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Project Mini Paper

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Training and Development My needs assessment for my course project is going very well. I handed out twenty-five surveys around my office and surrounding offices. I informed them it was for school purposes and to be candid as they would not be viewed by anyone within our office. I only have about 5 still out and expect them back this week. The early results appear to be following right along the major study conducted last year of our organization. I have an appointment with our organizational training development lead this Monday to discuss the original survey and its intent. Along with the results, I expect to discover how it was decided to determine the questions. How the results were used to set up a training plan is also on my agenda. One issue I discovered was how I was going to track the data from the survey. I decided on a simple Excel Spreadsheet to take an initial look at the data. This gives a great overview quickly. I simply take each survey and enter the selection into the spreadsheet and review the total numbers after. The data can also be utilized in a graph for analysis. I also decided to use paper surveys instead of doing it online because of security issues. I discussed it with my supervisor and we came to the conclusion that our security office might have issue with it. So to ward off any possible conflict I decided paper. Other than that there were no issues with doing the survey. When looking at the individual level analysis I am looking for each of the responders to do a self assessment of their own needs. I think it is very important for self assessment and personal involvement to create an individual training plan. Our text looks at this very closely and certainly prescribes to this as a critical need. By taking a very close look at our own needs we can set and get in agreement with an individual training plan and be involved in the process from start to finish. This will also allow the setting of personal goals. When we have those personal goals then the employee will strive harder to meet those goals. It has been well documented that when employees set personal goals and meet those goals it lends itself very well to personal satisfaction. This personal satisfaction is the key component to retaining skilled workers. The task level analysis uses the survey to determine if training on certain tasks is needed wide spread across the organization. In the military we have what is called a training crosswalk. It takes every collective task (organizational task) and breaks it down to the simplest task to complete the collective task. When charted out you can see which individual tasks can be taught that will impact the greater number of collective tasks. When you discover which individual tasks can impact the greatest number of collective tasks you train these tasks to have an impact across a majority. That way you can have the biggest impact with your training time and training costs. So to use an example let’s say that file handling is done by 70 percent of the organization. So if we teach proper file handling then we have impacted 70 percent of the organization using one training class. If file handling was only done by 25 percent of the organization then the impact of a file handling training would be a lot lower. So what I am looking for are the biggest needs that impact in training to make the greatest use of the training time and resources as possible. At the organizational level the training assessment has to line up with organizational goals and needs. This is determined at the highest levels to set an organizational training plan. Let’s take the file handling task as an example. We determined that a file handling class will have an impact across the organization. Yet the leadership knows we are going to an online filing system soon and will need to retrain every individual using different criterion. So instead of training file handling now, it can go into the organizational plan for a later date. This will meet long term training plan goals and provide a sound reasoning to that plan. So it is important for there to be involvement at the highest level in the organizational training plan to ensure we do not need to retrain personnel. The other great reason to keep abreast of organizational plans is that it takes time to develop an intensive training designed to create an organizational culture change. This is what we are going through in my organization right now. We are creating the need for training as fast as we are developing the training materials. Any hitch in the development and we will be behind the power curve quickly. With the advent of using the agile project management style then the development time will shorten greatly. Changes will be coming at the rate of every 4 weeks and training has to keep pace with this process across 6 to 8 development teams. Some of the initial insights I am having from my survey is the lack of immediate supervisor’s involvement in the individual employee training plan. Most seem to struggle to determine a path for the employees to follow to become better trained. This lack of involvement creates confusion and frustration for the employee and then they don’t want to get involved in the process at all. I asked a couple supervisors that I knew at a closer level why this seemed to be so. Their response centered on the fact that their supervisor didn’t have a clue either. Meaning they could only do what they had been taught to do. Another area coming to light was the lack of standardization across the organization. We have two major service centers that take in initial benefit requests. These are located in Vermont and California. Even though they do the exact same things they have two different processes to attain the required goals. This is prevalent across many offices within the organization. When we go to an online system as we are working on now the need for a national standard will become a critical issue. The problem of the different processes becomes one of which process is going to become the standard for both. Each office believes there way is the best and show no sign of wanting to change. This is going to multiply itself greatly as we develop more and more of our new system. I see the training intervention as becoming one of setting the standard for the organization using new processes that all can get behind. We have basically 250 different benefit types within the agency spread across more than 100 different field offices and headquarters. The need for standardization within the organization will become critical soon. This will have to be dealt with using several different methods. The first of which I believe needs to be at the senior leadership level with pushing a greater agenda of standardization across the agency. By doing this we will get the buy in we need to be able to deliver a better product and change our organizational culture.

References:
Noe, R. A., & , (2010). Employee training & development. (5th ed.). New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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