Sep 1, 2006

Training & Organizational Development: Needs Assessments

On the Workforce Management Community Center:

Training Needs Assessments

There is no one correct way to do a training needs assessment .

Using the language of systems-thinking one would say that delay or time lag during TNA gives rise to a vicious cycle of spiralling learning gaps and loss of credibility for the training function.

Most training professionals are ignorant of adult learning theories and even basic educational theories like Bloom's taxonomy. So if the business unit was a training on operational level of a certain skill and if the training manager organizes an awareness level programme only then the training function again loses credibility.

Most professionals feel that being 'business outsiders' they do not have the expertise of the subject matter. I believe that subject matter expertise is not needed for a training professional but a 'process expertise' in the domain of learning theories.

The other problem is of training and business professionals who believe that training is the solution of all their ills, the panacea to their problems. Typically, these are similar to the workman who has a hammer, and to whom all problems look like nails.

Most form of classroom training has limited impact unless followed up with other changes on the workspace, especially for soft skills and behavioural issues. The more intense the issue the more useless is training as a standalone intervention. It has to be sustained by structural and process changes in the work place.

Training should not be carried out at an activity level but be immersed in business to deliver business results.

I think the approach for training professionals is taking the Human Performance Technology approach!

Also Check the training competency model here