Assessing Training Needs of an Organization

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

This lesson discusses the process of assessing the training needs of an organization, which begins with looking at what is presently being done there and comparing that to what needs to be done. New training plans can then be put into place, making it possible for managers to solve problems.

From Here to There: Assessing Training Needs

Assessing training needs means analyzing key factors for performance in an organization in order to bridge the gap between what is currently being done and what needs to be done.

Just in the same way that individuals perform a personal inventory to determine what changes need to be made, like losing weight or getting in shape, organizations also analyze their weak spots and identify areas to improve - but on a much larger scale.

The Process of Assessing Training Needs

Let's visit Happy Cat's Pet Grooming Shop to see how their owner, Freda, assesses the need for training her cat groomers. Cat grooming is not easy. Cats are quite limber, like to jump and can run pretty fast, too. It takes skill and practice to deal with these animals, and proper training is important for cat groomers.

When Freda's clients began complaining about the quality of the grooming and the amount of accidents their cats experienced in her shop, she knew she had to come up with a training plan to address these issues.

The process of assessing training involves the following steps:

  • Take an organizational inventory of what is presently being done
  • Compare it to what should be done

There are many different things to look at when comparing present operations to what needs to happen in the future. Here are a few questions Freda asked herself as she thought about training needs:

  • Do my groomers possess the knowledge, skills and ability (or aptitude) to groom cats?
  • Do we have the right technology in place?
  • Are my groomers happy grooming only cats?
  • Do we have the ability to meet our customers' expectations?

Freda thought long and hard about these questions. She came up with a good plan for finding the information she needed to assess her employees' specific training needs. She dug deep into her business and compiled and defined the following information:

Now that Freda had all of the data she needed, the next thing she did was carefully review each item. Freda found the following gaps:

The company mission and vision stated that Freda's pet grooming shop would be a safe and friendly place for cats. From the looks of things, Happy Cat's Pet Grooming Shop was not very safe and friendly at all. In fact, everyone was miserable at Happy Cat's Pet Grooming Shop.

Freda knew that she had to gather her employees to discuss the mission and vision of the company. This meant training all employees on the culture and the expectations of the business. She did this by providing a copy of the mission and vision statement to all employees. In doing so, Freda gave her employees organizational culture training. She also trained them on how to provide safe service through safety training.

Freda's business goals were to maintain her current clients and even gain a few more from word-of-mouth. Because clients were upset with the treatment of their cats during grooming, nobody was recommending Happy Cat's to their friends.

This meant that quick action needed to be taken to keep current clients and gain more. Freda sent a survey to all of her clients. The information that she received helped her develop a plan for her employees. All of her employees received customer service training that addressed the points raised in the customer survey.

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