Effectiveness of training programs in achieving customers and their satisfactions in Malaysian Airlines


Executive Summary

Training is the significant part of the modern organization and has become the vital part of the working process within the organizations. With the changes in the technology and their advancement, the organization of the training programs has become vital part for every enterprise in the airline industry, in order to remain competitive and increase the performance of the employees within the organization.

 The main motive for conducting this research is to provide broad range of research of the literature and their reviews related to training and development and assisting the employees in providing customers satisfaction. Through this research, an extensive investigation of the effectiveness of the training and development programs in increasing the customer’s satisfaction is done in order to retain the customers for long term. Along with the discussion related to the theoretical framework related to the training and development programs and customer satisfactions, research also focussed over the benefits of the training and development program in increasing the profitability and performance of the organization in the airline industry.

For the effective evaluation of the research the aims and objectives have been developed in an efficient manner, and for achieving these objectives, the research methodology has been adopted using the paradigm and research approaches. Under this research qualitative design methodology along with the interpretative research methodology has been adopted. So under this research for the purpose of data collection secondary data collection methodology has been used. The literature review method has been used to collect the secondary data and bring down insights into the theoretical framework of the topic under study.

Background

Training can be said to be as the systematic process of developing skills, knowledge and attitude that is required by the employees of the organization to perform their job and tasks in an appropriate manner. The training related to customer services helps the employees in building confidence and develops skills to effectively interact with customers (Bassi and Russ-Eft 1997).

It also aids in developing the inner motivation within the employees and deliver great customer value. Customers services associated training helps the employees of the airline in improving their skills and qualities which aids them to increase customer’s satisfaction. Development of good relationship with customer groups plays a vital role in improvement in customer’s services and this is also vital looking at the increased competition in the airline industry in Malaysia. This is also vital looking at the need of the customer’s retention in the today’s airliner industry. So this shows the need for the adequate training and development of the customers services personnel’s and developing their knowledge and skills in order to satisfy customers and create a loyalty among them and keep them with the company for longer duration. With the training and development of employees the employee turnover also gets reduced which is also high in the airline industry and this also helps in increasing the customers satisfaction (Bray 2009).

Malaysian airline is the government owned airline of Malaysia. The company operates from Kuala Lumpur international airport. The company is also into aircraft handling, maintenance, overhaul and repairs. The company has two airlines as their subsidiaries i.e. Firefly and MASwings. The company has come a long way and has seen several crisis in its entire tenure of operations. Looking at the company services the company also requires training and development of its employees in order to increase its customer base by providing excellent services and increasing customer’s satisfactions (Donald 2009).

Development of employees and their skills helps the organization in developing several qualities in employees which aids the organization in increasing the customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the vital factor for increasing the customer base in the airline industry. Customer service training helps organizations in improving the customer service provided by it and helps to remain competitive in this competitive business environment, which is vital to survive in the competitive airline industry of Malaysia.

Customer’s retention is the key to success in the airline industry looking at the competitive business environment of the airline industry. The impact of training also has an impact on the lower employee turnover which is also linked to the higher customers satisfaction and driving the organization towards profitability. For the effective implementation of the customer’s relationship and management, organizations are suggested to organize several training programs for enhancing and enriching the skills of the employees (Hale 2006).

Using training programs the employees are trained about using the extensive technology and tools which are useful in bringing innovation in the business activities which lead the organization towards success. Therefore, for making these changes in the organizational activity, training is the foremost necessity of the business activity of the organization, because with training the development of employees will take place (Easterby-Smith 2006).

The current competitive position in the airline industry has increased the need for conducting training programs in the Malaysian airline, for remaining competitive in the airline industry. The research will help in understanding the different aspects of training programs and the role played by these training programs in increasing the organizational performance and customer’s satisfactions. Finally it will also help in understanding the effectiveness of the training programs in increasing the performance of the employees in Airline industry. The research aims at examining the role of training programs in the airline industry of Malaysia.

Research question

Is training programs are related to increasing employees performance and increasing customers value?

