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Examination of the strategic role in assessing workers’ training need in Niger Mills PLC and United Cement Company, Calabar.

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Examination of the strategic role in assessing workers’ training need in Niger Mills PLC and United Cement Company, Calabar.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Investing in human resources through training and management development improves individual employee capabilities and organizational performance. Training of workers is a very essential tool for human resource development, but this can only become relevant after a workers’ training need assessment has been conducted. Training needs assessment is define as an ongoing process of gathering data to determine what training needs exist so that training can be developed to help the organization accomplish its objectives. The training needs assessment is a critical activity for the training and development function.

Gent, and Gregory (1989) asserted that, conducting training needs assessment is fundamental to the success of a training program. Often, organizations will develop and implement training without first conducting a needs analysis. Goldstein (1991) noted that these organizations run the risk of overdoing training, doing too little training or missing the point completely.

The purpose of a workers training needs assessment is to identify areas that are deficient in performance  within an organization in order to help direct resources to the areas of greatest need, those that closely relate to fulfilling the organizational goals and objectives, improving productivity and providing quality products and services. The results of the needs assessment allows the training manager to set the training objectives by answering two very basic questions: who, if anyone, needs training and what training is needed? Sometimes training is not the solution. Some performance gaps can be reduced or eliminated through other management solutions such as communicating expectations, providing a supportive work environment, arranging consequences, removing obstacles and checking job fit.

Gupta, (1999) opined that, designing a training and development program involves a sequence of steps that can be grouped into five phases: needs assessment, instructional objectives, design, implementation and evaluation. However, Organizational analysis examines where training is needed in the organization and under what conditions the training will be conducted. It identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities that employees will need for the future, as the organization and their jobs evolves or changes.

In this context, Training Needs Assessment (TNA) processes have a strategic role because they provide clear guidelines as to which professional skill deficiencies must be remedied and what the profile of future trainees should be. For Al-Khayyat, (1998). training needs come from underdeveloped skills, insufficient knowledge or inappropriate worker attitudes. Aguinis & Kraiger,  (2009). define training needs as identified differences between the employees’ current performance and the performance that the organization expects of them.

In view of this therefore, the study attempts to examined the strategic role in assessing workers’ training needs in selected large scale organizations in Cross River State with particular attention on Niger mills plc and United Cement company (UNICEM) PLC, Calabar, as a case study.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Investments in training and development of employees can make organizations more productive or more effective. Gupta,(1999) Identified some unresolved issues such as new workplace demands and requirements are causing major changes in activities and operations within the organization which requires a regular update of workers skills to meet up with the expectations of this new workplace demands. Similarly, the  rapid pace of  technological changes in the information society, the increasing operational procedures required for production, the reduction in the product life cycle, and rapidly changing production processes are quite revealing issues which is seeking for urgent response in the area of workers’ training and regular updating of skills. Therefore, in response to these growing pressures in the workplace there is need for workers’ to be fully equipped, but this can be achievable through continuous training programs arising from training need assessment in every organization that will want to succeed by attaining its set goals.

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