Having effective employees is instrumental to the success of any business organisation. This is the case because of the high employee turnover rates and high unemployment rates evident in most countries. Since the 2008 recession in the U.S, other countries of the world have experienced the ripple effects as the world largest economy struggles to recover. The European nations have suffered under the current debt crisis that has shrunk economies in Europe. Other countries in African and Asia have also felt the impact, as their economies are most dependent on both the U.S and European markets for trade. The subject of having effective employees has therefore, gained relevance as employers look for ways to sustain their workers. In an effort to keep their most important asset, organisations are heavily involved in the training and development of employees (Hung & Hing 2007). Training and development has been a tool used by organisations to mitigate the risks of losing employee to other organisations. It has also been used to groom future leaders of the company, as well as assist organisations in saving time and money. This paper shall discuss two theories that discuss employer support and training, as well as the impacts of employee performance in relation to training and development of employees.
Humphry Hung and Yiu Wong have come up with two theories that discuss the relationship between the employer and the workers when it comes to training, continuing education and work study performance. The theories were introduced because of a case study of Hong Kong students who were in school and worked at the same time. The authors then came up with the theories to help explain the student or employee’s performance in relations to their employees and employer relationship. The first theory was the psychological contract theory while the second one was the expectancy disconfirmation theory. The researchers realised the need for employees to have an education so that they are able to move up the ladder as far as the work force is concerned. The researchers used the employee and employer relations as the subject of research, and came up with a model to explain how training and development can be effectively used in the workplace (Hung & Hing 2007).
Psychological contract theory
According to the psychological theory, the employer and the employee have a set of beliefs, promises and obligations that go beyond the formal contract between the two. In other words, once an employer hires an employee, the employee has to abide by certain rules while the employer is obligated to behave professionally. This means that the employees expect to exchange their loyalty and productivity for wages and other forms of compensation (Kimberly 2009). In the psychological contract, there are two kinds of contents, transactional and relational. Transactional content involves measurable economic exchanges between the two parties. For instance, an employee works 40 hours a week for a paycheck at the end of the week. Relational contents are based on trust and long-term relationships. In such a case, an employee can delegate a certain role to the employee based on trust (McConnell 2004). In the study, three principles came emerged. First, there is interaction at an individual level, mutual relationship between the two parties and finally tactical exchanges. Most people believe that the relationship between the employee and the employer is based on personal ties because the employer is an embodiment of the organisation, and the experience of their interaction dictates the success of an organisation (Hung & Hing 2007).
On the other hand, some believe that there has to be a mutual relationship between the employer and the employee for organisations to succeed. The mutual obligation is based on the belief that the employer is obliged to the employee in return for a commitment. Finally, the tactical exchanges occur between the workers in which case the employee insists on a mental connection between the two parties (Kimberly 2009). The significance of the psychological contract theory is that it attempts to explain the employee’s behavior in regards to how he is treated by the employer. In other words, the employee relationship to the employer is imperative to matters regarding how employees react when subjected to training by organisations. The development of the employee dictates the performance of the employee in the continuing work-study. The research found that students who had a good working relationship with their employer performed well in their training and education compared to those who had a bad relationship (Hung & Hing 2007).
Expectancy disconfirmation theory
The expectancy disconfirmation theory is similar to that of consumer dissonance. Only that in this case, it deals with the employee, as opposed to the consumer. The theory was brought about from the comparison of a worker and a consumer when dealing with their products. An employee is believed to have positively disconfirmed their role in the organisation when their perceived performance exceeds their expected performance (Roughton & Mercurio 2002). The opposite is true and referred to as negative disconfirmation. Negative disconfirmation occurs when an employee believes that their expectations exceed their perceived performance. The expectancy theory was a catalyst to the employee’s job satisfaction and was believed to be a key element in explaining employees moral. Employees that surpassed their expectations felt more satisfied with their role and were more motivated compared to their counterparts who experienced negative disconfirmation. The subject was also duplicated in training of the workers and played a major role in the development of employees in the organisation (Hung & Hing 2007).
Employee evaluation was also a subject of discussion in regards to employee training and development. Managers who engaged in employee appraisals realised good results as compared to those who did not carry out employee evaluations. Employee evaluation is a tool that if used efficiently can yield positive results on employees especially when it comes to training (Roughton & Mercurio 2002). Evaluations are a tool used by management to give their workers a sense of directions in relation to the company’s goals. During evaluations, the managers usually explain the organisations goals and try to align them with the employee’s goals. This way, the employer and the employee are in a win-win situation. A constant feedback or communication with the employees also makes them feel valued and helps them know what the organisation expects of them. Well-executed performance evaluations have been used to not only sustain efficient employees but also groom future leaders. Evaluation schedules usually assist employees to become more efficient in the organisation (McConnell 2004).
In essence, employee’s behavior and performance at work depends on the relationship with the employer. Workers feel valued when other roles are delegated to them because it gives the perception that their employers trust them. In addition, perception and expected performance also plays a huge role in satisfying a worker’s performance. Workers feel more satisfied when they exceed their expectations at work. Finally, evaluations have to be conducted at work because employees need to have feedback on their impact to their company. Employees who get a feedback usually work hard to achieve their organisational goals.
Hung, H. & Yiu Hing, W. 2007, ‘The relationship between employer endorsement of continuing education and training and work and study performance: a Hong Kong case study’. International Journal of Training & Development, 11, 4, pp. 295-313.
Kimberly, W. 2009, Value Initiatives Improving Performance in the Workplace. NY: GRIN Verlag
McConnell, C. R. 2004, ‘Managing Employee Performance’, Health Care Manager, 23,3, p. 273, Supplemental Index.
Roughton, J. & Mercurio, J. 2002, Developing an Effective Safety Culture: A Leadership Approach. NY: Butterworth-Heinemann
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