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identifying employee training needs

How to identify training needs in your organisation

Before offering any form of training, it is important to identify the training needs in your organisation. This is an assessment of the gap between current knowledge and skills and the desired position. Training needs assessment (TNA) acts as the guide to creating a training program. The more thorough and clear a TNA is, the more successful a training program is, as it will be addressing all identified shortcomings in the organisation. It is therefore crucial that an organisation conducts a training needs assessment the right way so that a training program can be made addressing the right issues. Here is how to identify training needs in your organisation:

Identify the nature of training needs

Training needs can be classified into industry-related needs, job-related needs and task-related needs. Identifying the nature of the skill gap in the organisation helps focus the training into filling this gap. For example, training about new technology that has been introduced in a certain industry is an industry-related need. This means that all employees receive a wide approach training to introduce them to this new technology. Later, employees in specific departments are trained on the skills specific to their tasks.

Analyse employee performance

This involves looking at the current skills level of your staff and how these skills are faring in performance, then identifying skills and knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order to improve on performance. You need to prioritise the development of these skills and decide which ones need immediate response so that you can plan for appropriate training. For example, you may identify that your customer care staff lack basic customer care skills leading to customer dissatisfaction. Since customer satisfaction is important to the organisation, you plan a training program that will bring your customer care staff up to date with customer care skills.

Use benchmarking practices

Benchmarking is necessary if you want to know how you are performing in your industry when compared to your competition. Looking at organisations that are performing better is important so that you can determine what is making them succeed and learn from their practices or adopt some of their processes. To be at a competing level with in your industry, your organisation’s knowledge and skills need to be on par or above industry average.
Refer to your business objectives
If you are falling short of your objectives and goals, it means that you are performing less than expected. As a result, you may need to identify your current position, then compare it with the desired position (objectives) and identify how to fill this gap. One common way to fill this gap is to add onto current knowledge and skills usually through training. You can use these objectives as a reference point to see if training is proving effective.

Communicate with your employees

Most importantly, communicate with individuals working in the organisation in order to identify current challenges they are facing. This open communication will help you identify gaps in knowledge and skills and come up with training programs that will help close these gaps.

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