Assessing HRD Needs


Assessing HRD Needs

Learning Objectives

•      Reasons for conducting a needs assessment

•      Purpose of conducting a strategic/organizational analysis

•      Know the five steps that can be used to conduct a task analysis

•      Conduct a task analysis for a job of your choosing

•      Importance of identifying individual performance deficiencies and developmental needs

•      Pros and cons of using multiple sources to collect data for person analysis

•      Importance of prioritizing training and HRD needs

How Would You Rate the Following? – 1

•      “Look at all the big companies that are using this program. It’s got to be right for us.”

•      We’re going to get Professor X to do our program. Everybody’s talking about how great she is.”

•      “We asked managers to list the topics they wanted in the program. About a third responded, and we’ve included everything they suggested.”

How Would You Rate the Following? – 2

•       “Purchasing just asked for management training in two weeks. Here’s a firm that will do it.”

•       “A consulting firm tells us they’ve been successfully running this program for years.”

•       “A consulting firm tells us that, if we spend a lot of time and money, they will tailor their program to our environment.”

Goal of HRD

•      To improve an organization’s effectiveness by:

–  Solving current problems (like an increase in customer complaints)

–  Preventing anticipated problems (such as a shortage of skilled technicians)

–  Including as participants those individuals and units that can benefit most

Training and HRD Process Model

•      HRD interventions should be designed and conducted using a four-phase approach:

–  needs assessment

–  design

–  implementation

–  evaluation

Instructional Systems Design Model

Needs Assessment

•      Needs assessment (or needs analysis)

–  a process by which an organization’s HRD needs are identified and articulated

•      It is the starting point of the HRD and training process

A Needs Assessment Can Identify:

•      Organization’s goals and its effectiveness in reaching these goals

•      Discrepancies between employees’ skills and the skills required

•      Discrepancies between current skills and the skills needed in the future

•      The conditions under which the HRD activity will occur

Why Needs Assessment Are Sometimes Not Conducted

•      A needs assessment can be a difficult, time-consuming process

•      Action is valued over research

•      Available information already specifies what an organization’s needs are

•      There is a lack of support for needs assessment

What Is a “Training Need?”

•      A deficiency between what is expected and what occurs

•      Efforts focused on correcting substandard performance

•      Not every need can/should be addressed by HRD

Types of Needs

•      Diagnostic needs

–  focus on performance

•      Analytic needs

–  focus on better ways to perform

•      Compliance needs

–  those set by law

Proactive versus Reactive

•      HRD needs to be proactive and forward thinking

–  A strategic partner with management, working towards the future

•      Being reactive leads to being focused on past and present

–  Not being a strategic partner, thereby vulnerable to layoff…

Needs Assessment Traps to Avoid – 1

Needs Assessment Traps to Avoid – 2

Table 4-1

Needs Assessment Traps to Avoid – 3

Table 4-1

Needs Assessment Traps to Avoid – 4

Table 4-1

Needs Assessment Traps to Avoid – 5

Table 14-1

Levels of Needs Analysis (Table 4-2)

•      Strategic/Organizational analysis

–   Where in organization training is needed

–   Under what conditions will it occur

•      Task Analysis

–   What must be done to perform successfully

–   What must be done to correctly complete a task

•      Person Analysis

–   Who needs to be trained

–   What kind of training do they need

Strategic/Organizational Analysis

•      Organizational goals

•      Organizational resources

•      Organizational climate

•      Environmental constraints

Organizational Goals

•      Are areas meeting goals

–   Probably don’t need training

•      Areas not meting goals

–   Is training the answer?

Organizational Resources

•      Funding

–   is it available?

•      Facilities

–   are they available for HRD?

•      Materials

–   are they on hand?

•      Expertise in-house

–   is it available without impairing production?

Organizational Climate

•      Is it supportive to HRD?

•      Is there inter- and intra-area cooperation and trust?

•      Is there management support?

•      Is there supervisory support?

•      Is there profit center support?

