Bangladesh is a developing country of southern Asia. Mobile phone is becoming a very common measure of communication in our country. The number of mobile user is increasing day by day. It is a very attractive market for the mobile connection providers. Presently there are five companies in the market. Each of them is trying to maintain and increase their market share. Among them AKTEL is one of the leading company in this sector. AKTEL [TMIB] is a joint venture organization with A. K. Khan & Company and Telekom Malaysia Berhad and A. K. Khan Group, which is a leading telecommunication provider, operating its business in Bangladesh since 15 November 1997.
AKTEL stands for ‘clearly ahead’. The philosophy of dynamism, never stop thinking & never compromise with quality made AKTEL one of the most progressive & dynamic business leader in the country. AKTEL believes in using advanced technology to cope with the changing world. Motivation & service is the its major strength.
It started in 1997 with the establishment of a Telecom company & now after 8 years AKTEL is one of the leaders in Telecom industry. AKTEL constructed its state of the art service facility with high tech machinery from different countries.
Free mobile phone, free transportation, on-site sports & recreation facilities encourage the motivated team to serve customers full heartedly.
AKTEL’s main strength is their call charge with Tk. 0.33/pulse (10 sec. / pulse) for Pre Paid and Tk. 0.066/pulse (1 sec. / pulse) for Post Paid subscriber from the first minute. They provide the widest coverage in the country. They also provide some other facilities among which off-peak hour system, and lower call charge and SIM price is popular to the subscribers. AKTEL believes in People —Connectivity—Infinity.
Customers are more or less satisfied with the facilities they are offering with this product. Their main focus is to increase network coverage so that it can reach all parts of the country. But they can improve their position by offering the subscribers with more facilities especially to improve their network solution and to reduce call charge in the peak hour simultaneously.
In Organizational Development team of AKTEL, my responsibility is to assist the formulation of OD strategies and to ensure their proper implementation. As I work indirectly under HR, my job responsibilities include arranging trainings materials & formulating strategy. I am also in the process of preparing materials for providing in-house trainings.
1.2 Origin of the Report
This report is the end product of eight-week internship in AKTEL as a prerequisite to my MBA degree. As I am slightly attached with the Organizational Development Unit in the HR division of AKTEL, during my internship, I am involved with training and development activities besides my regular task. In this regards, I have chosen to prepare my report on the “Training and Development strategies of AKTEL”
The management at AKTEL has perceived a need for organizational development through proper training, succession planning and talent management. The purpose of this report is to examine the training and development strategies that are applied in AKTEL.
Broad objective: Successful implementation of training and development strategies at AKTEL.
Specific objectives: Finding the ideal method of effectively implementing training and development strategies and developing an efficient evaluation model to assess the impacts of the applied tactics.
Primary research: As there is a lack of reference material, most of the analysis is based on observations and interviews with management, trainers and trainees.
Secondary research: References from textbooks, websites and articles is used to assist the analysis.
Even though AKTEL has a regional office in Chittagong and various CustomerCareCenters all over the country, the span of this research will be only in the Dhaka office. The reason for this is that all the OD activities are conceived in the Dhaka office and then passed onto the other divisions.
The execution of training strategies in AKTEL is very recent. For that reason there is no written, solid data regarding the strategies. The report will be mostly based on interviews and standards of the personnel involved.
Time is also an essential factor in evaluating the effectiveness. Since the report will encompass only two months of observation, the whole picture will not be visible.
The development of the effective evaluation model will depend on the sincerity of the respondents.
2.1 Company Overview
AKTEL is the dynamic and leading end-to-end countrywide GSM mobile communication solutions of TM International (Bangladesh) Limited. It is a joint venture company between Telekom Malaysia Berhad and A. K. Khan & Co. It operates as a Limited Liability Company, where the majority shareholder, Telekom Malaysia, own 70% shares, while minority shares of 30% are owned by A. K. Khan & Co. Bangladesh Limited. TMIB was established in the year 1996 and services were launched in 1997 under the brand name AKTEL.
AKTEL is proud to be a part of the Telekom Malaysia Group (TM), Malaysia’s number one provider of information communication technologies. TM International has operations and financial interests in seven countries, namely Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, Malawi, Guinea and Ghana. TM is financially strong, and internationally renowned for its successful ventures like MTN, the market leader in the telecommunication industry in Sri Lanka. TM has a global presence in 11 countries with staff strength of 30,000 Group wide. TM has recently made two major acquisitions in India and Indonesia in the continuous effort to stamp its presence internationally. TM has acquired 27.3 per cent interest of PT Excelcomindo Pratama, the third largest mobile operator in Indonesia, and in India, 47.7 per cent stake in Idea Cellular. TM hopes to further extend its regional and global presence with these new acquisitions.
