Understanding the Needs Assessment Process
Why is it that businesses spend so much of their money on training programmes with no success? The reason for this is that they fail to provide the correct type of training suited best to their business and education of their employees.
The vital component to any type of training program is a needs assessment. It allows lying down the foundation for the program development and also sets the steps needed to guarantee success when applied.
What is a Needs- Assessment?
A needs assessment is a step by step guide in identifying the problem areas of a business and also a guide to help correct these. It incorporates a full analysis of the workplace itself plus the current knowledge, skills and abilities of the employees against the required and if theses are being met. So once the actual performance is measured against the needed level the correct training need can be designed, taught and corrected.
Why Conduct a Needs- Assessment?
The goal behind the whole process of a needs assessment is to prevent a band-aid solution and rather put in place a system that will cover the appropriate timeline, resources and energy needed to find the perfect solution. The next six points give validation as to why a needs assessment must be done:
1.) To Determine Whether Training is Needed
Poor management, lack of proper organization or inadequate equipment and resources may be the cause of the business poor performance. By undergoing a needs assessment it will help ascertain whether training is needed and prevent the mistake of applying a training solution to a non- training problem. Once this is established and training is required the problem areas can then be corrected.
2.) To Determine Causes of Poor Performance
As discussed there can be many reasons as to why there is poor performance within the workplace. Is the problem coming from management or the employees? Are managers ‘managing’ their employees correctly? Are they aware of what levels of knowledge, skills and ability are needed for each position? Do the employees know what is expected of them? Poor communication will lead to lack of motivation, poor management, and inadequate performance leading to friction in the workplace. A needs assessment targets the performance and which areas need to be corrected.
3.) To Determine Content & Scope of Training
Once problem areas are identified a need assessment will help determine what training is required to achieve positive results. Should it be an individual self-study, a department workshop (team – building)? How long is needed to cover the information productively? Will it be a short term or on going training program?
4.) Determine Desired Training Outcomes
The assessment will allow the business to decide as to what each individual’s skills, knowledge and attitude will be required for heir position. This will definitely help create a program that creates results.
5.) To Provide Basis Of Measurement
The needs assessment forms a basis against which results can be measured.
6.) To Gain Management Support
Make sure to involve the your management team, in creating training programs which target their specific needs and this in turn will find you the needed help and support to ensure success.