Respond by Day 7 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
  • 1 Paragraph

Classmates Post:

” It was not until this week that I combined training and development with a needs analysis in this manner. I have been drawn to training and development for many years especially in the area of culture whether it is diversity and inclusion or organizational culture. What interests me is having the ability to look at an organization, those in it, and identifying the needs. Standing on the outside looking in from an I/OP and mental health perspective is promising. At first, I was not sure how a psychology major, urban studies minor, mental health counselor would do in an I/OP program and questioned it often. Now, things like this bring it together.

Businesses exist to provide a service or product for money, but they cannot do that without human capital. Needs analysis bridge a portion of the gap between what is needed to be profitable and what is missing in the organization to do so. A person may have multiple degrees, but the economy, technology, and what is demanded in a job change. A needs analysis should be able to pinpoint the gaps in the current competencies and the training an organization needs an employee to have to stay competitive. For example, an organization must be willing to look forward to emerging technologies and match those to current competencies to fill the coming gap. Within the arena of analysis, the person conducting the process has to be aware of the goals of the company, where it is, explore the culture within the organization that supports training and make recommendations based upon that information.

The strategic plan of the organization includes long-term goals, strategies, and available resources while looking beyond the daily activities. It is what guides the way the organization functions for the next three to ten years or more (Shelly, & Rosenblatt, 2012). Strategic planning and needs analysis must go hand-in-hand as business adapt to changing technologies, internal and external culture, and demands to remain competitive. Both will have to plan to address resistance to change including demands for additional training, shifts in organizational culture, Reed and Vakola (2006) seems to suggest that organizational change and learning have to become integrated into the culture of the organization to avoid resistance, but provide a path an employee can follow. Additionally, I found it interesting that Reed and Vakola (2006) used an action research approach while conducting the needs analysis. This approach is one I believe can be an asset if applied with needs analysis.

The nature of action research is a collaborative process not conducted on a group but with them to answer questions. It gets to the heart of the current situation, identifies problems and needs, and creates a plan to address them. Action research can engage the organizations in planning changes, fact-finding, identify successes, and plan for the training necessary to close gaps. This approach can serve as a way to and allow for training needs to parallel the strategic plan and future growth of the organization while addressing current trends. Current trends such as remote working, full-time and freelance workers in the same space, five-generation workplaces, restructuring towards teams rather than individuals, and an increase in workplace wellness and benefits package to attract top talent (Schwabel, 2016) will force analysts to broaden the scope. In addition to these, the increasing diversity and inclusion in workplaces cannot be overlooked requiring training on a variety of topics and competencies to gain an edge. Attracting and retaining talent that bring with them innovation and spur growth is the way companies are becoming highly profitable (Parsi, 2017). Culture and cultural competence may shift the conversation around needs analysis in general and impact training and development more than organizations anticipate.”

 
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