Building a Successful Training Needs Assessment
TOP TRAINING COMPANY BEST PRACTICES
You know the story – a skill or knowledge gap is identified in your company and the learning and development team is engaged to develop a new training program. Often the timeline is short and the budget is tight.
As a learning professional, you understand the first step to a successful training program is a training needs assessment. But management may decide it isn’t necessary and want to skip this important step to save money and meet the deadline.
Without a training needs assessment you may reach the finish line and get the project done, but will the training course be effective in providing the skills and knowledge employees need and meet the business objectives? Here’s why a needs assessment can help you win the training finish line.
Uncover the true training needs. Managers close to a project may think they know the training need, but there are often other factors that need to be addressed. By having an objective learning professional ask the training needs assessment questions, the true issues can be uncovered prior to training development.
Determine who requires the training. Different employees have varying skill and knowledge levels. Depending on the topic, some may need the training and others may not. By performing a needs assessment you can identify those employees who require training, or determine different levels of training or modalities to meet the specific needs of the audience.
Identify the tasks needed to do the job. Review the main duties of the role and analyze the skills required to perform these tasks effectively. This will help you identify the knowledge and skills needed to close the gap between current and desired performance.
Is training the right solution? Part of the needs assessment is a training suitability analysis. This will allow you to determine if training is in fact the right solution to address the business need, or if another course of action should be taken.
Content analysis. Before developing the training, review the existing training content as well as any company policies, procedures and documents that are utilized on the job. What resources do employees access every day, and from where is this information obtained? Consider interviewing a subject matter expert to ensure the content still matches the current job requirements or if any updates need to be made and new material developed.
Before you begin your next training project, read through these 7 Pitfalls to Avoid by Completing Your Training Needs Assessment today.
These points can help you make a stronger case when speaking to upper management or business leaders about allocating time and budget to this critical step in beginning and completing your training project.