Training Needs Analysis:
Why it is Necessary

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Why do you have to conduct Training Needs Analysis (TNA)?

The main objective of TNA is to identify the types of training and development required to equip employees with the right skills, new skills or to enhance their existing skills. You cannot choose whether to conduct such analysis or not.

Your organization requires competent employees. Maintain and enhance their competencies. Provide them with all the necessary skills and knowledge. Update regularly.

TNA is what your organization needs to do to ensure identification of the right training and development for every employee as the organization develops. Doing this helps you to choose the right courses and other training programs.

You also need to conduct TNA to identify the type of skills required by the organization for the further development of its business.You may want to conduct business on a global scale.

Why You Need to Train Employees
Surely your organization has its plans and targets. Its main objective is to increase its productivity and profitability. It wants to increase its competitiveness.

Conduct Training Needs Analysis to Identify the Types of Required Training

Implement performance standards as guides to increase productivity.

Take note of the following:

  1. Competent employees help achieve the objectives of your organization.
  2. Providing your employees with the necessary training will enable them to carry out their jobs to the required standards.
  3. Giving appropriate training to new employees will help them adapt faster to their jobs, shortening the learning curve.
  4. When you address competency gaps, you ensure there is no wastage in the utilization of human capital.
  5. When you implement an executive development plan you ensure availability of competent and capable leaders. This complements your succession plan.

Effective Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
It may happen that training does not have the desired impact.

Most often, this is due to failure to connect training programs to the job requirements and organization's business needs.

TNA identifies both the current and future training needs of your employees and organization.

Collect and analyze all relevant data.

You can do this by:

  • Conducting interviews with employees, supervisors, and managers
  • Observing what employees are doing
  • Conducting a survey
  • Referring to employees' Performance Appraisal data
  • Discussion with focus groups consisting of employees at different levels

Among the TNA techniques you can use to analyze data are:

  • SWOT analysis;
  • Performance analysis;
  • Task analysis, and or
  • Competency analysis

Collecting the right data is important to ensure that the right conclusions are made.

What TNA Should Identify
This analysis must identify your organizational training and development needs.

It must also identify individual employee's job function skill needs, his or her learning requirements, and the required behavioral competency needs.

Address the individual learning and skills needs based on the business strategies of your organization.

Annual Training Plan
Prepare the annual training plan based on the analysis. Submit the training plan to senior management together with the estimates of the total cost involved.

Thereafter, submit a training budget each year, separate from the TNA. By then, you will know the estimated training and development cost.

Continuous training is essential to keep employees' skills and knowledge up-to-date. This ensures continuous improvement.

In-House Expertise in Training Needs Analysis
Your Human Resource Manager and HR professionals can provide the in-house expertise on training.

Recruit competent trainers. Otherwise, develop your training capability selecting employees with the right personality, attitude and competence.

Line Managers are at the front-line of business operations. Provide them with the necessary Training Needs Analysis for training. They are in the best position in identifying the types of training their subordinates require in line with their section's objectives and daily activities.

Training Needs Analysis Forms facilitate faster decision making

It is practical to use a common Training Needs Analysis form when identifying training required by employees. This saves time and cost. But allow flexibility where you accept written submissions under certain circumstances.

When making recommendation to senior management on training, include important information such as:

  • position and length of service of the employee
  • main duties and responsibilities
  • training undergone the last three (3) years
  • identification of competency gaps
  • training requirement based on the needs of the job and the employee. Identify whether the competency is functional, behavioral or core competency
  • whether training is immediate, needed in the very near future or for planning purpose
  • cost-benefit analysis
  • whether the training is in-house or is a public-held program
  • other relevant information such as special circumstances about the employee or job or both

Attach the relevant documents, where practicable. Make a summary if the documents are too long. Or make a report by exception.

This will help senior management to make decision quickly.

Keep a record where the main documents are found in case senior management wants to refer to them.

Training Needs Analysis IS an Important Part of Employees Training Programs

The more competent your people are in identifying training needs, the higher is the possibility of giving the right type of training to the right employees.

By conducting such analysis, you don't want to take any risk of recommending or giving the wrong training.

You do not provide training for the sake of training, hoping that you have made the right decision. You cannot afford to experiment. Errors of judgment cost money.

Carry out your Training Needs Analysis each year, after the performance review is completed.

It is crucial that everyone in your organization accept that conducting a proper Training Needs Analysis is essential to improve competence.

With enhanced competency, your people can perform according to the standards you require.

This will inevitably result in higher employee and organizational productivity.

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