A Glance into the Training and Development
Needs of Ford Motor Company
Training and Development Nov 09 Sec B
Professor Patricia Meyer
December 13, 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
NEEDS ASSESSMENT 8
TRAINING STRATEGY AND DESIGN 10
COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS (ROI) 14
training evaluation PLAN 15
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation and the world’s fourth largest automaker based on worldwide vehicle sales. Based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, the automaker was founded by Henry Ford, and incorporated in June 16, 1903. Ford now encompasses many brands, including Lincoln and Mercury of the U.S. and Volvo of Sweden.
Today, Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader still based in Dearborn, MI, manufactures and distributes automobiles across six continents. With approximately 201,000 employees and 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company also provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford uses the ONE FORD plan in order to transform its business and accomplish goals and objectives.
Henry T. Ford (1863-1947) Henry Ford once said:' Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or at eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young'; . - Henry Ford Henry T. Ford, pioneering automotive engineer, is mostly credited for inventing the automobile. The fact is he did not, he used what was developed and studied in ...
Within the past six months there have been a number of complaints due to poor customer service and this is causing Ford Motor Company billions of dollars. The job of the customer service department is to make sure that Ford customers are assisted with whatever they have an issue with which means customer service employees must be knowledgeable in many areas of the company. This is not happening due to lack of training and constant employee movement throughout the department. It has become evident that the training being offered to these new employees or employees that are being transferred from other departments lacked the information necessary to be successful at their job.
In order for any training to be effective, it must be coordinated with the company’s overall objectives and at the same time, it is important to design a training program that will allow employees to fulfill their personal goals. This paper will look at what is involved in conducting a needs assessment and developing a training program for Ford Motor Company for a training need of poor customer service.
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation and the world’s fourth largest automaker based on worldwide vehicle sales. Based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, the automaker was founded by Henry Ford, and incorporated in June 16, 1903. Ford now encompasses many brands, including Lincoln and Mercury of the U.S. and Volvo of Sweden. Ford was launched in a converted factory in 1902 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge, who would later found the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle Company. Henry Ford was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, as well as being one of the few to survive the Great Depression. The largest family-controlled company in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 100 years.
... II PROF. POLLIONE ENGLISH 101 BE APRIL 28, 2002 HENRY FORD & THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY From the awesome mind of an inventor and ... 1914 Ford shocked the business world by more than doubling the minimum wage for his workers. He said that if his employees ... made more money, the company would sell more cars to them and reduce employee turnover. By 1916 Ford ...
In 1913, to help meet the growing demand for the Model T, Henry Ford turned his attention to improving the manufacturing processes. The business model Ford developed production on a grand scale, performed by well-paid workers spread throughout the world and became the manufacturing standard for everything from vacuum sweepers to cars, and more. The moving assembly line was perhaps Ford Motor Company’s single greatest contribution to the automotive manufacturing process. First implemented at the Highland Park plant in Michigan, the new technique allowed individual workers to stay in one place and perform the same task repeatedly on multiple vehicles that passed by them. The moving assembly line proved tremendously efficient, helping the company to far surpass the production levels of its competitors while making its vehicles more affordable. After the success of the moving assembly line, Henry Ford had another transformative idea; in January 1914, he startled the world by announcing that Ford Motor Company would pay $5 a day to its workers. The pay increase would also be accompanied by a shorter workday from nine to eight hours. While this rate didn’t automatically apply to every worker, it more than doubled the average autoworker’s wage. After Ford’s announcement, thousands of prospective workers showed up at the Ford Motor Company employment office. People surged toward Detroit from the American South and the nations of Europe. As expected, employee turnover diminished. And, by creating an eight-hour day, Ford could run three shifts instead of two, increasing productivity. Henry Ford had reasoned that since it was now possible to build inexpensive cars in volume, more of them could be sold if employees could afford to buy them. The $5 day helped better the lot of all American workers and contributed to the emergence of the American middle class. In the process, Henry Ford had changed manufacturing forever.
