PARA 13.2|IC 90, HRM One Liner|Chapter-5 | Acquiring Human Resources
Insurance exams offered by the Insurance Institute of India (III), consist of various papers either in Life or Non Life or Combined. Here we are providing ONE LINER IC 90, HRM Chapter 5: Development of Human Resources for para 13.2 and III exam . These questions will be very helpful for upcoming promotional exam in 2020.
IC 90, Human Resource Management is a very important topic in insurance promotional exam. This IC 90, Human Resource Management paper comes in all GIPSA exams which makes it very important.
Chapter 5- Development of Human Resources
1)It is the responsibility of every management to ensure they do not:
- Waste the resources acquired and
- Enhance their value or capabilities after acquisition
3) Manpower development
Manpower development seeks to achieve the following in a planned way:
- Enable individuals to acquire / sharpen their capabilities
- Enable everyone to discover and exploit their potentials for own and organisational purposes
- Strengthen relationships, team work and collaboration between individuals, contributing to their well-being, motivation and pride.
3.1) Cognitive knowledge can be acquired through reading, hearing and seeing. That knowledge is useful to anyone only if he can use it himself in practical action.
3.2) Skill improves through doing. Learning of new tasks takes place through having to do new things. Repetitive doing of the same job will reveal (and cause learning) newer nuances and thus sharpen one‟s skills. If the variations in such repetitions become minor, learning ceases to be worthwhile.
3.3) Development of Individual: Development of professional competences is different from the development of an individual. The dimensions of individual development are many. They constitute the differences between a child and a grown up person, not physically, but mentally and emotionally. The most important of these is that the child sheds its dependency as he grows up.
3.3.1) Obligations of being a good citizen include adequate respect for:
- The abilities and concerns of others
- The authority and area of discretion of others (boundary maintenance)
- The systems and procedures which are in vogue. Changes thereto may be made but only after due deliberation and knowing the rationale for their introduction in the past
4) Other dimensions of individual development
4.1) Ability to maintain equanimity (emotional balance) in situations of crisis so that the brain and mind can search for appropriate actions to overcome the difficult situations. Lack of equanimity may lead to extremes of anger or depression or panic, none of which are helpful for clear thinking and exploration of available options.
4.2) Assertiveness: Arising out of equanimity is the skill to be assertive, avoiding the extremes of submissiveness and aggressiveness. Both submissiveness and aggressiveness leave one dissatisfied and regretting – not having done differently.
4.3) Making decisions on the basis of data, avoiding the tendencies to: (i) act on hunches, (ii) confuse facts with one‟s opinions (problem of perception)
4.4) Contentment, which means acceptance of one‟s position and trying to do one‟s best therein, without being over-anxious about the consequences thereof on oneself, either as reward or as punishment.
4.5) Ability to learn from one‟s experiences, through reflective observation on whatever may have happened. A corollary to this would be to help others to learn, by sharing one‟s experiences. The sharing would become mutually beneficial. This is also a test of professionalism.
4.6) Ability to see facts: Ability to learn implies ability to see the facts as they really are, not as one imagines them to be. In the process, one would become aware of oneself and his environment without being carried away by fantasies or hallucinations of imagined glory or imagined risks.
4.7) Other-centeredness, as opposed to self-centeredness, is an aspect of individual development. Self-centered people, through their behaviour, convey disrespect to others, attempt manipulation, seek unfair advantage (at the cost of others), generate suspicion and will have difficulty in seeking or giving collaboration.
5) Behaviour occurs in a context. A person is rude or polite in a particular situation. Some justification for that behaviour may be found in the situation itself. The other person may have provoked the resultant behaviour of the employee.
5.1) Dynamics of social behaviour: All social situations are dynamic, changing with the combined impact of all stimuli, emanating from several sources, some of whom may not even be present in the situation at a given time. Anxieties related to some distant event (like the boss expressing displeasure in the morning, accident en route to work, report from the college about the son) may be affecting behaviour at work.
5.2) Social skills need, not analysis, but synthesis, total understanding of situations, within the context of one‟s logic of understanding. Training methodologies, if effective, influence behaviour by changing these logics. Hearing and reading are not as effective as seeing, doing, reflecting and experiencing.
