What is a Training Needs Assessment?

A training needs assessment is a study that identifies the types of training that employees require and the most effective methods for delivering that training. Assessments can be used to identify training gaps, create new training programs, and improve training quality to make it more effective and valuable for employees. Assessments can be conducted outside consultants or human resources departments on their own.

A training needs assessment goes through several stages. The goal is to determine the unique requirements of a given environment, workplace, or department and to devise solutions to meet those requirements. Employees may be required to have specific skills in order to succeed, as well as a clear understanding of their role. It can be difficult to determine training needs for an employee whose function is not well defined or if there is a disagreement about the employee’s job description and role with the company.

A training needs assessment can be done the employees themselves. They may respond to surveys and interviews to describe what they do and how they do it, as well as areas where they believe they have not received sufficient training. Employees may express a lack of understanding of everything from company policies to how to operate equipment safely. Supervisors play a role as well, advising employees on what they should be doing and how well they are completing tasks.

Following the creation of a list of needs, a strategy for providing people with training in these areas so that they can perform their jobs can be devised. A training needs assessment can lead to the creation of a better employee manual, the creation of training modules for people to complete in order to gain new skills, or the decision to send employees to training programs to develop skills that they can apply to their jobs.

Employers should have identified what kind of training is required, who will provide it, and how it will be delivered at the conclusion of a training needs assessment. Additional factors to consider include the training’s timing and location. The evaluation can help both current employees who need more training and new employees who are being trained from the ground up. It can also be used to create a standardized training program that can be used to ensure consistent and efficient performance across departments, subsidiaries, and franchises.