In any organization, “Need Assessment” is a part of strategic planning, in order to identify the gap between organization expectation and the capability of their available resources. It is valuable methodology to identify organizational needs, problems, current skill set and technological gap by brainstorming and developing strategies to overcome and resolve the issues. According to the book titled, “Needs Assessment: A User’s Guide” written by Kaufman, ‘needs assessment’ is successful only when the organization is goal-oriented and make available solid proof, at the end of the process, that can be used to conclude which possible means are more efficient and effective to achieve the desired results. In order to encourage the organization for needs assessment, the employers must be well aware of the vision and mission of the company and its future state.
Overall Purpose of Training Needs Assessment and Analysis
The basic objective of needs assessment and analysis is to develop an understanding of the current skill set of the deployed resources and benchmark it against the industry standards. This facilitates identification of the performance gap thereby aiding development of improvement plans to enhance the skill levels of the unit to reach a desired state in future.The training need assessments has proven now and then, that the more absolute the need for training evaluation will be, the better will be the training results for the organization. The need for training falls in 2 categories:
- Training to fill a “growth gap“, i.e., to be able to fill another open position in the industry or simply to be promoted.
- Training to fill a “performance gap” as recognized during the process of performance management.
Consider the following aspects in mind in order to perform an accurate need assessment.Recognize Probable Solutions and Development Chances
The employers need to assess whether the workforce is performing their job efficiently or if they need help in terms of understanding the role and KRAs (Key responsibilities assigned), its implementation methodology, and execution of the same. When the problem is predominantly related to ‘methodical transformation’ and not ‘lack of information’, organization growth performance may offer solutions which include effective team building, robust performance management system, organizational restructuring and strategic planning.Recognize Roots of Performance Problems and/or Prospects
Post prioritization and segregation of essential personnel and organizational requirements, the companies need to identify the opportunities and pin point difficult areas to work upon. Tools like Pareto, fish bone diagram and why-why analysis can aid in evaluating the requirements. To understand this, an in-depth investigation and analysis of the workforce and their job profile needs to be done by seeking answers to these simple questions:
Identify Priorities and Importance
- Are the workers aware of how to perform their jobs?
- Are they doing their work efficiently?
The companies must validate if the
recognized requirements are authentic, significant enough to address, and aligned to the vision and mission of the company. Identification of their value and importance is of utmost importance in view of the organizational requirements and desired future growth strategy. For example:
- Customers: What impact is produced on customer expectations and specifications?
- Population: Check how many people are involved?
- Executive Pressure: Does top managing team look forward to a result?
- Legal Mandates: Are there laws which require solutions? (Like; safety or regulatory compliance).
- Cost-effectiveness: Perform a cost-benefit analysis by comparing the cost of implementing a solution to the benefit achieved from it.
Focusing the energy on both workforce performance issues and technological gap with greater value and greater impact will yield positive results for the organization as a whole.Benefits of Need Assessment for an Organization
- It gives new direction and approach to the organization to reach a greater performance level
- It gives an understanding of the organizational strength and weaknesses.
- How and which training programs and technologies can help to gain a competitive edge in the market.
- It gives the knowledge of the problems which are likely to create trouble in upcoming time. For ex, changes in staffing, outside competition or new equipment and processes etc.
The outcomes of the need assessments help in taking decisions for designing, performance, and evaluation of program and projects that eventually lead to attaining desirable results.