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Do You Have a Real Training Need?

When there is a performance problem, one of the solutions that pops up is providing training to employees, hoping to teach them skills and techniques that improve performance.

Once the training topic is named, training is designed and delivered to employees. Encouraging figures are then presented, in numbers of training sessions, training hours, and happy sheet evaluation, to show the training results.

Is training the most suitable method to solve it?


But the fundamental question is: Have we really identified the root cause of the performance problem? Is training the most suitable method to solve it? Unfortunately, the answer is probably “No”. Performance problem persists despite the resources and time invested in training.

Back to the beginning, training may or may not be the right solutions to the performance problem. But one thing can be sure, some kinds of assessment or analysis should be conducted before jumping into providing training.

 

Conduct Organizational Analysis to Save Time and Cost

Instead of wasting time and resources in designing and delivering ineffective training courses, training professionals should take an active role in the decision making process, analyzing and assessing the organizational needs before jumping into training solutions too soon. Being a business partner, evident-based advices should be presented to management, to convince them an integrated training solution that relate to the organizational goals and strategy, which is a more effective approach to tackle the performance problem. To achieve this, you will need to start with the “Organizational Analysis”.

 

Here are some tips for you to begin with an “Organizational Analysis”:

First, try to answer the questions below:
1. How can the organizational goals be translated into training objectives or criteria?
2. Where is training most needed to support future business growth?
3. What do the stakeholders (management and department managers) expect their employees to develop?
4. Is training the effective way to overcome the organizational problems concerned?
5. Is top management willing to commit the necessary resources for the training?

Second, an effective organizational analysis should consider:
1. Organizational goals
2. Organizational resources
3. Organizational culture

The below 5 steps are recommended to gather relevant data:
1. Align business goals with training goals to determine training directions and estimate return on investment
2. Establish an employee inventory to measure human resource scope and gap
3. Establish a skill inventory to identify knowledge and skill gap to fulfill business needs
4. Gather customer satisfaction data – identify gaps between ideal and actual performance
5. Administer employee survey to determine organization’s culture, norm, values and behaviors desired

 

Conclusion

Training has always been mistaken as a quick fix to performance problem. In reality, it is much more complicated than we think. By conducting an “Organizational Analysis” in a professional manner, training professionals proactively take up the role of business partner, help aligning organizational goals with training plans, and achieve better allocation of time and resources in the training solutions that really matter. By doing so, stakeholders across the organization will also be more participative and supportive to you.

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Related articles:
Training needs assessment

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<Further Reading>

Training Needs Assessment (TNA)

4 Goal Setting Tips for 2020

 

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Author:

Leo Ng

Consultant (Assessment & Analysis)

I/O Psychologist