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Determining training needs in human resources

Determining training needs in human resources

Determining training needs in human resources

Objectives of training needs analysis in human resources

The Human Resource Management department has always focused on the idea that the process of continuous learning is beneficial to the employees, as it keeps their skills up to date and improves their performance.

However, before employees are introduced to a training program, a training needs analysis must first be conducted. This analysis is a systematic process of determining the type of training required for employees and providing details related to the implementation of training to improve their performance in the company.

The role of training needs analysis in human resource management is mainly to understand the difference or gap between the current performance and the required performance of the employee and to provide information about:

  • Which employee needs training?
  • What type of training is required?
  • How can the company design an effective training program for these employees?
  • What will be the impact of this training on the employee's performance?
  • What are the costs and resources required for these training programmes?

Training needs analysis is always a first step towards helping an employee improve his or her work output.

Methodology for identifying training needs

Understanding and identifying training needs in an organization requires:

  • Understanding the nature of the work and improving the performance that the organization needs and identifying the work need by  setting  the priorities of the organization.
  • Analyzing the training needs of employees and linking performance improvement with the skills, capabilities and competencies required for work.
  • Find out exactly what training courses the employee needs or what set of skills he needs to learn.
  • Designing an appropriate training program to bridge the current gap between the organization's outputs and the goals to be achieved.

Understanding the nature of work

This part focuses on understanding the objectives and priorities of the institution, both general and the various departments, so that the training officer can evaluate the training options that he will obtain through the next step.

Analysis of staff training needs

This step is called gap analysis, where the training needs of employees are determined based on the type of job for the employee and the analysis that needs to be done to understand the skills gaps in the company. Here are some of the common training need analysis methods used in the corporate world:

  • Direct observation

Training managers can begin to observe the performance and work style of employees in different work situations, and with the help of this observation the training manager begins to collect information about performance gaps.

The observation process includes observing the technical methodology followed by the employee to perform the job and the behavioral aspects of the employee.

  • Interviews with employees

The training manager can conduct face-to-face interviews with employees to understand the way in which the job tasks are performed, and interviews are one of the effective ways to collect information about the gaps between outputs and goals, and interviews can take place with a person or a team and can be held in the form of a formal meeting or It is informal, and can also take place via virtual means.

The information collected can identify gaps that the organization needs to address. The company and its employees can benefit from new training opportunities as a result of the training needs assessment.

  • Focus groups and brainstorming

Brainstorming groups are useful for understanding skill gaps among employees. In these groups, employees are encouraged to talk and discuss ways to improve work performance.

These discussions are closely observed by the Training Manager to understand the training requirements of the organization or company.

In contrast to one-on-one interviews, focus groups and brainstorming work best with a department or group of employees who have similar training needs.

Participants brainstorm all the training needs they can think of and write them down on flipchart paper, then each person is presented with five dots or sticky notes, and employers must provide the number of dots or sticky notes that will work best for the organisation.

Each individual puts his points or sticky notes on the training ideas that he thinks are most important, and the individual can choose to put one point on five different items, or put five points on one training item.

  • Polls

Evaluations and surveys can be used to identify deficiencies in performance within a particular department, and surveys are one of the most effective ways to understand the training needs of employees in any department.

The questionnaire can consist of a combination of open and closed questions along with some ranking and projection questions. To improve the credibility of the questionnaire, employees are allowed to submit answers anonymously.

  • Customer note

In most of the service industry, performance deficiencies are identified using customer feedback. Direct feedback from the client indicates the specific work area that needs improvement.

Evaluation of training options in human resources

After sufficient information has been collected from employees or customers, or a gap analysis has been conducted, several training options and needs must be identified, and then each need is evaluated based on the company's current and future goals and priorities.

A scale of 1 to 3 can be used with 1 being the most important option, followed by 2 being the least important and 3 being the least important option.

  • Cost calculation

The training cost factor is important that must be weighed in importance when determining training options. Depending on the situation, an organization may be willing to invest a significant amount in one training but not in the others listed given organizational and financial priorities.

The total cost of training is calculated according to the following formula:

Number of employees trained x training cost = total training cost

  • return on investment

 Return on investment (ROI) is a calculation that shows the value of expenses related to training and development, and can also be used to show how long it will take for these activities to pay for themselves and provide a return on investment for the organization.

  • legal compliance

 If any of the vulnerability analysis training needs are legally required by federal, state or industry laws, or to maintain employee licenses or certifications, these trainings will be of high priority.

  • time

 Sometimes, the amount of time it takes to build capacity within an organization will affect its operational needs, as it can interfere with the ability of employees to complete other job duties.

In this case, it may be better to hire talent from outside the organization or outsource the task to fill skill gaps. In other cases such as succession planning, the organization can take on a long-term commitment to building capacity from within.

  • Stay competitive

 Perhaps there is minimal knowledge or competencies in a new product or service that negatively affects the company's revenue, and the business owner can provide the necessary training to his employees so that the new product or service generates or exceeds the required revenue.

In this case, the company benefits from increased revenue and thus outweighs the cost of training.

After assessing all training needs/options, the HR generalist will have a list of training priorities for individual employees, departments, or the organization as a whole.

Report training needs and recommend training plans

The final step in identifying training needs is to report the results from the training needs assessment, and make recommendations for short- and long-term training plans and budgets, starting with the most important priorities from a list of training options.

If there is  a schedule  for any of the trainings such as a deadline to meet training obligations for legal compliance purposes then budget and schedule them accordingly.

The report should include a summary of why and how the assessment was completed, the methods used, the people involved, training recommendations and a general timeline.

Focus points of the final report include:

  • Will the training be done internally or is it better to send the staff to third parties?
  • Is it better to bring in a coach for a specific internal group of employees?
  • Training can be done online.
  • Is it better to bring all employees in one group, or is it better to divide them into groups.
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