STAFF DEVELOPMENT OF MANAGEMENT OF GOVERNMENT PARASTATALS (A CASE STUDY OF AKWA IBOM STATE POLYTECHNIC, IKOT OSURUA)
1.1 Background to the Study
Staff development is seen as the most important formation of any competent
Management of government and private parastatals. The reason is not far-fetched; the ever increasing technological sophistication especially in this age of computer technology has made it compulsory for organizations to meet changing situations.
Development for capacity building is central to sustain economic growth and development because human capital is the greatest asset of any organization. Capacity building entails investment in human capital, institutions and practices necessary to enhance human skills, overhaul organization and improve procedures
and systems (Sanusi, 2002). Capacity building could also be defined as the internalization of the knowledge, skills and processes that enable the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of set goals in an efficient manner. Yet, it could be viewed as a series of activities, which an organization, enterprise or even a nation needs to undertake to provide for itself, on a continuous basis, as well as the regular supply of skilled manpower to meet its present and future needs (Anyanwu, 2002). Moreover, one of the major principles needed by industries to succeed in current situation of low productivity is quality training that will equip the staff with new skills, competencies and techniques. Hence, it is good policy to invest in the development of workers’ skills, so as to increase their productivity.
In the recent years, Federal Government of Nigeria has been concerned with the development of all workers to improve performance in their present job and to provide a solid basis for those who are growing up. Perhaps, this influenced the decision in establishing Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to cater for the development needs of employees (staff) in government parastatals.
Prior to the third republic in Nigeria, there has been a general resistance to investment in training and development in the public service because of the belief that an staff hired under a merit system must be presumed to be qualified. This assumption was later jettisoned as the need for training became obvious both in the private and public sector together with the expanding roles of the government and the civil services respectively. Staff training further became necessary in view of advancement in modern world given the growing complexity of the work environment, the rapid change in organizational and technological advancement which in turn necessitates the need for training and development.
The role played by staff training can no longer be over-emphasized as many have come to recognize that training offers a way of developing skill, enhancing productivity, guaranteeing quality of work and building worker’s loyalty to the government parastatals.
Organizational goals also keep changing in line with the realities of the time; technology keep getting sophisticated; customers and clients of organization become more choosy and conscious of their rights in demanding organizational products and services, and organization product and service keep changing in response to their choice. These keep increasing the need for well-trained employees. Okotoni and Erero (2005) throw more light to the discussion when they assert that: The importance of development is more obvious given the growing complexity of the work environment, the rapid change in organizations and advancement in technology, among other things. staff development helps to ensure that organisational members possess the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs effectively, take on new responsibilities, and adapt to changing conditions.
Organization regardless of its size must provide for the need, interest and desire of its staff within the environment if it is to earn loyalty, dedication, involvement and commitment necessary to complete effectively. Though there are number of factor, such as finance, material and manpower which collectively contribute to the production of good and service in organization, human resource has been the most significant factor among these factors. With the provision of finance, material and even machine without experienced and trained manpower nothing can be done. Human resource therefore is the most valuable resource and ultimate basis of an organization. Manpower which was intellectually and emotionally trained in turn develops all other dependent segments of the organ to its predetermined level.
Most organizations tend to perceive training as the solution or correct therapy for many of the observed personnel and organizational low performance and productivity problem. Unfortunately, there are other personnel management problems that can generate the same performance and productivity problems that lack of skills and knowledge generate. This is why Decenzo and Robbins (2005) have warned that If salaries are low, if supervision is poor, if worker benefits are inadequate or if physical work layout is deficient, spending on staff development such as training and skills; may have little or no effect on productivity, since inadequate performance is due to conditions that training cannot remedy. Abiodun (2008) submitted that training is a systematic development of knowledge skill and attitude required by staff to perform adequately on a given, task training ensures that organizational members posses the knowledge and kill they need to perform their job effectively take a new responsibilities and adapt to changing environment. A result-oriented public or private organization will always need to recruit and train specialized personnel.
Generally, the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization therefore lies on the human resources ie. development that plans and coordinates work within the organization in relation to the qualitative training designed to improve and to harshness the manpower potentials among others.