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Types of Training
Needs Assessment
Organizations should understand what their competencies are and where improvement is needed for
future success. Organizational needs and individual career needs should be linked in such a way that
meeting an individual need advances the organization toward its strategic goals. Addressing the
organization’s needs must take into account any major strategic issues the organization may face in the
next two years. Accordingly, the organization must determine its most critical needs as well as the
major challenges that will be encountered during that period of time. In order for the organization to
address those challenges, it must assess the critical skills, knowledge and abilities, and experience it will
need. Staffing levels for the future must also be determined so the organization can recruit the kind of
staff needed to meet the future challenges.
Individuals need specific skills, knowledge’s, and abilities (SKAs) to be successful. How these specific
SKAs are identified and addressed becomes part of a needs assessment process. Utilizing the
competency model, information can be obtained through the use of surveys, interviews, informal and
formal group discussions, and other tools. Any such process should involve a broad range of employees
representing different groups of workers. The goal is to identify the needs and problems of each group.
This will form the basis for developing processes to address problems that individuals and the
organization will face.
Performance Analysis
The purpose of an appraisal system is to improve the performance of the individual as well as the
productivity for the organization. In increasing numbers, appraisal systems are using an individual’s
customer focus as a key performance indicator. Most organizations use an annual performance
appraisal system.
At times, it may be necessary to look at specific capacities or abilities that individuals must have to
succeed in a specific job. This is appraised as aptitude. These aptitudes may include color
discrimination, eye-hand-foot coordination, clerical knowledge, form perception, spatial aptitude,
numerical aptitude, verbal aptitude, and general learning ability. In a work situation, an analyst must
determine the acceptable performance level for each required aptitude. The assignment of a specific
acceptable level is based on an analysis of the tasks of the job relative to the definitions and work
activities for each level. The scores are described in relation to the population: extremely high aptitude
or in the top 10% of the population; high aptitude or highest third of population (not considering the top
10%); medium aptitude of middle third of population; lower degree or lowest third (not considering the
lowest 10%); and markedly low aptitude or lowest 10%.
Most organizations use an annual performance appraisal system. Do these performance appraisals really
assess the tasks being performed? What types of appraisal systems are used and are they effective?
In addition to basic assessments, the organization should identify best practices for output performance
for specific jobs. Process models define effective workflows that result in the desired outputs. A gap
analysis determines the distance between the desired level of performance and the actual performance,
or between the desired state and the current state. A cause analysis determines the reasons for
performance gaps and may overlap other assessment models. To perform any assessments, it is
necessary to have methodologies to capture data and complete its analysis.
How do we know if individuals are properly performing their jobs? Most organizations use a
performance appraisal system that notes on a yearly basis how well a person is performing. Do these
performance appraisals really analyze the job being done? What types of appraisal systems are used
and are they effective? These are the issues that need to be investigated so that the appraisal process
can be improved.
Orientation
New employees typically have much to learn about the organization they have joined. In many cases,
the workplace is strange and frightening. The best way to begin is to have an effective orientation
session. The program can best be developed by including representatives from each staffing level to
ensure that the new employee is exposed to all areas of the organization. The benefits of an orientation
include increased productivity, reduced performance anxiety, and improved employee morale as
employees are aware of expectations. When done effectively, orientation increases retention and
lowers recruitment costs as well as turnover rates. New hires have a high initial cost to an organization.
Orientation Session
The orientation session will vary in length depending on the size of the organization, but the following
points should be covered:
• What is the assigned work area?
• Who is the supervisor?
• What does the unit do?
• What are the employee’s duties?
• What is the value of the work to the organization?
• Who are the co-workers?
• What are hours of work (including starting time, ending time, coffee breaks, lunch breaks)?
• What clothing is appropriate?
• Where are facilities (rest rooms, lunch rooms, etc.)?
• What are parking arrangements (including how to obtain a permit)?
• Who can worker go to if there is a problem and the supervisor is unavailable?
• How do I handle being late or absent?
• Who should be notified in case of an accident?
• How is leave accumulated and how to request time off?
• What are the pay dates and what deductions will be made?
• What is the increment system?
• What are the fringe benefits – health insurance, pension, vision, deferred compensation, etc.?
• What is the employee’s status?
• What is the probationary period?
• What are the advancement possibilities for the position?
Because of the initial apprehension about a new job and the great number of new things the individual
is exposed to on the first day, it is advisable to meet with the employee regularly in the initial weeks to
determine potential problems that can be easily corrected. The first such meeting should be on the
second day to determine whether there are any problems or questions the individual may have about
the job. Other issues to review would include whether the work assignment and expectations are clear
to the individual. If the individual has questions concerning the work or the organization, they should
also be answered at this time.
During the next two weeks, review with the employee the expected performance standards for the
employee’s work. This is also a good time to provide information on the training plans for the current
work assignment and for future development of the individual. Determine whether the employee is
having difficulty or expects to have difficulty with any of the duties of the job. Asking the employee what
areas are the most interesting in the current assignment is also important. Ask if there are any problems
with co-workers or the assignment and whether there is an understanding of the work being performed
in relation to the work of the entire office. It is essential that the employee understand the
performance appraisal process and how the work will be measured.
An orientation process should be adapted to the changing conditions of the workplace and should be
reviewed on a continuous basis to and modified as needed. The process must be carefully thought out
with a checklist of the important aspects developed. It is advisable to have a legal opinion for specific
areas such as dismissal and benefits. There should also be a follow-up to the process and an evaluation
of the orientation.
Training
In addition to orientation, organizations need to develop a training program. Training is defined as any
procedure initiated by an organization to foster learning among the members. Some new hires will have
the requisite knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSAs) when they start work, while others will need
extensive training before they are ready to contribute to the organization. The purpose of training is to
help the organization meet its objectives, although there is a secondary purpose of helping the trainees
effectively perform their jobs. The goal is to bring the KSAs to the level required to meet satisfactory
performance standards. Once the basic KSA levels are met, training can present an opportunity for
individuals to develop new skills and knowledge to qualify for other positions and advancement.
From an organization’s perspective, training is needed to increase competitiveness in the global
economy and to meet the challenges of advances in technology. When organizations restructure, skill
gaps can develop that need to be addressed through training. Through training, an organization
addresses the issue of job mortality and the emerging of new occupations. New occupations require
new skill sets that can be learned through training.
The systems approach to training is a common approach. This approach formulates objectives,
developing learning experiences to achieve objectives, establishes performance objectives, and gathers
information that will be used to evaluate the training program. In the initial phase, a needs assessment
must be completed. This requires an organizational analysis, a task analysis, a person analysis, and
instructional objectives.
An organizational analysis examines the goals, resources, and environment of the organization in which
the training will take place. The resources are technological, financial, and human. External factors
include the rules, laws, regulations, and court decisions that impact the organization. It is necessary to
collect data on a wide array of areas, such as the direct and indirect labor costs, the quality of goods and
services, absenteeism, turnover, accidents, and other related factors. Additional information includes
the estimated number of replacements and the time needed to train them to be productive.
A task analysis determines the content of the training program. It is based on the tasks/duties of the
job. This includes listing all the tasks and duties in the job, listing all steps needed to complete the tasks,
and determining the skills, knowledge, and abilities as well as the duties of the job. The actions include
things such as speak, compute, manipulate data, recall, and so on.
The personal analysis determines the specific skills, knowledge, and abilities required of the individuals.
In determining instructional objectives, the desired outcomes of the training program must be
determined. These outcomes should include acquisition of knowledge, skills or changing attitudes.
It is necessary to develop an environment where training and development efforts accomplish the
desired objectives. The organization needs to create a training environment that allows the trainees to
learn most effectively.
There is a need to evaluate the training program as well as the learning outcomes. This can be done by
using a pre-test and a post-test. Another is to use a comparison group. A comparison group would not
receive the training but would have the same qualifications as the trainees in terms of experience, past
training, and job level. Things that can be measured would include increased productivity, decreased
number of complaints, decreased costs and waste, and other indicators of improved performance. Data
would be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program.
It is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the training and whether the goals are being met.
There is the matter of training validity — whether the trainees learn during training. Another issue is
transfer validity — whether what has been learned can be transferred to enhanced performance in the
organization. Intraorganizational validity concerns whether the training of a one group within an
organization is consistent with that received by other groups. Interorganizational validity is whether the
training in one organization can be used successfully in another organization.
Benchmarking is comparing one’s services/products and practices against the recognized leaders in the
particular area identified for improvement. The use of measures in training activity, results, and training
efficiency can be developed using a benchmarking process.
Non-managerial employees can be trained in both on and off the job locations. On the job training can
be accomplished through a method by which the employees are given hands-on experience with
instruction from their supervisors or other trainers. There are drawbacks to this method since such
training may lack a well-structured training environment or there may be the absence of a well-defined
job performance criteria tied to the training.
Training is only as good as the trainers. Managers may have poor training skills. Organizations can
compensate by developing realistic goals and/or measures for each on the job training experience and
by having a plan for specific training for each trainee. A training plan needs to specify a time for
evaluation and feedback. It is essential that managers establish a non-threatening environment for
training so that learning can take place. Periodic evaluations must be completed at the end of training
to prevent regression.
Off the job training can include attendance at events such as conferences where employees can learn or
enhance skills. Formal classroom training is another off the job training method. Using a simulation
method, the individual works through a process prior to actually doing the job. There is also
programmed instruction that uses books, manuals, or computers.
Computer-based training includes computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and computer managed
instruction (CMI.) CMI is a system normally used with CAI that uses the computer to generate and score
tests to determine the level of training proficiency. Additional training tools include teleconferencing
and closed circuit conferences. Distance learning initiatives that have been developed in recent years
have the potential of providing additional learning opportunities through the Internet. This web-based
program is one such model that has already had a major impact on learning.
In a number of occupations, the use of apprenticeships is very effective. In this system, a worker gets
instruction in both on and off the job in the practical applications and the theoretical underpinnings of
the work. Cooperative training is another system that contains practical on-the-job experience with

