August 25, 2014

According to the Free Management Library, the “Overall Purpose of a Training Needs Assessment and Analysis” is described as follows:

A training analysis is conducted ultimately to identify what areas of knowledge or behaviors that training needs to accomplish with learners. The analysis considers what results the organization needs from the learner, what knowledge and skills the learner presently has and usually concludes with identifying what knowledge and skills the learner must gain (the “performance gap”).

Usually this phase also includes identifying when training should occur and who should attend as learners. Ideally, criteria are established for the final evaluation of training to conclude if training goals were met or not.

Depending on the resources and needs of the organization, a training analysis can range from a very detailed inventory of skills to a general review of performance results. The more complete the training analysis, the more likely that the employee’s training will ultimately contribute results to the organization.

Note that employees can require training for a variety of reasons, which usually fall into two categories:

1. Training to fill a “performance gap” as identified during the performance management process

2. Training to fill a “growth gap”, that is, to be promoted or be able to fill another open position in the organization

Those organizations that desire to get the most out of their training programs will routinely begin with a valid Skills Assessment in order to get the greatest return from their investments.

The major reasons to begin with a thorough Skills Assessment are:

• An awareness of the shortcomings of traditional methods necessary to keep up with rapid change and the global marketplace.

• The need for a proven approach to upgrade skills within budget and just in time — in order to achieve business success.

• The need to use a targeted approach to provide the right training, to the right learner, at the right time —- and, in the right modality.

The attributes you should require when selecting the Skills Assessment you will use are:

• That it is an integrated system designed to analyze, develop and assess facility training needs and will assign the right type of instruction to a specific task.

• That it provides the means to determine the right training for the right worker at the right time, using the right method.

• That it is scalable and customizable in order to address specific needs.

• That it is designed to enable organized learning within a specified period of time in order to enhance the development of all workers.

A Skills Assessment can optimize human performance as a key asset by aligning business strategy with the human performance side while, simultaneously, achieving the desired business goals and priorities. It will enhance the role of training in order to make it essential to the improvement of human performance — while, at the same time, utilizing proven methods, tools and techniques in order to drive the desired organizational goals. All this is accomplished by assessing the right type of instruction resulting from the valid assessment of facility training needs and assigning the right type of instruction to specific tasks.

The more knowledgeable trainers will routinely begin with a thorough Skills Assessment. Before initiating any training initiative, that should always be your starting point.

More on Wednesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder of ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)