Discover How Traning Needs Analysis Can Make Your L&D Efforts More Effective

Training your workforce promises to solve several business challenges, from increasing productivity to winning clients to retaining top talent. So, it is no surprise that companies spent as much as 101.8 billion USD on training in 2023 in the US alone. A more recent report by SHRM echoes this trend: 37% of organisations want to invest more in L&D efforts. 53% of organisations list ‘upskilling the current workforce’ as a priority. 

But is merely having a rigorous corporate training program a silver bullet? 

Here is the plot twist: The same report revealed that only 21% of organisations reported being effective at upskilling or reskilling in 2023. On average, HR executives rated their organisations’ training and development programs a B- while workers awarded them a C. 

Clearly, learning and development programs aren’t the miracle cure for your business woes. And if you ask employees, ineffective training is worse than no training at all. But what if we told you can prevent training failure, avoid dissatisfaction, and improve learning outcomes with a bit of prior preparation? 

This is precisely what training needs analysis (TNA) is all about. 

What is Training Needs Analysis (TNA)?

Fundamentally, a training needs analysis helps you identify your team’s learning needs and then tailor learning programs to solve these needs. The purpose of a TNA process is to ultimately improve employees’ performance by delivering: 

  • The right training
  • In the right way
  • To the right people
  • At the right time

Is Training Needs Analysis the Same as Skills Gap Analysis?

Note that TNA differs from a skills gap analysis or a training needs assessment. They are limited in scope but can be considered a part of your more extensive TNA process, which we will discuss further in this article. 

Also Read: 5 Simple Steps to Perform a Skills Gap Analysis 

The Three Levels of Training Needs Analysis

You can conduct a TNA at three levels – organisational, group, and individual. 

#1 Organisational TNA 

Purpose: Identify broad training needs to achieve strategic goals, such as specific organisational performance metrics. 

Example: Suppose your company wants to improve its customer service rating. A TNA would identify the training needs of all customer-facing departments, such as sales, support, and marketing. 

#2 Group/Job Role Level TNA (or Operational TNA)

Purpose: Identify specific training needs for a department, team, or job role.

Example: Your company is experiencing a high turnover rate among customer service representatives. A TNA would identify skill gaps in teams and training needs specific to the customer service role to improve and address potential causes of turnover.

#3 Individual Level TNA

Purpose: Identify the unique training needs of a specific employee to improve their performance or prepare them for future roles.

Examples: You are considering an employee for a promotion. A TNA would assess their current skills, identify training needs, and devise personal development plans to prepare them for the new role.

7 Key Benefits of Training Needs Analysis

  1. Identifies skill gaps quickly before problems arise.
  2. Ensures training focuses on the right areas.
  3. Prioritises training needs based on importance.
  4. Helps choose the most effective training methods.
  5. Improves employee performance and engagement.
  6. Increases return on investment (ROI) from training programs.
  7. Supports organisational goals and objectives.

Conduct a Training Needs Analysis in 6 Steps

#1 Consider organisational, operational, and individual goals

Identify your organisation’s objectives, team skill gaps, and the individual performance gaps of employees. This step will help you select which employees you need to train, what training you need to offer, and what the outcome of these trainings will be. 

#2 Skill gap analysis 

The second step is assessing your employees’ skills and finding gaps. This step involves a lot of data collection, and you can achieve this through interviews, surveys, and even one-on-one meetings, depending on the employees’ roles.  

#3 Determine areas of improvement

Review the results of the assessment from Step 2. This process will reveal the areas of improvement you need to address through your training programs. 

#4 Determine the best training methods

You can deliver employee training through online courses, classroom-based training, webinars, and on-the-job training. Which delivery method you choose should depend on the type of training and your employees’ preferences.  

#5 Decide how to implement the new employee training program 

Decide when and how you will deliver the new employee training program and who will be responsible for delivery. This will help you understand the resources you will need, the costs you will incur, and the timelines of your training program. 

#6 Review and update

Review how your trainees perform on the training assessments, consider their feedback, and make changes as you see fit. It is also essential to update the training program to match industry standards. 

If you like this checklist and want to learn more, check out our blog, The Right Way to Do a Training Needs Analysis

Why You Should Integrate Technology with Your TNA 

Suppose you run a mid-sized IT company and are struggling with missed project deadlines and unhappy clients. 

Scenario 1: You assume you have insufficient developers and hire more people. You add to the company’s cost, pressure the existing team, and fail to meet deadlines yet again. (You also earn a scathing Glassdoor review or two.) 

Scenario 2: You identify skill gaps but cannot complete the extensive TNA process. You run out of time, cannot collect data effectively, and roll out a lukewarm training program. 

Scenario 3: You use a skill gaps assessment platform to collect data about skill gaps, training needs, and company needs. You realise that your existing developers are enough for the job, but they are underutilising development tools and methodologies, leading to project delays. So, you devise a solid training program on the team level, conduct the training and assessments, and end up with:

  • More skilled workers
  • A more efficient team
  • Satisfied clients
  • Greater revenue

In the third scenario, a dedicated TNA solution offered more than a quick fix. It unearthed the root cause of the problem and then provided a long-term solution. 

Over to You

In 2024, use training needs analysis to ensure that your training programs are effective, result-oriented, and need-based. 

Check out Yaksha,  your go-to solution for creating training programs and assessments tailored to roles, skills, and projects. Access insightful reports, advanced learner analytics, and comprehensive competency maps for maximum learning outcomes.

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