Understanding the needs of the organisation and the needs of the employee are not mutually exclusive concepts, yet many businesses introduce training that fits with one but not the other. There are many factors which impact on the training needs of the people in the organisation.
It’s common to find managers who base training on what they personally think is required, using the logic that it worked elsewhere so therefore will work here as well. However different people, different cultures and different organisational goals all require training programmes that are bespoke to their needs.
As technology moves forward at pace, completely disturbing the status quo of the traditional office, companies, departments and staff need to adapt. A thorough training needs analysis (TNA) will ensure that staff are fully equipped with the skills needed to support the operations of the department or the goals of the organisation.
Effective TNA is not just about supporting the development of skills and helping an organisation reach its goals. A thorough TNA programme is integral for ensuring employees remain fully motivated. We’ve all been on training programmes that have included those light bulb moments which allow us to reflect on our performance. When TNA is undertaken correctly it will help to drive motivation, retention and performance amongst your staff.
Who and what should be involved in TNA?
In short everyone. To start with TNA will involve observing the workforce, monitoring performance and undertaking interviews with staff, whilst evidence is gathered. During this stage it is good practice to educate managers in particular on the importance of this work. Furthermore, at this stage mapping out the goals of the organisation, the department and individuals is integral. Only full analysis of all the evidence will allow you to create a bespoke training programme.
What type of Training needs arise?
Typically there are training needs you can predict, some that arise from ongoing monitoring and needs that arise from left-field. Not every need will have the same level of importance so it’s important to have strategies in place to deal with different needs as they arise.
A sudden required change in the regulatory environment in finance, for example, may require a staff training programme to ensure that employees are fully compliant. Training can incur time and monetary costs. When an existing strategy is in place a training programme can be introduced which minimises challenges. Organisational needs, such as developing leaders, can evolve over time and may be predictable, or be enhanced as part of ongoing monitoring.
Training Needs Analysis is not a one-time project but an ongoing requirement of the organisation. Staff appraisal programmes can be an indicator of the ongoing training needs. Ongoing monitoring of departmental budgets, customer/stakeholder feedback and staff surveys can all add to the identification of requirements.
Before any training programme is established the needs of the organisation, department and employee should first be identified. Poorly thought out, highly reactive training can create more problems than it solves, leaving staff with a skills gap which can affect performance. Before you start training make sure you’ve collected all the relevant evidence.
Have a quick look at what happened when we helped Nationwide to better understand the successes of its graduate development programme.