Companies are focussing on training needs these days before investing money in L&D. It’s important to focus on the needs of the stakeholders because they know what are the requirements. It’s not so easy to understand what the stakeholders need. Firstly, you must talk to them about how the project is proceeding. When the stakeholders have the information they require about a project, it’s easy for them to make decisions. The stakeholder must have complete information on whether a project truly needs to be implemented. This is what the L&D managers need to check before implementing a project:
- If training is actually needed?
It’s because sometimes, training is not required for a performance issue. There is something wrong with the employee and he needs counselling. Hence, stakeholders need to communicate face-to-face with the people who need training.
You can’t communicate with stakeholders (top management) via email. It’s better to get their trust so that they have full confidence in the L&D process. When the stakeholders are not consulted properly before a training plan, it clearly means they are not trusted by the L&D. They can feel offended by such a treatment.
Sometimes, training is not the reason behind all the problems.
There can also be other problems.
Hence, a needs-assessment process is quite necessary for finding out training needs.
When training is not the real source of the problem, it’s better to do a survey. The employee interview results can be useful in employers knowing how the training is not the real need. They should not learn it the hard way. Wasting money on training and then realizing it does not serve any purpose.
- Proper communication needed with stakeholders:
The project managers are often perturbed when the project does not happen according to the plan. There are hindrances in it, and they are due to lack of skilled labor. In this situation, they should use organized communication to interact with the stakeholders, who are responsible for making the decisions. They should use a communication management plan. It helps stakeholders to know what is missing in the employees. This plan highlights what needs to be told to the stakeholders and how frequently. When the project managers follow this plan, they have all the necessary information regarding who prepared the training material. This way, they can check whether such materials lack some information. This also boosts the trust between the stakeholders and the project managers because the former get to know how the training is taking place like how often the training notifications are sent.
The L&D team needs to be open about the training needs. Although the information revealed to the stakeholders might not be so pleasant, the L&D team has to be truthful. In fact, they can also prepare a report, which can include the results of the survey and their suggestions. This report can also include an executive summary explaining the problem.
- Establish accountability:
Transparency is crucial when interacting with stakeholders. When the stakeholders know the truth, they understand why training is needed. The project managers need to establish accountability for a task. This implies that when there is transparency, project managers know why the results are not coming, and they have someone to ask that. So, when the stakeholders understand all these responsibilities, they start believing in the project managers and the concept of training needs.
- Data collection through observations:
Data can also be collected through observations. There can be observations of two types, structured and unstructured. But observations have to be done discreetly so that they don’t change their behavior knowing they are being seen.
In structured observation, there is some specific behavior that is observed. Besides, that, nothing else is monitored. In the case of structured observation, since certain variables are only observed, it is excellent, when 2 situations have to be compared.
But in the case of unstructured observations, the researchers have to research all the factors, so they study a situation in detail. The study involves studying many factors. When certain behaviors are studied according to a need, it can be determined whether they are caused by a certain requirement or not.
When there is no understanding of needs beforehand, it’s better to study them through the unstructured observation process, where you can get a better understanding of the situation. You may discover new needs through the unstructured observation process.
However, in the structured observation process, the researcher has a clear understanding of needs and hence he can see how the needs are affecting the production. Or are the needs really relevant?
Since only specific variables are studied during the process, structured observation is helpful because the needs can be studied whether they are relevant enough. All the parameters of a need can be observed whether it’s causing any problems.
Sometimes, some problems are not caused by a certain need, but by some other need. For a structured observation to take place, the needs should have proper aspects on the basis of which they are analyzed.
This is how a proper process needs to be conducted before the project managers decide to implement an L&D plan and need the consent of top management for it.