How to Assess Employee's Needs for Training

COMENIUS UNIVERSITY IN BRATISLAVA, FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT HOW TO ASSESS EMPLOYEE’S NEEDS FOR TRAINING INTRODUCTION A subject of my seminar assessment from Human resource management is Training needs assessment, or how to assess employee’s needs for training. The training needs assessment is a very effective way, how to identify employees’ needs for training. An object of my assessment is to acquaint readers with this topic, explain them, how the training needs of employees are identified, what the process of identification consists of and how to manage the training needs assessment.

HOW TO ASSESS EMPLOYEE’S NEEDS FOR TRAINING Every company has goals which the company is trying to achieve. The main role plays employees who are the ones that actively participate in achieving the goals. That is the reason why the company should pay attention to them and evaluate if the employees have all qualifications, skills and knowledge that are the most efficient in achieving the goals. This evaluation can be provided through a very efficient method called training needs assessment, that discovers the training need of employees. Training needs assessment Staff training needs are assessed through a process called a training needs analysis. The exact form that this takes will depend on the nature of the organization, the technology available, and the nature of the staff. However, the fundamental elements of a training needs analysis are the same. It is a three-step process: * Identify the training needs * Deliver training that meets the needs * Assess the effectiveness of the training. These three steps are repeated over and over during the life-cycle of an organization. Continual assessment is required because the needs keep changing.

Employees do not remain static they take on new roles and responsibilities. Their environment is also not static — technology keeps changing, as do the demands of their organization. ” (Knowles, 2009) Identifying the Training Needs The best way how to identify training needs is with a three-step approach consisting of organizational analysis, analysis of employees and task analysis. 1. Organizational Analysis -Organizational analysis identifies abilities, knowledge and skills needed for employees in the future, when their job and the company will change.

The analysis collects data through looking at few aspects like lost workdays, customer complaints, grievances, absenteeism, turnover rates, safety incidents, different performance problems, etc. Afterwards these data are assessed to detect where performance could be improved through training. The organizational analysis should be also prepared for future changes and it should also plan for changes in the workplace like worker demographics, laws and regulations and future skill needs. * Workforce.

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Workers growing old and women or other minorities becoming more prominent make the workforce change. Operating cost modifications and economic changes also may need workplace changes, when competing internationally. If the company understands these possible changes, then it has a good advantage, because that may help it to adapt to employees’ needs while the company’s needs are still met. * Laws and regulations. An organization might be forced to arrange training in specific areas because of new laws and changes in current safety and environmental regulations.

Also other policies which include employees need to be communicated to them. * Future skills. Future skill needs can be recognised if an organization understands, how it might change in the future. For instance, will new equipment be installed or new processes applied? Will standards or regulations be changed? Is technology going to change? Will there be interpersonal or communication skills needed from employees because they will have to work with others or in teams? Will cultural changes be taking place in the organization? 2.

Analysis of employees- Analysis of employees looks at individual employees and assesses their performance in their jobs. Their individual level of skills or knowledge can be determined through interviews, questionnaires or tests. Their performance reviews can contain useful data as well. Furthermore, problems with performance can be recognised by assessing aspects such as output, non-attendance, lateness, equipment repairs needed, accidents, complaints, client complaints and product quality. When shortages are recognised, an individual employee’s needs can be met through initiating training.

All three stages of the training needs analysis are interconnected and information has to be gathered at all stages. Based on the data collected, training needs can be recognised, and the company can form learning objectives and develop a training program so the needs can be met, both company’s and employee’s. 3. Task Analysis- Task analysis examines requirements of knowledge and skills that are needed for each job and compares them to actual employee’s knowledge and skills. Any absence reveals a need for training.

Analysis of job safety, standard operating methods, job description, performance standards, examination and questioning on-site, literature review and best practices are all sources for information collection. An efficient task analysis detects: * tasks that need to be accomplished * terms under which tasks can be accomplished * when and how often tasks are achieved * quantity and quality of work required * skills and knowledge needed to achieve tasks * where and how these skills are best gained Figure 1- Training needs assessment process (Bajzikova, a ini, 2011)

Delivering Training That Meets the Needs Training can be provided through many different ways. It can be formal, classroom like, in the organization’s building, together with colleagues or it could be delivered through an external training company, also in class, but with people from other organizations. Other option is to provide the training on-line. The training might be short or long-lasting. Short lasting, such as classes lasting a day or even longer, that provide quiet big amount of information, or long-lasting trainings, that are delivered in small parts, maybe an hour a day or less.