Today, Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader still based in Dearborn, MI, manufactures and distributes automobiles across six continents. With approximately 201,000 employees and 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company also provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford uses the ONE FORD plan in order to transform its business and accomplish goals and objectives. That plan includes:
The two companies I chose for this assignment were Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding, Inc. Despite the fact that the two companies operate in different industries, they complement each other very well. The reason why I chose Ford Motor Company was because they are thought of as leaders in their industry for total quality management. The minute I decided to use Ford ...
• People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership, as measured by customer, Employee, Dealer, Investor, Supplier, Union/Council, and Community Satisfaction.
• Aggressively restructure to operate profitable at the current demand and changing model mix
• Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value
• Finance our plan and improve the balance sheet
• Work together effectively as one team
• An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all
Ford is attempting to implement a new strategy to correct the problems of the Ford’s strategy since January 1999. While it does not have a formal name, this strategy requires Ford to focus on the needs and desires of the consumer. The principles behind this transformational strategy are outlined in Ford’s Business Strategy Pyramid in order to become the world’s leading consumer company for automotive products and services.
Within the past six months there have been a number of complaints due to poor customer service and this is causing Ford Motor Company billions of dollars. The job of the customer service department is to make sure that Ford customers are assisted with whatever they have an issue with which means customer service employees must be knowledgeable in many areas of the company. This is not happening due to lack of training and constant employee movement throughout the department. It has become evident that the training being offered to these new employees or employees that are being transferred from other departments lacked the information necessary to be successful at their job. There is really no training available for this job function other than online courses but no real instruction. This tends to make employees more stressed and frustrated when they are not really sure of a consistent process or guidelines for good customer service skills.
In order for any training to be effective, it must be coordinated with the company’s overall objectives and at the same time, it is important to design a training program that will allow employees to fulfill their personal goals. This paper will look at what is involved in conducting a needs assessment and developing a training program for Ford Motor Company for a training need of poor customer service. There are five steps that Ford would take to create an effective systems approach to training that recognizes both of these needs: make needs assessment, design a training program, develop the program for a working environment, implement the developed training program, and finally, develop a system to evaluate the training. These steps make up the systems approach to training, which has recently become customary due to its effectiveness. Within any organization there comes a time for a needs assessment. An organization completes a needs assessment to see how they can improve and to look for possible solutions for different problems. These things are usually associated with the organizational and /or individual performance (Stout, 1995).
1. Introduction Organisations have changed and are changing as a result of a focus on the customers. It is now recognized that meeting customer needs is the base of any successful organisation. There may be a pressure to improve shareholders value, increase profit but it has recognized that the key is to achieve these objectives is to satisfy the customers. As W R Scott (1987) pointed out ‘ ...
Ford Motor Company would need to consider the benefits of any intervention before they implement a program:
• What learning will be accomplished?
• What changes in behavior and performance are expected?
• Will we get them?
• What are the expected economic costs and benefits of any projected solutions?
Companies are often in too much of a hurry and tend to implement a solution and spend countless time and money before they carefully and cautiously assess the problem.
Ford Motor Company needs to check the performance of the customer service department against the industry standards. Call centers have a general performance standard that is recognized throughout the industry. Ford need to look at their customer service department and rate it according to the standards set forth not only by the industry but also by Ford themselves.
There are two parts on doing a gap analysis. First, what is the current situation? Ford must determine the current state of skills, knowledge, and abilities of their current or future employees. This analysis should also examine their organizational goals, climate, and internal and external constraints. Secondly, Ford must study the desired or necessary situation. Ford must identify the desired or necessary conditions for organizational and personal success. This analysis focuses on the necessary job tasks or standards, as well as the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to accomplish these successfully. It is important that we identify the critical tasks necessary, and not just observe our current practices. Ford also must distinguish their actual needs from their perceived needs or wants (CalTech, 1996).
There are many debates concerning advantages and disadvantages of mandating community service, however, the practice of compelling adolescents to take part in community service is increasingly common. People seek to understand the relationships between mandatory community service and volunteering. A key distinction between mandated community service and volunteering is the freely-chosen nature of ...
Ford should produce a list of needs for training and development, career development, and organizational development. They must look at the list and examine these in view of their importance to the organizational goals, realities, and constraints. Ford must decide if each, any or all of these needs are real and are worth addressing (CalTech, 1996).
