Training need analysis or, what I like to call, training and evaluation (you will see why call it an evaluation) is the very first step towards a successful training program. And one that really can make a difference in overall performance levels, just so far as these are concerned. But what is the training and what is involved? You may be asking. Well, read on.
Difference Between Training needs analysis and identifying
How to conduct training and evaluation are very much related but different things. In fact, the two can often be seen as internal operations of an organization and therefore they must be conducted in similar ways. It is not surprising therefore that there is quite a bit of interchangeability between the terms.
Just so you know, there is a big difference between training needs analysis and identifying training needs or objectives. The former is a periodic analysis and the latter is a more focused one-time effort aimed at improving specific processes, products, or processes within an organization. For instance, in human resources management there might be a need for training efforts aimed at ensuring that employees get enough technical knowledge on a variety of topics such as benefits and payroll. There could also be a need for such training efforts aimed at addressing issues concerning employees working under excessive workloads, absenteeism, safety, and morale. There may also be other training needs identified by looking into what are known as training opportunities or training initiatives.
Another example would be when companies conduct employee development activities. Such events provide employees with a chance to increase their skills, develop new interests, enhance personal productivity, and to build new interpersonal relationships.
At the same time, such events are also a means of ensuring that employees remain committed to their roles and remain committed to company goals and objectives. One of the major components of an effective training program is how well it is managed. In this case, we are talking about the development of training programs that are managed by the individuals themselves rather than by a trained facilitator.
A company can choose to conduct its own training need analysis or to hire a third party. The latter option is preferred by many organizations because it allows them to save both time and money in terms of the kind of resources required to conduct such an exercise.
When conducting internal employee training, the first thing that should be tackled is defining the overall goals of the entire exercise. Once this is done, the next step is to identify those specific goals of particular employees targeted for such training. By doing so, it becomes easier to pinpoint what areas need improvement in terms of the performance of the employees in a specific department or in the overall organization as a whole.
As part of this training need analysis, one might also want to consider some other factors, both on an individual level and in the organization as a whole. These include determining if there are gaps in the functional, organizational or behavioral structure of the organization as a whole and at the level of the individual employees. This would allow the facilitator to design a program that addresses the identified gaps. Finally, as part of the assessment, it might also be necessary to consider the organizational culture. This could involve conducting interviews with current employees and others who might have similar problems, asking them questions on what they think about the gaps identified, how the problems are handled in the workplace, how the organization is structured, how the needs of the employees compare to the organizational goals, etc.