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Training and Development of Employees in Nigeria-Understanding Business Environment

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INTRODUCTION 

Training is a program which assists employees to learn particular skills and knowledge to improve performance in their present job roles. Good training and development programs of the organizations facilitate personnel to get growth opportunities and develop their own talent. In the present time, there are many of companies which are using unique and effective training and development methods to develop their workforce (Training of Employees - Need and Importance of Training, 2017). The present essay is based on to determine the best approach to training and developing employees of a nation. In order to address this research question, Nigeria is taken into consideration. As per the information of the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2012, the population of Nigeria has become 167 million. In this respect, a report by the National Population Commission, in 2013 stated that half of the population has youth between 15 and 34 years old. As the number of youth population grows, the rate of unemployment is growing (The State of Youth Unemployment in Nigeria, 2014). The major reason behind the increased unemployment situation is Nigeria has ineffective approaches of training and development for the employees followed by organizations of the country (The Current Situation in Nigeria, 2016). The current essay will focus on different issues such as the culture of the nation, normal expectations of staff, what international laws require employers to do and how the policies and practices of Nigeria differ from what is done in the UK.

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Culture of Nigeria

Nigeria's culture has been shaped by its multiple ethnic groups which have contained 52 diverse languages. It has more than 1150 dialects and ethnic groups and the four largest ethnic groups are Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Fulani. By moving towards the business aspect of this nation, it has been found that the most common greeting is a handshake with a warm welcoming smile (Doing Business in Nigeria, 2017). Businessmen shake hands at the starting and ending of the meetings. Without informal rituals, people have to exchange their business cards with their left hand. Because of the different ethnic groups in Nigeria, communication styles have varied according to it. At the time of taking, people have focused on the facial expressions of other persons during the meeting. Nigerians are generally friendly in nature where politeness is carried out by a person during the inquiry of another one before starting a business with each other (Nigerian business culture and incentives: An inside perspective, 2015).

In Nigeria, English is emerging as the most important language to run businesses in the nation for the local people. Office hours for working are generally 8 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday (Arogundade, 2011). In terms of business dress up, stylish and smart with dark colours is preferred by business people. There is a large population in the following nation is Muslim and men are forbidden from handshaking with women. From a long time ago, Nigeria still remained a patriarchal community where both kinds of genders had equal opportunities in senior positions in both political and corporate sectors. Along with this, the business etiquette of the country is flexible and impressive for foreign-owned multinational organizations (Okereke and Nnenna, 2011). In Nigeria, business meetings have very social occasions because, in this nation, outsider companies need to be carried out patiently and wait to develop trust with the Nigerian people. It has helped the firms to create strong interpersonal connections.  

By moving towards the management style of companies in the context of the culture of Nigeria, it has been determined that it is extremely hierarchical in nature (Garba, 2010). The top management has always been male and belongs to the old generation where they have expected to receive respect from the employees and expect that their worker will never criticise their boss publicly. It is not always essential that top management take all business-related decisions and they have followed by lower-level personnel. For Nigerian people, business relationships are more important and they have never wanted any kind of compromise in it. Business leaders of this nation have expected that their employees should follow all given instructions very closely. The ability of work together is considered as a significant asset in the Nigerian workplace (Ogundele, Akingbade and Akinlabi, 2012).

On the other hand, Nigeria has a terrible reputation for corruption and bribery. It has been observed that this problem has widely spread from the highest levels of government to the lowest level of small street organizations. This issue has been continuously avoided by the administration which is creating a bad image of Nigeria in all over the world (Okpara and Kabongo, 2011).   

Normal expectations of the employees

In Nigeria, the employees of the organizations have contained some expectations from their employers. Feeling valued and respected is one of them in this direction (Moser, 2012). Nigerian personnel want to feel valued and respected from their top management side. They have expected respect from their leaders' side and also anticipate that they have not judged the employees for any reason. Along with this, workers of Nigerian organizations usually want fair compensation for their work from the top management side (Employee Expectations in Modern Business, 2015). They thought that transparent relationships with the managers or bosses allowed them to share their viewpoints and opinions with a lower risk of being dishonest or unfaithful.

On the other hand, many of the employees of different industries of Nigeria expect that employers should give them autonomy. They wanted to be able to decide when, where and how their working activities get to be performed (Lawal and Oluwatoyin, 2011). As per the personnel expectation, they have hated being micromanaged by the top management all the time. According to them, by giving autonomy to do their job, they can effectively fulfil their job roles and complete the assigned work in more effective manner. Apart from this, workers of Nigerian organizations have expected that employers should provide them right and appropriate training and development opportunities. This is important to the personnel for their personal and professional growth. It has been found from the research that many of the firms of this nation have not used the best approaches of training and development (Obisi, 2011). It has de-motivated them to perform their assigned roles and duties in an effective manner. Due to this, most of the workers have switched jobs from one enterprise to another very frequently. So, it is expected by the Nigerian employees to the employers that they have received good training and development opportunities. Apart from this, personnel have expected that their management have to give recognition to their work. Because they think that it is a regular and inseparable element of culture of the organization (Ololube and Egbezor, 2012). If higher authority has given recognition to employees' work then it will motivate them in the right direction to increase their efforts to perform their own job duties and responsibilities.

