BlogLearning & Development

How to Conduct a Training Needs Analysis (5 Steps)

Terri James
VP of Product

Master the process of an employee training needs analysis. Follow these 5 steps to identify skill gaps, align with business objectives, and design impactful training programs.

Training Objectives

Effective team performance begins with identifying the right training opportunities. Training needs analysis is your starting point for ensuring your employees’ skills reflect your business objectives.

This article is a practical guide to that process, presenting clear steps to analyze, plan, and implement training that targets key areas for growth.

Ready to optimize your team’s development?

Let’s dive into the essentials of conducting a thorough training needs analysis.

Step 1: Define Training Objectives

First up, let's talk about setting learning goals.

Training objectives need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

This clarity helps direct your training efforts and aligns them with your company's strategic vision.

Define these objectives clearly, making sure everyone’s efforts are focused and purposeful.

Step 2: Assess Current Skills

Understanding where your team currently stands is essential. With Continu's Assessments, you can get a detailed view of everyone's skills, knowledge, and performance. This isn't about judgment; it's about identifying where we can grow.

This step ensures your training is targeted and meaningful, closing any potential gaps.

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Step 3: Identify the Gaps

Now, for the detective work. Using Continu's reporting tools, you'll compare current skill levels against where you need them to be.


This pinpoint precision in identifying skill gaps ensures your training is not only necessary but also effective. It’s about investing in growth areas that matter.

Step 4: Engage for Feedback

A crucial, often overlooked step is asking your team what they need. Continu’s feedback tools make this easy.

Collecting feedback from learners ensures your training initiatives are not just top-down but are also informed by those who'll benefit from them the most. It’s a collaborative approach to growth.

Step 5: Benchmark Against the Industry

Lastly, look outside your organization. What skills are trending in your industry? What standards do you need to meet? This broader perspective ensures your team remains competitive and compliant.

By combining assessment data and feedback results collected in Continu, then comparing to industry benchmarks, it will help guide your training towards not just relevance but excellence.


Training needs analysis isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about strategic development and keeping your team’s skills sharp and relevant.

With Continu, this process isn’t daunting—it’s a clear path to ensuring your training efforts pay off, aligning closely with both immediate needs and long-term ambitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are three 3 components of a training needs analysis?

The three components of a training needs analysis are organizational analysis, operational analysis, and individual analysis, which are used to assess different levels of training needs.

What is the importance of soliciting employee feedback in training needs analysis?

Soliciting employee feedback is crucial because it helps in understanding their training needs, preferences, and gaps, ensuring that training programs are relevant and effective for them. This can significantly improve the overall effectiveness of the training programs.

Why should we evaluate external benchmarks and requirements in training?

By evaluating external benchmarks and requirements, you can ensure that your training programs align with industry standards, prepare your workforce for future skill needs, and meet compliance requirements. This helps in keeping your training relevant and effective.

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About the Author
Terri James, VP of Product at Continu
Terri James
VP of Product

Terri is the VP of Product at Continu, a modern Learning Management System built to help companies train employees, customers and partners using one platform. For over a decade, Terri has led Continu as a product and is passionate about helping companies build a culture of learning.

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