Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

The Importance of Training and Education for New Zealand Entrepreneurs to Be Successful: Some Empirical Evidence

Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

The Importance of Training and Education for New Zealand Entrepreneurs to Be Successful: Some Empirical Evidence

Article excerpt


Entrepreneurship dates back many thousands of years and the complexities of wielding an effective workforce require training at all levels. History has proven that training is an essential part of creating a cohesive and effective workforce. In order to be an effective team member in a work situation, all personnel must be completely immersed in the organisation's culture and values and have an in depth knowledge of policies and procedures (Du Plessis, Marriott, and Manichith, 2016). An ancient example can be used to confirm that successful entrepreneurs and organisations need sufficient and effective training; the military training and precision in action is the phalanx formation where an advancing unit of soldiers would protect themselves by overlapping rectangular shields (Montgomery of Alamein, 1968). This formation was methodical and disciplined requiring the whole unit to move in unison to maintain the integrity of the shield. Training was needed to get this move to perfection. Where in the past, military training relied on discipline and the enforcement of rules, nowadays technology and the latest information with smarter ways of training is required.

Training, education, development and learning are often thought of as synonymous and although they can overlap, there are key differences. Training describes specific learning activities to improve an employee's knowledge, skills and abilities in order for them to do the job better. Education improves overall competence beyond the workplace. Development aims to fulfil an employee's potential within the organisation through a number of methods including career counselling, mentoring and job rotation. The main learning theories include behavioural, humanistic, cognitive and social learning theories and an individual's learning style reflects the way in which they prefer to learn. The organisation's approach to learning will also impact on how training is conducted (Du Plessis, 2014).

Entrepreneurs need to do a thorough training needs analysis to adapting training to suit advances in technology and to cater for the latest generation of employees. Generation Y, or the Millennium Generation, has posed a direct challenge to the traditional work environment as they do not have automatic respect for authority (Du Plessis, 2014; Lindquist, 2008). Millennials (people born between 1977 and 1994) tend to be confident and have a feeling of entitlement, constantly wanting feedback and ready to give criticism back in return. This does not fit the traditional work discipline mould where new employees are expected to do as they are told and be seen and not heard. Millennials are normally well educated in history and are high achievers so in order to take advantage of their unique talents, the entrepreneur must adapt by taking lessons from the studies into Human Resource Management (HRM).

Training is one of the key functions of HRM. Traditionally, the entrepreneur has not been structured to run their operation like a business but recent times have forced a rethink (Erasmus, 2006). Entrepreneurs have to compete for market share and make profits to survive. However, in recent times, entrepreneurs have found themselves competing in a diminishing recruitment pool and have been forced to become more expense savvy with rapidly constricting budgets. This has required entrepreneurs to start thinking as Chief Executive Officers and adopt business best practice.

The study into Organisational Behaviour (OB) has contributed to the evolution of HR through the understanding of employee behaviour (Robbins, Judge, Millett & WatersMarsh, 2008). Drawing on psychology, sociology, anthropology and political science, the study into OB seeks to understand what people do in an organisation and how behaviour affects the performance of the organisation. By understanding the effects policies have on behaviour allows companies to adopt the policies that will result in the right behaviours to pursue a chosen strategy. …

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