Human Resources, Training

How to Conduct a Training Needs Assessment – Part 2: What is a Needs Analysis?

Now that you have a better understanding of training within organizations, it is important that we turn our attention to training needs analysis in more detail.  Although there are many different approaches, it is important that we first have a good working definition of what is a training needs analysis. 

Needs Analysis Def

Typically this process will help you identify what your training needs are through a process of analysis. Remember, training needs analysis and analysis needs training.

As we move to discuss what a training need is, we need to look at options that may be open to an organization when performance is not what it is desired.  As a result, the need is to increase performance and it is decided that it is more economical to train staff (e.g., transfer knowledge, skills or abilities) to improve performance. We use the term economical as other options could be to outsource production or increase the use of technology. Hence a training need is:

Training Need

Using this way of looking at an organization we quickly begin to see that not everything is a training need and in fact that organizations have many different types of needs. We also learn that there are various benefits and difficulties within performing a training needs analysis within organizations.

Not Everything is a Need


EXERCISE: Give examples of the four basic types of needs above?


Benefits of Training Needs Analysis

•      Organizational Focus on Performance

•      Identifies Routes to Closing Organizational Performance-Gaps

•      Through Involvement Builds Internal Commitment To Achieving Organizational Targets

•      Separates Non-Training Needs – ‘Training Not the Only Solution’

 Difficulties with Training Needs Analysis

•      Time-Consuming

•      Generates High Expectations

•      Requires Top-Level Support & Understanding

•      May Isolate Certain Categories of Staff

EXERCISE: Give some more examples of Benefits and Difficulties with a Training Needs Analysis? 

 Until Next Time, Be Audit Secure!

Lisa Smith



Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Development, LLC and Chief Content Developer at BeAuditSecure.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more from her in Audit-Secure Assistant at BeAuditSecure.com.

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