Training needs analysis is the first requirement of a successful training program. In training needs analysis, some steps are followed to identify the competency gap of the individual employee that is required to perform responsibility of that position. It helps employers to identify what kinds of training is required for which employees.
Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
Training needs analysis is a process of identifying individuals’ competency, skill or knowledge gap in one or more areas compared to required competency standard for the position. Through identification of this gap, organization can easily find out needs of the training. Training needs analysis is a powerful tool which plays vital role for ensuring training effectiveness.
Training needs analysis is a continuous process of the training and development activity of the organization. It should be conducted periodically to identify competency gap and finalize training topics. It boosts the effectiveness of the training program.
Importance of Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
Training needs analysis is the vital prerequisite of a successful training program and it contributes a lot to make overall training program effective. It is required for every training whatever the training method is. The benefits a training needs assessment can be summarized as below:
- Training needs analysis helps to identify the competency gap of the individual or a group of employees and training requirement of the organization.
- Enables organization to design an effective training manual and deliver right topics to the right people.
- TNA helps to declare the purpose of a training program and benchmark or the right way for training evaluation.
- It helps to prepare an effective training budget.
- It aligns training objectives with organization’s objectives; thus, success remains longer.
Methods for Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
There are different methods used for training needs analysis. The ultimate objectives of those methods are collecting of required data regarding performance gap. You may choose any of the following methods of training needs assessment for your organization.
Survey Method: Survey is one of the popular methods for training needs analysis where a precise questionnaire is used to gather information. Surveys help to know employee’s performance gap. This method is inexpensive and many employees can be covered at a time. But need enough time to develop an effective questionnaire for doing the survey.
Observation Method: Regular work observation can help to find out the performance gap and this data can be used for training needs assessment. Both qualitative and quantitative information of the employees can be gathered through this observation method.
Interview Method: Interview method of training needs assessment helps to identify competency gap of the employees. This method can be formal or informal. You can conduct one to one interview or can gather data through manager’s interview for their subordinates.
Assessment Method: Assessment of employee’s performance can be a good way to identify knowledge gaps. Assessment system need to be in place for getting data regarding knowledge gap and performance status. The assessment can be conducted through using online tools also. This is actually SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Thread) analysis.
Steps for Conducting Training Needs Analysis
Training effectiveness depends on successful intervention of a training program. TNA is the best way to gather data regarding performance gap and mitigate this gap through proper training intervention. In any organization, conducting training needs analysis is considered as a major function of human resource department. Steps for conducting training needs analysis are as below:
1. Setting of Business Goal
Training is the main focus area now a days that can improve employee’s competency to achieve overall business goal of the organization. So, it’s required to set business goal and declare it, so that employees can be more conscious for achieving it. Based on business goal, training manager should set training goals also. Training goals should fix by focusing business goals. Training goals may vary from department to department or training to training also.
2. Assessment of Competency Gap
Now it is step to find out performance gap or competency gap of the employees and verify it with expected standard of the organization. There are many methods for gap analysis which are described above. Through proper SWOT analysis, training manager can easily find out the training needs of the employees or the organization.
3. Selection of Training Methods
Selection of training topics and methods is a critical stage. Because success of a training program mostly depends on it. Some things need to take into consideration for choosing training topic and training methods which are- business goals, time line of the training, training costs, budget, legal compliance, return on investment etc. Training is considered as an employee engagement activity, so need to select right training method which will help to increase employee engagement also.
4. TNA Reporting and Approval
This is considered as the last stage of training needs assessment. A concise report needs to prepare and submit for final approval of management. This report must contain training topics, objectives, budgets, expected outcomes, return on investment etc. For ensuring successful training intervention, all the topics should be classified into short term and long-term training plan.
Training needs analysis is sometimes considered as training needs assessment. It can ensure delivery of right training and its effectiveness as well. You can download training needs assessment template from google and use it just after doing tiny changes.