Understanding the nature of the problem and what one intends to do about it is important in developing a clear understanding of what it entails thus developing a clear picture of the problem and relevance of the methodology employed in seeking a solution. This chapter outline the background of the problem, develops a clear definition of the problem and significance of the study carried out.
1.1. Problem background
In developing an understanding of the background of any problem it is important to understand the core values and history of the organization that is faced with the problem. Problems in an organizational setting rarely are a result of instantaneous events and the same can be said of their solution. Understanding the nature of the problems is important in defining what will be dealt with thus solution of the problem.
1.1.1. Setting of the Problem
The centre sits on eighteen acres of beautifully landscaped land, in a cottage style setting. There are ten individual buildings. The one hundred and four individuals that reside at the centre live in cottages numbered three to nine. Each of the cottages has two wings, an A wing and a B wing. Each wing houses eight individuals. The wings have four single bedrooms and two double bedrooms. There is a living room, recreation room and a dining area on both of the wings of all the individual houses. All cottages have four full restrooms equipped with water closets, showers, bathtubs, a double laundry room and a kitchen that is shared. Offices for the staff, supervisors, storage, maintenance equipment and staff restrooms are included. The other three buildings are maintenance, food service and administration.
The centre also provides many recreation facilities for individuals who live there. There is an indoor pool located in the administration building; a coffee house known as the Java Joint; vending machines; an eighteen-hole miniature golf course; walking track; picnic area; gazebo; swing set; two basketball courts and a baseball area. Individuals who have the ability to ride have two wheel or three wheel bicycles at their disposal. Poweshiek County Mental Health Center houses individuals who range in age from those in their late teens to elderly people; management of disabilities ranging from moderate to profound mental retardation is Poweshiek County Mental Health Center’s main aim. The staff consists of approximately two hundred people who assist the individuals function at the highest skill level possible. The staff works to ensure safety, continuous healthcare, financial stability, continued education and ongoing kindness and support.
1.1.2. History and Background of the Problem
Employees have always hoped that changes in management would incorporate a well-developed and organized training system however; it appears that due to budget constraints, time restriction and other problems that has not been the case (Poweshiek County Mental Health Center, 2004). New employees attend weeklong orientation with other employees who are retraining in areas that have multitude of topics ranging from infection control to union benefits. The amount of information given over a week has is the past been reported as unmanageable. It is important for the safety of the employee, state and individuals being cared for that the theories and being transmitted in the training programs be understood and retained. Time allocated for training has in the past been used by members to idle and chat. There are times when training goes on with just one employee and one trainer, this low turn out is blamed on poor scheduling by culprits. Clashing sessions are a reality that trainees have to deal with; the resolution of such clashes is upon the individuals. There are times where there is no actual training and new training issues are often addressed through notices and memos. Employees are required to read new procedures and sign papers that stated training on previous procedures happened which is not always the case. This according to many employees is a waste of taxpayers’ funds and should be addressed immediately.
Training at Poweshiek County Mental Health Center is done on a departmental basis where each department or unit decides what is necessary for its employees with respect to areas of training (Poweshiek County Mental Health Center, 2004). Materials used for training are picked on personal assessment and perception of what is important for everyone to know. Since most people have different needs there are a lot of issues that are yet to be addressed by the training programs. During training sessions that take place in class room setting, printed material are distributed among trainees and assessment takes on multiple choice tests. Ethical issues have in the past arisen as it has become evident that examiners who in most cases are trainers leak answers to trainees to ensure they pass. Materials that will be presented in exams that are yet to be covered ate taught in a hurry and with no enthusiasm. It would appear that the problems are in management of the training programs, a look at the trainees reveals that their attitude does little to help the situation. Many employees are believed to be involved in the training program as part of management requirement and have no profound interest in training. Employees that have been the organization for many years have the worst attitude for most of them are of the view there is nothing more they can learn form the training programs. This appears to be a problem in motivation for it is generally accepted within psychology that unless a valid research study substantiates the benefits of a new approach there is little enthusiasm that can be developed for change. Changing an approach to operations must feel right for employees to appreciate it. This can only be achieved if the benefits of training to employees and patients is made clear. Bad blood that exists between the union and non-union members is said to have taken the problem to a while new level.
