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Moller & Maersk Group: Leadership Development Training Program

Moller & Maersk Group: Leadership Development Training Program

Introduction

This research paper provides description of development and implementation of the leadership development training program in Moller & Maersk Group. This program aims to cover the basic company’s need reflected in lack of employees with high quality leadership skills. This research paper will describe assessment of current necessities of Moller & Maersk Group, design of leadership development training program, thorough development of this plan, describe of various implementation techniques and use four Kirkpatrick levels for evaluation of trainees’ outcomes.

Assessment

The case of Moller & Maersk Group provides an understanding of current and future needs of the company. High professional and skillful specialists who can quickly and effectively respond on changeable market conditions are highly required by the company. Moller & Maersk Group is a rapidly growing group of companies involved in the transportation industry. On the one hand, it is searching for people of different specializations, but, on the other hand, all these people should have such features as strong leadership skills, basic professional knowledge, ability and willingness to learn new material and to apply it into real life. Maersk Company is searching for employees who can and who want to work on proposed positions in a best possible way. As per provided case study, there are three methods to obtain such specialists: to build, to buy and to borrow. This research paper is focused on development a training program with the purpose to develop abovementioned skills in representatives of “mission critical” training group of “borrowed” employees. The main purpose of this training program will be development of leadership skills (to close the existing leadership gap), because these skills are of paramount importance for the company. This means that a person should obtain the best possible results in the most effective manner; be a good and inspiring individuality; and put the values of Maersk Group of the top importance.

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The assessment of trainees before application of the plan was performed in several ways: by written test (for evaluation of professional and personal skills); by interview with 5-6 employees of the company; by evaluation of opinions of colleagues and contractual parties. Skills of 120 people were thoroughly evaluated. The obtained results are the following: ability to fresh thinking 7%; high orientation on understanding and covering customer’s needs – 13%; high operational performance – 56%; satisfaction of colleagues and contractual parties – 73%.

The abovementioned results show that in the nearest future Moller & Maersk Group can face such considerable issues as inability on timely and effective response on changeable market conditions; lack of many-sided ideas and views; inability to develop strong cooperation with local companies and colleagues. This research paper gives a description of training program aimed at developing abovementioned skills inside training group. Trainees will receive knowledge on how to broaden their skills and views; how quickly and, in the same time, effectively respond on any changes inside the company and outside it; how to build strong communication with other people and other. The main emphasis will be put on development of leadership skills and interaction with other people. However, it should be mentioned that there are still some system issues in the company which prevent the effective performance and cannot be addressed by training and developing interventions. These issues are the following: personal inability to conform and correspond on changeable market conditions; unwillingness of individuals to receive knowledge and to develop their skills; strong competition on local and international markets which can be met only by considerable changes in the price and service policy of the whole company.

Design

The reaching of above mentioned goals of the leadership development and training program is based on definition of its strategy, objectives, methods, materials and media sources. The main strategy of the plan is development of leadership skills of “mission critical” training group. There are three training objectives: professional enrichment, improvement of communication and interaction, and broadening of the outlook of individuals. The evaluation of outcomes of training studies will be performed through written test and personal interview. The participants of training groups will receive two marks: one for the written part and the other for verbal one. The overall score of more than 80% for each part will be considered admissible for further work in Moller & Maersk Group.

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The trainers for the leadership development and training program will be presented by both employees of Maersk Group and people not working in the company. On the one hand, this will bring values and understandings of the Moller & Maersk processes. On the other hand, it will provide wider practices and methodologies of leadership skills applied outside the company. Trainers should have wide knowledge concerning development leadership skills and interpersonal communication. They should have a practical experience of more than 5 years on leadership position in order to provide grounded and valuable examples of successful implementation of their studies in the real life. These people also should have considerable knowledge in psychology. They should provide diversified and creative methods and techniques of obtaining leadership positions in the company. Trainers also should direct trainees on how effectively and efficiently improve their knowledge individually in the future (by reading specialized literature, taking part in trainings, analyzing the experience of other companies).

The whole program will take 4 months and will be performed for 5 consequential days each month. This schedule will allow providing vast and extensive knowledge; implementing this knowledge into the working process; evaluating obtained outcomes and working on trainees’ mistakes.

The draft lesson plan is the following: presentation of a story containing communicative issue; asking each trainee about his or her possible response on this issue; describing different types of methodologies of solving of the communication issue with their positive and negative sides; discussion with trainees of the most suitable methodologies or their combination for this particular issue; fastening the lesson by a short conclusion; giving personal tasks to each trainee (trainees receive different communication issue scenarios and should determine the most effective methodologies of their solving) and providing additional material for self-studying. The last phase is very important, because it provides improvement of leadership skills far after completion of the training program. Sabine Vollmer stated the following: “the most effective skill development programmers encourage employees to keep learning; offer them tools, methods, and standard procedures” (Vollmer, 2015).

