Learning & Development

What is a Training Needs Analysis? Why Conduct One?

The most effective teams are actively engaged in the learning process. The challenge you face is identifying what training your teams need to tackle upcoming tasks and meet their goals.

Conducting a training needs analysis will help you gain valuable insights into what your team members know now and what they need to learn in the future.

What is a Training Needs Analysis?

A training needs analysis is an evaluation you conduct to identify the current competencies of an individual or team and the skills they need to acquire to do their jobs successfully. It consists of three phases:

Phase 1: Identify Key Skills

The first step is to look at every role in your organization and identify the skills required to excel at each one. 

If your company has a tiered structure (e.g., junior, senior, management), you'll also want to consider different skills requirements for each level. It may help to evaluate your company's core competencies and determine how each role contributes to those.

Don't forget to consider short and long-term organizational needs as well. This process provides an excellent time to define skills that your team members will need now and in the future.

Phase 2: Conduct a Skills Assessment

Now it's time to engage in an evaluation process to assess your employees' current skills using the critical skills you have identified as a metric. This approach will allow you to determine who has the competencies they need and further training.

While conducting the skills assessment may not take long, preparing the evaluations is usually involved. Once you have identified the skills you desire, you must determine how to measure those and create the required testing instruments.

Phase 3: Focus on Training Gaps

Once you have the results from the skills assessment, you will be able to see the differences between what employees know and what they need to know. You can now use this information to design workplace training programs to bring workers up to speed. 

Why Conduct a Training Needs Analysis?

Now that you know how to evaluate training needs, you may wonder why it's so important to do so. Here are some of the benefits:

Map Out Your Training Plan for the Year

Creating and executing even a brief training initiative takes time and careful planning. When you realize training needs on the fly, staying on top of things can be nearly impossible. Fortunately, by conducting a training needs analysis, you can identify training needs effectively and plan.

Identify Training Gaps Before they Impact Performance

If you don't know how to identify training needs in an organization, you'll discover those gaps when you encounter performance issues. That can be a costly way to learn where your workers lack the training they need.

Set Training Priorities

Once you identify training gaps, you will be able to determine who needs to receive what training right away and which can be pushed back to later. 

This understanding will help you with the necessary scheduling and planning tasks. Developing a thorough training strategy bolsters your learning and development strategy and increases your chances of success.

Improve Your Training ROI

Have you ever had employees complain that their training seemed incomplete or irrelevant? This incongruence often happens when what they learn doesn't help them do their jobs. Unfortunately, these misses cost money and reduce your training return on investment

ROI Calculator

Want to calculate training for your ROI? Use our training ROI calculator!

Uncover Needs You May Have Missed

You may be surprised at some of the things you learn when you conduct a training needs evaluation. There may be skills that you assumed your team members had that they do not. You could also uncover strengths you were unaware of. Fortunately, by identifying those missing skills, you can make up for that deficit through training.

Improve Morale

The happiest workers with their jobs aren't necessarily the most passionate ones. Instead, it's the ones who experience earned achievement and can serve others. The best way to obtain that is to have the skills needed to complete required tasks and achieve goals and objectives.

Next Steps

Now that you know what a training needs analysis is, it's time to create the programs your teams need to close those skills and knowledge gaps. Find the tools that will help you achieve this. The right learning platform will allow you to create the skills assessments you need to evaluate your employees' skills and deliver the training they need to be successful.

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