Lack of proper training is a risk to both the employees and the patient considering that mental patients have a high propensity to engage in violent behavior. Understanding PACES which is a programs offered through Ohio is for instance important in ensuring proper reaction in situations that are dire and call for aggression (Poweshiek County Mental Health Center, 2004). Employees have in the past recorded physical injury while handling mentally challenged individuals and the same can be said of patients who in numerous occasions have been at the receiving end of irate medical practitioners’ wrath. With training the prevalence of such cases is expected to decrease thereby developing an environment where the practitioners enjoy their work and properly manage challenges presented by their areas of specialization.
Training is a critical step in development of a successful career. For employees to feel confident, it is important they have the tools and skills necessary to facilitate procedures. The training system is currently disorganized and under developed. The classroom style sessions are long, costly and unproductive; the read signs do little to explain to the trainees why changes are being implemented and the system is generally flawed. However, the one high point of the current training system is its mentoring program which is resourceful and if well used it ensure the transmission and development of knowledge within the trainees.
1.2. Problem Statement
Poweshiek County Mental Health Center’s training program is under pressure and unless corrective measures are implemented the negative impact of the poor training program may soon be more pronounced in its operations. Understanding MR/DD fields is important to employees of Poweshiek County Mental Health Center as professionals in a dynamic field (Poweshiek County Mental Health Center, 2004). Knowledge is changing and those employees that think they have nothing new to learn are truly misguided. Understanding how the employees feel about the training system especially areas that need change is important in determining the areas of failure of the current system. This knowledge paves ways for the development of corrective measures for Poweshiek County Mental Health Center cannot do without a training system considering that stake involved in poor operational practices.
Training should be efficient, cost effective and produce qualified employees who are able to manage different working condition. Improvements in the training system would benefit individuals who live at the centre, management, union and the employees. Such improvements would lessen the amount of unusual incident reports that occur due to lack of knowledge and reduce the daily stress placed on the management due to unnecessary training session schedules. Better training approaches would also stimulate the development of a more confident, knowledgeable and skilled staff. The purpose of this paper is to aid the development of a training program that would be cost effective and produce qualified and prepared employees by addressing the challenges facing the current training program. All employees must work together for a common goal while ensuring the interests of patients are addressed. By developing a clear picture of the problem the thesis will aid restructuring of Poweshiek County Mental Health Center’s training program making it more efficient and cost effective. This will ensure that individuals are provided quality care while ensuring employees feel good about their contribution as a team to the betterment of humanity.
The following are some of the terms that find use in the research:
l Mental Retardation- (MR) Subnormal intellectual development or functioning due to congenital causes, brain injury, or disease and characterized by any of various deficiencies, ranging from impaired learning ability to social and vocational inadequacy.
l Developmental Disability- (DD) A mental or physical disability, such as cerebral palsy or MR, arising before adulthood and usually lasting throughout life.
l P.A.C.E.S- Preventing and calming escalating situations
l Read and Sign- Employee is required to read a new procedure and sign a paper that states that the training had occurred and that they have understood what they read.
l Unusual incident: Incidents that are without definitions of what is expected in medical
Understanding the problems that organizations are faced with requires a thorough understanding of theories that underpin the problem. Understanding what has been done in the past to address the challenges, what is currently being done and the direction taken by research into the problem is important. This chapter discusses theories and principles that underpin challenges in training and what researchers and experts cite as being critical to training in an organizational setting.
2.1. Need for Training
Organizations irrespective of their size are in place to generate value and ensure that the value they have developed is propagated into the future (Wuorio, 2003). Business organization ensure that their value is reflected in their profits which they seek to sustain if not improve. Public service entities seek value in satisfaction of the society and endeavor to ensure that their services are continually improved to sustain or at times generate more value than what has been generated (Wuorio, 2003). Organizational vision which is used by organizations as blueprint in developing their operational strategies are in most cases value laden. It is rare if not impossible to find an organizational vision statement that does not state intent to generate value in one way or the other; in fact organizational vision are sometime referred to as value statement for they are a reflection of the value that organizations seek in their operations and how organizations intend to go about generating the said value (Alsem, 2007).
