Needs Assessment

Introduction

Needs assessment can be defined as the process a systematic approach to evaluating the current state of an organization with the intention of developing strategies to address the constraints in the present system.

There are various driving factors behind conducting a needs assessment in an organization, with the principal goal being to address enhance the organizational performance or correct deficiencies in the state of the organization (Noe, 2010). A deficiency is defined as a performance constraint that hinders the organization from achieving optimal performance with the regard to the resources at the disposal of the organization.

This implies that needs analysis serves to lessen the gap between the current and desired state of the organization. The three basic phases involved in needs assessment is information gathering, analysis and the development of an intervention or training plan to address the organizational needs.

Various types of needs assessment can be tailored to meet the organizational requirements, such as performance analysis, tasks analysis and other analyses that entail specific organizational variables (Noe, 2010). An important aspect of needs assessment is that it should integrate more than one type of needs analysis in order address all the deficiencies in an organization effectively. This paper outlines a needs assessment report on Verizon Communications.

Problem Statement

Because of my position in the company, I was able to become aware of numerous organization-level problems. The problem statement will serve to provide the paper with the direction for the research. The problem statement is: Why is job satisfaction in employees low?

A possible recommended solution is that a relatively specific approach should be supplemented with a case-to-case basis approach. This potential solution asserts that the employees will be allowed to discuss the issues that are causing the generation of job dissatisfaction.

This will be done through a personal and group meeting/ observation at a Verizon Wireless retail location of 10-18 employees in which the employees are given a chance to discuss the factors that are causing job dissatisfaction. The employees will also be given a personal interview with an open and closed end questionnaire upon leaving the interview. The questionnaire will not be completed upon the interview but after leaving the interview so the employee will be able to return the questionnaire as an anonymous employee.

The questions will be open and ended questions that will give detailed information of why the employee is not satisfied with his or her job. Examples of questions I will be using: Tell me about your relationship with your boss, are you involved in decisions that affect your job. After the observation and questionnaire is collected, the results will be calculated using a quantitative and qualitative method.

This is an approach that seeks to function by taking individual employee job dissatisfaction reasons into account and then creating a number of generic solutions to address them (Bornat, 2006, p. 193; Webb & Grimwood-Jones, 2003, p. 55). This will eventually lead to a corporate setup that will be tailored to the needs to the employees experiencing job dissatisfaction.

Background

Overview of Verizon Wireless

Verizon Communications Inc. has its headquarters in New York. The company was established in 2000 because of the merger between Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE. Corp Verizon. The company had a competitive edge from the very beginning because of the fact that the two originating organizations had experiencing considerable market exposure and had developed into well-known brand names.

The company has evolved significantly with a human resource capital of over 222,900 employees across the world. The company offers a wide range of telecommunication products and services. These products encompass wire-based as well as wireless products and services. The company is led by the highly experienced CEO McAdam Lowell (Verizon Communications Inc., 2010).

Important business functions of the Verizon Wireless

Various significant elements in the Verizon Communications are of ultimate importance to ensure that the management and the daily operations of the organization run efficiently and effectively as required. A brief outline of the important components at the organization includes:

The IT department

The IT department is also solely responsible for ensuring that the various departments’ information systems are completely functional and are both efficient and functions effectively; it also ensures that there is network synchronization among the departments in the organization. The IT department therefore is a core element in ensuring that the business activities at the institution run smoothly.

The marketing department

The core function of marketing department is to popularize and image the Verizon Communications to the Public. With the current increased competition from other broadband internet service providers and the increase in scale of operations, the marketing department has a key role in ensuring that the organization has competitive advantage over other competing firms. The marketing department therefore is a key element in the organization’s business functions.

Help desk operations

The help desk has a principal task is to offer assistance to both the staff and the clients, and on some occasions, outsiders who may wish to inquire about the organization. The help desk primarily serves as a communication bridge between the various departments in the organization and some external entities.

It is also vital for keeping the customers and the staff of the company informed about the proceeding activities and future events that the organizationmight undertake. It is therefore a significant element in the ensuring that business activities run smoothly and effectively. Therefore, a key business function should be maintained and made sure that it is always operating optimally and efficiently.

Human resources department

The HR department at Organization is solely responsible in ensuring that the business activities within the organization are carried in as expected of the relevant parties.

It is a vital in ensuring that the organization’s business functions are carried on efficiently through the outsourcing of required human labor and ensuring that the present human labor performs optimally as they are required under their obligations. It is primarily aimed at ensuring staff productivity. It is therefore a key business function in the Organization’s daily operations and long term managerial solutions.