formal educational classes. In internship programs, an organization and a school jointly sponsor an
opportunity to gain real life experience while allowing the individual to determine how well they will
perform in the work organization.
Job Analysis
There is a lot of information available about improving jobs and the workplace, but such data is not
always used properly or at all. Utilization of appropriate selection criteria is essential for hiring
individuals for a job at a proficiency level necessary to maintain cost-effectiveness. Accomplishing this is
not a random activity but involves efforts to provide an accurate tool to assist in the hiring process.
When properly done, it becomes a cost-saving process as individuals hired are appropriate for the
position and are able to meet or exceed performance needs.
Gathering information concerning a job is defined as a job analysis. In simple terms, the process
involves looking at a job and determining major tasks, activities, behaviors, or duties that must be
performed on the job. Once these factors are determined, there is a need to look at how frequently
these tasks are performed or how important the tasks may be. KSAs essential to the job also must be
identified. There also may be other characteristics that may be essential for a job such as personality
factors, physical traits, aptitudes, and mental traits. Data collection for job analyses can be through
observations, performing the job, interviews, critical incidents, diaries, background records, historical
data, or questionnaires.
For any job, there are various components that must be studied to accurately picture the positions.
These aspects include the function of the worker, the techniques used, work tools or aids used, the end
product or service, and specific worker characteristics. A job analysis investigates the positions in terms
of these aspects. Such analysis is then used to determine if characteristics of an applicant or worker
meet the needs of the position.
Organizations utilize different terminology. In this unit, the following definitions will be used. An
occupation is a group of jobs. These jobs can be found at more than one organization, but they have
common tasks, methodologies, products, or worker characteristics. A job is a group of positions at a
single employing unit that are the same with respects to significant tasks. There can be a single
individual or many people in a job. Organizations denote positions for individuals, a unique collection of
tasks that comprise the total work assignment for an individual. If there is any human effort to
accomplish a particular outcome, a task is created. A task is an element, or more than one element, that
is a logical step to get the work done. Tasks can be broken down into elements, the most basic part of a
task that can be analyzed. It was these elements that were studied by early theorists in the Scientific
Management field. In completing a job analysis, it is necessary to look at the job as it is at the time of
the analysis. It should not be how the job was or how it should be.
There are two separate dimensions of a job that need to be considered in the analysis process. The first
involves the work that is performed. This dimension looks at the actual activities that are performed. It
includes the work function, which is the way the worker must function to perform the job. Mental,
interpersonal, and physical actions are important aspects to be included in this part of the assessment.

