TRAINING METHODS-Sainsburys-MAH_141114_22014_44270


The purpose of the report is to provide the readers increased knowhow of the various training programs at Sainsbury’s. For being one of the topmost retailers in UK, Sainsbury’s need to maintain its strategic positioning by supporting competitive market position of it. Both on the job and off the training programs are evaluated within the organization. It is found that job rotation and role playing programs best suit the organizational standards and the level of effectiveness is increased manifold. The systematic approach of evaluation and analysis focusing on features, strengths, limitations, improvement levels and benefits are elaborated to reach to the final conclusion. Improved training will help in firming the position of the organization intact in spite of market fluctuations and unforeseen factor influences.
























The report aims at providing the readers a true and realistic picture of the various Human Resource functions of a reputed organization of UK. For the convenience of research work the third largest supermarket chain of UK Sainsbury’s is considered and the focus is laid on the training methods at Sainsbury’s (J-sainsbury, 2014). So the report provides a detailed picture of the training programs at Sainsbury’s and for in depth research one method each of on the job and off the job training program is considered.

A brief introduction to the organization will develop in-depth base for the research work. Sainsbury’s is one of the largest public grocery retailers in UK having more than one lakh employees (as per 2014 statistics). The organization is well known for its well integrated workforce and the success of the organization is heavily dependent on the structure of its stabilized workforce support (J-sainsbury, 2014). Over the years the organization has gone through huge turmoil and the employee background has helped it regain its position considerably. In order to monitor the huge employee count the organization needs to conduct quality training programs. Training programs so conducted are in accordance with the latest technological up gradation and the programs are both employee and management friendly. That is both cost and resource utilization is conducted holistically (J-sainsbury, 2014).  Both on the job and off the job training programs are emphasized upon to support the progress of the organization. The stable workforce needs constant monitoring and the improvised training programs will help attaining the desired results aptly.


A brief theoretical support to both training and training methods will help in enhanced understanding of the report work. The theoretical background will enhance the position of the organization in the retail market. A systematic support of the various theories in connection to training is provided below.


Training is the process of knowledge acquisition, skill enhancement and competency development as a result of vocational or practical support. The aim of the process of imparting training to employees (both existing and newer) is to improve capability, capacity, performance and productivity (Arya and Mittendorf, 2006). Training provides the backbone of development to the employees as well as to the organization. Training helps in improving professional base of the employees and organizational development is enhanced considerably. Training is thus an organized activity that aims at improving performance and enhancing skills through structural framework support (Diamantidis and Chatzoglou, 2014). Training improves work competencies and the performer gains huge success in their expertise fields.


Training cannot be neglected and training led the further success step for career development. Training process is important to both organization and its employees as it helps in,

      Addressing the weak areas of the employees and thus help them reduce the gap in between their actual potential level and desired level of performance (Drake, Blake and Swallow, 2009). Having knowledge of the weaknesses will help in elimination of such work behaviors and best quality service could be imparted at large.

      Performance level improvement by developing role and responsibility center support. Consistency in performance levels could be achieved through efficient time management.

      The ethical execution of procedural duties that will help in ensuring increased level of worker satisfaction. Dispute resolution will also be taken special care of (Gilmore and Williams, 2009).

      Productivity improvement through improved service and product quality support. The cost reduction and efficient utilization of resources will improve supervision. Improved supervision will help in taking up corrective decisions for the organization (Lyons, 2010).


Training could be categorized into a number of classes as per the background of the process. But the most general and well accepted division is based on the location of the training process. Training could be either on-the-job or off-the-job. The flow chart below provides the various training programs.


As the name suggests on-the -job training process allows the employees to learn by actual performance of the job at the original filed of work. Learning by doing is the core support of on the job training. Realistic purview of the performance levels could be supported to have measured significance of the training process (McDowall and Saunders, 2010). Generally the new and inexperienced employees are preferred to have on the job training. Here they could observe their managers and peers and could comply with them to enhance their job performance.

Among the various on-the -job training methods the job rotation method best suits for larger corporation like Sainsbury’s. Larger workforce requires flexible monitoring and job rotation will help in achieving the goal at large (Lyons, 2010). An elaborate explanation of the method of job rotation in compliance with Sainsbury’s UK is provided below.


Job rotation is the on-the-job training program where the employees are provided training by rotational basis of related job series. Rotation increases the multi-tasking nature of the individual and the person is well acquainted with different kinds of jobs (Menezes and Vieira, 2008). The job rotation programs alleviate boredom and helps in developing enhanced rapport with other people. The logical rotation process will enhance the effectiveness in performance. Retail organizations require multivariate staff support and for this job rotation program is the best suited alternative (McDowall and Saunders, 2010). It’s a win-win situation for the organization and collaborative employee participation will enhance the level of success.


