Guideline for Effective Training Needs Assessment

Guideline for Effective Training Needs Assessment

For an organization, Training and Development is a way to enhance efficiency as well as the productivity by investing on employee performance. It is always important to ensure that the employees are meeting expectations that has been set for them. To begin the process of improving the organizational productivity, Training Needs Assessment has to be conducted, followed by an effective training program.

Defining the Gap

The core objective of Training Needs Assessment is to determine the gap between the current outcome and the desired outcome and also to identify the root cause of the problem. The whole

process of conducting TNA leads an organization towards achieving the required resolution as well as assist the training department to come up with a goal driven training program. Conducting a TNA at the beginning of the training will give you few important answers like:

  • Who are the audience leaner?
  • What are the needs of the organization?
  • What are the root causes?
  • Priority points of training and development
  • Is training essential or recommended?
  • What should be the content and materials of training?
  • Measuring guideline to compare the before and after result

The Beginning Point

Conducting a TNA in an organization has a purpose, and management must think through when should be the appropriate time to begin with it. Organizing a TNA can be done at any point of time, but below are few situations, that have the potential to maximize the efficiency:

  • After the hiring season
  • When there is a visible lack in performance
  • When the operational or functional structure is changing
  • In performance review season
  • During implementation of a new plan

An organization can and should regularly conduct assessment, as it keeps a tab on the efficiency of employees and it also helps to keep up the productivity of the company.

Breaking the TNA into following three steps:

Identification Analysis Resolution

One: Identification of Gaps in Performance

In this phase we find out “what is” vs. “what should be”. A thorough examination of the current employee skills and knowledge needs to be compared with the expected competency that the organization is looking forward to. This stage also helps to clarify the whole purpose conducting TNA. Identification of gaps in performance is a vast area to cover with right sets of tools. To locate the issue, it is better to segregate the search department wise.

Starting from the topmost level in the Management

To find out the organizational goals and objective, the senior management bodies are the right ones to be interrogated. Also, this will ensure to disclose the big picture on what the organization is trying to achieve. Here are the few listed questions that can be used:

  • What are the priorities of the organization?
  • What the organization is expecting from their employee? Both quantitatively as well as qualitatively.
  • “Core competencies” that the organization is looking forward to.
  • What can be the root causes of the gap as per the leader?
  • Are they planning for any technology changes?

Moving towards the mid-section of Management

This level includes the heads of various departments, supervisors and representatives. These are the people, who deal directly with the front-line employees and there is a high chance of getting the surface level cause for the deficiency. Below are few questions to be considered:

  • What are the current training programs?
  • What the measurement tools used for the performance check?
  • What are the current standards of the employees’ performance?
  • What are the supportive resources available for the employees?
  • Who are the top performing employees and what have they done to achieve good result?
  • What is their opinion and suggestion to increase the efficiency of employees?

Speak with the employees directly

After speaking with the managerial level, it is time to speak with employees as well. As they are the one who witnesses the everyday life in the workplace. With the proper survey questionnaire, the actual cause of gaps in performance can be identified. Here are the few questions to pinpoint:

  • What was the primary training that an employee has gone through at the beginning of their job?
  • How confident do they feel to execute their job?
  • Employees demographic information, like their job description, how long they are working?
  • What support is available for them in case anyone needs assistance?
  • Their idea of how they are performing?
  • Their opinion and suggestions.

Two: Analyze the findings

By this time we already have the issues that are causing deficiency. Now it’s time to analyze those data to decide upon various important changes. For example, if the organization is facing mass issue, then eLearning module needs to be developed. And if the issue lies in the department then it is best to provide them training in specific areas to improve their skill. A detailed scrutiny can help an organization to design an impactful training program. There are many forms of analysis that come under this phase, which are:

  • Job/task Analysis
  • Audience analysis
  • Workplace Analysis
  • Root cause Analysis
  • Cost effectiveness of training

Three: Report the finding and take action

Formation of in-depth report is essential. Data analysis by gathering information is only a half way achievement. The result should act as a strong indicator towards what type of training is needed, who needs training and in what circumstance. There are few guidelines that can be followed to develop a proper report making:

  • Frame the overall summary from all the information and analysis that has been conducted so far
  • What is the expected outcome that can be achieved through training?
  • To brief a report making a presentation with pie charts, graphs, percentage calculation etc. can be useful
  • Proposing a structured solution – who should train, what type of training is needed, and who are the learner
  • Drawing a summary of what should be the next step to be taken

By defining the training needs, it becomes easy to establish a structured agenda on the training program that is going to upgrade the organization. Conducting TNA ensures a solid foundation towards a successful training delivery of employees. It also becomes easier for the leaders and managerial bodies to focus on the objectives by knowing exactly where they are lacking.

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