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Different training methods will be used in the leadership development and training program: presentation method (lectures, web sites), hands-on method (simulation, on-job trainings), group-building method (group discussions and team trainings) and others. The presentation method allows analyzing real life situations and comparing different methodologies. The hands-on approach gives an understanding of how trained skills can be applied to the working process. It has such advantages as immediate feedback on performance, swift remediation if task is not performed to standard (Study.com.n.d.). Group-building methods provide understanding of interpersonal relationships inside group of people. The training media and materials will contain works of different psychologists, web seminars and e-books concerning improvement of leadership skills.

Development

As it was mentioned above, the leadership development and training program will last for 4 months and will take 5 days a month. Each month trainees will receive theoretical knowledge. Trainers will provide examples of different communicative and leadership issues and methods for solving these issues. After a 5 days practice trainees will return to performing their common job. During the remained 25 – 26 days of the months they will implement learned material into their working process. Trainees will observe the outcomes of such implementations and describe these results during the first lesson of the next month. It should be noted, that heads of departments will also observe and evaluate these implementations. Also, trainees will be obliged to study additional material concerning psychology of leadership by themselves. In the beginning of the next month special tests upon these studies will be performed. These tests will show the individual concernment into the studying process and into improvement his/her leadership skills and professional knowledge. After the end of the course all the results and outcomes will be thoroughly examined and evaluated. The underperforming trainees will lose their working places or will be shifted to other departments.

Implementation

The leadership development and training program will consider that all the trainees are “bought” or “taken” from another companies. These people have not only practical experience and deep understanding of working processes in other companies. They have an experience of building relationship and communication with wider amount of people with different characters and visions.

The program will contain such instructional methods as deep approach method (understanding of personal ideas and application of this understanding in the working process); brainstorm (development of an ability to find quickly the most effective ways to solve the problem); modeling of communication issues; role playing; case studies and other techniques. (Connors, 2011). Also, some on-the-job training methods will be used: coaching, mentoring (development of attitude) and understudies of leaders of departments. These approaches will enable trainees to observe leaders’ behavior in real life situations and imitate this conduct (Chand, n.d.). The job instruction method also will be used. It is described by Smriti Chand as follows: “the trainees are presented the learning material in written or by learning machines through a series called ‘frames” (Chand, n.d.). This methodology provides the understanding the overview of future leading position, desired results and necessary skills for obtaining and being successful on this positon. The leadership development training program will contain such classroom instructions as lectures; telling stories from real-life experience of trainers; and group discussions of leadership issues. Some audiovisual media also will be used. Lectures will be supported by videos depicting different communicational techniques. Computers will be used for performing tests and evaluation of trainees’ knowledge. All the material will be provided in form of electronic books. This method of computer based training enables people to study the material as long as they want and to repeat it at any time (Cushard, 2013).

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The physical environment will be arranged in a manner to make trainers and trainees to feel themselves comfortable. Any noise and phone calls will be minimized. The room will not be too cold or too warm. Poor lighting and physical barriers also will be eliminated.

Evaluation

The evaluation of the leadership development and training program will be performed by using the four Kirkpatrick levels: reaction, learning, behavior and results. The reaction and learning of trainees on the studied material will be observed by trainers. The last will evaluate how employees obtain the information and provide reasonable response. As it was mentioned above, special tests will be also performed. Behavior of trainees will be analyzed and assessed by heads of departments and trainers. They will observe any changes in behavior of trainees, and how these changes affect working process. After 4 week trainings all the results (tests, analyses of head of departments and outcomes of trainers) will be collected and thoroughly analyzed for determination of the most successful employees. The overall score of more than 80 % for each test and positive outcomes will be considered admissible for further working in Moller & Maersk Group.

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Conclusion

This research paper describes the process of development and implementation of the leadership development and training program for Moller & Maersk Group. This plan is directed on development of leadership and communicational skills of “mission critical” training group concluded from employers who have experience in other companies. Assessment of basic needs of the company creates a background for development of relevant leadership plan. Development and implementation is based on mix of theoretical material and practice of studied knowledge. Numerous methodologies are used in this plan: instructional methods, on the job methods, classroom instructions, audiovisual trainings and others. The application of four Kirkpatrick levels for evaluation of outcomes provides overall assessment of leadership skills and knowledge of trainees.

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