Aims and Objectives of Research

Aims

The main aim of the study is to analyze the effectiveness and significance of training programs in the Airline industry for the employees. The research also aims in analyzing the effectiveness of training in increasing the customers and their satisfaction in Malaysian airlines. The analysis also provides assistance in analyzing the challenges faced in providing training to staff by the organization and also impact of training in retaining customers for long term development and growth. The research also aims in analyzing how effective the trainings are in increasing the efficiency of the employees and staff of the organization.  For the achievement of these aims it is vital to develop sound objectives, so that it can provide aid in achieving these aims of the research.

Objectives of the research includes,

  • Analyzing the role of training programs in staff development
  • Analyzing the influence of training and development programs in increasing customers and their satisfaction.
  • Providing appropriate recommendation to Malaysian Airline about the most effective measures to be used in training programs.
  • To analyze and find what academic literatures can have with respect to relationship in between the employees training and development programs with increasing the number of customer’s their retention and satisfaction.
  • Evaluating the factors that have an influence on the relationship in between the training and customer satisfaction.
  • Identification of issues that has not been resolved in this stream of research and requires more research.

Research Methodology

The main aim behind this section is to represent the framework that will state the relationship in between the research questions and research objectives. It is the vital part of the research, and aids the researcher by guiding about the approach for the data collection and their analysis and reaching at the outcomes. With respect to the research under study this section is vital for gathering and the examining the data that will be collected by the extensive review of the literatures (Axinn and Pearce 2006).

Research methodology is the factor which is used to resolve a particular issue under the research by the use of analysis, design and testing. Research methodology is the crucial part of any research as it provides a framework to the researcher for collecting data and analyzing it for reaching at a result or conclusion. Several factors like the constraints like finance, nature of research, timings, and the availability of data affects the choice of the research methodology. There are several research approaches that can be used under the research but primarily the secondary research methodology has been adopted. With the aid of several research paradigms several issues of the research study will b discussed. Several research approaches for the collection of secondary data can be used (Belk 2006).

Research Paradigm

Research paradigm aids in outlining the work using some particular model. Using the research paradigm the, original image of the problem can be shown by the researcher which is associated with the research. Research paradigm can be said to be as the set of beliefs that are used to influence the direction of the research (Bergh and Ketchen 2009).

There are several types of research paradigm like positive, critical theory, interpretative. Under the positive research paradigm, the main aim of the research is to lean on the true problems faced by the employees and the issues and problems that have been used for the purpose of research. This paradigm is used to find the outcome of the research by measuring the true facts and figures under the study. Interpretative paradigm believes that different individual’s thinks in different manner and their perceptions are different from one another (Bergh and Ketchen 2009). This paradigm suggests that there are several facts and findings that can be applied in different manner, circumstances and context, for finding the solution to the problem and the developing appropriate outcomes for the research question. This research paradigm is utilized under the research for finding the facts and solving the research question (Brown 2008).

The realism paradigm the main focus is on the factors that are highly connected with the real world conditions. There are two types of realism paradigm i.e. critical and direct realism research paradigm. Critical realism paradigm is related with the interpretative paradigm while the direct research paradigm is associated with the positive research paradigm (Burke 2007). The interpretative research paradigm has been used in this research as this paradigm helps in collecting data and doing in-depth analysis of the issue under study and link the issue with the real world condition (Bryman and Bell 2007).

Research Types

The use of research approaches and its types provides creditability to the research under study. The extensive use of the exploratory methods has been used in this research, and this is of two types i.e. inductive and deductive. The use of exploratory research has been done in order to gather relevant information that provides the facts about the effectiveness of training and development in increasing customer satisfaction and providing value. This includes the answers to the question like what, who, when, where and how the research will be conducted and has been undertaken within the specified allocated time period (Burney 2008).

Deductive Approach:

In this approach the data collection moves from general to specific situation. This is also said to be as the top down approach. In this approach the hypothesis is being developed firstly, and then this hypothesis is tested by the use of theories. This is highly used in the experimental researches. Under the current research this methods is not used as there is no need to develop hypothesis (Cooper and Schindler 2006).