It also includes how the work gets done. The last area includes basic materials that are processed,
products that are made, data, and services that are provided. The second dimension is worker
characteristics. This area consists of general educational development, special vocational preparation,
aptitudes, temperament, interest areas, and physical demand and environmental conditions. The
worker characteristic components parallel the skills, knowledge, and abilities aspect that many
organizations use in hiring and promoting individuals.
Job Design
Organizations have objectives to meet and establish jobs for that purpose. Job design is a product of a
job analysis. It is how the organization wants to improve performance through technological and human
considerations. Its purpose is to enhance organizational efficiency and employee satisfaction. A
scientific approach to this area is industrial engineering, a field of study that involved analysis of the
work and the establishing time standards. The industrial engineering staff has a responsibility to identify
and time the work cycle elements. In many cases, the increased efficiency can be obtained by
simplifying the work. There are other concerns that impact the design. The industrial engineer looks at
the tasks and not psychologically sound choices. The human factors that are integral parts of jobs are
not considered.
Jobs are also designed through human engineering. Human engineering is concerned with the worker’s
physical and mental capabilities. Since many jobs are changed with the increase of technology, it is
important to undertake an interdisciplinary approach to designing both the machines and the systems
that could be used in an effective and efficient manner by people. The intent is to fit the machinery to
the workers as opposed to the workers to the machines. This has led to the focus on ergonomic design
for workstations.
Employees can have high internal motivation and provide high quality work products. When this
happens, employees have high job satisfaction with their work and exhibit low absenteeism and
turnover rates.

