An organization is as strong as its weakest link. For example, if an employees' performance is one of the contributors to a business's vulnerability, then learning how to conduct a quick training needs assessment is critical. Here's a step by step process on how to conduct a quick training needs assessment. The formal five-step approach requires you to (i) identify the training needs, (ii) determine the target groups, (iii) collect relevant data, (iv) review and assess the data, and (v) provide constructive feedback. You can incorporate some aspects of the five-step methodology with these quick and efficient Training Needs Assessment (TNA) approaches.
Step One - Review the Strategic Plan
Obtain and review a copy of the organization's strategic plan. Look for any training opportunities from the goals described in the plan. Some questions you will need to ask include the following:
- Is the organization going to launch any brand-new products and services?
- Will there be new technology implementation?
- Does the existing staff have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and behavioral competencies to handle the new products and services?
- Does the staff have the competencies to operate efficiently after the commissioning of the new technological systems?
The answer to these questions will now provide the basis for you to conduct a quick training needs assessment and determine the requirements to achieve the strategic goals.
Step Two – Review Departments' Operational Plans
You will want to meet with the heads of departments (HODs) to discuss the specific training needs of the individual staff members to achieve the departmental goals. Use an interview questionnaire to gather data from the HODs. Next, you will review each employee's personnel file and performance appraisal to determine their current skills level. Assess their skills level in relation to the needs of the department. Identify the gaps and develop both the corporate training plan and individual training plans.
Another significant aspect is to identify the key personnel that will be directly responsible for helping to achieve the important strategic initiatives. Determine the skills needed to achieve these critical objectives and list them. Identify the existing competencies of the key staff members and compare with those on the list. Once you are able to identify the gaps you can determine the training needs.
Step Three – Tools for gathering and Assessing Data
Interview Questionnaire – This template should include headings such as the name of department, manager, primary objectives and experience required. Information for each objective must be sorted and categorized under five areas, namely, what, who, how, where, and why.
TNA Master Plan – The following components are included in the master plan. Use a spreadsheet or a table to prepare and present this information.
- Table one shows the Key Members. List the names and position of these key members.
- Table two identifies and lists the Behavioral Skills Assessment. Column 1 shows names; column 2 shows current skill level; column 3 indicates required level. Use a rating scale of one to five to rate the skill levels.
- Table three and four classifies technical and computer skills respectively. Show the data as you would for table two.
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