Training and development of employees at toyota motor companyIntroductionThe Toyota Motor Company is Japan’s largest automobile manufacturer. The company is considered to be the world’s third largest in automobile manufacturing.
Since its establishment, the Toyota Motor Company which is located in Toyota city has expanded to cover six continents. Due to its success in the world market, the company now offers employment to over 250,000 people worldwide. Being a multinational company that is expected to increase its productivity in future, there is need for the company’s management to ensure that there is effective human resource management. In order to achieve this, the company has adopted a philosophy that focuses on problem-solving, successful long-term management, organizational learning as well as staff training and development (Dawson, p 12).
The success of the Toyota Motor company in the world market is attributed to high productivity, increased employee productivity and effective human resource management. As a result, training and development of employees has become a very important aspect of promoting success in the company.DiscussionIn all its subsidiaries or affiliate companies all over the world, employee skills and knowledge in the Toyota Motor Company are improved through the development and implementation of different training programs. The company considers staff development to be very critical for success and hence it has embraced continuous employee development strategies.
In addition, the company has developed employee training programs that assist the managers to acquire both knowledge and skills required for them to perform well in their respective duties (Imai, p 141).Through the programs, managers develop the ability to solve problems. It is the ability of the company to define clearly the role of various managers that is attributed to successful managerial training programs. For instance, employee training programs in the company have been able to eliminate muri(strain),muda(waste) and mura(irregularity).
Training of both managers and workers is very instrumental in eliminating strain that may result from mistakes and lack of employees’ knowledge on the value they add for the company’ customers. The employees are trained so that they are able to adapt to the changes that are experienced in the working environment.On-job training is one of the major ways through which employee development is promoted (Pedr, p 16).The training builds employee skills .
An example of a staff training program used in the company is the Toyota Job Instruction (TJI) program. By developing this program, the company equips workers with new skills. In the past, training materials have been derived fromTWI(Training Within Industries) which include job instructions, job relations and kaizen(job improvement).Through formal classroom training, certified trainers train workers and impart knowledge that relate to their duties.
Other examples of formal training undertaken in the company include safety training, technical training, post and pre-promotion training as well as problem-solving training.Employees are provided with voluntary activities that can improve their skills if they participate. Although the voluntary training activities tend to be less structured as compared to the on-job training activities, employees who participate have their minds stimulated. In addition, the employees benefit from the great value that they derive from the lessons learned from the activities.
The company has continued to support extensive training schemes that promote staff development. For instance, a multi-skilling program that is used by the company’s affiliate in South Africa improves employee skills based on the job categories they belong to. The program is referred to as the Toyota Technical Education Program (T-TEP) .This employee training program aims at benefiting young trainees or prospective employees who are within the company dealer network.
The program is offered at the Toyota Institute for Technical Education and Training which has recently received a R3 million funding.Furthermore, the T-TEP program currently benefits about twelve educational institutions which promote proper training of potential employees.Toyota Canada which was named as the country’s top employer in 2009 has well developed employee training and development programs. The Toyota Canada training and employee development programs enable the workers to receive tuition subsidies to take courses related to their work positions(Yerema,np).
Apart from the generous tuition subsidies, the training program supports skilled trade internships for its workers, in-house training apprenticeship and programs, career planning services, online employee skills inventory and online training programs. By working together with the Waterloo Region Board of Education and the Conestoga College, the Toyota Canada Company assists the employees to benefit from onsite training and development courses.The company has made an investment in activities that allow the workers to create unique ideas. Workers are perceived to play a significant role in monozukuri.
This means that they must develop knowledge and unique ideas that result to revolutionary production techniques. One of the challenges that the company faces in relation to staff training is how to develop staff training and development programs that assist employees to become innovative and creative while maintaining the organizational culture. Sometimes employees may hold onto the organizational culture very strongly such that positive change is not easily accepted. To overcome this challenge, there is need to put into place strategies that encourage employees to be creative and innovative.
As the operations of the company become increasingly global, the management will be required to impart the “Toyota DNA” in employees working in its affiliate companies all over the world. Currently, the company exports its business approach through the “Toyota label”. For instance, the establishment of the Toyota Institute in Japan in January 2002 aimed at offering training to executives and managers from Toyota companies all over the world (Toyota Special Reports, np).Every year, a large number of staff from the company’s affiliate’s travel to Japan for training.
It is an opportunity for the staff to acquire new skills and knowledge as well as to learn about the “Toyota Way”.It is a challenge for the Toyota Motor Company to ensure it continues to compete with other large automobile manufacturers such as the Ford Motor Company through high employee productivity(Morgan and Liker, p 136).To overcome this challenge, the Toyota Motor Europe has introduced an E- learning system(Gale,np).The implementation of a centralized E-learning system enables managers and the employees to improve their skills and knowledge especially those working in the sales and marketing field.
The employees use the learning system to access new information on various issues that relate to their work. As a result, the company can compete favorably with other large automobile manufacturers. The E-learning system was introduced by the Toyota Motor Europe in 2005.With assistance from representatives of Cert Point which developed the system, the managers, executives and the junior staff can acquire new skills to improve productivity.
Distributors of the company’s products have also been involved in staff training and development. For instance, Bahrain based E K Kanoo is a distributor of Lexus and Toyota brands of vehicles. The distributors who continue to experience an unwavering demand for high quality products acknowledge that there is need for training and development of employees who form the technical team. The E K Kanoo supports TEAM 21(Technical Education for Automotive Mastery) which offers training to the employees.
Furthermore; the Toyota Motor Company has been involved in extensive training program for the Service Advisors and Technicians of the company’s Service centers in Bahrain’s Arad and Isa Town. The company has continued to set up technical training institutes in various countries. For example, a Toyota Technical Training Institute(TTTI) was established in India in 2007.The establishment of the training institute in India is one of the Toyota company’s initiative to train and then offer employment to the Indian citizens.
In this case, the company has embraced corporate social responsibility. In Japan, a Toyota Technical Skills Academy exists to offer training to individuals who can be employed in the company.Another strategy that the company uses for staff training and development is the development of cross-functional expertise in employees (Liker, p 37). This is through the implementation of a unique rotation system whereby employees hold different job positions over a given period of time.
The system enables the employees to get access to global experience and knowledge as well as to learn and develop skills. The Toyota Motor company supports this through skill and knowledge transfer who involves participation of coordinators and inter-company transfers. The management of career and development opportunities for the workers is done using tools such as Learning and Growth Planning, Performance Management System, Career Development Planning process and the Balanced Score Card. This strategy of employee training and development is witnessed in Toyota Affiliate Company in Australia.
ConclusionIn all companies and organizations, employees are considered to be the most important asset. To ensure that it increases its performance and employee productivity, a company should manage its human resource effectively. One of the ways through which this can be achieved is by offering staff training and development programs. The development and implementation of these programs allows the employees to acquire new skills and knowledge.
As the competition between companies continues to increase in the world market, different companies have embraced programs that guarantee them a competitive edge over the others. At the Toyota Motor Company, various staff training and development are used to improve productivity and promote success. Works CitedDawson, Chester. Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit”, Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd, 2004Gale, Sarah.
2008.Toyota Embraces E-learning – and Change. Workforce Management.March 2008.
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