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Definition Of Need:
Before delving deep into need assessment, it is of
paramount importance to know, what is the meaning of
Need- The concept of need refers to a discrepancy or
gap between what an organization expects to
happen and what actually occurs.
Various Types of Needs
Factors that can prevent problems from occurring
Identify new or better ways to do things
Mandated by law or regulation
A process by which an organization’s HRD needs are
identified and articulated.
a) an organizations goals and its effectiveness in reaching
b) Gaps between current skills and the skills needed to
perform the job successfully.
c) Gaps between employees’ skills and the skills required for
effective current job performance.
d) The conditions under which the HRD activity will occur.
“There is nothing so useless as doing
efficiently that which should not be done at
- Peter F. Drucker
Through needs assessment, we try to answer
1. Need for the needs assessment,
2. Accomplishment of type of learning,
3. Expected changes in the behavior and
4. Probability of achieving the results,
5. Cost benefit analysis of HRD solutions.
6. Root causes of performance gaps
Levels of Need Assessment
1. Organizational analysis
Where is training needed and under what conditions?
2. Task analysis
What must be done to perform the job effectively?
3. Individual analysis.
Who should be trained and how?
It looks at the effectiveness of the organization and
determines where training is needed and under what
conditions it will be conducted.
Ties HRD programs to corporate or organizational goals
Strengthens the link between profit and HRD actions
Strengthens corporate support for HRD
Makes HRD more of a revenue generator
Not a profit waster
Source of Organizational
Quality of Working Life indicators
It provides data about a job or a group of jobs and the
knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities needed to
achieve optimum performance.
How to Collect Information
For a Task Analysis
Observe the job/sample the work.
Perform the job.
Job inventory questionnaire.
Review literature about the job.
Ask questions about the job.
Analysis of operating problems.
It analyzes how well the individual employee is doing
the job and determines which employees need training
and of what kind.
Based on many sources of data
Determine overall success of the individual
Discover reasons for performance
SOURCES FOR INDIVIDUAL ANALYSIS
Checklists or training progress charts.
FOUR STEPS TO CONDUCTING A
STEP 1. PERFORM A "GAP" ANALYSIS.
The first step is to check the actual performance of our
organizations and our people against existing
standards, or to set new standards.
There are two parts to this:
Desired or necessary situation
The difference the "gap" between the current and the
necessary will identify our needs, purposes, and
FOUR STEPS TO CONDUCTING A NEEDS
STEP 2. IDENTIFY PRIORITIES AND IMPORTANCE
It must be seen whether the identified needs are real, if they
are worth addressing, and specify their importance and
urgency in view of organizational needs and requirements (1).
For example (2):
If some of our needs are of relatively low importance, we would
do better to devote our energies to addressing other human
performance problems with greater impact and greater value.
FOUR STEPS TO CONDUCTING A
Step 3. IDENTIFY CAUSES OF PERFORMANCE
PROBLEMS AND/OR OPPORTUNITIES.
We must know what our performance requirements are,
if appropriate solutions are to be applied. We should ask
two questions for every identified need: (3)
Are our people doing their jobs effectively?
Do they know how to do their jobs?
This will require detailed investigation and analysis of
our people, their jobs, and our organizations -- both for
the current situation and in preparation for the future.
FOUR STEPS TO CONDUCTING A NEEDS
Step 4. IDENTIFY POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND GROWTH
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
But if our people ARE NOT doing their jobs effectively:
TRAINING may be the solution, if there is a knowledge
Organizational Development activities may provide
solutions when the problem is not based on a lack of
knowledge and is primarily associated with systematic
change. These interventions might include strategic
planning, organization restructuring, performance
management and/or effective team building.
