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The idea of performing a needs assessment in an organization appears from the necessity to identify the most pressing problems and provide effective solutions to eliminate them. As a result, there may appear new HR policies or training programs (Kaufman & Guerra-Lopez, 2013).
The case study at hand is devoted to Summit Credit Union, in which new lenders begin their work without undergoing training in particular aspects related to their job. The problem is that their knowledge received before the beginning of practice is insufficient to start working. They only have a general idea about the principles of the lending system operation and the types of loans. Thus, a need assessment is required to determine what training opportunities can help them improve their job skills.
To target the organizational issue described above, it is essential to locate a particular need for training. For this purpose, it is required to perform: 1) organizational analysis, 2) person analysis, 3) and task analysis–the three major steps of a needs assessment. This separation allows conducting in-depth research while isolating the influence of external factors (Kaufman & Guerra-Lopez, 2013). Once the evaluation is completed, the organization leader may choose from the list of possible training solutions.
At the first stage of the assessment, it will be determined what the organization needs to achieve and whether new training programs can be beneficial for it (Golin & Delhaise, 2013). As soon as the goals are identified, it will be possible to judge whether the company has all the necessary resources for executing its plans.
The second step is to conduct a person analysis. Its purpose is to identify whether employees need training and how this is indicated by their performance. To understand this, desirable and existing capabilities and performance indicators are compared. If the assessment procedure reveals that training is required indeed, it must be decided who will provide and receive it. Moreover, it is essential to understand what competencies employees lack and in what areas improvement is crucial (Golin & Delhaise, 2013). At this stage, it will be clear if the problem is in the training curriculum or it has other underlying causes such as the lack of motivation or any other human-related factors. If it is not about training, there is no need for the third step of the assessment since other strategies will have to be developed depending on the underlying causes.
Finally, task analysis will establish what tasks are to be completed to bridge the gap between the desired and the actual performance of the organization. The content of the program must align with the requirement of the lender position. Since they have a particular task, the training should not be too broad in scope (Kaufman & Guerra-Lopez, 2013). Its primary goal is to solve the problem of lacking competence before the beginning of lenders’ work practice.
First and foremost, the assessment will involve lenders since they are the target group. Secondly, organization leaders of all levels have to participate since they are responsible for the performance of employees. Managers and supervisors have to be aware of the problem to be able to control it. This can help them figure out the reason lenders start their jobs lacking necessary skills and theoretical background. It will also be helpful to consult the author of the exiting training program to understand if the problem is in the curriculum. Finally, if the budget of the organization allows, they might invite an independent expert, who will perform an objective analysis of the situation.
Golin, J., & Delhaise, P. (2013). The bank credit analysis handbook: A guide for analysts, bankers and investors. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Kaufman, R., & Guerra-Lopez, I. (2013). Needs assessment for organizational success. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development.