Training Needs Assessment–Focused on The Men’s Wearhouse


Men’s Wearhouse (MW) is a men’s dress clothes and suit retailer headquartered in Houston, Texas. Men’s Warehouse started offering quality and personalized service more than 35 years ago. The brand image started when, the founder, George Zimmer first appeared in Men’s Wearhouse commercials in 1985, demonstrating the authenticity of the brand. Everyone knows his famous line: “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” The line continues to be part of the branding and marking image for Men’s Wearhouse.


The story of the Men’s Wearhouse is one of excellent of customer service. The customer service representatives are coined wardrobe consultants and are expected to  go beyond a customer’s initial request to make sure he is truly satisfied with his shopping experience. The company is referred to as a progressive company with a commitment to the employees. The corporate culture fosters an environment that supports employee growth and prosperity. The organization, while primarily a retailer, touts that its focus remains committed to employees, because they are the ‘heart and soul’ of the business.


Attrition is low, but the organization’s  CEO claimed that there are often roadblocks or issues when it come to remaining in front of the every changing design trends. The Men’s Warehouse website stated that the cornerstone of the Company’s success is their commitment to promote employee growth through extensive and ongoing training programs. They stated that their ‘training seeks to emphasize personal and career development, employee empowerment, and building quality relationships with colleagues and customers’. In order to achieve this goal, the Men’s Warehouse leadership has chosen to ‘incorporate a multifaceted approach to training that includes comprehensive initiation programs coupled with a series of continuing-education seminars’.


The stakeholders that need to be involved in order to get buy-in would include upper level manager located at the corporate offices, and the C-level leadership team. In order to gain mid and lower level leadership and employee buy-in, upper management must present a unified and positive outlook on their view that training is important and necessary. Once buy-in has been established, access to the required employees, data, and other information is possible. Table 1 illustrates some questions to ask (and to whom to address the questions) during the organizational, person, and task analysis phases


Table 1: Questions and Respondents

Organizational to Managers (All levels)

Person (Core employees)


What is the learning culture of the organization? Are employees in a particular job function in need of training? Can the gaps in the training be identified to particular tasks?
What threats exist that may impede your talent base? What tools do employees need to align with business objectives? Where will the biggest ROI occur?
What is the most important training needed to achieve strategic goals? Who should be trained? What skills do you feel they lack? What Kirkpatrick Level is the required training?
How has your training traditionally supported your business strategy? How are potential candidates for training identified? Does the organization have employees with the desired KSA?
What is the training budget and any caps?    


The documents that an evaluator would request might start with the documents that indicate the effectiveness of the traditional training i.e. employee training records, certification records, accident or incident logs, and/or production logs. An evaluator would want to see proof of timely feedback for employee performance to ensure low-performance and company goals are being communicated. The evaluator should investigate the past training budget and any particular caps and the reasons for the expenditures and caps? Reviewing current training manuals, curriculum documents, and training material in conjunction with reports provided from other outside consultants need to be reviewed. Lastly, although this list is not meant to be exhaustive, the evaluator may work with the HR office to get a feel for the attrition rate, exit interviews, and other HR documents that might provide an insight into how the employees view the culture and climate of the organization.


Now provided a handy table that helps determine the type technique one should employee in gathering the needed documentation for the analysis. The technique that could be employed in this example may be interviews. Interviews are personal and allows the interviewer to build a trusting relationship with the interviewee (Stolovitch, 2011). Often when an employee is being interviewed, they may be inclined to tell more than just answer the question. These revelations could provide the interviewer with a better picture of any existing larger issues. During the process, the evaluator will remain diligent and observe his/her surroundings, watching employees, processes, and procedures as they unfold in the daily grind.


N.A. (2017). Our story. Retrieved from

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Stolovitch, H. D. (2011). Telling ain’t training: updated, expanded, and enhanced, 2nd edition. American Society for Training and Development.

Posted in Government Acquisition.


  1. Diane,
    As instructional designers (IDs), the needs analysis is so important as the first step. Here, we learn about the organization, learners, and tasks (Noe, 2013). I never thought about using organizational documents as a source of information for the analysis phase, but you showed how certain documents can give light to the current training and culture of the organization. Also, I agree that the use of exit interviews can be a great source of information. Many times the question of ‘what would you change’ is asked and that could be helpful in determining what areas need closer examination. IDs should seek out these documents and use them to their advantage.


    Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

  2. Looking at MW and what their needs are important to the success of their company. You have provided an excellent reference(Table 1: Questions and Respondents) to assist with valid questions that should be asked when developing a training assessment. Focusing on employee and customer feedback should be important elements taken into consideration when making improvements within an organization. Evaluating historical data and interviewing employees can help companies move forward to creating a successful company.

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