This is a good opportunity to learn from your fellow students. The identification of learning needs takes
place in many different forms, and the approach taken will depend on the size and sector of the specific
organisation so there should be plenty of examples of different types of organisational practice.
Remember that even if you work in a small organisation with no formal process for identifying needs, that
process will still unfold in an informal and unstructured way. Your responses to the questions posed may
take a little longer than those of students whose organisations have formal performance appraisal
systems or competency frameworks.
Consider your own experience. Think of the methods and techniques of identifying learning needs used
by your organisation or an organisation with which you are familiar.
Organisations regardless of their size or their sector have to identify their learning needs
to adjust for them to achieve their goals. Many methods for identifying learning needs are
available for different organisations to help them understand their operations. This paper
deliberates on the method and techniques used to identify learning needs in my organisation.
One of the methods used to identify learning needs is through document research. The
organisation on various occasions analyses different documents such as business plans, budget
documents, quality control documents, appraisals, evaluation reports, goal statements, work
reviews, personal development plans, scheduling and staffing reports, customer complaints,
critical incidence reports and other business documents among others. Through this research, the
organisation is able to identify gaps and areas of strength hence, enables it to strategies on
improving its operations (Cipd.co.uk. 2006).
The organisation also use interviews to identify learning needs of parties involved.
Interviews take on different forms such as open communication between various people such as
managers, supervisors, subject matter experts, colleagues, and other employees. These interviews
help in eliciting mixed opinions and information that allows the organisation to identify areas
that require improvement. When conducting interviews, it is however important to put to
consideration, the cultural diversity of interviewees and to communicate clearly (Cipd.co.uk.
2006). Listening is also a key skill required during interviews to ensure success.
The organisation as well uses observations to identify learning needs. The managers and
supervisors watch the way certain tasks or jobs are performed and through this, they learn
something that may require adjustment. However, this is unreliable method because the parties
being watched may tend to adjust the way they behave especially when they know they are under
watch or scrutiny by another person (Augustine-Shaw, 2015).
The organisation as well use surveys to identify its learning needs. The organisation
usually sends questionnaires to employees on various occasions asking them different questions
pertaining to how they view the operations of the organisation and what they need to be
improved (Defence. Gov. au. (2015). The questions as well can be on what the employees feel
their learning need among many others. Using questionnaires is cost effective and it allows many
people to participate in identifying learning needs.
Experts are as well utilized in identifying learning needs. These experts have in-depth
knowledge and skills on functioning of the organisation and performance evaluation. They
therefore, help the organisation to establish areas that require urgent attention (Stuebing, Fletcher
& Branum-Martin, 2014). The organisation also embraces group discussions in identifying
learning needs. Employees together with their supervisors form groups that deliberate on the
various aspects that affect them as well as areas they perceive require adjustments. Group
discussions are appropriate since they enable employees to raise their issues affecting them (Hr.
guide. com., 2015).
Other techniques that the organisation utilizes include, review of work samples, focus
groups, and consultations with people in key positions and use of information boxes designated
in various strategic positions in the organisation. These methods and techniques play a critical
role in conveying information that helps to identify different learning needs.
In conclusion, organisations face many issues and challenges. Due to changing trends and
way of lives, they must always remain abreast with the changes. Therefore, it is prudent to adopt
suitable methods and techniques to identify their learning needs to remain competitive. These
methods are appropriate but should be utilized on various occasions and situations as deems
appropriate to ensure achievement of their goals and objectives.
Augustine-Shaw, D. (2015). Leadership and Learning: Identifying an Effective Design for
Mentoring New Building Leaders. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 8192), 21-30.