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Training Needs Assessment

I find not that many Tribal organizations have conducted a formal training needs assessment to determine what the gaps are for their staff in terms of their training needs. Rather most organizations seem to send a staff member to training because the staff member has approached their supervisor and wants to go or vice versa the management has determined that person needs training on a certain skill or knowledge base.

It is better to conduct an annual training needs assessment so that you have clearly identified what the needs are for each staff and then develop a specific training plan for each staff member. The survey gathers data to determine what training needs to be developed to help staff and the organization accomplish your goals and objectives.

Factors related to training needs. It can include reorganization, reductions in force, staffing changes, performance/safety issues, sucession planning and career paths/growth to name a few. All these issues will impact the type of training a given staff member will benefit from.

A survey helps an organization achieve its goals. Needs assessment survey forms the basis for determining effectiveness of the training administered.There are some already developed by other Tribal organizations so you may want to ask someone who has already designed one and then adapt it to meet your needs.

There are different ways to determine where the training is needed.

Questionnaires, needs analysis, employer interviews, exit interviews and focus groups are some of the more common ways that the data is obtained.

Make sure you include employee input in the process. If the training is a top down approach without consulting the employee they may be resistant to it and not buy into it as much. The staff member is likely to be far more receptive to the training if they also agree it would be the best fit to upgrade their skills in that area.

Once you have a system in place to conduct the needs assessment you will have a way to identify what staff needs the most and then you can assign the appropriate training to address those areas they need to improve in.

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