From the above-stated expectations of employees of Nigerian organizations, it has been determined that training and development is one of the major anticipations of them. The adopted approaches in this direction by the firms have not that too effective to train the staff members in the right direction. These have not been able to boost the employee's potential and further develop their skills (The Benefits of Employee Development and Training, 2012). The inappropriate selection of training and development frameworks by the business leaders of Nigeria has increased the dissatisfaction level in the staff members and has decreased their productivity. Along with this, it has created an unsafe working environment for the workers at the workplace. With the application of old and ineffective training and development tactics, Nigerian organizations have not promoted the lifelong learning concept in working areas which has not motivated them to learn new skills. So, improper selection of training and development by enterprises to train their employees is one of the issues in Nigeria (Moses and Mordi, 2010). Personnel have expected that management has delivered the right training and development programs so that they can gain new development opportunities at the workplace.

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What other employers normally do

In Nigeria, employers have adopted various training and development approach to train the employees. Many organizations have used off-the-job training methods to deliver training to the staff. In this context, lectures and conferences have been organized by the management to increase the knowledge and develop new skills in the personnel. It is a direct and traditional method of instruction where a verbal presentation is presented to a large audience. The lectures have developed as per the roles and responsibilities of the workers with the aim of raising their interest towards the assigned job roles (Aroge, 2012). However, lectures and conferences have not been that much effective in training and developing the employees. On the other hand, vestibule training is also an approach used by Nigerian companies to train their workers in the right direction. Under this, top management has offered access to employees to learn something new where the staff are trained in a prototype working environment. Here, similar working conditions have been created in this type of training method so that the personnel can effectively train to perform the assigned job roles (Usoro, 2010). After receiving the complete training, they are appointed to similar jobs in the actual work areas. But in real-time situations, the difference in the working environment has sometimes unable the employees unable to use the learning things in a practical manner.

Apart from this, employers of Nigerian organizations have carried out simulation exercises to give training and develop the employees in the right direction so that they can increase their efforts to complete the work as per the set criteria (Topno, 2012). Under this, many of the enterprises have organized some management games; take the help of case studies, role-playing, in-basket training etc. These all have increased the understanding of the personnel to understand and analyze the situations and make the right decisions according to it. When the employees have faced or deal with real problems which have diverse from case study or role-playing games then they are not able to carry out their roles and complete the assigned work (Smith, 2010).  

To overcome all the issues related to the job training approach, Nigerian organizations have taken a new step to follow some new and effective training and development methods that can meet the expectations of the staff members in the right way. In this context, the first technique is coaching where the employers have determined the weak areas of the staff and have tried to focus on it with the aim of overcoming them (Abimbola and Agboola, 2011). It has delivered the benefits related to transferring theory learning to practice to the personnel. Along with this, mentoring concept, higher authorities of Nigerian organizations have tried to develop learning attitudes in the workers. With the help of this, top management has appointed some responsible and experienced persons to monitor the employee's performance and working style. Apart from this, by using the job rotation concept, many of the firms in Nigeria have given training to employees related to their jobs. It has helped the staff to learn something new all the time and take important decisions in an effective way (Falola, Osibanjo and Ojo, 2014).  So, these are some actions which have recently been taken by employers in Nigeria in order to deliver training and development to the personnel in diverse directions.

National and international laws require employers to do

In the direction of offering the right training and development to the employees, at national and international levels, various HR policies have been developed that need to be followed by Nigerian employers. In Africa, after the global financial and economic crisis, there have been some changes in labour standards take place (Arogundade, 2011). The areas in which modifications have been carried out are social security, wages, migrant workers, human resource development etc. During this, there have been some challenges faced by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the areas of discrimination in employment, training and development in Africa and its other regions. In this direction, employers in Nigeria need to follow ILO in which management needs to improve the health and hygiene conditions as well as occupational safety for both genders employees (Labour Standards in Africa, 2017). This has increased the focus of the organizations towards enhancing working conditions in the workplace.

On the other hand, as per the World Bank Report, till 2015, the population of Nigeria was 182.2 million and its GDP was $481.1 million along with a 2.7% growth rate. In 2015, the inflation rate of this nation has become 9%. In this context, the World Bank has helped in fight poverty and improve the living standards for the people of Nigeria by granting more than 130 IBRD loans. This has brought the creation of productive jobs with the growth of the private sector by improving in education skills (Nigeria, 2017).

At the national level, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria is an organization which has provided training to employees in different areas. Management has created a strong, dynamic and world-class power training institute with the name of NAPTIN. It has developed partnerships, linkages and affiliations with international and local Training Institutes and Universities. Along with this, this has developed marketing strategies to promote the importance of training in power utilities within Nigeria. Further, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria has designed, developed and organized different training courses that can able to increase the capacity and skills of the personnel in both non-technical and technical power utilities (Business Objectives / Goals, 2017).  

