To efficiently support a company's mission and strategy, it is crucial to focus mainly on customer service and return on investment. To align with its mission, Domtar instituted the Kaizen methods and associated training. Also, the company ensured an environment in which shared human values and personal commitments prevail. As the president of Domtar, Raymond Royer understood the company needed to have specific goals and strategic direction if it were to be effective in the otherwise competitive. He then directed the executives to participate in the consolidation of the industry while increasing its critical mass, with the aim of becoming a preferred supplier. The president focused his competitive strategy on being innovative on product design, high in product quality, and unique in customer service (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). To ensure the success of the strategy, the president aligned his strategy with the three sections of the company: shareholders, the customer and themselves with the mission of meeting the ever-changing needs of the customers, providing the shareholders with attractive returns and creating an environment in which human values and personal commitments prevail (Blanchard and Thacker, 2013). Therefore, to meet or exceed the mission, the strategy and mission align by focusing on return investment and customer service.
Domtar's president Raymond Royer understood that it is only themselves that are able to have an impact in changing the company. This motivated him to hire the Kaizen guru, through whose they managed to get all the employees involved in the running of the company. The process was carried by having the employees use their expertise in developing new and more effective ways of running the company. President Royer knew that every employee had to understand the proposed changes and the necessary skills to achieve them if the company were to realize the desired success from the new strategic direction (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). It is believed that employees' competence is that which is needed to make a difference in the organization. The company's difference, referred to as the "Domtar Difference," is reflected in the statement, "tapping the intelligence of the experts, our employees." The company believed that their employees had to be motivated to remain involved in the development of the new ways of operations if the company had to realize its desired success. Thus, all that the company needed to do is to provide the employees with a different attitude towards work, new skills and incentives for change. One of the tactics used and which proved effective was the introduction of Kaizen (Blanchard & Thicker, 2013). Therefore, the factors that contributed to the success of the company included the strategies introduced and reshaped the internal structure and the involvement of everyone in the reshaping of the working environment. Also, the hiring of the Kaizen chief efficiently led the company into achieving its desired goals and objectives.
By being empowered, the management of the company at all levels got involved in the running of the company, where they were able to develop different ways to aid in empowering the other employees. By engaging the other employees in the carrying out the new proposed changes, the managers help in reducing the burden of move that is likely to come from the junior employees. In this case, therefore, it is notable that the management did everything possibly right. Having empowered both the management and the employees, offered different attitude towards work, new skills, and incentives, there was not much they could have done, maybe just asking the employees for their output.
The major HRD challenges associated with the company's acquisitions and joint partnerships were the attitudes towards cultural change, innovative application of new skills or technology, knowledge, and information. To address these challenges, the company focused in training the employees in various ways to make them understand that they are the real assets for the company and that the success of their organization is in their hands. The risks associated with these approaches were the various resistances to change and the cases of employees not accepting the proposed changes or valuing the pieces of training.
There exist five phases of training model: needs analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. Beginning with some type of triggering event, the training process is where the actual organizational performance is less than expected. In the case of Domtar, as explained in the beginning paragraph of the chapter, the organization had no clear goal, was not competitive in the industry, was poorly rated in terms of debts, and had more than half of its organization being in "trouble area." Therefore, the first phase which is the needs analysis phase would consist of a gathering of data and causal analysis to determine the performance problems that need to be addressed through training. As the case had no clear description of how the analysis was conducted but only the actions taken which by implication point to the result of the analysis, president Royer could determine that the gap was as a result of lack of clear mission and appropriate strategic direction. Royer recognized the need for the tactics of each unit in Domtar to be supportive of the strategic direction. It was then determined that all that needed to exist included: employee understanding of the proposed strategies and mission and their respective rationale; employee KSAs in Kaizen and customer service; and integration of the employees in merged or acquired companies into the "Domtar Way" (Blanchard & Thicker, 2013).
The second phase, the design phase, describes the systematic processes for determination of the training objectives and the best methods to apply in achieving the desired objectives. However, the case neither describes any technique used in training in details nor does it provide the training objectives. In the case, it is noted that the company hired the Kaizen guru from his former company, and implements a performance management system considered to be supportive of the training. The third phase, development phase, describes the program development which is a process of formulating instructional strategy where all the relevant materials for training are put together. Again, there is no exact description of the process in this phase too. The fourth phase, implementation phase, is where all aspects of the training program combine through a dry run, pilot testing or the specific training. There is no description of the process in this case. The final phase, the evaluation phase, is where the success of the training is determined based on its objectives. Since no specific objectives were identified, the success of the training process can only be implied from the overall Domtar success following the turnaround. It would include the increase in the net earnings and the inclusion in the Dow Jones sustainability index. Unless the training had not been successful, this would not have been possible.
Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J. W. (2012). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices.
Boston: Pearson Education.
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