How do you identify the training that people really need to perform at their best?
And, how do you make best use of a small training budget, and negotiate for more training resources where you need this?
When you're designing any training and development program, you really need to know the fundamentals (who, what, why, how, where and when) before you arrange the training:
A Training Needs Assessment (also known as a Training Needs Analysis) is a good, structured way of doing this. It identifies the training that will successfully address any identified skill deficits. It does this by surveying the skills that employees already have and those that they need, and it helps you think about how to deliver the right training at the right time.
By looking at existing skills and competencies compared to the skills required to meet organizational needs, you make an informed estimate of the training that has to be delivered. From that point you can confidently develop a training program that addresses organizational objectives, and ties into the strategic direction of the company.
Understood in this way, you can see that Training Needs Assessment is much more than simple data gathering. Rather, it is a process that starts with gathering data and ends with a training plan.
Before you begin, you need to determine what the scope of your training need assessment is. To do that, it is useful to consider which of the following perspectives is driving the training needs that you are considering:
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