Organizational operations which is a combination of process, guideline, protocols and people is the main mechanism that organization use to ensure that their operations aid the generation of value. Organizations in ensuring that their operations aid generation of value provide relevant equipments, qualified workers and ensure that strategies they implement are relevant to the nature of both the macroenvironment and microenvironment (Wuorio, 2003). In developing strategies that are relevant to both the macro and micro environment, organizations ensure that the strategies are guided by the nature of the internal and external environment. It is worth noting that the definition of strategy as used in this context refers to a broad set of formulas that drive at organizing organizational resources or any system that an organization can control to meet defined goals. It is thus apparent that strategies can take on different platforms depending on the nature of the environment and goals that organizations have developed (Wuorio, 2003). The macroenvironment in it basic definition refers to variables that affect organizational operations without the reach of an organization; if operations are affected by factors that are without their reach it implies that organizations must be ready to change their processes to ensure they are relevant to their operational objectives which in most cases are defined by the nature of environmental variables.
Human resource is considered one of the most important assets to organization. It is worth noting that nearly all processes in an organization have a human input or output. Organizational operations must be started by human input and in most cases the outputs affect human resource. It is thus imperative on organizations to ensure that their human resource are well tuned to manage diverse conditions presented by the operational environments. Human resource ability to ensure organizational strategies are carried out is not only relevant in the actual implementation of strategies but must be ensured in formulation of operational strategies (Campbell, Stonehouse, & Houston, 2002). Objectivity which is a value required of any strategy that an organization develops requires that resources that an organization has be assessed and their ability to support requirements presented by strategies adopted to meet certain objectives determined. Moreover, presenting a workforce with strategies that are without their abilities kills their morale thereby reducing the levels of efficiency they can attain (Campbell, Stonehouse, & Houston, 2002). Considering that the nature of the operational environment continuous changes thus placing organizations under conditions where they have to implement dynamic changes and that the abilities of an organization’s human resource is defined, appraisal of human resource is necessary if organizations are to generate and sustain value in their operations.
Organization may take on different approaches to appraisal which include hiring new workers, outsourcing their needs to qualified professionals or training its existing workers to ensure they gain needed expertise. Each of the approaches that organization may adopt has advantages and disadvantages. However, when it comes to generation and sustenance of value none can match the benefits of training. Training ensures that the expertise required to manage and operate within challenges are developed in-house and therefore transmitted within and in no time they may be adopted as organizational norms (Campbell, Stonehouse, & Houston, 2002). This is unlike outsourcing where the value developed cannot be sustained for the outsourcing company and the organization seeking the services are two separate entities. Recruitment of personnel ensures that the value gained is sustained in that the new members of staff will continue serving the organization thus the source of value will have been internalized. The major undoing of this approach is that integration of new members into an existing organizational structure is a complex process that is not well carried out could result to degeneration of both the existing and the value that an organization seeks to develop. Highly diverse organization are general characterized by high prevalence of internal conflict due to conflicting approaches to operation and differential perception of different worker groups (Arussy, 2005). Having a workforce that cannot be described by a well defined organizational culture present all forms of challenges in operations. Training aids generation of value and ensures that generated value is kept within an organization and it is therefore an approach that is widely advocated for in developing expertise required to manage diverse operational conditions.
2.2. Challenges in Training
Training in an organizational setting is more than just learning new approaches. The decision to implement training as an approach to staff appraisal should be guided by a well developed picture of the gains and challenges that an organization will expect in implementing such approaches (Arussy, 2005). Training in an organization is used for more than just ensuring the expertise required to meet operational goals is transmitted to the workforce rather its serves to ensure employees are motivated and have the confidence to attain operational goals.
