A Needs Assessment is a systematic exploration of the way things are and the way they
should be. These "things" are usually associated with organizational and/or individual
WHY design and conduct a Needs Assessment? We need to consider the benefits of any
Human Resource Development (HRD) intervention before we just go and do it:
What learning will be accomplished?
What changes in behavior and performance are expected?
Will we get them?
What are the expected economic costs and benefits of any projected solutions?
We are often in too much of a hurry. We implement a solution, sometimes but not always
the correct intervention. But we plan, very carefully and cautiously, before making most
other investments in process changes and in capital and operating expenditures. We need
to do the same for Human Resource Development.
The largest expense for HRD programs, by far, is attributable to the time spent by the
participants in training programs, career development, and/or organization development
activities. In training, costs due to lost production and travel time can be as much as 90-
95% of the total program costs. Direct and indirect costs for the delivery of training are
about 6% of the total cost, and design and development count for only about 1-2% of the
total (2). Realistically, it makes sense to invest in an assessment of needs to make sure we
are making wise investments in
other possible interventions
Training needs are identified on the basis of organisational analysis, job al1alysis and
man analysis. Training programme, training methods an~ course content are to be
planned on the basis of training needs. Training needs are tho.se aspects necessary to
perform the job in an organisation in which employee is lacking attitude/aptitude,
Training needs = Job and Organizational requirement – Employee specifications
Training needs can be identified through identifying the organisational needs
This includes analysis of objectives, resource
utilisation, environments canning and organisati0nal climate: Organisational
strengths and weaknesses in different areas like accidents, excessive scrap,
frequent breakage of machinery, excessive labour turn-over, market share, and
other marketing areas, quality and quantity of the output, production schedule,
raw materials and other production areas, personnel, finance, etc.