Training Need Analysis:
o Training Need Assessment
o Philosophy of Training
o Need for employee training and development
o Areas of training
o Issues of employee training
Training Need Assessment
Training efforts must aim at meeting the requirements of the organizations (long –
term) and the individual employees (short-term). This involves finding answers to
questions such as: Whether training is needed? If yes, where it is needed? Which
training is needed? Once we identify training gaps within the organisation, it
becomes easy to design an appropriate training programme. Training needs can be
identified through the following types of analysis (Thayer & McGhee Model):
1) Organisational analysis: It involves a study of the entire
organization in terms of its objectives, its resources, the utilization
of these resources, in order to achieve stated objectives and its
interaction pattern with environment. The important elements that
are closely examined in this connection are:
Analysis of objectives:
This is a study of short term and long-term objectives and the
strategies followed at various levels to meet these objectives.
Resource utilisation analysis:
How the various organisational resources (human, physical and
financial) are put to use is the main focus of this study. The
contributions of various departments- are also examined by
establishing efficiency indices for each unit. This is done to find
out comparative labour costs, whether a unit is under manned or
Environmental scanning: Here the economic, political, socio-
cultural and technological environment of the organisation is
Organisational climate analysis: The climate of an organisation
speaks about the attitudes of members towards work, company
policies, supervisors, etc. Absenteeism, turnover ratios generally
reflect the prevailing employee attitudes.
2) Task or role analysis: This is a detailed examination of a job, its
components, its various operations and conditions under which it
has to be performed. The focus here is on the roles played by an
individual and the training needed to perform such roles. The
whole exercise is meant to find out how the various tasks h be
performed and what kind of skills, knowledge, attitudes are needed
to the job needs. Questionnaires, interviews, reports, tests,
observation and methods are generally used to collect job related
information from time-to-time. After collecting the information, an
appropriate training program may be designed, paying attention to
(i) performance standards required of employees, (ii) the tasks they
have to discharge, (iii) the methods they will employ on the job
and (iv) how they have learned such methods, etc.
3) Manpower analysis: Here the focus is on the individual-in a given
job. There are three issues to be resolved through manpower
analysis. First we try to find, whether performance is satisfactory
and training is required. Second, whether the employee is capable
of being trained and the specific areas in which training is needed.
Finally, we need to state whether poor performances (who can
improve with requisite training inputs) on the job need to be
replaced by those who can do the job. Other options to training
such as modifications in the job or processes should also be looked
into. Personal observation, performance reviews, supervisory
reports, diagnostic tests help in collecting the required information
and select particular training options that try to improve the
performance individual workers.
Learning Principles: The Philosophy of Training
The purpose of training and development is to maintain and improve
effectiveness and efficiency of individuals within the organization. This can only
have sustained effect if it influences the actions and practices of line managers so
as to serve better both - the self-interest of employees
(personal return both tangible and intangible) and the needs of the organization
(profit return both short and long range). All training and development within the
company is based on the firm credence that:
• Employees have a need for growth and self-fulfilment, which can be
compatible with the goals of the organization for the benefit of both
• Learning is a self directed- activity: all employee development is self-
• Training to be effective must be function of line management
Training is essential for job success. It can lead to higher production,
fewer mistakes, greater job satisfaction and lower turnover. These benefits
accrue to both the trainee and the organization, if managers understand the
principles behind the training process. To this end, training efforts must
invariably follow certain learning-oriented guidelines.
Modelling is simply copying someone else’s behaviour. Passive class-
room learning does not leave any room for modelling. If we want to
change people, it would be a good idea to have videotapes of people
showing the desired behaviour. The selected model should provide the
right kind of behaviour to be copied by others. A great deal of human
behaviour is learned by modelling others. Children learn by modelling;
parents and older children, they are quite comfortable with the process by
the time: hey grow up. As experts put it. "Managers tend to manage as
they were managed!"
For learning to take place, intention to learn is important. When the
employee is motivated, he pays attention to what is being said, done and
presented. Motivation to learn is influenced by the answers to questions
such as: How important is my job to me? How important is the
information? Will learning help me progress in the company? People learn
more quickly when the material is important and relevant to them.