The business community has for a long time taken keen interest in developments in training approaches due to the relevance of training to organizational operations. Increase in commercialization have been marked by changes in training. Learning as a core value in training has transformed a great deal; in the 19th century students who were slow were considered weak without even considering approaches that instructors used in transmission (Arussy, 2005). In fact recent approaches to transmission where learners are as involved as instructors in the transmission process are a results of decades of change in approaches used in learning. Scientific approach that were definitive of the early 20th century approach to training were based on the assumption that well defined and objective approaches could lead to accuracy in attainment of training goals (Arussy, 2005). Approaches like segmenting jobs into small tasks were used to ease the training process but it soon became clear that training is more than just a scientific function that can be defined by clearly defined variables and a relationship. Development in learning and training have taken on different approaches ever since it became clear that training cannot be wholly defined as a scientific function (Arussy, 2005). Three domains or dimensions have since been developed to create a proper understanding of the issues that organizations have to address in training: cognitive, psychomotor and attitude training. Though the areas may appear independent of each other, they affect each other indirectly.
The need for training is posed to take on a whole new level with rapid development in technology and automation. The need to meet the expectations of the market is becoming more pronounced due to the effects of liberalization and globalization. An increase in the levels of competition that various player face in the segments they operate in is a factor that has taken the need to accurately meet the needs and expectations of the market to a whole new level.
Success in the 21st century is left for those who are creative, adaptable and skilled. All these can be attained by training (Shim, Siegel, & Dauber, 2008). There is enough evidence pointing to the fact that proper training approaches can lead to high levels of organizational performance by affecting the levels of performance that individual employees and teams developed by such employees attain (Arussy, 2005). Research further shows that traditional approaches to training that were rather static do not fit in the definition of a training program developed to address the needs of the current dynamic operational environment that is highly affected by emerging technologies. Rate of change in technology is a key factor that has sky rocketed the number of organizations and institutions that seek training as an approach to ensure their strategies are implemented with consideration on the nature of the operational environment thus aid generation of value that has proved to elusive in the present operational environment (Arussy, 2005).
Healthcare institutions are affected by the same factors that affect other sectors. The need for training is just as pronounced in healthcare as it is in other social systems. The significance of training in healthcare is more pronounced considering that the effects of poor service provision due to lack of training or other reasons may even lead to loss of life. Training in healthcare care is a matter of life and death (Barksdale, & Lund, 2006). It is ethical to ensure that the health needs of individuals are addressed in the best way possible. Failure in proper management of an individual’s health in the modern society where patients have a considerable say in their relationship with physicians can lead to law suits and even loss of practice certification. Moreover, the levels of motivation required in healthcare service provision can only be attained if the workers have the skills and enthusiasm to practice.
2.3. Challenges in Organizational Setting
In an organizational setting there are a number of factors that serve to complicate training. It is worth noting that training as implemented by organizations is a strategy that aids an organization in meeting its vision (Arussy, 2005). Advantages that come with training include increased enthusiasm, better delivery, accuracy in meeting the needs of the market and a general increase in organizational ability to generate and sustain value serve to move an organization close to its vision (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). Training as a strategy must therefore be developed with respect to areas that have been highlighted in strategic planning (Barksdale, ; Lund, 2006). Formulation, implementation and evaluation are all important in the development and implementation of any training program. Failure of any training program can be traced to any of these stages and it is important that organization ensures their training programs are implemented in a manner that is in accord with principles that define strategic management.
Organizational failure to appreciate the power in strategic management while implementing training programs or an approach to appraisal leads to all kinds of problems which may even include irrelevance of the training approach to problems that the organization is trying to deal with (Arussy, 2005). Formulation in strategic planning is concerned with ensuring that the strategies developed are relevant to the objectives of the organization is seeking the approach (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). Basically, formulation is important in ensuring that strategies that an organization employ are relevant to the problems it is faced with. There have been cases where organizations employ strategies that are not relevant to their needs. This is common where organizations develop strategies that are aimed at dealing with competition or are just the trend in the industry. Objectivity is important in developing training approaches and so is development of goals that are to be met by the training approach in ensuring that strategies developed are relevant to the needs of an organization.
