5 Good Reasons to Do a Training Needs Assessment
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There are many reasons why organizations need to plan a training program – to update employees on process improvements, the roll-out of new equipment or technology, to address changes in laws or industry regulations, the realignment of job functions due to restructuring, or to close the performance gaps demonstrated by particular employees.
Just as a new software implementation or updates to operational processes will be successful only if the employees impacted adopt them and are comfortable with the change, training is effective only if it addresses the actual need of the organization. Too often training is an afterthought, considered only once the project has been completed, when in reality it should be an action item included on the original plan. The first step in developing a training program, no matter the size or scope, is a needs assessment.
However, some companies may want to skip this step, thinking a needs assessment is a waste of valuable time and resources. Here are 5 good reasons to perform a training needs assessment prior to implementing a new program.
1. Ensure the training is addressing the actual business need
The manager or project leader may think the training they have identified is the right course of action, but once the trainer begins to ask questions about the requirements they may uncover a different issue. To ensure the program meets the needs of the business, the training plan may have to change. The training needs assessment asks and answers the basic questions of who, why, what, when and how.
2. Improve learning and retention
When creating a corporate training program, identify who will require the training and customize the course content to the specific department or role. The more relevant the information is to the group, the better the learning and retention, and more successful the training. Also, depending on the target audience, the trainer may explore different delivery methods to enhance the learning process.
3. Achieve a greater return on the time investment
From the project leader who identifies a training need, to the trainer or facilitator who builds the program and delivers the session, to the employees who participate, there is often significant time spent by everyone involved. Conducting a training needs assessment will deliver a higher return on that investment.
4. Benefit the bottom line
Successful corporate training programs will provide employees with the skills they need to improve job performance and lead to greater productivity, positively impacting the company’s bottom line.
5. Save time and money
While some project leaders may think a needs assessment is an unnecessary waste of valuable resources, it can actually save time and money by ensuring the right training program is developed, implemented and delivered, and the employees gain the appropriate knowledge and skills to perform their jobs.
To help you conduct a needs analysis for your next training program and close the skills gap in your organization, download this free Training Needs Assessment Checklist. It will guide you through the key areas to cover, and outline the training needs assessment questions to ask.
If you need assistance in performing a training needs assessment, your company may want to work with an external training partner who specializes in this area – this will streamline the process and take pressure off your internal resources.
Contact the global training experts at TrainingFolks, and one of our experienced associates will be pleased to walk through the steps with you.