Defining Needs Assessment Name Institution Instructor Course Date Defining Needs Assessment Need assessment is the systematic determination and analysis of any arising needs in a system and measures to address the gap using effective strategies

Defining Needs Assessment
Name
Institution
Instructor
Course
Date
Defining Needs Assessment
Need assessment is the systematic determination and analysis of any arising needs in a system and measures to address the gap using effective strategies (Soriano, 2013). These needs involve the difference between the desired conditions and the current conditions and the necessary unavailable resources required to steer wheel the system to the desired conditions (Soriano, 2013). A need assessment is aimed to determine these gaps and the available opportunities and resources that can be used to address the gaps. The need assessment process is directed to positively impact an organization as it seeks to determine the best strategies to solve any arising issues and provide support in the implementation process (Soriano, 2013). Need assessment also provides an advantage to an organization as it provides the best solutions to address the issues (Soriano, 2013).
Need assessment has become part of the strategic management process and has been integrated into many organizations today because of the benefits it provides to an organization (Soriano, 2013). Need assessment impacts largely the employees of an organization, which can be through training to equip and add knowledge to the employees who are important in helping an organization in achieving the set goals and objectives (Soriano, 2013). Staff members are very important in any organization as they provide the necessary skill, knowledge, and workforce to steer organization towards its vision. Training of employees is directed to solve any arising issues that may hinder increased productivity and it is very crucial for organizations to incorporate this component into their system (Soriano, 2013).
Training is a result of a need assessment analysis, which helps employees of an organization address the issues affecting the organization (Altschuld & Kumar, 2010). Employees of an organization play a big part in achieving organization’s goals and objectives and should be the first to be considered during a need assessment analysis (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010). The success or failure of an organization is largely determined and influenced by the staff members. Need assessment is beneficial to an organization as it determines and explores problems, which would not have been easily detected though they may affect productivity of the organization (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010).

The need assessment also provides appropriate solutions towards the problems. More to this, the need assessment also monitors the implementation process of the solutions determined by prioritizing the most effective system to address the problems (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010). A need assessment can also be carried out by an organization to determine performance issues affecting an organization and the required skills and knowledge which will enable better organization and utilization of resources in the necessary areas (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010). In conclusion, a need assessment is a vital process that all organizations should incorporate into their system as it positively impacts the resource allocation process which is important in the achievement of an organization’s goals and objectives (Altschuld & Kumar, 2010).

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Cost-Effectiveness of Companies Conducting Need Assessments
Need assessment can be applied as a cost effectiveness tool as it helps organizations to determine the required needs where they can be addressed effectively which also gives a guarantee of success to the organization (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013). Need assessment determines which employees have a deficit of resources and how to administer and allocate the required resources to the necessary individuals instead of training the whole number of employees or allocating resources without a good analysis, which can lead to wastage of resources (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013). This leads to a reduction of costs involved with the training of employees. All organizations must train and educate their employees regularly due to the changing environments and systems and for an organization to continue with its operations maintaining productivity and having a competitive advantage, its employees must be equipped with the most current skills to perform their duties effectively (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013).
Through the implementation of cost effective strategies, the organizations conducting need assessments will lower the costs of their operations compared to organizations that do not conduct need assessments (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013). Need assessment is part of the planning process of organizations, which requires allocation of resources to organizational departments, which is important as every department must have the necessary resources to enable effective functioning of the department (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013). Incorporating need assessment in the planning process will ensure that organizational resources are effectively allocated and managed. Resources impact the operational costs of all organizations and a mismanagement of resources can lead to increased costs to an organization as these resources may be misappropriated (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013). By the need assessment process properly detecting the problems and determining the appropriate solutions to be implemented, adequate, and specific resources can be allocated to address the issue, which will save on costs (Kaufman & Guerra-Lo?pez, 2013).
The need assessment also provides the most effective processes and strategies to steer wheel an organization to the desired results (Soriano, 2013). Having a specific plan, which guarantees good results, enables an organization to allocate its resources effectively through the best processes, which will guarantee good results and save the organization on costs associated with resource allocation (Soriano, 2013). Companies conducting need assessments are able to improve their quality of decisions and policies, which have a direct relationship to the organization’s total spending on the achievement of goals and objectives (Soriano, 2013). Making quality decisions and policies will positively impact an organization’s total costs. Training is also done to equip the employees with the necessary information that will help the organization in achieving their goals (Soriano, 2013).

