Definition of a Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
Training needs analysis is the process of identifying the training and development needs of employees and volunteers in an organisation. Addressing skills gaps at the organisational level, the team level and the individual level, and falls under the remit of learning and development.
It considers the strategic objectives of the organisation as well as the individual’s career goals to determine training needs.
It’s the process of identifying gaps between employee training needs and the skills required to do the job effectively.
The analysis determines the required level of skill and knowledge required to do the specific job in line with the skills and abilities of the staff, to ascertain the gap that training needs to address in order to bridge the gap.
Training goals and objectives are acknowledged in order to develop a training plan in consultation with the management and staff to ensure the right staff avail of the right training.
Outline the benefits and difficulties with Training Needs Analysis (TNA) at individual and organisational level
Training needs analysis from the individual perspective:
Benefits for the individual
- Training content relevant and reflect the individual’s working environment and the challenges that exist, due to the gaps in personal skills and in their ability to do the job, gaining skills and knowledge will result in positive individual outcomes and benefits from training.
- Increase in personal satisfaction to be valued for the company to invest in conducting a training needs analysis to facilitate and improve their personal development and encourage opportunities enhancement.
- To identify specific training to meet specific challenges to ensure the skills necessary to become better in the job and to enhance confidence and proficiency to create a positive productive environment.
- The training to address areas that the individual is struggling with and provide them with the skillsandsolutions to overcome these challenges, to increases motivated and enthusiasm to put these skills into action.
- An accurateTNA enables training to deliver on its goals to meet both the individual’s needs and that of the organisations.
Difficulties for the individual
- If the training plan and goals are set by trainers and or the organisation, rather than the learners needs and wants, this can result in little acceptance or understanding for the need to take responsibility for their own learning and development which may result in no transfer of skills, which is a waste of time.
- Constraints of time to committee to attend training and participate in sessions, complete assignments and or long-term training programmes.
- If the training needs analysis is not reflective of individual’s performance gaps and challenges and does not highlight or meet their training needs.
Training needs analysis from the Organisational perspective:
- The use of a training needs analysis is to identify and highlight employee’s deficits in knowledge and skills in performing tasks, before issues arise and results in a cost to the organisation. To take a proactive approach to address these gaps from the information obtained through the analysis will be a benefit to both the organisation and its staff.
- A well conducted training needs analysis provides a comprehensive representation of the skills, knowledge and abilities of the employees so that training programs can be directed in the most needed areas and prioritised to meet the organisation’s objectives in order to have the maximum impact and outcomes.
- A huge benefit of training needs analysis is the identified skills gaps that exist, it directs the development of a training plan to cover these disparities, resourcefully and cost efficient to manage the allocation of staff which in turn will makes it easy to plan the training schedule and budget effectively while not interpose on the service and productivity
- Satisfied staff believe they are being invested are more committed to remain and develop in the job, which result in a reduction of staff turnover which effectively is a saving for the company on recruitment and induction of new staff.
- Staff consistently updated on legislation and best practices are proficient to perform to the high standard and requirements will reflect positively on the organisation.
- Diverse workforce unified through established training practices create motivated and enthusiastic staff to perform to a desired standard, coherent in their performances will enhanced the business profits and reflects on company image.
- Training Needs Analysis, facilitates an opportunity to communicate the objectives of the company, outline these expectations at the start of the process and what is required from the training and what is achievable. This eliminatestherisk of any misunderstanding resulting in ineffective training outcomes the cost and expense not meeting the training objectives and goals set by the organisational needs.
Difficulty for the organisation
- Constraints on budgets and resources to conduct the training needs analysis can have a financial and productive effect on the organizational finances.
- To identify and prioritise the right staff for the right training in line with the needs of the business in order to achieve the desired outcomes to ensure a return on the investment can be challenging.
- To hire a third-party professional service can be an expense on the organisation’s budget.
- Trainings programs that require multiple sessions is an expenditure for the company
- To facilitate resources to conduct a training needs analysis, complete questionnaires, and assessments, attend meetings and to prepare and attend training can have consequences on the productivity \ service due to staff limitation
Approaches and techniques to performing a Training Needs Analysis
Training needs analysis is the means to establish the organisation’s goals and objectives and looking at the problems that need to be address through training. Training needs can be identified through different areas and department in the organisation. Assess and compare the company’s objectives and plans with the level of staff resources available to achieve the strategic goals requires performing a training needs analysis.
A training need analysis identifies the employees’ lack the knowledge and skill to perform an assigned task satisfactorily. It’s obvious that there is a difference between what the employee is expected to do on the job, can do on the job and what the actual job performance proficiencies required.
Approaches to perform a training needs analysis
Approaches and sources of identifying the needs of the organisation and the staff development needs;
- Data analysis
- Performance appraisals and reviews
- Feedback from staff, supervisor\ manager
- Group discussions
- One to one discussion
- Facilitates different viewpoints from the relevant people and data on training needs and gaps.
- Assess and consider the job description to identify the tasks of the job and the requirements.
- Clarity of the job details and task elements then specific training objectives and plans can be developed to provide the necessary training
- Is time consuming and can be initially be a cost of resources to facilitate several staff.
- Can produce varied data that are difficult to analyse to meet all needs through training
- May not be updated so may not reflect the changing needs and trends of the organisation
Techniques to perform a training needs analysis:
Needs Assessment techniques include:
To complete a complete analysis of the entire business, to assess what are the positives and negatives of the performance of the company and the staff. Considering the objectives and goals of the business and identify the weaknesses and what may affect desired outcomes and to systematically address these.
- Direct observation, awareness of the standard of performance of the staff and the challenges and gaps in skills and knowledge.
- Questionnaires, staff questionnaires performance feedback format, collate the information obtained.