Figuring out what is really needed
Not always an easy task
Needs lots of input
Takes a lot of work
“Do it now or do lots more later”
First step in both the ISD and HRD process models
Phase Two: Designing the Training
or HRD Intervention
Key activities include:
Selecting the trainer or vendor
Developing lesson plans
Selecting methods and techniques
Werner & DeSimone (2006) 25
Increase upper body strength
Assemble a chair
Catch a football pass
Graduate from college
Werner & DeSimone (2006) 26
Conditions under which performance is done – e.g.,
… using standard conditioning equipment
… using a screwdriver and hammer
… at a full run under man-to-man coverage
… without cheating or outside help
Werner & DeSimone (2006) 27
The level of acceptable performance – e.g.,
… by 25 percent within one year
… within one hour without mistakes
… at least 80% of the time without penalties
… within 5 years and with a “B” average
Werner & DeSimone (2006) 28
“Make or Buy” Decisions
You cannot be an expert on everything
You can’t afford to maintain a full-time staff for once-a-
You can’t afford the time or money to build all of your
own training programs
Implication: Much training is purchased, rather than
Werner & DeSimone (2006) 29
Factors to Consider Before
Purchasing an HRD Program
Level of expertise available/required
Number of trainees
Size of HRD organization
“X” Factor (other conditions)
Werner & DeSimone (2006) 30
Other Factors to Consider
Philosophical match (between vendor and
EIGHT POINT STRATEGY FOR
Jerry Gillet and Seteven Eggland (2002) identified for
managers of HRD an eight-point strategy for designing
cost-effective, reputable HRD programs that can
survive economic crises and internal/external changes
affecting the organization.
Establish a written HRD philosophy.
Establish HRD policy.
Obtain support of top management.
Integrate HRD into the long-range organizational
Conduct extensive needs assessments.
Establish criteria for participation in HRD programs.
Be introspective but focus on results.
The Learning Pyramid
By Permission: Yin (2004)
Training Delivery Methods
Three basic categories:
Off- the- Job Training
Note: Computer-based training can be in a classroom,
On-the-Job Training (OJT)
Job instruction training (JIT)
Prepare the worker , Present the task, Practice the task, Follow up.
Train on different task/ positions, often used to train entry level managers, To
provide back up in production position.
Between worker and supervisor. Can provide specific performance
improvement and correction.
senior employee paired with a junior employee (“protégé”), Helps to learn the
ropes, Prepares protégé for future advancement
This occurs when employees are taken away from
their place of work to be trained. Common
methods of off-the-job training include:
Distance learning / evening classes
Block release courses
Sponsored courses in higher education
Classroom Training Approaches
Five basic types:
Lecture - Oral presentation of material ,Some visual
aids can be added, Remains a very popular training
method, Interesting lectures can work well, Good to
supplement with other materials.
Discussion - Two-way communication,Use questions
to control lesson, Direct: produce narrow responses,
Reflective: mirror what was said, Open-Ended:
challenge learners – to increase understanding
Experimental Methods - Case studies, Business game
simulations, Role Playing, Behavior Modeling,
Self-Paced or Computer-Based Training
Brings visual senses (seeing) into play, along with audio
STATIC MEDIA- Printed materials, Lecture notes, Work aids, Handouts
DYNAMIC MEDIA- Audio cassettes, CDs, Film, Videotape, Video disc
TELECOMMUNICATIONS- Instructional TV, Teleconferencing,
Interactive with user
Training when and where user wants it
Trainee has greater control over progress
CBT can provide progress reports and be tailored
to specific instructional objectives
Trainee works on own with minimal facilitation by
instructor who is elsewhere
Internal to site/organization
Needs assessment, administration, testing
Distribution of CBT
Delivery of multimedia
EVALUATION OF Training
Evaluation of HRD Program helps in gauging the
degree to which a training (or other HRD program)
achieves its intended purpose.
In other words it measures the effectiveness of the
EVALUATION OF Training
“The systematic collection of descriptive and
judgmental information necessary to make
effective training decisions related to the selection,
adoption, value, and modification of various
“Any attempt to obtain information (feedback) on
the effect of training program and to assess the
value of training in the light of that information
for improving further training.”
Effectiveness of HRD Program:
a) The degree to which a training (or other HRD program)
achieves its intended purpose
b) Measures are relative to some starting point
c) Measures how well the desired goal is achieved
In other words:
Are we training:
a) the right people
b) the right “stuff”
c) the right way
d) with the right materials
e) at the right time
Before Training: The learner's skills and knowledge are assessed
before the training program. During the start of training, candidates
generally perceive it as a waste of resources because at most of the
times candidates are unaware of the objectives and learning outcomes
of the program. Once aware, they are asked to give their opinions on
the methods used and whether those methods confirm to the
candidates preferences and learning style.
