One of the most prevailing practices as part of Learning Needs Analysis is asking the employees about the kind of learning workshop they wish to attend. This exercise is mostly done annually, administered till senior middle management and could be for behavioral or skill development purposes.
Typically a list of most celebrated workshops is circulated and employees are requested to select the most appealing options; a standard list contains:
1 Work-life Balance
2 Time Management
3 Interpersonal Communication
4 Performance Management
5 Change Management
6 Decision Making
7 Language Skills
The list could be longer and the workshop-names may vary.
Of course, this exercise seems like a fair one because the employees are getting a chance to select what they wish to learn.
But this exercise is like buying a book without reading the preface or the table of contents!
I.e., this exercise is flawed because there’s no indication that:
1 – why a workshop has been selected
2 – what challenges the employee is facing
3 – which aspects will be part of the workshop-content
To summarize, there’s no clue that why a workshop should be done and how; and the result is a potpourri of whatever!
If an exercise such as this should be conducted at all then it should be supported by more features such as:
1 the employees can express the challenges they are facing – best done face to face and an appropriate batch-wise workshop should be designed.
2 an effectiveness evaluation to be executed – could be a pre/post evaluation for learning and behavioral changes or a project based assessment for the batch-mates.
3 to further notch it up, you may regularly conduct case-study based assignments for the workshop(s) they attend – this is just to keep the momentum flowing.
When the employees go through such a condensed and focused workshop; the learning is lasting and the environment fun!
Look forward to Part 2 of Well Designed Learning!