Training needs analysis (TNA) is the first and most important 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 for him to perform the job responsibility. Through the training needs analysis process, employers can identify what kinds of training are required for which employees.
Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
Training needs analysis is a process of identifying individuals’ competency, skill, or knowledge gaps in one or more areas compared to the required competency standard for the position. Through the identification of these competency gaps, an organization can easily set proper training and development program. Training needs analysis (TNA) is considered a powerful tool in ensuring training effectiveness.
TNA is an important part and continuous process of the training and development activity of the organization. TNA must be conducted periodically to identify employee competency gaps 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 the overall training program effective. It is required for every training whatever the training method is. The benefits of 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 the training requirement of the organization.
- Enables the organization to design an effective training manual and deliver the 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 the organization’s objectives; thus, success remains longer.
Methods for Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
There are different methods used for training needs analysis. The ultimate objective of those methods is collecting of required data regarding the 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 gaps. 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 a training needs assessment. Both qualitative and quantitative information of the employees can be gathered through this observation method.
Interview Method: The interview method of training needs assessment is considered as the most useful tool which helps to identify the competency gap of the employees. This method can be formal or informal. You can gather data through manager’s interviews for their subordinates or one-to-one interview can also be conducted.
Assessment Method: Employee knowledge gaps can be identified through an assessment of employee performance. Assessment systems need to be in place for getting data regarding knowledge gaps and performance status. The assessment can be conducted by using online tools also. This is actually SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis.
Steps for Conducting Training Needs Analysis
Training effectiveness depends on the successful intervention of a training program. TNA is the best way to gather data regarding the performance gaps and mitigate this gap through proper training intervention. In any organization, conducting training needs analysis is considered a major function of the human resource department. Steps for training needs analysis can be described as below:
1. Setting of Business Goal
Training is the main focus area nowadays that can improve employee’s competency to achieve the overall business goal of the organization. So, it’s required to set a business goal and declare it, so that employees can be more conscious of achieving them. Based on the business goals, the training manager should set training goals also. Training goals should fix by focusing on business goals. Training goals may vary from department to department or training to training also.
2. Assessment of Competency Gaps
Now it is a step to find out the performance gaps or competency gap of the employees and verify it with the expected standard of the organization. Through proper SWOT analysis, a training manager can easily find out the training needs of the employees or the organization.
3. Selection of Training Methods
The selection of training topics and methods is a critical stage. Because the overall success of a training program mostly depends on the proper selection of training topics and training methods. Some things that need to take into consideration for choosing a training topic and training methods which are- business goals, a timeline of the training, training costs, budget, legal compliance, return on investment, etc. Training is considered as an employee engagement activity, so need to select the right training method which will help to increase employee engagement also.
4. TNA Reporting and Approval
This is considered the last stage of training needs assessment. A concise report needs to prepare and submit for final approval by 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 plans.
Training needs analysis is sometimes considered as a training needs assessment. It can ensure the delivery of the right training and its effectiveness as well. You can download the training needs assessment template from google and use it just after doing tiny changes.