Determining training needs

In 2008, Summit Credit Union experienced a merger which doubled the size of the company and made it necessary to build a new corporate culture. They want to improve credit members’ financial lives. The company has shifted away from off-the-shelf training and developed online and face-to face- programs.

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“These programs are customized to employee needs and the company’s goals and initiatives.” (Noe pg.147) The learning function is a key role while dealing with business issues such as efficiency, loan growth, and increased sales. They want all learning staff members to contribute to the company initiatives. Recently, Summit Credit Union has identified a problem with a new leader. They don’t have the necessary skills, information, and knowledge that are needed for the job. The reason for this is the way the training curriculum is organized.

How would you conduct a needs assessment to determine if new leaders are starting their jobs without the necessary knowledge and skills to perform well, and if the organization of the training curriculum (or another training issue) is responsible for this problem? “A needs assessment is a systematic process to acquire an accurate, thorough picture of a system’s strengths and weaknesses, in order to improve it and meet existing and future challenges.” (Dictionary) In the needs assessment, the first process would be an organizational analysis.

This is an analysis that identifies whether training supports the company’s strategic direction, whether manager, peers, and employees support training activity and what training resources are available. Peer and manager support for training is a very big deal. If a company wants training success they need positive attitudes from every employee about participation in training activities. The next process would be deciding whether Summit Credit Union wants to devote time and money to training.

They have to decide whether they want to develop a training program or if they should buy one from a vendor. The last process which would be the most important to Summit Credit Union is a person analysis. “This analysis helps identify which employees need training; that is, whether employees’ current performance or expected performance indicates a need for training.” (Noe pg.123) It also identifies a person’s current capabilities and those identified as necessary or desirable.

“Person needs analysis can be either broad or narrow in scope.” (Jackson, Schuler) By going with the broader scope this would allow the company to see if the training curriculum is the reason for the problem or if another training issue is. It would compare actual performance with the minimum acceptable standard of performance. It is based on the actual, job performance of the employee and can be used to determine training needs for the job and company.

Who would be involved in the needs assessment?
The needs assessment would involve every leader of the company. I would also involve managers and supervisors. This would help me figure out exactly why the new leaders are starting their jobs without the proper knowledge and skills that are used for their job. It would also allow me to see if it is the training curriculum or something else dealing with training such as the people that are training them. Depending on the budget we could also include the employees to see if they are getting their proper training since the new leaders are not yet knowledgeable enough to teach the employees how to do the job the right way.