Dominique Wells National University ODV 606 June 2019 Signature Assignment: Prepare a Training & Development Program



Signature Assignment

Prepare a Training & Development Program


Dominique Wells

National University

ODV 606

June 2019

Signature Assignment: Prepare a Training & Development Program

Organization and Position Summary

Nike Inc. is an organization that was founded by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS). The organization’s primary focus has always been discovery and innovation, aiming at the provision of both experiences and products for athletes. Initially, BRS served as a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger, a Japanese shoemaker, a relationship that ended in 1971 when BRS introduced its line of footwear. Consequently, Nike Inc. built itself to become a renowned brand in the United States, dominating about half the athlete market share. Furthermore, through diversified communication to reach as many customers as possible, by the 1980s, Nike had made associations with games and directly introduced its product to its target market. The organization’s mission is to inspire athletes all over the world through its innovations, defining athletes as anyone that has a body. Nike’s vision is to maintain the creativity legacy it has already established as well as to develop business opportunities that offer it a competitive advantage and add value to the organization’s shareholders (Brohi et al., 2016). Thus, innovation is Nike’s vantage point in the industry, which the corporation seeks to exploit to retain its market dominance.

The job that the paper will focus on is the converse sales associate position. The role of the position holders at Nike Inc. is to ensure that the organization can maintain high sales from converse shoes, which have now become part of the company’s production line owing to their increased demand for use in the court, on the stage and in the streets. The position holder is expected to be highly adaptable to change to fit into the organization. They must also be alert and aware of the shoe trends in the market among a range of consumer groups including thinkers, rappers and ordinary individuals to keep Nike Inc. updated on what consumers want and enable the organization to better fulfill the needs of its customers (“Converse Sales Associate at NIKE INC,” 2019). Therefore, the converse sales associate position at Nike Inc. requires the holder to be capable of controlling sales efforts as well as consumer relations. It is also their responsibility to ensure that Nike stores selling converse shoes, deliver excellent customer service, and employ top-notch selling techniques to facilitate product flow and support merchandising.

Needs Assessment

Short-term and Long-term and Goals

Nike’s short-term goals focus on increasing the sales that the organization makes and maintaining its market share. First, the company seeks to maximize sales to increase its profit margin and maintain profitability. Secondly, the organization aims to support high-quality production to continue to retain its status as a choice brand among consumers within the market. Thirdly, Nike is determined to keep up with market trends to ensure that it meets the changing consumer needs and remains relevant to their tastes and preferences. All the efforts described above collectively seek to fulfill the short-term goal of facilitating organizational growth through the exploitation of a Direct to Consumer (DTC) approach that allows the distribution of products straight to the consumers through walk-in stores across the globe and online sales (Brohi et al., 2016). Thus, Nike’s short term goals not only seek to better organizational outcomes but also consumer satisfaction.

Moreover, the organization is looking to widen its profit margin by penetrating new markets, through the maintenance and exploitation of the excellent wholesaler relations available to Nike. Furthermore, the corporation is also looking to expand the independent monitoring programs that are available to it to include both educational institutions and government agencies to increase the publicity of its operations. Moreover, Nike aims at adopting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) United States law in the implementation of quality standards in its footwear factory. The corporation is also looking to fund open forums and university research projects to explore matters surrounding business responsibility and global manufacturing practices like air quality standards and independent monitoring (Mahdi et al., 2015). Hence, Nike’s goals in the short run seek to cover organizational, consumer and workforce needs to make it both an employer and brand of choice.

