Training Needs Analysis: The Methods

Training Needs Analysis: The Methods

In today’s work environment, an organization needs employees with skills and innovative ideas to meet the organizational goals. The performance of employees is measured by using different tools during and after the training program. Hence, training needs analysis is incorporated to investigate and measure the productivity, service quality and efficiency of the employees. After determining the training needs it becomes easier for the organization and its team leader to decide, which are the areas they need to focus on. A successful training needs analysis helps to determine what type of training is needed and who needs training. The process of needs analysis follows gathering of information and data collection. There are different methods of collecting data, among which four major methods are discussed here:


Survey can be undertaken by the management or external professional, depending upon the decision of the organization. It can be conducted through circulating questionnaires, and employees can fill them up anonymously. The questionnaires can be structured in different forms by focusing on particular task and as per company’s need such as open ended, close ended priority ranking to get a genuine answer.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Survey method:

  • Takes less time to analyze, summarize and report
  • The method if cost-effective
  • High chance of getting honest and genuine answers
  • Easily accessible to large number of people at a time
  • Weaknesses
  • Information are from surface level only
  • Respondent may not be fully aware of reasons
  • Less in-depth knowledge of issues
  • Preparing an effective set of questions is time-consuming

Observation simply means – watching. The manager observes the employee on the basis of behavioral, technical and functional areas in regular working environment. With this method the detection of deficiency in existing performance can be measured.

Strengths and weaknesses of Observation method:

  • Helps to keep the work flow undisturbed
  • Easy to monitor without heavy thinking
  • Weaknesses
  • Reports are mainly unstructured
  • Accuracy of data depends upon the observer
  • False projection if employees are aware
  • Only possible in real work setting

Interview method involves talking with individual employee or group of employees or the representatives of the group. With this method a solution can be achieved through discussion on issues and problems that are causing the deficiency in performance. The interview can be conducted at the workplace over the phone or virtually as well.

Strength and weakness of Interview method:

  • Easy to detect problem areas
  • Helps to give quick solution
  • Immediate decision can be taken on spot
  • It allows suggestion and opinions from the employee’s point of view
  • Can be time consuming
  • Difficulty to quantify the discussion
  • An experienced interviewer is required for effective interview

Consumer Feedback

Consumer feedback is a major source of information. The nature of customer feedback is such that it allows to look into the specific areas as to where the improvement is needed. Customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction is a strong reflector of the direct employee performance.

Strengths and weaknesses of Interview method:

  • Helps to determine the market position
  • Gives useful information on target audience
  • Helps to improve existing services
  • Sometimes lacks clarity on the subject matter
  • There may be low response rate from the consumer
  • May give casual response

The needs analysis is the stepping stone to a quality training program. With the implementation of training needs analysis, the objective and the goal of the training become much clearer. This gives a high chance leading to an effective training program towards organizational growth and high productivity.

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