Training needs analysis helps in identifying the performance gap between the expected performance and the current performance of employees. It is the first step in the training process and helps in identifying deficiencies so that training programs can be conducted to fill the gap between the actual and expected performance. It enables the training manager to set training objectives and plan the training and development process by identifying the training requirement that is relevant to the workforce and the intended outcome that is improved job performance.
Here are some of the tips for conducting effective training needs analysis:
- Observation: You can obtain crucial data by observing employees’ daily tasks such as the techniques or the methods employees use to perform their assigned tasks or regular activities, the time they take to complete the work, difficulties that they encounter and so on. This information is essential to identify the areas where employees need training.
- Interview: Having informal conversations with employees helps to explore their performance deficiencies easily and have an understanding of their aspirations. Are they facing any problem while at work? Are there any better ways or options that can help them to do their job better and more easily? Answers to these questions will lay the foundation for your next training program.
- Questionnaire: A questionnaire can be used as a formal way of seeking employees’ opinion about their skills and proficiency levels. It can be designed to understand the current knowledge and skills in relation to expected competency for doing a particular job. It also can be used to gauge the areas where employees need support and training.
- Skill test: Skill tests are a direct method to evaluate employees’ competencies and their capability in completing tasks associated with their job. The outcome of this test helps in identifying the skills that need to be imparted through training or the skills that need to be refined. It can be a great way to measure the competency of employees in terms of their skills and the areas where they need to improve.
Conducting training needs analysis helps to identify the training that is relevant for the workforce to improve their job performance. A clear idea about what needs to be taught and who will be trained can be developed so that performance gaps are reduced or eliminated with training and development. The outcome of training needs analysis helps in setting the training objectives for any training program.
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As we know, every organization follows a set of rules and regulations. Employees need to be trained on those rules and regulations to have a basic knowledge of their standards toward the organization and customers. And, they have a clear understanding of what they can do and what they cannot. So, organizations may not be at risk when their employees know about their legal duties.
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As an eLearning professional, I often work with many training managers and admire their managerial skills. It involves a lot of work like training needs analysis, collecting content, dealing with Subject-matter Experts (SMEs) and developing the course for the stakeholders and learners.
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- Bryn Holmes(Author, eLearning Concepts and Practice, 2006)
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How do we bring out the kid in ourselves, while learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge?
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