training needs analysis.
what is a training needs analysis?
A training needs analysis, also known as a training needs assessment, is a strategy that organisations use to determine the training employees need to improve their performance.
why is a training needs analysis important?
There is a solid economic case for training your workers. It equips your employees with full competencies and capabilities to maximise productivity across your organisation. Build a strong foundation for developing comprehensive and relevant training programmes so that your employees can get the most out of the training. This is achieved through a “training needs” analysis, which can be conducted by your learning and development lead.
A training needs analysis helps identify the knowledge, abilities, and skills your employees lack in relation to your objectives as an organisation. The information that’s derived from the analysis can help an organisation in the following ways:
1. identify gaps
If there is a disconnect between current and required performance, a training needs analysis helps you identify if it is caused by a lack of skills or knowledge, or other problems such as inadequate equipment. If it is a knowledge issue, you can create a training programme that solves it and prevents it from occurring again.
Additionally, a training programme driven by data from training needs analyses will identify skill and knowledge gaps before they cause organisation-wide issues.
2. plan training programmes
Sometimes, when training needs arise, an organisation may not be equipped to handle them. Training needs analysis is a proactive approach that allows organisations to determine and plan for training needs in advance to align them with budgets and other activities and identify what external training or learning and development resources they might require to achieve them.
3. target the right people and areas
Assuming everyone needs training could be a massive waste of time and money because not all employees require training—or the same type of training. An effective training programme needs to be personalised to motivate and engage employees.
Training needs analysis helps organisations identify who and what to focus on and highlight areas that don’t need further training. If a training needs analysis determines there are no gaps or training needs, running additional training could be a waste of resources.
4. highlight training needs you hadn’t considered
It is possible to determine your organisation’s training needs without conducting a training needs analysis. However, an analysis can highlight many other areas in which you hadn’t considered your employees’ needed to improve.
Training needs regularly change, so you should conduct regular ‘training needs’ reviews, before delivering training, for the information to be relevant.
levels of training needs analysis.
There are three levels to a training needs analysis based on McGhee and Thayer’s Three-Level Analysis. They are:
1. organisational level
The organisational level of training needs analysis focuses on skill, knowledge, and competency gaps that cause organisation-wide issues or prevent the organisation from achieving its strategic objectives. It uses data from business goals, employee inventory, organisation culture, customer satisfaction data, and skill inventory.
2. operational level
The operational level of training needs analysis involves determining what training the employee needs to achieve a certain level of proficiency. In short, it identifies the skills and knowledge necessary to do a job at the highest level.
This level uses data such as job descriptions, job specifications, work performance standards, information from subject-matter experts, and analysis of operational problems, among others.
3. individual level
The individual level of training needs analysis determines training needs by assessing the difference between an employee’s expected performance and actual performance. It uses data from work samples, data from performance appraisals, employee and customer surveys, assessment of employee talents, and interviews and questionnaires.
Though different in their objectives, the three levels are interlinked. Conducting all of them will ensure a balanced analysis of the organisation's training requirements.
methods of conducting training needs analysis.
You can conduct a training needs analysis using one or a combination of the several methods listed below.
- Sending questionnaires to your employees with questions like, “What would you like more training on?”
- Observing your employees as they work
- Holding interviews for a one-on-one analysis
- Examining whether the work being produced reflects the skills, abilities, and knowledge of a specific position
- Sending a multiple-choice assessment online
- Conducting a competitive analysis to learn what your competition is doing better than you
Not all methods are usable by all organisations, so you must choose one that matches your objectives and unique circumstances.
how do you conduct a training needs analysis?
The process of analysing training needs depends on several factors, including the job profile, organisational culture, and organisational objectives. Hence different organisations follow their unique formulae.
Nonetheless, many organisations base their procedures on the following four phases.
- Performance gap analysis: Compare the current and desired state of the employee’s, department’s, and organisation’s performance or skills. The difference between them forms the gap.
- Root cause analysis: Once you identify a gap, determine what is causing it so you can look for a solution. The root cause can be skills, incentives, resources, motivation, or information.
- Needs analysis: The needs analysis step answers the question, “What do you need to improve through training to deal with the identified root cause?” It involves analyses such as job and task analysis.
- Recommendations: After understanding what needs to be improved, propose training solutions to develop effective training programmes to address the issue.
take a data-driven approach with the help of an ATS.
Training needs assessment allows organisations to identify performance gaps that they could solve through training, reskilling, and upskilling employees. Through training needs analysis, organisations can create effective training programmes.
Conducting a training needs analysis is part of embracing a data-driven approach to ensure you have the best employees—and it shouldn’t end there. You should also employ a data-driven approach in hiring and recruitment through an applicant tracking system (ATS).
hireful is an ATS that collects and analyses data, among other functions, to find and retain the best fit for a role in your organisation. With hireful, you also get a team of knowledgeable professionals to help you get the most out of it.
Book a demo today to improve the quality of your hires.