Conducting a Training Needs Analysis: 3 Initial Steps
We know that introducing training can help improve employees’ skills, but it also helps businesses to reach their overall objectives and goals. In this blog, we will explore the process of how to conduct a training needs analysis – from identifying where problems lie in the organization to assessing what training is necessary, and how to approach designing that training.
To conduct a training needs analysis, we use the term ICE to ensure all necessary steps are included. ICE stands for:
- Isolate the problem.
- Consult with appropriate stakeholders to identify the problems and assess the effect those problems are having on the organization.
- Evaluate the options and set up an action plan that meets the organizational needs, and assemble the tools and support you’ll need.
Step 1: Isolating
Isolating the problem effectively will help you determine what main issue, or what several smaller issues are having an impact. There are several techniques you could use to isolate the problem, and sometimes a mixed approach is best to get to most thorough comprehension.
Some techniques include:
- Observing people as they work
- Reviewing employee evaluations
- Reviewing work samples
Doing this will help you identify underlying problems and areas for skill development, where learning new skills would help employees to better perform their tasks.
Another benefit of taking the time to isolate the problem is that it helps you obtain background material that you can use in your training as real case studies. Using real examples that employees can relate to helps keep trainees engaged.
I find this chart is useful to isolating training needs:
Step 2: Consulting
Once you’ve isolated the problem and identified what training is needed, you will have to gain approval and resources to do that training. To do so, you may need to report the problems and design a training plan, while demonstrating how fixing these problems will help the organization achieve their overall goals.
For example, an employee with excellent technical skills who gets promoted to a supervisory role needs to understand the dynamics of leadership, motivation, and performance management. Training can help to establish the person in their new role, which can often be challenging when a team is making the transition from having a co-worker become their new boss. Training will also help the new supervisor gain confidence and understanding of their leadership role. These key skills will help the new manager work more effectively, meaning the company gets more for their money.
Doing this assessment will help you identify:
- Objectives of the organization
- Gaps between what employees know and what they need to learn
- Training that is required
- Benefits of providing training
- Best approach to deliver training
Step 3: Evaluating
Once you’ve determined the needs, you will need to determine the best methods of training to use. Since people learn in different ways, try using a variety of training methods – workshops, on-the-job training, conferences, peer training groups, webinars, eLearning, mentoring and so forth.
By using a mixture of training methods, you will ensure that you meet the learning needs of all styles of learners, as well as keep trainees engaged.
Velsoft has a full course that focuses on how to be an effective trainer, and how to develop an effective training program. You can learn more about it here: http://www.velsoft.com/products/train-the-trainer/the-practical-trainer