Appropriate development needs.


These can be divided into 3 categories;

  1. Knowledge required to perform a managers job in the company concerning:
  1. Background of company, its organisation and practices.
  2. Company resources available
  • Company technology
  1. Specialist management techniques e.g. operational research.
  2. Relevant law
  3. General, social and economic environment


  1. Planning, analytical and creative skills which include:
  1. Recognizing objectives and putting them in order of importance.
  2. Assessing the value of available resources e.g. human, material, technological and financial.
  • Formulating and administering plans, delegating as necessary.
  1. Discerning and solving day-to-day management problems.


  1. Social skills (interpersonal or interactive skills) important because managers may easily spend so much of their time working with and trying to influence others. They include:
  1. Communication upwards, downwards and laterally.
  2. Co-ordination within a department or between departments.
  • Motivation of subordinates.
  1. Awareness of others needs, attitudes and perceptions.


Management development is not a separate activity to be handed over to a specialist and forgotten or ignored.  The success of management development depends upon the degree to which all levels of management are committed to it.  It is a prerogative of both the organisation and the individual to facilitate management development.  But the primary responsibility rests with the individual, his abilities, and his efforts.  But the individuals need encouragement, guidance and opportunities provided by their managers and the organisation.  The company must provide conditions favourable for faster growth.  These conditions are very mush part of the environment and organisational climate of the company and the management style of the chief executive.

Managers must also take the main responsibility for their own development through personal development plans.


Management development should be seen as part of business strategy.  All levels of management must therefore be committed to it.  Development of their staff must be recognised as a natural and essential part of the manager’s job, and a key criteria under which their performance will be judged.  However, HR specialists still must play the following roles:

  • Interpret the needs of the business and advice on how the management development strategies can play their part in meeting these needs.
  • Make proposals on formal and informal approaches to management development.
  • Develop in conjunction with line management a competency framework, which can be used as the basis for management development.
  • Provide guidance to managers on how to carry out their developmental activities.
  • Provide help and encouragement to managers in preparing and pursuing their personal development plans.
  • Provide the learning materials managers need to achieve their learning objectives.
  • Act as mentors or tutors to individual managers or groups of managers as required.
  • Advice on the use and choice of external management education programmes.
  • Facilitate action-learning projects.
  • Plan and conduct development centres.
  • Plan and conduct formal learning events with the help of external providers as required.


There are two approaches to management development; formal approaches and the informal approaches.

  1. Formal approaches to management development.

The formal approaches to management development include;

  1. Development on the job through coaching, counselling, monitoring and feedback by managers on a continuous basis.
  2. Development through work experience – job rotation, job enlargement, taking part in project teams or task groups, action learning and secondment outside the organisation.
  • Formal training by means of internal or external courses.
  1. Structured self-development by following self managed learning programmes agreed as a personal development plan.
    1. Informal approaches to management development

These make use of the learning experiences that managers meet during the course of their every day work.  Managers learn every time they are confronted with an unusual problem, an unfamiliar task or a move to a different job.  This is the most powerful form of learning.  This is experiential learning and is an effective tool for managers.  They absorb unconsciously and by some process of osmosis the lessons from their experience.

Ordinary people find it difficult, however, to do this sort of learning.  This is where semi-informal approaches can be used, to encourage and help managers to learn more effectively.  These approaches include;

  1. Emphasizing self-assessment and the identification of development needs by getting managers to assess their own performance against agreed objectives.
  2. Getting managers to produce their own personal development plans or self –managed learning programmes.
  3. Encouraging managers to discuss their own problems and opportunities with their bosses, colleagues and mentors.


For management development to be successful, it must have the full support of the organisation’s top executives. Management development should be designed, conducted and evaluated on the basis of the objectives of the organisation, the needs of the individual managers to be developed and the anticipated changes in the organisation’s management team.  The process of management development is as seen below.

Determining the Net Requirements.

Organisational objectives are important in determining the organisations requirements for managers.  For instance, a rapid expansion programme would call for new managers at all levels.

Management Inventory and Succession Plan.

A management inventory (a skills inventory) provides certain types of information about an organisation’s current management team.  Information contained includes; present position, length of service, retirement date, education and past performance evaluations.

A management inventory can be used to develop a management succession plan, also called a replacement chart or schedule.  Such a schedule records potential successors for each manager within the organisation.  Such a plan lists the positions and potential replacements, length of service, retirement data, past performance evaluations and salary.

Changes in Management.

Certain changes in the management team can be estimated fairly accurate and easily while other changes are not so easily determined.  Retirement, transfers and promotion can be predicted as compared to deaths, resignations and discharges.

Needs Assessment

Four methods exist to determine management development needs; a training needs survey, competence studies, task analysis and performance analysis.


Some of the more frequently used methods of management development include;

  • Understudy assignments.
  • Experience
  • Job rotation
  • Special projects and committee assignments
  • Classroom training
    • Lectures
    • Case studies
    • Role play
    • In-basket technique
    • Programmed and computer assisted instruction.
    • Business games.
  • University and professional association seminars
  • Junior boards
  • Action learning
  • Training companies
  • Outdoor management training.


These include the following;

  • PROJECTS- These are special assignments given to managers who must enquire into a company problem, make recommendations and sometimes put them into practice.
  • JUNIOR BOARDS- in which a group of young managers is given decisions of fairly low importance to make which have been delegated to the group by the main board.
  • ACTION LEARNING- in which a manager takes over a different job and through doing it learns a new set of management skills. The manager must analyse the problems associated with a job, formulate a solution, implement the solution (under the guidance of an experienced superior) and monitor its consequences.
  • TRAINING COMPANIES- usually small subsidiaries of a large group, which are intended to trade profitably, yet give opportunities for younger managers to develop their skills in a somewhat protected environment.
  • COACHING- is often used and is frequently successful, but sometimes the experienced manager who is coaching may make decisions so automatically that either he/she does not realize they have been made or cannot explain the reasons for them. In coaching experienced managers advise and guide trainees in solving managerial problems.  Coaching should allow the trainees to develop their own approaches to management with the counsel of a more experienced manager.

One advantage of coaching is that trainees get practical experience and see the results of their decisions.  However, a danger is posed in that the coach may neglect training responsibilities or pass on inappropriate management practices.  The coach’s expertise and experience are critical for coaching.

  • OUTDOOR MANAGEMENT TRAINING- this assumes that the qualities needed for successful management may be cultivated through short management development courses e.g. Rock climbing, canoeing, orienteering, outward bound training. Such activities are said to enhance participant’s abilities to plan, organise, create and manage teams, control others and control certainty.
  • UNDERSTUDY ASSIGNMENTS- these are used to develop an individual’s capabilities to fill a specific job. An individual who will eventually be given a particular job works for the incumbent.  The advantage of such a system is that the heir realizes the purpose of the training and can learn in a practical and realistic situation without being directly responsible for operating results.  On the disadvantage, the understudy learns bad as well as the good practices of the incumbent. Understudy assignments maintained over a long period do become expensive.


  • IN-TRAY/IN-BASKET TECHNIQUE – the trainee is asked to deal with a batch of miscellaneous documents, which he/she is supposed to find in each day’s in-tray. Decisions of various kinds have to be made though not of course actually put into effect.  After this, a review takes place where the trainer discusses with the trainee the decisions taken.  It is used in management training and as means of selecting managers, though the exercise is difficult to score objectively.
  • BUSINESS GAMES – in which tow or more teams attempt, for example, to market an imaginary product using the information supplied to them. Effects of their decisions are evaluated and feedback given to the teams.
  • EXPERIENCE – many organisations use development through experience. Here individuals are promoted into management jobs and allowed to learn on their own from their daily experiences.  The individual, in an attempt to perform a specific job, may recognise the need for management development and look for a means of satisfying it.  However, such employees may commit serious mistakes.
  • SPECIAL PROJECTS AND COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS – special projects require the trainee to learn about a particular subject. Committee assignments can be used if the organisation has regularly constituted or ad hoc committees.  Here the individual works with the committee on its regularly assigned duties and responsibilities.
  • PROGRAMMED AND COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION – requires the trainee to read material on a particular subject and answer questions about the material. Correct answers allow the trainee to move on to more advanced or new material.  If the answers are incorrect, the trainee is required to reread the material and answer additional questions.  The material in programmed instruction is presented either in text form or on computer video displays.
  • ASSESSMENT CENTRE – is a method in which various personality traits of trainees are evaluated by trained observers based on the trainee’s performance in specially chosen exercises. Assessment centres are used for making decisions on promoting, evaluating and training managerial personnel.
  • UNIVERSITY AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION SEMINARS – This is offered on both credit and non-credit courses intended to help meet the management needs of various organisations. These offerings range from courses in principles of supervision to advanced executive management programmes.


Four alternatives exist for evaluation of management development activities:

  • ALTERNATIVE I: are the trainees happy with the course?
  • ALTERNATIVE II: Does the training course teach the concepts?
  • ALTERNATIVE III: Are the concepts used on the job?
  • ALTERNATIVE IV: Does the application of the concepts

Positively affect the organisation?


This may concentrate on a limited number of core competencies which the organisation has decided will be an essential part of the equipment of their managers if they are going to take the organisation forward in line with its strategic plans.



  1. Strategic capability – to understand the changing business environment, competitive challenges and the strengths and weaknesses of their organisation.
  2. Change management capability – to identify change needs, plan change programmes and persuade others to participate willingly in implementation of change.
  3. Team management capability – to get diverse groups of people from different disciplines to work well together.
  4. Relationship management capability – to network effectively with others, to share information and pool resources to achieve common objectives.
  5. International management capability – to be capable of managing across international frontiers working well with people of other nationalities.



  • Academic management training has few practical applications, for encouraging technical specialization rather than the overall ability to lead.
  • Creates unrealistic job and career expectations among junior managerial employees.
  • The environments of training are artificial and too remote from real life managerial situations to be of practical value. Most aspects of management can only be learned by doing.
  • The dimensions of managerial competence encompass a vast range of tasks, so that it is not possible to devise courses that comprehensively cover the entire management field.
  • Individuals enter management in so many different ways and from such varied backgrounds that no single programme of study can meet the highly specified needs of each participant.
  • Management is a fast changing subject, so that the contents of any management-training course could quickly become out of date.


Specific objectives.

At the end of this topic the trainee should be able to: –


  1. State the meaning and importance of career management.
  2. Explain the objectives of career management.
  3. Discuss the issues of career management.
  4. Explain the process of career management.
  5. Carry out career counselling and mentoring
  6. Implement the organisation’s career management programme.


Not long ago, individuals joined an organisation and often stayed with it for their entire working career.  But this is no more.  Nowadays, the average 20-year-old employee is expected to change jobs approximately six or seven times during his lifetime.  Increased employee mobility and related environmental factors have made career development increasingly important for today’s organisation.