Since the commencement of its operation, AKTEL has been a force to be reckoned with in the telecommunication industry of Bangladesh, being one of the fastest growing mobile communication companies offering comprehensive GSM mobile solutions to more than a million subscribers. Always placing the needs of the customers first, AKTEL has been distinctly ahead in offering the “30 Seconds Pulse” from the first minute of talk time. Today, AKTEL boast the widest International Roaming service in the market connecting 315 operators across 170 countries. In addition, AKTEL is the first mobile operator to connect Tetulia and Teknaf, the northern and southern most points of Bangladesh. AKTEL was also the first to provide seamless coverage along the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. With a network covering all 61 (allowable) districts of Bangladesh, coupled with the first Intelligent Network (IN) Prepaid Platform in the country, AKTEL is geared to provide a wide range of products and services to customers all over Bangladesh. At the heart of all of AKTEL’s success today, is a young dynamic workforce comprising of over 900 highly motivated and skilled professionals.
Today, AKTEL is recognized as a leading brand in Bangladesh and this is driven by their persistent pursuit of quality and technology, putting it ‘clearly ahead’ of the rest. The future with AKTEL is promised to be exciting as they strive to employ the best resources and latest technology in offering many more innovative and exciting products and services.
2.2 The Vision
To be the most preferred GSM cellular service provider in Bangladesh.
2.3 The Mission
To provide total customer satisfaction as the company strives to become the most preferred GSM cellular service provider in Bangladesh. AKTEL will achieve this through developing people, products, and services of the highest quality and meeting the needs of its employees, shareholders and the nation.
2.4 SWOT Analysis
- The partner company, Telekom Malaysia, is a well-established and experienced global player operating with several subsidiaries in the global telecommunication industry.
- Excellent business track record of A. K. Khan & Co. for more than half a century in Bangladesh.
- Use of the GSM technology that is the most advanced and secured technology in the world telecom industry.
- Providing cellular services through very competent and skilled human resources comprised of 1033 employees with a notable reputation and goodwill in line with the Vision, Mission and Theme of AKTEL.
- AKTEL’s network coverage is less than the competitor
- Not enough channels with BTTB
- Shortage of human resource in the Help-line than the competitor
- Package – pricing of the packages are not cheap
- Higher call rate than its competitors
- Demand is increasing day by day
- Product with very long life cycle
- The most new technology
- Main competitor provides poor service because of its unplanned customer growth
- Unstable political culture
- Recession in the economy
- Non-cooperative telecommunication regulatory body
- Awareness of health risk for using mobile phon
2.5 Organizational Structure
The organization is headed by its Chief Executive designated as the Managing Director entrusted with overall responsibilities of business direction of the organization and leading dynamically towards the attainment of it’s Vision, Mission and Goal. In attaining the above mission, the Chief Financial Officer, three General Managers & department Heads assists the MD. AKTEL has established a strong and formidable sales channel, which consists of direct dealers and its own sales force.
2.6 Spam of Control
As a dynamic telecom company it is very essential to have a good communication channel within the organization. In this competitive market decision making process needs to be very quick. In big issues top management takes decisions. In the other hand executive takes small decisions. In this regards sometimes executives discuss with his immediate supervisor.
Generally weekly meeting takes place in every department regarding next week assignments. The organization has an executive committee, which includes Chairman, Directors, Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and other four general managers.
AKTEL Standard Connection allows both-way BTTB Outgoing and Incoming facilities along with the mobile connection facility.
This is a zonal subscription with National Roaming Facility. NWD and IDD call facilities are available under this subscription. Moreover, it is facilitated with International Roaming (airs).
188.8.131.52 Mobile Plus
AKTEL Mobile-Plus Connection allows BTTB Incoming facility along with the regular nationwide mobile-to-Mobile connection facility. This product has been first introduced by AKTEL in Bangladesh and has enjoyed great popularity since inception.
184.108.40.206 Mobile to Mobile
This is the most basic product of AKTEL featuring both Outgoing and Incoming Mobile –to- Mobile Connection facility and a host of Value Added Services.
- International Roaming
AKTEL has its widest roaming facility with 170 countries in the world. Many more products are in line to be added to the existing array of AKTEL products and services in the days to come.
2.8 Present Coverage and Future Direction
We are covering all the districts except hill tracts due to Govt. restriction. Our technical team is working hard to expand our network in the thana and unions (villages) to cover every corner of the country.
AKTEL’s vision is to continuously monitor customer’s needs and wants and to plan accordingly for better & faster customer service. They are working very closely to launch more new services with existing features. They also have plans to introduce various Tele-info services very soon. Their increasing number of customer base over the last few years reflects their success story in the industry in Bangladesh.
