Men's Wearhouse (www.menswearhouse.com) was founded by George Zimmer in 1973 who aimed at providing men without a comfortable setting and painless procedure for buying clothing (Businessweek, 2004). With over five hundred stores in USA and over one hundred in Canada (Businessweek, 2004), the organization has a strong focus on product quality and customer satisfaction and seeks to live out its founder's slogan "you're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it". The company's mission is to "maximize sales, provide value to our customers, and deliver top-quality customer service while still having fun and maintaining our values". It's values includes high ethical standards, quality relationships, "nurturing creativity, growing together, admitting to mistakes, promoting a happy and healthy lifestyle, enhancing a sense of community, and striving toward becoming self-actualized people" (Men's Wearhouse, n.d.).
Training & Stakeholders
The goal of a training needs assessment (TNA) is to "determine whether a training need exists, who it exists for and for what tasks training is needed" Noe (2010). A mass TNA for the entire Men's Wearhouse organization will incorporate input and gain buy-in from the following categories of people:
• Upper Management – Persons at this level of the organization determine the overall budget to be assigned to training and they also examine training from an organizational perspective, seeking to identify how it can help the organization meet its strategic objectives (Noe, 2010). This is crucial to adding value to any organization, but even more critical for larger ones with more employees to cater for, more factors and threats to success to consider. Because the Founder/CEO is so involved in the life and direction of the organization, he and the Board of Directors should be actively involved in painting the big training picture;
• Supervisors/Line Managers – These persons have a clear picture of the on-the-ground reality. They know the actual capability and output of their staff, they manage their unit's budget (Noe, 2011), they know how training will impact the people they have;
• Employees – employees need to be willing to accept training and apply it to their jobs. Feedback from them is also crucial in identifying barriers to effective implementation of training.
Documents to Inform the TNA
The following will be reviewed to better inform the TNA process:
• Company's Strategic Plan – This is key in determining the direction training should take in response to the organization's existing and perhaps changing strategic direction. It also provides information on the organization's ideal performing state, which would help indicate the direction that needed training should take;
• Performance records – These provide an indication of the actual state of affairs within the company and would include performance management reviews/results, sales records, customer reviews, and such the like;
• Rewards & Recognition records – These records will be reviewed to identify which behaviors are being recognized and rewarded, in order to determine whether company factors are conducive to foster the application of training to the workplace;
• Disciplinary records – These can be scanned for identification of performance-based issues that need to be addressed;
• Existing training records – to identify what training has been done, how it was delivered, received and evaluated in the past and actual evaluation results.
Techniques to be used
Based on techniques outlined by Noe (2010), the following assessment techniques will be utilized:
• Documentation – this will be used for the examination of records named above;
• Focus Groups – will be held with employees to glean information from large groups of similar employees from various stores;
• Interviews – with key Upper Management persons who can give insight into the company's strategic direction
The Proposed Process
|ANALYSIS PHASE||QUESTIONS TO ASK||WHO TO ADDRESS TO|
|Organizational||What are the performance issues that need to be addressed in order to better achieve our strategic goals?||Upper Management|
|Which of the current performance issues are to be addressed by training?||Upper Management; Line Managers|
|Which of these issues are the most critical, feasible and urgent? (Stolovich & Keeps, 2004)||Upper Management|
|Do we have the budget to dedicate to addressing these training needs?||Upper Management|
|What environmental factors are present that will affect the impact of training?||Upper Management; Line Managers, Employees|
|Who are the key persons that need to buy-in to the type of training being considered?||Upper Management; Line Managers, Employees|
|Person||Who needs to be trained?||Upper Management; Line Managers|
|What are the characteristics of the persons to be trained?||Upper Management; Line Managers|
|What are their motivation levels?||Upper Management; Line Managers, Employees|
|Do they know what is expected of them in their jobs?||Line Managers; Employees|
|Are they equipped to perform?||Line Managers; Employees|
|Do the receive the necessary support required to perform well?||Upper Management; Line Managers, Employees|
|Do they receive the necessary feedback and rewards to support good performance?||Line Managers, Employees|
|Task||Which positions need to be targeted for training?||Upper Management; Line Managers|
|What are the tasks involved in performing those jobs?||Line Managers; Employees|
|What are the competencies necessary for completing those tasks?||Line Managers|
Businessweek (n.d.). Spiffing Up Men's Wearhouse. Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2004-10-31/spiffing-up-mens-wearhouse
Men's Wearhouse (n.d.). Retrieved from www.menswearhouse.com
Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2004). Training ain't performance. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.