- Consultation with persons in key positions, supervisors and managers are directly exposed and aware of the performance needs.
- Persons with specific knowledge, with the skills to recognise the gaps that exist and cognisant in how to resolve.
- Review relevant literature, the update on best practices in business and training objectives.
- Interviews, converse with all representative of all departments and probe their needs short- and long-term objectives.
- Focus groups, establish forums for people to discuss, debate and state their needs and their opinions and possible solutions.
- Assessments/surveys, review and consult the progress and development of the staff and the organisation, the training plans in place and the challenges that exist for both.
- Work samples, review, asses and evaluate work samples and the best alternatives and practices to improve and progress.
3 The Stages in Conducting a Training Needs Analysis
“A performance problem or new opportunity starts with a needs assessment. When you do a needs assessment, you will use both needs analysis and performance analysis. The results of the needs assessment work to improve results through the implementation of non-training or training interventions, or both. If a training intervention is required, then you will have to do a training needs analysis”.
skillbuilderlms (2018) referred to conduct a training needs analysis (reference provided)
The steps in conducting a training needs analysis
- Identify and conduct a Gap Analysis
- Identify training priorities
- Identify causes of problems and opportunities
- Identify Solutions
- Complete the Needs Analysis
1. Identify and Conduct a Performance Gaps Analysis
The areas to assess are the present performance levels of the staff and the organisation considering the business objectives and goals and the standard required to achieve the desired outcomes. Assess and evaluate the skills, knowledge and abilities of the staff and what the company expects and needs these differences are the performance gaps.
To identify these gaps to perform a gap analysis and address concerns of lack of current training, what is working well, what is not working, development in performances, new mandated training requirements such as new policies, previous unsuccessful training.
The objective in conducting a needs analysis is to find answers to the following questions to obtain the necessary information:
- "Why" is training needed?
- "What" form of training is needed?
- "When" is the training needed?
- "Where" is the training needed?
- "Who" needs the training?
- "How" will the training be performed?
- “Who will be responsible to carry out the training
- “What is the current situation and what is the desired situation
Starting with the organisation’s goals and needs it necessary to interview senior management, managers \ team leaders to establish;
what the business wants from it staff and from the training, what performance changes and improvements do they expect, what difference will this mean to the business,, what results are expected, the performance level of the staff in skills, knowledge and attitude to the overall goals of the organisation, what previous training plans and objectives are in place, was the training objective realised, Interview the employees to establish their roles and responsibilities, personal development opportunities, their attitudes to the job and their experiences within the company, are there challenges and barriers to them in doing their job, is there a need for training and upskilling and learning opportunities to develop.
2. Identify Training Priorities
Following conducting a Gap Analysis with the information obtained, the next step is to look at the the needs both at organisation and individual career and performance development in order to priorities and have impact on the organisations goals to apply a means of evaluating and measure outcomes.
3. Identify Causes of Problems and Opportunities
But before you decide how to address a performance problem, it’s important to diagnose the root of the problem, questions to consider in all area where there are problems identified from the Gap analysis and the previous approaches and techniques previously carried out.
- Are the staff doing the job effectively achieving the expected outcomes?
- Do they know how to do their jobs?
- Have they the skills and training to do their jobs?
- What supports are in place to address these problems?
Identifying the causes of problems and barriers that effect the performances can result in identifying the solutions and possible opportunities that can address and resolve.
4. Identify Solutions
Specific solutions need to be agreed from the results of the analysis and statistics obtained to ensure if the best approach is training having considered alternative solutions. To be confident that training is the best solution to meet the identified problems, to measure the training outcomes and success to ensure it meets the objectives of the company and is of value as an initiative for staff. To guarantee the desired impact on their performance and improvement staff input and ownership is important.
5. The Training Plan
Management and staff agree on the need for training and the need to develop a training plan to meet the goals from the plan \ programme
- What are the needs of the business
- What are the departments needs
- What are the individuals needs
- Who is the training directed to
- Delivery on agreed objectives
- Learning objectives
- Change in behaviour aims
- Identify the priorities covered
- Identify the main contents of the training plan
- Evidence of relevancy of delivery in the transfer of skills back into the workplace
- Convey the resources necessary to delivery, a cost analysis
- Decide on key roles in delivery, facilitating the programme, and evaluating the success
- Identify the particulars of delivery, location, schedules
- How the programme will be evaluated, in order to make necessary decisions re; individual learning, behaviour changes, reaction, impact on future performances, impact on their role, the department and organisation.
In conclusion; Pros and benefits of a Training Needs Analysis and Plan.
Spencer (2018 ) refers to a training needs analysis as” 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”.
One of the reasons for a training needs analysis is to determine which population needs training most. Through focus groups, self-assessments, performance evaluations, and customer feedback, it becomes clear which employees need to be trained.
Figuring out who needs to go through the training helps to better design the training to meet the learning needs of trainees. The importance of training needs analysis competency assessments is to help determine whether a training is necessary based on a respondent’s results and responses. If training is necessary, the assessment reveals what needs to be trained and what areas should be targeting. Developing a training plan and programmer will focus on the organisational and individual development initiatives aimed at achieving success in set goals and objectives. It is an extreme commitment by the organization and the staff therefore the returns must be beneficial in attaining the desired outcomes.
- Skillbuilderlms (2018) referred to conduct a training needs analysis https://www.skillbuilderlms.com/how-to-conduct-a-training-needs-analysis , south America
- Spencer Ruby CTDP - Training and Development Specialist ... p. 20018
- https://ca.linkedin.com/in/ruby-spencer-ctdp-8182764, https://www.pulselearning.com/ Canada
- https://www.commLab india.com, global learning solutions Telangana, India.2000-2019
- Barrow training materials 2019
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