Top Training Companies: Training Needs Assessment Steps
Today’s workplace is fast-paced and demanding. Not everybody is willing to invest time in a training needs assessment (TNA), which evaluates your workforce’s skills and knowledge gaps. However, this practice is critical for enhancing workplace performance—especially when companies are facing acquisitions, shifting markets, and other changes.
A Training needs assessment can help you more accurately determine your employees’ skills gaps and strengths, as well as who needs training. It also establishes what skills are required for each role and whether existing training is working. This information is necessary to establish an effective action plan and ultimately help you meet your business objectives.
What steps do top companies need to take to get started with a TNA?
These steps will help you decide what kind of training program you need. Once you have finished the following five steps, you can begin creating your new training program.
Step 1: Determine Your Objectives
What do you want your training program to accomplish? Training itself doesn’t solve a company’s problems without first understanding the root of its challenges and what success looks like. In this step, it’s helpful to quantify measurable goals—by boosting annual revenue by 10%, for example. Consulting with team leads, managers, stakeholders, supervisors, and other leadership personnel will help determine goal metrics.
Step 2: Identify Pain Points
The next step is to align your goals with real actions, breaking them down into smaller steps. For example, your goal might be to bring in 100 new clients by the end of the year. To do this, you need to understand why you aren’t bringing in more clients right now. If it’s because the sales and marketing strategy isn’t working, you need to establish steps to improve those teams’ strategies—like changing the advertising, boosting your site’s SEO, or providing the sales team with outreach training.
There are several ways you can identify pain points:
Solicit managers to observe their teams and identify challenges and skills gaps.
Implement employee surveys to understand where training and support are needed.
Gather company data to identify common errors and inconsistencies that could be addressed with training.
Hire a training company to assess training needs.
Step 3: Establish the Skills Your Employees Need
What types of skills, behaviors, and knowledge do employees need to address your pain points? Once these competencies are named, you then need to evaluate if and how these skills were achieved by existing training resources. This step also helps you determine metrics for measuring the success of a skills training program.
Step 4: Create a Timeline
Now that you understand how specific skills can address your company’s pain points, you need to establish a training timeline. This requires setting a start and end date and prioritizing and scheduling sessions. Sessions should be ordered based on their urgency while considering dependencies—skills that need to be trained before others.
Step 5: Choose a TNA Format
The last step is determining how to implement a training needs assessment. The TNA you choose depends on your specific needs and goals. You’re learning and development team or partner can help you select an appropriate format.
A training needs assessment can set your company up for success, whether your workforce is navigating a merger or you’re simply looking to increase sales. Getting clear on your goals, pain points, desired skills, training schedule, and ideal delivery method ensures that your company gets the most out of its training needs assessment.
Ready to get started with a Training Needs Assessment, but not sure where to begin?
We have 3 downloads to help. Click below to get all 3!
You'll receive an editable training needs assessment checklist, a review of the 6 phases of a training needs assessment and learn about the 5 types of needs assessments.