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How to conduct an effective training needs assessment


June 14, 2024


Bea Maureen Cayone


Training needs assessment

A company’s success doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a constant back-and-forth of discipline, evaluation, and training to make sure every employee brings their a-game to work. As each year introduces various changes to the business, a training needs assessment is the first step to developing a flexible training program for your company to stay ahead of the curve.

This article discusses the importance of a training needs assessment, how to conduct one, and the top resources to help you craft the best plan for your team.

What is a training needs assessment?

A training needs assessment (TNA) is a systematic process companies conduct to identify performance requirements and the abilities, skills, and knowledge necessary to meet those requirements.

Training needs assessment - Definition

Crafting a TNA is a cost-effective solution to maximize your company’s resources, profit, and time. You also don’t want workers stagnating in their jobs. This lets you take a proactive stance, spotting knowledge gaps before they worsen and slow down collective goals.

Before describing the steps to conduct a training needs assessment, we’ll explain why it’s necessary for your company and employee’s growth.

What is the importance of a training needs assessment?

As in the law of supply and demand, an effective training needs assessment helps channel company resources to meet areas with the greatest demand.

Training needs assessment - Importance

By identifying the gaps between your team’s current and desired performance, your TNA supplies the resources needed to fulfill your company’s goals, optimize performance, and offer quality products and services to customers. Conducting a TNA also presents your team with opportunities for growth and skill-building.

A 2023 survey by PwC, a global professional services firm, reports that 60% of workers with specialized training have a clear understanding of how upskilling will change their job in the next five years, compared to the 20% who aren’t as confident since they didn’t receive any special training.

Staff training is a great way to engage employees, inspire them to perform well, and make them feel valued by the company. In the next section, we’ll discuss a TNA’s three levels, followed by the steps to build one.

3 Important levels of training needs analysis

Before identifying the steps to conduct a training needs assessment, it’s essential to lay out its three levels to help you determine the best course of action for your team.

  • Organizational - The largest in scope, this appraises your organization’s overall performance. Here, you determine the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve your goals. This also notes the weak areas for improvement.
  • Operational - The second level examines the knowledge and skill sets required to meet performance standards for a certain job. An assessment is crucial to identify the necessary skills so you can align them with the team’s existing competencies.
  • Individual - The last level targets individuals’ job performance. It identifies who among your team members needs training and what you can do to help close the knowledge gap.

How to conduct a training needs assessment

Be an expert at crafting training needs analysis for employees. To help you get started, here are five steps to remember, along with the best tools to ease the brainstorming process:

Step 1: Identify desired business outcomes

Start by analyzing the business’s current state. What are your weaknesses, and how can you strengthen those areas? Identifying your desired business outcomes will help convince directors and stakeholders of the need for effective training plans for employees. Once this is done, you can focus on determining skill gaps among your team.

Training needs assessment - Identify desired business outcomes

Step 2: Determine skill gaps

Next, you’ve got to pair your desired outcomes with tangible data to back up your claims. Do this by determining your company’s skill gaps, or so-called ‘pain points.’ The fastest way to spot these is through observation, surveys, interviews, and evaluation of HR records.

Training needs assessment - Determine skill gaps

To simplify the process, consider incorporating digital software into your workflow. Popular eLearning platforms like SC Training (formerly EdApp) let you track team performance effortlessly. With its AI-powered creator tool, you can design courses in minutes for your crew to enroll in. Use this to reduce research time and identify skill gaps.

Step 3: Analyze data

Once you’ve understood your business’s deficiencies and areas for improvement, the third step is to analyze the data. Present a report detailing your conclusions and recommendations for your training program.

Training needs assessment - Analyze data

Note that your output isn’t set in stone. Several factors may cause you to reroute, but your analysis should clearly outline why a training program is essential to the business’s growth.

Step 4: Draft a training plan

Now it’s time to create a training needs assessment example. Make sure to account for individual learning styles and consider various kinds of training, like on-the-job, online, or instructor-led training.

Training needs assessment - Draft a training plan

If your teams are scattered across the globe, don’t worry! Learning management system platforms like SC Training thrive in remote environments. Accessible on any device, it offers a centralized dashboard to track individual learner progress with robust analytics and reports.

The best way to keep your team engaged is through bite-sized learning. Feeding them chunks of information has been proven to help them retain knowledge better than lengthy classroom lectures. So rather than fighting short attention spans, you can work within them.

Training needs assessment - SC Training Microlearning

Step 5: Collect feedback

Lastly, keep others in the loop about your training plans. Collecting feedback is an effective way to get everyone involved. This gives you a deeper understanding of how the training evaluation methods will directly impact your learners. Remember, more people translates to better insight.

Training needs assessment - Collect feedback

If you’re on the hunt for a cost-effective training tool, here’s how SC Training can do the job flawlessly. The cool thing about the platform is that it lets you hold training and gather feedback all in one go!

Once you’ve customized your lessons, use the survey templates to collect in-lesson feedback. Learners can rate and suggest areas for improvement that you can apply to their future training. Opt for free text, multiple choice, slider survey, or a quadrant matrix. SC Training places the power of design in your hands.

Training needs assessment - SC Training Survey Templates

Start using the best platform to plan your training needs assessment. Join SC Training today.


Bea Maureen Cayone

Bea Maureen Cayone is a content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), an eLearning platform that delivers advanced solutions for companies to seamlessly train their teams. Beyond the workplace, she enjoys catching up on her never-ending reading list, playing the piano, and spending time with her dogs.

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