In this blog, we look at the best practices and widely applied frameworks that can efficiently assess the training needs of an organization. Training needs assessment provide a clear picture of the various training related bottlenecks in the organization that can be solved efficiently. We look at different models and their philosophies and how they can provide you with the insights you need to revamp the training needs of your employees in your organization.
Defining Training Needs Assessment:
Training Needs Assessment can be defined as a method of analyzing training needs and figuring out the requirements to fill skill-gaps in an organization. Training Needs Assessment is a systematic approach to accurately identify the skill-gaps through target surveys, interviews, using analytical data or through various workshops.
There is a simple enough formula to assess the training needs of an organization
Training Needs = Desired Capability – Current Capability of the participants
Why is Training Needs Assessment important?
Proper training through the proper channels can eliminate skill-based bottlenecks by empowering your employees with in-depth knowledge and upscaling their skills and enhancing their competencies. If there is no structure for the training assessment plan, it may resolve only part of the problem. Hence a wholistic approach is required so that all competencies are met with efficiency rather than repetitive efforts.
Let us have a look at some of the important factors that lead to an organization launching a Training Needs Assessment process.
- Rising skill/knowledge/experience-gap compared to competitors
- Organizational or department-wise restructuring
- Introduction or applying new technologies
- Inadequate equipment or appropriate resources or personnel changes
- Poor work culture with minimal to no collaboration and poor morale
- Lack of standards and over-expectations
Every organization needs a framework or an efficient model to accurately assess their training needs. In this blog, we look at 3 widely applied frameworks that provide you with the right insights to begin the learning path.
- Mager & Pipe’s Performance Analysis
Robert Mager and Peter Pipe first published their model for analyzing performance issues in their book “Analyzing Performance Problems: Or You Really Oughta Wanna.” The Mager & Pipe model is ideal if you are short on time and resources, as this performance analysis is straight-forward and should take only a few minutes. Below is the Mager and Pipe model broken down into 7 distinct steps, with questions to ask at each step.
- General system model for people development by Swanepoel, Erasmus, van Dyk and Schenk.
The General System Model for people development was built on the philosophy of “how to break whole things into parts and then to learn how the parts work together in systems”. This model takes the learner’s needs into account to ensure that the skill-gap is bridged efficiently.
- McGhee and Thayer’s Three Level Analysis:
McGhee and Thayer proposed their Three Level Analysis model to understand the learning and development needs of an organization in a systematic manner. This model assesses the training needs of three components at different levels of the organization.
- Organizational level: The organizational level training need analysis measures the data from sources like business goals, organizational culture, skill inventory, employees and customer data to accurately identify training requirements. This method answers crucial questions such as which department requires training the most and which training program will act as a solution to resolve the business issues.
- Operational level: This will identify the knowledge and skill gaps that exist for each role at each level. The data sources used here are performance levels, job specification, role requirement and analyzing operational challenges.
- Individual level: For the individual level, the individual’s performance is analyzed using data points such as performance appraisals, interviews, skill-based questionnaires, skill level assessments and work samples.
There are many such models that are being applied in the real world today. The main goal of these models is to provide a clear understanding of the training needs and how to start implementing a learning and development strategy using best practices. This way, an organization can focus on solving training-based challenges.