AKTEL strongly believes that subscribers are their most valuable assets. They have very strong Customer Service Centers strategically placed all over the country to ensure constant support to the customers. AKTEL has successfully migrated to a new switch system with higher capacities in terms of accommodating higher customer base and as well as to let them use all the basic supplementary services under GSM technology. They introduced the both-way national roaming all through their network coverage. The Pre-Paid services with enhanced features have been commercially commenced successfully and now they are taking some projects to accumulate more advanced technological features in their network. In terms of Network Quality, the company ensure not only the equipment are of world class standard but more importantly its size or capacity is catered to the right dimensioning of customer base, in order not to face the problems of drop calls or congestion. All these are done through proper planning, control and schedule maintenance program. They maintain the benchmark for providing the quality services. They monitor these through generating regular reports and on site survey. If there are any weak signals or a call drops, the skilled engineers are providing services round the clock to resolve the problem instantly. The most important key resource factor in AKTEL is its efficient human resource. Moreover, its decisions are based on facts from market research and coverage survey. AKTEL has put much emphasis in developing its employees through proper training, as they believe that the most important asset. So they can ensure quality services. AKTEL has a plan to give opportunity to every household in the country, in using cellular service at the competitive price, providing unparalleled quality service and customer care. In achieving this goal, AKTEL is planning to enforce their strong efforts to create their own independent network. They have already started Dhaka-Chittagong & Dhaka-Sylhet AKTEL backbone. The future plan is to vigorously expand the network, which is called cell-to-cell expansion, covering almost all the regions of Bangladesh within the year 2006.
3.1 Review of Training and Development Theory
Economies in the twenty-first century are under relentless pressure to increase the skill levels of their workforce. A highly skilled workforce is widely seen as being essential for prosperity in a globalize world characterized by rapid technological change. The implication is that high and growing incomes can only be sustained by high and growing levels of worker productivity, which in turn demand ever-increasing levels of worker skills. The development of high levels of skills in the workforce is expensive, requiring a major investment of learner time, large public expenditure on the formal education system, and high levels of formal and informal on-the-job skills development facilitated by employers. There is understandable tension about just how much should be spent on skills development, and what share of this total should be borne by each of the main players.
3.2 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.:
a) When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed
b) To “benchmark” the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort
c) As part of an overall professional development program
d) As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization
e) To “pilot”, or test, the operation of a new performance management system
f) To train about a specific topic
3.3 General Benefits from Employee Training and Developmen
There are numerous sources of on-line information about training and development. Several of these sites suggest reasons for supervisors to conduct training among employees. These reasons include:
1. Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees
2. Increased employee motivation
3. Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain
4. Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
5. Increased innovation in strategies and products
6. Reduced employee turnover
7. Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!)
8. Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training.
Training and development can be initiated to address a ‘Performance Gap’ (learning needed to meet performance standards for a current task or job), ‘Growth Gap’ (learning needed to achieve career goals) or ‘Opportunity Gap’ (learning needed to qualify for an identified new job or role).
In training and developing employees, it is important that managers and supervisors know how:
• To assess employee training needs
• To set performance goals and
• To plan developmental strategies accordingly.
These three steps make development an individualized, systematic process.
Some questions to consider The process of assessing needs and goals usually involve a discussion or series of discussions between the supervisor and subordinate. Before beginning these discussions, several issues should be considered: What is required of the employee? What the employee will be required to do as a result of the developmental process, if anything, should be clear in the supervisor’s mind before this process is begun.
A potential problem in career development discussions is that of raising hopes about promotions. Many organizations and many supervisors avoid career discussions for this reason alone. They fear career development discussions will raise unrealistic expectations about promotion. Although many employees are not interested in promotions, this is indeed a possibility. However, it can be dealt with by explaining very clearly to the subordinate what can and cannot be expected as outcomes of the discussions. Time line questions How far the supervisor looks ahead in the developmental process depends on several factors: organizational needs, the subordinate’s current level of performance, and the supervisor’s and subordinate’s desires. Organizational needs may dictate that the developmental process focus solely on employees’ current positions-that is, training only. This will probably be the case If the company’s business is a very stable one that has experienced relatively little change over the years, expects little change in the future, and has little turnover and need for mobility within the company. At the other extreme, a company experiencing rapid growth, change, and turnover may need to emphasize long–term development of employees.
In this case, employee planning three to five years into the future may be worthwhile. The subordinate’s current level of performance and knowledge is another factor to consider.
If the subordinate lacks the skills and knowledge to perform up to par in his or her current position, the emphasis should probably be on training needs. Education and development needs may be discussed, but it may make little sense to start preparing the employee for future positions before he or she has mastered the current job.
If the employee’s current job performance is adequate, it may be wise to look ahead to education and development needs, especially if the employee has been in the current job for a long time or lacks a feeling of challenge. This is not to say that training should be disregarded. There may be certain skills that the employee does adequately but would like to perfect. In addition, the discussion of education needs does not have to focus on promotions or transfers.
The person’s current job may change or if the employee is feeling unchallenged and a promotion or transfer is not possible perhaps the job should change. The supervisor and employee may want to explore the possibility of adding new responsibilities or trading responsibilities with another staff member.
3.4 Identification of Training Needs
A training need is an existing or anticipated shortfall or problem in performance where training is considered the most appropriate and effective solution. If can also be thought of as the ‘gap’ between what is happening and what should be happening.
