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4 Essential Steps to Conducting a Successful Training Needs Analysis

Posted by Beth Brashear on 9/5/16 8:00 AM
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"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” We have all heard this saying before but what if lemonade wasn’t the solution? What if you were hungry rather than thirsty and you just used up all your lemons making lemonade? When a problem is presented, our natural instinct is to try to find a solution versus taking a moment to truly understand the problem. As Albert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”


So how does this all relate to training? Have you ever had a request to design or deliver a training session yet you knew deep down inside that training was not the solution? I have, and the results were exactly what I’d envisioned. The problem still existed after the training was conducted. When we try to fix a non-training problem with training, not only does the problem still exist, but the credibility of the training department starts to diminish. 


To ensure training is truly the solution, you must first conduct a training needs analysis. This 4-step process will help you determine when to train and when NOT to. 


Step 1: Collect Data

Collect data on the Expected Performance and the Actual Performance to determine if you have a performance gap.


Step 2: Conduct a Performance Analysis

Ask questions to get a better understanding of what the root cause of the performance gap might be.


Step 3: Calculate a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Training is not cheap, so if the problem truly is because the learners lack the knowledge and skills to do their jobs, then training is the solution and will yield a positive Return on Investment (ROI) or Potential Improvement on Performance (PIP).


Step 4: Write a Proposal to Management

Compile all the data you’ve collected in the above steps to help you create a fact-based proposal to present to your management.


By using this 4-step training needs analysis process you can eliminate any unnecessary training and focus on providing training when there is an actual gap in the knowledge and skill.


Check out Langevin’s 1-day Training Needs Analysis workshop which will provide you with the necessary skills and resources to conduct a true analysis of the need for training within your organization. 


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Beth has been a course leader with Langevin since 2015. She currently resides in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Beth began her training career in 2006 and believes, while training needs to be educational, it also needs to be fun! Outside of the classroom, Beth enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, playing volleyball, photography, and travelling. She hopes to one day visit India during the Festival of Lights, Mexico for the Day of the Dead Celebration, Rio for the Carnival, and China for the Chinese New Year.

Tags: needs analysis

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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