Organizational Needs and Performance Analysis by 3cci8Z


									MADS 6609 Unit 3 Organizational Needs & Performance Analysis

People are hired for positions in an organization. When this happens, the organization needs to
identify specific skills that are needed for the positions. Applicants are then screened against
these required skills to determine if they are a good match for the positions. Think about a job
that you applied for in the past. Did you research the position before you applied? Did you
know what the job entailed? Were you a good candidate for the position? Why did you make
this decision?


This unit will look at organizational and individual needs and methods for addressing
deficiencies. In addition, this unit will also introduce performance analysis and how mapping
may be useful for improving individual and organizational performance.

By the end of this unit, participants will be able to:

      Relate the human resource management processes to the development of the individual’s
       potential within the organization
      Identify evolutionary changes in human resources management and operations
      Articulate theories of human relations and organizational development
      Identify interventions that increase productivity

Needs Assessment

Organizations should understand what their competencies are and where improvement is needed
for future success. Organizational needs and individual career needs should be linked in such a
way that meeting an individual need advances the organization toward its strategic goals.
Addressing the organization’s needs must take into account any major strategic issues the
organization may face in the next two years. Accordingly, the organization must determine its
most critical needs as well as the major challenges that will be encountered during that period of
time. In order for the organization to address those challenges, it must assess the critical skills,
knowledge and abilities, and experience it will need. Staffing levels for the future must also be
determined so the organization can recruit the kind of staff needed to meet the future challenges.

Individuals need specific skills, knowledges, and abilities (SKAs) to be successful. How these
specific SKAs are identified and addressed becomes part of a needs assessment process.
Utilizing the competency model, information can be obtained through the use of surveys,
interviews, informal and formal group discussions, and other tools. Any such process should
involve a broad range of employees representing different groups of workers. The goal is to
identify the needs and problems of each group. This will form the basis for developing processes
to address problems that individuals and the organization will face.

Performance Analysis
The purpose of an appraisal system is to improve the performance of the individual as well as the
productivity for the organization. In increasing numbers, appraisal systems are using an
individual’s customer focus as a key performance indicator. Most organizations use an annual
performance appraisal system.

At times, it may be necessary to look at specific capacities or abilities that individuals must have
to succeed in a specific job. This is appraised as aptitude. These aptitudes may include color
discrimination, eye-hand-foot coordination, clerical knowledge, form perception, spatial
aptitude, numerical aptitude, verbal aptitude, and general learning ability. In a work situation, an
analyst must determine the acceptable performance level for each required aptitude. The
assignment of a specific acceptable level is based on an analysis of the tasks of the job relative to
the definitions and work activities for each level. The scores are described in relation to the
population: extremely high aptitude or in the top 10% of the population; high aptitude or highest
third of population (not considering the top 10%); medium aptitude of middle third of
population; lower degree or lowest third (not considering the lowest 10%); and markedly low
aptitude or lowest 10%.

Most organizations use an annual performance appraisal system. Do these performance
appraisals really assess the tasks being performed? What types of appraisal systems are used and
are they effective?

In addition to basic assessments, the organization should identify best practices for output
performance for specific jobs. Process models define effective workflows that result in the
desired outputs. A gap analysis determines the distance between the desired level of
performance and the actual performance, or between the desired state and the current state. A
cause analysis determines the reasons for performance gaps and may overlap other assessment
models. To perform any assessments, it is necessary to have methodologies to capture data and
complete its analysis.

How do we know if individuals are properly performing their jobs? Most organizations use a
performance appraisal system that notes on a yearly basis how well a person is performing. Do
these performance appraisals really analyze the job being done? What types of appraisal systems
are used and are they effective? These are the issues that need to be investigated so that the
appraisal process can be improved.


