Analysing training needs? Why you shouldn't panic

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"An organisation's ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage" - Jack Welch (Former CEO, General Electric)

So, you are a Training and Development Manager - perhaps new in post - and you have quickly discovered that there are gaps in your employees training programmes. Perhaps you have been asked to conduct a training needs analysis but are unsure how to go about this systematically and in a way that will deliver rapid results.

Some training priorities are forced on organisations due to changes in legislation (such as GDPR or Competition Law) or maybe you have realised that different departments are finding it hard to communicate with each maybe possibly due to cultural issues (Equality and Diversity or Unconscious Bias training spring to mind).

Learning and Development experts all agree that a training needs analysis is critical in the successful design and delivery of a training plan. Before you start, it is vital that you work with C Suite or other Leaders to identify how ready the organisation is to deliver the training identified.

Your next task is to identify which employee needs training and what kind of training will best suit them. Consider their learning style, their hours of work, their ability to set aside time for online training or if a classroom based approach is best.

Decide too how the organisation as a whole will benefit - get a balance between the personal and professional development of the employees.

Next prioritise the training required: staff working in different departments may have needs which makes certain training more important so you will need to identify who they are , what they need, when they need it and how they are going to access it.

Then you need to decide how you are going to monitor the success or otherwise of the training.

ELearning or online learning courses often come with completion certificate so that Training Managers can have a record of training completed. This can go on the employee's HR records to show how they have followed their own development plan.

Online training or eLearning should always be considered and is now an integral part of most organisation's training needs analysis. 

A Training Needs Analysis document will be helpful in gathering all this information in one place and will allow you to constantly monitor and evaluate the success of the training within each department.

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