Environmental Constraints

•      Include

–   Legal issues

–   Social issues

–   Political issues

–   Economic issues

Advantages of Conducting Strategic/Organizational Analysis

•      Ensures HRD efforts are tied to organizational strategy and mission

•      Communicates linkage between operations and HRD

•      Generates support for HRD efforts and activities

Methods of Strategic/Organizational Analysis

•      Data Sources for determining HRD and Training Needs

–   Human resource inventories

–   Skill inventories

–   Organizational climate measures

–   Efficiency indexes

•      Resource and time limitations make it difficult to do such a high-level analysis

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information – 1
(Table 4-3)

1. Is the organization’s industry evolving or stable? What do the growth trends of competitors look like? Who are the main foreign and domestic competitors, and what is the organization’s main advantage over these competitors?

2. Why has the organization been successful in the past?

3. What new technology does the organization plan to use? If new technology is being planned, when will it become available?

4. Are innovations anticipated that could change the competitive playing field?

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information – 2
(Table 4-3)

5. What new management philosophies or procedures will be instituted by the organization? When?

6. Are there any regulatory issues, current, pending, or anticipated, that could influence strategic considerations?

7. What functional strategies will be employed by the various divisions

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information – 3
(Table 4-3)

1. What are the current strengths and weaknesses of the workforce?

2. What changes, if any, must occur in the job(s), organizational culture, and skill levels of the workforce?

3. Is the organization’s overall strategy likely to result in layoffs and turnover? How much is anticipated?

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information –  4
(Table 4-3)

4. If applicable, how will union contracts be affected? What is the strategic role of the union?

5. What HRM policies should be reviewed in light of the organization’s current strategic effort?

6. What are the training and HRD implications of the overarching strategy? How could raining/HRD help the organization reach any or all of its strategic goals?

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information – 5
(Table 4-3)

7. What kind of specific training and HRD interventions are needed? Does the organization have in-house capability to implement the necessary programs? Are there outside experts who can assist? Who are they?

8. How has training and HRD been regarded: By the workforce in the past? By management? How credible are the programs, trainers, and other HRD professionals?

9. What delivery mechanisms are the most cost-effective and practical for each program?

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information – 6
(Table 4-3)

10. What kind of HRD evaluation process is currently being used? Does it provide information on return on investment (ROI)? If not, would such a process contribute to the strategic management of
the organization?

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions to Ask to Obtain Strategic Information – 7
(Table 4-3)

11. Is there a formal procedure to ascertain if current training/HRD is appropriate in light of new strategies, or, alternatively, to identify training needs that will be dictated by new strategies?

12. Do HRM functions other than training and HRD need to be reviewed? Should they be modified?

SOURCE: From Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Villet, J. (1991). Training in America (pp. 203–205). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 1

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 2

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 3

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 4

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 5

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 6

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 7

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 8

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 9

Table 4-4

Data Sources for Organizational/Strategic Analysis – 10

Table 4-4

Task Analysis

•      Task analysis (sometimes called operations analysis)

–  a systematic collection of data about a specific job or group of jobs to determine what an employee should be taught to achieve optimal performance

Steps in Task Analysis

1. Develop an overall job description

2. Identify the task

a. Describe what should be done in the task

b. Describe what is actually done in the task

3. Describe KSAOs needed to perform the job

4. Identify areas that can benefit from training

5. Prioritize areas that can benefit from training

Step 1: Job Description

•      A job description is a narrative statement of the major activities involved in performing the job and the conditions under which these activities are performed

Job Analysis

•      A systematic study of a job to identify its major components

–  Jobs

–  Tasks

–  Working conditions

–  KSAOs

Step 2: Task Identification

•      Focuses on the behaviors performed within the job

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 1

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 2

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 3

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 4

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 5

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis – 6

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 7

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 8

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 9

Table 4-5

Sources for Task Needs Analysis 10

Table 4-5

Task Identification

•      Task identification focuses on the behaviors performed within the job

–  the major tasks within the job

–  how each task should be performed (i.e., performance standards)

–  the variability of performance (how the tasks are actually performed in day-to-day operations)

Methods for Task Identification

1. Stimulus-response-feedback

2. Time sampling

3. Critical incident technique

4. Job inventories

5. Job-duty-task method

Stimulus-Response-Feedback Method

•      Method breaks down each task into three parts

–  Stimulus or cue

•    when to start task

–  Response or behavior

•    what to do

–  Feedback

•   How well task was done

Time Sampling

•      Trained observed watches and notes nature and frequency of activities

Critical Incident Technique (CIT)

•      Record incidences of particularly effective and particularly ineffective performance over a set period

