Comprehensive Steps for Conducting a Training Need Analysis

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many employers provide their internal staff members with training opportunities to help these employees develop their professional skills. Conducting a need analysis can allow employers to determine which training opportunities might offer both the employees and the company the greatest potential benefit. Understanding the various steps and strategies for evaluating internal training needs may improve an employer's ability to provide employees with highly relevant and profitable professional skills.

In this article, we discuss what a training need analysis is, explore its benefits and explain the steps you can take to perform this type of internal training evaluation.

What Is A Training Need Analysis?

Training need analysis is the first step in the process of workforce training. This process includes several steps to determine whether specific training would help improve productivity and increase the quality of employees' output. Employers can implement training needs analysis as part of a company's system development process and as such, it examines the relationship between the system and the training that is needed.

Related: On-the-Job Training for Efficient Staff Development

Benefits Of Training Needs Analysis

Conducting a training needs analysis can help equip employers with a clear idea of what kinds of resources they require to complete the training for each employee to maximise their productivity. Following are some of the primary benefits of conducting a training needs analysis:

  • Explore all of your training options: Analysing the training needs of your team can help you realise potential areas of development for diverse teams. Incorporating these areas into your training plans can make a large impact on the effectiveness of the other areas of training you plan to administer.

  • Prioritise training needs: Conducting a training needs analysis can help you hone in on which areas of training are most time-sensitive.

  • Outline training plans: Training needs analysis can provide you with the data you require to create your training plan for the next few weeks, months or quarters. This can save resources and increase the efficiency of your training program.

  • Determine additional training sessions for specific employees: Getting the most out of your training implementation relies heavily on ensuring that each employee receives the training they require to maximise productivity. Not only can this save you money and time, but the employees may feel more motivated to learn and get the most out of their training if it is truly training that they require to do their job as effectively as possible.

Related: What Is Leadership Skills Training? A Complete Guide

Steps For Analysis Of Training Needs

Here are some steps and techniques that can help you perform an effective evaluation of your internal training needs:

Determine business goals

Evaluate or take the time to understand the long-term departmental or business goals. Knowing the current objectives and plans of the organisation that you work for can help you pick training models and strategies that align with the business's ambitions. For example, if one of the company's goals is to incorporate more modern technologies into daily operations, some of your training objectives might relate to building skills like computer troubleshooting or digital data management.

Related: How To Use Strategy Formulation: A Step-By-Step Guide

Define learning objectives

Before conducting a training need analysis, define the learning objectives you hope to reach with your team. In other words, identify the specific set of skills you need your team to possess to properly perform their duties and help the department or company achieve the long-term goals you established previously. This set of skills takes into consideration each role in the company and what skills each employee relies on to do their best job, along with the outcomes you hope to achieve by sharpening these skills.

Clearly defining what you hope to achieve with training can help you focus on the pertinent training areas important to meeting your goals. One way to approach this is to meet with representatives of each department and upper management to determine what you need and how to get it.

Related: 11 eLearning Tools To Assist With Workplace Training

Evaluate existing skills

With the purpose to properly align your desired outcomes with the steps needed to achieve them, compare the skills and knowledge already possessed by your employees with the skills in which they may be lacking. This might require performing a detailed analysis of each employee's tasks, the skills they require to complete these tasks and which of those necessary skills they need improvement on.

For example, a customer service team needs communication skills to be the most effective. For each department, create a list of your desired outcomes for that team and relating each outcome to current performance behaviours and skills.

Related: Social Skills Training: Definition, Uses And Types

Identify gaps in necessary skills

Once you know where your team's strengths and weaknesses lie, you can identify any deficiencies in their skill sets that could keep them from performing their best. Knowing this, you can plan training sessions to help them hone their skills and ensure that your staff is performing optimally, and your company is seeing the highest potential output and profitability.

You can identify skill gaps in your team by providing simulated exercises for them to complete or observing them doing their job during a regular day, taking note on which parts of the process stall them and using these observations to create a training plan focused on the specific areas that need improvement. Conducting the proper training needed by each employee can drastically improve their job performance, increasing the overall profitability of the company.

Related: What Is The Star Model? (Benefits And How To Implement It)

Develop prioritisation system

Create a method for determining which skills are the priorities for these internal training sessions. This might involve looking at data related to categories, such as the following:

  • What percentage of employees could benefit from each type of skill training

  • What level employees are currently at with these desired skill sets

  • How much the training might affect factors like productivity and revenue in the short-term, such as during any transitional periods

  • How much the training sessions could influence factors such as efficiency and profits in the long-term

Related: Essential Areas of Improvement for Employees (With Tips)

Pick training methods

Decide which training methods might offer the greatest benefit to the employees. Depending on factors like the workplace set-up, the industry and the desired skill set, there is an array of training techniques that employers can pick from when deciding how to encourage employees to hone their abilities. It is also important to remember that you can combine some of these methods to help ensure that staff members with all types of learning styles can understand the materials.

Possible training methods for developing the skills of internal staff include:

  • Practical on-the-job training

  • Online courses

  • Coaching or mentoring

  • Workshops

  • Discussion group meetings

  • Book clubs focused on professional skill sets

  • Job shadowing

  • Guest speakers

  • Conventions, trade shows or seminars

  • Certification programs

Related: 9 Different Methods Of Training For Employees With Benefits

Evaluate training effectiveness

After employees have completed the first round of training as determined by the needs analysis, assess the effectiveness of that training. This might involve reviewing a variety of data, such as if the trained employees' productivity improved, how much the training improved the desired skills and if it resulted in a revenue increase. Based on this information, determine if the employees and the organisation might benefit from future training in the same skill or if it might be smarter to transition into either providing training for a different ability or offering the same training to a different group of staff.

Conducting this type of internal review at the close of each training period can help businesses ensure that the internal training sessions they are offering continue to prove advantageous to their employees and the company's operations. As you continue to perform these needs analyses, your training sessions may only become more effective because of your expanded data sets and greater familiarity with the process.

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