Finance department

The Organization’s finance department is the most vital in ensuring that activities involving the collection and disbursement of finances are well accounted for. The finance department serves staff members of the organization. Some of the services that the finance offers include transactions verifications, record keeping, and verification of clients and staff financial records.

Other services of the finance department include payroll-processing, assessment of health insurance schemes and many more. The finance department is therefore an essential business function of the Verizon Communications.

Verizon Corporation business goals and objectives

The primary goal of the Organization is to be financially viable amidst the competition from private universities and reduced government funding. This can only be achieved through an effective management system that fosters improved employee productivity within the organization and enhance student management practices. The following are the key goals of the organization

To improve the financial position of the organization
To enhance employee productivity
To promote an efficient students’ record keeping
To facilitate effective communication between the student and the staff
To enhance the overall management practices at the organization

Needs Assessment Design, Implementation, and Analysis

Needs analysis

The current situation at the Organization requires the implementation of effective management and a change in organizational culture in order to facilitate the realization of the Organization’s goals and objectives. Presently, the institution completely depends on the information system to carry out its daily operations and the long-term management solutions.

A number of system overhauls and maintenance are required in order to get the IT system and the help desk at the organization to function properly and effectively. If these crises entailing employee productivity, poor student communication and management issues are not addressed soon, the daily operations at the institution will be jeopardized. Some of the risks associated with the current state of organizational culture include (Tobey, 2005):

Increase in the financial deficit of the organization
Management failure and related issues
Closure of the company

The needs analysis will entail three fundamental analyses, which are the organizational, task and individual analysis. The following outlines the implementation of the above analyses.

Methodology

The main objective behind this needs assessment is to determine whether the Information Technology department of the Organization was playing its role in facilitating the management of the organization. In addition, the needs analysis aimed at determining whether department is one of the key performance indicators and the role that Information technology plays in determining the financial performance of the organization.

Although the organization had devised strategies to enhance usage of IT in the execution of the organization’s operations, little research had been conducted on the relevance of the IT department and its sole purpose in ensuring that appropriate IT infrastructures were adopted in the organization.

The needs assessment team decided that a survey analysis was the effective method to gather qualitative information concerning the effectiveness of the IT department, the commitment and change readiness of the top management and the organization community, availability of resources and the expertise required to conduct the training and implementation of the needs analysis.

In addition, the needs assessment team analyzed the various audit records, the technological standards at the organization and long-term goals and objectives of the institution (Bornat, 2006).

Results

It is evident that the current state of affairs at the Organization requires a needs assessment in order to develop strategies that can facilitate the achievement of the desired business goals by the organization. The needs assessment at the Verizon Corporation will include the following key variables that attempt to answer the questions relating to why, who, how, what and when to conduct and implement the needs analysis, design, and implementation (Bornat, 2006):

To align the performance deficiency at the Organization with its business requirements, this will involve needs vs. wants analysis and feasibility analysis.
Identify the parties involved in training in order to provide a solution to the performance deficiency. This is done by undertaking a target population analysis (Sullivan, 2009).
Conducting a performance analysis in order to identify the skills required to fix the problem that the organization faces
Conducting a task analysis in order to evaluate the optimal approach to solving the problem in order to achieve the desired results
Conducting a contextual analysis in order to identify the time and duration that the training will take place (Sullivan, 2009).

Organizational analysis

The main objective behind conducting an organizational analysis is to evaluate the efficiency of the organization under study in order to determine the various training requirements and the conditions that the training will be carried out. The following are the results of organizational analysis at the Organization:

The current financial position of the organization requires cost effective strategies in order to avoid the Verizon Communications from operating on financial deficits. This implies that the needs assessment and implementation must put into consideration the present financial constraints that the organization faces. With a financial deficit of approximately $ 600,000, it is only logical if the needs analysis and implementation does not exceed the financial and deficit of the organization. In addition, the needs analysis and implementation must guarantee financial viability for the organization as a source of its justification. As a result, the implementation of needs analysis on the current state of the organization will foster smooth management and reduce operational costs at the organization in order to enhance financial viability of the organization (Sullivan, 2009).
The top management and the employees of the Organization are ready and willing to accept the implementation of a new system that can facilitate smooth running of the institution. An overview of the top priorities of the management was to adopt an information management system for the organization in order to make the management of student and staff records. The staff and students are also ready to embrace such implementation on grounds that it will facilitate their stay at the organization. This means that the needs analysis and implementation of a training program is not subject to resistance from the organization community. Apart from the commitment by the top management, employees reported their willingness to support the implementation of a new system. The top management also reported that their willingness to support the outcome of the implementation of the training intervention program (Bornat, 2006).
The Organization revealed its commitment to achieving its organizational goals and objectives.
The organizational culture of the organization showed its commitment towards the implementation of Information technology infrastructures in order to aid in the execution of organization’s activities. This means that sufficient training will be done in order to make the organization members familiarize themselves with the new system that is based on IT infrastructures.
The current state of the organization cannot upbeat the completion from other learning institutions in the region. In addition, the organization is requires to increase its operational boundaries to include international students.

