Training Needs Analysis implementation: dilemmas and paradoxes (Part 4)

This certainly seem to be a reasonable proposition to put to their employees, at least on the surface. However, we discovered that this was a standard questionnaire that was previously designed and developed, and is implemented without any apparent change, each year. It is not developed with regard to measuring or linking responses of this TNA to an individual’s performance targets or work requirements.  As a result of this standardized approach, there is no useful link between the TNA conducted at this worksite and the organizational goals relevant to the organization’s vision and mission.

Because there was no evident consequential link between the responses to the TNA conducted with all employees at all levels in the organization and their identified and real performance indicators, we felt something was missing. Our observation and reflection on this process suggested that it needed a transparent ‘link’, which would have allowed an evidential determination of what training intervention would be required for various individual’s development[1] within the organisation.

A Government Agency

In another case study which was conducted within a government agency, on the completion of a round of training, the resident internal auditor of the agency inquired whether this particular training was based on a ‘proper’ TNA. The officer responsible for the training stated that training programs were based on the observations and findings during his visits to several local governments, but there was no evidence of these outcomes in the form of a TNA report. As a consequence of the unsatisfactory nature of this situation, a more formal approach to conducting TNAs is now being implemented. In this new approach, the TNAs are developed to cover: the development of a work standard; the development of a training program; and the development of organizational specific TNA questionnaires. These TNA planning and implementation sessions were conducted to identify gaps in competency in each local government, and used these findings as the basis for designing appropriate training programs.

Donor funded TNA implementation in a bi-lateral program

The Indonesia-Australia Specialised Training Project III (IASTPIII), conducted a rapid TNA to determine ‘what’ the implementing agencies of the Indonesian Government required from the Australian Government’s IASTP III in respect of their training needs. The issues identified for determination by this rapid TNA included:

(a) What training was desired?

(b) What training was requested? and

(c) What training would be effective? (Scott, 2007).

The national priorities of the Government of Indonesia were deemed to be the guide for determining the training needs across the provincial focus areas named above. The consequent TNA determined that, throughout the consultation process of local provincial and district agencies, a total of 63 new training requests were identified that met the Government of Indonesia’s national priorities.  As a result, a number of recommendations were made regarding the training needs and the role of donors, particularly the Australian government, and their engagement with training provisions.

[1] This case illustration was based on the discussions with a highly placed bank official in Jakarta.               

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