Identifying needs properly is obviously a very important part of the training cycle. If your analysis is wrong at this stage then the later training activity will also be inappropriate. This may result in wasting money and unmotivated staff. It can be also set up negative attitudes towards future training. It is important that the training objectives are clearly stated so that the results of the training can be clearly evaluated.
Training needs can be identified at the individual and the organization level.
3.4.1 At the individual level
- Identification will need to begin with the job description. This will provide a list of the skills and knowledge required. It can be compared with the actual skills and knowledge that the jobholder possesses.
- Another approach could be to look at critical incidents over, say, the past three months that were particularly challenging or stressful. The training can then be directed at the areas that are most relevant.
- Managers will also be able to identify training for their subordinates. One of the best ways of achieving this is through the appraisal interview, where agreed training needs can be identified.
- Individuals may request training that they perceive will equip them for a change of job, either laterally or through promotion.
3.4.2 At the Organizational level
- Training needs may be identified through the performance appraisal system. This may provide the key channel for feeding back individual needs. The information should be processed by a human resource professional in order to plan the overall needs of the organization.
- The management team or a training committee (if one is established) may identify areas from the corporate plan that they want included in the training plans. So for example, an organization that is planning to expand may want all supervisors to be properly trained in supervisory techniques, including recruitment and selection. Alternatively management may identify a short-term problem in one area and dictate that extra training be provided. An example may be of a department that is constantly not completing tasks due to overrunning. A short-term response could be to provide time management training. This may not be the complete solution as poor time management may be a symptom of an underlying problem, but it will help to make the department more efficient.
3.4.3 Initiating the Developmental Process
The supervisor may not know how he or she stands with a subordinate or whether the subordinate is interested in career development. The best way to determine both is by discussing the developmental process with the employee.
By the end of the initial discussion, it should be clear to the subordinate what he or she is expected to do and clear to the supervisor that the subordinate is committed to doing what is expected.
3.4.4 The Individual Development Plan
The process of needs and goals assessment can be facilitated through the use of the Individual Development Plan (IDP)
The first step is the Training Needs. Assessment by the supervisor:
- Listing what he or she perceives as the major skill and knowledge requirements of the subordinate’s job
- Determining the subordinate’s level of proficiency in each competency area, and
- Giving a priority ranking to each area where training is needed
In establishing priorities, the supervisor should consider the following dimensions:
- Degree of proficiency
- Immediacy of the need
- Potential impact if training does not take place
In the first meeting, which will initiate the developmental process, the supervisor should explain how they are going to proceed with the evaluation. After the initial meeting, each should work individually on the appropriate questions. What is articulated here serves as a starting point for discussion, exploration, and action planning. Nor need the employee know in all certainty what his or her two-year career goals and five-year development needs are.
Once each has completed their respective parts, they should meet together again for discussion–comparing thoughts on training needs, voicing areas of disagreement and finally reaching consensus.
In identifying priorities, the subordinate should feel, ideally, that he or she has had a part in the process. The supervisor, however, may be a more directive in this area than in the general discussion of education and developmental needs. This would be necessary, for example, if the supervisor is convinced that the employee’s lack of proficiency in a particular skill is seriously impacting group productivity.
In discussing career goals, as was mentioned previously, the manager should be a helper rather than a decision maker. This is also true in discussing education and developmental needs if the discussion is limited to the skills and knowledge needed to meet career goals. One exception is if the supervisor knows that the employee is about to be moved into another position or is going to be given additional responsibilities and for this reason needs to acquire new knowledge or skills. In this case, the supervisor would be justified in taking a directive role in identifying education needs.
3.4.5 Planning Developmental Strategies
Once training, education, and developmental needs have been determined, plans should be made to meet those needs. Generally the planning process should follow these steps:
- From the training, education, and developmental needs identified, selects those earmarked as having top priority.
- Describe in writing the performance standards that will demonstrate when each has been met (developmental objectives.)
- Discuss alternative methods of meeting each need and select one or more methods that will help the employee accomplish the developmental objective (developmental activities.)
- Set review dates.
In selecting needs to focus on, the supervisor–subordinate team should consider the priority of each need, and then take a realistic look at how much can actually be accomplished. Before deciding how much to take on, the two should consider each need in the context of budgets, workloads, and other contingencies. At this point, the subordinate should take the lead in deciding what and how much to try. Decisions initiated by the subordinate bolster his or her commitment.
Next, the goal should be put in writing. Often, we are tempted to take the easy way out by writing very general goals, “Improve my writing skills”, for example. This is fine as a starting point. But let’s look at what could happen six months after this goal is written. The supervisor and subordinate get together to review progress and the supervisor says, essentially, “Your writing has not improved!” The subordinate is flabbergasted: “But, boss, I thought I was making real progress.”
Who’s right? They both may be. The problem is that they didn’t specify the criteria for measuring successful accomplishment of the objective. If they had written a specific, measurable objective, the subordinate would have a more specific goal to work toward and would be more likely to accomplish the goal to the supervisor’s satisfaction. Both persons would probably tend to view the developmental process as a success and would therefore be encouraged to continue working toward further development.