Steps Companies Can Employ To Modify Ineffective Training Programs That Are Not Cost Effective
Ineffective training programs incur unnecessary costs to an organization and can lead to decreased productivity, which negatively affects an organization performance in achieving the desired goals and objectives (Sleezer, Gupta, & Russ-Eft, 2014). Effective training is beneficial to an organization as it can increase productivity, lower the costs involved while at the same time decreasing any wastage of resources by the employees (Sleezer, Gupta, & Russ-Eft, 2014). Steps that companies can employ to modify ineffective training programs that are not cost effective include performing a training need assessment (Sleezer, Gupta, & Russ-Eft, 2014). This need assessment is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of an organization’s employees, which will improve their productivity. Organizations need to access the situation to determine the reasons for a need assessment and what issues to address (Sleezer, Gupta, ; Russ-Eft, 2014).
The need assessment is based on the organization’s goals and objectives, the roles of the specific workers toward attainment of the goals and objectives, and the training activities that would benefit the workers in performing their roles and responsibilities (Sleezer, Gupta, & Russ-Eft, 2014). The second step is to consider the employees’ needs and participation in the training process as different employees have different training needs and different experience (Sleezer, Gupta, ; Russ-Eft, 2014). After determining these needs, the organization can create learning principles that will help the different individuals in their training (Sleezer, Gupta, ; Russ-Eft, 2014). Considering the employee’s characteristics also involves respecting the employee’s wishes and desires since training is a voluntary participation process that better functions when individuals are free to participate in the process and their desires are respected (Sleezer, Gupta, ; Russ-Eft, 2014).
The third step that companies can employ to modify ineffective training programs that are not cost effective is to develop learning objectives, which include involving the employees in the determination of the training objectives and their concerns relating to the objectives (Soriano, 2013). This process can also involve determination of timeframes and the methods to use during the training process, which will guarantee development (Soriano, 2013). Learning objectives will include the new roles and responsibilities that the trained staff members will be able to perform after the completion of the training. Employees should be assessed on their understanding of the new skills and knowledge, which can be done through tests or performance appraisals (Soriano, 2013).

