Training Needs Analysis

Training Needs Analysis

Introduction

              The current work environment demands workers to be equipped with immense skills on conducting complex assignments in a cost effective, safe and efficient way. Notably, the difference between the expected and the actual level of job fulfilment is utilized to identify a requirement for training. In this regard, data sources, such as the labor inventory, budgets, as well as the organizational climate indicators are utilized to evaluate the organizational gap hence the need for a training (Donovan & Townsend, 2015). Once the need of a training is confirmed, a comprehensive analysis is conducted at the person, operational and organizational level to establish the specific requirements it should address hence satisfactorily respond to the organization gap. Thus, a need analysis is the initial step of the training instructional design that immensely enhances optimum use of resources.       

Triggering Events

          The organizational performance gap at Apex Limited is one of the events that triggered the training need analysis, which was conducted with a primary objective of examining the factors that contributed to the difference in actual and the expected performance. In this regard, the TNA was designed to establish the specific requirements to be addressed by the training. Notably, some of the specific needs that triggered the TNA at Apex Limited include the high levels of employee turnover in the last quarter. In this regard, low worker motivation and a series of resignations indicated that there was a need for the organization to establish the underlying causes of such events. In addition, previous high costs and reduced effectiveness of training, as well as increased legal expenses emanating from former staff and employees immensely informed the decision to conduct a comprehensive TNA. Thus, the identification of the performance gap is the main event that triggered the TNA, which was a reactive approach of addressing issues because it was informed by an existing problem.

Data Sources

              Apex limited documents, such as employee surveys, work samples, performance measures, benchmarking studies, organizational budgets, labor inventory, and employee appraisals, as well as the goals and objectives of the company were examined to identify the probable causes of the OPG. Specifically, documents suspected to provide information regarding the causes of the current low actual performance were analyzed in comparison with respective expected output. For instance employee surveys were used to generate information concerning the organizational climate factors, such as motivation. In addition, labor inventory records were examined to establish whether the current level of investment matches the expected output or any imbalances that may lead to an inefficient workforce.  Furthermore, employees’ appraisals, work samples and benchmarking studies were used to gather information concerning the differences between the actual and the expected output for individual workers.  Finally, previous training related records, as well as other documents with relevant performance measures information were considered in the analysis to verify the ability to meet the current expectations.   

Levels of analysis

         In the business world, there exists a wide range of needs assessments that can be utilized in varying employment contexts (Kotlar et al., 2018). Notably, organizational, operational, and person level analysis lead to considerably high amount of essential information regarding the training needs.

           Organizational Level Analysis. At Apex limited, an organizational level analysis was conducted on the reasons, such as business needs that led to the desire for training. Particularly, the assessment involved an examination of the organization goals and objectives, as well as strategies and was aimed at verifying their validity. In this regard, factors that informed the need for training were examined. For instance, the assessment focused on the history of employee training in the organization, the need for training decision makers, and factors that made training the best solution to the OPG. In this regard, a document analysis approach of information gathering was utilized to acquire the necessary information from organizational documents, such as mission and vision statements, and previous training records.  

        Operational Level Analysis. At this level, the evaluation concentrated on task and employee analysis. Task analysis included assessment of duties and skill level required for accomplishment of particular tasks in the organization (Roughton & Crutchfield, 2016). In addition, the assessment involved identification of the employee performance gap and the possibility of the training reducing or eliminating it. An observation technique was utilized to collect relevant information at this level of analysis. For instance, relevant job descriptions were evaluated to establish their ability to enhance the achievement of the overall organizational goals and objectives. Thus, performance level analysis enhanced an in-depth understanding of specific jobs in the organization hence enable development of training with adequate and relevant links to the content of particular tasks.   

         Person Level Analysis. Analysis at the person level involved the identification of the potential instructors and participants of the training. Specifically, this phase of evaluation focused on establishing the participants, skills and knowledge level, as well as their learning styles. In this regard, interactive techniques of information gathering were utilized to enhance the accuracy of information collected. For instance, open-ended interviews were utilized to collect the general information, such as the most popular learning style among the targeted groups of workers, while surveys were used to collect employee-specific data.

Relationship between Information Gathered and OPG

           Information gathered from analysis conducted above elicited highly relevant information to enhance the design of a training program, with immense potential to reduce the OPG. For instance, the person phase analysis provided essential employee specific data that can immensely enhance the evaluation of skills and knowledge they possess, as well as their performance in the job capacities identified at the performance level of analysis. Similarly, information about the employee performance with regard to the job descriptions is very essential in the determination of the actual performance, which is used together with the expected performance identified at the organizational level analysis to determine the OPG.   

Conclusion

Conducting a comprehensive TNA is highly important to ensure that the specific elements leading to the OPG are captured in a training. For instance, the TNA for Apex limited provided in-depth information regarding the current OPG. Essential information was collected at the organizational, performance and individual level. For example, the TNA, immensely enhanced efforts to determine work related skills to be included in the training by providing detailed data regarding particular employees’ skills and knowledge as well as their expected performance with regard to the organizational performance. Therefore, the TNA provided adequate relevant to enhance the design of the required program.

References

Donovan, P., & Townsend, J. (2015). Learning Needs Analysis Pocketbook. Management Pocketbooks.

Kotlar, J., De Massis, A., Wright, M., & Frattini, F. (2018). Organizational Goals: Antecedents, Formation Processes and Implications for Firm Behavior and Performance. International Journal of Management Reviews20, S3-S18. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12170

Roughton, J., & Crutchfield, N. (2016). Assessing Training Needs. Job Hazard Analysis, 299-334.

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