A 5-Step Guide For Conducting A Successful Training Needs Analysis
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Conducting A Successful Training Needs Analysis

If you’re thinking of conducting a training needs analysis in your business, it can be hard to know where to start! You may think there is too much time or effort involved for it to be a worthwhile endeavour for your business, but we’re here to show you that it can be simple and really easy to slot into your training planning process for the year.

How To Conduct An Effective Training Needs Analysis: A Step-By-Step Guide For Instructional Designers
Discover hints and tips on how to conduct the best training needs analysis for your company.

1. Think About Your Business Goals

The first stage of a successful training needs analysis is to think about what your business goals are for the next year (or whatever period works for your business and your Internal Training department).

Planning out your business goals is probably something you do quite regularly, so it will be easy to slot this section of planning into your training needs analysis in the future.

You may have business-wide goals, as well as goals which are department-specific to ensure that every member of staff in your business is actively working toward making you more successful.

2. Think About The Skills That Will Help You Reach These Goals

Next up, there may be a part of the process that you haven’t completed before, but you'll want to think about how each staff member in your business can directly help you achieve each of these goals. That means you need to think about the skills that will help you reach these goals, and also which areas of your business you will need to drive success within.

For example, if you want to bring in more leads through your Sales team, then maybe you need to make sure their skills are top-notch, such as using the latest sales techniques in emails and on the phone, or knowing how to use LinkedIn to its full capacity to make more useful connections.

3. Evaluate Your Staff’s Current Skills

Now you know what skills you need to reach your business goals, you'll want to do a complete audit of all the skills each member of staff currently holds. You can do this by looking at past training they have completed (whether that’s within your business or as part of another job), as well as holding discussions with team managers to ensure you have a full picture of all the skills available to you.

You will also want to keep a record of the level of these skills each staff member holds, as some could be more advanced in certain areas than others, and keep a record of any training expiry dates.

4. Identify Knowledge Gaps In Your Staff

The next stage of the process is to compare the skills you need your staff to have against the skills they actually have and see what is missing. Whatever is missing will help you identify your knowledge gaps and allow you to plan your training.

Knowledge gaps could be skills that are missing altogether, or they could be skills that your team currently have but they aren’t up to the required level to ensure success with your company goals.

It could also include things like training on new systems or software which you are planning to implement to hit those company goals. Chances are none of your team will have this training, but this is a knowledge gap you will have to close if you want to complete your goals and stay successful.

5. Plan Your Training

The last stage of the training needs analysis process is to actually plan all the training you need in order to close all the knowledge gaps.

First of all, you need to think about which training to prioritise. As we mentioned above, if you are bringing in some new software or a new tool to help aid your business, then you will need to bring the relevant staff members up to speed on how to use it. This will mean training, and this training will be a high priority if you want to start using the software or tool straight away.

You may want to plan the rest of your training in relation to the deadlines for your company goals. If you have goals that need to be hit in the first quarter of the year, then obviously you’ll want to plan this training first, and any goals for later in the year can be dealt with a little further down the line.

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