How To Spot Gaps In Your Strategy With Training Needs Analysis
Training needs analysis can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the process. Not only are there multiple steps involved, but you must be willing to handle inefficiencies head-on to identify shortcomings that hinder employee development and work against current objectives. However, there are tried and tested techniques to simplify assessment and achieve best results; proven methodologies to evaluate every aspect of your training plan objectively and gather valuable Big Data. These 5 training needs analysis methods can help you disclose gaps in your strategy and devise a plan of action. If you plan to outsource, TNA companies may develop their own hybrid approach. But it should involve at least a few of these often overlooked diagnostics.
5 Training Needs Analysis Methods That Reveal Your Strategy’s Gaps
1. Staff Interviews
One-on-one interviews with staffers involve targeted questions and total confidentiality. Let them know that anything they say during the web conferencing meeting is private so that they feel comfortable sharing, and that all the findings will be anonymous. It’s merely a fact-finding mission to gather their feedback and foster an inclusive training culture. They need to know that their opinions count. Keep it brief and center on training challenges that pertain to their job duties or departments. They won’t know about warehouse training issues if they’re on the front-end team, for example.
2. Focus Groups
This is a more social approach to discreet interviews. Restrict group sizes so that everyone has a chance to speak and tell them the general topic ahead of time. For example, the session covers soft skills training. This allows employees to reflect on those certification courses or JIT tools and formulate their opinions. You should also encourage them to prepare a list of questions or suggestions they can provide at the end of the focus group, just in case they want to share information privately.
Surveys and polls are the most anonymous route but they’re also somewhat limited. They typically feature short-form answers or multiple choice. This means that you can’t delve into the reasoning behind their response or ask follow-up questions. That said, surveys are ideal for broad diagnostics. For example, you don’t know where to begin the TNA and the findings help you narrow the scope. Another option is to request that everyone provide their name so that you can reach out to employees for additional feedback, or leave space at the end for them to provide detailed feedback regarding their training experiences.
4. Management Group Chats
Invite your leadership team to a live event where they can share their thoughts and ideas regarding the current training strategy. They have the opportunity to see how training translates on the job—how their team applies what they’ve learned in a practical setting and if they have all the necessary support. Managers can tell you what works, what doesn’t, and what your program needs to achieve desired outcomes. You can also host ongoing discussion groups where they post questions or emerging gaps.
5. Customer Feedback
Customer questionnaires and online surveys let you explore L&D from the receiving end. One of the primary goals is to give your staffers all the experience and skills they need to boost customer satisfaction scores. Did the employee communicate effectively and identify their needs? Were they able to explain all the product benefits? Was the experience memorable (for the right reasons) and would they refer a friend?
Bear in mind that these are just a few of the most popular training needs analysis methods. Feel free to experiment with new strategies based on your TNA objectives, timeline, and budget. Compile a list of your top data sources so that you know where to look. Then centralize all the information and determine what’s relevant based on goals and desired outcomes. For example, your social media platform yields employee engagement and collaboration stats you won’t find elsewhere.
You need a training needs analysis vendor who knows which TNA methods benefit your organization and how to mine relevant Big Data. Search our online directory for outsourcing companies in your industry and price range. There are even ratings to help you improve ROI and evaluate CX before contract negations commence.
Download the eBook L&D Troubleshooting: How To Disclose Pain Points With The Right Training Needs Analysis Provider to find a partner who helps you identify L&D shortcomings and develop a plan of action.