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Effect of Traditional and E-learning Training on Employees

Info: 15304 words (61 pages) Dissertation
Published: 11th Dec 2019

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Tags: EmploymentTechnologyLearningWorkplace Training

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

1.2 Research problem

1.3 Research objective

1.4 Importance of this study

1.5 Theoretical framework

1.6 Research Question

1.7 Research method technique

1.8 Data collection technique

1.9 Data analysis technique

1.10 Ethical consideration

1.11 Contribution to the research

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Economical benefits of E learning

2.3 Types of non-traditional training approaches

2.3.1 Asynchronous E Learning approach

2.3.2 Synchronous E Learning approach

2.4 Relationship between Training and Performance

2.5 Traditional and E learning training

2.6 Methods of evaluating effectiveness of Training

Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Common research strategies

3.2.1 Survey

3.2.2 Questionnaire

3.2.3 Case Study

3.2.4 Action Research

3.2.5 Ethnography

3.3 Research methodology

3.3.1 Qualitative method

3.3.2 Quantitative method

3.3.3 Mix Method

3.4 Selected method

3.5 Population and Sample Size

3.6 Ethical Consideration

3.7 Research Validity and Reliability

3.8 Data collection Technique and presentation

3.9 limitations of the study

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and finding

4.1 Introduction

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

5.2      Summary

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendations

Reference:

 

 

Content of Tables and Figures

Table 1: Age analysis

Table 2: Gender analysis

Table 3: The length of time employee has worked for the company

Table 4: Type of work contract

Table 5: Cross tabulation of type of contract and Age category

Table 6: Method of Training when you first started as a TMA

Table 7:Were you satisfied with the approach

Table 8: Multivariate analysis:

Table 9: Descriptive statistics

Table 10: Current training method

Table 11: How often training is given?

Table 12: Success level in the change of training approach

Table 13: Cross-Tabulation Satisfaction level of current training arrangements by age

Table 14: Cross-Tabulation between satisfaction of previous and current training

Table 15: Chi-Square Tests

Table 16: Cross-tabulation between Satisfaction of  current training and successful level of training in further development

Figure 4. 1 Comparison of length of time employee was with Travelex and Gender

Figure 4.2: Bar chart representation of method of Training offered and Period worked……………..

Figure 4.3 Employee satisfaction level with training offered by gender

Figure 4.4: Performance without training as TMA

Figure 4.5: Recommendation of type of training

Abstract

This study investigates whether there is a significant impact on performance when employees are moved from a traditional type training to a non-traditional type. The focus here is determining whether E learning especially, further enhances employee performance and skills. The case study in focus is Travelex in the area of Heathrow Airport, with a critical focus on their travel money advisors (TMAs). Data were collected from 42 TMAs working in the 31 bureaus located in the Airport.  Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire, that consists of unstructured and structured questions. The results gathered from this mixed approach found that a relationship exist between training and performance. Moreover, the SPSS descriptive analysis and cross-turbulence charts indicate that there is success in a move from traditional to non traditional training as majority of employees say that it has further developed their skills and improved their performance. Although this may be the case, further analysis led us to find that there was a significant decrease in satisfaction levels comparisons. This then strongly supported the literature review findings, which indicate that training must be developed to suit individual employees so that they can make the best of it, it also indicates that without training specifically developed for individuals  leads to a high level of unproductivity, errors in work and lack of motivation which all in all adds up to potentially leading employee to resignation.

 

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1   Background of the study

Since the evolution of human resource information systems (HRIS), training has undergone a swift and dramatic change (Sims, 1998., Mbarek and Zaddem, 2013).   The trend towards having knowledgeable workers in a society that is increasing in technological aspects has inspired web-based training (Boud and Garrick, 1999, Aswathappa, 2005)). Beer (2000) states that web-based training was estimated at about 1.5 billion, with the US spending approximately 50 billion per year since the year 2000.  Over recent years the term web-based training has been replaced with a broader term known as E learning or web learning (Beer,200). ‘’E learning is used to provide an umbrella term for referring to all the technologies involved in the process of designing, delivering and managing instruction using computers’’ (Driscoll, 2002, p.1).   There doesn’t exist a common accepted definition for the term E learning according to Arkorful (2014), Dublin (2003) and Oblinger and Hawkins (2005) but there are a number of different definition of the term which are similar to Welsh et al., (2003). E learning is defined as the use of computer network technology such as the internet to pass information and instruction to an individual or an employee (Welsh et al.,2003, Pollard and Hillage, 2001). Armstrong, (2009) adds that E learning enables learning to take place when it is most needed and when it’s convenient. (Muller-Camen, Croucher and Leigh, 2008) complements that a setting like is a type of informal learning.

Randhawa (2007) defines training as ‘’the act of increasing knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a particular job’’ (p.114). Critical factors that influences overall training success and effectiveness is the trainees level of motivation and attitude. Although there may exist a level of interest to learn the content of a training module, lack of or low motivation will result to the trainee being unable to benefit from it.  Research found by Fleishman and Mumford (1989) and others state that the characteristics of the trainee should be considered more important than the course.  Evidence of the importance of trainee variables as well as cost effectiveness pressures has inevitability influenced the move from training and development to what is now known as Learning and development. Kolb (1984) describes learning as a ‘’process whereby concepts are derived from and continuously modified by experience’’ (p.28).

Noe (2010) describes traditional training as training that doesn’t incorporate or involve the use of technology. There are three types of traditional training methods: Presentation, hands on and Group building (Noe, 2010). According to Silver (2015) Instructor- led training which is more hands on method is the most popular type of traditional training delivered in organisations (67%). On the other hand, non-traditional also known as E learning training is one that involves several multimedia training techniques, it has provided the ability to administrate and track employee progress automatically and has given power to organisations to control content and deploy inexpensive methods. Mealy and Loller (2000) indicate that the two most popular forms of E Learning training are: Asynchronous and Synchronous.

