Topic #1 Proactive and Reactive TNA
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A training needs assessment allows organizations to determine if there is an actual need for training. Conducting a training needs assessment allows the organization to be proactive without implementing training and paying the cost of training without knowing if it will resolve an issue the organization is experiencing.
According to Watkins, West-Meiers & Visser,
Needs assessments proactively identify (a) the performance data that define your needs, (b) the prioritization of your needs, (c) the performance criteria for assessing potential interventions, and (d) the information necessary to justify your selection of one or more activities to improve performance (Watkins, West-Meiers & Visser, 2012,).
A proactive needs assessment is better than a reactive training needs assessment because it enables the organization to justify the need for the training and the cost for the training. If training is needed in more the one area, the organization is able to prioritize the needs. It also enables the organization to not spend money unnecessary on training that may not be the best option for the organization. With a proactive training needs assessment, the organization is able to determine if the training is valid.
With a reactive training needs assessment, the organization does not review the performance needs of the company as a whole. This means that the organization is reacting to a specific issue at hand and this may not fully resolve the issue. This is a disadvantage because the organization the needs assessment provides valuable information to identify weaknesses and strengths within an organization. It is also a disadvantage because the organization may spend money unnecessarily on training and not issues can be resolved through training. Reactive needs assessments are only better when it is a response to strategic planning, tactical procedures and operational objectives. It is best for the organization to first determine the scope of the needs and if it is in response to training issues where the organization should be proactive or strategic planning, tactical or operational decisions.
Watkins, R., West-Meiers, M., & Visser, Y. (2012). A guide to assessing needs.
Washington, D.C.: World Bank.