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Excerpts from Easytraining
Insights Digital

Page 7 

All content copyright of Claire Belilos

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ISSN 1496-3361
Vol.1, Issue #19 - February 20, 2002
Identifying Training Needs


"   People seem to be constantly searching for a new theory and magic wand which will help them save time, effort and expenses in their various organizational responsibilities.  My best advice to them is to stop "searching" for new theories and begin acting.   Draw on your own knowledge, training, experience, observation and commonsense, to begin planning, testing, and implementing. If you do not have the required background and expertise then hire a Consultant to coach you and to help organize training and development.

Proven theories are excellent when clear, relate to the situation at hand, and are easily applicable.  However, we must be able to discern, filter, and adapt.  The secret lies in knowing "how" to apply theories to the company in question, the situation and people involved.   First of all, the particular theory must "relate" to the situation at hand.   To use someone else's theory effectively, we must learn how to rise above our own subjectivity, study, weigh, filter, add, adapt, and then plan a strategy on how best to implement.  

The success or failure of such an effort very much depends on our own intelligence, powers of deduction, and sensitivity.   People interpret and weigh theories differently.  They apply them  differently.  Even if understood and applied in the same manner by two separate people, the effects differ depending on company circumstances, environment, managers, employees, locality, type of product, type and level of service, customer profile and customer expectations.

If we "must" have a ready-made theory to be able to design some management strategy,  then we must, in all faith, form a management committee to discuss and examine this theory from all angles, critique it, change and adapt it to the company's needs and realities.........

Recently I received a question, composed of two different questions: how to discover training needs and how to minimize training costs while maximizing effectiveness.........Analyzing training needs is one thing.  Cutting down on training costs while maximizing training effectiveness is another.

There is no quick "magic formula".   Detailed work is needed.  Once organized, the company and its human resources and training people will save time, effort, and money.   They will also greatly enhance employee and organizational performance, leading to happy customers and  repeat business.   Here is the course to follow:

a)      Review the various job functions (positions and responsibilities of employees)

b)      Decide on, or re-word, the "objective" (purpose) of each job function.

c)      Review and refine tasks lists and job descriptions.  

d)      Define the performance objective of each "task" or "group of tasks".

e)      Performance objectives must be "measurable" (by observation or testing).

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