In the long run, Nike seeks to achieve a variety of goals, including increasing the availability of its products to consumers by building new stores in top locations like Japan, North America, and West Europe. The corporation also intends to expand the parameters of its wholesale market to make it a key driver for developing retail business and increasing its percentage contribution to annual company sales. Moreover, Nike seeks to elicit higher levels of customer satisfaction by increasing consumer awareness about the benefits of its products and developing new technologies that will further enhance product quality and usability. Increased consumer awareness about the organization’s products is expected to positively impact sales and strengthen Nike’s direct impact through the regulation of consumer business and the enhanced effectiveness of both retail and wholesale market strategies. Furthermore, the organization hopes that in the future it will be able to increase product pricing owing to brand superiority and increased product demand especially in luxury and specialized product markets (Brohi et al., 2016). All of the mentioned long-term goals that Nike seeks to realize aim at eliciting financial benefits, including increasing annual profits, heightening share growth, and return on investment (ROI) as well as growing shareholder dividends.

Decision to allocate Resources to Converse Sales Associate Position

The converse sales associate job is crucial to the success of Nike in the realization of both its short and long term goals because it is directly affiliated with ensuring that the organization’s products reach the target market in high numbers. Qualifying for a converse sales associate position at Nike Inc. requires that the applicant possess knowledge of daily sales targets and key performance indicators (KPI) as well as contribute to their realization. Additionally, the job requirements of the mentioned position dictate that eligibility is highly dependent on the ability to match both merchandising and operational performance standards and have a basic understanding of the apparel, footwear and accessories being sold (“Converse Sales Associate at NIKE INC,” 2019). Thus, based on the job requirements outlined above it is evident that the converse sales associates in Nike play a functional role in ensuring that the organization realizes its fundamental objectives of meeting consumer needs and maintaining high sales levels. This sets the stage for the realization of the other organizational goals.

Resultantly, training converse sales associate position holders is essential because it can directly contribute to enhancing the organization’s value by facilitating the betterment of its human resources. Nike’s human capital is part of its intangible assets, which research has deemed crucial to creating and sustaining a competitive advantage in the market. Through the implementation of training and development programs for the position holders mentioned above, Nike can increase its productivity and performance as well as enhance its capacity to innovate. According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) organizations that make substantial investments in training and development depict shareholder returns that are 86% more than those of their counterparts that do not incorporate training programs within their operations. Training and developing employees, especially those in Nike’s sales department, is vital because it contributes to the enhancement of their competence, know-how, education, and work relations, all of which are crucial to the successful execution of job tasks aiming at the realization of stipulated organizational goals (Noe, 2017). Thus, Nike’s investment in training and developing converse sales associates is justified as it directly contributes to the realization of its short and long term goals.

Matching Organization Resources to Human Resource Needs

The rate of goal attainment in Nike increases with the organization’s ability to match its objectives to the needs of its human resources. The process that can be applied to facilitate the realization of increased efficiency of meeting corporate goals through the alignment of organizational needs with those of its human resources begins with the determination of the organization’s current and expected position in the future. Hence, Nike’s first step in matching organizational needs with those of its workforce will require the assessment of the current human resource capacity. Analyzing the existing workforce will result in understanding the talent that is available and the compilation of a skills inventory for all current Nike employees. The evaluation can be facilitated through a variety of means, including requiring employees to evaluate their capabilities through surveys, reviewing past performance records, or combining both approaches (Akhigbe, 2013). The examples of the skills that are crucial to a converse sales associate at Nike Inc. include the ability to identify potential buyers, qualify leads, influence purchases and close deals (Ingram et al., 2015). See Figure 1 in the appendices for an example of a self-evaluating skills inventory.

Next, aligning Nike’s needs with those of its workforce requires the forecast of the needs of the human capital. The process involved will necessitate the determination of whether the corporation will need to grow the number of its human resources or maintain the current staff numbers and enhance their capabilities through training. Additionally, it is necessary for Nike to determine whether the talent pool in the job market can fulfill any of the human capital needs likely to present themselves to the organization in the future. Therefore, the corporation must evaluate both its demand for qualified personnel and their availability to create grounds for the proper management of talent (Akhigbe, 2013). The demand forecasting phase is characterized by a detailed process of establishing reasonable human resource quantity, and quality needs to determine the number of employees required and the nature of talent that may be necessary to acquire. Supply forecasting entails the determination of whether the resources that are currently available can meet the established demands by either exploiting the talent within the organization or in the job market (Cascio, 2015). Thus, the success of the demand and supply forecasting processes is determined by the organization’s capability to match its demand and supply of human resources through the implementation of plans that establish whether Nike will fulfill its future talent needs by outsourcing or insourcing.

