Employees today need to be skilled to perform complex tasks in an efficient, cost effective and safe manner. 

Training is needed when employees are not performing as per the expected level. 

The gap between the actual level and the expected level of performance is the training gap that training needs analysis seeks to bridge.

What is Training Needs Analysis?

A training needs analysis (TNA), is a process widely used by HR (Human Resources) and L&D (Learning & Development) professionals to assess and determine the gap between current and desired employee competencies.

This information gives you an overall picture of the training needs of your company, allowing you to determine the appropriate training requirements for your employees, and coming up with impactful development plans.

It also helps you identify what skills your employees are lacking in relation to your company goals.

What is the aim of conducting a Training Needs Analysis?

A well defined training needs analysis will help ensure the right training is provided to the right employee.

The main aims of conducting a TNA are:

  1. Bridge the competency gaps of employees
  2. Identify Training Requirements
  3. Make sure employees can do the job they were hired to do
  4. Align training requirements to corporate strategy and relevant business intent
  5. Assess the quality of your manpower

5 Common mistakes when conducting a Training Needs Analysis

The benefits of conducting a TNA cannot be understated, if done properly it can save company resources and will lead to greater employee productivity. 

Conducting an effective training needs analysis requires a lot of planning and there can be multiple ways it can go wrong. 

Here are the 5 most common mistakes to avoid when conducting a TNA:

  1. Not establishing outcomes
  2. Not considering the budget
  3. Not segmenting the training
  4. Lack of information gathering
  5. Not analyzing data

If you consider these points before starting your TNA, you’ll have a lot more success.

Let’s take a look at these common mistakes in more detail.

1. Not Establishing Outcomes

Identifying the desired outcome of training is one of the most important things to do. 

Discussing your employee’s expectations from the training and establishing the desired outcome will help you gauge the effectiveness of the training and justify your investment.

2. Not considering the budget

It’s great to plan in-depth learning paths for departments and employees, but before you announce your plans, make sure to confirm the budget for L&D. 

It will leave a bad impression if you promise employees training and then don’t deliver. 

The cost of training will depend on different factors and it’s important to confirm budgets before developing employee training plans.

3. Not segmenting the training

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to training. 

A TNA must consider the difference in seniority, professional experience, and other competencies.

For example, if you are conducting leadership training, a new manager will likely benefit from it, compared to say an office administrator. 

Breaking down training needs by department and job roles can help you ensure that the right training is being delivered to the right person. 

Segmenting training can help you save time and money, and will lead to more employee productivity.

4. Lack of information gathering

This is a crucial step when it comes to conducting a successful TNA. 

Getting stakeholders involved in the planning and decision-making process can help you ensure you get the best results possible. 

If employees don’t understand the purpose of the TNA then they won’t know the purpose of providing these details regarding their challenges. 

Look at past data to see if there was any improvement in productivity after training. 

If not, then you might have to dive deeper and find out more about the skill gap.

5. Not analyzing data

Analyze data keeping in mind the context of the employee and department, and look at how performance is being measured in the department.

Using tools and frameworks like the fishbone diagram can help you better understand cause and effect. 

Sometimes there is an underlying issue that is causing employees to underperform and training likely won’t solve it. 

Training needs analysis can be a very important tool for HR and L&D professionals.

With jobs becoming more complex, employees need to constantly hone their skills to be able to effectively do their job.

Learning how to conduct an effective TNA is an invaluable skill for human resource professionals. 

Learn the best practices of conducting an effective TNA and earn a certificate with our ILM certified course.

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