What needs need to be met to help to achieve 100% customer service satisfaction? Now that they have prioritized the customer service satisfaction needs, they need to identify specific problem areas and opportunities. Ford needs to clearly identify the performance requirements for employees, so that there are not questions as to what is expected of them (CalTech, 1996).
If people are doing their jobs effectively at Ford, they should leave well enough alone. However if poor customer complaints are the source of this needs assessment, Ford needs to offer training and other intervention might be called for. Training may be a solution, if there is a knowledge problem. Organizational development activities may provide them with solutions when the problem is not based on the lack of knowledge but is based on change within the organization (CalTech, 1996).
In looking at the steps in a needs assessment, Ford may have a better understanding of why they are having problems with poor customer service. By identifying problem areas, they are better equipped to design and develop, implement and evaluate solutions that will help the company grow and become a stronger driving force within their industry. Once the needs assessment is completed the organization has a specific idea of the areas needing training and the kind of training required.
TRAINING STRATEGY AND DESIGN
In Ford Motor Company’s case poor customer service is the problem. Designing the appropriate training program must take several considerations into mind. Motivation to learn is very important. To make the most of employees’ motivation to learn in training programs, managers, supervisors and trainers need to understand these factors before sending employees to training. For example, lack of basic skills or reading skills can inhibit both job performance and learning.
The Paragould School of the 21st Century was the first site implementing the Zigler model in August 1992. Startup funds were initially provided by Paragould businesses to renovate an older elementary campus. The district has grown from the Elmwood campus of seven classrooms infants – four year olds to opening the Oakwood building housing 5 additional classrooms. S21C is an integral part of the ...
A task analysis includes identifying the job and knowledge, skills, and abilities that will be trained for. Competency modeling is an approach to needs assessment that focuses on identifying personal capabilities including knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and personal characteristics (Noe A. Raymond, 2002).
Once determining these factors are in place, training design must be considered. This involves creating a learning environment and applying theories of training transfer. There are three theories of transfer of training that have implications for training design (the learning environment).
These theories include the theory of identical elements, stimulus generalization, and cognitive theory. Identical elements involve creating a training environment equal to the work environment. Transfer will be maximized to the degree that the tasks, materials, equipment, and other characteristics of the learning environment are similar to those encountered in the work environment (Noe A. Raymond, 2002).
The stimulus generalization approach suggests that the way to understand the transfer of training issue is to construct training so that the most important features or general principles are emphasized. It is also important to identify the range of work situations in which these general principles can be applied. The stimulus generalization approach emphasizes the far transfer. Far transfer refers to the trainee’s ability to apply learned capabilities to the work environment, even though the work environment (equipment, problems, and tasks) is not identical to that of the training session (Noe A. Raymond, 2002).
The cognitive theory of transfer is based on the information-processing model of learning. Recall that the storage and retrieval of information are key aspects of this model of learning. The influence of cognitive theory is seen in training design by encouraging trainees, as part of the program, to consider potential applications of the training content to their jobs. Many training programs include having trainees identify a work problem or situation and discuss the potential application of training content. Application assignments increase the likelihood that trainees will recall the training content and apply it to the work setting when they encounter the appropriate cues (problems, situations) in the environment (Noe A. Raymond, 2002).
Ford will incorporate a combination of all theories to train in customer service issues.
The next step is to develop the customer service-training program for Ford. This will encompass four areas: customer service distinction, knowing and using customer service tools, difficult customers, and complaint and problem solving. First, most employees, when asked what their job is, described the things they do during the day: answer the telephone, handle problems and take orders. These items that they believe to be their job are, in fact, the functions of their job. The essence of their job is customer service. This first area is designed to have the participant distinguish between the functions of their job and the essence of their job. This distinction is the basis of excellent customer relations. The second area will have the participants discover the tools available to help them translate their commitment to customer service into actions. Specific areas addressed include:
• Voice Quality and Tone
• Body Language Email
• Pacing and Rapport
• General Telephone Etiquette
The area is the part of the program that focuses on helping staff members responds appropriately to a wide variety of customer emotions and attitudes. Upon completion, participants will be able to implement customer service principles and tools to more effectively deal with customers who are angry, frustrated or confused and to reduce the stress and dissatisfaction often associated with managing the difficult customer. Finally, customer complaints, while often viewed as undesirable by staff, can, in reality, serve as indicators of customer satisfaction, sources of product and procedural innovation and increased profitability. Once staff understands the inherent value in being receptive to, and capitalizing on, customer complaints, there are several customer service problem solving and complaint resolving techniques which they can use to turn the complaint into a win-win situation for both the customer and the company (Sterling Consulting Group, 2005).
