Effective Training Needs Analysis for Business Growth

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

All businesses need to train employees (or even partners) to a certain degree. To train people effectively, top management should perform a training needs analysis to see who needs to be trained on what topics. Find out about the steps involved in an effective training needs analysis.

The Ending Result of a Training Needs Analysis

After completion of a training needs analysis, you will have clear answers to the following questions:

  • What is needed? Why?

  • Who needs it?

  • What areas of the business need it?

  • How will it be provided?

  • What is the cost of implementing it?

  • How will it affect the business?

Determine the Desired Outcomes

The main things to determine are the expected business outcomes of the training. Every training goal needs to correspond with a business goal on an individual, department, or organization-wide level. For example, your company’s goals could include increasing sales closing rates or reducing shipping time.

Link the Outcomes to Employee Behavior

After determining an outcome, you should identify the critical competencies that an employee needs to have. For each employee, you can link behaviours, knowledge, skill levels, and personal characteristics to the desired outcome. Each employee must know what to do, how to do it, and have the ability and capacity to complete the objective.

Identify Competencies That Can Be Trained

Identify whether the competencies listed in the previous step are actually trainable or if new hires should come into the organization who already possess the competencies. It isn’t easy to train all things, and you need to identify these items within the context of your business.

Evaluate Competencies

Determine which employees have the competencies that you desire and their current levels of competency. Competency assessments, tests, and evaluations are the perfect means of doing this in an objective way.

Identify Performance Gaps

Based on the results of the evaluation and the objective required, assess each individual’s actual performance gaps. Decide on a minimum standard of competency in any skill.

Prioritize Training Needs

Based on the number of and magnitude of the performance gaps uncovered in the previous step, prioritize your complete list of desired training. You need to identify how many employees need each specific training and at what level.

Figure Out How to Train

Decide on the method of training for each competency and the desired outcome. Methods include on-the-job training, mentoring, formal academia, web-based courses, books, and professional conferences. The key to deciding what type of training to use is maximizing knowledge retention. Training that your employees will forget is useless.

Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Next, you should do a cost-benefit analysis in terms of the time and money involved with the training. Once you have completed and analyzed the results, some types of training will certainly be pursued while you will drop other types of training from the agenda.

Decide on Training Evaluation

The final step is decide on metrics that will determine if the training has been successful. The training is only effective if the trainees retain the information and actively use their knowledge on the job.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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