The assessment of training needs is the story of three little questions –
1 To train for what
2 To train how
3 To train when
Training is basically a process of changing people. The areas in which people need 'changing' are
2· Skill or technique
3 Attitude (as reflected in behaviour)
Not necessarily, persons at all levels require all the three types of training. To be most effective, the specific training needs must be assessed for each individual. In practice, however, even if this is done, the training programs themselves cover a group of persons rather than individuals, in consideration of the costs involved.
Earlier we asked a question,
Why train people?
and the brief answer was,
'to meet the challenge of 1970s'.
The specific details of this challenge are -
1 Ever increasing standards of performance are being set by the Management - the standards of sales, costs, profits, return on investment, rejects, inventories, overheads, labour and equipment utilization, absenteeism, labour turnover, etc. etc.
2 New products, new equipment, new facilities will be required to be added continuously.
To meet this challenge not only the number of persons (quantity) required will be higher but the quality of these people will also have to be much higher, in the following areas:
a Knowledge of their job.
b Knowledge. of their responsibilities.
c Ability to divide work i.e. to supervise.
d Ability to make improvements in the methods of work and to put them into practice.
e Ability to lead i.e. knowledge of human problems.
f Ability to discuss the problems of the business, be it individually or at gatherings of employees.
The techniques for determining training needs, listed by the American Society of Training Directors are
2 Management requests
4 Group conferences
5 Job activity analysis
6 Questionnaire surveys
7 Tests or examinations
8 Merit or performance ratings
9 Personnel records
10 Business and production records
11 Long range organizational planning
The needs as assessed by me have been based on techniques 1, 8 and 11.
It is suggested that a further detailed assessment making use of techniques 3, 4 and 7 be made in the course of next 2/3 months. Such an assessment may initially be confined to the following departments -
Production Planning and Control
Plant and Maintenance
Shop Foremen/Stores Personnel
An assessment based on techniques 5, 6 and 9 is already undertaken and under progress.
The assessment vide 'Questionnaire Survey' has been divided. into two main groups, -
1 Training needs in technical subjects (knowledge)
2 Training needs in subjects dealing with 'skills' or ‘techniques’
When the entire assessment is over, it will be possible to draw up a comprehensive Training Program for the sections mentioned earlier.
A comprehensive program for the Switchgear Division as a whole can be launched only when
- The Top Management accepts that 'personnel development through formal training' is the only way to keep L&T abreast of the others.
- The 'Pop Management order a systematic assessment of the training needs of the entire Switchgear Division along the lines discussed above.
- Upon completion of such an assessment instruct our Training Office to prepare a co-ordinate Training Program.
- Entrust our line Managers with the responsibility of implementing the Program in their respective sections. It has been universally accepted that training has to be always a 'line' function.
- The Top Management call for a 'Training Performance Evaluation' report from the line Managers once a year.
The lines along which such a program may be organized are given in the next chapter.