5.3) Favourable perception of behaviour
- Has a high energy level and does not seem to be tired or exhausted or bored or tense
- Is action oriented
- looks to be genuinely interested in others
- can express clearly and effectively makes people feel good
- establishes eye contact with people
- Is pleasant in manners, does not hurt, tries to provide comfort
- Personalises transactions by using the other‟s name or by reference to
6) Knowledge development: In order to encourage employees to widen their knowledge base, employers provide a variety of incentives which include increments, special pay and accelerated promotion.
7) Principles of learning
- Individuals learn only when they want to learn. Workers in an organisation may be willing to learn when they are able to see how the training will be of help to them
- Learning requires feedback. People learn better if they are told periodically about the progress they are making, as and when they learn, not at the very end
- Reinforcement encourages repetition of learned behaviour. Thus if a worker is appreciated when he performs a task well, he is likely to continue to perform the task in that way
- Practice reinforces learning
- Learning begins rapidly but later flattens out, if not practised
- Learning must be transferable to the job
- Learning must result in a permanent change in behaviour
8) Effectiveness of training: There are limitations to what training can achieve. Training is most useful, if it is done within the organisation, by the persons with whom the trainee is working and with the equipments with which he has to work. In a big organisation like an insurance company, the way work happens in one branch is not the way it happens in other branches
8.1) Training needs are sought to be identified by:
- Interviewing employees, their colleagues or seniors
- Conducting surveys through written questionnaires
- Direct observation of behaviour at work
9) The Social-Learning Theory of learning states that we learn by observing what happens to other people as well as by direct experiences. This theory also implies that much of what we learn come from watching models – parents, teachers, bosses, characters in films, TV and so on.
10) Methodologies for training: Despite the limitations of class room training there are ways to help an employee to enhance skills and therefore of his value. The principle behind these methods or programmes is that it would provide the employee an opportunity to learn, mainly by doing, with minimal external guidance. The method will be most effective if the employee opts to go through the programme and not when he is „nominated for a course‟ as often happens. To enable options being made, programmes of training can be announced
Some of the methodologies of training are listed below:
10.1) Apprenticeship: Apprenticeship training is the oldest and the most commonly used method, especially when proficiency in a job is dependent on a variety of skills and on adequate practice. Operating various kinds of machines come under this category. Apprenticeship is useful in crafts and also in professions with or without any academic preparation.
10.2) On-the-job training (OJT) / Job rotation: The employee is assigned a new job and he learns by doing with the help of a guide or mentor, who is available for guidance whenever required. One knows best what one does compared to what one sees others do or hears about.
Job rotation is the name given when employees who are doing well are transferred to jobs that require different skills, as a part of a programme of career development.
10.3) lecture: The most common classroom methodology is the lecture. The content, sequence of ideas, development of thought and training are all under the control of the trainer.
10.4) Conferences, Seminar and Workshops
These are participative group-centered programmes for learning.
- Conference: In a conference, important issues are discussed. They may be business related like annual business plans and budget reviews. They may also be on broad overviews of what is happening in the environment.
- Seminar: In a seminar the various participants are expected to come with prepared papers on the given topic. Sometimes the participants constitute themselves into smaller groups, called syndicates, for further in-depth study or analysis. The syndicates may report back to the plenary when it reassembles.
- Workshop: A workshop or a clinic as it is sometimes called has the object of imparting practical experience to the participants, almost like a laboratory experiment.
10.5) Case studies: A case is a written description of a real life situation. Participants are given cases to study and identify the issues, and to explore the possible causes and solutions. The role of the trainer is that of a mere catalyst. He does not actively participate in the discussion but merely raises questions, summarises the discussion from time to time, and connects observations of the participants to concepts, where necessary.
10.6) Role play: The role-play is a method in which the trainees are required to act out given roles in a given situation. Sometimes, they are given the script as in a stage play. Sometimes, the actors have to improvise the script on the spot. The situations may be related to employee-employer relationships, grievance handling, salesmanship, counselling, post-appraisal interview or a problem solving session. This method helps in practicsing interpersonal skills and getting insights into the dynamics of behaviour.
10.7) Programmed instruction (PI): Programmed instruction consists of a text, which progressively feeds information to trainees. The subject matter for learning is presented in small units called frames.
10.8) Computer Aided Learning: CAT, also called CAL (Computer Aided Learning) is a modern version of Programmed Instruction (PI). While PI is organised on paper, CAT is organised on computers. The principles of organising the learning messages and sequences are the same.
