The need for training varies depending on the type of organization that is being discussed; a manufacturing company has different training needs than an insurance firm. But regardless of the type of company being discussed, appropriate training systems can greatly benefit the company. However, how does one decide on a training system? The answer to this question stems from the example above—it depends on the type of organization that is being discussed as well as what the company wishes to address in the training. The process begins with a training needs assessment. This assessment ought to be a systematic and objective analysis of the training needs in three main areas—organizational, job, and person.
Organizational needs deal mostly with the skills the company is looking for, the labor force, etc. whereas the job needs focus on the skills that the company views as necessary for a specific position. Then there are the person needs, and these are the most variable needs. Often these needs arise after a gap is seen in the expected performance compared to the actual performance of the employee. A large gap needs to be addressed and is often dealt with through training or termination (see the Termination and Downsizing section) (Fukami, Strategic Human Resources: Training, 2007). Other reasons for the person issues in regards to training may include training to develop a skill set that is lacking but not affecting performance or that the employee feels a need to develop. Training can also be a part of a young employee’s “exploration” stage, where training can be used to focus the employee’s interest and development towards a specific area (Kulik, 2004).
Specific circumstances may also create the need for training. These circumstances usually occur rather suddenly and infrequently, creating a need for a specific and highly directed training mechanism. Examples of such circumstance are shifts in an organizations ethics (keeping the employees and organization in alignment), new legal requirements (such as Sarbanes-Oxley compliance in the United States), or during states of change within the organization (Duening & Ivancevich, 2003). If a company, regardless of the circumstances surrounding that need, deems training necessary a method for conducting this training needs to be developed and implemented.