Career development is an ongoing, formalized effort by an organisation that focuses on developing and enriching the organisation’s human resources in light of both the employee’s and the organisation’s needs.

Career management consists of the processes of career planning and management successionCareer planning shapes the progression of individuals within an organisation in accordance with assessments of organisational needs and the performance, potential and preferences of individual members of the enterprise.

  Objectives of Career management.

Career management has three overall aims:

  1. To ensure that the organisation’s needs for management succession are satisfied.
  2. To provide employees of potential with a sequence of training and experience that will equip them for whatever level of responsibility that they have the ability to reach.
  3. To give individuals with potential the guidance and encouragement they need if they are to fulfil their potential and achieve a successful career.

Career management is the process through which organisation’s select, assess, assign and develop employees to provide a pool of qualified people to meet future needs.

Career development encompasses career management and career planning.  Career planning is the process through which individual employees identify and implement steps to attain career goals.  Career planning is a process by which an individual formulates career goals and develops a plan for reaching those goals.

From the organisation’s viewpoint, career development has three major objectives: –

  1. To meet the immediate and future human resource needs of the organisation on a timely basis.
  2. To better inform the organisation and the individual about potential career paths within the organization.
  3. To utilize existing human resource programmes to the fullest by integrating the activities that select, assign, develop, and manage individual careers with the organisation’s plans.

Career development looks at individual careers from the viewpoint of the organisation, whereas, career planning looks at careers from the eyes of individual employees.


Successful career development requires action from 3 sources; the organisation, the employee and the employee’s immediate manager.


The organisation is the entity that has primary responsibility for ensuring that career development takes place.  The organisation has the responsibility to develop and communicate career options within the organisation to the employee.  The organisation should advise an employee on possible career paths to achieve the employee’s career goals.

The organisation should promote the conditions and create the environment that will facilitate the development of individual career plans by the employees.


The primary responsibility for preparing individual career plans rests with the individual employees.  Career planning has to come from the individual who knows what he really wants out of a career.  The individual must find time to develop a sound career plan.  The organisation may help by providing trained specialists to encourage and guide the employee.


The manager should facilitate the development of a subordinate’s career.  The manager should serve as a catalyst and sounding board.  He should show an employee how to go about the process and then help the employee evaluate the conclusions.



    • Self assess abilities, interests and needs.
    • Analyse career options.
    • Decide on development objectives and needs
    • Preferences to manager
    • Map out mutually agreeable action plans with manager
    • Pursue agreed-on action plan.


    • Act as a catalyst; sensitize employee to the development planning process.
    • Assess employee’s expressed objectives and perceived development needs. Find out how realistic they are.
    • Counsel employee and develop mutually agreeable plans.
    • Follow-up and update employee’s plans as appropriate.
    • Provide career planning model, resources, counselling and information needed for individualized career planning.
    • Provide training in career development planning to managers and employees and career counselling to managers.
    • Provide skills training programmes and on-the-job development experience opportunities.


    • Provide accurate information to management as needed regarding skills, work experiences, interest and career aspirations.
    • Validate information provided by employees.
    • Provide information about vacant job positions for which the manager is responsible.
    • Provide information system and process to accommodate manager’s decision-making needs.
    • Organise and update all information.
    • Ensure effective usage of all information.

Advantages to organisation’s of having employees who are pursuing careers (rather than holding ad hoc jobs).

  1. Individuals might be motivated to work hard in order to further their careers.
  2. Worker’s loyalties to their occupations and/or employing organisations might be enhanced.
  • Employees have definite career targets at which to aim.
  1. Employee’s competence will increase systematically over time.
  2. Management succession schemes can be drafted more easily.
  3. Career planning can be directly related to the firm’s performance appraisal and management by objectives.


Advantages to individuals of following a career

  1. Feeling of security resulting from the likelihood his job opportunities will increase as the person’s career progresses.
  2. Enhanced self-awareness resulting from being forced to analyse personal SWOT and the career options available.
  • Acquisition of useful experience as the employee selects jobs in organisations, departments, divisions that will best promote his career.
  1. Having a tangible long-term objective.


Successful implementation of a career development programme involves 4 basic steps at individual level:

  1. An assessment by the individual of his abilities interests and career goals.
  2. An assessment by the organisation of the individual’s abilities and potentials.
  3. Communication of career options and opportunities within the organisation.
  4. Career counselling to set realistic goals and plans for their accomplishment.


This assessment should be based on reality.  For the individual, this involves identifying personal strengths, not only the individual’s developed abilities but also the financial resources available.


This is mostly done through the performance appraisal process.  The assessment center can also give very useful information.  Other potential sources include; personnel records reflecting such information as education and previous work experience.

The HR manager and the individual’s immediate manager, who serves as a mentor, should do assessment of an individual.


To set realistic career goals, an individual must know the options and opportunities that are available.  The organisation can do several things to facilitate such awareness.  Posting and advertising job vacancies, clearly identifying possible paths of advancement within the organisation (can be done through the performance appraisal process) are helpful methods.  Another good method is to share human resource planning forecasts with employees.


This is an activity that may be performed by an employee’s immediate manager, a HR specialist or a combination of the two.


Where organisations have active Career Management practices in place, they can expect to experience a reduction in employee turnover; heightened employee motivation; improved employee satisfaction; and more effective succession planning.

Three key areas that need to be considered in implementing Career Management strategies:

  1. Implementation of supportive Career Management practices.

Organizations’ Career Management practices can be either active or passive. Active strategies (such as career workshops and employee training) are implemented for the express purpose of Career Management, and passive strategies incorporate a number of organizational practices (such as regular performance reviews and provision of key performance indicators) that, by default, promote employees’ Career Management.

The six most successful Career Management practices used within organizations included:

  • Placing clear expectations on employees so that they know what is expected of them throughout their careers with the organization
  • Giving employees the opportunity to transfer to other office locations, both domestically and internationally
  • Providing a clear and thorough succession plan to employees
  • Encouraging performance through rewards and recognition
  • Giving employees the time and resources they need to consider short- and long-term career goals
  • Encouraging employees to continually assess their skills and career direction
  1. Elimination of barriers to employees’ career advancement.
    In addition to looking at the implementation of effective Career Management strategies, organizations need to assess whether there are any internal barriers to employees’ career advancement. In fact, the removal of any barriers to career advancement can be as significant to reducing employee turnover as the implementation of Career Management strategies.

Generally, these barriers fall into ‘clusters’, including:

  • Lack of time, budgets and resources for employees to plan their careers and to undertake training and development
  • Rigid job specifications, lack of leadership support for Career Management and a short-term focus
  • Lack of career opportunities and pathways within the organization for employees

Organizations must eliminate as many barriers to career advancement as possible to ensure that employees have the best possible chance to look for opportunities within their organization.

  1. Adapting Career Management strategies to suit the organization’s size and structure

It is important that an organization’s Career Management strategies reflect its dynamics, size and structure. For example, while large organizations tend to have more support mechanisms for employees, they often present a higher number of barriers to career advancement. Small organizations, on the other hand, rarely implement extensive Career Management strategies, usually as a result of lack of resources, however, they also tend to present the least number of barriers to career advancement.

As organizations consider their Career Management practices and strategies, these factors must be weighed-up in the decision to ensure that whatever the strategy is, it is suitable to the organization.


This is a technique that addresses the specifics of progressing from one job to another in the organisation.  It is a sequence of developmental activities involving informal and formal education, training and job experiences that help make an individual capable of holding more advanced jobs.



Basic Steps of Career Pathing.

  1. Determine or reconfirm the abilities and end behaviors of the target job.
  2. Secure employee background data and review from accuracy and completeness.
  3. Undertake a needs analysis comparison that jointly views the individual and the targeted job.
  4. Reconcile employee career desires, developmental needs and targeted job requirements with those of organizational career management.
  5. Develop individual training work and educational needs using a time-activity orientation.
  6. Blueprint career paths activities.

Reviewing Career Progress.

Individual careers rarely go exactly according to plan.  The environment changes, personal desires change and other things happen.  The individual must periodically review both the career plan and the situation, and make adjustments so that career development continues.


This is defined as the point in a career where the likelihood of additional hierarchical promotion is low.  It occurs when an employee reaches a position from which he is not likely to be promoted further.  Plateaued employees are those who reach their promotional ceiling long before they retire.  The four principal career categories of employees are:

  • Learners. Individuals with high potential for advancement who are performing below standard e.g. new trainees.
  • Stars. Individuals presently doing some outstanding work and having a high potential for continued advancement; these are people on fast track career paths.
  • Solid citizens. Individuals whose present performance is satisfactory but whose chance for future advancement is small.  They make the bulk of employees in a firm.
  • Deadwood.  Individuals whose present performance has fallen to an unsatisfactory level – they have little potential for advancement.

The following action can aid in managing the plateauing process.

  1. Prevent plateauees from becoming ineffective (prevent a problem from occurring)
  2. Integrate relevant career-related information systems (Improve monitoring so that emerging problems are detected early)
  3. Manage ineffective plateauees and frustrated employees effectively.


  1. Provide alternative means of recognition – assignment to a task force, special assignments, participation in brainstorming sessions, representation of the organisation to others, training of new employees.
  2. Develop new ways to make their current jobs more satisfying – some possibilities here include relating employees performance to total organisational goals and creating competition in the job
  3. Effect revitalization through reassignment – implement systematic job switching to positions at the same level, that require many of, but not necessary, the exact same skills and experiences as the present job.
  4. Utilize reality-based self-development programmes – assign plateauees to development programmes that can help them perform better in their present jobs.
  5. Change managerial attitudes towards Plateaued employees – some managers usually give up and neglect plateaued employees and this only helps compound the problem.


Most individuals pass through stages of careers in a logical progression. The establishment stage is the entry stage in which individuals learn the job and the discipline, and begin to fit into the organization. The advancement stage is typically the high achievement phase in which people focus on their competence. In the maintenance stage, individuals attempt to maintain productivity while evaluating progress toward career goals. The withdrawal stage involves the process of retirement or possible career change. These stages correlate with other maturity and life changes.


The establishment stage involves beginning a career as a newcomer to an organization. Newcomers depend on others for information on what is expected in the job and in the organization.

  1. Psychological Contracts

During the establishment stage, a psychological contract, or implicit agreement, between an individual and an organization is developed that specifies what each is expected to give and receive in the relationship.


  1. The Stress of Socialization

The most likely stressor during the anticipatory socialization stage is ambiguity about the job and the organization. During the encounter stage, the demands of the job and the shock of reality create the majority of stress. Stress often arises from the need to control job demands during the change and adjustment stage.


  1. Easing the Transition from Outsider to Insider


  1. Individual Actions

Seeking support from co-workers and networking with other newcomers can help reduce stress.

  1. Organizational Actions

Organizations should provide early opportunities for newcomer success, provide encouragement and feedback, and explicitly tie rewards to performance.