The trainings can be on a one-to-one basis, or they can take place in a group with one teacher. But the one-to-one basis trainings could become more like mentoring than formal teaching. What is important is that the teaching method and content matches the needs of the learners. Assessing the Effectiveness of Training In order to know whether the training has achieved the goals that were set for it, the organization needs to set up some sort of assessment. “Happy sheet” is the most basic form of assessment, especially for training I classes.

The sheet is about one page long and it asks those who were trained if they enjoyed themselves during the training, whether they felt like they learned anything and what could have been better. There are also more complex and sophisticated forms how to evaluate training and these, after the training, measure the employees’ performance and compare it with their performance before. This cycle needs to be repeated even several times, because it is improbable that just one cycle of training needs analysis and following education will solve all problems. Models for Training Needs Assessments

McClelland’s open-systems model McClelland (1993) presents an open-systems model for managing training needs assessments. This model contains of eleven steps which help to manage the assessment. 1. “Define assessment goals. 2. Determine assessment group. 3. Determine availability of qualified resources to conduct and oversee the project. 4. Gain senior management support for and commitment to the process. 5. Review and select assessment methods and instruments. 6. Determine critical time frames. 7. Schedule and implement. 8. Gather feedback. 9. Analyse feedback. 10. Draw conclusions. 1. Present findings and recommendations. ” (Cekada, 2010) Barbazette’s model Barbazette says that training needs assessment should answer 4 questions: what, who, when, how and why. * What- “What is the best way to do a specific job? This helps to achieve the desired results. Standard operating methods may indicate how to manage a task or which government regulations need to be considered when completing a task. Other important thing is to ask what jobs are involved in the shortage. This recognises critical tasks that have the possibility to cause a personal or property damage. Who- “Who is involved in the shortage of performance? ” This will identify those employees that are involved and guarantee that the training is customized for them. It is also essential to consider the target audience for the training; what information does the organization have about them to design and customize the training; and who else may profit from the training. * When- “When can be training best delivered? This helps to minimize the impact on the business. It is also crucial to determine other things that are needed to make sure that the training is provided and delivered effectively.

These models help guide development of a training needs assessment. * How- “How the shortage of performance can be fixed? ” This helps to determine whether training will resolve the issue. That reveals if a skill or knowledge shortage led to the issue. * Why- “Why? ” This helps to connect the performance shortage to a business need and asks whether the profit of the training is greater than the cost of the current shortage. CONCLUSION The training needs assessment is used to identify an organization’s and its employees’ training needs and determine the type and range of resources that are needed to support a training program.

It helps the organization to design or choose the right type of training and afterwards it helps to assess if the goals were achieved. The training needs assessment is a very good, not complicated and effective way how to deal with educational needs within a company. And even though the cycle might have to be repeated several times, it is a helpful huma resource management tool. BIBLIOGRAPHY * Bajzikova, Lubica, et al. 2011. Manazment ludskych zdrojov. Bratislava : Comenius University Bratislava, 2011. pp. 92-96. 978-80-223-2989-7. Cekada, Tracey L. 2010. www. asse. org. [Online] 3 2010. http://www. asse. org/professionalsafety/docs/F1Cekada_0310. pdf. * Knowles, Andrew. 2009. suite101. com. How to assess staff training needs. [Online] 9 7, 2009. http://suite101. com/article/how-to-assess-staff-training-needs-a146161. * Miller, Janice A. , Osinski, Diana M. and SPHR. 1996. www. ispi. org. [Online] 2 1996. http://www. ispi. org/pdf/suggestedReading/Miller_Osinski. pdf. * Unknown. www. opm. gov. [Online] http://www. opm. gov/hrd/lead/TrainingNeedsAssessment. asp.

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