Training and continuous employee learning is important to Travelex LTD, which is the worlds leading specialist provider of foreign exchange.  Launched in 1976 by Lloyd Dorfman, it now operates in 50 countries, and manages over 1500 stores. The organisations operations extend to over 100 countries in 20,000 locations in their currency service partnerships with both supermarkets and banks (Travelex.com, 2017). The organisation recognises the importance of their employees worldwide, with one of their main visions and goals especially dedicated to attracting and keeping the best people.

1.2  Research problem

The aim of this research phenomenon is to investigate and analyse how the type of training approaches offered at Travelex Heathrow impacts employ performance. Whilst there are large number of research on the relationship between training and performance, no such relationship has been investigated in Heathrow airport’s exchange bureau, Travelex LTD. Therefore, this study seeks to identify whether a real relationship exists between training and performance and most importantly it aims to find out what type of training the travel money advisors (TMAs) prefer, in hopes of identifying aspects that could be further developed or a more holistic way towards a training approach that could be adapted.

1.3  Research objective

The main objectives of this research is:

  • To explore the different types to non-tradition approaches and its impacts
  • To find out the benefits of training especially that of E learning
  • To identify whether a relationship between training and performance exists
  • To analyse whether a change in training styles influences performance negative or positively
  • To understand methods of training effectiveness evolutions

1.4  Importance of this study

Training and learning is an aspect within human resource management that has always fascinated me. Undertaking this study will enable me to understand the important of implements effective training methods that enhances employee performance. Looking into this topic my aim is to achieve a visual understanding of how ineffective training leads to unproductivity and to emphasis that training should be more catered to individual desires. This research topic is consistent with my career path to become future recruitment consultant.

1.5  Theoretical framework

In terms of theoretical structure of this research, I will explore how Kirkpatrick’s (1979) training evaluation model can be used to measure the effectiveness of training. This report will identify other method of evaluating the effectiveness of training to help organisations make the most of learning and development overall. In my analysis I will identify whether Travelex’s raining approach has been effective and whether it has met the criteria of Kirkpatrick’s model.

1.6  Research Question

  1. Is there a sign of systematic training deployment at Travelex?
  2. Which training (Traditional or E Learning) approach do TMA’s associate with increasing performance and skills?
  3. Which training (Traditional or E Learning) approach do TMA’s associate with increasing performance and skills?

1.7  Research method technique

In order to effectively undertake this research, both secondary and primary research will be used. According to Sounders et al (2012), secondary research method usually consists of books, Internets, magazines, newspapers or even academic journals or thesis conducted within the field. Using secondary research is vitally important to my research because it will enable me to build my overall understanding of this research phenomenon and areas that need to be further investigated. The main advantage of using this method is that it is cheap to acquire and can be easily accessed without having to waste time and effort. However, it can be risky for the researcher as the information provided might be unreliable, biased and the data collected might not be accurate. This therefore presents a concern to the secondary researcher that they cannot depend on secondary research alone and the use of primary research might be necessary to uncover information that would be crucial to the research. Primary research refers to the collection of information but the way in which it is collect is specifically design researcher (Devoult, 2014).  Primary research may consist of building a raw data in the form of questionnaires, surveys or even an interview. The advantage of this type of research is that the researchers have a greater control of the information and it is reliable, as it has come directly from the market or field, which it was based on. However, this method can have its disadvantage, as the information collected might not be accurate from the respondents.

1.8  Data collection technique

For my data collection technique, this research will aim to use a questionnaire method which consists of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The use of a questionnaire will be critical to my research, as it will allow me to answer my research question. The advantages to this method is that it is cheap and information can be easily collected from a large audience in a much more effective way. The use of the mixed method approach will increase the reliability of my data, as easy examination between the relationship of training and performance from a wider perspective will enforce this.

1.9  Data analysis technique

Once the primary research has been conducted the aim will be to undertake analysis of the data provided by TMAs of Travelex and present them in forms of descriptive statistics and frequencies such as charts and graphs, with an identification of any relationships using correlation and standard deviation analysis.  Presenting such data like this will enable any reader to easily understand the data and to form their own conclusions. The analysis provided will also be further examined by comparing different ideas.

 

1.10         Ethical consideration

It is important for researcher to consider ethical values and practices when conducting social research as it contributes to the formulation of research design (Miller, 2012). In terms of this research, one of the key ethical issues that will be taken into account is the privacy of the respondents and their confidential information. Considering this aspect will relate to a positive more accurate outcome on the answers given on the questionnaire. When undertaking the questionnaire, it is also important that the respondents clearly understand the purpose behind this research. Thus, the information must be well presented and easy to read. Furthermore, it is advised to be truthful and advised to avoid being biased or pressuring the respondents to get an authentic collection of data.

1.11         Contribution to the research

The investigation of this research will have a significantly important impact on future research undertaken in this field. This research will aim to create a wider awareness on the effects of training and performance in a travel money bureau and show strong analysis on the key reasons why modern organisations need to reconsider, refocus and reshape their current understanding of training and E learning. This research will bring together previous literature and look into the impact learning styles have on performance and identify ways in which organisations can deal with these to ensure that training investments are producing profitable outcomes.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

 

2.1   Introduction

Human resource managers are facing increasing pressure to provide more efficiency and cost-effectiveness approaches in their practices, Machado and Davim (2014) imply that this has led to the increasing use of information technology in the business environment.  The enormous potential of technology and the Internet, has been embraced by organizations as a tool to achieve some kind of competitive edge (Ananderajan et al, 2000).  Digital possibilities have disputed the traditional way of delivering human resource services. The development in human resource information systems (HRIS) has changed the ways in which human activities are conducted and measured (Chakraborty and Mansor, 2013).  It has since impacted the definition and delivery of training (SIOP, 2009).  This literature review aims to identify the works that looks at traditional training, non-traditional training and its impacts on performance.