  2. Career Paths and Career Ladders

The traditional analogy for the advancement stage is one of climbing the corporate ladder.  The career path is a sequence of job experiences that an employee moves along during his or her career. A career ladder is a structured series of job positions through which an individual progresses in an organization. With the restructuring of many large, well-known companies, the career ladder may no longer be as salient as it once was. This can be an additional socialization stressor for those expecting a fast track career.

Finding a Mentor

A mentor is an individual who provides guidance, coaching, counselling, and friendship to a protégé. Some organizations have mentor programs that pass employees upward as they reach certain stages of development. Other organizations form multicultural mentor groups, so that diversity will be firmly ingrained in their interactions. Most mentor relationships progress through a series of stages that include initiation, cultivation, separation, and redefinition.

Dual-Career Partnerships

Another new element in the work—life combination is the increase of dual-career partnerships. A dual-career partnership is a relationship in which both people have important career roles. Dual-career relationships have stresses of competition, organizational loyalty, and location selection to contend with throughout their organizational affiliations.

Work—Home Conflicts

Work—home conflicts increase when the adults in a relationship both work. The U.S. culture has mixed role expectations for women. Other countries, such as Japan, have a more pronounced set of expectations for working women. Organizations are increasingly considering providing benefits for the working couple to encourage them to remain with the organization.

One of the solutions for work—home conflicts may be a flexible work schedule. Flexible work schedules allow employees discretion in setting their working hours in order to accommodate personal concerns. Another consideration related to the work—home conflict is the increase in needs for eldercare. The sandwich generation is responsible for caring for both children and elderly parents. An increasing number of organizations are providing employees with eldercare to assist them in caring for elderly parents and/or other elderly relatives.



The wide range of options that exists during this stage has helped individuals through potential midlife transitions and burnout. One of the options being considered in corporations is the concept of sabbaticals: a time for rejuvenation and revival.

  1. Sustaining Performance

Most individuals in the maintenance stage reach a career plateau, a point in one’s career at which the probability of moving further up the hierarchy is low. Keeping work stimulating and continued appreciation of contributions are keys to maintaining employees’ productivity during this stage.

  1. Becoming a Mentor

Mentoring gives individuals in this stage an opportunity to contribute to the development of newer and younger employees by sharing their wisdom, knowledge, and experience with those employees. Mentoring programs can be either formal or informal.


During the withdrawal stage, workers begin to plan seriously for and initiate their transition to retirement. Actions may include scaling back on hours, switching to part-time work, or even changing careers. Workers in this stage still have much to contribute because of their extensive experience, strong work ethic, and loyalty.

  1. Planning for Change
  2. Retirement

Career Management Course Activities

Please Attempt All These Questions.  Where Reference Material Has Been Used Please Quote The Book Using The Standard Reference Writing Style.

  1. Careers: What is a career?  What is career management?  What is the process of career management?  Can you give examples of environmental influences on your career?
  2. What are some of the key issues with careers? How are these relevant for your career?  What is adaptability, and why is it important in today’s workforce and for career management?  What are the eight dimensions of adaptability?
  3. Compare and contras the various career management models. What are their similarities and differences?  Can you give examples of each stage in each model?   What are the common stages of career development?
  4. What are the employees’, managers, and company’s roles in career management? Who ultimately has responsibility for career management?
  5. What are the characteristics of a successful career management initiative?
  6. What is organizational socialization? Why is it important?  What are the steps of socialization, what are their similarities and differences, and can you give examples of each?
  7. What are the characteristics of good socialization programs, and why are they necessary?
  8. What are dual career concerns? Why are they so common and important today?  What are the characteristics of successful dual career couples?
  9. What is a career plateau? Compare and contrast the different types of career plateaus.  Give examples of each.
  10. Why are work family issues so critical in today’s world? What is meant by the statement that flexibility is the major issue surrounding work family issues?  What types of flexibility are important?  What types of conflict are present in work family issues—describe and give examples of each.  How could one reduce work family conflict?  What are the pros and cons of working at home?
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The definition of motivation is to give reason, incentive, enthusiasm, or interest that causes a specific action or certain behavior. Motivation is present in every life function. Simple acts such as eating are motivated by hunger. Education is motivated by desire for knowledge. Motivators can be anything from reward to coercion.

Motivation is derived from motive. Motive means a drive or impulse within an individual that prompts him into action. It is a complex force that inspires a person at a work to willingly use his capacity for the accomplishment of certain objectives. It is something that impels a person into action and continues him in action with enthusiasm.

Dale S. Beach motivation is an inspirational process which impels members of a team to pull their weight effectively to give their loyalty to the group to carry out properly the tasks that they have accepted and generally to play an effective role in the job that the group has undertaken.

There are two main kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.

  • Definition of Motivation of the Extrinsic Kind
    Extrinsic motivation is external .It occurs when external factors compel the person to do something. Would include circumstances, situations, rewards or punishment, both tangible and intangible that participation in, results in an external benefit. Tangible benefits could include monetary reward or a prize. Intangible could include things like adoration, recognition, and praise.
  • Definition of Motivation of the Intrinsic Kind
    Intrinsic motivation is internal. It occurs when people are compelled to do something out of pleasure, importance, or desire. It includes involvement in behavioral pattern, thought process, action, activity or reaction for its own sake and without an obvious external incentive for doing so. A hobby is an example. If you are desirous of mastering public speaking for the sake of mastery and not any reward, you have experienced intrinsic motivation. In addition to forces that produce an actuation, there is a need to have the ability to fulfill the motivation. For example, a paraplegic may have the desire to get out of a wheelchair and walk, but lacks the ability to do so. A common place that we see the need to apply motivation is in the work place. In the work force, we can see motivation play a key role in leadership success. A person unable to grasp motivation and apply it will not become or stay as leader. Motivation is what propels life. It plays a major role in nearly everything we do. Without motivation, we would simply not care about outcomes, means, accomplishment, education, success, failure, employment, etc.

Motivation refers to the drive and efforts to satisfy a want or goal, whereas satisfaction refers to the contentment experienced when a want is satisfied. In contrast, inspiration is bringing about a change in the thinking pattern. On the other hand Manipulation is getting the things done from others in a predetermined manner.


  • Achievement Motivation
    It is the drive to pursue and attain goals. An individual with achievement motivation wishes to achieve objectives and advance up on the ladder of success. Here, accomplishment is important for its own sake and not for the rewards that accompany it.
  • Affiliation Motivation
    It is a drive to relate to people on a social basis. Persons with affiliation motivation perform work better when they are complimented for their favorable attitudes and co-operation.
  • Competence Motivation
    It is the drive to be good at something, allowing the individual to perform high quality work. Competence motivated people seek job mastery, take pride in developing and using their problem-solving skills and strive to be creative when confronted with obstacles. They learn from their experience.
  • Power Motivation
    It is the drive to influence people and change situations. Power motivated people wish to create an impact on their organization and are willing to take risks to do so.
  • Attitude Motivation
    Attitude motivation is how people think and feel. It is their self confidence, their belief in themselves, their attitude to life. It is how they feel about the future and how they react to the past.
  • Incentive Motivation
    It is where a person or a team reaps a reward from an activity. It is “You do this and you get that”, attitude. It is the types of awards and prizes that drive people to work a little harder.
  • Fear Motivation
    Fear motivation coercions a person to act against will. It is instantaneous and gets the job done quickly. It is helpful in the short run.

Motivation is very important for an organization because of the following benefits it provides:-

  • Puts human resources into action
    Every concern requires physical, financial and human resources to accomplish the goals. It is through motivation that the human resources can be utilized by making full use of it. This can be done by building willingness in employees to work. This will help the enterprise in securing best possible utilization of resources.
  • Improves level of efficiency of employees
    The level of a subordinate or an employee does not only depend upon his qualifications and abilities. For getting best of his work performance, the gap between ability and willingness has to be filled which helps in improving the level of performance of subordinates.
  • Leads to achievement of organizational goals
    Goals can be achieved if co-ordination and co-operation takes place simultaneously which can be effectively done through motivation.
  • Builds friendly relationship
    Motivation is an important factor which brings employees satisfaction. This can be done by keeping into mind and framing an incentive plan for the benefit of the employees.
  • Leads to stability of work force
    Stability of workforce is very important from the point of view of reputation and goodwill of a concern. The employees can remain loyal to the enterprise only when they have a feeling of participation in the management. The skills and efficiency of employees will always be of advantage to employers as well as employees. This will lead to a good public image in the
    market which will attract competent and qualified people into a concern. As it is said, “Old is gold” which suffices with the role of motivation here, the older the people, more the experience and their adjustment into a concern which can be of benefit to the enterprise.

Motivation is important to an individual as:

  • Motivation will help him achieve his personal goals.
  • If an individual is motivated, he will have job satisfaction.
  • Motivation will help in self-development of individual.
  • An individual would always gain by working with a dynamic team.

Similarly, motivation is important to a business as:

  • The more motivated the employees are, the more empowered the team is.
  • The more is the team work and individual employee contribution, more profitable and successful is the business.
  • During period of amendments, there will be more adaptability and creativity.
  • Motivation will lead to an optimistic and challenging attitude at work place

Negative motivational forces
Some managers believe that they can achieve results from their teams by shouting and swearing at them or by threatening them with disciplinary action. However, although this fear factor can indeed produce results, the effects will probably be much more short-term and will mean that staffs are not focused on achieving business objectives but rather on simply keeping their jobs! Alternatively, setting unrealistic targets can also have a negative impact – no matter how hard the team works, they cannot reach the target and therefore can become demotivated.

Positive motivational forces
There is a wide range of positive ways to motivate a team but it is important to remember that these should also be implemented fairly.

  • Offering rewards and incentives – bear in mind that rewards must be deserved and recognition should be given only to those who have earned it
  • Encouraging healthy competition – this can be advantageous but can also be detrimental when pitting staff against each other

Identifying individual motivational triggers
Each member of a team can respond in different ways to motivational factors – what drives some may in fact be what leads to poor performance in others! You can find out what motivates the team by:

  • Simply asking them individually – this shows your personal interest in them and that you value their input
  • Holding team meetings to discuss general opinions – this can also help to improve the team spirit
  • The completing of feedback forms or questionnaires – these should be confidential so that employees will be open and honest about their feelings towards company policies and procedures


Perhaps one of the most effective ways of motivating a team is to ensure that they understand and appreciate the aims of an organization and are supported by their managers in working towards the achievement of those aims. There are a range of motivational techniques that can be used to improve productivity, reduce workplace stress and increase self-confidence ;
These include the use of:

  • Positive imagery
  • Team-building activities
  • Training
  • Enhanced communication
  • Targets, rewards and incentives
  • Positive imagery
    Posting motivational themes and messages, in the form of slogans or quotes, can help to positively empower a team. By enabling them to visualize success, through the words of celebrities or industry professionals, they are more likely to be able to imagine similar success for themselves thus motivating them to improve their performance.
  • Team-building activities
    Despite mixed feelings about team-building activities, the fact that they encourage people to work together outside the office environment can be a definite advantage. They can encourage healthy competition and give each member of staff the opportunity to be on the winning team. Improving team relationships can result in increased productivity and morale,
    and can lead to a much happier and healthier working environment. Such exercises can also help in the resolution of pre-existing issues within the team. It is important that all teambuilding exercises are carefully balanced to ensure that they do not play to the particular strengths, or weaknesses, of employees but are designed instead to give everybody a chance of success.
  • Training
    People can be taught to become more motivated by showing them how to deconstruct tasks and challenges, and how to feel less intimidated by their job roles. Demonstrating to them how to cope in the workplace can lead directly to improved motivation.
  • Enhanced communication
    Communication does not only mean talking to your team but also listening to them. It is important to ensure their understanding of company objectives and their individual job roles but it is equally important to show them the importance of their feedback to the achievement of targets and standards.
  • Targets, rewards and incentives
    It is generally accepted that having targets to work towards, as long as they are realistic, is one of the most effective ways of improving performance. Hitting targets improves morale and self-confidence but remember that those who consistently underachieve will end up feeling demotivated. Target achievement can be rewarded not only with financial incentives but perhaps with the offer of increased responsibility or even promotion. Different people are motivated by different things so it is important to make sure that you offer the right incentives to the right member of the team.

