Bridging the knowledge gap.
Abigail's boss has asked her to train her department on recent legislative changes affecting her industry. The session is due to last an entire afternoon and, without giving it much thought, she asks everyone in her team to attend.
Once she starts the training, however, she realizes that not everyone needs to be there. Some of her colleagues are giving up half a day's work to learn new skills that they will never use.
Without thinking about who needed to know about the new legislation, Abigail wasted time and resources training team members who didn't need to be there. Her department also lost out, because people were pulled off high-value projects to attend the session.
Abigail could have avoided this situation by doing a Training Needs Assessment (also known as a Training Needs Analysis). In this article, we'll look at how you can use a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) to gain a better understanding of the training your team needs.
When you're thinking about how to develop your team's skills, you need answers to the following questions:
Training Needs Assessment is a structured way of answering these questions.
By comparing existing skills and competencies with the skills you want people to have, you can make an informed decision about the type of training each person or team needs. You can then develop or source a training program that addresses these needs.
Using TNA helps you identify skill gaps within your team, so that you can fill these gaps in a way that links training with departmental and organizational objectives.
Another advantage of carrying out a Training Needs Assessment is that it can help you build a business case for providing training.
By training people properly, you can improve the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of your team, as well as increasing engagement and morale.
Before you begin, you need to determine the scope of your Training Needs Assessment.
In other words, are you going to determine the training needs for...
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