8 Training Needs Assessment Myths And Misconceptions That Hinder Organizational Growth

8 Training Needs Assessment Myths And Misconceptions That Hinder Organizational Growth
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Summary: Training needs analysis is still shrouded in mystery. What happens behind closed doors? Isn’t it strictly for Fortune 500 companies? Today, I’m here to debunk the 8 most common TNA myths and misconceptions once and for all.

8 Training Needs Assessment Myths That Need To Be Debunked Today

Let’s get this out of the way first: every organization benefits from training needs analysis. Whether you’re an SMB with limited resources or a global organization with a vast network of external partners, TNA gets to the bottom of L&D inefficiencies and personal performance gaps so that you can resolve issues before they escalate. You can only take the "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" approach for so long before it starts to impact your profit margin. In fact, delaying the inevitable training needs analysis limits your company’s potential and may even cost you top talent. Let’s review some of the most popular training needs assessment myths and conceptions that hinder organizational growth.

1. My Budget Is Too Small For TNA

Regardless of which training needs analysis models you choose, the process is too expensive for SMBs. This myth has prevented many small businesses from putting their L&D programs under the microscope. The truth is that you can scale TNA based on your needs, budget, and objectives. For example, you can use in-house assets (LMS reports and employee surveys) to cut costs. Or hire an outsourcing partner who can help you shore up the gaps without adding a TNA team to the payroll.

2. The Only Goal Is To Identify Training Pain Points

Disclosing hidden gaps is one of the primary needs analysis goals, but it’s not the only reason to conduct a TNA. Training needs analysis models also help you identify training strengths and in-house talent. Such as top performers who can step into leadership roles and provide peer support. Diving into the Big Data gives you the opportunity to streamline your strategy and improve resource allocation. For example, spotlight underperforming assets you can update or repurpose for your current training program.

3. You Must Tackle The Entire L&D Program

TNA isn’t about nibbling. You need to sink your teeth into the training strategy to get the full benefit. Contrary to popular belief, training needs assessment can be a gradual process that focuses on specific areas of your program. For instance, this round might cover the customer service certification course. Or the interpersonal skills VILT curriculum. This gives you the chance to test the waters instead of diving headfirst into your holistic strategy. That said, you may want to set a needs analysis schedule to keep track of each phase and its respective goals.

4. TNA Is Too Time Consuming

Who has time to diagnose pain points when you could be creating new content and completing other items on the L&D to-do list? The issue with this mindset is that every other L&D task hinges on TNA findings. For example, all that content you develop might contain irrelevant ideas or task protocols. You’re operating under the assumption that objectives and goals still align with modern needs. But a training analysis could blow the lid off that theory and force you to rethink your entire strategy. It takes time, but the information you glean is well worth the wait.

5. You Can Plan As You Go Along

No need to create a detailed training needs assessment schedule that maps out all the phases. You can just make things up as you go along and deal with obstacles as they pop up. In reality, you must have a needs assessment schedule to stick to your budget and properly allocate resources. As well as avoid implementation delays. If you choose to outsource, the company should provide you with a multi-phase plan that covers all the essentials. From gathering employee feedback to brainstorming training interventions.

6. It Does Not Reach The Individual Level

Training needs analysis paints in broad strokes. It centers on high-level diagnostics, such as business objectives and group performance. But training needs assessment does, in fact, target individual gaps. Of course, this all depends on the training needs analysis methods you use. For instance, surveys and assessments reveal more than financial reports because they address individual performance metrics.

7. There’s Too Much Big Data To Sift Through

There’s a big pile of data to review, and you aren’t even sure where to start. The key is to evaluate data sources with a targeted scope instead of letting them overwhelm you. Focus on reports, surveys, and observations that pertain to a single objective, outcome, or training topic. Then use visualizations to spot patterns and trends. This is yet another reason to outsource. Training needs analysis vendors know where to look and how to evaluate the data without slowly slipping into madness.

8. Training Needs Analysis Outsourcing Is All Or Nothing

The final misconception regarding training needs analysis is that outsourcing is a package deal. That you must hire a third-party provider for the entire project OR tackle the task in-house. The fact behind this fiction is that it’s not all or nothing. You can always outsource certain aspects of the training needs analysis process and handle the rest internally. It all depends on employee workload, resources, and the TNA timeline.


Many organizations put their heads in the sand because they’re concerned about TNA costs or training delays. They believe that training issues will work themselves out over time, and there’s no need to intervene. In actuality, gaps tend to grow wider if they’re left unchecked. It’s not enough to simply put a band-aid on the problem in the form of JIT demos and tutorials. You must evaluate your strategy as a whole and identify the root cause of performance, skill, and knowledge gaps. To diagnose the source of training inefficiencies instead of just looking at the symptoms.

Which training needs assessment company is best for your bottom line? Find the perfect outsourcing partner for your business in our exclusive online directory. Search by industry, specialization, customer type, and solutions to get top value for money.