2.2 Economical benefits of E learning

The economical savings E learning provides has been established by many researchers already and it is obvious that E learning is less expensive as it reduces training expenses such as travel costs, employee time away and training facility costs (Strother, 2002).  Firms such as IBM and Ernst and Young (EY) have especially benefited from converting from tradition to E learning training methods, for example Hall and LeCavalier (2000) state that IBM saved 200 million by providing five times the learning at a 1/3rd cost to their previous method, whilst Ernst and Young reduced training cost by 35%. In addition to the economic benefits E Learning offers to businesses, other advantages which has pushed E Learning forward includes convenience, standardized delivery, self-paced learning and its easy accessibility of verity (Strother,2002).  Clearly, E Learning has the ability to not only transform how employees learn but when employees learn, it has become an indispensable tool to have in order to thrive and succeed in the 21st century (David et al. 2012).   The economical benefit of E learning training is obvious but how effective is E learning in increasing employee performance, skills and knowledge? Also to what extent is it effective in comparison to traditional training methods?

2.3 Types of non-traditional training approaches

Noe (2010) identifies that there are several new E learning systems emerging each year for example virtual reality and virtual intelligent tutoring systems which are changing the face of training. Thus,  influencing learning to become more dynamic as shown in figure 3.  E Learning provides the ability to administrate and track employee progress automatically, it gives power to organizations to control content and deploy inexpensive methods. The two most popular forms of E learning are: Asynchronous and synchronous (Mealy and Loller, 2000) This section will explore both methods and identify weakness and merits whilst considering other reviews.

Figure 2. 1 Learning environment provided by technology: Noe (2010)

2.3.1        Asynchronous E Learning approach

Mealy and Loller (2000) describes asynchronous the main aspect of this approach is that it enables the trainee to complete courses when it is the most convenient and appropriate time for them. Asynchronous learning doesn’t require the trainee and trainer to be online at the same time, which means that students can spend more time refining and learning at times that suits them best (Hrastinski,2008). However, noticeable disadvantage of this technique is that it creates isolation which could potentially impact the trainee, for example it can cause demotivation and can then become tedious. Also, as there is a level of freedom that comes with it, it can create procrastination, this will eventually catch up with the learner and have an impact on their work performance.

2.3.2        Synchronous E Learning approach

Synchronous E learning is the opposite of asynchronous in the sense that it is carried out in the presence of the trainee or instructor via E learning instruments such as electronic presentations, chat sessions and collaborative electronic blackboards (Mealy and Loller, 2002, Hrastinski ,2008). The advantage of this method is that it reduces isolations and increases the feeling of being a participant. Studies have shown this instructor led method provides the impetus for completion traditionally found in classroom training.

2.4  Relationship between Training and Performance

Randhawa (2007) defines training as ‘’the act of increasing knowledge and skill of an employee for doing a particular job’’ (p.114). Bhat (2011) claims that training is a motivational factor which enhances employees’ knowledge towards their job role by which they become capable in giving better results.  Giving better results means that there is good performance in the completion of tasks (Brown, 2008).

Based on that we can see that a relationship exists between the two factors.  Existing literature presents evidence of an existence of obvious effects of training on employee performance (Cole,2002. Zia et al.,2014, Appelbaum and Armstrong 2003, Williams 2002). Zia et al., (2014) research study found that training is positively correlated with job performance, thus support Appelbaum and Armstrong’s (2003) study which indicates that training enhances the positive attitude and professionalism of employees leading to higher productivity.   In order to achieve such positive correlation between training and performance, Cole (2002), Beer (2000) and Appelbaum and Armstrong (2003) claim that training programs must be designed to match employee needs. Koch and McGrather (1996) research may not be about the relationship between training and performance but they found that organisations should invest in their human resource strategy and employee needs as it aids overall productivity, supporting both Cole (2002) and Armstrong (2003) findings.

2.5  Traditional and E learning training

Koch and McGrather (1996) state that investment in training offers firms a degree of inimitability as it increases the capability, knowledge and skill base of employees in such a way that cannot be easily imitated or duplicated by other firms. On-the-job training, when given by in-house trainers has been found to generate the highest positive influence on employee performance with a high level of overall firm/department productivity (Argon-Sanches et al., 2003). The researchers claimed that this may be due to the low degree of transference problem allowing workers to effectively developed precise skills in an environment of learning undisrupted. However, Awang, Ismail and Mohd Noor (2010) results showed that training designed like that has ‘’moderate impact on employee performance’’ (p.88). Arguably, Wright and Geroy (2001) indicate that E learning has the capability to change employ competencies and increase performance. The isolated environment created in an online-learning method has been seen to have positive impact on productivity (Koch and McGrath, 1996, Argon-Sanches et al.,2003).

Nevertheless, Ellis and Kunzia (2014) declared that achieving successful traditional training and E learning benefits requires ‘’commitment from top managers and end users should be part of the planning and implementation process of E learning initiatives’’ (p.10). According to Kenney and Reid (1988) improved job performance is achieve when training is deliberately. Sarmento (2010) analysis showed a positive outcomes of E learning as contributing to overall productivity and capacity of production in the hospitability industry. Ellis and Kunznia (2014) Investigation into how E learning impacts employee productivity, job performance and job satisfaction, found that 74.9% of participants believe that this non traditional method leads to higher employee satisfaction and 41.9% stated that E Learning has enhanced their job performance.

However, whilst employees maybe receiving relevant training from their employer their performance level can decrease not because of lack of knowledge or skills but because of other factors such as corporate culture, job design or performance appraisal systems in place (Elnaga and Imran, 2013). Other, critical factors that influences overall training success and effectiveness is the trainees level of motivation and attitude (Fleishman and Mumford, 1989). Although there may exist a level of interest to learn the content of a training module, lack of or low motivation will result to the trainee being unable to benefit from the training.

2.6  Methods of evaluating effectiveness of Training

 

Both Goldstein, ford (2002) and Noe (2002) define training evolution as a systematic approach of collecting data that determines whether a specific training approach is effective. Evaluating the effectiveness of training is an imperative requirement for any organisation that seeks to grow and maintain their employees as well as increase overall organisational performance. Armstrong (2014) stated that it is at the planning stage that the evaluation/outcomes of training should be determined, by doing this the extent by which event has achieved its purpose will be easy to conclude. Brown G. Kenneth and Gerhardt W.Megan (2002) imply that evaluation should includes procedures that ensure alignment between training approach and organisational structure exist. Armstrong suggest 4 areas in which the information that should be evaluated should it be obtained and then analysed, these are:

  • Planning-  Where needs properly evaluated? Here aims and objectives should be set.
  • Conducting– Was the method of training conduct or managed well? Here the degree of appropriation as well as effectiveness of method should be evaluated. A comparison of its actual cost and budget should be identified
  • Reaction– How do employees feel about the training?
  • Outcomes- What impact has it made? Is there an change in employees work behaviour, an increase to organisational performance?

