7 Oct 2015, 10:11 — 7 min read
There’s a lot of talk these days about training programmes for employees. Sometimes you may think that this is a new-fangled management notion that is about spending money for very little return. However, in this age of quickly changing technology and rapidly fluctuating consumer needs, it would be wise to consider a training programme if:
As we had said in the introductory article, Do You And Your Employees Need Learning & Development Programmes?, the need for training is usually triggered. The real reason for the need for training is invariably due to a gap between:
The gap could lie within these three, or between the organisation’s expectation from people on these three fronts and the reality, which could be:
However, the gaps we displayed above are simplistic. In reality, the gap might be very specific and a wrong diagnosis may lead to:
This means a formal Training Needs Analysis or Training Needs Assessment (TNA) is required. This is an analysis that helps identify training needs by finding gaps between the desired knowledge, skills and attitude of people, and the actual knowledge, skills and attitude that they possess.
Training Needs Analysis can be conducted on a proactive basis or in reactive mode. The proactive approach makes eminent sense as it can help prevent dissatisfaction among employees and even clients.
The Training Needs Analysis aims to address the following:
Why Do We Need This Training? – This is the problem definition stage and the study addresses the problem or issue at hand. It starts form the specific and goes down into the minutiae.
What Specific Skills Do We Need To Equip Them With? – Having answered the first question of why we need the training, the TNA now addresses the specific skills and changes that are desired amongst the participants.
Who Needs The Training? – The TNA now goes into defining the audience. This is an important section as it not only identifies the audience but also states the specifics in terms of what they possess and what they lack/need to improve.
When Should The Training Be Conducted? – This is less to do with the dates but with the timing of the programme. Is it something that is both compelling and urgent? Is it something that can be addressed on a weekend or during a lull period? If it is part of contingency planning, should it be carried out based on a trigger event? For instance, some new business likely to come up could trigger the need for a specific kind of training. In such cases, the trigger event could be the client signing an MOU.
Where Should The Training Be Conducted? – Irrelevant as it may seem, this is often an important consideration. The venue is either a result of and/or reflection of:
The options before the organisation are many:
One would also look at the duration of the intervention and whether it has to be spread over a prolonged period in small bursts or be a continuous and intensive effort over a day or two.
The person carrying out the Trainings Needs Analysis needs to focus on the problem definition and not the solution. While paucity of funds or resources often leads to the TNA and the Instructional Design being done by the same resources, it is best to separate the two. The Instructional Design/Content Team is the resource group that is best equipped to suggest a solution based on the problem definition done by the TNA team. Very often, performance appraisal reports can be used as a good basis or starting point for the TNA.
A good TNA is often the result of 360 degree feedback – between the superiors, intended participants, other stakeholders (client, other departments & vendors etc.) and direct reports. This depends entirely on the nature of the problem. Films, interviews, voxpops (Voice of the People/Population) and social media conversations can be good sources of information for the Training Needs Analysis. The TNA has an extremely important role to play – because it is diagnostic in nature and can lead to the right inputs and right results.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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