There are a number of different views as to what motivates workers. The most commonly held views or theories are discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so. Unfortunately these theories do not all reach the same conclusions!
There are two different categories of motivation theories such as content theories, and process theories. Even though there are different motivation theories, none of them are universally accepted.

Theory of Scientific Management – Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following: Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of timepiece-rate pay. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximize their productivity. Taylor’s methods were widely adopted as businesses saw the benefits of increased productivity levels and lower unit costs. The most notably advocate was Henry Ford who used them to design the first ever production line, making Ford cars. This was the start of the era of mass production.

Taylor’s approach has close links with the concept of an autocratic management style (managers take all the decisions and simply give orders to those below them) and Macgregor’s Theory X approach to workers (workers are viewed as lazy and wish to avoid
responsibility). However workers soon came to dislike Taylor’s approach as they were only given boring, repetitive tasks to carry out and were being treated little better than human machines. Firms could also afford to lay off workers as productivity levels increased. This led to an increase in strikes and other forms of industrial action by dis-satisfied workers.

Elton Mayo
Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realizing that workers enjoy interacting together.

According to Mayo workers are best motivated by:

  • Better communication between managers and workers.
  • Greater manager involvement in employees working lives.

Working in groups or teams
In practice therefore businesses should re-organize production to encourage greater use of team working and introduce personnel departments to encourage greater manager involvement in looking after employees’ interests. His theory most closely fits in with a paternalistic style of management.

Hierarchy of Needs – Abraham Maslow
Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923- ) introduced the NeoHuman Relations School in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which
employees need to have fulfilled at work. All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy and only once a lower level of need has been
fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. For example a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.

A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfill each need in turn and progress up the hierarchy. Managers should also recognize that workers are not all motivated in the same way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may therefore have to offer a slightly different set of incentives from worker to worker. Maslow’s theory argues that individuals are motivated to satisfy a number of different kinds of needs, some of which are more powerful than others. The term prepotency refers to the idea that some needs are felt as being more pressing than others. Maslow argues that until these most pressing needs are satisfied, other needs have little effect on an individual’s behavior. In other words, we satisfy the most proponent needs first and then progress to the less pressing ones. As one need becomes satisfied, and therefore less important to us, other
needs loom up and become motivators of our behavior. Maslow represents this prepotency of needs as a hierarchy. The most proponent needs are shown at the bottom of the ladder, with prepotency decreasing as one progress upwards.

  • SELF-ACTUALISATION – reaching your maximum potential, doing you own best thing
  • ESTEEM – respect from others, self-respect, recognition
  • BELONGING – affiliation, acceptance, being part of something
  • SAFETY – physical safety, psychological security
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL – hunger, thirst, sex, rest

The first needs that anyone must satisfy are physiological. As Maslow says:
“Undoubtedly these physiological needs are the most proponent of all needs. What this means specifically is that in the human being who is missing everything in life in an extreme fashion, it is most likely that the major motivation would be the physiological needs rather than any others. A person who is lacking food, safety, love and esteem would probably hunger for food more strongly than anything else”.

Once the first level needs are largely satisfied, Maslow maintains, the next level of needs emerges. Individuals become concerned with the need for safety and security – protection from physical harm, disaster, illness and security of income, life-style and relationships.
Similarly, once these safety needs have become largely satisfied, individuals become concerned with belonging – a sense of membership in some group or groups, a need for affiliation and a feeling of acceptance by others.

When there is a feeling that the individual belongs somewhere, he or she is next motivated by a desire to be held in esteem. People need to be thought of as worthwhile by others, to be recognized as people with some value. They also have a strong need to see themselves as worthwhile people. Without this type of self-concept, one sees oneself as drifting, cut off, pointless. Much of this dissatisfaction with certain types of job centre’s around the fact that they are perceived, by the people performing them, as demeaning and therefore damaging to their self-concept.

Finally, Maslow says, when all these needs have been satisfied at least to some extent, people are motivated by a desire to self-actualize, to achieve whatever they define as their maximum potential, to do their thing to the best of their ability. Several points must be made concerning Maslow’s model of motivation. First, it should be made clear that he does not mean that individuals experience only one type of need at a time. In fact, we probably experience all levels of needs all the time, only to varying degrees. In many parts of the world, hunger is a genuine reality but we have all experienced the phenomenon of not being able to concentrate upon a job because of a growling stomach.

Productivity drops prior to lunch as people transfer their thoughts from their jobs to the upcoming meal. After lunch, food it not uppermost in people’s minds but perhaps rest is, as a sense of drowsiness sets in. Similarly, in almost all organizational settings, individuals juggle their needs for security (“Can I keep this job?”) with needs for esteem (“If I do what is demanded by the job, how
will my peers see me, and how will I see myself?”) Given a situation where management is demanding a certain level of performance, but where group norms are to produce below these levels, all these issues are experienced.

If the individual does not produce to the level demanded by management, he or she may lose the job (security). But if he or she conforms to management’s norms rather than those of the group, it may ostracize him or her (belonging) while the individual may see him or herself as a turncoat (esteem) and may have a feeling of having let the side down (self-esteem.) We do not progress simply from one level in the hierarchy to another in a straightforward, orderly manner; there is a constant, but ever-changing pull from all levels and types of needs.

A second point that must be made about Maslow’s hierarchy is that the order in which he has set up the needs does not necessarily reflect their prepotency for every individual. Some people may have such a high need for esteem that they are able to subordinate their needs for safety, or their physiological or belonging needs to these. The war hero springs to mind. There is little concern for safety or physical comfort as the seeker of glory rushes forward into the muzzle of destruction.

A third and very important point to be made about Maslow’s hierarchical model is the assertion that once a need is satisfied it is no longer a motivator – until it re-emerges. Food is a poor motivator after a meal. The point in this is clear for management. Unfortunately, many organizations and individuals still fail to get the message. Most incentive schemes are based upon needs that have already been largely satisfied. If management placed emphasis on needs that have not been satisfied, employees would be more likely to be motivated towards achieving the goals of the organization. Human behavior is primarily directed towards unsatisfied needs.

Finally, an important aspect of Maslow’s model is that it provides for constant growth of the individual. There is no point at which everything has been achieved. Having satisfied the lower needs, one is always striving to do things to the best of one’s ability, and best is always defined as being slightly better than before. There has been a great deal of debate over Maslow’s hierarchical concept of motivation. It has a basic attraction to most people because it seems to be logical, to make sense.

Dual-Factor Theory – Frederick Herzberg
Frederick Herzberg (1923- ) had close links with Maslow and believed in a two-factor theory of motivation. He argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygiene factors)

Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself. For instance how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which ‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself. For
example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there. Importantly Herzberg viewed pay as a hygiene factor which is in direct contrast to Taylor who viewed pay, and piece-rate in particular

Herzberg believed that businesses should motivate employees by adopting a democratic approach to management and by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods. Some of the methods managers could use to achieve this are:

  • Job enlargement – workers being given a greater variety of tasks to perform (not necessarily more challenging) which should make the work more interesting.
  • Job enrichment – involves workers being given a wider range of more complex, interesting and challenging tasks surrounding a complete unit of work. This should give a greater sense of achievement.
  • Empowerment – means delegating more power to employees to make their own decisions over areas of their working life.

There are two types of motivators, one type which results in satisfaction with the job, and the other which merely prevents dissatisfaction. The two types are quite separate and distinct from one another. Herzberg called the factors which result in job satisfaction motivators and those that simply prevented dissatisfaction hygienes
The factors that lead to job satisfaction (the motivators) are:

  • achievement
  • recognition
  • work itself
  • responsibility
  • advancement

The factors which may prevent dissatisfaction (the hygienes) are:

  • company policy and administration
  • working conditions
  • supervision
  • interpersonal relations
  • money
  • status
  • security

Hygienes, if applied effectively, can at best prevent dissatisfaction: if applied poorly, they can result in negative feelings about the job.
Motivators are those things that allow for psychological growth and development on the job. They are closely related to the concept of self-actualization, involving a challenge, an opportunity to extend oneself to the fullest, to taste the pleasure of accomplishment, and to be recognized as having done something worthwhile. Hygienes are simply factors that describe the conditions of work rather than the work itself. Herzberg’s point is that if you want to motivate people, you have to be concerned with the job itself and not simply with the surroundings.

In a medical sense, growth, healing and development occur as natural internal processes. They are the result of proper diet, exercise, sleep etc. Hygienic procedures simply prevent disease from occurring. They do not promote growth per se. Herzberg says that we should focus our attention on the individuals in jobs, not on the things that we surround them with. He maintains that we tend to think that growth and development will occur if we provide good working conditions, status, security and administration, whereas in fact what stimulates growth (and motivation to grow and develop) are opportunities for achievement, recognition, responsibility and advancement.

Herzberg goes further than Maslow, cutting the hierarchy off near the top and maintaining that motivation results only from some elements of esteem needs and self-actualization.

The Need for Achievement – David McClelland
The one single motivating factor which has received the most attention in terms of research is the need for achievement (n-ach). As a result, we know more about n-ach than any other motivational factor. Much of this knowledge is due the work of David McClelland of
Harvard. Individuals with a high n-ach have a number of distinctive characteristics which separate them from their peers. First of all, they like situations where they can take personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems. This allows them to gain personal
satisfaction from their achievements. They do not like situations where success or failure results from chance. The important thing is that the outcome be the result of their own skill and effort.

