Top Training Needs Assessment Questions for your New Learning Program
Tips from your Corporate Training Company
Top companies recognize the importance of employee training in improving productivity and performance, to stay competitive in the marketplace, and even for retaining their best people. Once a training need has been identified, you want to be sure the program is effective in addressing the skill or knowledge gap. The first step in any successful learning and development initiative is a training needs assessment. Learn more about the top training needs assessment questions.
Begin with the end in mind
When approaching the training, a good question to ask is what change needs to occur as a result of employees completing the course? In other words, what skill or knowledge gap exists now that will be addressed by the training? Keep in mind the business goals and objectives – the training is designed to take employees from the current state to the intended future state.
A related question to ask is what do you want the learners to know or be able to do as a result of the training? Knowing the optimum end result can help while designing the training.
Who is the audience?
Another question is who is the audience? Are they junior or intermediate employees, members of the management team or at the executive level? Is the training for a single department, or across all departments? This can affect the level of detail of the training. For example, when implementing a new accounting program, members of the finance department will likely require different training than the sales professionals or IT department.
Do training materials exist?
In some cases, there may be training materials on the topic already in existence that can be leveraged, even if new content will need to be developed to update the program or address new aspects of the training. Once the needs assessment is completed, it may be determined that to address the gap, a new course will need to be developed from scratch.
A question related to content is the modality for delivering the training. Perhaps the company has used instructor-led training (ILT) in the classroom, but now the organization has grown and virtual classroom training or eLearning is now a better option. To improve employee engagement you may want to add a gamification component, or try microlearning to help with retention of the material. All these can be explored during the needs assessment.
Who will develop the training?
Do you have an internal learning and development team prepared to take on this project or will you outsource it to a training company? Considering the implementation timeline could help you answer this question. If there is a good lead time, your internal team may be able to handle the project. For a short turnaround, hiring a training partner may be the best solution to meet the deadline.
If you’re preparing to conduct a training needs assessment for your next learning and development program, download this free Training Needs Assessment Checklist. It will guide you through the key areas to cover, and outline the top training needs assessment questions to plan for a successful program.