Learning is usually quicker and long-lasting when the learner participates
actively. Most people, for example, never forget how to ride a bicycle
because they took an active part in the learning process.
If behaviour is rewarded, it probably will be repeated. Positive
reinforcement consists of rewarding desired behaviours. People avoid
certain behaviours that invite criticism and punishment. A bank officer
would want to do a postgraduate course in finance, if it earns him
increments and makes him eligible for further promotions. Both the
external rewards (investments, praise) and the internal rewards (a feeling
of pride and achievement) associated with desired behaviours compel
subjects to learn properly. To be effective, the trainer must reward desired
behaviours only. If he rewards poor performance, the results may be
disastrous: good performers may quit in frustration, accidents may go up,
and productivity may suffer. The reinforcement principle is also based on
the premise that punishment is less effective in learning than reward.
Punishment is a pointer to undesirable behaviours. When administered, it
causes pain to the employee. He mayor may not repeat the mistakes. The
reactions may be mild or wild. Action taken to repeal a person from
undesirable action is punishment. If administered properly, punishment
may force the trainee to modify the undesired or incorrect behaviours.
People learn best if reinforcement is given as soon as possible after
training. Every employee wants to know what is expected of him and how
well he is doing. If he is off the track, somebody must put him back on
rails. The errors in such cases must be rectified immediately. The trainee
after learning the right behaviour is motivated to do things in a 'right' way
and earn the associated rewards. Positive feedback (showing the trainee
the right way of doing things) is to be preferred to negative feedback
(telling the trainee that he is not correct) when we want to change
Learning takes place easily if the practice sessions are spread over a period
of time. New employees learn better if the orientation programme is
spread over a two or three day period, instead of covering it all in one day.
For memorizing tasks, 'massed' practice is usually more effective. Imagine
the way schools ask the kids to say the prayer loud. Can you memorize a
long poem by learning only one line per day? You tend to forget the
beginning of the poem when you reach the last stanza. For' acquiring'
skills as stated by Mathis and Jackson, spaced practice is usually the best.
This incremental approach to skill acquisition minimizes physical fatigue
that deters learning.
The concept of whole learning suggests that employees learn better if the
job information is explained as an entire logical process, so that they can
see how the various actions fit together into the 'big picture'. A broad
overview of what the trainee would be doing on the job should be given
top priority, if learning has to take place quickly. Research studies have
also indicated that it is more efficient to practice a whole task all at once
rather than trying to master the various components of the task at different
Food for thought:
Is the concept of ‘whole learning’ related to holism?
'Practice makes a man perfect' so said Bacon. To be a swimmer, you
should plunge into water instead of simply reading about swimming or
looking at films of worlds' best swimmers. Learning is enhanced when
trainees are provided ample opportunities to repeat the task. For maximum
benefit, practice sessions should be distributed over time.
Applicability of Training
Training should be as real as possible so that trainees can successfully
transfer the new knowledge to their jobs. The training situations should be
set up so that trainees can picture the types of situations they can come
across on the job.
Finally, environment plays a major role in training. It is natural that
workers, who are exposed to training in comfortable environments with
adequate, well spaced rest periods are more likely to learn than employees
whose training conditions are less than ideal. Generally speaking, learning
is very fast at the beginning. Thereafter the pace of learning slows down as
opportunities for improvement are reduced.
Areas of Training
The Areas of Training in which training is offered may be classified into
the following categories:
Here the trainee learns about a set of rules and regulations about the job,
the staff and the products or services offered by the company. The aim is
to make the new employee fully aware of what goes inside and outside the
The employee is taught a specific skill (e.g., operating a machine and
handling computer) so that he can acquire that skill and contribute
The employee is made to learn about himself and other, develop a right
mental attitude, towards the job, colleagues and the company. The
principal focus is on teaching the employee how to be a team member and
This involves the application of knowledge and skill to various on-the-job
situations. In addition to improving the skills and knowledge of
employees, training aims at clouding employee attitudes: When
administered properly, a training programme. It will go a long way in
obtaining employee loyalty, support and commitment to company
Need for Employee Training and Development
Training and development can be initiated for a variety of reasons for an
employee or group of employees, e.g.
a.) When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is
b.) To "benchmark" the status of improvement so far in a performance
c.) As part of an overall professional development program
d.) As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a
planned change in role in the organization
e.) To "pilot", or test, the operation of a new performance management
f.) To train about a specific topic (see below)
Issues in Employee Training
1. Communications: The increasing diversity of today's workforce brings a
wide variety of languages and customs.