The most popular method of training evaluation is Kirkpatrick’s (1979) training evaluation model. Strother (2002) implies that this model can be easily applied to any training approach (traditional or non-traditional). Kirkpatrick’s model consists of four progressive levels somewhat similar to Armstrong (2014). These are level 1: Reaction measures the learners initial first reaction to the training method/course, Level 2: Learning analysis of how much they are acquiring and learning from the type of training, Level 3: Behaviour/Transfer a measure of how they are doing within the job to see if they are implementing what they have learned and finally level 4: Results helps in determining the added value of learning and how this has contributed to organisational performance.

However, there are multiple critics and authors that say that measuring the effectiveness of training is not that simple. In fact, Grove and Ostoff (1990) identified five barriers to which they say explains reasons why training evaluation is being carried out weakly in organisations:

  1. Senior manager problem- They are not requesting information of the impact of training.
  2. Lack of expertise in learning and Development- HR team lack education in understanding how to evaluate.
  3. Focusing training budget on actual training- Evaluation is another expense so many HR departments decide not to invest
  4. Absence of clear objectives
  5. Association of high risk- Training evaluation could reveal that training has not been effective and this could be costly.

Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1            Introduction

The previous chapter reviewed the relevant literature on the evolution of training to E learning and its impacts on employee performance as well as demonstrated learning style theorists. This chapter aims to highlight the study case (Travelex LTD). It will discuss the description of the design of the study, specification and procedures for conducting the research, methods of analysis and the research constraints or problems.

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) defines method as all the techniques and procedures which are used to collect and analyse data. Therefore, this research methodology will aim to identify the approaches used to collect data from respondents.

3.2   Common research strategies

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) refers research to the way in which data or information is gathered but defines research as the ‘’process that people undertake in a systematic way in order to find out things, thereby increasing their knowledge’’ (p.5). Ghauri and Gronhaug (2010) suggest that the phrase systematic implies that research is not merely based on beliefs but more on logical relationships. Whereas, strategy is seen as a plan of action which helps in achieving a goal. Therefore, the term research strategy according to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) is defined as a specific plan of how a researcher will conducts his or her research project. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) demonstrate common research strategies in their research onion. They identified eight types of research strategies, for this project only 5 will be discussed as they relate more to this project type. The 5 strategies to be discussed are:

  • Survey
  •  Questionnaire
  • Case Study
  • Action Research
  • Ethnography

The reason why the above research strategies will be discussed is to achieve a sensible balance of coherence to help in answering the research question and to meet the research objectives.

3.2.1        Survey

Survey is a deductive form of data collection instrument which aids in the gathering and collection of information from participants.  As a popular and a common strategy in management research, it is widely used in helping researcher answer the what, who, where and how questions (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2016 Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2012) adds that data collection techniques which belong to a survey include questionnaires and structured observations.

The advantages of using this method is that it is usually cheap to acquire and with the advancement in technological development, researcher can now conduct online surveys or even mobile surveys for example, in platforms such as Monkey survey. Thus, enabling them to reach a large number of participants with less time and effort. Whilst it is easily accessible and consistent it is also quite easy and simple to design by anyone regardless of technical abilities (Mehdi, 1992).  However, there are a number of limitations associated with conducting surveys, the main limitations are unreliability and restraint in the number of questions you can ask. For example, unreliable data is produced as a result of participants not being entirely honest in their response. While, a restrain exists in the number of questions your survey carries due to presuming respondents’ goodwill (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016).

3.2.2        Questionnaire

Most people use the term questionnaire and survey interchangeably but it has been proven that they are completely different. A questionnaire is a list of printed questions, which is devised for the purpose of statistical data collection that can be easily analysed and compared. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) states that questionnaires are one of the most used research forms to collect data. The main advantage to this method is that it gives the researcher a greater level of control of information and reliability as the data will come directly from the market or field it is based on. A large number of data from a variety of people or groups can be collected. However, the main weakness that appears in such a method is data may not be accurate and response may sometimes be exaggerated.

3.2.3        Case Study

A case study is described as an in debt examination of the real-life setting of a research phenomenon (Yin ,2014).  The idea of real-life setting distinguishes this research strategy from others as it gives it the capacity to generate perceptions from rigorous and in debt research into the study phenomenon leading to the collection of data that is rich and descriptive empirically. One of the advantages gained by researchers for adopting this method is it improves their analytic and problem solving skills and it also further develops their skills and knowledge regarding the experience. The main disadvantages of using case study enquiry is that it can be challenging for the researchers to summarize an effective conclusion and the data collection interpretation can be unreliable and biased.  Insufficient information from the case study enquiry could also lead to a result, which is inappropriate for the research (Flyvbjerg, 2006).

3.2.4        Action Research

Power (2005) describes action research ‘’as any research into practice undertaken by those involved in that practice’’ (p.4). It is usually designed to develop solutions to real organisational problems in a way that involves participation and collaboration. Bell (2014) states that the aims of action research is to come to a recommendation for good practice to either gear effective equipment’s to deal with problems or increase organisational performance.   One of the strength of using action research is that it gives the researcher a practical and theoretical knowledge in the specific field. Strength of using this strategy is that it gives the researcher the freedom to make decisions or choice on their study. Noticeably, action research can have its weakness and one of these weaknesses are that some of the variables may not be well defined and that there is a lack of barrier that defines when is enough (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016).

3.2.5        Ethnography

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) state that ethnography is ‘’used to study the culture or social world of a group’’(p.118). Whilst Reeves, Kuper and Hodges (2008) implies that It is the study of human interactions, behaviour and views that occurs in a team/group, organizations and communities.  The main disadvantage of this strategy is that it is considered very much relevant for modern organizations, for example when a marketing company wants to gain an insightful and an in debt understanding of their markets and consumers (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016). However, the disadvantage of using Ethnography research is that it can take a long period of time to conduct and it can sometimes be expensive for the researchers as they may need special equipment and human resources support.