When objectives have been agreed upon and written down, it is time to explore developmental activities. The table Development Activities opposite lists a number of activities to consider, grouped according to developmental functions. The supervisor and subordinate may be able to think of other development activities not in the list.
In choosing the right activity or combination of activities, the primary consideration should be: Which will be most effective in helping meet the objectives set? The amount of time required and probable costs are other important considerations.
Finally, a date or dates should be set to review the results of the developmental process and to reassess needs and goals and plan new developmental strategies. About three to six months is about the right amount of time for one cycle. At intermittent dates, the supervisor and subordinate should probably check on progress toward meeting objectives and deal with any problems or questions that may arise. Needs and goals can change even within a three– or six-month cycle, so the supervisor and subordinate should be open to the possibility of a comprehensive review and revision of plans if needed.
3.5 Measuring Training Effectiveness
Conducting an ROI of training calls for stringent goal setting and continuous analysis. Mathematically, ROI is a comparison of benefits to cost expressed as a percentage of the original investment. In simpler terms, it is a way of finding if the training met its goals to an extent that justified its cost. An ROI study seeks to justify and improve a training program as well as to devise an overall training strategy. There is a misconception that ROI should be left to mathematicians with thick glasses to peer through a haze of regression models and partial derivatives. That perception of complexity has deterred many from attempting ROI studies. But, in fact, doing training ROI is just a fancy way of doing cost-benefit analysis.
And not conducting an ROI analysis of training can cost a company valuable input that’s necessary for improving results. Because ROI requires measurements before, during and after training, finding the ROI of a particular training program is not a discrete event but should be part of an ongoing process. The focus on pre-training measurements also helps align a program with the overall strategy. The first step has got to be to identify needs and goals. Then what have to be done is compare existing workforce and the skills that they have got to these goals. A well-planned training program should be designed to close the skills gap—and an ROI study is the only way to measure that. To be certain that the training—and not random, external factors—is responsible for closing the gap, the effects of the training need to be isolated. The easiest way to do this is to measure a behavior in a group of employees before training and again after training.
Here are five steps a company can follow to determine the ROI of its training program:
- Measure the initial reaction to the training. This is the first and most basic level, usually involving a post-training survey assessing the quality of the class. In the case of the financial company, the employees were asked if the material was easy to follow, if the instructor was familiar with the subject matter and if the facility was conducive to learning.
- Analyze the learning. There are a number of ways to do this, such as testing, simulations and instructor evaluations. What matters most is finding out if the employees actually absorbed the class content. These first two steps are early indicators. Without positive feedback and good marks on the testing, a positive ROI is unlikely.
- Analyze the skills gained over the long term. The goal of this step is to assess whether on-the-job behavior changed after the training. This data should be collected over a longer period of time. During this phase, data is also gathered on how participants have used their new skills. This skills analysis can yield valuable data on what worked—and what didn’t—in a training program. Level three is some of the most valuable data, If employees are not using the skills, it should be found out why. And it may reveal disconnects with the environment, lack of support, maybe the wrong skills; it might not be what is needed at this time.
- Measure the business impact. This step of the ROI calculation determines the monetary value of the measured change.
- Analyze the actual ROI. This phase is really just another way to express the business impact, this time taking into account the program’s cost.
The data can be to make an informed decision to change the program. And the result would be a more efficient and cost-effective training program.
4.1 Review of Findings & Analysis
Training is concerned with imparting particular skills for specific purposes. We typically say training can involve the enhancement of skills, knowledge, attitudes or social behavior. It may mean changing what employees know, how they work, their attitudes toward their work, or their interactions with their co-workers or their supervisor.
Today’s executive therefore needs to learn to be adaptable, flexible, and to accept rapid changes, to develop his or her own abilities as far as possible, to apply basic principles, and to understand the fundamentals of leading and motivating people under complex and changing conditions. Rigid procedures, fixed responses, non-flexible technique orientation, and rigid standards foster executive obsolescence.
Management development includes the processes by which managers and executives acquire not only skills and competencies in their present jobs, but also capacities for future managerial tasks of increasing difficulty and scope. These managerial tasks involve complex, intangibles such as conceptual thoughts, powers of analysis, and decision-making. The development is related to the pressures of constant rapid changes and to company growth patterns.
Training and Development in AKTEL is one of the major responsibilities of the Organizational Development team. The Organizational Development (OD) Unit encompasses four main areas of activity:
- Talent & Leadership Management
- Career & Succession Planning
- Reward & Recognition
The scope of this report will focus mostly on Training and Development.
4.3 Training Objectives
The primary objective of training is to develop an efficient workforce at all levels to ensure that corporate objectives can be met. Within this primary objective there are several basic reasons for training:
- The acquisition of a broader educational, technical and / or organizational background.
- The improvement of existing skills and / or the acquisition of new skills.
- The attainment of technical / professional qualifications.
- The opportunity to make contacts, exchange ideas and discuss problems with colleagues or people from other organizations.
- A fresh interest in work by virtue of greater understanding and perception of the organization and its objectives.