10.9) Simulation techniques attempt to create situations in the class room similar to real life work situations, so that the skills required in real life may be tried out, experimented with and perfected. A 100% replication may not be practicable but a reasonable approximation can be attempted.
10.10) The model office is a simulation of an office. It creates a duplicate of an office with „in‟ and „out‟ trays of a number of desks. The simulation of an office can never be complete as the pressures and the interactions at work cannot be duplicated. This helps in the learning of the interconnectedness of various activities and how one‟s work impacts on the work of others.
10.11) In basket exercises: This exercise was referred to in the context of tests for selection. This can also be used for training a prospective candidate for a higher level of responsibility.
10.12) Games: Games are exercises involving activities, individually and in groups. They vary in complexity and also in the duration over which they may be played. There are games that can be played in three hours or over three days.
10.13) Sensitivity training or T-groups: Sensitivity training, also called T-groups or laboratory training, seeks to help individuals become aware of – sensitive to – themselves, their needs, values, attitude, and behaviour with the help of others in the group.
10.14) Learning versus unlearning: Employees are adults. They have their own ideas and thoughts on many matters, as a consequence of what they have learnt in the past. Without some unlearning of the past, there cannot be any new learning. They would not easily accept that part of the past learning needs to be replaced by some new learning. Adults, therefore, are likely to be difficult learners.
11) Stages of learning
The four stages of learning have been described as:
- Dissatisfaction: The learner has to feel the need for some change in the existing behaviour and attitudes of himself or of others.
- Unfreezing: This occurs when the existing learning of values, beliefs, assumptions (these are supports for behaviour) are challenged and questioned because of new experiences that suggest that these and the existing behaviours and attitudes are inappropriate.
- Conversion: This refers to the replacement of or the modification of the existing learning of values, beliefs and assumptions with new learning that is different. This may happen when exploration of experience suggests that the new learning will support desirable behaviours and attitudes.
- Refreezing: When the changes that occur during conversion are firmly internalised, so that they automatically become part of the learner‟s behaviour and attitudes, the learning is complete.
12) Difference between coaching and training
- Coaching is usually done on a one-to-one basis. Training may be also on a one-to-one basis or may be by one trainer to a class of students.
- Coaching usually deals with ability to do a specific task, while training may deal also with other perspectives relating to the work, its linkages with other jobs in the system and with the goals of the organisation.
- A coach exercises a close watch on the ward‟s learning while a trainer may, while dealing with concepts or with a class, not be able to exercise such a close watch. A mentor is concerned with the entire person of his ward, including his career.
13) Evaluation of training: Training programmes cost money. A natural question to ask is about the benefits of incurring that cost. Evaluation by the participants at the end of a training session is not entirely reliable. Such evaluations tend to reflect the experience during training and may be indicative of the effectiveness of the trainer or the diligence of the learner. But it cannot be related to the learning that may have taken place sufficiently enough to change the behaviour at work.
13.1) Approaches for assessing effectiveness of training
Several approaches are adopted in assessing the effectiveness of training.
- Training costs are similar to the costs incurred in maintaining expensive and valuable machinery. In such cases, the benefits are that the resource does not break down and no one would think of cutting those costs.
- Another approach looks at training as investment, not cost. The difference is that while costs are sought to be cut, investments are seen as creating wealth and therefore, desirable.
- A third approach says it is neither cost nor investment. It is like food and nourishment for the body. The benefits cannot be measured, except perhaps in the very long run.
14.1) Dealing with problem people
Managers come across problem people. They have to be helped to improve. Or else they have to be removed from the organisation. Normally, removal or dismissal is resorted to
- if the problem is seen to be beyond correction like alcoholism or persistent misbehavior or
- if the problem is of a criminal nature like committing a fraud or theft or
- if it is a case of unacceptable indiscipline
14.2) Concept of counselling: If the manager tells the employee that there is a problem with him, it is unlikely that the employee will agree to it easily or agree to change. Change in behaviour comes from new learning after unlearning the past learning. This is not easy. The method to follow while attempting the correction, is to make the person aware himself that there is a problem and then help him to deal with it. This process is called counselling.
14.2.1) There are different types of counselling. Counselling is done for people with psychological problems. Such counselling is known as clinical counselling. It is done by trained psychiatrists. Managers are not so trained.
14.3) Counselling helps make a dispassionate analysis of the circumstances: In order to appreciate the true nature of counselling it might be interesting to see what counselling is not. Counselling is not offering solutions and assurances. Counselling is not telling someone what is wrong with him. The counsellor‟s ability lies in helping the person counseled, (referred to as the client) to make a dispassionate analysis of the circumstances.