3.3 Research methodology

In this section there will be an evaluation of the three types of methods; qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods. Each research methodology will be investigated to ensure that the most appropriate is selected. The merits and limitation will be identified to help in this process.  After analysing these methods, I will then select the method, which is appropriate for my research, and provide reason for the selection.

3.3.1        Qualitative method

Qualitative research can be defined by its primary data collection strategy which are; interviews, observations and document exploration. Generally, this method is used to close the gap left by qualitative data in its attempts to answer the why questions.   Researcher adopt this method because it allows them to measure the attitude, satisfaction and commitment of their participants regarding the enquiry and once they have analysed these data they can then present it in the form of tables, charts and graphs. Also, this method is cheap in comparison to the quantitative research and it is also more accessible.  Qualitative research can be beneficial in the survey context, as it will allow the researchers to improve the readability and validity of response, which therefore develops the quality of the survey.

  • Merits

Researchers who intend to adopt the qualitative method can expect many advantages and one of these advantages is the opportunity to gather rich and more detailed analysis through the participant’s views, opinions and their position regarding the research phenomenon. Furthermore, qualitative research also allows researchers to get wider understanding of people’s attitude, feelings and behaviour, which can be crucial to solving the research problem. Another advantage of using the qualitative research is that it can help researcher to study meanings and the relationship between them using different types of data collection techniques.

  • Limitations

The limitations adopting qualitative research however, is that data collected cannot be used to make assumptions. This is because the data gathered is mainly the opinion of the participant’s idea and views of a topic, which therefore might not be accurate.  The participants can also sometimes make an exaggeration claim or may not understand the proper context of the research and thus, provide the wrong information. Another key weakness of using this method is that it requires a large amount of data and it can consume large amount of time to draw a conclusion as a results.

3.3.2        Quantitative method

According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) quantitative method research refers to primary and secondary statistics or data collections which evolved from the conduction of research strategies from simple calculations to more complex data such as test scores. In addition to this, quantitative data enables you gain hard fact and statistics but in order to get a reliable statistical result it is imperative to survey people in large number and also make sure they are representatives sample of your target market. This will increase the reliability of your sample collection as it will be close to the normal population.

  • Merits

Quantitative method enables researchers to gather data and information that is reliable and valid. It allows the researcher to then present the information collection in a statistical analysis manner which gives them the opportunity to easily form and analyse the correlations between independent and dependent variables in debt. The information gathered from this method can also be generalized, read and conclude more easily in comparison to the qualitative method.

  • Limitations

An identifiable weakness in this research approach is unlike qualitative methods, the research will not be able to understand or fully understand the feeling, attitude or behaviour of his or her participants when taking a certain approach. This is because in Qualitative methods participants feeling is not considered. Likewise, this method can also be time consuming as the researcher is required to collect large amount of data in order for him to make his or her research more accurate. Another limitation of using this method is that some of the response from the participants be inaccurate or exaggerated.

3.3.3        Mix Method

Creswell (2014) implies that a mix method is the blend or combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study. This method is also known as the multiple methods and it gives the researcher the opportunity to develop their understanding of the study in broader way. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) a questionnaire can be used with the addition of open ended questions, this is a collection of both research types. It will enable the researcher to collect numerical data and participant opinions.

  • Merits

The main advantage of using this mixed method is that it will increase the reliability and validity of the data collected. This method is also more accurate as it enables the researcher to explore different perspective from different angles which results to greater efficiency. The researchers are also able to examine and analyse the relationship between different variables with the option of also being able to analyse the participant’s feelings, attitude and behaviour.

  • Limitations

As mixed method combines both qualitative and quantitative methods, time consumption is a factor that may affect an individual in their research project. The acknowledgement of the time consumption most likely will lead to respondents over exaggerating information or providing information which is inaccurate, this wold then cause huge problems in the researcher’s project reliability. In addition, this method is complex and expensive to conduct, which means researchers need to have the capability and skills if they choose to adapt this research method beforehand.

3.4 Selected method

Having evaluated the strength and weakness of the research methodology, I believe that the most appropriate method for this research is the mixed form of method using both the qualitative and quantitative method in a questionnaire.  This method will give me the opportunity to gain a strong data from the participants on the impact moving from traditional training to E learning and the impact it had on their performance. This method will also allow me to examine if there is a relationship between training and performance from different perspectives. The quantitative method for instance will allow me to find answers to question relating to how many years the individual has been employed by Travelex whereas the qualitative method will enable me to find answers on which training method employees find to be the most effective. Combining these two methods as a result will inevitability increase validity and reliability of my research investigation.

3.5 Population and Sample Size

The term population is a collective way to describe the quantity and type of cases in the study, whether they are events, objects or people. This research is focus on staff working at Travelex as travel money advisors (TMAs) in Heathrow airport. Travelex is a global organisation that operates in major countries, it has more than six thousand five hundred (6500) employee’s world wide. Currently Travelex is the only money bureau in Heathrow airport with:  fourteen (14) Bureaus in terminal five (5), seven (7) bureaus in terminal four (4), four (4) bureaus in terminal three (3) and six (6) bureaus in terminal two (2). All together there are thirty-one (31) Travelex bureaus in Heathrow airport. There are one hundred and sixty (160) travel money consultants/advisors (TMA) on part time or full time contracts.

This study concentrates on the population of TMA’s in Heathrow Airport and seeks to find out their perspective on the training methods of Travelex in hopes of identifying whether a relationship exist.