•      Helps identify why behavior was effective or ineffective

Job Inventory Questionnaire

•      Identify all tasks in a job

•      Supervisors and incumbents evaluate

–  Each task in terms of importance

–  Time spent performing it

•      Develops data that can be analyzed with statistics

•      Involves many people, so minimizes individual opinions

Job-Duty-Task Method

•      Job divided into sub-parts identifying

–  Job title

–  Each duty performed

•   Includes tasks and subtasks

–  KSAOs needed to perform each sub-task

Job-Duty-Task Method

Fig 4-2

Step 3: Identify What It Takes to Do the Job – 1

Table 4-6

Step 3: Identify What It Takes to Do the Job – 2

Table 4-6

Step 4: Identify Areas that HRD/Training Can Help the Most

•      Focus is on determining which tasks and capabilities should be included in HRD programs

•      Ratings of tasks as well as KSAOs should be examined

•      Also must look at importance of task

Step 5: Prioritize Training Needs

•      Needs to be realistic

•      Try to avoid “pet projects” or latest fads

•      Get management and supervisors to agree with priorities

–  Achieve “buy-in”

Points About Task Analysis 1

•      Input from managers, supervisors, and employees can ensure support for needs analysis and pave the way for support for training

•      Multiple methods not only provide unique information but also enable the analyst

to confirm findings and identify and resolve discrepancies

Points About Task Analysis 2

•      Ratings of tasks allow for quantitative analysis of which tasks may benefit from training and which should be addressed

•      Viewing needs from a broad perspective, rather than focusing only on performance deficiencies, results in a better understanding of training needs and can build support for training programs

Person Analysis

•      Directed at determining the training needs of the individual employee

•      Focus is typically on how well each employee is performing key job or task

Components of Person Analysis

•      Summary Person Analysis

–   involves determining the overall success of individual employee performance

•      Diagnostic Person Analysis

–  tries to discover the reasons for an employee’s performance

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 1

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 2

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 3

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 4

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 5

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 6

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 7

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 8

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 9

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 10

Data Sources for Person Needs Assessment 11

Performance Appraisal

•      Perform or have access to a complete, accurate performance appraisal

•      Identify discrepancies between the employee’s behavior and/or traits and those required for effective performance

•      Identify the source of the discrepancies

•      Select the intervention appropriate to resolve the discrepancies

Person Analysis Process Components – 1
(Table 4-8)

•      Summary Person Analysis

–  A global analysis; it is an overall evaluation of an individual employee’s performance

–  a classification of an individual as a successful versus unsuccessful performer

Person Analysis Process Components – 2
(Table 4-8)

•      Diagnostic Person Analysis

–   Determine why results of individual employee’s behavior occur; determine how individual’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs), effort, and environmental factors combine to yield the summary person analysis

•      Together, the summary and diagnostic person analyses combine to determine who is performing successfully/unsuccessfully and why the individual is performing successfully or  unsuccessfully. This is the Person Analysis

Model of Performance Appraisal in Person Analysis Process

Fig. 4-3

360-Degree Performance Appraisal

•      Using multiple sources to gather performance information

•      Can be internal and external to organization

•      Main Advantage

•      Using peer, subordinate, and consumer input provides different perspective of individual and performance

Prioritizing HRD Needs

•      Limited resources available for HRD effort

•      What are potential gains on return on investment (ROI) for various options?

Participation in Prioritization

•      Involving others gets support for HRD

–  Area representatives

–  Supervisors

–  Employees

–  HR personnel

The HRD Advisory Committee

•      Members are a cross-section of the organization

•      Meets regularly

•      Reviews needs assessment and evaluation data

•      Offers advise on type and content of HRD offerings

The HRD Process Model Debate

•      The ISD Process is being criticized

–  Too slow and clumsy to meet today’s training needs

–  Emphasis sometimes is on following all ISD steps, rather than solving the problem

–  Used as directed, it produces poor (incomplete) results

–  Relies on specific, laid out work, whereas increasing amount of work is not laid out in advance but must be figured out by worker

How Technology Changes Needs Assessment

Two Glaring Problems Noted

–  The failure to identify a real problem or need for e-learning

–  A failure to fully analyze the problem or need, even when it was identified

•      Technology can speed up data gathering and analysis,

•      e-learning requires needs analysis too