- A gradual improvement in decision making capacity, managerial skills and leadership quality.
- A greater feeling of involvement by being able to discuss various aspects of work with greater confidence.
- A better understanding of people, their reactions, aspirations and problems.
- A better understanding of oneself and the impetus needed for self-development.
4.4 Training competencies
The whole purpose of training is to create fully productive employees. In order to achieve that, the skill competencies are separated into three categories. As one of the competencies is mastered, an individual will elevate to a higher level of proficiency and ultimately grow professionally and become thinking employees who can take on a more strategic role and contribute to the progress of the company.
4.5 Training strategy
AKTEL applies a training model, in which training is primarily and effectively delivered to employees by their respective supervisors, Managers or above, and other divisions, on a dynamic, ongoing-need basis.
To keep pace with the rapidly changing and expanding and highly competitive telecom sector of Bangladesh, AKTEL strives to establish a perpetual learning and teaching organization for its employees. This will more effectively promote dynamic, need-based skills development and subsequently monitor performance improvements. Ongoing skills development will therefore enhance organizational speed, efficiency, productivity, business adaptability and ultimately result in growth.
AKTEL firmly believes that effective training occurs when employees take active responsibility for their own skills development, as opposed to the traditional passive participation and low prioritization. Moreover, supervisors are held responsible for planning and providing the appropriate resources for employee skills development, vis-à-vis skill assessment, training, coaching, mentoring and monitoring. Both the employee and his supervisor are mutually responsible for ensuring effective skill development and subsequent performance improvement. Employee’s skill development through training will be a primary factor in performance appraisal, promotion, salary increases and many more aspects.
4.6 Internal and External Training
AKTEL’s goal is to reverse the existing training model of heavily outsourced training, and instead develop internal training as the centerpiece of its employee skills development strategy.
External Training will therefore be utilized strictly to import unavailable skills or expertise on a one-time, non-repetitive basis and will generally be reserved for managers and above. The types of Internal and External Trainings are described below.
Internal training: At AKTEL, internal training can be broadly categorized into:
In-House Training – training conducted by employees
Supervisors will provide instantaneous, informal, on-the-job training to their subordinates, by exposing them to higher-level decision-making process, regular discussions on relevant strategic and operational issues to provide a complete awareness of entire the workflow
When a senior employee takes an active role in guiding another individual, we refer to this activity as coaching. This entails identifying employee weaknesses, mistakes or shortcomings in real-time – as they occur, and working to resolve them immediately by devising action plans and monitoring performance. The effective coach gives guidance through direction, advice, criticism, and suggestion in an attempt to aid the employee’s growth.
The technique of senior employees coaching individuals has the advantages that go with learning by doing, particularly the opportunities for high interaction and rapid feedback on performance. Unfortunately, its two strongest disadvantages are; (1) its tendencies to perpetuate the current styles and practices in the organization, and (2) its heavy reliance on the coach’s ability to be a good teacher. An individual can become an excellent performer without necessarily possessing the knack of creating a proper learning environment for others to do the same; thus the effectiveness of this technique relies on the ability of the “coach.” Coaching of employees can occur at any level and can be most effective when the two individuals are outside the hierarchical organizational chain of command.
External Training as opposed to internal training is those provided by vendors who are engaged by AKTEL to provide relevant training on a need basis.
External training can be classified into:
Domestic – trainings taking place within Bangladesh
Foreign – trainings taking place outside Bangladesh
In-house Vendor Training – training conducted by vendor in AKTEL premises
4.7 Types of Training
HR Division of AKTEL primarily offers following three types of training.
I) Skill Development
II) Induction Training
III) Internship Program
4.7.1 Skill Development
There is particular emphasis on building a corporate culture where team spirit is fostered and the channels of communications are open for all. To that goal, the OD team strives to generate ideas that will enhance team spirit and make the work environment more enjoyable and interesting. (Team spirit discussed in more detail later)
For most of the technical development, on-the-job training is considered. If any identified technical training cannot be conducted while on job, the training need is forwarded to the division head for his / her attention. The division head co-ordinates with the HR division to seek training from outside source. For managerial or people skills training, the division head requests the HR division for the specific training; the HR division identifies if the training can be provided by the resources inside, or else seeks training from other training organizations. AKTEL offers different course sessions where the expert instructors provide knowledge on various management or technical subjects like team development, leadership skills, GSM technology, etc.
4.7.2 Induction and orientation Training
In AKTEL, each new employee undergo a comprehensive induction training program, which includes information about the organization, its structure, products / services, policies and the various functions executed by each division or department. It includes visits to the different customer care centres, visits to other divisions and discussions with people in other divisions if it helps the new executive to have a better understanding of his own role.
Employees joining Customer Care will receive extended Orientation Training upon joining AKTEL, to gain more in-depth knowledge of and exposure to particular division functions, which relate directly to their job in customer relationship management.
The induction hours are counted as training hours and are updated regularly in the training database.
