Development

Training

Sample Objectives

Training & Development at our company should:

  • Enhance the skills and competencies that will drive current success of the company
  • Prepare employees for changes in their jobs and in the industry –  including new technologies, processes and ways of interacting
  • Be linked to the performance management system
  • Be a priority for managers against which they are held accountable
  • Be valued by employees who understand their role and responsibility in their own learning & development
  • Help equip managers to lead the organization into the future
  • Focus resources on providing skills valued by the customer

Needs Assessment

Performance gaps are not necessarily a result of a lack of skills or abilities and in many cases training is not the right solution to achieve the desired performance improvement. Elements such as employees not understanding performance expectations due a lack of communication of those expectations by their manager/supervisor and obstacles or barriers that impact performance such as the physical layout of the workplace, material handling processes and the quality of equipment and materials are generally not going to be solved by providing training to the employees performing the work.

If the employee is identified as not knowing how to correctly use equipment or as handling products or materials in a way that is creating quality or scrap problems, there may be an opportunity to improve performance via training.

If new systems or equipment is introduced, it can be assumed that employees will not have the necessary skills, abilities or knowledge to operate it - an obvious training need.

The Needs Assessment identifies performance gaps and whether training is an appropriate solution to fill the gaps. The primary reasons for conducting a needs assessment is to determine the causes of poor performance; determine whether training is needed; determine content and scope of training; identify desired training program outcomes; and to create credible documentation and a business case to secure management support and budget allocation.

Training Needs Assessment can be relatively simple or highly complex. The larger the organization, the more complex that the needs assessment tends to be as there are typically more employees, more departments and often a broader range or equipment and processes. As with other areas of this website, needs assessment program ideas are being presented at a relatively simple and straightforward level in order to provide you with information that you can use without requiring significant time and resources to manage it.

There are two primary areas to look at in a needs assessment - the organization and individual employees.

 Organizational Analysis

Organizational analysis reviews broader organizational issues and impacts in order to identify training needs at a macro level. Considerations of the organizational analysis should include:

  • Regulatory, legal or environmental changes (health and safety, human rights, workplace harassment)
  • Economic conditions (pending layoffs meaning remaining employees will need to be able to perform broader range of tasks, expansion or new lines meaning new processes to perform)
  • Workforce demographics and availability (skills of candidate pool, language or cultural barriers)
  • Planned technology or automation investments (new skills needed to operate)
  • Organizational goals and objectives (product quality, customer service, efficiency)
  • Management support for training and availability of budget (belief that training will help and money available to pay for training programs)

Many sources can provide this information including: strategic plans; mission statements; performance, productivity and quality metrics; plant and equipment budget plan; etc. In reviewing these types of elements, you will be able to identify areas that may require training projects that can range from a single or small number of employees up to the entire workforce.

Individual Analysis

 Individual analysis involves the review of how well individual employees are performing their jobs and will help identify employees that need training and what kind. Considerations of individual analysis should include:

  • New Employees (skills inventory at hiring versus where company needs them to be to perform their job)
  • Performance Appraisals (what areas are identified as requiring improvement)
  • Specific performance shortfalls against performance standards that are due to lack of skills or abilities
  • Metrics such as productivity, quality, waste, accidents/injuries
  • Interviews with employees and supervisors/managers (what they believe the employee needs to learn to perform better)
  • Employee surveys (may provide insight related to people management training needs for individual supervisory staff)

It is likely that a comprehensive analysis of both organizational and individual elements will result in more than one training need being identified. The needs should then be prioritized based on the potential impact of the training, the importance of addressing the performance gap, time requirements and deadlines for implementing training (in the case of new equipment or legal compliance issues) and the availability of budget/money to implement training programs.

Training plans can then be created based on the priorities and available budget and then executed. It is recommended that you review the Calculating Return on Investment of Training section of this website for further information on measuring the success and impact of your training activities.

Life Long Learning

The Concept Maps depicted below provide an excellent source of information for Learning and Instructional Design.  On the source website you can click on a desired topic on the Map which will provide you with full details of each element.

Learning Concept Map

Learning Concept Map

Source: Clark, D. R. Learning Concept Map. Updated May 2014 from http://nwlink.com/~donclark/learning/learning.html

 

Instructional System Design Concept Map

Instructional System Design Concept Map

Source: Clark, D. R. Instructional System Design Concept Map. Updated May 2014 from http://nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/ahold/isdmap.jpg

 

 


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