New employees typically have much to learn about the organization they have joined. In many
cases, the workplace is strange and frightening. The best way to begin is to have an effective
orientation session. The program can best be developed by including representatives from each
staffing level to ensure that the new employee is exposed to all areas of the organization. The
benefits of an orientation include increased productivity, reduced performance anxiety, and
improved employee morale as employees are aware of expectations. When done effectively,
orientation increases retention and lowers recruitment costs as well as turnover rates. New hires
have a high initial cost to an organization.
Orientation Session

The orientation session will vary in length depending on the size of the organization, but the
following points should be covered:

      What is the assigned work area?
      Who is the supervisor?
      What does the unit do?
      What are the employee’s duties?
      What is the value of the work to the organization?
      Who are the co-workers?
      What are hours of work (including starting time, ending time, coffee breaks, lunch
      What clothing is appropriate?
      Where are facilities (rest rooms, lunch rooms, etc.)?
      What are parking arrangements (including how to obtain a permit)?
      Who can worker go to if there is a problem and the supervisor is unavailable?
      How do I handle being late or absent?
      Who should be notified in case of an accident?
      How is leave accumulated and how to request time off?
      What are the pay dates and what deductions will be made?
      What is the increment system?
      What are the fringe benefits - health insurance, pension, vision, deferred compensation,
      What is the employee’s status?
      What is the probationary period?
      What are the advancement possibilities for the position?

Because of the initial apprehension about a new job and the great number of new things the
individual is exposed to on the first day, it is advisable to meet with the employee regularly in
the initial weeks to determine potential problems that can be easily corrected. The first such
meeting should be on the second day to determine whether there are any problems or questions
the individual may have about the job. Other issues to review would include whether the work
assignment and expectations are clear to the individual. If the individual has questions
concerning the work or the organization, they should also be answered at this time.

During the next two weeks, review with the employee the expected performance standards for
the employee’s work. This is also a good time to provide information on the training plans for
the current work assignment and for future development of the individual. Determine whether
the employee is having difficulty or expects to have difficulty with any of the duties of the job.
Asking the employee what areas are the most interesting in the current assignment is also
important. Ask if there are any problems with co-workers or the assignment and whether there is
an understanding of the work being performed in relation to the work of the entire office. It is
essential that the employee understand the performance appraisal process and how the work will
be measured.
An orientation process should be adapted to the changing conditions of the workplace and should
be reviewed on a continuous basis to and modified as needed. The process must be carefully
thought out with a checklist of the important aspects developed. It is advisable to have a legal
opinion for specific areas such as dismissal and benefits. There should also be a follow-up to the
process and an evaluation of the orientation.


In addition to orientation, organizations need to develop a training program. Training is defined
as any procedure initiated by an organization to foster learning among the members. Some new
hires will have the requisite knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSAs) when they start work, while
others will need extensive training before they are ready to contribute to the organization. The
purpose of training is to help the organization meet its objectives, although there is a secondary
purpose of helping the trainees effectively perform their jobs. The goal is to bring the KSAs to
the level required to meet satisfactory performance standards. Once the basic KSA levels are
met, training can present an opportunity for individuals to develop new skills and knowledge to
qualify for other positions and advancement.

From an organization’s perspective, training is needed to increase competitiveness in the global
economy and to meet the challenges of advances in technology. When organizations restructure,
skill gaps can develop that need to be addressed through training. Through training, an
organization addresses the issue of job mortality and the emerging of new occupations. New
occupations require new skill sets that can be learned through training.

The systems approach to training is a common approach. This approach formulates objectives,
developing learning experiences to achieve objectives, establishes performance objectives, and
gathers information that will be used to evaluate the training program. In the initial phase, a
needs assessment must be completed. This requires an organizational analysis, a task analysis, a
person analysis, and instructional objectives.

An organizational analysis examines the goals, resources, and environment of the organization in
which the training will take place. The resources are technological, financial, and human.
External factors include the rules, laws, regulations, and court decisions that impact the
organization. It is necessary to collect data on a wide array of areas, such as the direct and
indirect labor costs, the quality of goods and services, absenteeism, turnover, accidents, and other
related factors. Additional information includes the estimated number of replacements and the
time needed to train them to be productive.