3.6 Ethical Consideration

In order for this research to be successful it is important the researcher takes ethical principles into consideration. There has been increasing concerns about ethics in social research which enforces the idea of the researcher needing to make clear the level of confidentiality to participants/respondents (Miller, 2012).  Ethics is defined as a conduct that guides a researchers’ attitude or behaviour in relations to the right of those whom are sectioned to undertake the research method or those who are affected by it (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012). By taking ethical practices into consideration Resnik (2014) implied that it promotes the aim of the research for example, trust, honesty, carefulness and openness. In regards to this enquiry, one of the essential ethical issues that will be taken into account is the privacy of the respondents and the privacy of confidential information. Therefore, the respondents taking part in this questionnaire will remain anonymous. Personal Information such as name, address, work ID or even signature will not be requested. The full purpose the research will be explained and its intended use. Also they will not be pressured in anyway or form to take part in this questionnaire, language used will be easy to understand and read.

3.7 Research Validity and Reliability

According to Ghauri and Gronhaug (2010) Validity is either internal or external. Internal validity is analysis of accuracy in results obtained, whilst external validity is generalization of the findings when analysing. Reliability refers to the repeatability of the particular set of research finding for example how accurate would it be if it were to be replicated in an identical testing. In order to test out the validity, I will distribute my questionnaire to a number of university lectures as well as my supervisor to get a view on their assumptions to each question. This will enable me to examine any inconsistences and identify any errors that may need modification.  In terms of achieving reliable data, I will input my contact details on the email allowing respondent to feel free to contact me if they need assistants or further understanding of the questionnaire questions.

3.8 Data collection Technique and presentation

The questions included in the questionnaire were made as short as possible. The questions were designed to be structured and unstructured to allow respondents to answer the different style questions in the survey, quickly but with accuracy. 12 questions were asked to the sample population which was estimated to take about 5-6 minutes to answer. After the determination of evaluation criteria, the questionnaire (Appendix 1) was designed using Microsoft Word and distributed via email to 160 potential respondents straight to the employees Travelex email. This enabled me to easily distribute the questionnaire sheet, this method was cheap and saved me a lot of time. The questionnaire received a response rate of 26.6%, with 42 employees. Therefore, the there was a sample population of 42 representing 160 TMAs.

3.9 limitations of the study

The main limitation to this study is it assumes that training is the main and only tool that can be used to enhance employee’s performance, this was mainly due to the study question in focus.  The biggest constrain in conducting this research was that I was not allowed to send questionnaire emails to employees more than 2 times as a negotiation with Sarah Ayras (regional manager), to minimise wasting employees work time.  This therefore explains why there was a low response rate of 26.6%, if emails were sent to employees regularly then this questionnaire would have gather greater data from sample population.

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and finding

4.1 Introduction

In analysing the questionnaire, as a researcher I have used both SPSS and Microsoft excel programs in such a way that allows me to gather the information I have collected to make it more accessible, manageable and presentable. As a result, it enabled me to present the gathered information in the form of tables, charts and statistical diagrams. Below is an extensive analysis of the results and findings from the questionnaire.

Table 4.1: Age analysis

What is your age Category?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Under 20 11 26% 26% 26
21-30 16 38% 38% 64
31-40 12 29% 29% 93
41 and over 3 7% 7% 100
Total 42 100.0 100.0

Table 4.2: Gender analysis

Table 4.2 Are you Male or Female?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Male 23 55% 55% 54.8
Female 19 45% 45% 100.0
Total 42 100% 100%

The first and second questions aimed to identify the demographics of the respondents. Looking at the table above I have found that 54.8% of the same population are male and 42% were female. The graph also shows that the majority of respondents both female and male are between the ages of 21-30 with a rate of 38%. There is low percentage of 41 and overs. The above two questions were asked with the intend of selecting well-balanced range of age and gender in order to avoid being biased and improve the overall validity and reliability of research.

Table 4.3: The length of time employee has worked for the company

How long have you been working for Travelex Heathrow?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid 1 – 3 months 9 21% 21% 21
3 – 6 months 8 19% 19% 41
6 -12 month 1 2% 2% 43
2 – 4 years 17 41% 41% 83
4 years + 7 17% 17% 100.0
Total 42 100% 100%

Figure 4. 2 Comparison of length of time employee was with Travelex and Gender

The purpose of this question was to find the length of time respondents have been with Travelex and their experience level of being exposed to the training offered. The table indicates that the majority of respondents who have taken part in this research are experienced with 41% both male and females answering that they have worked as a TMA for 2 to 4 years, an addition of 17% have over 4 years of experience with the majority being Female (figure 1). Overall, the graph and table within this questionnaire emphasis that there is a high level of experience TMA which means that they have better understanding of the previous and current training methods being used.

 

Table 4.4: Type of work contract

What type of contract are you on?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Part time 26 62% 62% 61.9
Full time 16 38% 38% 100.0
Total 42 100% 100%

 

Table 4.5: Cross tabulation of type of contract and Age category

What is your age category? * What type of contract are you on?
Count
What type of contract are you on? Total
Part time Full time
What is your age category? Under 20 8 3 11
21-30 8 8 16
31-40 8 4 12
41 and over 2 1 3
Total 26 16 42

The data on table 4 shows that there is a good mix of part time and full time workers who responded to the questionnaire set. This specific question was asked to show that there was no discrimination when distributing the questionnaires. Also this question enables us to get a more reliable understanding of the type of training offered at Travelex and whether these trainings are specific or different based on the type of contracts one is on. Thus, this increases our reliability and study accuracy. As shown in table 5, there is a high number of part time who vary in age.

Table 4.6: Method of Training when you first started as a TMA

What method of training did you undergo when you first started as a TMA?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Lecture‎/Classroom 1 2% 2% 2
Presentation 9 21% 21% 24
On-the-job 29 70% 70% 93
E-learning 1 2% 2% 95
Blended 2 5% 5% 100.0
Total 42 100.0 100.0

 

Figure 4.3: Bar chart representation of method of Training offered and Period worked

aim of this question was to find out the type of training that is first offered to employees when they start working for the company. As table 6 shows there is a mix of training methods offered at the start. The chart shows that the majority of the respondents said that non traditional training such as on-the-job training was their first training given as a new TMA (70%), while 21% said that they received presentation style training, 5% answered blended and 4% answered either classroom or E learning. Figure 2 shows that the 30% who responded that they received other forms of training that is not on the job have been working for Travelex for more than 2+ years. This shows that there is a move in the type of training given to stay, in the last 12 months, there has only been on-the-job training to new starters.