The implementation is taking into effect and putting into place the practical means of accomplishing something (Word Referenace.Com).
Ford implements new concepts, programs, and ideas through the training process. Ford also takes the needs of the company into consideration and in this case, it was the need for better customer service. Subsequently Ford takes that need for better customer service, then develops and designs a training module for the trainers. Now they needs to take those considerations into account since they have already decided the need and the design, then all they need to do is implement that training to the associates on the floor to accomplish the training for better customer service. Ford determines whom they need in this training, what the availability is of the representatives that they need and from what department. Then Ford determines based on service levels and time of day when it is best to put the representatives into training. Because they determine the training off of service levels and what that is, is a determination on how busy it gets at certain intervals during the day and how they can afford to take so many representative off the phones to go into training without disrupting the service levels. With that in mind once the representatives get into training, that is when the training process is implemented and the training process begins. During this process the trainer is training the associates the concepts of the customer service that Ford is determined to carry out. The trainer will explain how and why they have selected this type of module for customer service and why the representative will follow it. There will also be quizzes given throughout the training to determine if the associate is getting the concept of the training. Generally when new scripting comes out for better customer service, a new evaluation will follow, the new evaluation will determine the representative’s quality scores. Once this is done the implementation of the training is over. After that it will start over for the next class because of service levels only so many of the representatives will go through the training process at one time. After this process is completed management will evaluate the effectiveness of the training process. From the information gathered, Ford can now compile an effective structured training program. Then all the employees of the company would participate in the program.
COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS (ROI)
A cost benefit analysis is done to determine how well, or how poorly, a planned action will turn out. Although a cost benefit analysis can be used for almost anything, it is most commonly done on financial questions. Since the cost benefit analysis relies on the addition of positive factors and the subtraction of negative ones to determine a net result, it is also known as running the numbers. A cost benefit analysis finds, quantifies, and adds all the positive factors. These are the benefits. Then it identifies, quantifies, and subtracts all the negatives, the costs. The difference between the two indicates whether the planned action is advisable. The real trick to doing a cost benefit analysis well is making sure you include all the costs and all the benefits and properly quantify them.
• Here’s the formula used for measuring the training ROI:
o ROI (%) = ((Monetary benefits – Training Costs)/Training Costs) x 100
As a result of a new customer service training program, Ford’s customer service rate increases 10 percent, yielding a total savings of $200,000 in terms of secured interest costs a month. If the training program costs $50,000 to implement, the ROI would be 300 percent.
• ROI = ((200,000 – 50,000) ÷ 50,000) x 100 = 300%
For every $1 spent on training, Ford gained a net benefit of $3. Results-oriented training is possible so we just need to be sure to evaluate the business need and match the training to that business need by thorough process of discovery, design, development, implementation, and execution for results and remember that training is not an event, it’s a process.
TRAINING EVALUATION PLAN
Evaluations are done last, but Ford would develop them at the same time that they structure the program. When evaluating training programs, an organization should consider defining goals and be able to measure those goals. The objective is to establish the outcome of the training program and “management must establish baseline performance metrics based on the needs assessment.” (International Customer Management Institute, 2007).
After the training is complete, the performance metrics can be evaluated to determine training effectiveness. Some areas of training that an organization can evaluate are: feedback on training; learning evaluation; job application or evaluation of impact and return on investment (ROI).
Feedback is typically assessed through surveys and might ask questions about the program methodology, materials provided trainer capabilities, and the facility at which the training was held. “Learning evaluation is the process of collecting, analyzing and reporting information to assess how the participants learned and applied what they learned in the learning environment.” (International Customer Management Institute, 2007).
