Training Needs Analysis Vs. Performance Analysis: What's the Difference
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What Is Training Needs Analysis?

Training needs analysis involves doing some research in order to find out the type of training you need to offer your staff to ensure they are performing at the standard you require of them.

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.

There are three basic steps involved in training needs analysis:

  1. Decide on the skills you need all your staff members to have. This will be different depending on the role and department the members of staff belong to, but it’s important to map it all out, so you know where you want each staff member to be.
  2. Look at the current skill levels of all your staff members to see how they compare against the criteria you have set in the first stage. Find out what they know well and don’t need any further training on.
  3. Identify any knowledge gaps which present themselves. This means things that you need your staff to know, but they don’t know or aren’t skilled enough on. Once you know where the knowledge gaps lie you can schedule internal training to tackle these knowledge gaps and close them for good!

What Is Performance Analysis?

Performance analysis is more about looking at your business’ performance as a whole and seeing where you can make improvements for the future.

Again, there are some basic steps you will want to follow when thinking about your organisation’s performance analysis:

  1. Think about your company’s goals and OKRs for a certain period of time. You need to understand these first and foremost before you can take a look at the company’s performance overall because these will be the indications of success.
  2. Next, review how you are doing against these goals. You can use tools such as a SWOT analysis to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are currently on your radar.
  3. It’s also important to pull together reports that reflect the key data within your business, so you can look at the results and see how you’re stacking up against your company goals.

What Are The Benefits Of Training Needs Analysis?

1. Training Plans For Every Member Of Staff

If you take the time to sit down and decide exactly the skills you want every member of staff in your organisation to have, you’ve basically created a training plan for everyone, even new members of staff which you may need to onboard in the future.

This also ensures that everyone in the same role or the same department is receiving the same training, so you can be sure that a standard has been set across the business.

2. Know What Staff Are Good At

While training needs analysis can help you see things that are going wrong, they also allow you to identify what your staff are good at. This will give you the chance to reward exceptional staff, and ensure they don’t receive any extra training on things they are already experts in.

It also means that you can help staff identify progression paths as they may excel at a certain skill set which would be perfect for a promotion within the company.

3. Tackle Problems Before They Grow

If your staff aren’t living up to the skills you had in mind for them, a training needs analysis is a perfect way to find this out. You can see where any knowledge gaps are and get some training booked in to close the gaps as soon as possible.

However, if you don’t conduct a training needs analysis on a regular basis, these knowledge gaps may create bigger problems for you within your business. If you don’t know that these knowledge gaps exist, your staff could be doing things which don’t meet company standard or give customers a bad impression of your business. That’s why it’s key to take the time for a training needs analysis so you can tackle these issues yourself before they start to spiral.

4. Plan The Best Training Calendar

Knowing exactly what the knowledge gaps in your company are means you will always be able to plan the best training calendar for a particular period of time. Not only will you know exactly what type of training you need to run to give your staff the essential skills they need, but you will also know what types of training you don’t need to offer as your staff are already very well-versed on that particular topic.

What Are The Benefits Of Performance Analysis?

1. Company Goals Are Always At The Front Of Your Mind

It’s important to keep your company goals at the front of your mind with whatever you do and running a performance analysis regularly will allow everyone to be reminded of these goals, and think about what they can do to ensure the company meets them in a certain timeframe.

Company goals should be the basis of all your decisions, so if you’re planning without thinking about these goals, you’re heading for disaster!

2. See What You’re Doing Well And Allow For Praise

If you complete a SWOT analysis as part of your performance analysis, it will also highlight the things you are doing well as a business, as well as the things which could use some improvement. This will allow you to continue to do those things in the best way possible, as well as praising the staff and teams involved to help boost staff morale.