14.3.1) If a person is upset because he missed the promotion, the counsellor will not be able to get him the promotion. But he may help him by making him think through
- Why it may have happened,
- Whether his current responses are helping him and others close to him,
- What would be an appropriate way to cope with the situation.
15) Counselling skills: There are many skills required by a manager to become a good counsellor. The most important among them are the skills of active listening, empathy and intervention. The counsellor must be capable of being patient, tolerant and understanding.
15.1) Active listening: Active listening means listening attentively so as to get both the meaning and the feeling behind what is being said. Maintaining general eye contact, being aware of non-verbal communication (body language) and concentrating on what the client says (avoiding the temptation to reply to his point) – these are characteristics of active listening. The skill of active listening can be developed by practice.
15.2) Empathy: Empathy is the ability to see things as the other individual does. The client must have developed a particular feeling in the given situation, which must have given rise to the problem. When the counsellor listens with this approach and interacts with this understanding he shows empathy.
15.3) Intervention: Intervention is different from interruption or interference. The counsellor should avoid the temptation to interrupt the client. Intervention means helping the client to think through his own thoughts and examine the matter fully.
16) Performance factors: Skill, Will and Support
Appraisal or evaluation of performance is part of the development process. Performance of an individual is the resultant of:
- His skill or ability to do
- His willingness or motivation to do
- the support he gets from the organisation
16.1) “Support” relates to availability of adequate information, equipment, direction etc.
17) Annual appraisals: Traditionally, and even now in many organisations, an appraisal is an annual exercise, used to make decisions on the grant of increments and to determine promotions. Seniors would be required to complete appraisal forms, with their opinions on a number of traits (knowledge, attitudes, abilities, behaviours, etc.)
17.1) Drawbacks: This method suffers from several drawbacks. One of the important drawbacks is that the appraisers, aware that the appraisal would result in increments and promotions for their sub- ordinates, tend to manipulate the ratings with a view to obtain, what they thought, should be the right decision.
17.2) Behaviour Anchored Rating Scales (BARS): Opinions expressed in the appraisal reports tended to be based on the most recent impressions and not on events over the year. The report written at the end of the year depended entirely on the appraiser‟s memory and invariably only some aspects of performance – and that too of recent times – will come to mind. There was no uniform standard for evaluating the traits.
17.3) Other appraisal systems: Several other systems were developed from time to time with the aim to reduce subjectivity.
- One was to use graphic rating scales.
- Another was to appraise a few employees in a department collectively, by comparing and rating them on various criteria.
- Another approach was to give the appraiser a free hand to do the appraisal and not confine him to pre-determined factors.
- Another system tried was 360 degree appraisal, where everybody in the working group would appraise everybody else. The 360 degree appraisal, may avoid some kind of biases but not all biases, and was very cumbersome to organise. Also comparison between two individuals will become difficult as the basis of appraisals will have nothing in common.
18) Management by Objectives (MBO): The MBO or Management by Objectives approach was developed under which objectives would be set for every role after discussion between the role incumbent and his senior. The appraisal would be based on the extent of achievement of these objectives.
18.1) This method also was not satisfactory. There is an assumption that achievement of results is an indicator of capabilities and attitudes. This assumption may not be wholly valid when the results are the outcome of not one person but of many in a team. The sales in an area may be the outcome of corporate promotional activities in that area or the dynamism of the retailer. The salesman‟s contribution cannot be taken for granted.
18.1.1) An appraisal meant to reward through increments and promotions is a tool which the senior can use to frighten the sub-ordinate. Such an appraisal cannot be expected to be genuine and will be subject to manipulation by the appraiser and will be contested by the appraisee.
18.2) Key performance areas (KPAs): The KPAs are not given by the superiors as objectives to attain, but they are identified by the individual and discussed and agreed upon with the superior. They are within the responsibilities of the role. They may, or may not, clarify or supplement the main responsibilities.
18.3) Appraisal feedback: The appraisee will have to accept the appraiser as meaning well. Also, it cannot be an annual procedure. The feedback should be given as and when the need for feedback is felt. That means that there should not be any fixed time frame for appraisals. The action to overcome the problems should also be taken soon after the feedback and should be within the capability of the appraisee. Otherwise the appraiser will have to organise the necessary support.
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