Any training program just like any strategy should be developed with a keen eye on the needs of an organization. Research on what the organization lacks and what it would need in strategies that seek to address the problems are all important in determining the objectives of a training programs or appraisal system that an organization seeks to implement. Determining the exact needs of an organization with regards to training is important in ensuring that the strategies developed are relevant to an organization and are therefore not a waste of resources (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). Projects like training are quite costly and if they are implemented in a manner that lacks objectivity they could lead to loss of finances and even place the organization implementing them in a precarious position (Wuorio, 2003). Another important reason as to why training is placed on more emphasis is the role it plays in ensuring that programs developed are accepted by all members of an organization. Organizations have in the past developed training program only for them to be labeled management antics or worse irrelevant to the needs of an organization. Training involves changing the perceptions of a number of employees who will serve to change the approach that an organization employs in seeking its operational objectives and it is therefore a change process (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). The fact that the effects of training must be felt in strategies that an organization employs imply that it has an effect on the organizational culture thus special care should be taken to ensure the negative effects it may have on the established systems are kept low. Clash between strategies that an organization employs and the established culture can lead to resistance to implementation of strategies (Bates, 2009). Such resistance to a training program is undesirable considering learning as a key process in training is concerned with perception thus having wrong perception of the training process is flawed.
The implementation phase in strategic management is just as important as the evaluation and formulation phase. Strategies are developed to be implemented and the implementation phase is where strategies are put into practice as objectives are sought (Taneja, 2008). The actual training program can be considered as one of the key developments in this phase. Failure in the formulation phase may start showing its negative manifestation in this phase. Training strategies developed without consideration on the nature of the organization, the prevailing environment or organizational culture start facing resistance in early stages of implementation phase (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). Understanding the true nature of training is important in the development and implementation of training programs. Training is based so much on learning which unfortunately is not so well defined.
The learning process has taken theorist in both sociology and psychology several years to grasp with little developments. It has however emerged that training can be looked at from multiple dimensions. Cognitive training is mainly concerned with the development of individual perception and mental abilities (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). A worker who has the ability to use his mental faculties to analyses a situation and developed recommendation that display in-depth analysis and a proper understanding of issues that affect a situation is an asset to an organization. Moreover, organizational operations are taking on a more dynamics approach where professionalism is only important if it can be used in managing diverse situations. Cognitive training is basically the transfer of ability to use strategies that are relevant to a learner in developing an environment where the learner can develop his cognition and be able to develop the acquired skill in a variety of conditions (Brody, 2004).
The other aspect of training that many organizations are well aware of is psychomotor training. Psychomotor training involves development of practical skills relevant to the accomplishment of specific task. For instance, in a hospital setting not every one can give an injection and the same can be said of the use of the scalpel (Taneja, 2005). There are several processes in an organization that are developed with experience (Shim, Siegel, ; Dauber, 2008). Developing an environment where the learners determine what they are lack and they are assisted in determining what they should do to gain in the areas they are lacking while creating an environment where learners feel free to experiment is important in development of psychomotor skills. It is worth noting that the development of psychomotor skills in a hospital setting is complicated by the fact that loss of human life is on the cards if the experimental sessions go bad.
The third dimensions that most organizations and training programs choose to ignore due to its complexity is attitude training. Learning is concerned with perceptions and developing one’s ability to mould his perception is central to developing an individual who can operate under all environments (Barksdale, & Lund, 2006). Organizational culture is considered an impediment in the implementation of change processes due to the effects of the attitudes that people hold. It is difficult to develop a system without developing a variety of perception in the relevance of the system and objectivity in implementing the systems (Shim, Siegel, & Dauber, 2008). This is especially true if the systems affect people. While many choose to ignore attitude training, it is considered one of the most important domains to training for it affects the levels of efficiency that learner will attain in other domains of training. The perception one has developed of riding of mathematics affects how ready he will accept mathematical principles or his will to develop riding skills. This is a reality that no training program should try escape from. Other areas that have to be addressed in the implementation phase include resource provision, ensuring proper management of training programs, providing the needed learning resources or expertise to ensure the training programs are carried on smoothly, ensuring that the cost of the programs are within the budgetary allocation developed in the formulation and generally ensuring that the processes are carried on as planned and within the defined time frame (Shim, Siegel, & Dauber, 2008).