4.7.3 Internship Program
AKTEL regularly offers internships or work attachments to university graduates or students so that the students gain practical work experience in their academic disciplines and sometimes also to support a division’s operational work.
This hands-on exposure and training to AKTEL’s work environment also serves as a testing ground for interns to demonstrate their performance and prove their capability to join AKTEL in the future. It also serves as a wellspring of fresh ideas, energy, creativity and perspectives to invigorate AKTEL’s productivity and growth.
AKTEL always welcomes scholar interns and provides all kinds of facilities like the other world class reputed organization. The HR division follows some set guidelines to select a person for the internship program. The division gives preference to the candidate’s academic result(s) as well as graduating institute. After selecting, an internee is attached in a particular division / area by the HR division for a certain time period depending on both internee’s requirement and division’s interest. At the end of this internship period, the internee has to submit a project report on a selected topic of that particular area to the HR division based on his or her gathered knowledge throughout the time. On the basis of successful completion of Internship Program by the internee, HR division interviews them for recruitment if there is any suitable post available.
4.8 Training Prerequisites
The entire training process can be loosely divided into three sub-divisions. What we have covered so far is the foundational aspects of training at AKTEL. The next phase is the process of Training Need Identification.
4.8.1 Training Need Assessment [TNA]
The objective of the TNA Process is to identify the training needs of the different divisions and departments and eventually preparing the training calendar. The main components required to initiate this process are the Performance Appraisal Form,
Recommendation from divisional Heads for Training and compiled Training needs to create the yearly training calendar.
The TNA Process:
Training Needs are the difference between the desired or required performance to achieve divisional goals, and an employee’s actual performance.
Supervisors will complete their subordinates’ TNA in the Performance Appraisal Form, identifying skill requirements to meet divisional goals. OD collects each division’s TNA from the Performance Appraisal Forms to compile the required operational, behavioral and conceptual skills training.
Divisions will then associate with OD to determine them:
- Training priorities – trainings that are the most critical to meet division’s business goals
- Training timetables – determining scheduling for required trainings
- In-house trainers – identifying in-house trainers to impart required trainings
- Training vendors – identifying appropriate vendors for required trainings
Answering four basic questions can broadly identify training need of executives in AKTEL:
- What are the organization’s goals?
- What tasks must be completed to achieve these goals?
- What behaviors are necessary for each job incumbent to complete his or her assigned tasks?
- What deficiencies if any do incumbents have in the skills, knowledge or attitudes required performing the necessary behaviors?
Other than that, training need at the higher-level post of AKTEL may come through the fact that an executive is the future top-level management of the company. The person who shows excellent capabilities at his work does not necessarily automatically become a good manager when promoted. The newly promoted supervisor is likely to find himself concerned for the first time with identifying and solving problems involving decision-making. He has to motivate and manage mental models of the staff. This requires leadership skills, which must be developed. He must be able to assess the training needs of his subordinates and carry out on the job training when necessary.
The executive is on the management ladder and must learn the art of delegation. Until very recently, office executives were left to acquire these skills by experience but it can be a long hard process and is made much easier by proper training.
4.9 Training Calendar
OD will develop a Training Calendar to source and schedule behavioral and conceptual skills training programs for the company, based on each division’s requirements. The Calendar will be dynamic and subject to updates and modifications, to meet division and employee skill requirements.
The Calendar will be developed following the completion of all Performance Appraisals. It will also work closely with divisions to develop their respective functional skills training calendar, sourcing both internal and external trainers.
4.10.1 Course Instructor
AKTEL utilizes mainly internal instructors as the training resource for the in-house courses. The immediate supervisor identifies training need during regular One on One meeting conversation. If the training need can be fulfilled internally, then In-house Training is conducted and if the identified area cannot be improved internally, the Division head takes initiative in collaboration with OD to send for External Training for the concerned person. AKTEL aims to develop expert instructors within the organization in near future for in-house training. For the external training courses, instructors are allocated by the training organizations.
4.10.2 Course Materials for In-house Training
Primarily the course materials are developed in-house based on the modern management theories and tools provided in various books authored by the leading management thinkers. Then the materials are customized considering the work culture and the need in order to compete with the leading organizations. The materials will be continuously improvised based on feedback by the participants and with the modern theories provided by the renowned authors. The OD team is working on development and improvising continuously.
4.10.3 Training coordination
The primary responsibility of a training coordinator in this case members of the OD unit, is to ensure that adequate logistic support is provided. The following are necessary steps that a Training Coordinator must follow:
- Source training vendors, assess their competence. In case of external vendors, a mock training session is sometimes instigated to evaluate whether the training is applicable to AKTEL. In case of internal training, the OD team may collaborate with the trainer to develop the training module and decide on the best method of delivery.
- Prepare approval notes for Training and acquire the necessary funds from the Finance division.
- Arranging venue, logistics and other supporting materials.
- Following up with participants prior to training to confirm attendance.
- Help the trainer during the training sessions
- Update training database to maintain all training related records.
