You may be in the process of developing or have already deployed a fit-for-purpose learning and development strategic plan for your organization. In any case, identifying performance gaps within your company aids in the development of a learning plan for your employees from which they will truly benefit.
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Training needs analysis assists in determining which areas of your organization require attention. It can also assist in determining which employees require training and what type of training is most appropriate. It not only helps you to allocate your training budget more effectively, but it also prevents you from being counter-productive by providing training to employees who do not need it, or worse, providing them with the wrong kind of training.
Every training initiative should begin with a needs assessment, but often, businesses rush to implement training to fill presumed gaps. A solid analysis may require some time upfront, but it will help you navigate around potential markings and slowdowns to assist your employees to get where they must go.
For any learning and development professional, being able to conduct a training needs assessment using a platform like a learning management system is a crucial skill. In this article, we will describe training needs analysis and explain the steps for conducting this analysis. This guidance will be beneficial to both L&D professionals and instructors and consultants.
What Is Training Needs Analysis?
Training needs analysis or TNA takes place for a reason. Such an analysis is usually required as a result of an organizational problem that needs to be resolved. This can be a lower than expected sales quarter, changing technology affecting training operator continuity, or maybe consistently low customer satisfaction rankings, forcing the product team to perform in a more flexible and customer-focused manner.
In all of these cases, training has the potential to solve problems. This is where the training needs assessment plays its role. A training needs analysis is a process that identifies the gap between the actual and preferred skills, knowledge, and attitudes in a job role.
This is not to say that training needs analysis can solve every problem; quite the contrary. The majority of issues are caused by other organizational problems. A required training needs analysis can only be a feasible solution when the issue is caused by a lack of skills, knowledge, or behaviors.
A training needs analysis examines the current state of your organization’s training and development and assists in identifying knowledge gaps that must be filled so that you can decide priorities and develop a learning and development strategy that is appropriate for the job.
Why Should You Conduct A Training Needs Assessment?
With the help of LMS, training needs analysis assists you in organizing your company’s learning and development priorities. The significance of training needs analysis is frequently overlooked when developing a training plan for employees. There are three important advantages:
- It will give you a clear picture of what skills and knowledge your organization requires to move forward, and which are currently lacking, impeding future growth. It enables you to develop a learning and development strategy based on facts rather than assumptions.
- Another advantage of developing a plan based on reality is that you save time on training that is irrelevant to your employees and does not help your organization grow and progress. You will save time and increase employee engagement by providing training where it is required.
- One of the biggest money holes an organization can have is wasting expenditure on ineffective and surplus training. When you know precisely where training is required within your organization, you can enhance your ROI and save money that otherwise would have been invested in ineffective training.
Steps To Conduct A Training Requirements Analysis Using LMS
A training needs analysis is the most effective way to launch a new learning initiative, and it’s undoubtedly easier than you think. Your assessment, armed with the necessary information and insight, and techniques, lead to developing guidelines for more effective eLearning. Here’s how to begin.
- Identify the desired corporate goals
The first step is to determine your organization’s goals for training and development. A training analysis helps you to create a successful and productive training program, and it is also an essential aspect of succession planning. Performing this analysis enables an organization to concentrate its training efforts on areas of improvement that are required to be tackled for employees to effectively carry out the organization’s goals, make the best use of the company’s training budget, and encourage workers by contributing to their career advancement.
To properly assess training options and identify which training programs will contribute most to the ultimate success of employees and the organization as a whole, the person conducting the training needs assessment must first understand the complete organization’s goals and priorities.
- Prioritizing training requirements
Employers should combine the data with the knowledge of the pervasiveness of the performance gap. Employers need to determine how many and what proportion of the targeted workforce needs training. Companies should also consider the significance of the skill. When pervasiveness and importance are combined, they should result in a ranking of training priorities.
- Gather insights
Don’t keep your training needs analysis a closely kept secret project; instead, involve as many people as possible. The more insight you have, the better, and your learners are a never-ending source of this data and intelligence. If you are unsure about your training requirements, simply ask. Sending out a survey, conducting informal interviews, and assessing current learner abilities will provide you with the data you need to begin making a case for better training.
Even simple observation provides valuable information about how your learners perform and how gaps may have an impact on their performance. Once you’ve gathered as much information as possible, compare what you’ve learned to your requirements and ambitions, and the path to excellence will become clearer.
- Conduct a gap analysis
This is an essential step to determine how many employees require training and in what areas, such as compliance, onboarding, soft skills, sales training, and so on. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are created by modern LMSs to analyze skill gaps and automatically allocate online training courses to fill those gaps and enhance workforce competency.
- Select a success metric
ROI is one of the most important aspects of a training needs analysis, but it is also one of the most overlooked aspects. It’s because training ROI is usually hard to measure. After all, you can’t quantify increased confidence, improved soft skills, and a broader knowledge base. Still, a portion of your analysis should focus on what constitutes a successful training outcome.
Maybe you can end your training with a knowledge test to see if learners understand and remember the material. Perhaps success looks like a higher-than-average training completion rate and positive feedback on a post-training survey. Whatever you decide to evaluate success as, use it as a guideline as you move forward and work toward that measurement.
Organizations conduct training needs analyses to identify skill gaps, audience types, material to be delivered, and appropriate training strategies. So, before launching a training program, you must first implement a competent and fitting LMS to assess the gaps between learners’ current skill set and desired competency.