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Welcome HRM207 Human Resources Learning and Development Week 3,

(Based on Noe and Winkler, 2009)


Todays Agenda
Lecture Needs assessment - Introduction - 3 levels of needs assessment - Needs assessment techniques - Conclusion

Needs assessment refers to the process of determining learning needs and opportunities and whether training is necessary.

The performance Gap

Potential Consequences if Needs Assessment is Inadequate

Training may be incorrectly used as a solution to a performance problem Training programs may have the wrong content, objectives or methods Trainees may be sent to training programs for which they do not have the basic skills, prerequisite skills or confidence needed to learn Training may not deliver the expected learning, behaviour change or financial results that the company expects Money may be spent on training programs that are unnecessary because they are unrelated to the companys business strategy

Who should be involved?

Senior managers Middle Managers Supervisors Training and Development practitioners Content experts Job incumbents

Key Concerns in Needs Assessment

3 Levels of Needs Assessment

1. Organisational
2. Departmental or Functional 3. Individual


Analysis of strengths and weaknesses

What organisational resources and capabilities do we have that give (or have the potential to give us) a strategic advantage?

What knowledge/skills/attitudes are we lacking?


Analysis of opportunities and threats

What strategic opportunities exist outside of the organisation that we need training or development to take advantage of? What external threats to our strategic goals exist that can be mitigated by training?


Analysis of organisational HR plans

Number of people required Type of people required When and where required


Departmental or Functional


Analysis of departmental/functional HR plans

Promotions Redeployments Better use of staff (upskilling)


Special training surveys

Managers, Supervisors (subordinates) Questionnaires, Interviews, Both


Occupational Job Analysis

- desired abilities of occupational group

Select occupational group of jobs Develop preliminary list of tasks Validate list (including prioritise) Identify knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for each task




Individual Job Analysis

- job as it is now

Select job Develop preliminary list of tasks Validate list (including prioritise) Identify knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for each task


Competency models
Job Analysis Job (tasks, duties, responsibilities) + Employee specifications (knowledge, skills, attitudes) Competency Models areas of personal capability that enable employees to successfully perform their jobs by achieving outcomes or successfully performing tasks, Competencies comprised of knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, personal characteristics.
better aligned with goals focus on commonality rather than difference greater application more flexible facilitates performance management

Competency models
Identify job/position Identify (changes in) business strategy Identify effective v ineffective performers Identify competencies of effective v ineffective performers Validate model Example - Core Executive Leadership Competencies Creates Vision and Gives Direction Develops People Manages Resources and Risk Promotes and Achieves Quality Outcomes Understands Relationships


Performance Management
The essence of performance management in analysing training and development needs lies in the comparison that it affords between an individuals job performance and the standards or objectives that have been developed for the individuals position.

Pressure points: substandard or poor performance. job changes


Readiness for training

Refers to whether: employees have the personal characteristics necessary to learn program content and apply it on the job. the work environment will facilitate learning and not interfere with performance.
Input Situational constraints Social support Output Awareness of performance standards/ levels of proficiency Consequences Performance rewards Benefits of training

Individual Literacy Cognitive ability Self-efficacy

Feedback Frequent specific feedback


Is training the answer?

If the employees lack the knowledge and skills to perform and the other factors are satisfactory, training is needed.
If the employees have the knowledge and skills to perform but input, output, consequences or feedback are inadequate, training may not be the best solution.


Needs Assessment Techniques


Generates data relevant to work environment Minimises interruption of work

Needs skilled observer Employees behaviour may be affected by being observed


Inexpensive Can collect data from a large number of persons Data easily summarised

Requires time Possible low return rates, inappropriate responses Lacks detail Only provides information directly related to questions asked


Needs Assessment Techniques

Technique Interviews Advantages Good at uncovering details of training needs Good at uncovering causes and solutions of problems Can explore unanticipated issues that come up Questions can be modified Useful with complex or controversial issues that one person may be unable or unwilling to explore Questions can be modified to explore unanticipated issues Disadvantages Time consuming Difficult to analyse Needs skilled interviewer Can be threatening to content experts, who only provide information they think you want to hear

Focus groups

Time consuming to organise Group members provide information they think you want to hear Status or position differences may limit participation


Needs Assessment Techniques

Technique Advantages Disadvantages

Documentation (technical manuals and records)

Good source of information on procedure Objective Good source of task information for new jobs and jobs in the process of being created
Objective Minimises work interruption Limited people input

Technical language may be difficult to understand Materials may be obsolete

Online technology (software)

May threaten employees Potential to misuse information Requires interaction by computer or phone



Limited Scope Needs Assessment

Time constraints and costs can limit the length and detail of a needs assessment. Solutions: Limit scope to size and impact of pressure point.

Use existing data

Anticipate needs


The interconnection of the levels and methods of needs assessment


Recap of today Any questions?