  • Job rotation helps the employees/ trainees in applying their knowledge, abilities and interests to the best of their knowledge.
  • Diversified employee background could be best controlled by the process of job rotation
  • The organization has increased efficiency, productivity and profitability. The job rotation accelerates the pace of development and progress (Pierce and Maurer, 2009).
  • All types of physical and mental stress are alleviated and the chances of occupational disorders reduce considerably.
  • Decision making both on the part of the management and the employees get enhanced and conflict resolution machinery development becomes more effective (Prasko and Hoschl, 2007).
  • May include task rotation, position rotation, function rotation and responsibility rotation.


Job rotation has a number of strengths and the employees are the biggest strengths of the organization. In Sainsbury’s the workforce support are the biggest strengths behind its long term success and continuous performance support.  The major strengths include

  • Reduction of employee boredom through job shifts
  • Skills and competency levels increase
  • Newer opportunities for the employees get opened up (Sahinidis and Bouris, 2008).
  • Employees interests and motivation level is kept intact that helps in optimum cost and resource utilization.
  • Newer changes bring increased prosperity and success for the employees as well as for the organization (Smith, 2002).


The major limitations of job rotation includes,

  • Level of employee satisfaction reduces and employees show distress in the new rotation
  • The ethical support and morale of the employees decrease due to frequent shifting of theirs
  • The workflow will get disrupted when the employees learn to perform newer tasks (Truitt, 2011).
  • Organizational stability will get disrupted and thus performance standards will get reduced.


The improvement areas of the job rotation process includes,

  • Higher rotational shifts in job will reduce the stability and this will ruin the organizational balance. Though flexibility is beneficial but higher flexibility will disrupt the flow of operations in the organization (Zafar et al., 2014).
  • Employees may find it disrupting their performance flow and thus the overall productivity will diminish. So it is to be kept in mind that the rotational flexibility is kept under control.
  • Job satisfaction level is increased due to greater work exposure.
  • Leadership qualities will improve and future organizational success will develop a higher sense of loyalty and cohesion (Sahinidis and Bouris, 2008).
  • Positive rotation helps in facilitating personal relationships and the sustainability factor of the organization is supported at large.
  • Employees are relieved of their boredom and work monotony. This increases their self-motivation level of performance (Menezes and Vieira, 2008).


The tool of job rotation is the most effective tool of on-the -job training which will help in articulating the success of the organization at large. The employees favor the degree of job rotation within the organization and this will reduce the various work and employee related difficulties (Menezes and Vieira, 2008). The recent global recession forced the organization cut down the employee count and job rotation at this time was the most influential and effective tool to back up the problem areas.


Off the job training method is the process of imparting training to the employees at a place or a cite away from the actual work environment. The training place is purposefully designed away from actual work location as it will minimize distractions and will allow the employees to devote full dedication at the time of training (Gilmore and Williams, 2009). Among the various off the job training methods the role playing method will best suit the organization Sainsbury’s.


This off-the-job training program helps trainees to have a role to be played in order to reduce the probable impact of the particular role in the job. The ‘real world’ experiences help in mitigating complex problem areas and the employees remain motivated in their job roles (Arya and Mittendorf, 2006). A different taste of the position increases their professional thirst of reaching to the top most position and this in turn increases the performance output. Role playing is not narrowed to only increase knowhow in relation to the job but other perspectives of the job are also learnt. Role playing may vary as per the job role and includes single role playing, multiple role playing, role rotation and spontaneous role playing (Diamantidis and Chatzoglou, 2014).


  • Workplace roles are assumed and situational environment helps in better situational handling.
  • Interpersonal skills in areas of interview, customer service areas and supervision areas get improved (Drake, Blake and Swallow, 2009).
  • Imaginary and hypothetical situations give realistic behavior of human interaction through role playing method.
  •  Also called as role reversal, socio-drama or psycho-drama. The trainees are given the job role has to act them in front of the whole group (Lyons, 2010).
  • Major roles include areas of employee-employer relationship maintenance, hiring and firing, discussion of solution for a given problem and many such factors.


The major strengths of role playing includes the following,

  • Situational rehearsals provide chances of lesser discrepancy and future performance levels get improved.
  • Occupational role playing helps in widening up the sphere of performance and the future prospects of the organization are achieved holistically (Menezes and Vieira, 2008).
  • Best alternative for tough and difficult situation handling and counter productivity increases.