Evaluation which is another critical step in strategic management takes on two approaches with respect to training; ensuring that there are measures to ensure success of the training processes and employing research approaches to determine organizational change that are resultant of the training approach (Barksdale, & Lund, 2006). Evaluation is critical in developing an understanding of how well the objectives in developing a training program are being met and determination of how well the internal goals of a training program are being addressed (Bryson, 2004). It is impossible for organization to appreciate the role played by training in their operations if the changes resultant from the application of training strategies are not visible or felt by the organization. Moreover, the complexities in implementation of training programs makes it hard to realize changes without the use of proper evaluation mechanisms (Shim, Siegel, & Dauber, 2008). Setting up goals in the formulation phase serves to develop a measure for developments that have been made as a result of a training program and therefore sets a milestone for evaluation (Shim, Siegel, & Dauber, 2008). Failure in evaluation has led to failure of many strategic processes and any training program that is unappreciative of this fact is only headed for failure.
Training as an area of study has been of interest to many researchers. It is a general consensus within academic circles that training is important to the development of an entity be it an individual or organization. Though there are differential approaches that researchers have proposed to training and learning, the underlying theories that define the approaches show close similarity. Perceptions, environment, skill of the trainer, capacity of the learner, the equipment that have been availed to the trainer, attitude and the general learning environment all have a bearing on the levels of efficiency attained in the actual transmission (Campbell, Stonehouse, & Houston, 2002). Most researchers are of the view that the levels of competition that industry players face in their respective segments that operate in is likely to lead to an increase in the need for training. This assertion is supported by the fact that innovation and entrepreneurship which heavily rely on training are some of the most sought after approaches to operations. Though the key factor driving healthcare institutions into seeking approaches to operations that incline so much on training has not been brought out by the available literature, it is evident that the needs for professionalism, an increase in the levels of competition, an increase in awareness by patients and ethical concerns play considerable roles in the increase in need for training that is currently being experienced.
There are a number of areas in training that still need to be addressed. The need to ensure more research in the theories that underpin training is evident. Though training has been widely discussed from different perspectives, it is yet to be covered comprehensively. It is still hard to discern how medical workers can apply the principles of psychomotor training without placing the health of the patient at risk, current literature still fails to explain the mechanisms that genetics apply in the observed differences between individual ability to gain from training and the exact process of what should be done on training is a mix of a number of theories that can easily mislead a trainer. There is need for further research in these areas that are yet to be fully addressed to ensure the development of a clear perception of the learning aspect of training.
The research determines the recommendation made with respect to the challenges that Poweshiek County Mental Health Center is faced with. Accuracy and reliability of the research approach affect the findings of the research and therefore the integrity of the entire dissertation. Ensuring measures are in place to ensure accuracy in data collection, develop an approach to data analysis that minimizes the risk of errors while ensuring the objectives of the research are driven at and ensuring that the analysis is done in an error free manner are some of the key consideration in any research process. This chapter outlines the research method.
3.1. Research Design
The research is specific to Poweshiek County Mental Health Center and seeks to develop solutions to problems that are highly specific to Poweshiek County Mental Health Center. It is apparent that the approach of choice must put into consideration the high levels of accuracy in determining what areas are improvements highly needed. An approach that uses secondary data or one that heavily relies on individual interpretation is prone to bias. The research calls for a statistical approach that uses primary data collected from members of Poweshiek County Mental Health Center. The approach needs to be descriptive to develop an understanding of the objective and errors involved in the research and therefore determine the reliability and viability of the research. Survey as an approach is highly relevant to the research.
3.2. Appropriateness of the design
The following are the key values that make survey relevant to the research:
l Survey allows for statistical determination of random errors and therefore evaluation of the accuracy of the findings.
l The research is highly specific thus a descriptive approach that uses data retrieved from the subjects is not only relevant but is the only approach that can lead to reliable data collection and analysis.
3.3. Research Objectives
The following objectives guided the research:
l To determine if a survey will be an adequate source of information for further research.
l To assess what areas need the most improvement.
The research is designed in a manner that seek to determine issues that are specific to Poweshiek County Mental Health Center therefore the population from which data is collected must be made up of entities that are affected by the problem. The population in the research is defined as all workers of Poweshiek County Mental Health Center.
