Training Need Analysis






Training Needs Analysis

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Training Needs Analysis


It is a matter of conventional wisdom that an organization cannot vie with other competitors for a niche in the market if its employees do not have the right intellectual prowess and expertise. Even though the Organization for Strong and Thriving Africa (OSTA) operates in the field where competition is low-to-nonexistent, it is not exclusion to the rule. In order to endow the staff with the right skills, lavish resources must be funneled into their learning and development. However, earmarking huge sums of the wherewithal for the organizations needs should not be regarded as a panacea for its chronic malaise. It is imperative that the most pressing needs should be identified and tackled in the first place. Indeed, it is possible to prevent the shortage of critical skills in an organization and, thus, avoid irresponsible spending of money through the instrumentality of a thinly designed and prudently implemented training needs analysis (TNA).

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Depending on the methods and tools employed, the TNA may foreground the organization together with its training requirements, job role, and individuals together with their personal training needs (Kozlowski & Salas, 2009). The rationale behind using different methods at each stage of the TNA is that different outcomes are expected. Shortly after, the derived outcomes are to be combined into a coherent workforce development program so that they would correspond to the strategic goals of the organization as a whole entity (Kozlowski & Salas, 2009). When developing an efficient training needs analysis, it is important that the needs and requirements of the organization and individual are integrated and synthesized.

Overview of Organizational Analysis

For an organization to weather the competition or just to achieve its objectives successfully, it should elaborate a successful strategic plan. Figuratively speaking, a strategic plan of an organization is the nucleus around which its employees cluster. Since knowledge and abilities of the staff have a strong bearing on the successfulness of the organization, it is of paramount importance that they should be constantly monitored and improved (Goldstein & Ford, 2001). Thus, the overarching goal of the TNA at this level is to incorporate the organizations goals, establish an interconnection between the skills required and the organizations strategic objectives, and decipher the need for the training program.

At the level of organization, the TNA puts an emphasis on the necessity to dissect the current training system with the view of identifying any divergence in the organizations priorities (Goldstein & Ford, 2001). Provided that any gaps have been found, they should be taken into consideration when designing a new training program. With the establishment of training requirements, which are the fulcrum of the training program, the TNA is a useful instrument for the evaluation of the organizations overall performance. It provides mechanisms that help to measure the outcomes of a training program in appropriate terms (Kozlowski & Salas, 2009).

Overview of Operational Analysis

At the operational level, the TNA aims at pinpointing the required training outcomes so as to ensure the competent performance of a certain job. Similarly to the organizational analysis, the operational level of the TNA is designed to identify any discrepancies between the existing training model and the training required for the job role. To this end, a thorough job analysis must be conducted. Basing further work on the results of this analysis, the desired job skills are singled out and used later as the touchstone of the personnels performance. What is more important, the compilation of the job skills may be regarded as the description of the job (Wilson, 2005).

Overview of Person Analysis

Judging by the highest standards, the main goal of the TNA at the level of a person is to analyze the overall performance of a particular employee. At the same time, this type of analysis provides a qualified, yet succinct summary of the workers merits and demerits as well as their aptitude for the job. An accurately implemented TNA can yield a rich harvest of results. It may specify, inter alia, the exact volume of training or a unique battery of skills necessary for the personal development of an employee (Kozlowski & Salas, 2009). Among other particularities of the TNA at this level is the accuracy with which it indicates the capability of an individual to perform the hitherto-unknown tasks. Moreover, considering that responsibilities of an individual employee are closely intertwined with their job, the TNA pertains directly to the job at this level. Thus, it would be an inconceivable folly to distinguish the operational training needs from those of a person (Wilson, 2005). Simultaneously, it is very important to remember that the identification of a persons training needs per se does not constitute the linchpin of the training needs analysis. On the contrary, the overriding goal of the TNA at this level is to deduce how the individual training should look like so that the employee would be able to perform their duties in a more efficient manner.

Training Needs Analysis at the Organization for Strong and Thriving Africa

The Organization for Strong and Thriving Africa falls back on the plethora of methods in a bid to ensure that its TNA captures the whole picture. Thus, methods of discerning training needs employed by the OSTA run the gamut of importance from observation, regular progress meetings, questionnaire surveys, interviews, tests and examinations, group conferences, business and production reports, personal records, management requests and job analysis to annual appraisals as well as long-range organizational planning. While the majority of these methods have a universal character and can be used in a variety of ways at each TNA level, some of them have a narrower use. For the sake of brevity, this paper does not launch into digression on the need to analyze the aforementioned methods, for their names are fairly self-explanatory. Concerning the establishment of training needs at the OSTA, this process emulates the following scenario:

Discern problems that can be solved by dint of training;

Pinpoint the need for training;

Identify standards;

Define skill gaps and training needs.

Speaking about the data required in analyzing training needs, the OSTA specialists tend to obtain the detailed description of the specific task or process and the sequential relationships between them. These data serve as the basis for establishing the performance standards against which to measure both training activities and behavioral change. Performance standards currently used in the OSTA avail those in charge of the TNA against the daunting challenge of garnering pertinent data. In addition to all this, the present measurable performance of the organization needs to be determined. As to the types of questions that need to be determined, there are four of them for each level of training:

What skills and knowledge are necessary?

Which employees need which training?

Is there an efficient competency framework within the organization?

How will the latest developments in the technologies and legislation affect the training needs?

The bottom line is that the OSTA makes every exertion to ensure that its employees are trained enough to alleviate the desperate plight of the African people inflicted on them by the buffetings of social and political upheavals.


Goldstein, I. L., & Ford, K. (2001). Training in organizations: Needs assessment,

development, and evaluation with InfoTrac (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth


Kozlowski, S. J., & Salas, E. (2009). Learning, training, and development in organizations.

London, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Wilson, J. P. (2005). Human resource development: Learning & training for individuals &

organizations. London, UK: Kogan Page Publishers.

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