Training is a costly procedure not just as far as the money spent on it but also the time and other assets spent on the same. Therefore, the most vital task is deciding if training will contribute towards achieving the organisational objectives, e it directly or indirectly. The answer to this lies in a process called ‘training needs analysis’. This is the first step in the process of training and development.
Training needs analysis is a process of systematically understanding training requirements. Conducted at three stages, it involves an analysis at the following levels: organisational, individual and the job. Each of these is called organisational, individual and job analysis. After conducting these analyses, the results are evaluated, and objectives of the training program are determined accordingly.
While each step in the whole training procedure has its importance, needs analysis is special as it helps determine the kind of training that is required. Its assessment gives a detailed look into what kind knowledge, skill and intervention are required. However, there are cases where this process is missing. In that case, the problem may be motivational.
As discussed earlier, the needs analysis is conducted out at three levels – organisational, Individual and Job:
The organisational analysis is conducted to shortlist the focus areas for the training process within the organisation and to enlist the factors that may affect the same. The organisation’s mission, vision, goals, processes, people inventories and performance data are all studied thoroughly. This study helps in determining the kind of learning environment required for the training.
This mainly aims at understanding what training needs to be provided. During job analysis, the kind of intervention required is what is decided. In this stage, both the worker-oriented – approach and the task-oriented approach is taken into account. The worker approach identifies the core behaviours required to execute a particular job, while the task-oriented approach identifies the activities needed to be performed in a specific job. The former is used while deciding the intervention and the latter are put to practice during content development and program evaluation.
The individual analysis focuses on the ‘who’ aspect of the training. In this process, the performance appraisal data is evaluated and is compared with the expected level or the standard of performance. It is also conducted through questionnaires, personal interviews and 360-feedback, etc. Many organisations also make use of attitude surveys, critical Incidents and assessment surveys to understand training needs.