4 Steps for a Training Needs Analysis

Is your organization experiencing performance or productivity issues? Perhaps your compliance requirements are not being met. Or maybe your training catalogue has “leaky boat syndrome,” whereby additions are made to plug knowledge holes. However, what you really need to do is stop the water seeping in and give it an overhaul!

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your organization could benefit from a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). A Training Needs Analysis is a structured process for identifying gaps in employee training and related training needs, usually performed by experienced learning and development consultants.

Training Needs Analysis: The Essential Process For Effective, Targeted Training

The result of a Training Needs Analysis is a plan to ensure your training becomes a targeted, effective activity. You will find out exactly what your employees need to know to achieve your organizational goals, where your current content is missing the mark, and how you can deliver consistent training to keep the skill base of your employees afloat.

Let’s look at a Training Needs Analysis in a nutshell. Here are 4 key steps in the TNA methodology PulseLearning uses to help organizations develop watertight training systems.

  1. Develop a workforce profile.
    The initial step involves developing an accurate workforce profile to determine the skills and knowledge required for specific roles and responsibilities. Vital information to capture includes the demographics of your audience, such as education, experience, and literacy level. This information can be collated in a database or spreadsheet that allows filtering to extract meaningful statistics, for example, viewing the number of people in a certain role across all business units.
  2. Verify compliance requirements.
    To conduct business safely and ethically, most organizations have compliance regulations they must meet, such as legislative requirements, licenses, and codes of conduct. At this stage, your matrix of organizational compliance requirements can be mapped to your workforce profiles to determine the training that needs to be conducted to ensure your employees and business is covered.
  3. Source, analyze, and map existing training materials.
    Now that the educational needs of your employees have been identified, it’s time to look at the state of your current training. This is often where most of the time is spent during a Training Needs Analysis. Your current training will be sourced, analyzed, and mapped against your compliance matrix and workforce profile to determine where the gaps lie and any associated impacts. This review is conducted with the question, “What works and what doesn’t?” in mind in terms of educationally sound, engaging, and consistent content. During this step, a close review of courses is undertaken so a summary of materials can be produced that includes content overview, learning outcomes, and usage statistics. If required, your training can also be mapped to national competencies or qualifications so your employees can receive accreditation on completion. Learning Management System data can be a useful resource throughout this step.
  4. Make recommendations.
    Generally, the key deliverable of a Training Needs Analysis is a detailed report providing recommendations and advice for developing the most effective training products to meet your needs. This could include purchasing suitable off-the-shelf products, giving your current eLearning a makeover or investing in custom course design. Redundant courses can be removed, content updated or added to “almost there” courses, and content condensed or consolidated to produce a streamlined training experience.

The report should include suggestions for developing best-practice training solutions, a review of what’s happening nationally, or even globally, to train workforces in your industry and advice for building a cohesive, functional training catalog.

Click for more information on the PulseLearning Training Needs Analysis Process.

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