Inductive Research Approach:

This is the approach which provides flexibility to the researcher and this is not based on the predetermined theory under the research. This approach also leaves scope for the researcher to make adjustment with the progress of the work, with the flexible structure. There are several theories and strategies that are available to the training and development of the employees and there are also different perceptions of the people that are working in the organizations for meeting the requirement of the organization in the internal and external environment. Inductive approach concentrates on the predetermined ideas as compared to the deductive approach and is more flexibility comparatively (Craig 2009).

Research Process and Design

Research process can be said to be as the framework that’s main objective is to provide researcher the systematic way in which the research can effectively conducted. Several literatures have been used under the research process; as the data that has been collected is used for finding the solutions to the research questions (Creswell 2003). The research process includes the exploratory research, which is helpful in investigating the topic of research in theoretical manner. For the purpose of defining the research problems the exploratory research has been used and it is proved to be helpful. This also defines the method for data collection and it relies on the secondary data collection methodology. Exploratory research includes the review of literatures. Under this section the secondary data collection methodology will be used for collection of data (Crowther and Lancaster2009).

The literature review will be done and extensive literature will be reviewed for gathering relevant data related to the topic of study (Bergh and Ketchen 2009). The main aim of using this method is to prove the problem of the research that training is vital for the organizations for increasing the productivity of employees and increasing customer’s satisfaction and also building the confidence of customers towards the services provided by the company and making more and more customers loyal towards the organization (Engel and Schutt 2005).

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Design

There are two forms of research qualitative and quantitative. The subjective form of research is conducted using the qualitative research design, while in quantitative research design data is collected from several sources in form of words, pictures and objects. The qualitative research design has been used in the research for gathering data for the purpose of properly conducting the research and the analysis (Ethridge 2004).

Method of Data Collection

Data collection method is the process in which appropriate data collection methodology is used fro collecting data related to the research under study. There are two data collection methods i.e. primary and secondary. Secondary data collection method has been used in their research in order to collect the data. The literature review method has been used as a secondary data collection method. Both the published and the unpublished data have been used in this method. Several articles, books and journals have been used in the research, and specific references have been given following the ethical code of conduct and followed as per the university guidelines. Secondary data collection method has been used as this helps in collecting large amount of data which assists in further conducting the research. The data collected also assists in deriving and concluding the results of the research (Ethridge 2004).

Research Findings

Literatures Review

This is the most vital part of the overall research. This helps in understanding the thoughts and views of previous researchers on the topic under consideration that will further assist in conducting the research. Under, this literature review below several articles and books, and journals have been reviewed related to the effectiveness of training within the organization leading to the growth of customers of the organization.  Using this section the overall understanding of the topic related to the training and development of employees has been presented. Thus literature review is the vital part of the overall research and is beneficial in collection of unique and relevant information related to the topic under study.

Evaluating Training Programs

In this literature the author Donald (2009) has discussed about the growing challenges in the stream of training and development like knowledge management, e-learning, outsourcing and competence development. Even after facing several challenges there are several benefits which organizations gain by providing training and development activities to the employees. The business organizations gain value for their investment in the training ad development activities.

Learning and development activities are seen as an investment in the current competitive business world. E-learning training platform is the new concept which is widely used in the current period of time in the airline industry and this is also very cost effective as compared to the class room training program (Moore 2003). Several organizations use this training method to develop the skills of their employees in a cost efficient manner and thus add value to its work force and get benefit of excellent performance of their employees. With the increasing pressures of training and development activities in the organizations, it is vital to measure the performance of the employees in the post training period which will assist the organization in analyzing the increase in performance and the benefits of the training program (Parry 1997).

The author in the literature has also focussed that using the training programs the business leaders demonstrates increased organizational value and also expects from the people to take training n a positive manner and perform activities in an efficient manner after the training and developmental activities. Through training programs the business leaders expects several changes in the behaviour of their staff, delivering positive results to the business organization. The author also focuses on the point that the training program has moved from the traditional classroom models and has been highly advanced by adding more and more value to the organizational effectiveness and is seen as a strategic move towards organizational development.