3.5. Sampling Frame
The research employs the aid of questionnaires in seeking the research objectives. Questionnaire is the main tool of data collection and random sampling with the aid of chi square analysis are used in analysis of the collected data. It is worth noting that it is near impossible to attain a response rate of 100% in an experiment where participation is voluntary. Due to the small size of the organization, it was possible to include the whole population in the sample. The number of members of the population who properly answered the questionnaires were included in the sampling frame. The response rate in the approach implemented by the research represent the proportion of the population included in the sample.
The research is designed in a manner that it employs sampling to infer to the population. Findings from the sample are assumed to be representative of the condition in the population. Randomization was made possible by the approach in coming up with a sample. It is worth noting that in choosing a sample where all who respond are included in the sampling frame, the researcher has in no way intervened in the sampling approach and the sample is thus random. Randomization as used in the research is important in ensuring that the random errors are identically and randomly distributed therefore ensuring that the effects of external variables that may affect the integrity of the data collected cancel out.
3.7. Data Collection
A convenience sample was used for the first survey. Poweshiek County Mental Health Center has 206 employees ranging in status each of which was included in the experimental frame. The sampling frame was taken as all those who responded to the questionnaires. The research was designed such that it was only after the first objective was met that research sought the second objective. The first objective seeks to determine is a survey approach will be viable for the population and also serves to validate the need for restructuring Poweshiek County Mental Health Center’s training program. Questionnaire is the main tool used to collect data that was used to determine the response rate and therefore viability of survey.
A convenience sample was used for the second survey. Compared to the questionnaire used to address the first objective, the second questionnaire is more detailed to aid the gain of more information. All employees were requested to fill the questionnaires via a memorandum circulated through major notice boards in the organization. The questionnaires were presented to employees at the same location as the first and employees requested to return them to the same venue. Though the second questionnaire can be described as detailed in comparisons to the first, simplicity and readability are qualities sought for in both questionnaires. These qualities are especially important considering that employees are in a busy working environment where getting the time to fill questionnaires may be a problem. Moreover, the questionnaires were designed using closed questions due to time consciousness and the approach to analysis used by the questionnaire.
3.8. Data Analysis
The approach used in analysis of data is often determined by the objectives of the research and the nature of data present. In consideration of these factors, multiple statistical approaches were employed in meeting the objectives of the research. Simple percentage ratio was used to calculate the proportion of respondent in the first survey and determine what proportion would be significant to come up with a viable conclusion on any issues affecting the organization. The main advantage of the approach lies in the fact that it is simple and viable from a statistical perspective. On the other hand, the approach in based on the assumption that the same rate of response will be attained in the second survey. It is worth noting that this may not be the case considering that the second questionnaire is more detailed than the first. However, the detail levels of the two questionnaires are comparable validating the assumption.
Data collected from the second survey is analyzed with the aid of a bar graph. The visual appeal that a bar graph aided analysis presents is the main reason why this approach was chosen. Bar graph analysis makes it easy to visually compare the role played by each factors in minimizing the efficiency of the training programs which simplifies analysis. Moreover, a chi square analysis has been incorporated in the test to determine the significance of the result from the research. Findings from the sample are inferred for the population under the assumption that the sample used is representative of the condition in Poweshiek County Mental Health Center and recommendations made on the way forward.
3.9. Validity and Reliability
The analysis is developed from findings got from Poweshiek County Mental Health Center’s employees. The data analyzed thus is representative of views of those that are affected by the training programs. The use of primary data collection approaches ensure that the data collected is first hand thus accurate. Note, the use randomization ensures that the statistical approach used in analysis of data is viable and therefore the reliability of the research process. Randomization justifies the use of chi square analysis and the random sampling can be used in determining error range thus the reliability of the research. The use of a chi square test to determine the significance of the results also plays a large part in determining the validity of research and its findings. Moreover, the first test seeks to determine the viability of the approach with regards to the second objective. It is thus clear that the research employs an internal mechanism to ensure validity of the approach.
