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Assessing HRD

Chapter 4

Why Do Needs Assessment?


Question: Why is needs assessment information critical to the development and delivery of an effective HRD program?

Needs Assessment
Figuring out what is really needed Not always an easy task Needs lots of input Takes a lot of work Do it now or do lots more later First step in both the PDM and HRD process models
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Product Development Model (PDM)


Analyze

Design

Develop

Produce Pilot

Evaluate

Deliver

By permission: Doty, W.B. (1997) Product Development

Improve

The HRD Process: A DImE

Comparing the HRD Process Model to the PDM/ISD Model


HRD Process Model Assess Design PDM Model Analyze need Design training Develop Produce pilot Evaluate pilot Deliver training Improve
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Implement Evaluate

What is a Need?
A discrepancy between expectations and performance Not only performance needs involved

Various Types of Needs


Performance Diagnostic

Factors that can prevent problems from occurring Analytic Identify new or better ways to do things Mandated by law or regulation
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Compliance

Traps in Needs Assessment


Focusing only on individual performance deficiencies

Doesnt fix group of systemic problems

Starting with a Training Needs


Assessment

If you know training is needed, why waste everyones time?

Traps in Needs Assessment 2


Using Questionnaires Hard to control input, often high developmental costs, hard to write properly Using soft data (opinions) only
Need performance and consequence data Using hard data only

Easily measured data is provided, but critical, hard-to-measure data is missing


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Levels of Assessment
Organization

Where is training needed and under what


conditions?

Task

What must be done to perform the job


effectively?

Person

Who should be trained and how?


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Strategic/Organizational Analysis
A broad, systems view is needed Need to identify:

Organizational goals Organizational resources Organizational climate

Environmental constraints

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Why Strategic Assessment is Needed


Ties HRD programs to corporate or organizational goals Strengthens the link between profit and HRD actions Strengthens corporate support for HRD Makes HRD more of a revenue generator

Not a profit waster


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Sources of Strategic Information


Mission statement HRM inventory Skills inventory Quality of Working Life indicators Efficiency indexes System changes Exit interviews
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Task Analysis
The collection of data about a specific job or group of jobs What employee needs to know to perform a job or jobs

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How to Collect Information For a Task Analysis


Job descriptions Task analysis Performance standards Perform job Observe job Ask questions Analysis of problems
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A Sample Task Analysis Process


Develop job description Identify job tasks

What should be done What is actually done

Describe KSAOs needed Identify potential training areas Prioritize potential training areas
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Task Analysis for HRD Position


Job title: HRD Professional Tasks 1. List tasks Subtasks 1. Observe behavior Specific duty: Task Analysis Knowledge and Skills Required List four characteristics of behavior Classify behavior 2. Select verb Knowledge of action verbs Grammatical skills 3. Record behavior State so understood by others Record neatly 2. List subtasks 1. Observe behavior List all remaining acts Classify behavior 2. Select verb State correctly Grammatical skills 3. Record behavior 3. List knowledge 1. State what must be known 2. Determine complexity of skill Neat and understood by others Classify all information Determine if a skill represents a series of acts that must be learned in a sequence

SOURCE: From G. E. Mills, R. W. Pace, & B. D. Peterson (1988). Analysis in human resource training and organizational development (p. 57). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Reprinted by permission.

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A Task Analysis Application


Question: You have been asked to perform a task analysis for the job of dispatcher in a city police department. Which method(s) of task analysis do you think are most appropriate for analyzing this job?
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Person Analysis
Determines training needs for specific individuals Based on many sources of data Summary Analysis

Determine overall success of the individual Discover reasons for performance


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Diagnostic Analysis

Performance Appraisal
Relied on heavily in person analysis Hard to do Vital to company and individual Should be VERY confidential Based too often on personal opinion

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The Employee Appraisal Process

By Permission: Herbert & Doverspike (1990)

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Performance Appraisal Process


Determine basis for appraisal

Job description, MBO objectives, job standards, etc.

Conduct the appraisal Determine discrepancies between the standard and performance Identify source(s) of discrepancies Select ways to resolve discrepancies
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Prioritizing HRD Needs


There are never enough resources available Must prioritize efforts Need full organizational involvement in this process Involve an HRD Advisory Committee.

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Warning!!
HRD cannot become a slow-acting bureaucracy!! HRD must respond to corporate needs HRD should be focused on performance improvement, and not just training

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Summary
Why is needs assessment so often not performed in many organizations?

Why should organizations care about needs assessment?

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SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS 1. Identify and briefly describe two types of training needs. ANS: Examples include performance deficiency, diagnostic needs, analytic, and compliance needs for training/HRD.

2. State one reason why performance appraisal information is insufficient as the only source of information to conduct a person needs analysis.
ANS: Appraisals may contain incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, as most often used, appraisals often dont get at all the possible reasons for any performance issues that are identified. 3. Identify one advantage of linking organizational needs analysis to the organizations strategic planning process. ANS:This provides the greatest likelihood that what is identified in the needs assessment process is in fact what is most strategically valuable to the organization.
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ESSAY QUESTION You have been asked to perform a task analysis for the job of secretary in the Management Department at your university. Which method(s) of task analysis would you recommend as most appropriate for analyzing this job, and why? Possible answers include: review the existing job description/specifications, observe the job, interview the incumbent, or use any of the more specific task identification methods

I think a top answer will recommend making use of multiple methods of task analysis.
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