The major limitations of role playing includes,

  • Time constraints and resource allocation problems will reduce the learning time for the employees.
  • The trainer or the job role may have some negative effects that might affect the employee behavior and the level of performance as well (Sahinidis and Bouris, 2008).
  • The roles played generally consist of top management roles and real realism of those roles become difficult to achieve and this increases the level of frustration among the employees.
  • Training objectives may at times remain unfulfilled and subjective deviation will be widened up.
  • Negative behavioral re-enforcement may create follow up issues for the organization (Menezes and Vieira, 2008).
  • Systematic employee engagement and balance will be affected at large.


The process of role playing is to be designed in accordance with the latest organizational development. The improvement areas required includes,

  • Brainstorming session support should be holistically adopted and situational perspectives should be improved at large (Prasko and Hoschl, 2007).
  • Organizational support and prevalent system support should be well balanced so that the organization is able to continue its success.


The major benefits of role playing includes,

  • Development of improved communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Effective resolution of conflicts and conflicting situations
  • Supported by group decision making programs that enables right decision making plan development (Truitt, 2011).
  • Developing positive behavioral insights that help in relationship maintenance with peers and colleagues.
  • The various types of role playing will provide wider scope for success and achievement of the goals become more effective (Zafar et al., 2014).
  • Immediate outcome and feedback delivery will save time and cost.
  • Human relations development help in knowledge application and behavioral motivation gets improved at large.

This supports the fact that role playing will be effective for an organization like Sainsbury’s and the employee management will be best supported by training and development methods conducted within the organization (Sahinidis and Bouris, 2008). Role playing will help in successful delegation of authority and participative leadership will help in achieving the goal of influential succession planning for future.


The two training methods mentioned above will best suit the UK retail giant Sainsbury’s. The organization is well acquainted with its training structure and the employee support has enabled the organization to have much improved employee performance qualities. The convenient store provides the employees increased work experience. The cultural support increase value integration of the training programs and Sainsbury’s has been able to develop increased employee relationship to their management. Such strong training support has helped the organization go through turbulent times of toughness and low performance levels. Higher employee engagement has increased the strategic business focus of the organization and advanced training support will enable the firm in gaining increased support for long run sustainability. Training will increase the effectiveness of the other HRM functions. Sainsbury’s invest a lump sum of money in employee training program conduction and overall employment growth within the nation is increased considerably.


Arya, A. and Mittendorf, B. (2006). Using Optional Job Rotation Programs to Gauge On-the-Job Learning. j inst theor econ, 162(3), pp.505-515.

Diamantidis, A. and Chatzoglou, P. (2014). Employee post-training behaviour and performance: evaluating the results of the training process. International Journal of Training and Development, 18(3), pp.149-170.

Drake, J., Blake, J. and Swallow, W. (2009). Employer engagement: the critical role of employee commitment. Education + Training, 51(1), pp.23-42.

Gilmore, S. and Williams, S. (2009). Human resource management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

J-sainsbury, (2014). J Sainsbury plc / New Sainsbury’s training facility to boost employment and growth in London. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Nov. 2014].

J-sainsbury, (2014). J Sainsbury plc / About us. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Nov. 2014].

Lyons, P. (2010). Scenistic methods in training: definitions and theory grounding. Journal of European Industrial Training, 34(5), pp.416-431.

McDowall, A. and Saunders, M. (2010). UK managers’ conceptions of employee training and development. Journal of European Industrial Training, 34(7), pp.609-630.

Menezes, A. and Vieira, J. (2008). Training, Job Upgrading, Job Creation and Job Destruction. Atlantic Economic Journal, 36(3), pp.275-292.

Pierce, H. and Maurer, T. (2009). Linking employee development activity, social exchange and organizational citizenship behavior. International Journal of Training and Development, 13(3), pp.139-147.

Prasko, J. and Hoschl, C. (2007). Using multimedial tools, role playing and videofeedback in the training of case management. European Psychiatry, 22, p.S212.

Sahinidis, A. and Bouris, J. (2008). Employee perceived training effectiveness relationship to employee attitudes. Journal of European Industrial Training, 32(1), pp.63-76.

Smith, E. (2002). Theory and practice: the contribution of off-the-job training to the development of apprentices and trainees. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 54(3), pp.431-456.

Truitt, D. (2011). The Effect of Training and Development on Employee Attitude as it Relates to Training and Work Proficiency. SAGE Open, 1(3).

Zafar, N., Ishaq, S., Shoukat, S. and Rizwan, M. (2014). Determinants of Employee Motivation and its impact on Knowledge Transfer and Job Satisfaction. ijhrs, 4(3), p.50.