Types of Needs Analyses

Many needs assessments are available for use in different employment contexts. Sources that can help you determine which needs analysis is appropriate for your situation are described below.

Organizational Analysis. An analysis of the business needs or other reasons the training is desired. An analysis of the organization’s strategies, goals, and objectives. What is the organization overall trying to accomplish? The important questions being answered by this analysis are who decided that training should be conducted, why a training program is seen as the recommended solution to a business problem, what the history of the organization has been with regard to employee training and other management interventions.

Person Analysis. Analysis dealing with potential participants and instructors involved in the process. The important questions being answered by this analysis are who will receive the training and their level of existing knowledge on the subject, what is their learning style, and who will conduct the training. Do the employees have required skills? Are there changes to policies, procedures, software, or equipment that require or necessitate training?

Work analysis / Task Analysis. Analysis of the tasks being performed. This is an analysis of the job and the requirements for performing the work. Also known as a task analysis or job analysis, this analysis seeks to specify the main duties and skill level required. This helps ensure that the training which is developed will include relevant links to the content of the job.

Performance Analysis. Are the employees performing up to the established standard? If performance is below expectations, can training help to improve this performance? Is there a Performance Gap?

Content Analysis. Analysis of documents, laws, procedures used on the job. This analysis answers questions about what knowledge or information is used on this job. This information comes from manuals, documents, or regulations. It is important that the content of the training does not conflict or contradict job requirements. An experienced worker can assist (as a subject matter expert) in determining the appropriate content.

Training Suitability Analysis. Analysis of whether training is the desired solution. Training is one of several solutions to employment problems. However, it may not always be the best solution. It is important to determine if training will be effective in its usage.

Cost-Benefit Analysis. Analysis of the return on investment (ROI) of training. Effective training results in a return of value to the organization that is greater than the initial investment to produce or administer the training.

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