2. Computer skills: Computer skills are becoming a necessity for
conducting administrative and office tasks.
3. Customer service: Increased competition in today's global marketplace
makes it critical that employees understand and meet the needs of
4. Diversity: Diversity training usually includes explanation about how
people have different perspectives and views, and includes techniques to
5. Ethics: Today's society has increasing expectations about corporate
social responsibility. Also, today's diverse workforce brings a wide variety
of values and morals to the workplace.
6. Human relations: The increased stresses of today's workplace can
include misunderstandings and conflict. Training can people to get along
in the workplace.
7. Quality initiatives: Initiatives such as Total Quality Management,
Quality Circles, benchmarking, etc., require basic training about quality
concepts, guidelines and standards for quality, etc.
8. Safety: Safety training is critical where working with heavy equipment,
hazardous chemicals, repetitive activities, etc., but can also be useful with
practical advice for avoiding assaults, etc.
9. Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment training usually includes careful
description of the organization's policies about sexual harassment,
especially about what are inappropriate behaviours.
Article - 1
Link Staff Training With Improvement Goals
By: Patrice L. Spath Brown-Spath & Associates
Often the financial and operational tactics for meeting an organization’s strategic
improvement goals are carefully planned. And yet commonly overlooked are the
competencies and skills of the people who are expected to meet these goals. The training
needs associated with each improvement goal should be carefully evaluated and planned
for to ensure that your workforce is well prepared. The quality of patient care is
significant impacted by what employees know. The more knowledgeable an employee,
the better job he or she can do. The distinction between organizational goals and staff
learning is becoming blurred. To successfully implement strategic improvement goals
the organization must help everyone keep learning about their ever-changing job
Some healthcare organizations predetermine training needs based on accreditation
standards, OSHA regulations, and other externally defined requirements. However there
is no evaluation of whether the training will actually enhance the organization’s ability to
achieve improvement goals. It is also common to ask employees what training they think
they need. This may be important for individual staff development, but the employee’s
view of what is personally important may not address the overall needs or objectives of
the organization. Also, managers may provide an opinion about the training needs of
their department but there is no confirmation with or reference to the organization’s
The most enlightened healthcare organizations determine the strengths and weaknesses
of staff in meeting improvement goals before defining and prioritising training needs.
When goals are established it is important to determine what training may be necessary
to achieve these goals. This analysis involves identifying the workforce competencies
and skills that are necessary to support goal attainment. A competency is defined as
behaviour or set of behaviours that describes required performance for a particular job.
Skills are concrete attributes of individuals, such as skill in information technology or
For example, a healthcare organization may establish the goal of reducing the number of
patient falls. To achieve this goal, employees will need specific competencies and skills.
What are these competencies and skills? The answer should be derived from the
judgment of supervisors and reinforced through discussions with employees. Then
conduct a gap analysis – What competencies and skills are needed? What staff should
have these competencies and skills? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the
For each of your organization’s performance improvement goals, ask the following
questions: Would enhancing the competencies/skills of the current workforce help with
goal attainment? Would a better-trained workforce make goal attainment more effective
and efficient? What are the learning needs of those staff that will directly influence goal
attainment? How will knowledge and skill gaps be addressed?
Some healthcare organizations create a joint steering committee comprised of
representatives from various levels and functions to facilitate the implementation of
goal-directed training. This committee ensures that the training needs of staff are aligned
with the improvement goals of the organization. With input from management, the
committee determines what training programs are needed to effect improvements and
which employees should participate. The sequence of training implementation can also
be established. Inter-departmental task forces may be formed to focus on specific staff
competencies or skills that are deemed weak.
