Task Analysis

Assessing New Employees’ Training Needs:

Task analysis: A detailed study of a job to identify the specific skills required.

Particularly with lower level workers, it’s common to hire inexperienced personnel and train them. Your aim here is to give these new employees the skills and knowledge they need to do the job. You use task analysis to determine the new employees’ training needs.

Task analysis is a detailed study of the job to determine what specific skills like Java (in the case of a Web developer) or interviewing (in the case of a supervisor) – the job requires. Job descriptions and job specifications are helpful here. These list the job’s specific duties and skills and thus provide the basic reference point in determining the training required. You can also uncover training needs by reviewing performance standards, performing the job and questioning current job holders and their supervisors.

Some employers supplement the job description and specification with a task analysis record form. This consolidates information regarding required tasks and skills in a form that especially record contains six types of information such as skills required.

Performance analysis: Assessing Current employees’ training Needs

Performance analysis: Verifying that there is a performance deficiency and determining whether that deficiency should be corrected through training or through some other means (such as transferring the employee).

Or current employees, performance analysis is the process of verifying that there is a performance deficiency and determining if the employer should correct such deficiency through training or some other means (like transferring the employee).

There are several methods you can use to identify a current employee’s training needs. These include:

1) performance appraisals
2) job related performance data (including productivity, absenteeism and tardiness, grievances, waste, late deliveries, product quality, downtime quality, downtime, repairs, equipment utilization and customers complaints.
3) Observations by supervisors or other specialists;
4) Interviews with the employees or his or her supervisor
5) Tests of things like job knowledge, skills and attendance
6) Attitude surveys
7) Individuals employee daily diaries
8) And assessment center results.

The first step is usually to compare the person’s actual performance to what it should be. Examples of specific performance deficiencies include:

“I expect each salesperson to make ten new contracts per week, but John averages only six. Other plants our size average no more than two serious accidents per month; we’re averaging five”.

Can’t do/Won’t do”

It is futile to spend time training an employee whose work is deficient because of insufficient motivation. Distinguishing between can’t and do and won’t do problems is thus the heart of performance analysis.

First, determine whether it is a ‘can’t do’ problem and, if so its specific causes. For example: The employees don’t know what to do or what your standards are; there are obstacles in the system such as lack of tools or supplies; there are no job aids (such as color coded wires that show assemblers which wire goes where) you’ve hired people who haven’t the skills to do the job; or inadequate training.

On the other hand, it might be a ‘won’t do’ problem Here employees could do a good job if they wanted to. One expert says, perhaps the biggest trap that trainers fall into is [developing] training for problem that training just won’t fix. Perhaps you need to change the reward system.

If training is the solution, you need to set objectives. These specify what the trainee should be able to accomplish upon completing the training program – repair a copier in 30 minutes, program a simple Web site in half a day, or sell five advertising banners per day, for instance.

Competency models:

Many companies including Sharp Electronics develop generic competency models for jobs or closely related groups of jobs. In this context, competency means knowledge, skills and behaviors that enable employees to effectively perform their jobs. Sharp’s process for identifying a job’s competencies begins with interviews with senior executives, to crystallize the firm’s strategy and objectives. Human resource specialists then conduct behavioral interviews with the job’s top performers as well as focus groups to identify the set of competencies (such as demonstrates creativity, communicates effectively and focuses on the customer) that together will comprise the job’s competency model. Subsequent training and development then aim, in part to develop these competencies.

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