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Circumstances under which the Brookside Company may Require to Conduct a Training Needs Analysis

Conducting a training needs analysis (TNA) has been considered as the first move in a training process in any company. TNA seeks to recognize problems in the workplace and evaluate the effectiveness of training as a remedy. Conducting a training needs analysis is considered as the first step towards a change in the workplace. A needs analysis seeks to identify the gap that exists between real–time, current organizational and personal performance and the desired organizational and individual performance (Gent & DellOmo, 1989). Training needs’ assessment will indicate the performance requirement as well as the knowledge, expertise, and skills required within the workforce to deliver the desired performance. The assessment or the analysis seeks to identify the effectiveness of training as a means of equipping the workforce with the required skills, knowledge, and expertise to achieve the organization’s performance goals.

Various circumstances may force Brookside Company to carry out a training needs analysis. The TNA is aimed at helping the company to determine the relevance of training its workforce in order to ensure optimum performance. The company is operating at a time when the production industry is undergoing drastic changes in terms of technology and production methods. Therefore, it is vital for the management of the company to keep its employees abreast of technology to ensure they remain steadfast and productive in their work. Instances of poor performance within the company may prompt the need to conduct a training needs analysis (Gent & DellOmo, 1989). Such a training needs analysis will be aimed at determining the cause of such poor performance. Such poor performance may result from employees’ low productivity at work. Lack of sufficient skills, knowledge, and expertise in the production of milk may lead to poor performance. It is, therefore, fundamental for the company to conduct a training needs analysis in order to identify whether training will seal the gap between the poor performance and the expected or desired performance (Gent & DellOmo, 1989). The poor performance may be at the departmental level or at the organizational level.    

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A training needs analysis guarantees that the correct solution is used in the corresponding problem. Training of employees is a costly exercise, and therefore, training must be directed only to the areas with the help of which anticipated outcome will be achieved and maximum organizational gains will be realized. In some circumstances, a training needs analysis is vital both to the organizational and to the individual employees. Changes in the company system or work may induce the need for a training needs analysis. A needs assessment is normally necessary when work description within the company is altered. The company’s management board may decide to change the operating methods or review them. Such a review on the company’s operating methods may prompt a TNA to determine the importance of training. Such an analysis is intended to identify staff training needs, which will equip them with appropriate skills, hence facilitate their adaptation to the introduced modifications.

Technology is very dynamic, and introduction of new technology is a common phenomenon. Any time new technology is introduced at the workplace, the employees need new training on how to make use of it. The new technology will come with a new way of application, which will form the subject of training in the organization. Accordingly, learning to operate the new technology will require extra skills and comprehension, which may be necessary to workers intending to employ the new technology. Thus, it is fundamental to carry out a TNA to identify the training needs required for the employees to cope with the new technology. For instance, introduction of computer profit and loss recording systems may prompt a needs analysis to enable training of employees on how to use the new systems.

Brookside Company may be induced to conduct a training needs analysis due to the introduction of novel administrative standards. Any amended or novel administrative standard demands training of employees whose work is influenced by such modifications. The employees must be trained in order to comply with the new set standards. A training needs analysis will be vital in identifying the skills required to implement appropriately the novel standards. For instance, the administration may set novel health as well as protection standards in the milk production industry. This may prompt the Brookside industry to conduct a needs analysis to establish the skills to be trained. Training seminars may be organized because of the training needs analysis.

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Lack of motivation in the workplace is another factor which might induce the company to conduct a training needs analysis. Motivation is linked intrinsically to performance in the workplace. The worth a worker attaches to his/her work as well as his/her performance level are directly proportional to work motivation. An individual who assigns great value to his/her work and has a high level of performance is said to be highly motivated, and vice versa. In a similar scenario, a TNA is fundamental to recognize the cause of low performance or presence of untrained skills. An instruction directed to such areas may increase the self-assurance level, an aspect inherently associated with motivation.

Plan for Brookside to Conduct a TNA

A training needs analysis is a complex process, which requires proper preparation. Whereas the resources required for training employees are scarce, it is paramount to conduct an analysis which will propose training with expected results. The complexity of a needs analysis depends on the situation in question (McConnell, 2003). However, it is worth noting that training needs analysis is a systematic process. There are various training needs analysis’ methods, but all of them are based on the desired goals of the organization. Other factors like money, time, and available resources are also put into consideration. The plan for the Brookside Company will be conducted through a six-step procedure in order to produce desired results. A training needs analysis for Brookside Company is conducted annually or when a need arises.