Needs Assessment

Organizations should understand what their competencies are and where improvement is needed for

f
uture success. Organizational needs and individual career needs should be linked in such a way that

meeting an individual need advances the organization toward its strategic goals. Addressing the

organization’s needs must take into account any major strate
gic issues the organization may face in the

next two years. Accordingly, the organization must determine its most critical needs as well as the

major challenges that will be encountered during that period of time. In order for the organization to

address t
hose challenges, it must assess the critical skills, knowledge and abilities, and experience it will

need. Staffing levels for the future must also be determined so the organization can recruit the kind of

staff needed to meet the future challenges.

Indivi
duals need specific skills, knowledge’s, and abilities (SKAs) to be successful. How these specific

SKAs are identified and addressed becomes part of a needs assessment process. Utilizing the

competency model, information can be obtained through the use of
surveys, interviews, informal and

formal group discussions, and other tools. Any such process should involve a broad range of employees

representing different groups of workers. The goal is to identify the needs and problems of each group.

This will form the basis for developing processes to address problems that individuals and the

organization will face.

Performance Analysis

The purpose
of an appraisal system is to improve the performance of the individual as well as the

productivity for the organization. In increasing numbers, appraisal systems are using an individual’s

customer focus as a key performance indicator. Most organizations us
e an annual performance

appraisal system.

At times, it may be necessary to look at specific capacities or abilities that individuals must have to

succeed in a specific job. This is appraised as aptitude. These aptitudes may include color

discrimination, ey
e

hand

foot coordination, clerical knowledge, form perception, spatial aptitude,

numerical aptitude, verbal aptitude, and general learning ability. In a work situation, an analyst must

determine the acceptable performance level for each required aptitude.
The assignment of a specific

acceptable level is based on an analysis of the tasks of the job relative to the definitions and work

activities for each level. The scores are described in relation to the population: extremely high aptitude

Needs Assessment
Organizations should understand what their competencies are and where improvement is needed for
future success. Organizational needs and individual career needs should be linked in such a way that
meeting an individual need advances the organization toward its strategic goals. Addressing the
organization’s needs must take into account any major strategic issues the organization may face in the
next two years. Accordingly, the organization must determine its most critical needs as well as the
major challenges that will be encountered during that period of time. In order for the organization to
address those challenges, it must assess the critical skills, knowledge and abilities, and experience it will
need. Staffing levels for the future must also be determined so the organization can recruit the kind of
staff needed to meet the future challenges.
Individuals need specific skills, knowledge’s, and abilities (SKAs) to be successful. How these specific
SKAs are identified and addressed becomes part of a needs assessment process. Utilizing the
competency model, information can be obtained through the use of surveys, interviews, informal and
formal group discussions, and other tools. Any such process should involve a broad range of employees
representing different groups of workers. The goal is to identify the needs and problems of each group.
This will form the basis for developing processes to address problems that individuals and the
organization will face.
Performance Analysis
The purpose of an appraisal system is to improve the performance of the individual as well as the
productivity for the organization. In increasing numbers, appraisal systems are using an individual’s
customer focus as a key performance indicator. Most organizations use an annual performance
appraisal system.
At times, it may be necessary to look at specific capacities or abilities that individuals must have to
succeed in a specific job. This is appraised as aptitude. These aptitudes may include color
discrimination, eye-hand-foot coordination, clerical knowledge, form perception, spatial aptitude,
numerical aptitude, verbal aptitude, and general learning ability. In a work situation, an analyst must
determine the acceptable performance level for each required aptitude. The assignment of a specific
acceptable level is based on an analysis of the tasks of the job relative to the definitions and work
activities for each level. The scores are described in relation to the population: extremely high aptitude

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