approaches to training needs

Category: Education

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HRM- Approaches to Training Needs assessment,Steps in assessing training needs


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NEED ASSESSMENT A training need exists when an employee lacks the knowledge or skill to perform an assigned task satisfactorily. It arises when there is a variation between what the employee is expected to do on the job and what the actual job performance is.”


Survey Survey the potential trainees to identify specific topics about which they want to learn more. It suggests that trainees are more likely to be receptive to the resulting programs when they are viewed as relevant. The group’s expertise may be tapped through a group discussion, a questionnaire, the Delphi procedure, or a nominal group meeting.

Group recommendation:

Group recommendation Group discussion: Resembles face-to-face interview technique, e.g., structured or unstructured, formal or informal, or somewhere in between. Can be focused on job (role) analysis, group problem analysis, group goal setting, or any number of group tasks or themes (e.g., “leadership training needs of the board”). Uses one or several of the familiar group facilitating techniques: brainstorming, nominal group process, force fields, consensus ranking, organizational mirroring, simulation, and sculpting.


advantages Permits on-the-spot synthesis of different viewpoints. Builds support for the particular service response that is ultimately decided on. Decreases client’s “dependence response” toward the service provider since data analysis is (or can be) a shared function. Helps participants to become better problem analysts, better listeners, etc.


Disadvantages Is time consuming (therefore, initially expensive) both for the consultant and the agency. Can produce data that are difficult to synthesize and quantify (more a problem with the less structured techniques.

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Questionnaire: May be in the form of surveys or polls of a random or stratified sample of respondents, or an enumeration of an entire “population” ranking. Can use a variety of question formats: open-ended, forced-choice, priority -ranking. May be self-administered (by mail) under controlled or uncontrolled conditions, or may require the presence of an interpreter or assistant.

advantages & Disadvantages:

advantages & Disadvantages Can reach a large number of people in a short time. Are relatively inexpensive. ********************************************************** Make little provision for free expression of unanticipated responses. Require substantial time (and technical skills, especially in survey model) for development of effective instruments. Suffer low return rates (mailed), grudging responses, or unintended and/or inappropriate respondents

Task identification:

Task identification Evaluating the job description to identify the salient tasks the job requires. Once trainers have an understanding of those tasks, specific plans are developed to provide the necessary training.

HR weaknesses:

HR weaknesses HR may find the weaknesses among HR activities, includes inappropriate placement, orientation, selection, or recruiting may lead to workers with deficiencies. Errors in these activities may stem from weaknesses in HR planning, job design, or the HR information system. Training and development may be needed to increase the workers’ performance and it may modify other activities to ensure a better fit between people and performance.

Other sources of information:

Other sources of information Reviewing other sources of information Includes different reports, e.g. production records, quality control reports, grievances, safety reports, absenteeism and turnover statistics, and exit interviews of departing employees May reveal problems that should be addressed through training and development efforts.

advantages & Disadvantages:

Readily available Provide objective evidence of the results of problems within the agency or group. Can be collected with a minimum of effort and interruption of workflow since it already exists at the work site ************************************************************ Carry perspective that generally reflects the past situation rather than the current one (or recent changes). Need a skilled data analyst if clear patterns and trends are to emerge from such technical and diffuse raw data. advantages & Disadvantages


Supervisors Observe employees on daily basis. Supervisors may recommend an employee for training and development as reward good employees. Self-nominations: Employees are asked to nominate themselves for training and development programs where they want the differences in between their expected skills, knowledge and abilities and actual.


4 STEPS TO CONDUCTING A NEEDS ASSESSMENT Step 1. PERFORM A "GAP" ANALYSIS. check the actual performance of our organizations and our people against existing standards, or to set new standards Current situation: We must determine the current state of skills, knowledge, and abilities of our current and/or future employees. This analysis also should examine our organizational goals, climate, and internal and external constraints.

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Desired or necessary situation: We must identify the desired or necessary conditions for organizational and personal success. This analysis focuses on the necessary job tasks/standards, as well as the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to accomplish these successfully. It is important that we identify the critical tasks necessary, and not just observe our current practices. We also must distinguish our actual needs from our perceived needs, our wants. The difference the "gap" between the current and the necessary will identify our needs, purposes, and objectives.

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Step 2. IDENTIFY PRIORITIES & IMPORTANCE The first step should have produced a large list of needs for training and development, career development, organization development, and/or other interventions. Now we must examine these in view of their importance to our organizational goals, realities, and constraints. We must determine if the identified needs are real, if they are worth addressing, and specify their importance and urgency in view of our organizational needs and requirements

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Cost-effectiveness : How does the cost of the problem compare to the cost of implementing a solution? In other words, we perform a cost-benefit analysis. Legal mandates: Are there laws requiring a solution? (For example, safety or regulatory compliance.) Executive pressure: Does top management expect a solution? Population: Are many people or key people involved? Customers: What influence is generated by customer specifications and expectations?

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If some of our needs are of relatively low importance, we would do better to devote our energies to addressing other human performance problems with greater impact and greater value.

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Step 3. IDENTIFY CAUSES OF PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS AND/OR OPPORTUNITIES. Now that we have prioritized and focused on critical organizational and personal needs, we will next identify specific problem areas and opportunities in our organization. We must know what our performance requirements are, if appropriate solutions are to be applied. We should ask two questions for every identified need: Are our people doing their jobs effectively? Do they know how to do their jobs?

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Step 4. IDENTIFY POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES. If people are doing their jobs effectively, perhaps we should leave well enough alone. ("If it ain't broke, don't fix it.") However, some training and/or other interventions might be called for if sufficient importance is attached to moving our people and their performance into new directions.

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But if our people ARE NOT doing their jobs effectively: Training may be the solution, IF there is a knowledge problem. Organization development activities may provide solutions when the problem is not based on a lack of knowledge and is primarily associated with systematic change. These interventions might include strategic planning, organization restructuring, performance management and/or effective team building. We will look at these solutions including training & development and organization development, in future articles in this series.


TECHNIQUES FOR INVESTIGATING ORGANIZATIONAL AND PERSONAL NEEDS Direct observation Questionnaires Consultation with persons in key positions, and/or with specific knowledge Review of relevant literature Interviews Focus groups Tests Records & report studies Work samples

methods of training:

methods of training Cognitive methods are more of giving theoretical training to the trainees. Behavioral methods are more of giving practical training to the trainees

Various methods in Cognitive approach :


various methods IN Behavioral approach:



MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT The more future oriented method and more concerned with education of the employees. To become a better performer by education implies that management development activities attempt to instill sound reasoning processes.


ON THE JOB TRAINING On-the-job training is a type of learning process that usually occurs in an actual work environment i.e. an employee will be learning the new job roles and responsibilities while undergoing this training. COACHING MENTORING JOB ROTATION JOB INSTRUCTION TECHNIQUE (JIT)


OFF THE JOB TRAINING Off-the-job training is a type of learning process that usually occurs out of an actual work environment SENSITIVITY TRAINING TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS STRAIGHT LECTURES/ LECTURES SIMULATION EXERCISES

Training effectiveness:

Training effectiveness Imparts new skills Inculcates new ideas, knowledge and concepts Is practical oriented Not an information dump Aligns the training needs to fulfill the organizational short and long term goals Conducts the post evaluation to ensure the satisfaction levels to refine the future training needs

 issues addressed for a successful training program:

issues addressed for a successful training program Place (indoor/outdoor) Audio visual aids Relevant training materials Facilities Time schedule Non – visual aids Trainer

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