The first step will be the identification of the problem needs (Jackson, 1988). The problem needs are the possible solutions or remedies to the problem in question. There is the need to determine the circumstances which will make training necessary. For instance, a change in technology may be a circumstance which prompts training of employees. This first step in the plan will also seek to identify the skill gap that exists. Once the skill gap has been identified, the objectives should be set. The skill gap may be inadequate technological skills amongst the employees of the company. Objectives of equipping these employees with the necessary knowledge and skills through training should then be made clear (McConnell, 2003). It is also necessary to evaluate the merits and demerits of the selected method. The next step in the plan is collecting data through interviews, questionnaires, observation, and reviewing documents (Jackson, 1988). Analysis of the data follows the data collection. Data analysis may be either qualitative or quantitative, and it determines solutions and recommendations. After the data analysis, a report that determines the next course of action is orally presented to the decision makers.

The plan for conducting a training needs analysis in Brookside Company will be as follows:

Employees who are likely to be affected by the training and seem to require additional training will be gathered in a conference with a white board and markers. The employees will then be asked to write their ten most vital training needs. The employees will be encouraged to write specific needs. A facilitator will be noting down the employees training needs. After listing down the training needs without duplicates, a weighted voting process will be used to prioritize the training needs among the group. The training needs will be listed in the order of importance. Time will be set aside to assess the effectiveness of the training process after a period of three to four weeks.  

Traditional Training Methods

There are various traditional methods which can be applied to an organization to train its employees. A number of them are applicable to the Brookside Company as it endeavors to equip its employees with necessary skills to deliver the desired results. The traditional methods of training include the presentation methods, hands-on-method, and Group building methods. Firstly, the presentation method may be in form of lectures or audiovisual techniques. The employees are trained as students through lecturers. The instructor presents the training in form of a lecture to the employees, who will finally undergo a test to assess their understanding (Jackson, 1988). Audio lessons may also be prepared for the employees to listen to or videos for them to watch.

The hands-on-method is a traditional method of training that requires active participation of an employee or a trainee in the learning process. This method of training may take various forms, which include on-the-job-training, case studies, simulations, and role-plays. On-the-job-training involves new, inexperienced workers learning through observing how their peers and managers perform their jobs. On-the-job-training is considered a self-driven learning process. Simulations present a real life situation to the trainee where his/her decisions result into outcomes. This training method is applicable in instances where a trainee is learning production or process skills.

The group building methods are designed to improve effectiveness in a group of employees. This type of traditional training may be directed to improving and individual’s skills as well as team effectiveness. The method of training aims at improving group skills, which would facilitate effective teamwork. Group building method may include adventure learning, team training, and action learning. The choice of a training method depends on the intended outcome of the learning (McConnell, 2003). The cost of the method is also put into consideration, as well as the availability of the required resources. The effectiveness of the training method to the organization in question is also a major factor to consider. For the Brookside Company, the hands-on method is appropriate. The simulation training technique will be also effective as the company deals with production and process. Real life situations will challenge the trainee and sharpen his or her skills.

Effectiveness of a Computer Based Training Method

Computer based training has been used in corporate training for more than 15 years. However, the technique has only come into its own in the last five years. Computer based training makes use of hardware and software that can run on nearly all computers. One aspect of the computer-based training that is becoming popular is the web-based training. By using this technique, companies can train their employees at any point, be it at home, at work or even on the road. The method of training is effective especially where there are a great number of trainees who are far apart. It eliminates the costs of sending trainees out on training seminars. Computer based training is effective for Brookside company since it is flexible and comfortable for the trainees. Trainees can learn at their pace and style, which can be regulated to match individual needs. While computer based training is non-judgmental, it also provides an immediate feedback as learning progresses.

Once the computer based training systems have been set up, they can work nonstop. This allows the system to handle a larger number of students than the traditional classroom methods. Last but not least, the computer based training can be easily monitored. The systems require only to be programmed to deliver a desired form of training. Although the initial cost of installing the computer systems may be high, the form of training is cost effective in the end. Obstacles in implementing the system may arise as many of the employees may be computer illiterate. However, organized training would equip employees with the necessary skills to adopt the computer-based training.       

Conclusion

A TNA is an important consideration for any growing company, because training helps in bringing about changes. Therefore, a TNA is crucial for the Brookside Company. It seeks to recognize the gap that exists between the real-time, current organizational and personal performance and the desired organizational and individual performance. Therefore, Brookside Company will be in a position to indicate the performance requirement as well as the knowledge, expertise, and skills required within the company’s workforce to deliver the desired performance. Training is an important aspect of all organizations. There are various training methods such as on-the-job-training and computer-based, which are the most favorable methods that Brookside Company should adopt. 

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