A task analysis determines the content of the training program. It is based on the tasks/duties of
the job. This includes listing all the tasks and duties in the job, listing all steps needed to
complete the tasks, and determining the skills, knowledge, and abilities as well as the duties of
the job. The actions include things such as speak, compute, manipulate data, recall, and so on.

The personal analysis determines the specific skills, knowledge, and abilities required of the
In determining instructional objectives, the desired outcomes of the training program must be
determined. These outcomes should include acquisition of knowledge, skills or changing

It is necessary to develop an environment where training and development efforts accomplish the
desired objectives. The organization needs to create a training environment that allows the
trainees to learn most effectively.

There is a need to evaluate the training program as well as the learning outcomes. This can be
done by using a pre-test and a post-test. Another is to use a comparison group. A comparison
group would not receive the training but would have the same qualifications as the trainees in
terms of experience, past training, and job level. Things that can be measured would include
increased productivity, decreased number of complaints, decreased costs and waste, and other
indicators of improved performance. Data would be used to determine the effectiveness of the
training program.

It is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the training and whether the goals are being met.
There is the matter of training validity -- whether the trainees learn during training. Another
issue is transfer validity -- whether what has been learned can be transferred to enhanced
performance in the organization. Intraorganizational validity concerns whether the training of a
one group within an organization is consistent with that received by other groups.
Interorganizational validity is whether the training in one organization can be used successfully
in another organization.

Benchmarking is comparing one’s services/products and practices against the recognized leaders
in the particular area identified for improvement. The use of measures in training activity,
results, and training efficiency can be developed using a benchmarking process.

Non-managerial employees can be trained in both on and off the job locations. On the job
training can be accomplished through a method by which the employees are given hands-on
experience with instruction from their supervisors or other trainers. There are drawbacks to this
method since such training may lack a well-structured training environment or there may be the
absence of a well-defined job performance criteria tied to the training.

Training is only as good as the trainers. Managers may have poor training skills. Organizations
can compensate by developing realistic goals and/or measures for each on the job training
experience and by having a plan for specific training for each trainee. A training plan needs to
specify a time for evaluation and feedback. It is essential that managers establish a non-
threatening environment for training so that learning can take place. Periodic evaluations must
be completed at the end of training to prevent regression.

Off the job training can include attendance at events such as conferences where employees can
learn or enhance skills. Formal classroom training is another off the job training method. Using
a simulation method, the individual works through a process prior to actually doing the job.
There is also programmed instruction that uses books, manuals, or computers.
Computer-based training includes computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and computer managed
instruction (CMI.) CMI is a system normally used with CAI that uses the computer to generate
and score tests to determine the level of training proficiency. Additional training tools include
teleconferencing and closed circuit conferences. Distance learning initiatives that have been
developed in recent years have the potential of providing additional learning opportunities
through the Internet. This web-based program is one such model that has already had a major
impact on learning.

In a number of occupations, the use of apprenticeships is very effective. In this system, a worker
gets instruction in both on and of the job in the practical applications and the theoretical
underpinnings of the work. Cooperative training is another system that contains practical on-the-
job experience with formal educational classes. In internship programs, an organization and a
school jointly sponsor an opportunity to gain real life experience while allowing the individual to
determine how well they will perform in the work organization.

Job Analysis

There is a lot of information available about improving jobs and the workplace, but such data is
not always used properly or at all. Utilization of appropriate selection criteria is essential for
hiring individuals for a job at a proficiency level necessary to maintain cost-effectiveness.
Accomplishing this is not a random activity but involves efforts to provide an accurate tool to
assist in the hiring process. When properly done, it becomes a cost-saving process as individuals
hired are appropriate for the position and are able to meet or exceed performance needs.

Gathering information concerning a job is defined as a job analysis. In simple terms, the process
involves looking at a job and determining major tasks, activities, behaviors, or duties that must
be performed on the job. Once these factors are determined, there is a need to look at how
frequently these tasks are performed or how important the tasks may be. KSAs essential to the
job also must be identified. There also may be other characteristics that may be essential for a
job such as personality factors, physical traits, aptitudes, and mental traits. Data collection for
job analyses can be through observations, performing the job, interviews, critical incidents,
diaries, background records, historical data, or questionnaires.