Table 4.7:Were you satisfied with the approach

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid No 8 19% 19% 19.0
Yes 34 81% 81% 100.0
Total 42 100% 100%

 

Figure 4.4 Employee satisfaction level with training offered by gender

Please give reasons why you were satisfied or not satisfied with the type of training first given?

I then asked an open-ended question in order to gain a qualitative data on the reasons why they were satisfied or not satisfied with the training approach. To start with the 81% of respondents who were satisfied: here are some examples of their response:

  • The training was offered by another staff who worked at the bureau. This made me feel comfortable to ask questions.
  • It was on the job and that is my style of learning
  • I was able to watch and do exactly what happens on the job
  • It made things so much easier for me training on the job in the same place that I will be working.
  • Information was easily accessible
  • My performance was good and after I was able to work on my own. I was able to use all I learned.

Here are also some of the reoccurring responses from the 19% who were not satisfied:

  • Inexperienced trainer: The staff who was training me couldn’t answer some of the questions I had
  • Confused- there were too many things going on, Staff was serving customers all day and I was sitting doing nothing but watching, I found that boring
  • Learning style- Its not the way I learn.

The qualitative data analysis enables me to gain a wider understanding of how the type of training first offered satisfied some respondents and didn’t satisfy others. The response outcomes of those who said they were satisfied links to Koch and McGrather (1996) study. It especially indicates that that in-house style approach for on-the-job increases performance. Reflecting on the above statements made by the employees, we see that a lot of the respondents who didn’t find training effective believed that it just wasn’t suited to their learning styles, whilst for some we see that factors that are beyond control affected their training outcome.

Table 4.8: Multivariate analysis:

Correlation between gender, period worked and their satisfaction with the type of training when first started

Correlation Analysis
Satisfaction of method of training first offer Gender Period worked
Satisfaction of method of training first offer Pearson Correlation 1 -.046 -.204
Sig. (2-tailed) .770 .194
N 42 42 42
Gender Pearson Correlation -.046 1 .420**
Sig. (2-tailed) .770 .006
N 42 42 42
Period worked Pearson Correlation -.204 .420** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .194 .006
N 42 42 42
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Table 4.9: Descriptive statistics

N Mean Std. Deviation
Are you Male or Female?    42 1.45 .504
How long have you been working for Travel Heathrow? 42 3.69 1.944
Were you satisfied with the method of training first offered? 42 1.81 .397

The above question was asked to find out if employees were happy about the training they were offered when they first started. Presumably asking this question means that we can assume that answering yes as satisfied means the training has helped the employee get into their job role. Therefore, it can also mean that the respondents performance was good because of it. 81% answered that that they were satisfied, whilst the rest (19%) said no with no significant correlation between males or females.

Table 4.10: Current training method

What type of training do you receive now?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid E-learning 42 100.0 100.0 100.0

Table 4.11: How often training is given?

How often do you receive this type of training?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Quarterly 42 100.0 100.0 100.0

The above two questions (table 9 and 10) was asked to understand the type of training employees currently receive. Although there was a traditional approach in training when employees started as a new TMA, we see that just a non-traditional training (E learning) is given to employees. As we can see, all (100%) of the respondents say that they receive E Learning training quarterly.

Table 4.12: Success level in the change of training approach

If there was a change in training methods. In your opinion from a Scale of 1 to 5 how successful was this method of training in further developing your skills for the job and improving your job performance?
Frequency Percent% Valid Percent% Cumulative Percent
Valid Extremely unsuccessful 2 5% 5% 4.8
Unsuccessful 7 16% 16% 21.4
Average 13 31% 31% 52.4
successful 16 38% 38% 90.5
Extremely successful 4 10% 10% 100.0
Total 42 100.0 100.0

As we saw in the previous questions analysis there is a change in the type of training offered to employees. Therefore, this question seeks to understand whether this change has impacted employees at Travelex in terms of enhancing their skills and improving their job performance further. As we can see 79% indicated that the change was either average to extremely successful. But, 21% state that the change was unsuccessful with 5% saying that it was extremely unsuccessful.

 

Table 4.13: Cross-Tabulation Satisfaction level of current training arrangements by age

Are you satisfied with the current method of training? * What is your age category?
What is your age category? Total
Under 20 21-30 31-40 41 and over
Are you satisfied with the current method of training? No 2 5 5 1 13
Yes 9 11 7 2 29
Total 11 16 12 3 42

 

Table 4.14: Cross-Tabulation between satisfaction of previous and current training

Are you satisfied with the current method of training? * Were you satisfied with the method of training first offered? 
Count
Were you satisfied with the method of training first offered? Total
No Yes
Are you satisfied with the current method of training? No 3 10 13
Yes 5 24 29
Total 8 34 42

The above question was asked to investigate whether employees prefer a certain training over another and whether the change in training affects satisfaction level of employees. As we can see the majority (69%) respondents said that they are satisfied with the current type of training offered, which is E learning. We can see out of that figure that majority who voted yes are in the group age of 21 to 30.  31% responded unsatisfied with the E learning whilst 5 employees between the ages of 31 to 40 and 1 employee in age category 41+ all say that they are not satisfied. The cross-tabulation table 14, shows that the participants who did not find either training styles successful in improving their performance is is 7 % of the overall respondents.

Table 4.15: Chi-Square Tests

Value df Asymptotic Significance (2-sided) Exact Sig. (2-sided) Exact Sig. (1-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square .198a 1 .656
Continuity Correctionb .000 1 .984
Likelihood Ratio .193 1 .660
Fisher’s Exact Test .686 .478
Linear-by-Linear Association .194 1 .660
N of Valid Cases 42
a. 1 cells (25.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 2.48.
b. Computed only for a 2×2 table

Table 4.16: Cross-tabulation between Satisfaction of  current training and successful level of training in further development

Successfulness of training in further development of performance and skills Total
Extremely unsuccessful Unsuccessful Average successful Extremely successful
Are you satisfied with the current method of training? No 0 7 1 1 4 13
Yes 2 0 12 15 0 29
Total 2 7 13 16 4 42

Out of those who said they were not satisfied, 7% (3 respondents) say that they are not satisfied with either training approaches that they went through.  The overall point that was made by the 31% who responded said that they preferred the first type of training they received when starting as a TMA. In table 14, we can see that only 3 participants responded that they were not satisfied with current training and previous training.  Whilst 70% ((10/13)*100) of the 31% said yes, to being asked whether they were satisfied with previous type of training.

