Human Resource Development

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Human resource development

Direct observation

Direct observation entails close monitoring of the employees’ performance to identify areas of weakness that may need improvement. This method allows the observer to gather information that is authentic and relevant to a particular position and employee, thus no room for generalization. The major drawback of direct observation is that it may affect the behaviour of the employee (Kaufman & Guerra-López, 2013). Therefore, to avoid the disadvantages mentioned above. I would prefer the person doing the observation to do it secretly.


Questionnaires are administered to the employees to collect information on their general performance and opinion on how best their capacity to work can be improved. Questionnaires collect an organized and summarized information and can be easily used on a large number of workers at a shorter period to understand the key areas that need improvement (Barbazette, 2006). Drawbacks of this method include its costliness and change of the employee behaviour when being evaluated. As a result, I would propose that the employee be prepared in advance to understand the value of the exercise to their career growth.


Interviews are a one-on-one exercise that entails asking the employees questions on difficulties in their job and how they think their performance can be improved. This method adds value to the training by highlighting issues that the workers feel need to be improved. Drawbacks of this methods include the possibility of the staffs to give false information to impress and hide their areas of weakness (Sava, 2012). To deal with this challenge, I would advise that the interviewer establishes rapport with the employees first.

 Focus groups

Employees are put in groups and asked general questions as well as interactive sessions to learn about their areas of weakness that need improvement. The value of this method is that involves direct interaction with the workers to establish aspects that need emphasis in training. The main weakness of using focus groups is that it requires a lot of time and planning (McGoldrick & Tobey, 2016).  Consequently, this challenge can be overcome by making the exercise and continuous process that does not interrupt the performance of the firm.


Under documentation, information about areas that need training is extracted from sources such as reports on performance among many others. The value of this method of training is that it is based on reliable and verifiable facts. The major weakness of this method is that it may be based on generalizations (Tobey, 2007). To overcome this drawback, I would ask each department to have a documentation of the performance of each staff.




Barbazette, J. (2006). Training needs assessment: Methods, tools, and techniques. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Kaufman, R., & Guerra-López, I. (2013). Needs assessment for organizational success. Alexandria, Va. : ASTD Press.

McGoldrick, B., & Tobey, D. D. (2016). Needs assessment basics. Alexandria, VA : ATD Press.

Sarkar, S. (2011). Training need assessment: Implementing competency mapping model in maufacturing organizations. Saarbrucken, Germany: VDM Verlag.

Sava, S. D. (2012). Needs analysis and programme planning in adult education. Opladen : Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Tobey, D. D. (2007). Data collection for needs assessment. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development.

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