With budgetary allowances for staff training and education shrinking, the need to link
training requirements with the organization’s improvement goals is more important than
ever before. Any educational program will stand or fall based on its effectiveness and
alignment with the organization’s priorities. An organization’s improvement goals serve
as the blueprint for transforming current performance into the desired future state.
Employee training and development are essential to achieving these goals. The primary
way that educational programs can gain needed support and recognition is by illustrating
how they are intrinsically linked to the organization’s improvement priorities.
Copyright 2002 by Brown-Spath & Associates
Article - 2
Transitioning from ineffective and counter-productive conversations during
stressful circumstances to engaged, mutually respectful and authentic
interactions, even under the most trying conditions.
A client organization with +5000 employees in dozens of locations throughout
recognizes that the authenticity and effectiveness of interpersonal communication
among key employees has diminished dramatically.
Communication between various regional sales offices and manufacturing
facilities has broken down, causing numerous production and operational delays.
Executives have become protective of their individual "silos" and employees have
begun to mirror this behaviour.
a) Executives do not communicate effectively with each other during stressful
circumstances, particularly when a) Stakes are high, b) there are opposing
opinions and c) emotions are intense.
b) Many employees have begun to "mirror" the communication habits of some
c) Employees at various locations have little opportunity to communicate with
each other during non-stressful or challenging circumstances. Almost all
communication between various locations revolves around "fixing" a problem of
d) A recent round of layoffs was deemed by many employees to be arbitrary and
unfair, based upon corporate political "connections" rather than actual
e) Some departmental budgets have been cut while others have grown, without
After several months of in-depth consultations with a broad range of individuals
throughout the organization, a plan was developed to launch a long-term
communication skills training program with a heavy emphasis on specific skill
development and reinforcement.
In November of 2001, this client began utilizing Frontline Learning's "REAL
Communication" program to drive a significant evolution in the quality and
effectiveness of one-on-one conversations throughout the business.
November 2001 - The Company’s President, CEO and top Executives complete
an intensive 2-day communication skills regimen.
During this session, executives complete several skills assessments to objectively
determine their level of communication competency. Small group sessions and
one-on-one interaction with a communication coach allowed each individual to
focus on specific skills that were relevant to his or her situation.
Key findings: This particular group of executives had a significant lack of trust
and cohesion among their peers. Their relationships with ach other were
STRICTLY business-driven and none expressed any particular admiration or
affiliation with others on the executive team.
December 2001 - Executive team begins to hold a 20-minute "learning
conversation" (focused on developing communication skills) during each of their
These conversations were always the FIRST item on the President's agenda with
his direct reports. The informal learning session was always reinforced with
handouts, video examples and/or interactive exercises and homework.
In addition to furthering the development of communication skills among the
executives, the objective of these sessions was to "model" a learning conversation
that each attendee could repeat with his or her own direct reports.
January 2002 - Cascaded learning occurs during regular business meetings
throughout the organization.
As executives held "learning conversations" with their own direct reports, the
goal, in addition to furthering the development of communication skills within
that specific business team, was to "model" a learning conversation that each
attendee could repeat with his or her own direct reports, etc.
As the learning "cascaded" down the organization, through a series of learning
conversations, feedback was positive. In order to ensure that the information and
skills were in fact being delivered, every informal learning session was always
reinforced with handouts, video examples and/or interactive exercises and
April, 2002 - Audio Reinforcement
Once a "critical mass" of employees within the organization had begun to develop
new communication skills, then audio CD's were introduced to further reinforce
the skills they had been learning.
Each employee received one Audio CD every 2 weeks for a total of 8 CD's over
the course of 2 months.
July, 2002- Training conducted during a National Sales Meeting
Utilizing company employees as the presenters, a half-day of communication
skills training was delivered based upon specific development opportunities
identified by the management team.
September, 2002- Certification program introduced
Employees were offered an opportunity to further their learning and become
"certified" in the skills learned through the "REAL Communication" program.