Findings and Analysis
Analysis of findings is important in any approach to research. The accuracy of findings is important to the research and determine the relevance of recommendations developed to address the problems that Poweshiek County Mental Health Center is faced with in implementation of its training program. This chapter outlines the findings and analyses the findings with respect to the objectives of the research.
4.1. Limitations to the Research
The following are some of the limitations that were experienced in data collection an analysis:
l Non-response: There were questionnaires that were not turned in for unknown reasons.
l Processing errors: The data was collected and analyzed with the use of manpower and therefore prone to human errors.
l Concealment of the truth: Due to the fact that Poweshiek County Mental Health Center is state run there were many employees who disclosed fear of expressing their true opinion.
l Length: Longer surveys are not as suitable as short ones.
Many workers after working as registered nurses at Poweshiek County Mental Health Center have nothing to show of their and the training they have received. Most workers confess that their approach to works can only be defined as routine like where the experienced workers have an edge over the new entrants. Despite working for many years, many workers confess that they have difficulties in managing conditions when they arose. Inadequacy and inconsistency of the training programs is blamed by the majority as being causative of their poor application of what they supposedly should have learned out of the training programs. There are no tools or systems being utilized to gauge the need for improvement.
Poweshiek County Mental Health Center’s current new employee training consists of long lectures and essay writing. In a small portion of the trainings, there is a test that follows the lecture. Although the test or essay at the end should serve as the tool to measure success it has become a placebo to mask the true nature of the training session. The answers are usually dictated to the employees and the test is then turned in. This is in approach to cover up the poor approaches that the instructors employ in training.
Not all of the training sessions at Poweshiek County Mental Health Center are underdeveloped. Basic training such as fire safety and tornados safety are routine everywhere you go. The problem in training is highly prevalent in areas that directly linked to taking care of the mentally and physically disabled individuals who reside at the center. Humility has hampered most people from asking important questions. This according to many respondents has been the reason why they have been suffering in silence while pretending to gain from the training programs. Most trainers are in the management position which makes the individuals self conscious and afraid of questioning their approaches to training. The fear of the trainers has pushed most employees to the mentoring system which is currently the most effective tool at Poweshiek County Mental Health Center. Most employees are of the view that the mentoring systems is more formal and helps them function more effectively while maximizing their talents and potential. Most of the employees claim that mentoring allows new employees to work with experienced staff which helps the new employees open up and ask questions that cannot be asked in the restrictive training sessions.
The mentors at the center are well trained and have a firm knowledge of the rules, regulations and tasks that are required. There are several incorrect approaches being used in the research especially in communication and transmission. Many are of the view that proper training of the trainers in communication and class control approaches would go a long way in developing better training programs. An increase in the use of mentoring is cited by over 75% of the respondents as the best way to go about the training program since the teaching and classroom approach is highly flawed.
The centers training system has metamorphosed over the last five years due to two main causes: the ongoing budget cuts and the removal of the training officer position. From that point on, it was each department’s responsibility to ensure accurate and adequate training. There is no one person who oversees what is occurring or what material is being used. Another area of great concern is the management of training. Different regimes of management according to the experienced workers have done little to change the training approaches and use the same approaches used by outgoing regimes. No employee is ever consulted in the development of training programs and the management of the programs is strictly in the hands of the management. Though teamwork has been developed in paper as the approach that will be used in the training programs, the actual implementation of the programs according to a majority of the respondents has no updates on developments which goes against team spirit. Communication between the management and the employees is limited to work related issues as many are of the view that the management is not at all concerned about the training program and if they are then they do not display their interest in their speeches.
The main approach used in data collection is questionnaires. The questionnaire consist of one question with three choices and an open question that allowed the respondent to give more information on areas that may be important to understanding the nature of the problem. A simple ratio test was used in determining if the survey approach to data collection would be adequate. The results were easily calculated. There are 206 employees at Poweshiek County Mental Health Center and of those employees 184 returned their survey. Statistically 90% of the people returned a questionnaire. Although this is lower than the size of the population it is acceptable (See table 1). This value is assumed to be the response rate that would be attained in the next survey that seeks to address the problems that are specific to Poweshiek County Mental Health Center.