Basic Element Of Training Needs Assessments
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Basic Element Of Training Needs Assessments

  Feb 24 2019

# Human Resources and Training

A winning human development strategy can be the key to success for your organization. A winning strategy, however, doesn’t just happen. It is the result of painstaking research — and that means conducting a training needs assessment. You might be asking yourself whether you should bother doing this. After all, performing a proper training needs assessment can take a great deal of time and resources.

But here’s why you should: It is estimated that companies spend over USD 70 billion per year on training alone. This is a huge sum. However, by performing a proper training needs assessment, you will be more strategic in your approach and will figure out the best way to use your development budget.

Regardless of your organization's size or type, conducting a training needs assessment is crucial. Proper training increases productivity by helping employees manage their time more effectively and execute their tasks with greater proficiency.

How to Measure Competency

To begin with, you will need to make a list of the factors you want to take into account. These could include any or all of the following:

  • Leadership
  • Decision making
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Self-management
  • Customer service skills
  • Task management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Prioritizing
  • Delegating
  • Risk management
  • Problem-solving
  • Proficiency with technology

Needs Assessment Techniques

Second, you will need to assess your personnel against those factors. The following techniques are commonly used when conducting such an assessment:

  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Case studies
  • In-person observation
  • Reports
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups and meetings

Breaking down Your Learning Needs

We recommend that you approach your assessment by categorizing learning needs into one of the following:

Strategy-Based Learning Needs: These are the gaps you need to fill in order to be aligned with your organizational strategy. What are the goals you have set for your company, and what needs to happen in order for your company to have the tools it needs to reach them? Is the stairway to organizational success missing a few steps?

Performance-Based Learning Needs: This is where all those assessments, observations and reports come into play. This data helps you pinpoint learning needs based on gaps or deficiencies in performance levels. Before you assume the worst about an employee or a department, make sure training deficiencies aren’t behind performance issues. What ideas, strategies, tools or techniques might help them improve?

Individual-Based Learning Needs: Just as important as looking at your organization’s strategy or at filling performance gaps, is assessing training needs based on the aspirations of the individual employee. Should these aspirations be deemed reasonable by the assessor and in line with company strategy, an effort should be made to design a training program that takes the individual’s aspirations into consideration