Article – 1
Transitioning from product-focused sales presentations to customer-
focused sales consultations
A client organization with +800 salespeople experiences flattening growth
rates (from decades of double-digit annual growth to eight years of 5 to 7
percent inflation-adjusted growth).
a) An increasingly commoditized product line.
b) Smaller regional competitors with lower cost structures, better able to
compete on price alone.
c) An entire generation of salespeople who were very successful
(+$160,000 average income) acting as product presenters, not consultants.
And thus, not highly motivated to change.
d) Sales MANAGER activities had evolved from day-to-day sales training
and coaching to primarily administrative and organizational tasks.
Based upon in-depth consultations with a broad range of individuals
throughout the organization, a plan was developed that integrated a long-
term consultative sales training initiative with a re-alignment of sales
compensation, incentives, and recognition.
In November of 1999, this client began utilizing Frontline Learning's sales
training resources to drive a significant evolution in its sales force,
transitioning from a presentation-focused selling methodology to true, in
depth consultative selling.
November, 1999 - All Sales Representatives completed a comprehensive
assessment of consultative selling skills
During fall Regional Meetings, Managers administered an in-depth skills
assessment, then forwarded results to the Training Department for
analysis. Organizational, regional and individual “Skill Graphs” were
Key findings: Relationship-building skills and self-motivation were the
greatest overall strengths, while most other skill categories showed
noteworthy deficiencies. In particular, sales cycle management,
prospecting, asking tactical/strategic questions and self-coaching were
identified as significant development opportunities.
January 2000 - Regional Managers delivered targeted sales training at the
National Sales Meeting
Regional Sales Managers received significant training/coaching in
preparation for delivery of 18 sessions targeted toward specific selling
skills (prospecting, asking strategic questions, etc.) at the National Sales
Meeting (each session was delivered 3 times by a team of 3 or 4 Regional
Key findings: The train-the-trainer preparation revealed a significant
development opportunity within the ranks of the Sales Management team.
Because their role had evolved toward an administrative/management
position rather than primarily a tactical sales coaching position, many did
not possess even fundamental knowledge of consultative selling skills and
April 2000 - Consultative Selling Skills: Custom Audio Reinforcement
Programs/Facilitation & Coaching Guide developed
Customized Audio Reinforcement Programs were developed for each of
the 20 skill categories included in the initial skills assessment. Sales Reps
made programs available for purchase at a very modest cost ($14.50 per
program) subsidized by the organization.
Regional Managers received a complete set of 20 Audio Reinforcement
Programs along with a Facilitation & Coaching Guide to enhance their
own day-to-day sales coaching ability.
June 2000 - REAL Selling process integrated into Yearbook/Scholastic
A fully integrated consultative selling approach (rather than distinct,
separate skill sets) was developed for use at sales academies. The REAL
Selling program fully systemizes many of the consultative “best practices”
of high- performing Sales Representatives. Because it is a fully integrated,
systemic approach to consultative selling, it requires a highly motivated
learner, so the Sales Training Department moved forward on 2 tracks:
REAL Selling for new Sales Representatives, and distinct/targeted skill
development for veteran Sales Representatives.
May, 2001- Retail Division Account Managers receive targeted
Consultative Sales Training
A half-day of consultative sales training was delivered based upon specific
development opportunities identified by Retail Division management
November, 2001- REAL Coaching delivered to all Sales Managers
A program to enhance the day-to-day sales coaching skills of Regional
Managers was developed, fully integrating the specific competencies and
skill sets delivered in the REAL Selling program.
January, 2002 - REAL Selling Utilized by the Retail Division to train
Account Managers and Sales Associates
The formation of a new sales structure provided the management group
with an opportunity use REAL Selling as both a consultative sales training
and a team building resource, putting both Account Managers and Sales
Associates on the “same page” with an integrated selling approach.
February, 2002 - REAL Selling for Marketing Professionals
This program was developed to help the Marketing organization:
a) Develop greater awareness and understanding of the specific
consultative selling skills being driven by the Sales Training Department,
b) Utilize the “communication platform” created by these consultative
selling skills for more effective new product roll outs, and
c) Learn to USE consultative selling skills to more effectively influence
Jostens Sales Reps.