Consequently, Nike must also engage in determining the strategies it will use to develop its human resources. Developing talent is crucial to fulfilling the need to align organizational requirements with those of the employees within it. Therefore, the undertaking begins with the recruitment phase characterized by the search for job applicants whose skills match organizational needs. The second stage involves the selection of the right people from a pool of qualified candidates based on the forecasts of supply and demand previously made. Thirdly, hiring follows where the decision to get the final candidates to fill the open positions is made after which the training and development phase begins (Akhigbe, 2013). Training new employees is essential because it informs them of the fundamentals of organizational procedures and encourages skill development to fit corporation needs.

Furthermore, the matter concerning the remuneration of employees must be addressed by offering new hires competitive benefit packages and salaries to maximize their retention in the organization over long periods. Nike must also implement measures that facilitate performance management to determine employee strongholds and weaknesses as well as incentivize excellent performance. Furthermore, the corporation should create an influential organizational culture that focuses on the betterment of employee relations to attract and retain top talent from the job market (Akhigbe, 2013). See an overview of the talent development process in figure 2 in the appendix section.

Lastly, the process of aligning organizational needs with those of its employees requires Nike to review and evaluate the previous measures implemented to manage its human resources and facilitate goal realization. Assessing the entire plan allows the determination of its effectiveness in promoting the attainment of objectives through the evaluation of factors like employee retention, organizational production, and profitability (Akhigbe, 2013). If the measures implemented elicit positive results, the organization can continue to apply them, and if not, they can be altered to suit its needs better.

Employee Orientation Program

The employee orientation process entails the introduction of new members of the workforce to their co-workers, responsibilities, workplaces, and jobs. The process aims to enable new employees to feel comfortable within their new work environment and understand the organization’s policies and procedures to enhance comprehension of what is expected of them (Park et al., 2018). Therefore, for employees to smoothly transition into their new roles, the orientation process must be characterized by the implementation of learning theories to ensure that employees’ responsibilities are clearly communicated to them. Using learning theories to guide the employee orientation process facilitates its structuring to ensure that the workforce that is developed gains commitment and flexibility skills that are crucial to maximizing productivity (Jyoti & Dev, 2015). Hence, for Nike Inc. to optimize the results of the employee orientation program it implements, the corporation must evaluate the effectiveness of the application of various learning theories before selecting one to guide the entire process. Discussed below are some appropriate orientation plans that Nike Inc. can employ to assimilate a new converse sales associates.

Reinforcement Theory

An orientation plan established based on the provisions of the reinforcement theory would guide employee learning through the principle of shaping behavior by manipulating its consequences (Noe, 2017). Using the mentioned theory would allow the utilization of both rewards and punishments to encourage or extinguish desired and undesired behaviors, respectively. A reinforcement orientation plan would depend on the consequences of employee behavior to shape their future mannerisms in the execution of their job tasks. Thus, the new employees will be expected to determine how to respond to various job circumstances based on the positive response outcomes realized in the past. The facilitators of the orientation process would be required to focus on reinforcing the behavior of new employees either positively or negatively, to depict its value or undesirability, respectively (Anicich & Hirsh, 2017). Therefore, proper guidance of new employees would be crucial to ensuring that they adopt behavior that is beneficial to the organization. See Figure 3 in the appendix section for a visual representation of the implications of reinforcement on behavior.

