Training Needs Analysis
What is a Training Needs Analysis?
A systematic approach to determine what training needs to take place. The TNA process will consider; Business Needs, Current Competencies, Training Methods, Cost and Effectiveness. Training needs analysis is concerned with addressing skills gaps at the organisational level, the group level and the individual level, and usually falls under the remit of learning and development. Training needs analysis should be conducted at all three levels to ensure the maximum return from training throughout the organisation.
Why do a Training Needs Analysis?
A TNA is ensuring that training is targeting the correct competencies, the correct employees and is addressing the business need. Without a structured TNA often businesses make these 3 common mistakes:
- Teaching the right people the wrong skills
- Teaching the right skills, to the wrong people.
- Teaching the right skills, to the right people, in the wrong way.
Our Method – A variety of methods can be used to correctly capture the relevant data for a TNA, at itelligence we tailor it to you, but the techniques often include – Interviews, focus groups, assessments, questionnaires, surveys and reviews. All of these helping to form our 8 step approach.
8 Step Approach
Step 1: Determine Desired Outcomes
- Clarify goal of the training and expected business outcomes
- Training goal should correspond to a business objective.
- Examples of training goals:
- Improve customer service satisfaction ratings
- Decrease the time it takes to complete service delivery
- Improve employee morale through better supervision by management
- Improve the speed at which tasks are completed
Step 2: Link Desired Outcomes with Employee Behaviour
- Identify the competencies (behaviors, skills, qualities and knowledge) that are linked to desired outcome.
- Collect information and data from subject matter experts to determine which competencies are critical to achieving the outcomes.
- What skills does one need to achieve this goal?
- What information is necessary to meet this objective?
- Which behaviour is critical to completing this task?
Step 3: Identify Trainable Competencies
- Evaluate the critical competencies and determine if they are:
- Abilities one should possess prior to job entry
- Abilities that can be leaned on the job
- List of critical competencies that are either elements that should be considered in hiring practices or competencies that are amenable to training.
Step 4: Evaluate Competencies and Determine Performance Gaps
- Evaluate current competencies and identify where there are gaps between current ability and desired ability
- To evaluate current competency level use:
- Performance evaluations
- Self assessments
- Customer feedback
Step 5: Prioritise Training Needs
- Identify the percentage of employees who need training on the competencies.
- Consider the importance of the competencies to the business objectives .
- Together, the need and the importance will allow you to identify training priorities.
Step 6: Determine How to Conduct Training
- Consider adult learning theory and best practices in training on the particular competencies.
- Training methods can range from:
- On the job training (OJT)
- Mentoring and coaching;
- Classroom / lecture
- Web-based / e-learning
- Reading / books
Step 7: Conduct a Cost Benefit Analysis
- Consider the costs associated with the training methods, the extent to which the training will address the performance gap, and the impact on business
- Cost factors include:
- Training time
- Content development time (if designed in-house)
- Training provider evaluation (if purchased from vendor)
- Training content delivery method
- Lost productivity from time spent in training
- Travel and logistical expenses
Step 8: Planning for Training Evaluation
- Training is only effective if the information is retained and applied on the job. Evaluation of training is critical
- Questions to consider in evaluation include:
- How much did the training improve the competencies?
- How did the training improve employees’ job performance?
- How did the training support meeting of business objectives?
After a TNA you will receive a report detailing the finds of the process and a recommended training plan to help the organisation achieve the required goals. When helping the organisation to set their goals from the training we always make sure that they are SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed (defined deadline)