On the other hand, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) of Nigeria organization is one of the companies of the nation which are considering the national laws to give training to the employees in the direction of information technology. Under this, the agency has looked towards the provision of IT infrastructures to the organizations that help in enabling the development of a good IT environment in the nation where the companies can easily give on-the-job and off-the-job training to the staff in easier (Operations, 2017).

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Policies and practices of Nigeria are different from what is done in the UK 

In the present time, many of the organizations in Nigeria have re-emphasized the requirement of training and development of the employees. It is considered the most important part of creating new ideas which has mutually beneficial to both employers and workers (Okereke and Nnenna, 2011). The following HRM practice has influenced the supervisors, managers and HR department to make sure that the personnel have effectively trained and developed to perform the job duties in an appropriate manner. Some organizations in Nigeria have offered additional subsidies and education in the context of job-related training and some of the firms have modified their wage structures which have involved training subsidy and education allowance in the salary of the employees. The impact of these policies and practices have it has mutually given benefits to both staff and management (Garba, 2010). This assists the worker in acquiring new knowledge and skills which has not been mentioned in the job description. With time, Nigeria is becoming aware towards the needs and requirements of training and development of the employees of the various industries. Along with this, there are several training centres open by the government for giving the training to the personnel and making them capable of performing the job duties (Joseph, 2015).

On the other hand, in the UK, the government has taken numerous initiatives in the direction of training and development of employees. Under the skill funding program, the government has funded skills training for further education (FE) by supporting 1000 colleges, employers and private training centres with £3.2 billion in funds on a per-year basis. This has supported young people in receiving training and employment (About Us, 2017).  Along with this, the funding structure has changed by the UK government. Further to determine the best vocational qualifications at either the tech level or applied general, several strategies have been used by the government bodies. In addition to this, by setting up national colleges that are recently led by employers, the UK government has developed training and development opportunities.

From the above discussion, it has been clear policies and practices of the government and employers of Nigeria and the UK are different from each other. Both nations are developing several job opportunities for their employees.

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CONCLUSION 

Summarizing the whole report, it has been concluded that Nigeria is a nation that includes different types of people are there so, there is a difference in their views, opinions and culture. There are various industries that are required to focus on the best training and development approaches. So the employees put maximum effort into attaining their business objectives and goals. To reduce the switch of a job from one place to another firm, it requires proper training and development to the employee to increase its satisfaction in the work. The various training programmes need to be adopted by the Nigerian industries so, the personnel growth will enhance as well as professional. Along with this, the level of unemployment in this country increases and also there is economic as well as social development. Also, they follow employment legislation and HR practices as well as off-job-training for the staff workers to develop their knowledge, skills and abilities. The various compensation benefits, subsidies and education are also given. The managers of Nigeria have taken the help of the National Information Technology Development Agency to modify the infrastructure. On the other hand, policies and practices of training and development of employees of Nigeria and the UK are different from each other. From the overall report, it has been clear that the job training method is the best approach to delivering training to the staff for Nigerian employees.

REFERENCES

  • Arogundade, B.B., 2011. Entrepreneurship education: An imperative for sustainable development in Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in educational research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS)2(1), pp.26-29.
  • Okereke, C.I. and Nnenna, B., 2011. Training, manpower development and job performance: Perception and relevance among civil servants in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Journal of Economics and International Finance3(6), p.399.
  • Garba, A.S., 2010. Refocusing education system towards entrepreneurship development in Nigeria: a tool for poverty eradication. European journal of Social Sciences15(1), pp.140-150.
  • Ogundele, O.J.K., Akingbade, W.A. and Akinlabi, H.B., 2012. Entrepreneurship training and education as strategic tools for poverty alleviation in Nigeria. American International Journal of Contemporary Research2(1), pp.148-156.
  • Okpara, J.O. and Kabongo, J.D., 2011. Cross-cultural training and expatriate adjustment: A study of western expatriates in Nigeria. Journal of World Business46(1), pp.22-30.
  • Moser, C., 2012. Gender planning and development: Theory, practice and training. Routledge.
  • Lawal, T. and Oluwatoyin, A., 2011. National development in Nigeria: Issues, challenges and prospects. Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research3(9), pp.237-241
  • Obisi, C., 2011. Employee Training and Development in Nigerian Organisations: Some Observations and Agenda for Research. Australian Journal of Business and Management Research1(9), p.82.
  • Ololube, N.P. and Egbezor, D.E., 2012. A critical assessment of the role/importance of non-formal education to human and national development in Nigeria: future trends. International journal of scientific research in education5(2), pp.71-93.
  • Moses, C. and Mordi, C., 2010. Women entrepreneurship development in Nigeria: The effect of environmental factors. BULETINUL Universitatii Petrol-Gaze din Ploie~ ti62(4), pp.43-52.

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