Job application can measure to what extent knowledge and skills learned in the training are being used on the job. Finally, evaluating the impact and return on investment is determining the effect of training on productivity, customer satisfaction and the organization’s strategic plan. Businesses that invest in training want to achieve a high return on investment. Usually expressed as a percent, “return on the training investment is typically calculated by dividing the net dollar value of the benefit by the costs of training.” (International Customer Management Institute, 2007).
Determining the return on investment will be more meaningful when a full analysis is done on training at the start of training. To evaluate programs at Ford, human resource management will use surveys, focus groups and workplace observation. Trainees and the direct supervisors will be asked what improvements were made and to what level the training has played a role in that improvement. Being measured is considered customer satisfaction. For example, Ford will measure average talk time of employees and customers service and front desk personnel. HR management theorized that average talk time would decrease after training because representatives would understand how to resolve issues more quickly.
Another way to measure training effectiveness is to screen incoming calls. Ford has designed a form to analyze call quality and the desired behaviors. Mock calls will be placed to test customer service representatives to see if they are responding in the manner desired. Immediate feedback will be obtained in areas where additional training may be required.
Evaluations will measure whether the training program has led to improved employee behavior and job performance. Evaluations will also monitor the program in order to provide continuous updates maintaining the program. Modifications and adjustments can then be implemented. They would first test a control group that has not received training in order to compare them against the trained employees. The control group will allow Ford to see how effective the training really is working. There is no doubt that training increases employee effectiveness and enables them to reach jobs at higher levels (Businessballs. 2005).
To create an effective evaluation method Ford had to decide who would be responsible for the validation and evaluation processes? Another decision that Ford had to make was what resources of time, people and money are available for the validation or evaluation purposes? Concerns that had to be well thought-out, for instance an unexpected cut in budget or manpower. Traditionally, any evaluation has been left to the trainers “because that is their job. Ford’s training and development department does provide regular reports to senior management and line mangers (Businessballs, 2005).
Another question that arises many times in business is why they should go through all the difficulty of setting up an evaluation of the training received. The reasons to have a training evaluation are:
• Evaluations provide response and necessities of the company.
• Evaluations will justify the budget.
• Evaluations can show that learning and training programs add value to a business.
• Evaluations improve program design
• Evaluations will identify and improve processes that are not working.
• Evaluations can reduce redundant or unproductive programs.
• Evaluation can satisfy the client needs by producing proof of a program that works (Phillips, J.J., Phillips, P.P., & Hodges, T.K. 2004.)
Ford’s training evaluation processes will first review the training needs and identify the goals set by the organization. By reviewing the training needs the Ford’s training and development department can plan, design and prepare the next possible training programs and compare them against the company’s objectives. Before the training program starts the instructors will identify the trainee’s existing knowledge, skills and attitudes. Then the training staff will start to implement the training, the instructors for flaws or corrections that may be needed will assess it on a daily basis. Feedback is requested from the line managers, as they will witness the improvement on a daily basis. The trainee’s quality scores will be used to assess the short-term validation of the program. At the end of the training class the trainee’s will be asked to fill out a questionnaire or class assessment survey. After the trainee’s are back at their job the training staff will schedule meetings with the line managers to determine an effectiveness of the training program (Businessballs, 2005).
Ford can compare initial data obtained prior to training with the results obtained after training to measure how effective each training program is and can determine if the ROI justifies offering the training. “The purpose of evaluating training is to help with future decisions about the organization’s training programs. Using the evaluation, the organization may identify a need to modify the training and gain information about the kinds of changes needed. The organization may decide to expand on successful areas of training and cut back on training that has not delivered significant benefits.” (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, and Wright, 2004).
In conclusion, Ford will be able to successfully conduct the training program to alleviate the poor customer service concern. In applying the five steps listed above they can make needs assessment, design a training program, develop the program for a working environment, implement the developed training program, and finally, develop a system to evaluate the training, Ford will give the employees the necessary tools to train effectively. These tools will be available for all other training apprehensions in the future.
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