The fourth step is the designing and developing of the training materials, which will guarantee an effective training session by motivating and encouraging employees throughout the training process (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010). This can include a change from the daily activities and engaging the employees more during the training process. The training materials should also be focused on the needs of the employees and the training objectives (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010). The fifth step is the training process. The training materials should be easy for the employees to understand and the training methods should be able to accommodate all employees as different employees may have different learning methods and strategies (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010). Employees should be well prepared before attending the training to know what is required of them and the schedules of the training programs. This will enable the members to prepare themselves before the training starts, which is important (Altschuld ; Kumar, 2010).
An evaluation should also be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the training, which can be done through responses and opinions, received from the members and tests to determine the level of understanding that the employees may have acquired during the training (Soriano, 2013). Observations can also be carried out after the training to determine the employee’s incorporation of the new skills and knowledge into their roles and responsibilities (Soriano, 2013). This can also be determined through the organization’s achievement of goals and objectives as well as the business results at the different organizational levels (Soriano, 2013).
Discuss the Role That Technology, Computer Based Training, Webinars, Etc, Play In Determining the Cost Effectiveness of Training Programs
The use of technology-based systems is very important and useful in determining the cost effectiveness of training programs. Technology helps in the reduction of the training time required (Seidel ; Chatelier, 2013). Technology advancements have enabled easy to use computer-based applications, which can include Microsoft word, PowerPoint, and Excel that are easier to use and apply during the training process (Seidel ; Chatelier, 2013). Time is an important aspect in all organizations and this can determine the rate of productivity as organizations, which use their time efficiently, report high productivity compared to organizations that do not manage their time effectively (Seidel ; Chatelier, 2013). This also helps reduce the training time, which is beneficial to organizations that normally fund the training process and employees can go back to work implementing the acquired knowledge the soonest (Seidel ; Chatelier, 2013).
Computer applications can also allow integrations with other organizations across the globe where comparisons can be done to help develop the organizations more increasing their productivity, which will enable the organizations to be able to cover the costs involved with their operations (Seidel ; Chatelier, 2013). Since training has become an important component in organizations, organizations must incur costs related to training their employees and any strategies, which can lower the costs, must be integrated into the system to enable a better management of the available resources (Seidel ; Chatelier, 2013). One of these strategies is in the use of technology in the training process, which will positively impact the organization’s spending on resources (Seidel & Chatelier, 2013).
Technology has also proved to be a better and an efficient tool which helps members to better understand concepts and principles which can be proved and results can be shown through examples on the internet (Seidel & Chatelier, 2013). Technology has also enabled learning as it is not restrictive to class and members can continue improving their knowledge at work after their training, which can save the organization on the resources required during a prolonged training session (Seidel & Chatelier, 2013). Employees are also able to access training information anywhere and anytime which is an advantage to the continued learning of employees which in result increases and guarantees a constant productivity. This is a benefit to the organization, which its major goals are improved and continued productivity (Seidel & Chatelier, 2013).
Steps or Guidelines That Can Be Utilized To Help Guide the Successful Implementation of a Training Program
Steps that can be utilized to help guide the successful implementation of a training program include understanding the benefits of the training to the employees as well as the organization (Saks, Haccoun, Belcourt, & Belcourt, 2010). Employees provide workforce to organizations and must be properly equipped to enable them to carry out their roles and responsibilities effectively (Saks et al., 2010). Training opportunities provide the necessary skills and knowledge that can help employees steer wheel the organization to its desired goals and objectives, which is important and an advantage to the organization (Saks et al., 2010). Training current employees is a better option than to acquire new employees, which may be difficult, and may take time in adapting to the new organizational environment (Saks et al., 2010). Training current employees will positively impact the employees as it will be a chance to grow and increase their skills which may lead to a long-term commitment of the employees to the organization (Saks et al., 2010).

A successful implementation of a training program will require a good planning by the organization (Saks et al., 2010). For a training program to be effective, prior planning must be done carefully considering all influencing factors which may involve external factors that may influence the training program as well as allowing employee participation before the training starts (Saks et al., 2010). Planning may also include resource analysis and effective resource allocation to avoid mismanagement or misappropriation of the resources. The needs assessment of the employees must also be considered and how the program will solve those needs (Saks et al., 2010).
The training should be directed towards achieving the desired goals (Saks et al., 2010). Any challenges that may arise must also be considered and strategies on how to address those challenges determined (Saks et al., 2010). Another step to help guide the successful implementation of a training program is considering the tools and other programs that will also be needed during the training program and a budget to address this should be provided (Saks et al., 2010). This can involve the technology required during the training and other elements that will ensure an effective training process (Saks et al., 2010). The performance of employees should also be measured after the training program to determine the results of the training program and any improvements implemented to enable a successful implementation of the training program (Saks et al., 2010).

References
Altschuld, J. W., & Kumar, D. D. (2010). Needs assessment. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Kaufman, R., & Guerra-Lo?pez, I. (2013). Needs assessment for organizational success. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD Press.

Saks, A. M., Haccoun, R. R., Belcourt, M., & Belcourt, M. (2010). Managing performance through training and development. Toronto: Nelson Education.

Seidel, R. J., & Chatelier, P. R. (2013). Advanced Technologies Applied to Training Design. Boston, MA: Springer Verlag.

Sleezer, C., Gupta, K., & Russ-Eft, D. F. (2014). A practical guide to needs assessment. Hoboken: Wiley.

Soriano, F. I. (2013). Conducting needs assessments: A multidisciplinary approach. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

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