Technology and Training Systems – British American Tobacco

BAT – Technology and Training Systems

This paper describes the findings of an evaluation of the technology requirement essential staffing systems, training systems, employee productivity and career development systems deployed in British American Tobacco to manage and enhance employee competency and productivity. It further proposes suggestions needed to improve the technology requirements relevant to the organization aspects mentioned above that are key for managing and increasing employee competency and productivity. Many organizations in the 21st century continue embracing employee training as a strategic tool that can accelerate their productivity, continuing growth as well as capacity to retain talented employees. Management and training programs serve the sole purpose of improving organizational capabilities and employee capabilities (Kirov, 2015). In this regard, technology and training systems are implemented with consideration that investment in the improvement of employee skills and knowledge results into increased productivity and effectiveness.

In regard to employee productivity, British American Tobacco has considered the significance of partnering with Fujitsu in order to be able to provide adequate support to all its employees at the global level. This partnership has enabled BAT to deploy an employee productivity system known as Office 365, which has been found to enhance working lives and productivity of employees in the organization (Kirov, 2015). Office 365 is a technology system that has enabled BAT to provide a range of tools to its employees some of which include social networking and email services via hosted versions of Office Online and SharePoint, Skype for Business Server, Exchange Server and integration with Yammer. The main aim that drove BAT to deploy this employee productivity system in its organization was to modernize its communication tools and email systems. The system aims at supporting employee and business growth in the cotemporary digital era. Through implementation of this system, the company intends to increase communication and flexibility for all users thus improving employee experience. The system, also, boosts the functional competence of employees in regard to comprehension of issues that relate to human resources management, economics, operations, information technology, strategy, accounting, and finance.

In regard to staffing systems in the organization, it is essential to note that ensuring that an organization has the required staff is usually challenging and complex, especially in situations where the organizations runs operations in various countries across the globe. Proper staffing systems are essential requirements for multinational companies such as BAT, which conduct operations in many countries. One of the staffing systems embrace in the organization is the needs-based-staffing. The organization uses this system to hire full-time-employees only whenever there is adequate work available. Meanwhile, the company prefers using contractors, especially in handling certain part-time functions such as IT maintenance, sales representation and bookkeeping. A staffing system is an essential requirement in any given organization considering that it helps in ensuring that the staff have the right experience and skills for successful completion of the project. The second staffing consideration that is embraced in the company is known as cost-based-staffing. Through this system the company is able compare the costs and benefits of outsourcing a function and hiring a full-time person. According to Patton (2014), the true costs of employees are determined through supplies, equipment, payroll taxes, wages, salaries and other benefits. The human resource department relies on this system to when conducting a quarterly budget review for contractors and project their annual cost in order to determine the right time for bringing a full-time employee on board.

Career development systems entail an inclusion of various components that are utilized in an organization. In this regard, managers at BAT ensure that they have adequate information about tools deployed in the organization in order to maximize the effectiveness of the system. Self-assessment tools comprise the first technique of career development systems that are deployed in the organization. Self-assessment tools are career exploration tools that require employees to complete self-evaluation exercises followed by provision of information regarding their opportunities, work obstacles, long-term goals, short-term goals, preferences, work attitudes, interests, competencies and skills (Kelleher, 2013). Implementation of this system is essential for helping employees understand their personal aspirations and desires. Career planning workshops are, also, part of career development systems in the organization. Organization of such workshops enables employees to obtain feedback from other employees and determine the reality surrounding their aspirations and plans. Such workshops are essential to employees in the sense that if they find their aspirations unrealistic, they can make decisions that will make them assume completely new direction.

In regard to the training systems, BAT rolled out several training and development programs way back in 2011 when it launched a modern online system for training and development (Patton, 2014). The system aimed at enabling the BAT community access various e-learning applications so that the company can have a clearer view regarding the capability and training gaps that exist in the company operations. The continue embraces e-learning versions of trainings that incorporate strong applications of visual designs where every module contains 20 minutes sections to provide learners with the support they need in regard to accessing essential training resources. Work-based tasks, which are, also, known as springboard exercises are utilized for purposes of prompting high quality interactions between the trainees and line managers.

This section presents suggestions that BAT management requires considering in order to improve the technology requirements in regard employee issues discussed in this paper. In regard to implementation of Office 365, the organization requires making arrangements so that it does not always rely on bandwidth and network. This is essential for preventing limited access to company data and software in the event that the provider of the internet goes down. Besides, the company should have one of its employees controlling its data rather than hiring someone from the outside (Kelleher, 2013). In regard to improving staffing systems, the organization should consider utilizing metrics. This application tool will enable the human resource officials have the correct record of the filled employee positions, retention rates, and the available vacant positions for filling. In regard to career development systems, the organization requires implementing flexible systems that that resonate with the dynamic nature of workplace environment and work itself. This follows a consideration that rapid change needs a knowledgeable and skilled workforce that has employees who are flexible, adaptive and focused. In regard to the training systems, the organization management should ensure that it does not apply the approach of “one-size-fits-all”. Therefore, all employees should not receive equal treatment during e-learning process. The line managers should allow fast learning trainees to share the concept with slow learning trainees.

In conclusion, this paper described the findings of an evaluation of the technology requirement essential staffing systems, training systems, employee productivity and career development systems deployed in British American Tobacco to manage and enhance employee competency and productivity. The partnership with Fujitsu has enabled BAT to deploy an employee productivity system known as Office 365, which has been found to enhance working lives and productivity of employees in the organization. Career development systems entail an inclusion of various components that are utilized in an organization.


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