A second characteristic of high n-ach people is that they like to set moderately high goals for themselves. These goals are neither so low that they can be achieved with little challenge, nor so high that they are impossible. High n-ach individuals prefer goals that require all-out effort and the exercise of all their abilities. Once again, the achievement of this type of objective results in greater personal satisfaction. This phenomenon can be observed in very young children. A child may be given a game of ring toss, told that he or she scores whenever a ring lands over the peg and then left alone to play the game.

A third distinctive characteristic of high achievers is that they want concrete feedback on their performance. Only certain types of jobs provide this kind of feedback, however, and so some kinds of jobs are unattractive to high achievers. For instance, teachers receive only imprecise, hazy feedback as to the effectiveness of their efforts while production managers have a daily output chart to look at with either joy or disappointment.

There are some additional minor characteristics possessed by high achievers. They tend to enjoy travel, are willing to give up a bird in the hand for two in the bush and prefer experts to friends as working partners. The image is clear; the high achiever is a personality type suited admirably to certain jobs and not others. It would be wrong to treat all individuals as high achievers and attempt to motivate them by offering them challenging jobs, rapid and objective feedback on performance and personal responsibility for success or failure.

Expectancy Theory of motivation – Victor Vroom
Victor Vroom has challenged the assertion of the human religionists that job satisfaction leads to increased productivity. (This theory has been called the contented cow approach to management.) The assumption is that if management keeps employees happy, they will
respond by increasing productivity. Herzberg, in a delightful film of motivation, highlights the fallacy of this assumption with an interview between a manager and a secretary. The secretary is complaining about the job, and the manager lists all the things that have been done for the secretary – increases salary, new typewriter, better hours, status and so on – at the end of which she looks straight at him and asks, So what have to done for me lately?

The point may be made that satisfied needs do not motivate people Hygienes simply keep employees quiet for a time. For an individual to be motivated to perform a certain task, he or she must expect that completion of the task will lead to achievement of his or her goals. The task is not necessarily the goal itself but is often the means of goal attainment. Vroom defines motivation as:
“A process governing choices, made by persons or lower organisms, among alternative forms
of voluntary behavior.”

In organizational terms, this concept of motivation pictures an individual, occupying a role, faced with a set of alternative voluntary behaviors, all of which have some associated outcomes attached to them. If the individual chooses behavior 1, outcome A results; if 2 then B results and so on. However, Vroom makes the point that task goals (productivity, quality standards or similar goals attached to jobs) are often means to an end, rather than the end in itself. There is a second level of outcomes which reflect the real goals of individuals and these may be attained, in varying degrees, through task behaviour.

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Definition of Terms.

Learning: is concerned within increase in knowledge or a higher degree of an existing skill.  Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience. Learning can be defined as the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skills.

Development:  It involves those activities that prepare an employee for future responsibilities.

Self-directed learning focuses on the process by which adults take control of their own learning, in particular how they set their own learning goals, locate appropriate resources, decide on which learning methods to use and evaluate their progress.


There are many different theories of how people learn. What follows is a variety of them, and it is useful to consider their application to how your trainees learn and also how you teach in educational programs.  It is interesting to think about your own particular way of learning and to recognize that everyone does not learn the way you do.

1.      Andragogy

2.      Reinforcement theory

3.      Experiential Learning

4.      Information Processing Theory

5.      Characteristics of Adults as Learners (CAL) model

6.      Cognitive theory

7.      Cybernetics and information


Knowles’ theory of Andragogy is an attempt to develop a theory specifically for adult learning.  He emphasizes that adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for decisions.  Adult learning programs must accommodate this fundamental aspect.

Then they should be treated as adults.  He taught that adult learning was special in a number of ways. For example:

  • Adult learners bring a great deal of experience to the learning environment. Educators can use this as a resource.
  • Adults expect to have a high degree of influence on what they are to be educated for, and how they are to be educated.
  • The active participation of learners should be encouraged in designing and implementing educational programs.
  • Adults need to be able to see applications for new learning.
  • Adult learners expect to have a high degree of influence on how learning will be evaluated.

Adults expect their responses to be acted upon when asked for feedback on the progress of the program.

Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning:

  • Adults need to know why they need to learn something
  • Adults need to learn experientially,
  • Adults approach learning as problem-solving, and Adults are relevancy oriented (problem centered Adults are practical and problem-solvers
  • Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value.
  • Adults are autonomous and self-directed
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults have accumulated life experiences

Andragogy means that instruction for adults needs to focus more on the process and less on the content being taught. Strategies such as case studies, role-playing, simulations, and self-evaluations are most useful. Instructors adopt a role of facilitator or resource rather than lecturer or grader.

Andragogy applies to any form of adult learning and has been used extensively in the design of organizational training programs (especially for “soft skill” domains such as management development).

  • There is a need to explain why specific things are being taught (e.g., certain commands, functions, operations, etc.)
  • Instruction should be task-oriented instead of memorization — learning activities should be in the context of common tasks to be performed.
  • Instruction should take into account the wide range of different backgrounds of learners; learning materials and activities should allow for different levels/types of previous experience with computers.
  • Since adults are self-directed, instruction should allow learners to discover things for themselves, providing guidance and help when mistakes are made.



The behaviourist school of psychology, notably by B.F. Skinner earlier this century, developed this theory.  Skinner believed that behaviour is a function of its consequences. The learner will repeat the desired behaviour if positive reinforcement (a pleasant consequence) follows the behaviour.

Positive reinforcement, or ‘rewards’ can include verbal reinforcement such as ‘Thats great’ or ‘You’re certainly on the right track’ through to more tangible rewards such as a certificate at the end of the course or promotion to a higher level in an organisation.

Negative reinforcement also strengthens behaviour and refers to a situation when a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the bahaviour. Punishment, on the other hand, weakens behaviour because a negative condition is introduced or experienced as a consequence of the behaviour and teaches the individual not to repeat the behaviour, which was negatively reinforced. A set of conditions is created which are designed to eliminate behaviour. Punishment is widely used in everyday life although it only works for a short time and often only when the punishing agency is present.


This involves a four-stage learning process with a model that is often referred to in describing experiential learning. The process can begin at any of the stages and is continuous, i.e. there is no limit to the number of cycles you can make in a learning situation. This theory asserts that without reflection we would simply continue to repeat our mistakes. The experiential learning cycle:

People learn in four ways with the likelihood of developing one mode of learning more than another. As shown above, learning is:

  • Through concrete experience
  • Through observation and reflection
  • Through abstract conceptualisation
  • Through active experimentation

Adult education is seen as “a continuing process of evaluating experiences”.   The belief that adult teaching should be grounded in adults’ experiences, and that these experiences represent a valuable resource, is currently cited as crucial. Almost every textbook on adult education practice affirms the importance of experiential methods such as games, simulations, case studies, psychodrama and role-play.

Qualities of experiential learning:

  • Personal involvement;
  • Learner-initiated;
  • Evaluated by learner; and,
  • Pervasive effects on learner.

Experiential learning is equivalent to personal change and growth. All human beings have a natural propensity to learn; the role of the teacher is to facilitate such learning. This includes:

  1. Setting a positive climate for learning;
  2. Clarifying the purposes of the learner(s);
  3. Organizing and making available learning resources;
  4. Balancing intellectual and emotional components of learning;
  5. Sharing feelings and thoughts with learners but not dominating.

Learning is facilitated when:

  • The student participates completely in the learning process and has control over its nature and direction;
  • It is primarily based upon direct confrontation with practical, social, personal or research problems; and,
  • Self-evaluation is the principal method of assessing progress or success.

Also to be emphasized is the importance of learning to learn and an openness to change.


A person interested in becoming rich might seek out books or classes on economics, investment, great financiers, banking, etc. Such an individual would perceive (and learn) any information provided on this subject in a much different fashion than a person who is assigned a reading or class.


  1. Significant learning takes place when the subject matter is relevant to the personal interests of the student;
  2. Learning which is threatening to the self (e.g., new attitudes or perspectives) are more easily assimilated when external threats are at a minimum;

George A. Miller has provided two theoretical ideas that are fundamental to cognitive psychology and the information-processing framework.

The first concept is “chunking” and the capacity of short-term memory. This is the idea that short-term memory can only hold 5-9 chunks of information, where a chunk is any meaningful unit. A chunk could refer to digits, words, chess positions, or people’s faces. The concept of chunking and the limited capacity of short-term memory became a basic element of all subsequent theories of memory.

The second concept is TOTE (Test-Operate-Test-Exit).  It is suggested that TOTE should replace the stimulus-response as the basic unit of behavior. In a TOTE unit, a goal is tested to see if it has been achieved and if not an operation is performed to achieve the goal; this cycle of test-operate is repeated until the goal is eventually achieved or abandoned.


Information processing theory has become a general theory of human cognition; the phenomenon of chunking has been verified at all levels of cognitive processing.

The classic example of a TOTE is a plan for hammering a nail. The Exit Test is whether the nail is flush with the surface. If the nail sticks up, then the hammer is tested to see if it is up (otherwise it is raised) and the hammer is allowed to hit the nail.


  1. Short-term memory (or attention span) is limited to seven chunks of information.
  2. Planning (in the form of TOTE units) is a fundamental cognitive process.
  3. Behavior is hierarchically organized (e.g., chunks, TOTE units).



The CAL model consists of two classes of variables:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Situational characteristics.

Personal characteristics include: aging, life phases, and developmental stages. These three dimensions have different characteristics as far as lifelong learning is concerned. Aging results in the deterioration of certain sensory-motor abilities (e.g., eyesight, hearing, reaction time) while intelligence abilities (e.g., decision-making skills, reasoning, vocabulary) tend to improve. Life phases and developmental stages (e.g., marriage, job changes, retirement) involve a series of plateaus and transitions, which may or may not be directly related to age.

Situational characteristics consist of part-time versus full-time learning, and voluntary versus compulsory learning. The administration of learning (i.e., schedules, locations, procedures) is strongly affected by the first variable; the second pertains to the self-directed, problem-centered nature of most adult learning.


The CAL model is intended to provide guidelines for adult education programs. There is no known research to support the model.


This describes the way in which people learn to recognise and define problems and experiment to find solutions.

If, according, to this theory, people can discover things for themselves, they are likely to retain the skill and knowledge and use it when required.  The cognitive theory is the basis for discovery; self managed learning or “do-it-yourself’ process.  It provides the rationale for workshop, participative and case study training and these help people to won solutions, rather than something they have been forced to accept by the trainer.



These suggest feedback can control people’s performance in the same way that a thermostat controls a heating system.  A learner reacts to cues of stimuli, which, if they are established by means of skills, can be used as the basis for training programmes.  If a task can be divided into a number of small parts, each with its own cue or stimuli, the learning of each part can be accelerated by ensuring that trainees concentrate on one easily assimilated piece at a time.