Goal Theory

The goal theory dictates that the goal-setting process is crucial to performing tasks. If an employee going through the orientation process receives specific and challenging job goals coupled with the right feedback, they are likely to develop high task execution capabilities (Noe, 2017). Therefore, during employee orientation for converse sales associates at Nike Inc., the facilitators of the program must employ appropriate goal mechanisms to increase the motivation of the human resources to attain the set objectives. Among the techniques that can be applied to set goals is the exploitation attention direction through goal setting to encourage employees to acquire behavior that facilitates aim realization rather than the contrary. Also, the energizing effect of objective determination can be used to inspire the delivery of a certain level of effort depending on the intensity of the job task that needs to be completed (Shogren et al., 2017). Through goal setting, employee behavior can be manipulated to enhance productivity levels by appealing to various motivators of skill development.

Additionally, a goal based orientation process can also exploit the task persistence mechanism to regulate the amount of time that new employees spend in developing behavior that is deemed vital for successful task execution. Lastly, the facilitators of the orientation process can also utilize the effective strategy mechanism meant to boost the morale of members of the workforce to seek out different means through which they can realize the pre-determined goals (Shogren et al., 2017). Hence, employing an orientation plan that is based on the goal theory will enable Nike’s organizational leaders to manipulate and shape new employee behavior through different mechanisms to elicit the desired job skills.

Need Theory

The most appropriate need theory to apply in Nike Inc.’s orientation plan is the three needs theory proposed by McClelland. The first need that the program would seek to exploit is the need for the new employees to achieve. Employees prefer to exert effort in the fulfillment of moderately difficult tasks and appreciate the reception of feedback on the jobs they complete. Thus, they are likely to avoid both high and low-risk situations, creating an employee personality type that is motivated by accomplishment. Also, a need-based orientation plan can exploit the employees’ requirement for affiliation, which drives them to spend time to create and nurture social relations. Employee cohesion in the workplace is vital because it establishes grounds for collaboration and teamwork, both of which are crucial to the realization of organizational goals. Furthermore, the need theory also presents the opportunity to manipulate the requirement for power, which encourages the attainment of individual goals. Extreme exploitation of the power need would result in the disregard for teamwork, which is not an aim of the orientation process (Khurana & Joshi, 2017). Therefore, when using the three needs theory to facilitate the orientation, Nike’s organizational leaders must moderate the effects of the need for power among new employees to realize the objectives of orientation that are stipulated above.

Decision-Making Process for Selecting the best Theory

The decision-making process employed to determine the best theory for incorporation in the Nike Inc. employee orientation process entailed the identification of the choice that needed to be made. Following the organization’s need to implement a theory based orientation plan, the requirement to explore various approaches to determine the most appropriate arose. Information was gathered, and the three alternatives discussed above identified. Further research was conducted to determine the components and implications of the three theories after which the goal theory approach was deemed the most applicable in the orientation of converse sales associates at Nike Inc. (Dartmouth, 2019). An orientation plan based on the goal theory would serve the organization best because it would allow the facilitators of the program to emphasize the need for Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic and Time-bound goals among its new sales employees. Additionally, it would highlight the essentiality of goal acceptance and commitment, specificity, difficulty assessment, and feedback delivery on the progress of goal pursuits (Redmond, 2016). Thus, developing the skills of a new converse sales associate at Nike would best be served by exploiting the provisions of the goal theory because the job requires precision in setting and achieving sales objectives.

Training and Development Program

An appropriate training and development program for the converse sales associate position would be characterized by the incorporation of different training methods, including on the job training (OJT), online learning, and interactive learning.

Online Training

Nike’s incorporation of online learning in its training and development program for converse sales associates would eliminate the need for an in-person training facilitator. The e-learning training will enable the organization to provide employees with necessary learning material on a website or an app to ensure that they can access the material from a variety of locations. The online classes will be characterized by the availability of visual content displayed on the screen and, where applicable, the instructor’s written or voiced instructions (Brown, 2017). The online training would meet the organization’s need to teach converse sales associates in different organizational branches across the globe with maximum efficiency and reduced cost implications. Additionally, it would allow the employees the flexibility to determine their pace of participating in the program, enabling them to maximize the benefits of the knowledge acquired depending on the learning style they deem to be the most appropriate. Furthermore, to overcome the downside of the reduced learner engagement because of minimal supervision, the online training will incorporate interactive module exercises, quizzes and exams to ensure that the program participants maximally explore the training content.

