A 10 Step Guide to conducting a Training Need Analysis process

By January 3, 2016 No Comments

training need analysis processWhy do you need a Training need analysis?

You will definitely agree that random training programs don’t work.

In fact, a recent research suggested the primary reason why trainings fail is they are not needed in the first place.

For any training to be successful, one of the first things to do is answer these questions: 

  • Why do you need the training (do a skill gap analysis)
  • How can you fix the skill gap (Will training help you bridge the gap)
  • Who needs to be trained (the trainee audience)
  • What is the training that has to be imparted (general content of the training)
  • When should the training take place (identify the best time and schedule to deliver the training)

In short, your training needs would be the gap between the current capability of your audience and the desired capability.

Before you launch yourself into planning your next training program, take some time to conduct a Training Need Analysis first.

Here is a quick guide to help you conduct this training need assessment effectively:

Step 1: Set Specific Training Goals and Objectives

You must know what you expect from the training program.

What are the desired business outcomes? Did our training work?

These questions need to be answered before you begin with the Training need analysis:

Business outcomes specific to either individuals, departments to the overall organization can then be expected from the training conducted.

The Training Needs Analysis process should target these goals and outcomes.

Step 2: Define the Target Group for training and their Desired Competencies

Based on the desired business outcomes, now you should clearly define the target group for taking the training. Ensure that you involve your employees in this process.

Get to know what they think and what you are trying to achieve with your training program.

Map expected business outcomes with the desired competencies of your target population.


Step 3: Conduct Online Assessments and evaluate desired competencies

An online skill assessment can help you evaluate desired competencies.

In fact a 360 degree feedback can also help you evaluate your employees’ performance and areas of improvement.

You should be then able to study data from results of these assessments to determine trainable competencies you want to include as part of the training program.

 Step 4: Determine the Trainable competencies of the Target Group

If you realize that a particular competency will not be impacted by training, then it does not make sense to conduct the training.

For instance, a customer facing role may require people who are inclined towards interacting with others. Trying to instill this behavior in employees who are usually introverts will certainly not help.

Determine which competencies can be improved with training.

Step 5: Conduct a Gap Analysis

Now it’s time for you to analyze how many employees require improvement in the trainable competencies.

For this, you need to first identify and set standards for employee performance and analyze how many do not meet these standards.

Those who do not meet the standards can be considered to be in need of training.

Step 6: Evaluate an appropriate Training method

There might be many methods of training that you can choose from:

Some common methods include:

  • Classroom training
  • Online learning
  • On the job training
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Blended Learning
  • Conferences or University Programs

While choosing an appropriate option, you need to make sure that the training also allows to ‘learn by doing’. This prepares the employee to retain the learning and apply it on the job.

Step 7: Decide the Training Delivery options

This is a very critical step that involves your workforce composition and setting training budgets.

You can also select the appropriate combination, whether you prefer e-learning, classroom training or a blend of both.

This is also where you set the training schedule as well as the options and resources to deliver it.

Step 8: Compare the Cost v/s the Expected Benefits of conducting the training

Do the benefits of the training conducted offset the costs incurred for the same?

Even though you may be very tight on budget, here are some costs that you should consider.

  • Trainers compensation and delivery cost
  • Travel and logistics costs
  • Time lost on attending training
  • Content development costs
  • Training evaluation and reporting efforts


During this stage, try to find a balance between the most appropriate and the most cost effective training method. Ideally your chosen method will achieve your desired results and give you a return on your investment.

Step 9: Evaluation of the Proposed Training

After conducting the training, you should definitely know whether the training worked. In fact the Training can be deemed effective only if it can be successfully used on the job.

You can evaluate the efficacy of your training program by asking questions:

  • Did the training result in achieving desired business objectives?
  • What is the proportion of change in expected job performance of the trained employees?
  • Did the training lead to a positive return on investment? What is the ROI?
  • Has the training let to improved competencies of the target trainee audience?

These and many such questions that measure the training impact versus expected outcomes can be asked to evaluate training.

Step 10: Implement your Training need assessment plan

After you have carefully evaluated your training needs, it is now time to put your plan to action.

Create a thorough report that involves the objectives, methodology, findings, recommendations and further steps to carry out the training.

You can then use this report to implement our Training need assessment plan to the ‘T’.

Is this how you conduct your Training needs analysis? Let us know how it works for you in the comments

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