It is an essential function of an HR professional’s role to assess the legalities of training and determine whether a plan has the potential of offending any protected classes prior to roll out. A cultural assessment should be included so as to use generic terms that further reduce risk. HR professionals must also evaluate whether the development plan will be used as the sole weight for promoting and determining the eligibility of employees for opportunity to move forward at work. Finally, various aspects of EEOC must be considered before implementing a development plan (University of Phoenix., 2017).
Training Legalities and Protected Classes
In order for an organization to be successful in its training or development programs they must achieve their goals, however, the must also comply with the law and be fair for all employees. As such, companies must do their research and ensure that no protected classes would receive unfair treatment due to the training. Additionally, by making sure training programs present an equal opportunity for growth for all employee’s organizations are able to mitigate risk of lawsuits and will save themselves money in the long run.
The need for intercultural understanding and education is especially relevant for managing employees on a global scale. Historically, the focus of intercultural training was to prepare an individual to work in a new culture. Today’s organizations routinely ask managers to work in multinational environments or even relocate from country to country, however, even employees who are not asked to relocate to a new country are now requiring cultural awareness to be successful in working alongside peers (Earley, P. C., & Peterson, R. S., 2004).
As a result, HR professionals are having to consider the cultural differences in their workforce and modify employee development plans so people of all backgrounds have equal chances of succeeding. The idea of a cultural assessment is that each employee has their own cultural beliefs, values, and practices, and that these factors should be understood, respected, and considered when giving developing training plans or growth programs. The data collected from this assessment with help create an acceptable and risk free program for HR professionals to implement.
Promotion Opportunities and the Development Plan
Promotion has the potential to be a motivational portion of an employee development strategy; often used to commemorate the achievement of an employee’s development plan. However, promotions granted in situations like these can be short-sighted and rushed. Filling a company’s vacancies based on the organization’s need as opposed to an employees’ plans for themselves can result in the wrong person being promoted or an individual being pressured into a position they have little enthusiasm (Davis, P. J., 2015). Due to this frequent issue, training will be a requisite for promotion but not the only qualifier. In addition to job preparation, enthusiasm for the position will be required. Depending on the position, strategic ability and demonstrated integrity may also be necessary.
Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, those protected under discrimination laws have become the special interests of all HR professionals. To reduce the risk of lawsuit employers need to know how to prevent and effectively respond to such claims. Having a hiring practice that does not discriminate against any of the protected classes (race, sex, age, etc.) is a good start, however, having training programs that are non-discriminatory and raise people of different backgrounds equally is likely to help the organization more in the long run. Protected classes are becoming more numerous, so it is the responsibility of the HR professional to stay well-informed and make changes where needed.
In conclusion, training in our shrinking world has become a larger and more necessary project than ever before. Prior to implementing a training program HR professionals must ensure they are offering development programs that are not unfair or biased in regards to the cultural backgrounds of others, or commit a violation of the EEOC laws. HR professionals must also determine if development programs will be the only route acceptable for promotion, or if other conditions and routes exist.
Blanchard, N. (2013). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Davis, P. J. (2015). Implementing an employee career-development strategy. Human Resource Management International Digest, 23(4), 28–32
Earley, P. C., & Peterson, R. S. (2004). The elusive cultural chameleon: Cultural intelligence as a new approach to intercultural training for the global manager. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 3(1), 100-115.
University of Phoenix. (2017). Week 5 Assignment: Development Plan. Retrieved from: https://newclassroom3.phoenix.edu/Classroom/#/contextid/OSIRIS:50792500/context/co/view/activityDetails/activity/34d520e9-7283-4cd1-a571-51964a841e2a/expanded/Falsehttps://newclassroom3.phoenix.edu/Classroom/#/contextid/OSIRIS:50792500/context/co/view/activityDetails/activity/34d520e9-7283-4cd1-a571-51964a841e2a/expanded/False