Many training managers decide on training without conducting a needs analysis, which could highlight the problem not just the symptom.

When to do training needs analysis?

  • You may be contemplating or have gone through organisational change and believe that analysis will identify competence requirements.
  • You may be evaluating recent training and development and need a new training needs analysis, that would assess the extent that the trainees enhanced their and the organisation’s performance.
  • You may have identified a need for the training, but are struggling to get the required budget allocated to implement training. Conducting needs analyses helps justify the training and expenditure to skeptical stakeholders.

Steps to take for conducting a needs analysis:

Step one:

Review any existing data (no need to re-invent the wheel) – of individual and team performance reviews or appraisals to gain initial insight into problem areas.

Step two:

Document the key priorities for the organisation, understanding the goals and targets and development needs.

Step three:

Survey the training and development needs of individuals and teams using appropriate survey techniques.

Step four:

Individuals’ needs may not always align with organisational goals; therefore conduct meetings to assist in gaining consensus on individuals and teams precise training development needs, and how they may be met.

Step five:

Establish criteria with which to evaluate the fulfilment of training and development needs.

Make recommendations about the way to meet those needs, matching them to LifeSkills’ programmes, where appropriate.

Step six:

Determine the means for evaluation of the effectiveness of the training, making recommendations for following up on training and development activity to ensure that learning transfers to performance.

Training should be a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge, or skills and behavior through a learning experience, in order to achieve effective performance. To learn more about the systematic and scientific approach to training, read “The Science of Training: A decade in progress” by Eduardo Salas. In the 2001 annual issue of “ Annual Review of Psycholology”.


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