4.11 Training Database
To maintain detailed records of training classes and of each participant of AKTEL, a Training database is maintained. The OD unit is responsible to update data on time, and develop or modify the database as and when required.
OD will maintain and update the following areas of the HR Information System:
- Employee training records, including supervisor and employee evaluations
- List of training programmes and records for implemented programmes
- Vendor profiles
- In-house Trainers training records
The Information System is to simplify data collection, storage, retrieval and the management of records to improve both Operational (find, delete, add) and Management tasks (planning, evaluation, decision making) of the organization.
4.12 Post-Training Evaluation
As we know, Management Development is future oriented and concerned with education, skills building, or assisting a person to become a better performer. Thus, AKTEL’s Organizational Development activities attempt to install sound reasoning processes to enhance one’s ability to understand and interpret knowledge. As it is a new process it will be going through a continuous improvement path.
AKTEL believes that successful managers have analytical, human, conceptual and specialized skills. They are able to think and understand the environment. Training peers cannot overcome a manager’s or potential executive’s inability to understand cause and effect relationships, to synthesize from experience to visualize relationships, or to think logically. As a result, it is suggested that management development be predominantly an education process rather than a training process. Here education will be judged by its contribution to performance where performance is a function of skills, abilities, motivation and the opportunity to perform and the development of some other special skills like good listening skills and the ability to read, analyze and classify types of employee behavior.
Post-training performance monitoring is the only effective way to assess and better ensure employee skills development. Supervisors recommending training for a subordinate will complete the first part of the ‘Performance with Real-Time Evaluation’ Form with OD, and then the employee. This will identify the targeted skills requiring development and that will be tracked.
For further improvement, every participant is given a course evaluation sheet during the last hour of each session. In that form, participants are encouraged to give their feedback that would lead to further improvement of the class material and delivery. The completed forms are then collected and compiled; the data is then analyzed to determine training effectiveness and trainer’s efficiency. The training and the trainer are rated accordingly and the data is recorded in the training database.
Training evaluation is incomplete without input from the supervisors of the trainees. As they are the ones who will be able to best gauge the impacts of training from noticing changes in performance after training. To that effect, a separate feedback / evaluation form (trainee evaluation for training effectiveness) is sent to the supervisor’s within 10 days from the date of completion of the training. The supervisors must fill-in the form in periodical 1, 3 and 6-month intervals.
As the employee’s mature and their concept of training and its importance flourishes, new and advanced ideas from everyone will help this effort for continuously enhance skills and understanding of the environment and its needs.
Economies in the twenty-first century are under relentless pressure to increase the skill levels of their workforce. A highly skilled workforce is widely seen as being essential for prosperity in a globalize world characterized by rapid technological change. The implication is that high and growing incomes can only be sustained by high and growing levels of worker productivity, which in turn demand ever-increasing levels of worker skills. Planned people development should be one of the basic concepts of any organization’s professional management system.
AKTEL, in keeping up with the latest trend, have embraced many developmental strategies and also started their application in the organization. However, they are still a long way from achieving that totally synergistic and highly efficient workforce, where every employee willingly takes the responsibility of his / her development and also, in the spirit of teamwork, helps his / her team members.
In reference to measuring training effectiveness, there should be specific criteria for measuring successful accomplishment of the objective. If there is a written, specific, measurable objective, the subordinate would have a more specific goal to work toward and would be more likely to accomplish the goal to the supervisor’s satisfaction. Both persons would probably tend to view the developmental process as a success and would therefore be encouraged to continue working toward further development.
There should be individual development plans. While there may always be areas of growth or development common to many at the same time, these ought not to be the sum total of the people developing process taking place. It is often an easy excuse for managers to point to plant–wide or company–wide “people” programs as a way of absolving themselves of their people developing responsibility. Everyone has developmental needs in order to help achieve the mission of the organization.
Another operable word should be review. The manager is required to follow up on the people development plans. They are not to be spoken of enthusiastically for a brief period and then forgotten. If documented on company forms, they ought not to be forwarded to some staff office as though floating off into never–never land. They require monitoring so that progress any be checked periodically.
Finally, individual plans should be reviewed at least annually. This is an attempt to offer some time frame for periodic review, so as not to make the task too time–consuming. Furthermore, a lot can happen in twelve months, so that this time span is not too soon for considering new situations that might warrant changing or updating the plan. Many practicing managers indicate a twelve-month time frame as a practical one, especially when the development plan is discussed in the context of the annual performance evaluation.
In order to reach the business objective of the company, AKTEL is having corporate culture. For this reason, individual divisions have their own objectives to maintain this. The divisional objectives are far different compared to each other, according to their nature of job and functional role. No doubt it is a great big teamwork, which makes the business objective happen. Considering AKTEL’s success we can confidently say that we have such a winning team to be proud of.
The concept of the learning organization arises out of ideas long held by leaders in organizational development and systems dynamics. One of the specific contributions of organizational development is its focus on the humanistic side of organizations. Learning organizations can be considered as part of the evolving field of OD.
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