Factors determining the training needs of employees

There are three levels of analysis for determining the needs that training can fulfill.
  1. Organizational analysis focuses on identifying where within the organization training is needed.
  2. Operation analysis attempts to identify the content of training-what an employee must do in order to perform competently.
  3. Individual analysis determines how well each employee is performing the tasks that make up his or her job.
Analysis of the organization’s external environment and internal climate is also essential. Trends in the strategic priorities of business, judicial decisions, civil right laws, union activity, productivity, and accidents, turnover, absenteeism, and on-the job employee behavior will provide relevant information at this level. The important question then becomes “will training
produce changes in the employee behavior that will contribute to our organizational goals?”

Operations analysis requires a careful examination of the job to be performed after training. It involves a systematic collection of information that describes exactly how jobs are done.
  • Standards of performance for jobs can be determined.
  • How tasks are to be performed to meet the standards.
  • The knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics are necessary for effective task performance. Job analyses, performance appraisal, interview (with jobholders, supervisors, and higher management) and analyses of operating problems (quality control, downtime reports, and customer complaints) also provide important inputs to the analysis of training needs.
Finally there is an individual analysis. At this level, training needs may be defined in terms of the following general idea.
  • The difference between desired performance and actual performance are the individual’s training need. Performance standards, identified in the operations analysis phase conspire desired performance. Individual performance date, diagnostic rating of employees by their supervisors, records of performance kept by workers in diary form, attitude surveys, interviews, or tests (job knowledge, work sample, or situational) can provide information on actual performance against which each employee can be compared to desired job performance standards. Training may fill a gap between actual and desired performance.
However, assessing the needs for training does not end here. To evaluate the results of training and to assess what trainings are needed in the future, needs must be analyzed regularly and at all three levels.
  • At the organizational level, needs must be analyzed by the manager who set the organization’s goals.
  • At the operation level, need must be analyzed by the managers who specify how the organization’s goals are going to be achieved.
  • At the individual level, needs must be analyzed by the managers and workers who do the work to achieve those goals.

A System Approach to Training

A systems approach to training includes the following points.
  • Development on the job, through coaching, counseling, monitoring and feedback by managers on a continuous basis associated with the use of performance management systems to identify and satisfy development needs.
  • Development through work experience, which includes job rotation, job enlargement taking part in project teams or task groups.
  • Formal training, by means of internal or external courses which are used to teach new skills or help people to acquire additional knowledge, but aim to supplement experience rather than replace it.
  • Structured self-development, by following self-development programmes agreed with the manager or a management adviser- these may include guided.
  • The formal approaches to management development or acquisition of new skills on the job development needs through a performance management system or an assessment centre. The approach may be structured around a list of competencies, which have been defined as being appropriate for managers in the organization.
A typical list of managerial competencies as compiled by Henley management collage is as follows
Intellectual Analysis and judgement             
Interpersonal sensitivity
Achievement motivation
Strategic perspective Planning and organizing
Managing staff
Assertiveness and decisiveness
Oral communication
Adaptability and resilience
Energy and initiative
Business sense

These approaches include:
  • Emphazing self-assessment and the identification of development needs by getting manager to assess their own performance against agreed objectives and analyze the factors contributing to effective performance- this can be provided through a performance management system. 
  • Encouraging managers to discuss their own problems and opportunities with their bosses or colleagues in order to establish for themselves what they need to learn or be able to do.

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