 

Employees reason for why they were not satisfied with current training:

After asking about whether they are satisfied with current training, the questionnaire goes on to asking why they are not satisfied. This open ended question was asked to understand exactly what it is that they are not satisfied with in terms of training at Travelex.

  • I don’t feel like I am learning
  • It is boring and can get very tedious
  • It is demotivation
  • There is no one to ask for help or further guidance

Figure 4.5: Performance without training as TMA

Figure 4.6: Recommendation of type of training

The last two questions were asked to help in identifying the importance of training for a role as a TMA and whether employees believe that Travelex should offer other types of training as well. As we can see there is a 100% (figure 4) response on the importance of training and the need for it, whilst there is a 38% for the need in classroom/lecture style training as part of recommendation.

 

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1            Introduction

This chapter will outline lessons learned from Chapter 4 data analysis in a brief summary using the fundamental frameworks of learning and training identified in chapter 2. This chapter will then go on to the conclusion of the study and offer some evidence based recommendation to the case in focus.

5.2      Summary

The research question being answered in this report is whether a move from traditional training to E learning impacts employee performance. Although there was a response rate of 26.6%, our data tells us that we gathered research from a range of TMAs who are of different age group, contract type and gender.  The research shows that the first type of training offered to employees is non-traditional mainly being on-the-job training (70%).  This section will be answered in sections based on our three research objectives, it will investigate whether the research question was answered.

  1. Are employees able to further develop their skills and increase their performance in such as change?

The analysis of the questionnaire implies that the change in training methods in fact has an impact on training, In this case the impact was successful but we see that minor challenges may influence overall organisational performance. In fact, 79% respondents imply that the non traditional method was either average or extremely successful in furthering their development as a TMA, but 21% either unsuccessful or extremely unsuccessful. The qualitative response showed similarities to Argon-Sanches et al. (2003) findings. We see in question 9, that when the satisfaction levels of in question 10 and 6 were measured, 31% answered not satisfied with training methods that they have undergone. This as we see in our qualitative analysis is due to the fact that they either received an inexperience staff as a trainer or it didn’t match their learning style. Ellis and Kunzia (2014) emphasis that for training to work managers must take into consideration the employee in training and this includes knowing their learning style.

  1. Is there a sign of systematic training deployment at Travelex?

Both Beer (2002) Appelbaum and Armstrong (2003) emphasis that there needs to be an effective systematic approach to training that links to organisational objectives. From question 5, we see that the method of training under went by the respondent vary, there is a high level of respondents who had traditional training as their first method of training at Travelex. The fact that there were different training approaches shows a lack of systematic structure. In our literature review we conclude that a structured and planned which is systematic needs to be adapted by organisations to get the best out of training for the whole organisation.  Furthermore, our open ended questions emphasis the unstructured and systematic approach, with many of the respondents who were unsatisfied with training method said confusion and inexperience trainees were there reason for satisfaction. We can summarise that there is no sign of systematic training deployment in the way in which Travelex Heathrow sets their training.

  1. Which training (Traditional or E Learning) approach do TMA’s associate with increasing performance and skills?

In table 14, we are shown a comparison between satisfaction rate for training type first offered to employee (Non-traditional) and satisfaction rate for current training. Our analysis leads us to conclude that although there was a successful move towards E learning in enhancing employee skills and performance (79%) there was a significant decrease in the level of satisfaction for training type, from a 81% satisfaction rate in non-traditional training to 69% when moved to E learning. Qualitative data analysis indicates that there are a number of reasons why respondents are unsatisfied, but the most reoccurring were:

  • I don’t feel like I am learning
  • It is boring and can get very tedious
  • It is demotivation
  • There is no one to ask for help or further guidance

Therefore, based on the response to the above data analyses we can conclude that the majority of TMAs at Travelex associate increasing performance and skills with non-traditional training types but especially that of on the job training. The last analysis of data implies that employees at Travelex are open to seeing different types of training adapted. We can also conclude that the change doesn’t consider employees needs based on satisfaction rate decline,

5.2   Conclusion

This study was undertaken to investigate whether a relationship exists when training methods are changed from traditional to a non traditional type in a setting of a travel money bureau. It also aimed to establish the relationship in increased performance and skill enhancement because of the change. Therefore, it can be concluded that the objectives were positively met, with the research finding that a systematic link exists in changing from traditional to non tradition as a way of further developing employee skills with minor problems in satisfaction level.

5.3 Recommendations

With the information presented we can draw a conclusion. The research emphasis that there is a lack of systematic training design from traditional training to E learning that takes into account employees/trainees individual needs, the recommendation given to achieve this are:

  1. Conduct an extensive and thorough training evolution on current employees using Kirkpatrik (1979) model- by doing this the company can identify ways in which they can get closer to meeting individual needs especially in the process of changing from traditional and to non traditional training. Thus, this will help them identify the training methods and techniques they can deploy based on the results. Employees will be more satisfied in the process of change as they will know their feeling and individual learning styles is being taken into consideration, In doing this, Travelex needs to take into consideration Grove and Ostoff (1990) identification of five barriers to ensure that they do not get in the way of effective evaluation conduction.
  2. Offer different types of training methods and regular training sessions, findings show that employees would like to experience a classroom/presentation style training. By offering different training employees would feel motivated to perform better, it will increase productivity and reduce lack of understanding.

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Zia, H., Muhammad Ishaq, H., Zahir, S. and Ahmed, F. (2014). To Investigate the Impact of Training, Employee Empowerment and Organizational Climate on Job Performance. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, [online] 7(22), pp.4832-4837. Available at: http://www.maxwellsci.com/print/rjaset/v7-4832-4837 .pdf.

Appendix 1: Structure of questionnaire

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