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Basic computer skills

The Company X requires improving basic computer skills in its employees. Some employees in the company lack knowledge and skills on how to use the computers. Improving employee computer skills will no doubt need to be done through effective and well designed training programs as supported by Legge (Legge, 2004). To determine which is the best training method that the company needs to adopt, interviews by phone will be conducted with the managers and the employees in the Human Resource Management (HRM).

The interviews will enquire from the managers and HRM employees on which computer skills they consider as vital in employee performance, the best training method to use, which employees require training and the benefits that Company X is likely to enjoy from improved computer skills in employees. The interview to employees in the HRM will aim at identifying the needs of the employees when it comes to the computer skills, how employee computer skills can be improved, what is the benefit of improved employees skills to the company, the best training methods, and all the requirements of the training.

Since the interviews to the managers and to the human resource management employees will be conducted by phone using well designed

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questionnaires, the answers to the questions will be analyzed and the findings used to address the research problem. The findings will be used together with the research information collected to pave the way forward on the best training method that the Company X should adopt in improving the employees skills. Research findings According to Jacobs et al (Jacobs and Jones, 1995), the competition in the global business market demands that organizations and companies upgrade their employee’s computer skills.

The managers and the HRM managers who were interviewed acknowledged that there is need for the company to improve its employee’s computer skills if it is to remain competitive in the market. In addition, they supported highly the training of the employees by saying that the company would benefit from the competitive advantage that would stem from the employees’ improved computer skills. There is need for the company to put aside adequate financial resources that need to be used for effective training.

It is also vital that the company first identify the employee sub groups that require training. Hammer (Hammer, 1990) is of the opinion that the employer should always be ready to put emphasis on computer skills training because it ensures that the employees can be able to maximize their potential if provided with the right working environment. Some of the computer skills that the managers and the HRM employees pointed out to be important to the employees include; communication skills, internet use skills, and report writing skills.

This opinion is supported by Fitzgerald et al (Fitzgerald et al, 1990). All these skills will be very relevant to the work in the company, while improving employee computer skills will reduce the employees’ risk to obsolescence. The managers and HRM employees during the interview were of the opinion that both professional and management workers need the upgrading of computer skills. There is need for the Company X to balance work and training. The interview findings indicated that two methods of training that can be adopted in the company (on- job or off- job training).

To the interviewees, the method of training used to improve employee skills will depend on the needs of the company, the available financial resources and the effectiveness of the training on employee performance and the overall company productivity. Majority of the managers and the employees who were interviewed seemed to favor on- job training due to its convenience and benefits to the company as compared to off- job training. However, they pointed out that certain aspects of off- job training can be used in the training.

On- job training was preferred because it will be less disruptive to the work, and it will also encourage the employees gain direct experience at the work place. In addition, on- job training will reduce the training costs that are incurred in off- job training. These costs include; transport costs, accommodation and training course costs. E) Recommendations Based on the research and the interview findings, the Company X should adopt on- job training as the best training method of improving its employee computer skills.

On- job training will be very convenient for the company because training and work can easily be balanced. According to Barron et al (Barron et al, 1997), this prevents low productivity of the company if work is compromised by training. Another reason why on- job training is the best method for the company to use is that what is learned during training can easily be applied in the work. On- job training will enable the company to train its employees with minimal costs, an opinion also supported by Lambrecht et al (Lambrecht et al, 2004).

Since the company has the responsibility to distribute newspapers and magazines, it should not send off its employees for training away from work Before embarking on employee training the various computer skills required by the employees should be identified based on the company’s’ and employees needs. This according to Ellinger (Ellinger, 2004) should be followed by the development of training programs that will be used to address the needs. The professionals in the computer or in the information field who will be selected t o train the employees should be highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced in their work.

This will ensure that the training done is of a sufficient standard. Adequate time should be given for the training so that the trainers get enough time to spend with the employees during, a measure that will prevent substandard training. There will be need for the company managers and supervisors to carry out supervision on the progress of the training, to make it easy for the company management to identify problems that may be present during the training. When problems are identified the company management should resolve these problems quickly in order to increase the success of the training.

F) Conclusion The technological advancement in the modern world leaves companies or business organizations with no other choice but to adapt to the technological changes according to Compeau et al( Compeau et al 1995). One of the ways through which companies can adapt to the changes in order to remain competitive is through improvement of the employee computer skills. This requires a company to invest its resources in developing training programs, hiring information technology professionals, and carrying out the training.

Unless a company does so, it’s bound to experience low productivity and employee performance when lack of computer skills affects the company negatively . This view is stated in a US Bureau of Labor Statistics article (US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2004). Bibliography Alavi, M. , Nelson, R. , and Weiss, I. 1988. Managing End-User Computing as a Value-Added Resource. The Journal of Information Systems Management. Summer 1988). Vol. 5, Issue 3: 26-36 Allen, T. , and Morton, S. 1994. Information Technology and the Corporation of the 1990s.

New York: Oxford University Press. Armstrong, M. 2006. A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th edition, London: Kogan Page Bach, S. , and Sisson, K. 2000. Personnel Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice. Blackwell Publishing Barron, J. , Berger, M. , and Black, D. 1997. On-the-Job Training. Kalamazoo, I: Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Belker, L. 2005. The First –Time Manager. AMACOM Div. American Mgmt Assn Borghans, L. and Weel, B. 2002. Do Older Workers Have More Trouble Using a Computer than Younger Workers?

Research in Labor Economics, vol. 21 2002): 139-73. Compeau, D. , Olfman, L. , Sei, M. , Webster, J. 1995. End-user training and learning. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM (Jul 1995). 38, 7: 24. Dawe, S. 2003. Determinants of successful training practices in large Australian firms, Leabrook, S. Australia: NCVER Ellinger, A. 2004. The Concept of Self-Directed Learning and Its Implications for Human Resource Development. Advances in Developing Human Resources, May 2004. 6(2): 158 – 177 Employee Training and Management Development.

ICMR Books. 2007 www. icmrindia. org/courseware/Intro%20to%20Hrm/hrm-DS11. htm Accessed on November 25, 2008 How to Provide Employee Computer Skills Training. 2008 www. ehow. com/how_2076440_provide-employee-computer-skills-training. html Accessed on November 25, 2008 Fitzgerald, E. , and Cater-Steel, A. 1990. Champagne Training on a Beer Budget. 1995. Association for Computing Machinery. Communications of the ACM (Jul1995); 38, 7: 49. Hammer, M. 1990. Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate. Harvard Business Review (July-August 1990):104-12.

Jacobs, R. and Jones, M . 1995. Structured On-The-Job-Training: Unleashing Employee Expertise In the Workplace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, SanFrancisco, CA Lambrecht, J. , and Redmann, D. , and Stitt-Gohdes, W . 2004. Learning the Ropes: On-the-Job Experiences of Computer Users. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal, Vol. 22:2 Legge, K. 2004. Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities, Anniversary Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan People and Organizations. tutor2u. net/business/people/training_onthejob. asp

Accessed on November 25, 2008 Shelly, G. , and Walker, T. 1999. Discovering Computers 2000: Concepts for a Connected World Cambridge, Massachusetts: Course Technology Ulrich, D. 1996. Human Resource Champions. The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2004. NLSY79 User Guide. US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Van Buren, M. , and Erskine, W. 2002. The 2002 ASTD state of the industry report. American Society of Training and Development. Alexandria, VA

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