Needs Analysis: The Who, What, When and Where of Training Essay

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Needs Analysis: The Who, What, When and Where of Training In a nutshell, (needs) analysis is the planning we do in order to figure out what to do. Allison Rossett, 1999 Needs analysis is the systematic basis for decisions about how to influence performance (Stout, 1995). This is where it all begins -- establishing relationships, exploring strategies, and defining solutions. The key is to seek the gap between the current situation and the desired situation and then to focus resources where they're most needed. The analysis must determine root causes. For example, a question about why something doesn't or won't work is just as critical as what people do and do not know. Needs assessment then is a study conducted to…show more content…
These problems are usually caused by new hires, promotions, transfers, appraisals, or the introduction of new technologies (Clark, 1998). Training departments must act rapidly when problems arise that might require a training solution. They must first, investigate the problem. A training need exists when an employee lacks the knowledge or skill to perform an assigned task satisfactorily. It also arises when there is a variation between what the employee is expected to do on the job and the employee’s actual job performance. Implementing a training needs analysis is a major organizational task. The process often requires input from job holders, managers and training personnel and therefore needs to be carefully structured and directed. The analysis of results gathered is also an involved task and demands a good level of skill and understanding. A needs analysis answers the questions who, what, when, and where but not how, that is, the target audience (who needs to be trained), the task or content (what needs to be taught) and the context or training environment (where and when the training needs to be conducted) (Clark, 1998). Allison Rossett lists five essential components of a needs assessment: actuals, optimals, feelings, causes and solutions (Dick & Carey, 1996). The purpose of an assessment is to acquire information on each of these components in order to verify a need and identify possible
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