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Strategic Planning, Learning Theory, and Training Needs Analysis

The five phases of the training process model include; Needs Analysis Phase; Design Phase; Development Phase; Implementation Phase, and the Evaluation Phase. The “Needs Analysis Phase” is to determine each employee’s needs and ask “What do we want our employees to get out of the program? ” This phase will help identify the difference between comparing the company’s current results to the company’s “expected organizational performances. The performance gap is one way to figure out what is best needed in the training process of the company.

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Our text states that the “needs analysis phase begins when there is a performance problem within the organization. Examples of this problem might be: lack of quality, customer dissatisfaction, or reduced profits. If the identified problem is related to employee knowledge, skills, or attitudes, then a training need is indicated. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) It is much less costly to have a gap analysis prepared; than to guess at what the needs are before the training objectives begin.

The “Design Phase is where the needs of the “training objectives are created along with the factors needed to facilitate learning through content delivery. ” This assessment of needs can be linked to the information and then used to “create the new curriculum of the program objectives. These provide specific direction for what will be trained and how. ” The phase of design should allow us to begin to think about our “operational considerations to the program. We may ask ourselves how the delivery of the program is going to “influence the business operations” in the foreseeable future. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The Development Phase is described as the “process of formulating an instructional strategy to meet a set of training objectives as well as obtaining or creating all the things that are needed to implement the training program. ” In this stage the materials used can be movies, games, visual aids, etc. The trainer needs to be sure they keep the trainees fully engaged with activities to ensure the knowledge is retained.

With updated materials and “revamping of statistical data” the trainee’s should be able to stay focused and interested in the program. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) In the Implementation Phase, “all the aspects of the training program come together,” and the training actually takes place. Some important things to keep in mind are what practices will be discussed; potential leadership skills; addressing classroom rules and class expectations required, and have on hand, a feedback form for the trainee’s to fill out at the end of the program.

The Evaluation Phase consists of two types of evaluations. First, “the process evaluation determines how well a particular process achieved its objectives. ” Like, “did the trainer follow the exact training process suggested? ” Second, is the outcome evaluation, which is conducted at the end of the training to determine the effects of training on the trainee, the job, and the organization? ” Furthermore, “if the outputs of the program were less than expected, then changes to the program may be necessary.

Companies should establish a systematic evaluation process to enhance the effectiveness of the training. ” The company really needs to determine, through the evaluation phase; whether the training enhanced employee’s performance or the company’s performance as expected. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The end results focus on “both the evaluation process combined with the training unit and has a complete picture of the training from needs analysis to training techniques. It furnishes information about the trainer, and measures learner’s outcomes through reaction, learning, behavior, and results. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) Identify three factors that might inhibit HRD managers from developing a strategic planning approach to training.

Recommend how these three factors might be overcome. Some factors that may inhibit a HRD manager from developing a strategic plan could be “the lack of motivation to participate in new learning tasks; a lack of funding available; a lack of clarity on the role of HRD; and perhaps not enough time available for new development in the company. ”It is important for every Company in business to be aware of certain factors; in order to accomplish their goals successfully. Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) Overcoming some of these negative factors maybe the “HRD manager needs to ensure that their HR teams is open and committed to the highest training expectations that are available to every employee’s success. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The company should be totally “committed by financing the proper training that is needed for the future success of the company as a whole. ” What a business puts into the investment of their employee’s, are most likely to surface motivated success for the company.

