The paper provides the steps of the training needs analysis that was developed for the National Institutes of Health. These steps are based on the frameworks to assess the needs of learners who are planned to be involved in training programs.
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The analysis includes the identification of learners, the assessment of the external environment, the selection of the methods to collect the data, and the actual analysis of the gathered information in terms of present competencies and expected states. The paper also provides the summary of the findings with the focus on the most important gaps between the real situation in the National Institutes of Health and the desired competencies that should be developed in the organization’s employees, including executives, managers, administrators, scientists, and clinicians as the main groups.
The training sessions or talent development programs can be designed only after conducting a needs assessment, the main purpose of which is to determine the gaps in the employees’ knowledge and skills (Govil & Usha, 2014). Even though the National Institutes of Health has the Training Center to evaluate employees’ successes and needs, as well as propose the appropriate programs, it is important to construct an additional scheme that can be used to assess the potential learners’ needs in detail (Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health, 2015). This paper presents the constructed training needs analysis developed for the National Institutes of Health and the summary of the findings with the focus on critical gaps between the real situation and the desired state.
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The training needs analysis is based on the identification of learners to participate in talent development sessions. More than 3,500 employees work in the facilities of the National Institutes of Health (Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health, 2015). The training programs should be proposed to all these learners; therefore, much attention should be paid to identifying their specific needs.
Employees are different in terms of their education, duties, age, learning styles, and motivation. The second step is the classification of learners into ‘segments’ (Rothwell & Kazanas, 2003). It is possible to identify such groups of learners as executives, managers, administrators, scientists, and clinicians. These data can be achieved with the help of online sources, and the time required to examine them is one or two days.
The third step is the analysis of the environment in terms of its trends, changes, and perspectives that can influence learners in the National Institutes of Health. As a result, it is possible to identify the following tendencies: staff shortages, the focus on multitasking and optimization processes, the active implementation of technologies, the promotion of innovation, and the implementation of new leadership models among other aspects (Priyadarshini & Dave, 2012). The tendencies can be assessed regarding the information presented in media and online sources. The time required for this activity is for two days.
The next step is the selection of the method to collect the data regarding learners’ needs to compare the employees’ current competencies with the industry requirements or desired competencies (Rothwell & Kazanas, 2003). For this purpose, it is relevant to use assessment results presented in the database of the National Institutes of Health Training Center, as well as to focus on available performance measures (Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health, 2015). Three days are necessary to analyze the retrieved data and determine the existing and desired learners’ competencies that require development or improvement.
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Summarize Your Key Findings in the Paper Making Sure to Identify the Critical “Gaps” between Real and the Desired States
The analysis of the collected data allows for concluding regarding learners’ competencies and their specific needs. The actual competencies of executives, managers, administrators, scientists, and clinicians can be summarized in the following way:
Executives working in the National Institutes of Health have developed leadership skills, and they work to design and realize strategies that correspond with the organization’s mission (Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health, 2015). However, the desired state is associated with developing the executives’ emotional intelligence and the implementation of new approaches to promoting diversity (Cekada, 2010). Therefore, more attention should be paid to training executives to develop emotional intelligence and implement successful diversity programs.
- Managers and supervisors working in the organization demonstrate the developed skills in promoting the comfortable and positive workplace culture, building teams, and implementing changes (Brown, 2002; Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health, 2015). However, the desired competencies are associated with addressing staff shortages and increasing productivity, as well as implementing more technologies in the context of change management. These aspects should be covered with training for managers.
- Administrators in the National Institutes of Health are represented by accountants, clerks, analysts, economists, and other specialists who support the work of researchers and practitioners in the organization. Their current skills can be discussed as highly developed, and there are no gaps in the present and expected performance.
- Scientists and clinicians have developed professional skills to perform as specialists in the fields of biomedical and medical research. There are no gaps between the professionals’ skills in implementing and using innovation and technologies in their work or adapting to changes, as well as working on projects (Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health, 2015). However, the current tendencies in these fields support the idea that scientists and clinicians should also develop as leaders who can supervise other specialists. Therefore, scientists and clinicians working in the National Institutes of Health should be trained to improve their competencies regarding time management, negotiating, and leadership (Cekada, 2010). Additional areas for improvement include reporting and completing presentations because such skills are important to support the specialists’ critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving.
The goals of the paper were achieved regarding constructing the training needs analysis for the National Institutes of Health and summarizing the main findings. The analysis indicates that the main groups of learners that should be involved in the talent development programs in the discussed organization are executives, managers, administrators, scientists, and clinicians.
The data regarding their needs can be retrieved with the help of analyzing the information available on the organization’s website because the National Institutes of Health has the Training Center. The comparison of the real state and the desired state with the focus on employees’ skills allows for concluding regarding the employees’ needs. Thus, it is important to focus on training executives in terms of developing emotional intelligence and improving approaches to promoting diversity. It is also necessary to train managers to improve their skills in planning the work of employees and managing changes. Also, it is important to develop the skills of scientists and clinicians regarding such areas as time management, negotiating, and leadership.
Brown, J. (2002). Training needs assessment: A must for developing an effective training program. Public Personnel Management, 31(4), 569-578.
Cekada, T. L. (2010). Training needs assessment: Understanding what employees need to know. Professional Safety, 55(3), 28-33.
Govil, S. K., & Usha, K. (2014). The importance of training in an organization. Advances in Management, 7(1), 44-52.
Office of Human Resources at the National Institutes of Health. (2015). Training center.
Priyadarshini, R. R., & Dave, D. (2012). Competency-based training needs assessment model. Management and Labor Studies, 37(3), 195-207.
Rothwell, W. J., & Kazanas, H. C. (2003). The strategic development of talent. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.