Training needs assessment: why are they important? Most companies have a learning & development department, with specialists trying to figure out what's the best approach when it comes to delivering the right course to an employee.
Most of the companies already know that it's important to deliver efficient training programs, but what makes the difference is the how. How do you deliver a training? Well, that's what training needs assessments are for.
Why would you use a training needs assessment? First of all, because that's the road to discovering the right approach for your employees. And you need to do that, because the more relevant the content, the more likely they actually engage in the learning process, which is exactly what you want, right?
You can use surveys, feedback sessions, internal meetings to find out what your employees want from a training and what are the skill gaps they perceive as obstacles in performing their tasks.
These surveys can also lead you to finding the right tools and methods for your training approach. For example, you might find out that your employees don't want to get involved in a training because it takes too much time. What can you do with this insight?
You can start looking for an eLearning platform, as Knolyx, to make sure that they can access information whenever they need, without feeling that they are wasting their time.
Also, we know that the ROI is important for every company, so at the end of a training program, you should measure your return of investment. For example, have the initial learning obstacle been removed? Has the training actually improved performance among employees?
Moreover, studies show that staff who feel employers listen to them are almost 5 times more likely to do their best work. (source) Thus, one more reason to engage your teams in the process of choosing the right training approach.
Ho do you perform the assessment? First of all, you set the business objectives (what do you want to achieve after conducting a training?). Some companies want to reduce costs, other to improve innovation, some want an increased performance, other to motivate their employees.
Then, you should understand what are the competencies that must be achieved during a training: what are the skills gaps that prevent your employees from developing?
And since we're here, you should also remove the learning obstacles such as poor delivery methods, lack of management support, lack of involvement.
Based on all of these, you can decide how you want your training need analysis to be performed in order to deliver training programs that actually make a difference: for your corporate goals, for your employees' development and for everyone's growth.
The thing is performing a training needs assessment is hard and it requires more effort, but it is the only way in which your efforts actually pay off on the long term.
Some (final) thoughts
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