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Everything You Need To Know About Conducting a Training Needs Analysis

“Tell me, and I forget, teach me, and I may remember, involve me, and I learn”
– Benjamin Franklin

In the modern corporate world, the importance of a training needs analysis is an often overlooked area. The consequences of such an oversight lead to less efficiency in the workforce, under-motivated employees and high turnover in an organisation. 

Therefore, we at Exena Hub want to stress the importance of conducting a training needs analysis and provide you with some vital steps to conduct an effective assessment in the workplace.

According to Edgepoint Learning, a training needs analysis is when one takes a bird’s eye view of a company’s overall goals before breaking it into the specific training needs. 

“Training needs” in this statement is the difference between the desired capability and a specific employee’s current capability in an organisation.

Therefore, conducting such an assessment is essential to develop effective training material and make the best use of the workplace’s production time. 

We like to point out here that there are different types, methodologies, and different occasions in which a training needs analysis is done at an organisation.

Conducting a training need analysis is essential to develop effective training material and make the best use of the workplace’s production time.

Types of Training Needs Analyses

1. Knowledge

Knowledge analysis is especially important when the company hires new graduates who are fresh out of college and will need the necessary grooming to integrate seamlessly and cope with the work. 

Therefore, employers need to know if employees have the proper enthusiasm to absorb the knowledge and energy to be resilient in the workplace. 

This also means ensuring that employees understand regulations and compliance issues, procedures and best practices and are kept abreast with the latest knowledge.

A knowledge analysis is especially important when the company hires new graduates.

2. Skills

Over time an employee can apply proper knowledge to the work they perform. However, having adequate knowledge alone isn’t enough. To be highly efficient, an employee should have a range of skills to perform these tasks. 

As much as an employee gains explicit knowledge from books, it is essential to have tacit knowledge only gathered through experience. 

Tacit knowledge helps employees perform better in an organisation. All these traditional skills must go hand in hand with digital skills and technology. 

“Skills” cover soft skills such as intercommunication, negotiations and interpersonal skills, which can be read in-depth in our article “Why Soft Skills are Essential in a Workplace.”

3. Abilities

In the workplace, performing a task is essential—especially when resolving conflicts, working under pressure and mitigating risks. To an employer, understanding your staff’s abilities is crucial, particularly during pandemic situations, which helps employees shape their minds to tackle crises at any given time. 

These abilities help employees achieve their targets on time. Furthermore, abilities help employees be more independent and empower them to invest in their careers to be more productive and contribute better to their overall aims. 

Thus, employees shift from being reactive to proactive at their workplace, which is a great asset overall.

Employers can conduct one-to-one interviews to get first-hand feedback from employees.

Training Needs Analysis Tools 

While employers conduct training, they also need to ensure they collect the correct information, so training is done correctly.  

This information can be gathered through questionnaires that allow the employee to answer a series of questions and rate the questions asked. Another method is observing ongoing operations and day to day work in a specific department that requires training. This method allows the trainer to help identify the gaps. 

Employers can also have one-to-one interviews to get first-hand feedback from employees. Examining work and grading employees during job performance appraisals can help identify employees’ training gaps to climb the organisation’s leadership pipeline. 

Conducting assessments quarterly, biannually, and annually is vital to see that the organisation is on the right path and the employees are geared in the right direction. 

Finally, a competitive analysis can be conducted to benchmark the organisation against others in the industry and to understand how well it can adapt and keep up with the demands to thrive in that industry.

 Looming Concerns

Many changes since the covid19 pandemic have forced organisations to switch to work-from-home operations due to health and safety issues. A study shows that 52% of employees have fatigue as a result of working from home. 

This fatigue is a looming concern for organisations and trainers to step up the game and factor in this crucial new adjustment to the “new normal” in their training needs analysis. This is also part of the upskilling process, which companies need to focus on so that their employees are better trained to work from new environments regardless of the time of the day. Read more in the article “Upskilling For a Wealthier You“. 

Benefits of Training Need Analysis 

Below are the five main benefits of conducting a training needs analysis for your organisation:

  1. Identifying the knowledge gaps before it becomes an issue.
  2. Helps the trainer plan training programs for the upcoming year.
  3. Helps to identify training that may not have been considered necessary before.
  4. Helps to focus on the proper training and suitable candidates for training.
  5. To help prioritise the training needs in the organisation.

The Impact of A Training Needs Analysis

  1. Reduction in turnover and saving on recruitment cost.
  2. Better skilled employees with more efficiency and fewer errors.
  3. Less breach of legislative requirements.
  4. Highly motivated and sustainable staff
  5.  Increase in quality deliverance of service, increasing the organisation’s reputation.

A training needs analysis helps develop highly motivated and sustainable staff.

Exena’s very own method to assess the workplace’s training needs analysis:

Step 1: 

Asking the right questions

The most crucial element is finding the target audience. Is this for managers in a particular department or new employees just recruited? Then it is about identifying the critical tasks which the employees need to perform. Next, ascertain if any training needs to be given beforehand as a prerequisite to the current training. 
Step 2: 

Segregating needs and objectives

Identify the needs and objectives of the upcoming training. Each department may have performance gaps. Making sure the planned training fits the gaps is crucial. 

For example, if the training is on emotional intelligence, upskilling their technology skills is not the best way forward. In this case, it is essential to identify if this training needs to be done individually or on an overall organisation level. Especially remote work training is something that needs to be done on an organisation level. 

Next, it is vital to identify the suitable methodology to communicate the needs and objectives through surveys, questionnaires and interviews.  

Step 3: 

Analyse the findings and devise a training programme

Once the information is gathered, the trainer can observe the organisation’s overall needs and tailor-make the training to fit the individual or organisation. The purpose of the training program is to have an adequate amount of training done to ensure that it impacts the organisation.
Step 4: 

Execute the training programme

Next is to get the ball rolling. This means creating a robust schedule that includes dates, timings, venues, and a detailed itinerary to ensure that the employees know well in advance what they are in for and prepare accordingly. Sourcing the right trainer for the program, budgeting and preparing to collaborate with the trainer before the training day.
Step 5: 

Taking measurement

Finally, conducting such training provides valuable information and feedback that help constructively gather crucial information such as job satisfaction level, skill level, and experience in various other quantitative and qualitative measurements. These outcomes help ensure that the employee is on the correct path and help move onto the different phase of conducting a post-training review.

We hope this document has convinced you that conducting a training needs analysis is vital to the organisation’s survival. Remember that a well-trained employee is an asset and their contribution as a skilled employee goes a long way towards the organisation’s success.

You can now do your own training needs analysis. Simply download the document on the next page as a word or Google doc file and fill these sections up to do your very own training needs analysis. 

References:

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