During Training: It is the phase at which instruction is started. This
phase usually consist of short tests at regular intervals
After Training: It is the phase when learner’s skills and
knowledge are assessed again to measure the effectiveness of the
training. This phase is designed to determine whether training has
had the desired effect at individual department and organizational
levels. There are various evaluation techniques for this phase.
Purposes of Evaluation:
Determine whether the program is meeting the
Identify strengths and weaknesses
Determine cost-benefit ratio
Identify who benefited most or least
Determine future participants
Provide information for improving HRD programs
Reinforce major points to be made
Gather marketing information
Determine if training program is appropriate
Establish management database
The Training Evaluation should involve:
a) senior management
b) the trainer
c) line management
d) the training manager
e) the trainee
Models and Frameworks of Evaluation
There are six frameworks for evaluation
4. Kraiger, Ford & Salas
The most popular is that of D. Kirkpatrick:
A Suggested Framework
Did trainees like the training?
Did the training seem useful?
How much did they learn?
What behavior change occurred?
What were the tangible outcomes?
What was the return on investment (ROI)?
What was the contribution to the organization?
Advantages and Disadvantages
Methods Advantages Disadvantages
1. Interview •Flexible
•Opportunity for clarification
•High Reactive effects
•Face-to-Face Threat Potential
•Trained Observers Needed
2. Questionnaire •Low cost
•Respondent Sets Pace
•Variety Of Options
•Possibly Inaccurate Data
•Return Rate Beyond Control
3. Observation •Non- Threatening
•Excellent way to Measure Behavior
•Reactive Effect Probable
•Trained Observers Needed
4. Written Test •Low Purchase Cost
•Readily Scored and Quickly
•Wide Sampling Possible
•Possible low Relation to Job
•Reliance on Norms May Distort
5. Simulation/ Performance Test •Reliable
•Close Relation to Job Performance
•Simulation often Difficult and
Ethical Issues Concerning
b) Informed consent
c) Withholding training from control groups
d) Use of deception
e) Pressure to produce positive results
Evaluation of Training Costs
• Cost-benefit analysis
• Compares cost of training to benefits gained such as
attitudes, reduction in accidents, reduction in employee sick-
• Cost-effectiveness analysis
• Focuses on increases in quality, reduction in scrap/rework,
Types of Training Costs
a) Direct costs
b) Indirect costs
c) Development costs
d) Overhead costs
e) Compensation for participants
Problems with the
Misuse of the terms “evaluation” and “evaluating
Failure to explicitly address the different purposes
for evaluating HRD activities
Narrow view of stakeholders and their agendas
Outdated range of subjects for HRD evaluation
Insufficient research methods (definition of units
of analysis and tools for understanding them)
HRD Evaluation Steps
Determine explicit evaluation strategy.
Insist on specific and measurable training
Obtain participant reactions.
Develop criterion measures/instruments to measure
Plan and execute evaluation strategy.
Benefits of Evaluation
Improved quality of training activities
Improved ability of the trainers to relate inputs to outputs
Better discrimination of training activities between those that are
worthy of support and those that should be dropped
Better integration of training offered and on-the job development
Better co-operation between trainers and line-managers in the
development of staff
Evidence of the contribution that training and development are
making to the organization
Reduction in preventable accidents measured
Reduction in scrap/rework measured in cost of labor and
Gent, Michael J. and Gregory G. Dell'Omo. "The Needs
Assessment Solution." Personnel Administrator, July
McGehee, W. and P-W. Thayer. Training in Business
and Industry. New York: Wiley, 1961.
Werner and DeSimone ,Human Resource
Development: Foundation. Framework and
Application , 2006 edition[Reprint 2008]
Brinkerhoff, R.O., Achieving Results from Training,
Jossey-Bass Inc., San Francisco, 1987, p. 39.
Zemke, R., & Gunkler, J., "Using Small Group
Techniques for Needs Assessment, Data Gathering,
and other Heinous Acts", seminar notes, American
Society for Training and Development Southern
Minnesota Chapter, Minneapolis, July 9, 1985.
Margolis, F.H., and Bell, C.R., Understanding Training:
Perspectives & Practices, University Associates, San
Diego, 1989, pp 13-15.
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[Accessed on 10th July, 2011]
[Accessed on 11th July, 2011]