What is a Training Needs Analysis and Why It’s Important?

Sophia Divirgilio Small Business HR

Training Needs Analysis also known as (TNA) is when a company identifies the necessary training and development needed of the employees to perform their job to the best of their ability. During this process the reviewer identifies gaps in an employee’s capabilities, skills and knowledge.

This analysis can be used when recruiting, onboarding new staff members, re-skilling, up-skilling, and implementing new technological changes to the organisation. This is your first step towards a very successful training strategy. When completed correctly will identify gaps in skills or knowledge and align the individual employees efforts to the business strategy and objectives.

Training is one of the most important aspects of a good workplace. Being able to effectively analyse what your staff need to improve, will widely assist in saving time and company resources giving your employees the greatest opportunity to perform at their best. It plays a massive role in growing and sustaining the most successful workforce and organisation.  

Training your employees with a one size fits all approach needs to be left in the past. It is important to remember that each employee learns differently this is why modern business training must be updated and adapted to meet these different teaching and learning methods like the 70:20:10 method we use, further explained in our upskilling employees blog.

The Importance of a Training Needs Analysis

To summarise, this assessment provides a good understanding of your employee’s current competencies and knowledge.

Employees that have training and development opportunities are much happier in their jobs and have a more positive, brighter outlook at their future in your company. Show your employees that you care about their skill improvement!

Being able to identify skill problems and tackle them head on will help reduce issues that can arise because of it. A skill you learnt last year might be redundant next year! Businesses are consistently increasing skill complexity and specialisation. Many employees are keen to learn and develop. With an appropriate Training Needs Analysis system at your organisation you will allow for this.

How to Conduct a Training Needs Analysis:

Align your learning programs with the organisational goals

Before you begin the analysis, you need to make sure you know the overall goal of the specific training. What outcome do you want out of this skill development? It is obvious that this training must correspond with your organisation objective. Depending on each business and each employees your goals will range.  

Complete a skills matrix

In the skills matrix outline all the competencies required at the company. Include everything from highly technical skills such as payroll to soft skills like communication or teamwork. Remember each position requires different specialised skills for their job! Once completed, list all the roles at the company and create a fair benchmark score for each. Make the benchmark from 1-5 or whatever works best for your own company’s individual matrix.  

Look for the skills gaps

Next step is to complete the individual’s skills analysis so you can then rate all individuals on their retrospective areas.

Compare the difference

Here you compare the difference between the benchmark and the individual score for each employee.

To put it simply, the areas where the employee scores below the indicated benchmark can be identified as their key training need.

How can you close the gap?

The biggest benefit of the matrix is that it will highlight gaps across the whole team! If you have identified that training is the solution, create and design a very engaging training program for your team.

However, sometimes training isn’t the answer! There could possibly be a deep rooted organisational issue surrounding culture, resources, or engagement that training will not fix.

Implement your training courses

Remember everyone is different! Train your employees on an individual level. Use the techniques used to identify the skill gaps as a way to also find what motivates them, what they enjoy doing and how they enjoy learning. You will get the greatest comprehension out of your training courses if your employees are learning what they want to learn and how they want to learn.

Evaluate the effectiveness

Lastly evaluate how each employee improved after implementing the training needs analysis. This can be done during the annual or quarterly reviews.

Another handy way of involving the employee in rating their own level of competency is using your previously created position descriptions. At the reviews employees can then rate their own level of understanding based off the position description which they can then talk through with management.

Let us know how you go with your Training Needs Analysis implementation below.