Identifying Learning Needs LO13995

Brock Vodden (
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 00:25:31 -0400

Replying to LO13937 --

Gary raises some good questions

> Is anyone aware of any resource information, systems, or tools that will
> help us to identify our unknown learning needs?

I have used customized employee surveys to gather a wealth of information
which, when amalgamated gives insights into needs that often escape
management notice. These surveys ask employees, not for training needs,
but for responses to questions about how well or badly key organization
functions work from their perspective. Their collective views will tell
you a great deal about what needs improvement.

To discover some needs, you may need input from an outsider who brings
ideas and perceptions from other organizations.

These techniques will bring to light situations which are contributing to
performance problems, but which cannot be corrected through learning
activities. These non-training needs need to be addressed at the same time
as you provide the training; otherwise the benefits of the training may be

> Is anyone aware of any resource information, systems, or tools that will
> help us to prioritize all identified learning needs?

Learning, like all internal organization functions need to be connected to
and aligned with your company's strategic direction. Priorities should be
determined on the basis of strategic priorities, as opposed to setting
priorities among identified learning needs which are divorced from the
mission and the work itself. A useful question to ask at the outset of
priority-setting is "What changes do we need to this organization to make
it successful?"

I detect that you have successfully avoided the error of many
organizations. They often set priorities on the basis of how often each
need is mentioned by employees. Good for you!

Hope this helps,

Brock Vodden
Vodden Consulting


"Brock Vodden" <>

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