CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
The efficiency and effectiveness of any work place (whether the private or the public sector) largely depend on the caliber of the workforce. The availability of a competent and effective labour force does not just happen by chance but through an articulated and strategic human resource management (Peretomode and Peretomode 2001). This is based on the recognition that human side of the organization is the greatest asset for production of goods and services. The efficiency with which any organization can perform depends, to a very large extent, upon how effectively its human resources can be managed and utilized. Therefore, human resource development is a management function or responsibility in enhancing organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Human resource management is the formal system for the management of people within the organization.
Armstrong (2006), sees human resource management as obtaining, organizing and motivating the human resources by the enterprise with aim of developing the workforce to promote effective effort, co-operation and to help the enterprise meet its legal obligations and its social responsibilities of work and quality of life provided for them. The cardinal points in the above definition are employees’ recruitment, training and development, motivation etc. However, an important aspect of human resources management, which is often neglected today especially after recruitment process, is employee training and development. This is because in most organizations, the top management regards employee training and development as marginal importance and therefore gives it only a token support.
Many managers even feel that employee training and development is purely a staff function for which the line managers have no responsibility. Others who institute human resource training and development programmes do so because that is the fashionable thing to do. This is a misconception because we live in a changing world, a world where people and things change rapidly and continually, new technologies and new work procedures emerge every day (Abdulareem , Fasasi and Akinnubi, 2011). People’s attitudes, beliefs, values, behaviours and taste change, the supa environment is not static, infact there is knowledge explosion in the world which calls for additional and improved skills on the part of both the workers and management, hence the part of both the workers and management need training and retraining of staff to make them cope with the dynamic world work.
In other words, the human resource development of organization members is very crucial and effective utilization of employees comes through effective employee training and development as well as motivation. Therefore, a trained staff is more likely to be highly motivated, competent and consequently more productive (Okotoni, 2003). The importance of human resource development becomes more evident as workers face challenges of learning new skills, which will enable them maintain their proficiency level or prepare them for future promotion.
However, one may be tempted at this juncture to ask what exactly is training? According to Armstrong (1984:20) cited in Onah (2003), “training is the modification of behaviour through experience, and development is a change towards the better”. Based on this, it then shows that employers in organizations that have in their curriculum, the concept of training have paved way for the success and survival of their organizations, and the subsequent enjoyment of optimal performance on the part of the employees or workers (Nwachukwu, 1988:100).
Essentially, the effectiveness of training depends upon its meting a need shared by a group of people in an organization. All training therefore, should be justified on the basis of a prior need analysis. That is, training programmes should be designed to meet identified training needs. New employees for instance are given induction training so as to enable them fit into their new and often strange environment (Odiorne, 2003:21). Old employees are trained to acquire new skills or learn new techniques, which are needed for their job. This training may be due to change in work method or technology when work techniques become obsolete or are discarded as a result of change in technology, for instance the introduction of computers as modern means of communication, retraining might be needed so that displaced employee could be retrained to fit into new jobs. Staff preparing for higher responsibilities also need to be trained to take future responsibilities for which they are hired for. This is often called training for advancement (Lambert, 2003).
Whatever the nature of training and development programmes designed for the staff, the primary aim should be to provide him with the knowledge, skill and attitude required for doing his present job and for holding responsibility in future in the organization. In light of the above, one can safely assume that human resources is the backbone and flesh of the process development and corporate of any organization, society or a nation for that matter. Thus, attention should be paid to human element in addition to physical assets. The reason as Nwankwo (2000:10-11) argued is that appreciable expansion of the physical assets of an organization cannot be attained without the corresponding effort at seeking optimum performance of the workforce in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and productivity.
In spite of all these, scholars and experts in corporate administration are of the view that human resource development and utilization in the Nigerian power sector is still inadequate considering the challenges from the changing technological and economical environment as well as the growing industrial competitions in the global world (Majoku, 2003). On the other hand, the recent performance review of power sector by (NEPA News, 2005) shows that over seventy percent of the problems in the Nigerian power sector is caused by managerial incompetency. Managerial incompetency or incapacity is considered as a resultant effect of poor human resource development and utilization. Hence, the power sector reforms in Nigeria aim at building effective administrative capacity through manpower development in the sector. It is generally expected that the human resource development programmes of the power sector reforms will ensure effective skills and work experiences of the workers to increase their productivity and service delivery to the general public. It is against this background that this study intends to investigate on the topic; Human Resource Development and Utilization in Nigerian Public Service: A Case Study of Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC, Nsukka Business Unit from 2008-2013.