Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying participant needs, part of Instructional Design: Needs Analysis.
There comes a point in a training analysis where we understand what our audience needs to do differently, but we don't yet know what they need to do to get there. In other words, how can we help our audience achieve the training program's goals? And, does everyone need the same training? Or do we need to tailor it to different audience members? In this video, we'll look at ways you can answer those two questions and identify your audience members needs. By this point in an analysis, we've assembled a lot of data, analyzed it, and started answering many of our research questions.
Now it's time to put all that together so we can view the big picture. A tool that can help with this is called a fish-bone diagram. It's also called an Ishikawa chart, named after Kaoru Ishikawa, who's credited with inventing it. The chart is called a fish-bone because it resembles a fish. It diagrams the cause and effect relationship between several factors in the performance goal. The head of the fish represents the goal. Typical characteristics that might influence performance include people. And this is the knowledge and skills that the people doing the work need to have.
Methods, the techniques or procedures used to accomplish the task. Machines, this term more generally means tools or equipment. Materials, what materials are needed to do the job correctly? Measurements. How is the task measured, and what can this tell us? And finally Environment. What is the ideal environment for completing the task? We can use a fish bone diagram to help us identify the participant needs for the interviewing skills workshop that we've been using as an example.
The goal or the head of the fish is 15% turnover for employees within their first 90 days of employment. Remember, this turnover rate is currently 30%. So cutting it in half would be a big improvement. Our data analysis has revealed four primary needs for supervisors to make good hiring decisions and achieve our turnover goal. First is people. Supervisors must be committed to spending enough time to make good hiring decisions. The next is Methods. Supervisors must understand and follow the new interviewing procedures.
This includes following a preparation checklist, using a specific set of interview questions, and following step-by-step instructions for interviewing potential candidates. Next is Materials. Supervisors need the standardized list of interview questions that accompanies the new procedures. And finally, Environment. Interviews should be conducted in a conference room. You can download the fish-bone diagram template that accompanies this video and use it to chart the participant needs for one of your training projects. A final question we need to ask is whether our participants have substantially different training needs. In some cases, the answer will be yes. For example, they might speak different languages. Or some employees might be in a main office and can easily participate in a classroom-based training, while other employees might work in remote locations. For the interviewing skills training, the answer is no. There are some supervisors who are clearly better than others, but the audience as a whole is substantially similar, and the interviewing procedures that Human Resources designed are new to everyone. Identifying participant needs puts you one step closer to a great training program.
Once you've identified the unique needs of your audience members, you can design training that gives them the specific skills they need that's delivered in a format that's most convenient for them.
- Setting project objectives
- Identifying the target audience for training
- Selecting data sources
- Facilitating focus groups and interviews
- Designing effective surveys
- Identifying participant needs
- Defining learning outcomes
- Presenting results to project sponsors