Page 5: The benefits of training and development
A business needs to monitor and evaluate the costs and benefits of its training and development activities for financial and non-financial reasons. The business needs to know if the investment in time and money is producing improvements. Employees need positive, structured feedback on their progress in order to find direction and gain confidence. This will reflect in their behaviour with customers and inspire higher customer confidence in Tesco one of Tesco's main aims.
Tesco provides tools for highly structured monitoring and evaluation of training and development. This includes scheduled tasks, timetables, measures and checklists. Employees assess themselves by setting objectives in Activity Plans, Personal Development Plans and recording outcomes in Learning Logs. These continue to measure their improvement in performance after training.
Activity Plans need to have SMART objectives:
- Specific describes exactly what needs doing
- Measurable has a target that can be measured against
- Achievable is possible within the trainee”s current role, skills and experience
- Realistic is achievable within the time and resources available
- Time-framed has a clear deadline.
Tesco also uses a method known as 360-degree appraisal. This means all stakeholders who have contact with the employee assess the person's performance and give feedback. For example, a store department manager may get feedback from their manager, their 'buddy', other department managers, the HR department and their team. This helps to identify areas that may require further development.
Tesco also uses a more informal approach to development by asking employees to write down three things they believe they are good at and three things they believe they could do better. The employee identifies actions to continue to do more of the good things and improve areas they could do better.
Managers and trainees hold a weekly informal review session as well as more formal four-weekly sessions to track progress against their personal development plans. The feedback is recorded and is carefully scored. Trainees are given a colour coded development rating:
- Red where progress is not on schedule
- Amber where some elements need more work
- Green where all activities are on target
- Blue where the trainee is ahead of the programme and using skills to add value.