Interactive Training

Reinforcing the knowledge acquired from the online learning platform would be necessary to ensure that Nike’s converse sales associates maximally benefit from the training and learn the intended essential skills and expertise. Hence, interactive learning will create an opportunity for them to not only receive training reinforcement from a program facilitator but also their associates. The interactive learning will be characterized by group discussions, quizzes, role-playing, and demonstrations. Incorporating this training method will alleviate the monotony and boredom associated with learning with the hope of maximally impacting the employees’ training (Asheim & Parrilli, 2012). This type of training will fulfill Nike’s needs because it can effectively deal with the negative implications of one-directional learning by empowering program participants to learn from each other. Additionally, it will enable Nike to create learning programs that target specific regions to allow its employees to develop skills that allow them to meet specific consumer needs. Furthermore, it will encourage collaboration and teamwork among employees as well as improve communication skills, serving the purpose of enhancing their knowledge, skills, and abilities, which are crucial to facilitating goal attainment.

On the Job Training (OJT)

Regardless of the inherent similarities that characterize the job descriptions of Nike’s converse sales associates, positions in different outlets and stores are unique because of the variation in customer preferences. On the job training will focus more on the practical aspects of the role, reinforcing the training delivered through interactive and online learning (Jagero, Komba & Mlingi, 2012). Therefore, OJT will be a vital part of Nike’s training and development program to enable the employees hired for the position mentioned above to learn traits that are specific to the successful execution of their duties in different stores. Additionally, it will prove vital to boosting the recollection of the knowledge and skills required to successfully execute job tasks because of the hands-on nature of the learning process that is involved.

A Training Evaluation Plan

An appropriate training evaluation plan for the program developed above would require to assess different types of results including reaction, learning, and behavior outcomes

Reaction Outcomes

The effectiveness of a training program can partly be established by evaluating employee reactions towards it. In this case, an opinion survey will be used to determine employees’ responses to the training program after their participation. The questionnaire will use a Likert scale to ease the quantification of the trainees’ reactions and allow the assessors to have a clear picture of what the trained employees thought of the program. Reaction outcomes must be assessed because they can provide insights on the strengths and weaknesses of the training program and enable the facilitators to make the necessary adjustments for the program to better suit the needs of the next lot of trainees (Noe, 2017). The evaluation of reaction outcomes will establish the suitability of the implemented training program to its audience.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes must be assessed to establish the effectiveness of the training. It will be achieved by requiring the trainees to take quizzes or exams after specified training periods to assess their knowledge retention capacity and the impact of the learning processes on their ability to resolve possible job issues presented (Noe, 2017). These outcomes are the most vital because they will determine whether the developed training program realize its goal of instilling specific and practical sales knowledge among Nike’s converse sales associates.

Skill and Behavioural Outcomes

The best way to assess the skill and behavioral outcomes depicted by the employees on completion of the training process will be through observation. Part of the skills acquired will be evaluated on paper in exams and quizzes, but the physical evaluation of their implementation is also crucial. A supervisor or manager will require to monitor the trained employee’s behavior and skills employed in job execution on completion of the training and compare the findings to the employee’s tendencies before the training. If a positive change is noted, it will depict that the training was beneficial, and the converse will apply upon realization of negative or no changes (Noe, 2017). Skill and behavioral outcomes will help justify the effectiveness of the training and development program as well as explain its continuous use by highlighting its return on investment (ROI).


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Figure 1: Example of Self-Evaluating Sales Inventory

Figure 2: Visual Representation of the Talent Development Process

Figure 3: Visual Representation of the Role of Reinforcement in shaping Employee Behavior


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