|Assignment: Assume that you have been asked to perform a needs assessment for one of the listed companies (not shown here). Try to get a sense of the organization's products and/or services, consumers, management philosophy, and strategic objectives. Based on this, how might you approach the needs assessment? Answer the following questions (questions are asked and answered in the below entry). Post a blog entry that describes your plan for performing a needs assessment at your chosen organization.|
What stakeholders would you want to make sure to get buy-in from?
What questions would you ask (and to whom would you address them) during the organizational, person, and task analysis phases?
For the organizational analysis I would ask questions of the Executive Team and perhaps some of the other presidents so that I cover the major divisions of the company. The intention would be to get a clear view of the company's basic philosophy, culture and strategic goals. As well as an understanding of how the company is performing in relationship to the goals and expectations of the stakeholders. In addition I would want an understanding of their views on how a strategic training program would support the business needs as well as employee development. Some of the questions I would ask would be: (note: this represents some of the questions, there would likely be more to get what I need)
Once the organizational analysis is complete, I will have a better understanding of the performance issues and can begin to analyze the factors that influence performance and learning. Person analysis helps to identify whose performance is below expected levels, what are the factors that cause the performance to be below expected levels, and is training an option to elevate performance. Following are some of the questions which I would ask. These questions would be asked of managers and team members.
To conduct the task analysis, I would ask questions of subject-matter experts: managers and employees who are familiar with and proficient at the specified job. Important to the task analysis is to focus on the tasks necessary to accomplish the company's goals and objectives.Some of the questions which I would ask would be:
What documents or records might you ask to see?
I would be interested in viewing documents related to their mission, vision, strategic goals. I would want to see records pertaining to the company's performance over the last few years. I would be interested in viewing records of customer feedback including complaints and compliments. In addition I would want to see the various job descriptions with specified job requirements, and any policy and procedure manuals.
What techniques would you employ (see Table 3.2 on page 108 of the Noe text), and why?
I would attempt to use as many needs assessment techniques as I could. No one method is superior to another, and they all have advantages and disadvantages. Clearly I would review corporate documents, including manuals, policies, procedures, job descriptions and related tasks. These documents would give me an idea of the company, it's direction, procedures in place and an understanding of the current jobs and any possible new jobs. Another technique I would be interested in would be observation. I believe observation would provide me with an understanding of the work environment, and how employees interact with each other and the customers. One drawback is there are over 200 stores all over North America and Europe, observation would be limited to just a few and the question would be is this an accurate representation. The other two techniques I would use would be interviews and questionnaires. I think interviewing managers, supervisors and other team members would help me uncover training needs as well as uncover other concerns related to performance issues. The easiest of these assessment techniques might be using questionnaires because I could get feedback from a larger audience. The disadvantage to questionnaires however, is it is difficult to write good questions that are not subject to interpretation, and the respondents cannot ask for clarification very readily.
Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Piskurich, G. (2006) Rapid instructional design: learning ID fast and right (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2002). Telling ain't training. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.
Whole Foods Market IP, L. P, (2011). Whole Foods Market: Natural and Organic Grocery. Retrieved May 12, 2011 at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com.
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