Training need analysis programs have earned a great importance today. Are you afraid of wasting your time and money in training the wrong type of people or even addressing the wrong competencies? Or is it that you just want to check the effectiveness of a training? Or maybe that you are just trying to identify the weaker points of a training program? Well! Whatever the concern is, we have a solution of it and that is training needs analysis program.
A training needs analysis process is a systematic approach to determine whether there is a need for training or not, and if there is, then which kind of it should be. This process takes a to-the-point approach while considering some of the most important aspects of business. Those aspects might include business’ current needs, current competencies, training methods, their costs and effectiveness of each method.
Training Needs Analysis Process
- Goal Clarification
It’s always better to move on by thinking about one step ahead, and in this process, that next step is to determine the expected outcomes of the training. Different goals cast different effects and so, the chosen type of training and strategy might also be different. No matter, how much difference lies among each goal but there should always be one thing common in between them and that’s their correspondence to a business objective.
For example, a business can initiate a training program to improve customer service or to speed up service deliveries without compromising the quality and the main objective behind it might be the improvement of ratings of the services. Some businesses target their training to management so that it is able to maintain an environment with better supervision, which can then ultimately lead to the improved employee morale. In short, it does not matter which objective you choose for your training program, just be sure to keep a track of it, so that it can guide you as a spotlight even if you are close to being lost.
- Linking Employees’ behavior and desired outcomes
The second step of the training needs analysis process requires one to identify some particular competencies like knowledge, qualities, behaviors and skills of the employees. Depending on the situations, the competencies that are critical for achieving a particular set of objectives is separated from rest of the gathered data. At last, all the critical competencies are then linked to the outcomes that are desired.
- Identification of trainable Competencies
Just as the topic suggests, this step involves the process of evaluation of the competencies mentioned above. This helps in determination of that whether the subject, which is under test, is capable of undergoing the training or does his abilities cope with that of the job entry requirements. For the purposes, the names of individuals are listed down on something, along with their competencies, and each consistency for a member of the list is considered as an element that needs higher considerations during the time of hiring or even training.
- Determining Performance gaps
The fourth step of the training needs analysis process takes the data gathered previously and takes it one step ahead of where it is used as a standard for the purpose of the measurement of the performance gaps. That gap is based on the current competency data and that of the desired one. This helps the employers to reach to a better idea for the choice of individual for training or even hiring.
Many methods are currently in practice that can help one in the evaluation of the competency levels that are at present time. Those methods include tests, surveys, performance evaluations, self-assessments, interviews and reviews from customers, where each method has its own advantages, drawbacks and reliability scales based on the behavior of those who are involved in the process of gathering information.
For example, the data that is gathered from survey might be affected by the subjects’ mental condition which they had at the time of filling the survey. The same goes for the rest of the methods like customer reviews.
- Prioritizing the Training needs
In this step, the data gathered from previous steps of the training needs analysis is taken into further consideration and a finalized percentage of the employees take its shape. This percentage, then, helps the employers in setting up the time period and the expected costs for the training purposes. Moreover, in the same step, the importance of competencies is considered as one of the main elements that shape up the business objectives. Since, it is the need and the importance, which when combined together, assists in the accurate identification of the business priorities to keep things going well in long runs.
- Determining Training Methods
While keeping all the data and the deductions, from all the previous steps, in the notice, one or more particular training methods are brought under consideration. The adult learning theory also affects the decision of the finalized method of training. Different methods for training are mentoring and coaching, on the job training, lectures, books, e-learning, academic programs or even conferences.
- Conducting a cost beneficial Analysis
By keeping an eye on the extent of the required training period, which is sufficient to fill up the performance gaps, the minds of the decision-takers are then brought over the costs that are associated with the training methods. Obviously, training time is one of the major factors that affect the costs greatly, along with some other ones, like content development time (especially, if it is done in-house), productivity losses, travel expenses and, may be, training provider evaluations.
- Training Evaluation
Once everything is set up and running, then now’s the time for evaluation of training since training is effective only when information is applied on the job while retaining it. This step of training needs analysis is quite a critical one since it helps in determination of success level of training. The main things that one needs to focus during this step are the improvements, which training brought in the individuals and the time period for which the training was functioning.