Adult learning theories assert the following principles on learning.  To them learning adults learn well when the following happen:

  1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
  2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities.
  • Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life.
  1. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.
  2. Adult learning programs should capitalize on the experience of participants.
  3. Adult learning programs should adapt to the aging limitations of the participants.
  • Adults should be challenged to move to increasingly advanced stages of personal development.
  • Adults should have as much choice as possible in the availability and organization of learning programs.
  1. Working to address a current, real-world problem
  2. They are highly vest in solving the current problem
  3. They actually apply new materials and information and
  • Exchange ongoing feedback around their experiences

In addition, adults often learn best from experience, rather than from extensive note taking and memorization.

What Motivates Adult Learners?

Adults typically, have different motivations for learning than children.

  • To make or maintain social relationships
  • To meet external expectations–the boss says you have to upgrade skill X to keep your job
  • Learn to better serve others — managers often learn basic First Aid to protect their employees
  • Professional advancement
  • Escape or stimulation
  • Pure interest

Instructors should be aware of the possible motivations behind their students’ enrollment. Then they can better shape the instructional materials.

What Are the Barriers to Adult Learning?

Adults have different barriers than children on their way to learning. Some of these potential barriers might include:

  • Many other responsibilities (families, careers, social commitments)
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of money
  • Lack of child care
  • Scheduling problems
  • Transportation problems
  • Insufficient confidence
  • Having to learn, if told by boss, but not interested or ready

The horizontal part of the curve is called the learning plateau.  It is found where the learners appear to mark time, due to tiredness, boredom or a difficult area of learning.

The learning plateau has been explained as follows: –

  1. The trainee is temporarily discouraged by the increasing difficulty of the task; he/she has lost motivation
  2. The trainee has acquired some incorrect responses during the first part of the learning programme, which he/she must lose if further progress is to be made.
  3. The trainee wishes to look back at the material learned so far and discover its significance.
  4. In the case of manual training, the task may include some difficult perceptions or stimulus-response associations.

When a plateau occurs, ensure you reinforce the learning.  You may remove the plateau by carefully analysing the learning material and a method devised which anticipates the learner’s difficulties instead of leaving the individual to solve them. Skills analysis before training is undertaken helps eliminate this problem.

Group Dynamics in Adult Learning.

Motivation and Learning Styles

Adults engage in continual education for various reasons. Our unique motivations help us stay focused and stick with a topic until we solve the current problem and gather enough information to complete our current task.

There are three subgroups to categorize motivational styles.

  1. Goal-oriented learners use education to accomplish clear-cut objectives.
  2. Activity-oriented (social) learners take part mainly because of the social contact.
  3. Learning-oriented learners seek knowledge for its own sake. Such learners are avid readers and have been since childhood…. and they choose jobs and make other decisions in life in terms of the potential for growth, which they offer.

Adults learn because of

  1. An increase in self-esteem,
  2. A sense of pleasing and impressing others, and
  3. Certain pleasures or satisfactions.

Recognizing the learner’s unique motivational styles can also help us identify the types of educational products and problems that will satisfy our needs. For instance, self-study programs are not going to motivate `activity-oriented’ learners unless the program contains some element of interaction. The more social the situation the better.

As certain things motivate, others discourage. Few things are more de-motivating than fear. Learning is, after all, a very emotional process. We must see, feel, and do. Fear, anxiety, and anger are emotional factors that negatively affect learning.

Also, who likes learning something boring? If we don’t care about a topic, we’re less likely to stick with it and continue to learn. Even when we’re interested in learning a topic, we’re sometimes more motivated to play with the equipment or to daydream. We can get easily distracted from the task at hand and become more motivated to do something else perhaps not on task.

The big issues are relevancy and immediacy. Information has to be relevant to our current wants and needs, and it must feel useful to us.

Learning Styles

This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in very different ways. This implies that how much individuals learn has more to do with whether the educational experience is geared toward their particular style of learning than whether or not they are “smart.” In fact, educators should not ask, “Is this student smart?” but rather “How is this student smart?”

The concept of learning styles is rooted in the classification of psychological types. The learning styles theory is based on research demonstrating that, as the result of heredity, upbringing, and current environmental demands, different individuals have a tendency to both perceive and process information differently.

The different ways of doing so are generally classified as:

  1. Concrete and abstract perceivers–Concrete perceivers absorb information through direct experience, by doing, acting, sensing, and feeling. Abstract perceivers, however, take in information through analysis, observation, and thinking.
  2. Active and reflective processors–Active processors make sense of an experience by immediately using the new information. Reflective processors make sense of an experience by reflecting on and thinking about it.

Instructors and trainers must place emphasis on intuition, feeling, sensing, and imagination, in addition to the traditional skills of analysis, reason, and sequential problem solving.

Instruction: Teachers should design their instruction methods to connect with all four learning styles, using various combinations of experience, reflection, conceptualization, and experimentation. Instructors can introduce a wide variety of experiential elements into the classroom, such as sound, music, visuals, movement, experience, and even talking.

Assessment: Teachers should employ a variety of assessment techniques, focusing on the development of “whole brain” capacity and each of the different learning styles.

Learning and Organizations

The term “Learning Organization” is applied to companies operating in turbulent environments that require transformation in working methods and which in order to facilitate the introduction of new systems train and develop their employees on a continuous basis.  A “learning organization” is one that continually improves by rapidly creating and refining the capabilities required for future success.  A learning organization is one that is continually expanding to create its future.  It is an organization, which facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself.  Such an organization is skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights.

Learning organizations are good at doing the following:-

  1. Systematic problem solving which rests on the philosophy and methods of the quality movement. Such relies on the scientific method rather than guesswork, insists on data rather than assumptions and uses simple statistical tools e.g. histograms, cause and effect diagrams etc
  2. Experimentation – systematic search for and testing of new knowledge. Continuous improvement programmes Kaizen are an important feature in a learning organization. Kaizen system is a form of quality circle based on a cycle of “planning, doing, checking & action.
  3. Learning from past experience – learning organization review their success and failures, assess them systematically and record the lessons learned in a way that employees find open and accessible. This is termed the Santayana principle.
  4. Learning from others – this involves looking outside one’s immediate environment to gain a new perspective. This process has been called sis “steal ideas shamelessly” Another acceptable word is benchmarking – a disciplined process of identifying best practice organisation and analysing the extent to which what they are doing can be transferred, with suitable modifications, to one’s own environment.
  5. Transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization by sending people with new expertise, or by education & training programmes.

A learning organization is characterized by the following:

  1. Shared Vision – enabling the organization to identify, respond to and benefit from future opportunities
  2. Enabling structure – facilitates learning
  3. Supportive Culture – encourages challenges to the status quo and questioning of assumptions and established ways of doing things.
  4. Empowering management – managers genuinely believe that devolved decision-making and better team working result in improved performance.
  5. Motivated workforce – wants to learn continuously.
  6. Enhanced learning – processes & policies exist to encourage learning.

Single-Loop learning (SLL) is the learning necessary for an employee to be able to apply existing methods to the completion of a job.  SLL involves the setting of standards and the investigation of deviations from targets.  Double-loop learning challenges and redefines the basic requirement of the job and how it should be undertaken.  DLL means questioning whether the standards and objectives are appropriate in the first instance.

SLL organizations define the “governing variables i.e. what they expect to achieve in terms of targets and standards; they then monitor and review achievements, and take corrective action as necessary, thus completing the loop-DLL occurs when the monitoring process initiates action to redefine the governing variables to meet the new situation, which may be imposed by the external environment.

SLL is appropriate for routine, repetitive issues.  DLL is more relevant for complex, non-programmable issues.  DLL questions why the problem occurred in the first place, and tackles its root cause rather than simply addressing its surface symptoms, as happens as SLL.

Creating a learning organization is difficult, for a number of reasons:

  1. Employees at all levels within the organization must want to learn. Establishment of a learning organization is a bottom-up process that may not fit in with the culture of a pre-existing bureaucratic and hierarchical system.
  2. Inadequate information gathering and internal communication systems.
  3. Organisational politics that might impede widespread acceptance of the idea.
  4. Top management might not be genuinely committed to the idea.
  5. Certain employees may be unable to learn.
  6. Implementation requires careful planning.



Self-managed or self-directed learning means that individuals take responsibility for satisfying their own learning needs to improve performance, to support the achievement of career aspirations, or to enhance their employability, within and beyond their present organization.  Encouraged self-managed learning is that people learn and retain more if they find things out for themselves.  But they may still need to be helped to identify what they should look for.


Four-stage Approach to Self-Managed Learning

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Action Planning
  4. Monitoring & Review


  1. Self-Assessment – based on analysis by individuals of their work and life situation.
  2. Diagnosis – derived from the analysis of learning needs and priorities.
  3. Action planning to identify objectives, help and hindrances, resources required (including people) and time scales.
  4. Monitoring and Review to assess progress in achieving action plans.


Self-Managed learning can be carried out as follows:-

  • Identify the individuals learning styles
  • Review how far their learning is encouraged or restricted by their learning style.
  • Review their core learning skills and consider how to use them effectively.
  • Review the work and other experiences
  • Look for potential helpers in the self-development process:
  • Managers, colleagues, trainers or mentors.
  • Draw up learning objectives and a plan of action – a personal development plan or learning contract.
  • Set aside some time each day to answer the question “What did you learn today?”


The organization can encourage self-managed learning by ensuring that learners:


  1. Define for themselves, with whatever guidance they may require, what they need to know to perform their job effectively;
  2. Are given guidance on where they can get the material or information that will help them to learn;
  3. Prepare a learning plan & programme as part of a learning contract.
  4. Prepare a personal development plan.


This is carried out by individuals with guidance, encouragement & help from their managers as required.  A personal development plan sets out the action people propose to take to learn and to develop them.  They take responsibility for formulating and implementing the plan but they may receive support from the organization and their managers in doing so.


Personal development planning aims to promote learning and to provide people with the knowledge and portfolio of transferable skills that will help to progress their careers.


The Overall Process

Personal development plans can be created as an outcome of a development or assessment centre.  The most common approach is to include personal development planning as a key part of performance and development management processes.  The 4 stages in preparing a personal development plan are: –

  1. Assess current situation
  2. Set goals
  3. Plan action
  4. Implement

Identifying Development Needs and Wants

Development needs and wants are identified in performance management processes by individuals, on their own or working in conjunction with their managers.  This will include reviewing performance against agreed plans and assessing competence requirements and the capacity of people to achieve them.

Individuals can make their own assessment of their personal development needs to get more satisfaction from their work, to advance their careers and to increase their employability.

Set Goals

Set goals under such headings as; improving performance in the current job, improving or acquiring skills, extending relevant knowledge, developing specified areas of competence, moving across or upwards in the organization, preparing for changes in the current role.

