The Importance of Training Needs Analysis

Introduction

Training needs analysis can be described as a process of collecting and processing data to analyze if there is a need for training. Its goal is to verify if there is a knowledge gap between the workers in the company, and how this issue can be solved. Denby (2010) states that training “can help to expand the scope of available skills within the workforce as well as improve on the existing expertise” (p. 147). This means that training has a positive effect on the overall state of the company. It can dramatically improve the productivity and performance levels of the workers.

Information about the Organization

MDS Corporation is a delivery services company. Currently, it employs 3000 workers. Various positions require different knowledge and skills. The company provides all kinds of delivery services, and it is in the business for five years already. The organization is relatively young, but it already has a history. There are numerous competitors on the market, and the company currently faces some troubles. The management team is looking for ways to reduce the average time of delivery. The organization plans to start using new computer software. Such software is needed to manage the orders, and it helps to maintain the database. However, there is a possibility that many workers do not have enough knowledge to be efficient with this software.

Training Issue and Expected Performance

A goal should be selected before any training needs analysis is conducted. A company should set a list of expected outcomes, and it will help to figure out if the training was successful or not. The success of the process is extremely dependent on the method of collecting information. Two methods were picked to assess the need for training. Specialists have developed a series of questions that address core problems in the organization. Four hundred questionnaires were distributed among the workers. Training needs analysis can be much easier to conduct if computer software is being used. Collected data was typed into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and analyzed by experts. According to processed data, seventy percent of respondents think that they have sufficient training to do their job. Eighty percent of those who took a questionnaire believe that they lack the knowledge to use new computer software that a company plans to start using from the beginning of next year.

Sixty percent of respondents are not ready to start using new technologies and may need additional training. Another benefit of questionnaire analysis is that it allows a company to figure out which training is not necessary, and it is quite helpful when an organization is trying to minimize expenses on training. Some workers were also interviewed to have a better understanding of the current situation in the company. An employee of MDS Corporation should be competent and have the necessary skills to perform the tasks. According to the analysis of the collected data, there is indeed a performance gap that should be solved with intensive training. This is a relatively new process for the organization and expenses are extremely limited. It will be focused on a selected group of individuals that are in most need of training. It will be a small group of two hundred people that currently does not meet the KSA requirements of the company. These employees currently do not have the needed knowledge and experience to work with particular computer software, and it should be corrected.

Based on the results of training, a company is going to evaluate if it was successful or not and if further training is required. The training is organized to fill the knowledge gaps between workers (Scott & Doverspike, 2005). It can be performed by both external and internal experts. Currently, MDS Corporation does not employ any internal trainers. A company may face some difficulties because “external trainers and consultants can experience significant challenges when they rely upon TNAs which have been conducted before their involvement with the organization” (Bowman & Wilson, 2008, p. 38). This means that external experts should be contacted beforehand. The target training group will take courses that should help them to improve their knowledge of computer software. Computer-based training is also going to be extensively used because it has proven to be an exceptionally efficient method. Such training should help to resolve this significant problem, and it will be easier for workers to manage orders.

Conclusion

In conclusion, training needs analysis is quite important to identify the needs of training, and figure out the overall strategy to solve the issue of a knowledge gap. In many organizations “there is a predominant tendency to think of training in terms of courses only, and this has been reinforced by the role played to date by the training function” (Reed & Vakola, 2006, p. 394). This means that it should not be forgotten that courses are not the only type of training. Overall, training needs analysis is a crucial process for any organization, and it can help to increase the performance of the workforce.

References

Bowman, J., & Wilson, P.J. (2008). Different roles, different perspectives: perceptions about the purpose of training needs analysis. Industrial and Commercial Training, 40(1), 38-41.

Denby, S. (2010). The importance of training needs analysis. Industrial and Commercial Training, 42(3), 147-150.

Reed, J., & Vakola, M. (2006). What role can a training needs analysis play in organizational change? Journal of Organizational Change Management, 19(3), 393-407.

Scott, M., & Doverspike, C. (2005). Training needs analysis and evaluation for new technologies through the use of Problemā€based Inquiry. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 18(1), 110-124.