Task analysis

The main objective behind task analysis is provide an overview of the jobs, expertise and the abilities that are required in order to facilitate the realization of optimum performance by the organization. The task analysis focused on the IT department of the Organization. The following are the results of task analysis with the respect to the implementation of a new IT infrastructure at the organization (Bornat, 2006).

The major task required in this needs analysis is to have knowledge on the management of information systems. This will need various maintenance skills are required for the various hardware equipment that are used in the Organization IT system.
Another requirement task is training the organization community on the effective usage of personal computers in order to optimize performance. The skills required will vary depending on the technicality of the user, ranging from the average user to the personnel in charge of running maintenance on the machines.

The following are specific job descriptions that are vital in ensuring that the outcome of the needs analysis is important to the institution.

Computer technicians

The skills required towards the maintenance of personal computers vary depending on the hardware configuration and the level of technical expertise. However, universal skill requirements include:

Performing basic diagnostics and troubleshooting procedures in case of minor application and hardware problems.
Loading an operating system into the personal computer
Connecting the various peripheral components of the PC in a correct manner
Installation, uninstallation, and updating of the various software applications
Upgrading of hardware components such as RAM modules and printer drivers
Being able to disintegrate and integrate the hardware components of the PC
Having a knowledge of the viruses, worms and Trojans; and means of combating them using antivirus and anti-spyware.

Information System (IS) administrators

The following are the skills requirements for information system administrators

Knowledge on the current operating systems that are optimized to run network servers such as Windows server 2008
Knowledge on server configuration such as proxy and firewall configuration techniques
Running network tests to examine the efficiency of the network
Implementation of security measures such as router configuration and firewall setup to eliminate external threats such as hacking.

Individual analysis

The main objective of individual analysis is to monitor the progress of employee productivity within the organization. This entails determining the kind of training that the employees require in order to foster optimal organizational performance. The following are the outcomes of individual analysis at the Organization:

The relationship between the managers and the staff of the organization is good
The attitudes of the employees towards their job is positive
Employee productivity is an issue at the organization, due to the nature of the working conditions
The employees need to work on their people skills to provide service to students in an effective manner.

Recommended Training Strategy and Design

The main objective behind designing and implementing a training strategy is to foster the understanding of the new implemented system in a manner that facilitates the realization of the organizational goals and objectives. Since the tasks requirements associated with this needs analysis are technical, immense training is required for the IT department staff during implementation and the organization community regarding their usage of the newly implemented IT infrastructure. The following are the training strategies that will be implemented to address the core issues identified during needs analysis (Barbazette, 2006).

Training sessions

Training sessions will be conducted to familiarize the staff and the organization community concerning the new working conditions and the skills required in execution of core business functions of the Verizon Communications. For students, training will be administered using the traditional classroom set up, and afterwards, they will be given an opportunity to use the system on their own (Barbazette, 2006).

For the case of the staff members who will be using the information system on a regular basis, training will be administered using simulations and self-managed strategies. In addition, they will be given an opportunity to perform the task requirements of the system.

Organizational interventional activities

After classroom training, the organization can intervene in order to facilitate the effectiveness of the training programs. Some of the intervention strategies that the organization can deploy include team-building, process consultation, career planning and administering education and training activities. In addition, the organization can embark on survey feedback and goal setting activities in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the training programs (Barbazette, 2006).

Cost Benefits Analysis

Cost benefit analysis serves to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the needs analysis in terms of cost. This will be analyzed using the Return on Investment (ROI).

The cost of implementing the needs analysis training

Cost associated with conducting an initial analysis at the organization= $ 150,000

Purchase of training equipment

itemquantityTotal cost ($)
Personal computers @ 50070035, 000
Classroom equipment–40, 000
Stationery–1000
Total76,000