Development needs can be met using a wide variety of activities.  Such activities include:-

  • Seeing what others do (Best practice)
  • Project work
  • Adopting a role model (Mentor)
  • Involvement in other work areas
  • Planned use of internal training media (interactive video programmes/ learning library)
  • Input to policy formulation
  • Increased professionalism on the job
  • Involvement in the community
  • Coaching Others
  • Training Courses
  • Guided reading
  • Special assignments
  • Action learning
  • Distance learning


The action plan sets out what needs to be done and how it will be done under headings

  • Development needs
  • Outcomes expected (learning objectives)
  • Development activities to meet the needs
  • Responsibility for development – what individuals will do and what support they will require from their manager, the HR department or other people.
  • Timing – when the learning activity is expected to start & be completed.
  • Outcome what development activities have taken place and how effective were.

Responsibility for Personal Development Planning

Individuals are primarily responsible for progressing the plan and for ensuring that they play their part in implementing it.  However, people will need encouragement, guidance and support.

Managers, team leaders and individuals all need to learn about personal development planning.  They should be involved in deciding how the planning process will work and what their roles will be.  The benefits to them should be understood and accepted.

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Several definition of leadership has been given by different management writers. Van fleet describes, “ Leadership as an influence process directed at shaping the behaviour of other ( Leadership is shaping the behaviour of others through influence)” David Schwartz describes, “Leadership as the art of inspiring subordinates to perform their duties willingly”. In competency and enthusiasm, a leader becomes one who by example and talent plays a directing role and command influence over others. In simple terms leadership could be describe as getting to follow or getting others to do things willingly. In management leadership could be seen as the use of authority in decision making.

Leadership could be exercised as an attitude of position or because of personal knowledge and wisdom, or as a function of personality. So leadership could be looked at from many perspective but what is clear is that it is a relationship through which one person influence the behaviour of others. If for example your friend convinces you to try a new product in the
market, he is leading.

Leadership versus management
The question of whether leadership is synonymous with management has long been debated. While they are similar in some ways and different in more ways. People can be leaders without being manager, manager without being in leadership or both
leaders and managers.

  • A manager usually direct others because of formal authority and power
  • A manager is by essence required to perform the four function of planning , organizing , directing and controlling .
  • Leadership is a little of management but not all of it .It involves ability to influence others to seek and set goals willingly.
  • Leadership binds together and motivates it towards agreed goals.
  • A leader needs only to influence his followers or their behaviour in whatever direction he chooses.

Unlike the manager a leaders does not rely on any formal authority , because while a manager can force people to comply by using formal authority a leaders has to such power. However, people can be both and effective leadership does increase person’s managerial

Needs for leadership
Effective leadership gives direction to the efforts of workers;

  • Leadership guides organization efforts towards achievement of organization goals.
  • It has been said that without leadership an organization is a muddle of men and machine.
  • Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined goals enthusiastically , and it is the leader who triggers the power of motivation in people and guideline them toward goals.
  • Leadership transforms potential into reality
  • Leadership is indispensable if an organization is too successful.
  • Workers needs to know how they can contribute to organization goals

Power and Leadership
The foundation of leadership is power. Leadership have power over their followers and they wield this power to exert their influence . There are five basic types of power that can be used by leaders.

  • Legitimate power
    This is based on the perception that the leaders have the right to exercise influence because of his position and roles. It is power created and convened by the organization.
  • Reward power
    The power to grant and withhold various types of reward. These rewards may include pay increase, promotion, praise, recognition etc. The greater and more important the reward, the more power a leader has.
  • Coercive Power
    The power to force compliance through psychological emotional or physical threat. In industrial organization coercion may be through oral, fines, demotion. In military organization coercion could actually be physical.
  • Expert Power
    Power based on knowledge and expertise. The more knowledge one has and the fewer the people who are aware of it, the more power he has.
  • Referent Power
    Power based on subordinate , identification with the leaders , it usually distinguishes leaders from non- leaders . The leaders exerts influence because of chairman and reputation . The followers wish to be like the leader or to associate with him.

Note: Most leaders use several different types of power at the same time. However, regardless of the manager’s skills power always has its limit. Generally people can only be influence up to a point and willingness to follow usually is limited . Few leaders can maintain a long term support for their ideas and programs. Employees usually react attempts to influence them either by showing commitment, compliance or resistance.

Approaches to leadership
There are three basic approaches to studying and describing leadership: trait, behaviours and contingency approaches.

  • Leadership traits
    Assumes that great leaders posses a set of stable and enduring traits or characteristic that set them apart from followers .Adherents of this theory attempted to identity these traits so that they could be used be used as a common traits such as intelligence, height , self confidence and attractiveness. However , traits proved to be ineffective bases for selection of leaders because the known good leaders had such diverse traits that it was impossible to draw a list of common traits.
  • Contingency approaches
    Contingency approaches to leadership suggested that situational factors must be considered. One kind of behavior may work in one setting but not in other. The goals of contingency approaches is to identity the situational variable that managers needs to considers in assessing how different forms of leadership will be received . There are three popular contingency theories of leadership ; the path goal model and the participation model.

The LPC Model
Called the least preferred co- worker this model wars developed by Fred E FLELDER According to him leaders become leaders not only because of their personality but also because of the various situation that effect a leader’s style., These were:

  • Position Power is the degree to which a position enables a leaders to get enough members to comply with his direction.
  • Task structure is the degree which task are spelled out clearly and people held responsible i.e. how much each person knows his roles
  • Leaders members retaliation – the extent which group members like, and trust and leaders and are willing to follow him. From these situation fielders identified two types of leadership style.
  • Task –oriented whereby a leaders gains satisfaction from seeing task performed
  • People – oriented where the leaders aims at achieving good interpersonal relation . Fielders concluded that” leadership performance” depends both on the organization and the situation.

One cannot speak of infective leaders but only of leaders but only of leaders who tend to be effective in one situation and ineffective in other situation and ineffective in another situation . effective leadership requires both training and a conducive organization climate . The LPC model sees appropriate leadership behaviours as a function of the favorableness of the situation by the three situations.

2. Path – Goals Model
The path- goal model is another approach to situation leadership which suggest that purpose of leadership organization is to clarify for subordinates the paths to desired goals. According to this model subordinate characteristics include such things as nature of work , extent to which jobs are structured and the authority system within system within the organization . The model is general and suggests that leaders need to use a lot of common sense. It also assumes that a leader’s style is flexible and that he can change his style as needed.

3. The Participation Model
Involves a much narrower segment of leadership that other two models. it addresses the question of how much subordinates should be allowed to participate in decision making .
The model includes five different degrees of participation.

  • Al- the manager makes the decision alone with no input from subordinates (Aautocratic)
  • All- The manager asks subordinates for information that she or he needs to make the decision but makes the decision alone
  • cl- The manager shares the situation with selected subordinate and ask for information and advise the manager still makes the decision but keeps subordinates actively involved (C= consultative)
  • The managers meets with subordinate as a group to discuss the situation , information is freely shared although the manager sell makes the decision.
  • The Manager and subordinates meets as a group and freely share information and the entire group makes the decision (G- Group)

This model suggest that manager need to consider several factors in choosing the degree of participation in decision making

  • Is there quality required
  • Do I have enough information to make a high quality decision
  • Is the problem structured
  • Is acceptance by subordinates critical to implantation
  • Do subordinate share the organization goals to be achieved by making this decision?
  • Is conflict among subordinates likely in the preferred solution

The method or style of leadership a manager chooses to use greatly influence his effectiveness as a leader. An appropriate style coupled with a proper external motivation techniques can lead to the achievement of both individually and organization goals. If the
style is appropriate goals could suffer and workers may feel resentful, aggressive , insecure and dissatisfied.

There are three main styles of leadership

  • Authoritative
    All authority and decision making is centered in the leader. He makes all decision , exercises total control by use of reward and punishment .An autocratic leaders require conformity from his subordinate and always consider his decision to be superior to those of his subordinate. One advantage o9f autocratic leadership that is that it allow faster decision making but it can easily cause workers to experience dissatisfaction ,m dependence on the leader or passiveness toward organization goals.
  • Democratic or participation
    This style of leadership seeks to obtain cooperation of workers in achieving organization goals by allowing them to participate in decision making. It does not relieve the leader of his decision making responsibility or of v his power over subordinate , but it require that he recognize subordinate as capable of contributing positively to decision making Participative decision making can lead to improved manager- workers relation, higher morale and job satisfaction, decrease dependence on the better acceptance of decision making group think: time consuming and dilute decision due to compromising.
  • Laissez faire style (free reign)
    This style does not depend on the leader to provide external motivation but, the workers motivate themselves based on their needs, wants and desire. They are given goals and left on their own to achieve them. The leaders assume their goals of the role of a group member. This approaches increase of independence and expression and force him to expression and force him to function as a member of a group. The main disadvantage is that, without a strong ladder the group could lack direction or control which may result into frustration in the worker. For laissez faire to work the subordinate must be competent reliable and well versed with the goal of the organization

In reality there is not only three leadership style but styles could be many ranging from high boss centered style to highly employee centered leadership . According to Tannenbaum and Schmidt “the leader has flexibility in opting for the most appropriate style”.
The choice of the style depends on three factors:

  • Forces in the leaders which include his value system , confidence in own leadership inclination , feeling of insecurity and uncertainty , and confidence in this subordinates .
  • Forces in subordinate each employee has different needs, wants, desire, experience, training ability, skills etc. It is therefore beneficial for the manager to understand the forces of workers within his employees. A manager could be instance allow
    participation in decision making if employees are competent. Well trained, ready to assume responsibility , have high needs for independence ,m understand and identify with the goals of the goals of the organization and necessary knowledge . If these are absent then the leader may be forced to lead autocratically.
  • Forces in the situation
    Include environmental pressure such as types of organization, effectiveness of workers group, and types of problem and urgency of the problem. For example production workers may work better under one style while professional may better
    under a different style.

In considering the leadership orientation that a manger can take, it appears that he can be people oriented or production oriented.
A people oriented leader is concerned with the human aspects of the organization. A production oriented leader’s main concern is like tasks seeing that work is accomplished. The best managers are both people and production oriented. By combining his people and
production scores a manger will obtain his managerial score according to the grid. The managerial grid was developed by Blake and Mouton and its objective is to bring about a managerial style that maximizes concern for both people and production. A low score in either area is a god indication of poor approach to management. The points on the grid give these types of management.

  • Impoverished Management
    Have no concern for people and also little concern for production. Effective production cannot be achieved because people are lazy apathetic and indifferent. Some and mature relationship are unobtainable.
  • Task Management
    Maximum concern for production and low concern people. People are seen as commodity just like machine. The manager aim to plan direct and control people activity.
  • Country Club Management
    Highest concern people but little concern for production is incidental to lack of conflict and good interpersonal.
  • Dampened Pendulum (Middle of the Road)
    “Be fair and firm “, push for production but all ways “ give some but all attitude of management.

Highest concern for both people and production. Production is seen as a function of the integration of task and human requirement. Better managers are described by point toward these types of management.

Personal Quality of Leaders

  1. Ability to inspire others.
  2. Ability to understand human behaviours.
  3. Similarly with the group.
  4. Verbal assertiveness.
  5. Willingness to communicate honestly.
  6. Dedication to the goals of the organization.
  7. Ability to inspire through example.
  8. Willingness to take risk.
  9. Willingness to assume full responsibility for the group.
  10. Ability to tolerate criticism.