The HRD should clearly clarify exactly what their role is going to entail, right from the start, so there will be full understanding of each employee’s expectations. The company needs to “dedicate sufficient amount of time each year for the proper training of its employee’s. ” Dedication of the company is just as important as the employee’s dedicating their KSA to the company. Compare and contrast the behaviorist and the cognitive approaches to learning. Explain which is more relevant to training. Behaviorist approaches to learning usually are “focused on people who have specific observable behaviors or habits that they want to change. After understanding the principles of learning, they may even be able to modify their own behavior. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010)

The Cognitive approaches are concerned with the “thought process; these people focus on changing the way they think. Our text explains that the cognitive approach suggests that the learner controls learning, and they may come to training with their own set of goals and priorities. ” Whereas the behaviorist come to training with a specific goal and believe the “environment controls the learning outcome. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The two definitely are different in ways, but “behavioral and cognitive approaches are being used in the same multimedia application. Both involve analysis, decomposition, and simplification of tasks in order to make instruction easier and more efficient” (Jonassen, 1991). Both use “devices to arouse, attract, and focus attention. Both force learner engagement through interactive decision-making points in the material. Both give importance to intrinsic feedback, though it may be expressed in voluntary help or advice options in applications with cognitive design.

Both value meaningful learning and realistic contexts for application of knowledge and skills” (Atkins, 1993). It is my opinion both are equally relevant to the training programs, depending on which approach one wants to take. Fully explain the purpose of a training needs analysis (TNA). Argue the conditions under which a TNA is always necessary, and offer two examples when a TNA might not be required. The purpose of a training needs analysis is to “close a gap between what the “actual organizational performances are and what the expected organizational performance should be.

The TNA is represented as having a triggering event, an input stage, a process stage, and finally an output phase. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The input phase “consists of three levels of analysis; the organizational analysis focuses on organizational strategies, resources, resource allocation, and the internal environment. The analysis of the organization’s internal environment will help to identify the cause of the organizational performance gap, and will help to decide if training is the appropriate cure. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The operational analysis “examines the specific jobs to determine and what KSA are necessary to get the job done. This process is known as job analysis, which is a detailed examination of all of the job tasks. Once the tasks are identified, then a decision can be made as to what KSAs are necessary to do the job competently. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The operational analysis “examines specific jobs to determine and what KSA are necessary to get the job done. This process is known as job analysis, and it is a very detailed examination of all of the job tasks.

Once the tasks are identified, then a decision can be made as to what KSAs are necessary to do the job competently. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The person analysis; is the final stage that actually” focus on those in the job who are not meeting the performance requirements. Data on individual employees may come from a number of data sources, but the two most common sources are performance appraisals and efficiency tests. By incorporating the three levels of analysis, organizational, operational, and person, the identification of the performance gap should be complete.

From here decisions can be made as to whether a training need or a non-training need has been identified. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) The TNA is always necessary when the organization notices performance problems, because they need to know what the causes are, so they can be corrected in a timely manner. For most “training situations, use of the TNA will increase the relevance and effectiveness of the training. It ensures wise use of training funds, delivers the appropriate training to the right people, and contributes to the fulfillment of organizational goals. Diversity, language, retirement, and “turnovers are all factors that might contribute to a performance gap. ” (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010) According to chapter 4 in our text; “TNA might not be necessary when an organization is trying to communicate a new vision or address a legal concern, which would include all employees to be present in the training program. ” When the organization has decided to conduct “team building skills for a more positive performance outcome”; all employees will be trained in this case; there is no need for a TNA to be done. (Blanchard / Thacker, 2010)

Reference

Blanchard N. & Thacker J. (2010) Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices, Pearson Education, Inc. / Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey Martin G. L. & Pear J. (2002) Behavior Modification: What It Is and How to Do It, 7th ed. New York: Prentice-Hall, Retrieved on April 25, 2011 from http://www.ryerson.ca/~glassman/behavior.html SBI Conduct a TNA to test and find out if training is the best solution Retrieved April 25, 2011 from http://www.leopard-learning.com/tna.html Jonassen, D.H. (1991). Objectivism versus constructivism: Do we need a new philosophical paradigm? Educational Technology Research and Development, 39(3), 5-14. Atkins, M.J. (1993). Theories of learning and multimedia applications: An overview. Research Papers in Education, 8(2), 251-271.Retreived on April 25, 2011 from http://www.ct4me.net/multimedia_design.htm

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