Posted by Nisha Amin on Sep 6, 2018 3:32:00 PM




What's the Real Problem?  How a Needs Assessment Answers That.

How many situations have you been in as a learning professional where you've seen a project completed and are then unpleasantly surprised at the post training results?

If you're thinking back to one such situation as you read this, don't worry, you're not alone.

Kick starting new training initiatives without first working through a training needs assessment is regular practice in many organizations.  This usually happens in situations where stakeholders believe they have pinpointed the problem at hand and look to learning leaders to provide the required training to remedy it.

The problem with this approach is that in many cases the training may remedy the symptom but not the root cause of it.  

Do any of the following situations sound familiar?

1. You've recently completed a training event on team building and received amazing feedback on the session.  Three weeks later the project owner comes back to you stating that there is still a lack of cohesion among the group and they can't figure out why.

2.  Your new group of trainees are about to take an in-class course on customer delight.  The group is made up mostly of Millennials and are new to the company.  The course fails miserably but used to achieve huge results five years ago and the disconnect doesn't make sense.

3.  The company will be bringing on a large number of contract workers as part of a new corporate shift and managing this group will be easy because they can simply use the current LMS in place.  When you actually  start processing these contract employees you discover that it is labor intensive as the turnover is very high and you don't want them to access the same company information as a full time employee.  What do you do now?

Taking a step back and considering each of these with a training needs assessment would have helped to identify the root cause as well as gaps along the way. 

In situation one, perhaps the problem isn't that the group cannot work together on team building activities, but more that they don't understand how to work effectively with one another based specifically on workplace personalities. 

In situation two, the in-class course may be great in terms of content and delivery however, longer format learning is not the preferred learning style for Millennials therefore, engagement and retention would both be affected with this form of delivery versus mobile learning or a series of microlearning modules to support a shorter training event. 

In the final situation a full analysis of the current LMS capabilities as well as the requirements for this new group of employees would reveal a clear mismatch and identify what would be required from an LMS in order to move ahead as planned.

When thinking about your next initiative, make the case for a training needs assessment and share the importance of applying part of your project budget to completing one to achieve better results in the long run. 

If you're not sure where to get started, TrainingFolks has you covered!  Download our Trio of Training Needs Assessment tools here.  

You'll be able to download and use all of the following resources:

  • Training Needs Assessment Checklist
  • 6 Phases of a Training Needs Assessment 
  • 5 Types of Needs Assessments 

If you're looking for an experienced external partner to come on board to help you analyze and complete your next training needs assessment, call the experts at TrainingFolks.

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Topics: corporate training programs, training needs assessment

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