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How to conduct a training need analysis

According to research, the primary reason for most training to fail is that they are not needed in the first place.

Any training need can be identified as the gap that exists between the current capability and the desired capability of your employee members.

Here is a 10 step process that shows you how you can conduct a training need analysis

Things you'll need

  • You need to define the target group for whom the training is to be conducted.

Set specific training goals and objectives

You must know the desired business outcomes as well as what you expect from the training programme.

You must be able to answer certain questions here. For instance,  

  • Did the training given actually work?
  • What were the expected / desired outcomes?

You will have to answer these questions before you actually begin with the Training need analysis. 

You can then expect business outcomes that are specific to either individuals, departments or even to your overall organization from the training imparted. 


Define your audience and their competencies

If you know the desired business outcomes, you can also then define the target group for taking the training. You must make sure that you involve your employees in this process as well. 

You must know their thought process while you try to get the most out of your training program. You can now map specific business outcomes expected with desired competencies of the target audience to be trained. 


Evaluate the desired competencies with the help of online assessments.

With an online skill assessment you can evaluate the desired competencies. Using the data from the results of these assessments, you can then finalise the trainable competencies you want to include in the training program. 

In fact you can even use an online tool like a 360 degree feedback which can not only help you evaluate the overall employees’ performance based on the training given, you can also identify specific areas of improvement.

Besides, there are specific online tools that can also help you to identify pre training gaps in competencies required to succeed on the job and the effectiveness of the training on completion of the program. 


Get to know which competencies are trainable

When you realise that training cannot impact a particular competency it then does not make sense to conduct the training. You can thus determine which competencies can most definitely be improved with training.

There are certain roles - for instance, sales and customer support that require a higher level of people interaction. Hence it is necessary to know if your employees are naturally inclined towards people interaction as trying to instill this with training cannot be of much help. 


Conduct a gap analysis

On the basis of identified gaps in performance, you can analyse how many employees require any improvement in the trainable competencies. 

The first step here is the identification of set standards of performance for your employees. You need to then analyze those that do not meet these set standards  and they should therefore be considered for imparting the training. 


Training method evaluation

You can choose the appropriate training option from classroom training, online learning or even on the job training and make sure if it allows you to put the learning in action. This prepares the employee to retain the learning and apply it on the job.

Some more options for you to evaluate would be mentoring and coaching, blended learning and actual team learning through conferences. 


Decide your training delivery options

One of the most critical steps is where you decide your workforce composition and set the appropriate budgets for your training. This also depends on the proper choice of the learning combination you choose from e-learning, classroom training or a blend of both.

Here you also need to set your training schedule in advance and also must know the resources at your disposal to put the training in practice. 


Conduct a cost v/s benefits analysis of the training

Do the benefits of conducting the training offset the overall costs incurred? Some common costs incurred on the training activity are the trainer's compensation, travel costs, training content costs, evaluation and other expenses. Here you need to find and reach a balance between the most appropriate and cost effective method. 

The method you chose here will help you achieve the results desired and will also give you a more definite return on your investment in the training conducted. 


Evaluating the efficacy of the proposed training

After the training is complete, now is the time to know whether the training was effective or not. Some common questions that could be asked to know the effectiveness are:

  • Did the training have a positive ROI?
  • Did the training help achieve the desired business objectives? 
  • How much change in job performance is expected from the trained employees? 
  • Does the trainee audience have improved set of competencies? 

Now you can Implement the training need assessment plan

 After a careful evaluation of the training needs, now is the time for you to put your plan to action that involves creating a thorough report along with the findings, recommendations and next steps to execute the training. 

This report can also be used to implement the 'Training need assessment' plan to the 'T'. 

Further information

This article on how to conduct a training need analysis is based on a blog post that appeared on Assesshub - an online platform to scientifically evaluate talent for job relevant skills.


Page last edited Mar 21, 2016 History

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