XYZ Company: Training Needs Analysis

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The success of a company depends on its productivity, performance, and employees. Thus, every company needs training to enhance workers’ motivation, which is the main prerequisite in the company’s development. One of the leading retail networks for the food market is XYZ company. Although it has good performance, the company suffers some problems in managing employees, which can be solved due to training. According to Blanchard and Thacker (2013), the training process consists of five stages: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. The first phase, which is also called Training Need Analysis (TNA) will be further discussed in this paper.

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To begin with, the Training Need Analysis is a systematic investigation of which parts of a company need training. It includes several steps. The first one is an organizational analysis. According to Blanchard and Thacker (2013), it is an examination of a company’s goals, objectives, and strategy, as well as the systems and practices in order to identify what influence they have on employee performance. The important questions here are who decided that a company needs training, why training is a good solution to the business problems, and what history a company has concerning employee training (“Needs analysis,” 2015). In other words, the organizational analysis identifies whether training meets the company’s strategy, objectives, and goals; whether managers and employees are interested in training activity; and what kind of training resources should be used. The examples of questions, which might be asked during organizational analysis, can be the following: “Can training help to achieve the business goals?”, “How managers and peers can support the training, and which types of employees should receive the training?”, “Does a company have the budget for the training?” (Noe, 2013). Answers to these questions will show the company’s strategy, meaning whether a company believes that training might contribute to the achievement of business goals and objectives. It will also show managers’ and peers’ roles in the training process, their attitude concerning the participation in training activities; their support, and willingness to provide trainees with information about how they can work more effectively. This analysis can also demonstrate a company’s ability to conduct a special type of training: developed in-house, or a purchased one. In companies in which training is expected to enhance its performance and employees’ motivation, the amount of money designed for training is considerably higher than in those where training does not play any role (Noe, 2013). Thus, organizational analysis helps to determine, whether training is necessary and appropriate.

The next step in Training Need Analysis is an operational analysis or work/task analysis. It is an examination of particular jobs in order to identify the requirements, which are needed for the tasks and job to be done (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). Task analysis is conducted after organizational one. The attention, in this case, should be paid to work activity, which employees perform, to the knowledge, skill, and personal competency, which are required for this job, and to the conditions, under which work tasks are performed. Task analysis helps to ensure that the expected training will be closely connected to the work content (“Needs analysis,” 2015). Task analysis consists of 4 steps. The first is the selection of a job, which should be analyzed. The second phase is the development of a task list by interviewing and observing employees and their managers. The third step involves a questionnaire, during which employees and managers should answer questions concerning the tasks. The last step is the identification of knowledge, abilities, and skills, which are important for the successful performance of each task. This data can also be collected through questionnaires and interviews (Noe, 2013). Possible questions, which might be asked, can be the following: “What knowledge, abilities, and skills are crucial for successful performance of this task?”, “How often is the task performed?”, “For what tasks should employees be trained?”, “How difficult the task is?”. Therefore, task analysis will help to identify what employees are actually doing and what they should be doing at workplaces. In order to make task analysis more effective, attention should be paid to those tasks, which are necessary to achieve the company’s goals and objectives (Noe, 2013). Answers to the three questions, mentioned above, will help to identify the skills, knowledge, abilities, which are required for a certain task. It can also give them information on working conditions, necessary tools, equipment, and other factors, which influence their task performance. Therefore, task analysis emphasizes the necessary qualities for employees to complete their work. Having employees doing their job effectively increases the general level of a company’s performance.

The last step in Training Need Analysis is called person analysis. It is the examination of the employees at work to determine whether they have the required qualities to demonstrate a high level of performance (Blanchard & Thacker, 2013). In other words, person analysis determines whether performance problems are the result of a lack of skills, knowledge, or abilities; it identifies who will conduct the training, which types of employees need it, and whether they are ready for it. Personal analysis is usually conducted at the same time as task analysis since it is easier to determine the reasons for performance deficiencies with an understanding of tasks and work environment. To conduct this type of analysis, it is important to examine the personal characteristics (their knowledge, skills, abilities, relationships with coworkers), the input (the instructions, that tell employees how what, and when to perform), the output (performance standards), the consequences (types of incentives, which employees receive for a good performance), and the feedback (the information that employees receive during their work) (Noe, 2013). Interviews and questionnaires are the common methods, which allow measuring all these factors. Here might be such questions: “Are all instructions for the tasks understandable?”, “Do you have all the resources, which are required for a task performance?”, “How do you encourage and motivate the employees?” It is well-known that one of the main reasons for poor performance is ignorance. That is why it is very important to ensure that employees are aware of and understand all the instructions and have the necessary tools and equipment to perform their tasks. The answer to the third question will show whether employees are encouraged to work harder and whether they receive incentives for it. After receiving answers, managers will be able to determine whether training is needed or not.

The provided information can be used as an addition to the TNA model, described by Blanchard and Thacker (2013). According to the researchers’ model (2013), the first part of it is the event, which triggers the TNA. Organizational, operational, and person analyses form the next step, called input. The result of the operational analysis is the information on expected performance. The person analysis gives the data on actual performance, meaning the current employee’s level in a given workplace. The difference between expected and actual performance identifies the performance gap, but only in that case when actual performance is lower than the expected one. The given above information concerning all three steps in the TNA, and how they might be conducted, can make the identification process of the performance gap quite easier since it gives more detailed information on the TNA steps, and the potential results of these analyses can be used both for a reactive TNA (primary focus is on the current performance problems) and for a proactive TNA (primary focus is on the possible future performance problems).

To sum up, Training Need Analysis is an important part of the process, which identifies training needs of a company to improve employees’ performance, and as a result a company’s productivity. This process consists of 3 steps: organizational, operational, and person analyses. To conduct these analyses various methods, like interviews, observations, questionnaires, and surveys, are used. After receiving the results, there might be two ways to do further. Training is one of the best solutions to enhance performance, but only in that case when performance deficiencies result from employees’ ignorance. If workers understand the instructions, but they lack the necessary equipment and tools, working conditions are poor, then, perhaps, training is not the best solution. Nevertheless, Training Need Analysis helps to determine drawbacks in a company’s strategy, which makes it less competitive. The successful analysis will help to identify those who need training, and what kind of training is needed.

References

Blanchard, P. N., & Thacker, J., V. (2013). Effective training: Systems, strategies, and practices (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

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Needs Analysis: How to determine training needs. (2015). Web.

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

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