Strategic/organizational analysis methods depend on the particular organization. A list of data sources is available for determining training and HRD needs. The list includes the following; human resource inventories (formerly known as manpower inventories), skills inventories, organizational climate measures, and efficiency indexes. Some of these sources, such as efficiency indexes are continuously monitored by many organizations as part of the normal control procedures and the data are readily available. Other existing organizational measures can be used as a basis for performance improvement and training efforts also. Such sources include employee surveys and interviews. For example, the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan markets two instruments – Survey of Organizations and Michigan Organizational Assessment Questionnaire – that are supported by substantial reliability and validity data.
Here is an additional list of questions to ask during an organizational analysis:
- Are there any unspecified organizational goals that should be translated into training objectives or criteria?
- Are the various levels in the organization committed to the training objectives?
- Have the various levels or participating units in the organization been involved with developing the program, starting with the assessment of the desired end results of training?
- Are key individuals in the organization ready to accept the behavior of the trainees, and also to serve as models of the appropriate behavior?
- Will trainees be rewarded on the job for the appropriate learned behavior?
- Is training being used to overcome organizational problems or conditions that actually require other types of solutions?
- Is top management willing to commit the necessary resources to maintain the organization and work flow while individuals are being trained?
As suggested, organizational analysis can be a critical component of an effective HRD effort. Although it would be optimal to conduct a complete organizational analysis on a regular basis, resource and time limitations often make this difficult. At the very least, HRD managers and professionals should continuously monitor the organization’s environment, goals and effectiveness by taking advantage of information already collected by the organization. This responsibility is increasingly expected of ALL managers and supervisors, as the environment becomes increasingly more turbulent and competition more fierce.
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