Training Need Identification
Mitali Bhattacharya | June 06,2014 11:02 am IST
Training need identification is a tool utilized to identify what educational courses or activities should be provided to employees to improve their work productivity. Here the focus should be placed on needs as opposed to desires of the employees for a constructive outcome.
Inorder to emphasize the importance of training need identification we can focus on the following areas:-
• To pinpoint if training will make a difference in productivity and the bottom line.
• To decide what specific training each employee needs and what will improve his or her job performance.
• To differentiate between the need for training and organizational issues and bring about a match between individual aspirations and organizational goals.
Identification of training needs (ITN), if done properly, provides the basis on which all other training activities can be considered. Also requiring careful thought and analysis, it is a process that needs to be carried out with sensitivity as people's learning is important to them, and the reputation of the organization is also at stake.
Identification of training needs is important from both the organisational point of view as well as from an individual's point of view. From an organisation's point of view it is important because an organisation has objectives that it wants to achieve for the benefit of all stakeholders or members, including owners, employees, customers, suppliers, and neighbours. These objectives can be achieved only through harnessing the abilities of its people, releasing potential and maximising opportunities for development.
Therefore people must know what they need to learn in order to achieve organisational goals. Similarly if seen from an individual's point of view, people have aspirations, they want to develop and in order to learn and use new abilities, people need appropriate opportunities, resources, and conditions. Therefore, to meet people's aspirations, the organization must provide effective and attractive learning resources and conditions. And it is also important to see that there is a suitable match between achieving organizational goals and providing attractive learning opportunities.
Also in order to bring a synchronisation between organisational and individual objectives people need to question the way they do things. And this is precisely the hidden objective behind any training need identification process. It should ideally be a long-term process of encouraging employees to take an active involvement in their own development, thus increasing their commitment to learning, to their work, and to the organization as a whole.
Different Levels at which it is to be Conducted
Identification of training needs can be done at three levels to ascertain three kinds of needs: -
• Organisational Needs
These concern the performance of the organisation as a whole. Here identification of training needs is done to find out whether the organisation is meeting its current performance standards and objectives and if not, exploring ways in which training or learning might help it to do so. Sometimes organisational training needs are also identified when the organisation decides that it has to adopt a major new strategy, create a new product or service, undergo a large-scale change programme, or develop significant new relationships, such as joining with others to form new partnerships.
• Group Needs
Since working in groups and teams have become very much prevalent in today's corporate world that is why nowadays there is increased emphasis given on team effectiveness and team performance. So training needs are nowadays even identified at the group level. Training needs here are concerned basically with the performance of a particular group, which may be a team, department, function, sub-unit, or so on. Information about this group's performance may identify areas of need - which, again, may be for training or other interventions. It is used to find out how efficiently a particular team or group goes about its business and meets its current objectives.
• Individual Needs
These concern the performance of one or more individuals (as individuals, rather than as members of a group). Here identification of training needs is about finding out to what extent individuals need to learn or be trained in order to bring their current performance up to the required level as a result of changes in methods and processes that call for new competencies and skills.