As per the author training also helps in improving the working approach o the employees and brining and developing confidence in them in solving each and every organizational task. Training also assists employees in performing tasks with coordination and accomplishing the tasks in particular time and in specific costs. This is also vital part of the service in the airline industry. The author of the literature also believes that the knowledge of the employees gets improved by the training and developmental activities and helps the staff to understand each and every aspect of the business enterprise with ease. The author also believes that training programs improve he skills of the employees and changes their attitude as well. In the literature the author has also evaluated that training programs have both the negative as well as positive results and this can only be identified by the evaluation of the results of the company and the increase or decrease in the company performances and satisfaction of the customers. The literature also highlights about the need to evaluate the training at each level and hirerchy of the organization. Training not only aids in improving the skills but also aids the managers to appropriately take decisions associated with regular activities and also the formulation of strategies.

HRM and Organizational Performance

The author Becker and Gerhart (1996) in the literature has discussed about the significance of the decisions related to the human resource of the organization. The literature shows the link in between the human resource, their development and the organizational performance. The research under study also focuses on the vitalness of the HR training and the performance of Malaysian airlines. The literature stresses on the need and affects of the decisions of management on the human resource of the organization. The author Becker and Gerhart (1996)in the literature also discusses about the changes in the economic environment of the airline industry with respect to the needs of training and development of employees for increasing the customer’s satisfaction. With the changes in the globalization and the changes in the demands of the customers, the need of the training activities has been increased (Becker and Gerhart 1996).

The increase in the organizational performance can be seen by the increase in the training and development activities on which the Malaysian airlines is focussing. The literature is also associated with the objectives of the research and provides facts to attain the objective of the research by the way of improving the quality of the training and development activities of the organization and also enhance the productivity of the organization. With high focus of the organization on the Human resource and their development the company can effectively contribute on the organizational performance and develop a competitive advantage for the company (Kok and Jan de 2003).

The author Becker and Gerhart (1996) in the literature have also suggested that there is a high importance of the development of the human resource in any organization and it is also vital to develop the human capital within the organizations for the growth and progress of any organization. The literature also discusses that there are several decision that are related to human resource of the organization that influences the performance of the organizations (Becker and Gerhart 1996).

 Several techniques were used by organizations while selecting the employees of the organization, and make several value analyses for providing training and development activities to the staff in order to develop a strong work force which can effectively perform their assigned duties and make the company sustain in long term and maintain their long term growth prospects. The literature also focuses on making the organization to become a strategic partner of the employees and provide them training and development work shops for their own development (International Labor Organization 1999).

The author Becker and Gerhart (1996) in the literature also focuses on using human resource as a unique source of sustained competitive advantage in this complex business environment and demonstrate an appropriate fit of the employees in the internal and external environmental condition (Becker and Gerhart 1996).

Small Firm’s Training and Competitiveness

The author Gibb (1997) in the article has explained about the training, performance and the competitiveness in the small business firms in all around the world. The author has represented in the paper that there is a high emphasis put on the relationship in between the training programs and the competitive performance of the firms and several other ways in which innovation in the training programs can bought.

 As per the author the training programs are highly correlated with the development and performance of the organizations. As per the author using training programs the organizations in any industry can develop their employees and increase the performance of the organization and also increase the satisfaction of the customers for the service offered by the organization. In the current business scenario several organizations in the airline industry has evaluated the need of the training programs for the employees for the development of the skills of employees and the link between these trainings and customers satisfactions and their retention. As per the literature several research studies has been conducted in UK to evaluate the need of the training and development programs in several small and medium size organizations, and found that all this training programs aids the organization in growing at a faster pace (Hodgetts and Hegar 2007).

The literature supports the objective of the research and provides answers to them that the training programs are highly effective in handling and increasing the customer’s satisfactions and increasing the competitiveness of the organization in long term. The author in the literature has also covered several points associated with the training programs and the lack of the success of these programs and the factors determining success. The literature has also discussed about the nature of the training programs which also affects the success factors of firms in long term (Kamin 2002).