March, 2002 - Online Delivery/Reinforcement of Consultative Selling
A web-based sales training course was developed which included lessons
focused on each of the 20 skill categories included in the initial skills
assessment. This course is now available 7/24 to ALL of the organization's
Salespeople and Managers.
The course is also now required pre-work for Sales Academy Attendees.
In terms of consultative selling skills, there are still significant
development opportunities within the organization's sales force, but there
have also been equally significant results to date that have provided
tangible benefits. For Example:
Veteran salespeople are responding better to targeted training rather than
to “one size fits all” programs
Many veteran Reps are able to satisfy their personal goals without further
selling skill development and they are understandably proud of their
current selling ability, which often means they are not highly motivated to
learn (and USE) new skills or techniques. But the organization cannot
achieve its objectives without continuous skill improvement. Our targeted
approach has made new skill development more palatable to veteran
salespeople, and new skill USAGE more measurable by Regional
Sales Managers are developing new selling and coaching skills
Many Regional Sales Managers report an increased ability to provide
practical selling skills coaching for both new and experienced reps.
Managers feel more confidant and competent, and are able to have deeper,
richer conversations with reps focused of specific skills, habits and/or
behaviors that will drive increased productivity. Regional Sales Managers
are all “speaking the same language” as their salespeople, particularly
those who have attended Sales Academy during the past 3 years. Again,
the common understanding of a specific sales process and system has
Our long-term development plan (vs. “quick fix” training events) is
becoming a key competitive differentiator
Any competitor can hold a 2-day sales training session. Or even a
weeklong selling “boot camp.” But the skill development that has
occurred across the client's sales organization over the past 3 years, with a
continual focus on the same specific consultative selling “best practices,”
delivered and reinforced in a variety of ways, is becoming a sustainable
differentiator. Even if their competitors knew exactly what skill sets we
were training to, this isn’t something that could be easily duplicated.
Sales Academy “face-to-face” training time has been reduced while
enhancing new rep effectiveness
Over the past 3 years, as new programs and resources have been
developed, the organization's sales academies have gone from 11 days
down to 5 (Plus an additional 2 days of presentation skills training for a
new salespeople in one division) while at the same time significantly
enhancing the actual effectiveness of the program.
New salespeople are experiencing “success” more quickly and bouncing
back from “failure” more easily
Based upon anecdotal evidence (feedback from veteran Regional
Managers, Trainers and Salespeople) new salespeople are able to “hit the
ground running” using the REAL Selling process. They are able to ask
better (more consultative) questions, get block agreements signed more
easily, present more professionally and open new accounts more quickly.
In addition, when new salespeople experience “failure” the REAL Selling
process helps them gain an accurate understanding of WHY they didn’t
make the sale and what they have to do in the future to be more successful
in similar situations. This has made it easier to keep high-potential new
salespeople “in the game” long enough to succeed long-term, reducing
It has become more difficult for new salespeople and experienced veterans
to “hide out”
Because the skill sets are so clear and unambiguous, and because of the
“common language” that has taken root within the sales organization, it is
more difficult for salespeople to “tap dance” their way around a manager.
Feedback from Regional Managers suggests that this is also true for
veteran sales reps.
Marketing and Sales are learning to speak the same language
The Marketing organization is beginning to utilize the “communication
platform” created by these consultative selling skills to enable more
effective new product pilots and roll outs. “At-a-Glance” sheets and other
communication vehicles are beginning to reflect (and drive) the
consultative selling approach.
Training need Analysis
Training Need Assessment
• Organisational Analysis
• Taskor role Analysis
• Manpower Analysis
The Philosophy of Training
“The purpose of training and development
is to maintain and improve effectiveness
and efficiency of individuals within the
organization. This can only have
sustained effect if it influences the
actions and practices of line mangers so
as to serve better both - the self –
interest of employees.”
Areas of Training
• Technical Skills
• Social Skills