For any job, there are various components that must be studied to accurately picture the
positions. These aspects include the function of the worker, the techniques used, work tools or
aids used, the end product or service, and specific worker characteristics. A job analysis
investigates the positions in terms of these aspects. Such analysis is then used to determine if
characteristics of an applicant or worker meet the needs of the position.

Organizations utilize different terminology. In this unit, the following definitions will be used.
An occupation is a group of jobs. These jobs can be found at more than one organization, but
they have common tasks, methodologies, products, or worker characteristics. A job is a group of
positions at a single employing unit that are the same with respects to significant tasks. There
can be a single individual or many people in a job. Organizations denote positions for
individuals, a unique collection of tasks that comprise the total work assignment for an
individual. If there is any human effort to accomplish a particular outcome, a task is created. A
task is an element, or more than one element, that is a logical step to get the work done. Tasks
can be broken down into elements, the most basic part of a task that can be analyzed. It was
these elements that were studied by early theorists in the Scientific Management field. In
completing a job analysis, it is necessary to look at the job as it is at the time of the analysis. It
should not be how the job was or how it should be.

There are two separate dimensions of a job that need to be considered in the analysis process.
The first involves the work that is performed. This dimension looks at the actual activities that
are performed. It includes the work function, which is the way the worker must function to
perform the job. Mental, interpersonal, and physical actions are important aspects to be included
in this part of the assessment. It also includes how the work gets done. The last area includes
basic materials that are processed, products that are made, data, and services that are provided.
The second dimension is worker characteristics. This area consists of general educational
development, special vocational preparation, aptitudes, temperament, interest areas, and physical
demand and environmental conditions. The worker characteristic components parallel the skills,
knowledge, and abilities aspect that many organizations use in hiring and promoting individuals.

Job Design

Organizations have objectives to meet and establish jobs for that purpose. Job design is a
product of a job analysis. It is how the organization wants to improve performance through
technological and human considerations. Its purpose is to enhance organizational efficiency and
employee satisfaction. A scientific approach to this area is industrial engineering, a field of
study that involved analysis of the work and the establishing time standards. The industrial
engineering staff has a responsibility to identify and time the work cycle elements. In many
cases, the increased efficiency can be obtained by simplifying the work. There are other
concerns that impact the design. The industrial engineer looks at the tasks and not
psychologically sound choices. The human factors that are integral parts of jobs are not

Jobs are also designed through human engineering. Human engineering is concerned with the
worker’s physical and mental capabilities. Since many jobs are changed with the increase of
technology, it is important to undertake an interdisciplinary approach to designing both the
machines and the systems that could be used in an effective and efficient manner by people. The
intent is to fit the machinery to the workers as opposed to the workers to the machines. This has
lead to the focus on ergonomic design for workstations.

Employees can have high internal motivation and provide high quality work products. When
this happens, employees have high job satisfaction with their work and exhibit low absenteeism
and turnover rates.

A recent trend in the workplace that has changed how tasks are accomplished is the use of work
teams. Through a team process, employees are able to offer suggestions that have the potential
to improve employee production and the organization’s performance.
Job Characteristics Model

According to the Center for Human Resource Management Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson
University (, “(J. Richard) Hackman and (Gregg R.) Oldham’s
(1975, 1976, 1980) Job Characteristics Model (JCM) is one of the most influential theories ever
presented in the field of organizational psychology.” The model establishes relationships
between a job’s design and the levels of motivation, satisfaction, and productivity experienced
by the worker.