A leader perform many function which greatly determine the success of the organization . Some of these functions include arbitrating, catalyzing representing inspiring praising providing security and supplying objective. To be able to accomplish these function the leader require certain skills. Any skill that a manager has acquired serves to increase his leadership abilities. Included are technical skill, human skill and conventional skill.

The most appropriate leadership style depends on the situation the leader himself ,, his subordinate and the organization . Leaders in Kenya for instance must be aware of the environmental circumstance faced by employee. These circumstances are of economic, m political, social, cultural, education, religious and geographical nature. These the manager must consider when leading his people.

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Basic Terms in Training and Development


At the organizational level, enterprises need people with appropriate skills, abilities and experience. These qualities can be bought from outside the organization through recruitment, consultancy and subcontracting, or grown by training and developing existing employees.

This course unit focuses on the second approach to getting people with appropriate skills, abilities and experience.

The following terms are described in this document.  Note that trainers, developers and educators vary among their own definitions of the terms.

At its most basic form, a piece of information about something is a “unit of awareness” about that object or subject. Other people also accept information as a form of realization from other forms of inquiry, e.g., intuition.

Knowledge is gleaned by organizing information. Typically, information evolves to knowledge by the learner’s gaining context, perspective and scope about the information.

Skills are applying knowledge in an effective and efficient manner to get something done. One notices skills in an employee by their behaviors.

A task is a typically defined as a unit of work, that is, a set of activities needed to produce some result, e.g., vacuuming a carpet, writing a memo, sorting the mail, etc. Complex positions in the organization may include a large number of tasks, which are sometimes referred to as functions.

A job is a collection of tasks and responsibilities that an employee is responsible to conduct. Jobs have titles.

A role is the set of responsibilities or expected results associated with a job. A job usually includes several roles.

Typically, learning is viewed as enhancing one’s knowledge, understanding or skills. Some people see learning as enhancement to one’s knowledge, awareness and skills. Some professionals view learning as enhancing one’s capacity to perform. Some view learning as a way of being that includes strong value on receiving feedback and increasing understanding. It’s important to note that learning is more than collecting information — more than collecting unreferenced books on a shelf. Depending on the needs of the learner, knowledge is converted to skills, that is, the learner knows how to apply the knowledge to get something done. Ideally, the skills are applied to the most appropriate tasks and practices in the organization, thereby producing performance results needed by the organization.

Continuous Learning

Simply put, continuous learning is the ability to learn to learn. Learning need not be a linear event where a learner goes to a formal learning program, gains areas of knowledge and skills about a process, and then the learning ceases. If the learner can view life (including work) as a “learning program”, then the learner can continue to learn from almost everything in life. As a result, the learner continues to expand his or her capacity for living, including working.

This term is often interpreted as the activity when an expert and learner work together to effectively transfer information from the expert to the learner (to enhance a learner’s knowledge, attitudes or skills) so the learner can better perform a current task or job.

Training is defined as “a process for developing individual skills and effectiveness. Rarely is it a process of organization or group development. Individual effectiveness, in terms of skills, knowledge and attitude, is one of the essential building blocks towards achievement of the wider goal of improved organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The development of the individual and the organization are therefore inextricably linked.”

Training is also defined as a systematic process or changing the behavior, knowledge and motivation of present employees to improve the match between employee characteristics and employment requirements.

This term seems to be the most general of the key terms in employee training. Some professionals view education as accomplishing a personal context and understanding of the world, so that one’s life and work are substantially enhanced, e.g., “Go get an education.” Others view the term as the learning required to accomplish a new task or job.

This term is often viewed as a broad, ongoing multi-faceted set of activities (training activities among them) to bring someone or an organization up to another threshold of performance. This development often includes a wide variety of methods, e.g., orienting about a role, training in a wide variety of areas, ongoing training on the job, coaching, mentoring and forms of self-development. Some view development as a life-long goal and experience.

Employee Training and Development:

Reasons and Benefits

As a brief review of terms, training involves an expert working with learners to transfer to them certain areas of knowledge or skills to improve in their current jobs. Development is a broad, ongoing multi-faceted set of activities (training activities among them) to bring someone or an organization up to another threshold of performance, often to perform some job or new role in the future.

We must distinguish between the training needs of the individual and those of the organization. Personal and corporate objectives must be reconciled. Individual employees frequently look for wide-ranging courses, which will help them in promotion. They will look to develop transferable skills, which are seen as valuable by other employers. In contrast, local management is more interested in training which improves performance on their present jobs, leading to improved output quality and productivity. In other words, employees seek training, which will make them more marketable, whereas organizations prefer training, which makes employees more productive.

Typical Reasons for Employee Training and Development

Training and development can be initiated for a variety of reasons for an employee or group of employees, e.g.

  1. When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed
  1. To “benchmark” the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort
  2. As part of an overall professional development program
  3. As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization
  4. To “pilot”, or test, the operation of a new performance management system
  5. To train about a specific topic.

General Benefits of Training and Development…

  1. To the Task
  • Increased Productivity.
  • Task expertise
  • Reduction of mistakes.
  • Standardization of work.
    1. To the Team. (teamwork can be improved through)
      • Whether the labour market is in excess demand or excess supply training is important.  During high employment, the need for a job is high and some applicants will not be as competent and experienced. They will need training.
      • Exchange: Training gives employees in different parts of the company, the ability to exchange views and ideas. This helps promote a common identity and may generate new solutions to work.
      • The Hawthorne Effect: Occurs when employees feel they have been selected for special attention. This may lead to higher production levels.
      • Ideas: Business ideas can be generated internally and be cost effective.
      • Reduced employee turnover
      • Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!)
      • Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training


  1. To the Individual
  • Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees.
  • Increased employee motivation.
  • Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain.
  • Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods.
  • Increased innovation in strategies and products


Training and Development Processes:

That is, one can take an informal approach to self-directed or “other-directed” learning. Similarly, one can take a formal approach to self-directed or “other-directed” learning.

The decision about what approach to take to training depends on several factors.  Factors include the:

  • Amount of funding available for training,
  • Specificity and complexity of the knowledge and skills needed,
  • Timeliness of training needed, and
  • Capacity and motivation of the learner.

Other-directed, formal training is typically more expensive than other approaches, but is often the most reliable to use for the learner to achieve the desired knowledge and skills in a timely fashion. Self-directed, informal learning can be very low-cost, however the learner should have the capability and motivation to pursue their own training. Training may take longer than other-directed forms.

Highly specific and routine tasks can often be trained without complete, formal approaches. On the other hand, highly complex and changing roles often require more complete and formal means of development, which can be very expensive as a result.

If training is needed right away, then other-directed training is often very useful, e.g., to sign up for a training course at a local university, college or training center. Or, a training professional can be brought in. Again, other-directed training is usually faster and more reliable, but more expensive.

Self-directed forms of training require that the learner be highly motivated and able to conceptualize their approach to training, particularly in formal training.

Informal and Formal Training and Development

Informal training and development is rather casual and incidental. Typically, there are no specified training goals as such, nor are their ways to evaluate if the training actually accomplished these goals or not. This type of training and development occurs so naturally that many people probably aren’t aware that they’re in a training experience at all. Probably the most prominent form of informal training is learning from experience on the job. Examples are informal discussions among employees about a certain topic, book discussion groups, and reading newspaper and journal articles about a topic. A more recent approach is sending employees to hear prominent speakers, sometimes affectionately called “the parade of stars”.

Informal training is less effective than formal training if one should intentionally be learning a specific area of knowledge or skill in a timely fashion. Hardly any thought is put into what learning is to occur and whether that learning occurred or not. (However, this form of training often provides the deepest and richest learning because this form is what occurs naturally in life.)

Formal Training and Development

Formal training is based on some standard “form”. Formal training might include:

  • Declaring certain learning objectives (or an extent of knowledge, skills or abilities that will be reached by learners at the end of the training),
  • Using a variety of learning methods to reach the objectives and then
  • Applying some kind(s) of evaluation activities at the end of the training.

The methods and means of evaluation might closely associate with the learning objectives, or might not. For example, courses, seminars and workshops often have a form — but it’s arguable whether or not their training methods and evaluation methods actually assess whether the objectives have been met or not.

Formal, Systematic Training and Development

Systematic, formal training involves carefully proceeding through the following phases:

  • Assessing what knowledge, skills and /or abilities are needed by learners;
  • Designing the training, including identifying learning goals and associated objectives, training methods to reach the objectives, and means to carefully evaluate whether the objectives have been reached or not;
  • Developing the training methods and materials;
  • Implementing the training; and
  • Evaluating whether objectives have been reached or not, in addition to the quality of the training methods and materials themselves

A systematic approach is goal-oriented (hopefully, to produce results for the organization and/or learners), with the results of each phase being used by the next phase. Typically, each phase provides ongoing evaluation feedback to other phases in order to improve the overall system’s process.

Note, again, that not all formal methods are systematic. Some courses, workshops, and other training sessions have goals, methods and evaluation, but they are not aligned, or even integrated. The methods, in total, do not guide the learner toward achieving the training goal. The evaluations are too often of how a learner feels about the learning experience, rather than of how well the learning experience achieved the goal of the training.

Self-Directed and “Other-Directed” Training

Self-directed training includes the learner making the decisions about what training and development experiences will occur and how. Self-directed training seems to be more popular of late. Note that one can pursue a self-directed approach to informal or formal training. For example, self-directed, informal training might include examples of informal training listed above (book discussion groups, etc.), as long as the learner chose the activities and topics themselves, either for professional or personal reasons. Self-directed, formal training includes the learner’s selecting and carrying out their own learning goals, objectives, methods and means to verify that the goals were met.

Other-Directed Learning

This form, of course, is where someone other than the learner drives what training activities will occur. Other-directed, informal training includes, e.g., supervisors sending employees to training about diversity, policies, sexual harassment in the workplace.

Other-directed, formal training includes where someone other than the learner specifies the training goals will be met in training, how those goals will be met and how evaluation will occur to verify that the goals were met. This form of learning is probably the most recognized because it includes the approach to learning as used in universities, colleges and training centers. This form of learning typically grants diplomas and certificates. Note that this form of training, although readily available in universities, etc., is usually somewhat “generic”, that is, the program is geared to accommodate the needs of the most learners and not be customized to any one learner. Therefore, a learner may pay tuition fees to learn knowledge and skills that he or she may not really need.

Another form of “other-directed’, formal training is employee development plans. The plans identify performance goals, how the goals will be reached, by when and who will verify their accomplishment.

“Other-directed’, formal training can be highly effective for helping learners gain desired areas of knowledge and skills in a timely fashion. A drawback is that learners can become somewhat passive, counting on the “expert” to show them what they should be doing and when.