Jacob John Panicker
• Why is identification of need of employee training and development crucial
for an organization?
• How can the needs for training and developing employees be identified?
• What are the common tools for identifying training and development
A training and development needs assessment may be defined as the
process of identifying problems that are signaled by deficiencies in
compliance with standards or external requirements and that can be resolved
wholly or partly by training and development programme. It’s a step by step
1. Problem Identification
The sorts of problems that lend themselves to solution by means of
training include the following.
Problems may be identified through review of records, actual problem
faced or, more broadly, through the failure to meet organizational goals.
Problems can be anticipated.
2. Problem Analysis
The next step is to analyze the problems so that necessary training may
be identified. Problem analysis involves collecting information about the
problem so that its causes can be determined. It also requires determining an
appropriate standard, which should be met.
3. Determining Solution
If training is the solution or part of the solution, the particular training
needs must be identified. What combination of skills and knowledge is
required and whom?
4. Setting Priorities and Goals
Once training and development needs have been clearly identified,
the next step is to set priorities and objectives. Consideration must be given to
the relative urgency of various training needs, taking into account factors such
as the relative severity of consequences should no training is undertaken, the
frequency with which problems are likely to occur.
“Training Need Assessment (identification) is the systematic effort that we
make to gather opinions and ideas from a variety of sources on performance
problems or new systems and technologies”.
--Allison Rossett: 1987-Objectives of TNI
• To determine whether training is needed.
• To determine causes of poor performance.
• To determine desired training and development outcomes.
• To provide basis of measurement.
• To gain management support.
A training need exists when there is a gap between what is required of
an employee to perform their work competently and what they actual know
as depicted below.
PROCESS OF TNI
Organizational needs assessment: Analysis of environment, strategies and
resources to determine where to emphasize training.
Task needs assessment: Analysis of the activities to be performed in order to
determine needed competencies.
Employee needs assessment: Analysis of performance, knowledge, and skills in
order to determine who needs training.
• Problem Identification: Firstly the problem or problem areas need to be
identified for appropriate training intervention.
• Design of needs analysis: The design of the needs analysis is to be
determined in order to identify appropriate method for training and
• Data collection of needs: This step pertains to collecting data of training and
• Data analysis: After collection of data, it needs to be carefully analyzed.
Quantitative & qualitative analysis are undertaken to interpret the raw data.
• Providing feedback: Feedback should be provided to the management
either through a written or through oral presentation.
• Developing action plan: here, an action plan is developed to meet the
identified needs of training and development of employees.
TNI OCCURS AT TWO LEVEL
• At the individuals level
Identification begins with the job description. This will provide a list of the
skills and knowledge required. It can be compared with the actual skills and
knowledge that the jobholder processes.
managers will also be able to identify training for their subordinates.
One of the best ways of achieving this is through the appraisal interview,
where agreed training needs can be identified.
• At the organizational level
Training needs may be identified through the performance appraisal
system. This may provide the key channel for feeding back individual needs.
The information should be processed by human resource development
department in order to plan the overall needs of the organization.
TOOLS/METHODS FOR TNI
• Tools/ Methods for identifying training and development needs depend on
the scope of the assessment and on available resources. All or some of the
following methods may be used:
1. Documentation review: various workplace process and inspection reports
can be examined to determine problems faced in workplace, which has
bearing, and needs.
2. Specific analysis: various investigation reports of external agencies such as
buyers, statutory authorities and job and task analyses may be examined
for their specific relevance to the problem in question.
3. Observation: Observation of work samples of supervisors, workers and
others be used to assess attitudes and perceived problem areas.
4. Surveys: Surveys are usually in the form of a questionnaire.
5. Interviews: Interviews may be formal or informal.
6. Suggestion box: A suggestion box is a very basic needs assessment tool.
7. Meetings, reports, newsletters: Attending meetings, and reading the
organizational news letter can be useful to find out about new programs
and services, and new directions the organization is taking, in order to
anticipate the need for collecting certain subject areas.
8. CQI/ TQM process: Any of the aforementioned tools may be used in the
continuous quality improvement process to uncover areas in need of
improvement and to measure progress toward improvement.