Training Needs Analysis
Training Needs Analysis
The business environment has grown to be very dynamic with new trends and a very competitive environment. It is important for an organization to evaluate themselves from time to time in order to keep up with change. This is achievable through training needs analysis, which is described as the process of identifying the training and development needs of employees to facilitate their ability to work efficiently, safely and effectively. Needs analysis is the initial step in setting up a training program, which aims at identifying specific problem areas, obtaining management support, developing data for evaluation and determining cost and benefits of the training. In this text, there will be an analysis of the training needs of the organization, and a measuring system put in place to assess whether there is fulfillment of the learning objectives.
The training needs analysis was in a financial institution with a large customer base and several departments with many employees in each department. Training needs analysis for this organization, which is a financial institution, was through distribution of questionnaires to employees for self-administration, interviews and focus group discussions with employees, and analysis of existent data and records documented by the organization. There was determination of the training needs of the organization from the results obtained from this analysis. There was classification of the needs into those of the organization, its employees and the jobs done by these employees.
This training needs analysis mainly focuses on the organization, the person who works in the organization and tasks carried out. Organizational analysis aims at identifying the knowledge, skills and abilities that the employees will need in the future as their jobs and the organization itself changes or evolves. The human resource department is the most relevant in terms of training needs. In terms of the labor pool, the organization has recently hired new staff in various departments, and the former picture of an organization dominated by people of similar culture, gender and race has changed. The increase in diversity among employees in the work environment has brought in issues of lack of employee inclusion in some departments. It has also made the work environment in the department to be tense and may soon affect output. There is need for a diversity-training program to address this.
Technological advancements have brought in changes in the equipment and information technology. The organization needs to develop a training program for employees, to teach them how to use the new equipment. The workforce also needs to be conversant with the various computer programs and applications that they use in the workplace. There is need to introduce to the employees the emergence of information security and its importance to an organization. For the benefit of the organization, there needs to be training of the workforce on the importance of information security and its implementation. All these will facilitate the achievement of organizational goals and objectives, and will enable the organization to keep up with trends in the business environment.
Person analysis in the training needs analysis for this organization has focus on employees and their job performance. From the organization’s data on employee performance review, employees appear to lack confidence in performing some of the duties under their job description because they feel that they do not have the necessary skills. This was apparent especially in customer and client service as evidenced by a large number of customer complaints. These complaints were mainly from corporate customers who feel that some of the employees could not fully attend to their needs without consulting a senior employee. It is evident that the organization needs to come up with a training program to impart required skills for the job and to improve job performance by employees in every department.
From appraisal interviews and surveys conducted by the organization, it is evident that employees are not up to date with new trends in the business environment. From the performance appraisals, very few employees, and mostly the newly hired were comfortable performing transactions with clients using software that is new in the market. Most employees claimed to be aware of the existence of such software but lacked the necessary skills and knowledge to handle transactions using it. A training program is also required to train the employees on how to improve their job performance in the changing business environment, especially in information technology. The organization also needs to carry out frequent training of employees to enable them keep up with these trends in the dynamic business environment.
Task analysis in the training needs analysis involves exploration of the job requirements, and a comparison of the knowledge and skills of employees to determine the training needs. Job descriptions and specifications provided information regarding expected performance and skills needed by employees to do their work. There was an obvious gap between performance and job requirements, as most employees in most departments did not have the necessary skills to perform duties, which required middle to high-level expertise, but were included in their job requirements. These skills include numeracy skills and skills for project management. It is therefore clear that the organization needs to review their hiring process and put in place a training program for new employees and interns, to equip them with the skills they need in various departments of the organization. This would ensure that job performance is as required and output of the organization increases.
A measurable evaluation system is necessary, to assess the effectiveness of the training programs through assessment of the changes in the organization, the individual and the task. An evaluation system measures the nature and scope of return on investment to compare the cost incurred in training with related benefits realized from the training. It is also important to evaluate the outcome of a training program in order to compare the situation prior to and after the training, to check for the achievement of training objectives. There will be an assessment of the effectiveness of the training program in offsetting the needs in the organization, the person and the task.
The analysis of the effectiveness of the training program on organizational needs will be mainly through the level of output, the brand image, and customer satisfaction. Changes in the level of output after training will give a reflection on the impact of the training. The ratings of the organization in the business environment by various institutions and the media, and customer feedback will also give information on how beneficial the training was. Feedback obtained from employees regarding inclusion and fair treatment will give information on the impact of a diversity-training program. The effectiveness of training on information security will be overtime by assessing the level of threats to information security, and measures put in by the organization to prevent breach in information security. The methods of data collection for this evaluation will include organization records, information on mass media, surveys and interviews with employees and customers.
The evaluation of the effectiveness of training program on the individual will be through assessment of their job performance through appraisal interviews, observation and output per department. There will be an assessment of the ability to perform new skills by creating a work schedule whereby the employee is required to perform a certain task using a new skill acquired from the training, under supervision. The supervisor then rates the employees based on their job performance. A comparison of customer complaints prior to and after the training will reflect the impact of the training on staff. The methods of data collection used for this evaluation will include observation, interviews, surveys and organization records.
The assessment of the effectiveness of the training program on the task will be through evaluation of employee ability to perform tasks in their job requirements, which they received training on how to perform. Direct measurement of their ability to utilize numeracy skills and project management skills will be through the outcome of jobs assigned to employees in their departments. The assessment of the impact of the training program on task will also be through comparison of the output of the organization prior to and after the training. The methods used to collect data for this evaluation will include observation, and use of data from records kept by the organization.
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Linehan, M. (2009). Learning Needs Analysis in Selected Employment Sectors. Cork Institute of Technology. Cork: CIT Press.