           Hackman & Oldham’s Job
             Characteristics Model
  Core Dimensions           Psychological States         Outcomes

     Skill Variety
     Task Identity             Meaningfulness             High intrinsic
                                of Work                   motivation
     Task Signif.
                                                          High job per-
      Autonomy                   for outcomes
                                                          High job satis-
                                                          Low absentee
                                                          ism & turnover
                                 Knowledge of
       Feedback                  Results

Fig: Concept Map describing the Job Characteristics Model
Hackman & Oldham’s (1976) Job Characteristics Model
Source: Center for Human Resource Management Studies

Job Design Summary

In many occupations, there is a tendency to overspecialization. The tasks become monotonous
which potentially leads to decreased productivity. One option would be to assign individuals to
specialized tasks for a limited period of time. Job enlargement is another option. Job
enlargement increases the number or variety of tasks a worker performs. In some cases, there is
the possibility of job rotation or moving an individual from position to position based on
seniority or the needs of the organization. Job enrichment is another alternative. This solution
enhances a job by adding more meaningful tasks and duties that make the work more rewarding
to the individual thus increasing worker satisfaction. This can be done by increasing the level of
difficulty of the tasks or increasing the level of responsibility for the job. It can be accomplished
by allowing the employee to retain more authority and control over the work or by adding new
tasks to the job that require additional training and employee growth.
Web sites for additional information on this topic:

       Virtual Interactive Personnel (VIP)


       US Department of Labor



Consider the following questions based on the information in this unit.

1. Training is important for all job levels and in all organizations. How would you conduct a
needs analysis for the training of your supervisory level employees?

2. Consider the different types of training (classroom, apprenticeship, computer assisted, on-the-
job, etc.) and discuss how you would determine which type would best meets the training needs
revealed in the needs analysis?

3. How would you conduct a job analysis for your organization?

4. As you consider your job, are there specific skills, knowledges, and abilities that you need to
be successful? How do you know these are the essential to success?

5. In your organization, how would you redesign your job?
How would this help to improve organizational productivity and/or individual performance?

Go to the discussion board to participate in these discussions.

Performance Appraisal

John is a Captain in a medium size police department. When he was promoted to the
rank of Captain, he was assigned the task of developing an effective performance
appraisal system for sworn officers. The system he inherited consisted simply of
feedback from an officer’s supervisor usually when there were problems with
performance. Officers were seldom commended for their performance, and individual
performance did not play a role in promotions, special training, or assignments.

The department’s hiring process for new officers requires each applicant to complete
an application and an entrance examination, pass a physical fitness test, undergo a
psychological evaluation, and participate in an in-person interview. In addition, each
applicant undergoes a complete background investigation. The successful applicant is
sent to basic police training at a local police academy. While at the academy, the
applicant undergoes additional testing to measure specialized knowledge, skills, and
abilities acquired in training.

After graduation from the police academy, new officers are assigned to a Field
Training Officer for additional training. Whereas the academy provides formal
training, the Field Training Officer builds on the academy training by introducing the
new officer to department specific procedures and the practical aspects of the job. The
new officer is on probation for a year. After the initial probationary period, officers
continue to master techniques and procedures. After five years of satisfactory
performance, an officer becomes eligible for promotion to a Master Police Officer
rating. Other promotional opportunities depend on vacancies and funding.

John reviewed recent personnel actions and was unable to find justification for why
some individuals were promoted and others were not. There were few negative
comments in any of the files. Although he felt some officers had performed better
than others, nothing appeared in the personnel files to support his opinions.

John reviewed the performance evaluation systems of other police departments to
find departments against which to benchmark. He found many other departments that
lacked any type of appraisal system. However, he did identify other departments with
some type of evaluation process. Those departments with systems were asked to
supply examples of their system and rating scales including factors that were
considered key indicators of performance. John discovered that the frequency of
evaluation varied by police department. Some evaluated employees once a year if
they were satisfactory or as needed when unsatisfactory. Others evaluated employees
more as frequently as monthly or quarterly. Using the information he obtained, John
developed an evaluation system that was implemented in his department and
modified based on input from officers and supervisors.
Answer the following questions concerning this case study:

If you were given the task of developing a performance appraisal system, what type
of process would you put in place? What factors would you evaluate? What kind of
standards would you establish? How would you set these standards? How would you
implement this new system? How can having a performance appraisal system
improve productivity?

Submit your responses to the instructor.

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