The literature identifies the issues related to the nature and environment of learning which organization provide to their employees, which is also linked with their development. The author has focussed on the learning programs in the small and medium sized firms so that they can also provide appropriate returns and can equally be focussed (Leland and Bailey 2006). The author in the literature has also focussed on the skills, learning and behaviour of the employees under which they have explained the human process through which the habit, knowledge, and skills and attitude are acquired and altered. Learning has been said as the process which can be delivered rather than it can be acquired. As per author the training programs helps individuals in developing their self knowledge, build their confidence while interacting with the customers (Gibb 1997).

 The main service in the airline industry is provided by the perfect interaction and quality services and the experience of the customers can be enhanced only by quality interaction and providing them with appropriate knowledge. The organizations in the airline industry or the Malaysian airline must follow the training path in order to cope up with the changes in the business environment and keep its survival in the market. The airline companies are also focussed towards maintaining long term relationship with the customers in order to repeat their travel with the airline and by increasing their level of satisfaction (Gibb 1997).

The airline firms includes mainly four business processes, i.e. operations, policy making, thinking and performing which is related to customers handling. All these processes include the excellent performance, capabilities and vision of the employees, which can increase the competitive position of the business. Thus as per the author the objective of the research can be attained from the literature and the research done by the author Gibb (1997).

Customer Relationship Management

CRM is the new dimension in the field of increasing the satisfaction of the customers. For the increasing the growth in the number of passengers in the airline industry it has been analyzed from the literature that the organizations need to implement the CRM policies, as this has the direct effect on the satisfaction of the customers, their retention and the growth in the sales of the organization. For effective implementation of the customer’s relationships it is vital that organizations think beyond the development of the technologies and take appropriate steps in building healthy relations with the customers. This can only be done by effectively training the employees and which will aid in increasing the growth rate of customers in the organization. With the changes in the attitude and behaviour of the employees and offering better services the customer retention can easily be increased in the airline industry (Hong-kit-Yim, Anderson and Swaminathan 2005).

There are mainly four factors through which CRM within the organisation can be improved, i.e. employee’s improvement, employee’s involvement, internal communication and training, development and education as all these factors are highly important for promoting the CRM in the organization. It has also been analyzed in the literature that for the effectiveness of the CRM practices in the organization, training of the employees is highly vital for achieving the targeted customer’s satisfaction. Market training and education practices are the internal marketing processes of the organizations which promote the CRM practices and make the staff of the organization capable of handling all the activities of the organization in an efficient and effective manner (Grigoroudis and Siskos 2009).

Training programs are also essential for convening the customer’s relations management practices by the development of the skills and with the fulfilment of the customer’s demands and needs. The CRM practices are also vital as they are developed to meet the changing needs and expectations of customers which is demanded by the customers. The author has represented the need of training as the requirement for the development of sales person who mainly interacts with the customers understands their demands and needs and fulfils them in the best possible manner (Hong-kit-Yim, Anderson and Swaminathan 2005).

Training also motivates employees and encourages showing their skills to the customers towards their welfare and brings in favourable outcomes for the organization like sales growth, customers satisfaction and customers retention. The author also suggested that the training programs increases the awareness of employees related to the operations which assist them in appropriately handling the grievance’s of the customers which is mainly found in the airline industry. It also aids in developing mutual understanding in between the employees and increases their performance and delivering superior customers value (Hong-kit-Yim, Anderson and Swaminathan 2005).

Conclusion and Recommendations

From the analysis of the above research and the review of several articles, books and journals it can be said that training is the vital part of the organization which is required to remain competitive and sustain in the competitive business world. The training and development activity aids the organization to increase the customer’s satisfaction and also increase the retention of customers for longer term. The training also increases the capabilities of the employees and allows the company to influence the behaviour of employees which can increase the satisfaction of the customers and their buying behaviour.

With the appropriate interrelationship in between the objectives of the research and the above study the research has aided in understanding the authenticity and accountability of the study under the review. The research has also provided some recommendations to the Malaysian airline which includes the application of employees training methods which will have a great impact on the performance of the employees and attaining the competitive position in the airline industry. It can also be concluded that the training programs has become vital tool for attaining success in the business world and remain successful in the local as well as the international markets. It can also be recommended that the future researchers can take this research into evaluation of the proper use of training and development programs by the organizations and how the employees can provide them with increased operational effectiveness and competitive advantage.