Companies today have begun to invest more in employee training, learning, and development. They need more skilful and capable workers to gain a competitive advantage. Learning bridges skill gaps, as well as knowledge or capability gaps, among new recruits. It also keeps existing employees adept and updated.
As industries evolve, so does the need for a workforce that can keep pace. To do so, an organisation may conduct a thorough training needs analysis.
What Is a Training Needs Analysis?
A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is a systematic approach useful for any organisation. It determines gaps in employee knowledge, skills, and capabilities. This diagnostic tool first looks at what an employee knows and can do now. You then measure this against requirements for your organisation to thrive.
The analysis encompasses three primary levels: organisational, individual, and task. You get a bird’s eye view of your business, identifying which areas need learning. More specifically, you’ll know what individual employees need to do work more efficiently and excellently. You may also look at details on a task basis. What do specific tasks need for them to be accomplished?
By assessing discrepancies in these levels, a TNA aids in picking which training methods and techniques to use. In turn, it ensures that you utilise resources efficiently. In essence, a TNA secures alignment between training efforts, individual growth, and organisational goals.
All in all, you may expect enhanced performance, productivity, and business success.
Download a FREE Training Needs Analysis Template
If you’re ready to take a crack at analysing your teams training needs, you’ve come to the right place. Click here for a Training Needs Analysis template. You can use it for your business organisation. All of this is for free, so download the assessment template and start on your TNA.
Importance of a Training Needs Assessment
1. Identify Gaps in Skills, Knowledge, or Capabilities
Skills gaps, along with knowledge and competency gaps, are harmful to any organisation if undiagnosed. By uncovering these gaps, organisations can meet specific deficits unique to them.
It also ensures wise investment of resources. With a targeted approach, companies may save time and money, which could otherwise be spent on unnecessary training.
A TNA identifies and addresses these gaps proactively. So, organisations may foster a more competent, adaptive and primed workforce. You will then have an effectively trained workplace for meeting evolving business challenges.
2. Know Who to Train
Another important element to know is who precisely needs learning. A TNA also pinpoints this element for you. Target employees may be new hires who need to align with company standards and practices. They may also need more experience, so a training program can bring them up to speed.
Target employees may also be existing employees who have encountered new challenges or shifts in their roles. You can upskill existing employees with new knowledge or skills to fulfil their duties. This is even more crucial for leadership positions that require a unique mix of specific skills, both hard and soft skills.
Lastly, the analysis process can sharply identify individuals struggling in areas deemed pivotal for the organisation’s success. Companies can improve employee training and development for these specific personnel. It will allow other competent employees to continue working. Those who need help may also get what they need. This way, skilled, knowledgeable employees can bolster vital sectors of the business.
3. Know What to Teach
Now you know who to teach; you next have to pinpoint what to teach. Broad subjects such as power skills are easy to identify, but what if you need even more detailed lessons? For example, active listening is a crucial communication skill. But it’s one that’s very specific already.
Through a Training Needs Assessment (TNA), you can easily clarify what content should be taught in the training process. Whether the topics be broad or very specific, the curriculum may directly address areas of need.
This optimises the use of resources. Yet it also reduces the risk of conducting irrelevant or misaligned training sessions. Instead of a generic, one-size-fits-all approach, you can craft targeted learning experiences. Lessons can resonate with the actual challenges and requirements faced by teams.
4. Know How to Schedule Learning Opportunities
Once you know who and what to teach, you still have to know which ones should go first and which ones can wait. Certain learning opportunities are more urgent than others.
A well-executed Training Needs Assessment (TNA) provides insights into the urgency of different training requirements. Not all training is of equal immediacy. Some skills or knowledge gaps might pose immediate risks or hinder essential tasks. They demand swift intervention.
On the other hand, you can schedule future training without impacting performance or outcomes. Preparing employees for future workplace skills may prove to be a boon for your business.
Understand which training initiatives you should prioritise. You can then schedule training as part of strategic workforce planning. This ensures that urgent needs are addressed promptly, while still planning for the long-term goals.
5. Make Sure Training Programs Align with Business Goals
Finally, training initiatives should not exist only to bridge gaps. You must design them with a clear vision of the broader business objectives in mind.
A Training Needs Assessment (TNA) ensures that the learning paths you chart are in sync with organisational goals. Your organisation can then set a clear trajectory. Every training intervention may contribute meaningfully to the collective journey towards business success.
3 Types of Training Needs Assessment
Training Needs Analysis, or Training Needs Assessment, can be of three different types. The first is a TNA on knowledge.
This type reveals gaps in knowledge that employees need. You may find this useful for new hires. New employees may be onboarded with no prior experience. So, you’ll need learning to teach them how your organisation works.
The second type of TNA is on skills. Skill gaps are widespread in the business world, whether it concerns new or existing workers. They may be more equipped with hard skills yet need more power skills. Power skills like strategic thinking and workforce agility are as important as technical skills.
A TNA will locate these gaps. You can then plug the holes with specific training.
A capabilities-based Training Needs Analysis is broader than the previous two types. It focuses on assessing competencies, or the capacity of employees to perform specific functions. It delves into the larger competencies required for roles. After a TNA, you may then schedule more comprehensive and wide-reaching training if needed.
How Do You Conduct a Training Needs Analysis?
Step 1: Identify Your Business Outcomes or Goals
Business challenges or future plans start the preparation process. You will need to meet these challenges or plans to survive and succeed.
Employee learning can contribute towards these outcomes. That’s why you need to identify company goals first. They will provide the groundwork for training plans.
An awareness of organisational goals not only ensures that learning is relevant and timely. It also secures synchronisation between employee development and overarching organisational objectives.
Step 2: Look at Roles and Competencies from a Top-Down Perspective
To reach the goals mentioned, you need to understand everyone’s roles and competencies. Adopt a top-down perspective to see which roles are pivotal in reaching desired outcomes. You’ll also see what competencies are intimately connected to these roles.
It’s also important to think about accommodating learning styles. Different employees resonate with various styles of learning. You don’t necessarily have to make every activity fun. You only need to engage participants at their level. This way, they will learn better and faster.
Step 3: Bridge Gaps in Skills, Knowledge or Capabilities
Training should be meaningful not only for the company but for the employees too. Employee development plans can also spur a company forward. So, fill in the gaps where skills, knowledge, or competencies are missing.
By giving the right training, employees can do their jobs better. They can grow and take on even more complex work or responsibilities.
When employees improve, the whole company benefits. It’s a win-win: the company grows stronger and workers become more skilled.
Step 4: Design, Train, and Assess
Finally, you can plan out the courses you need to teach. Think about what skills or information are most important while focusing on business goals. You may use employee training software to keep track of the entire process as well as employees.
Next, start the teaching process. Make sure lessons are clear and helpful.
Getting the Right Training to the Right People: Training Needs Analysis
Conducting a training needs analysis, you may go ahead and conduct a training needs analysis. Identify the outcomes you want and the skillsets you need. Design learning and development for employees to acquire those skills, knowledge or competencies. And continually improve.
Sky’s the limit for business success if you tailor-fit training to your needs.