How to Analyze Training Needs for Organizations & OCM Projects
Top Guide for Assessment of Training Needs and the TNA Process – Everything You Need
Before you can begin any type of training program, you first have to complete an important assessment. This is the assessment of training needs, also known as the training needs analysis (TNA).
A training need assessment is designed to identify training gaps and how to address them with a training plan.
In this free TNA article, we’ll provide a step-by-step review on how to conduct the best training needs analysis. We’ll answer, “What is a training needs assessment?” and provide a comprehensive training needs analysis process flow that you can follow to facilitate your training projects.
We will also reference a training needs assessment template, reporting dashboard, and training management tools that you can use for your needs.
An example of a training needs assessment is when a company is adopting a new software tool, such as Slack. A learning needs analysis would need to be performed to see if employees were familiar with the tool already and how many were completely unfamiliar and needed training on the tool.
Another training needs analysis example is one done to address company performance concerns. For instance, if the customer support department begins receiving complaints about how questions are handled, a training gaps analysis can be done to identify where there are gaps in employee skills versus what they need to know.
OCM Solution Training Needs Assessment Example
Training need identification report from the OCM Solution Training Management Toolkit
Table of Contents: TNA Training Needs Analysis
Keep on scrolling down this page to read each section or click any link below to go directly to that section.
1. Training Needs Analysis Definition
2. What Is Training Needs Analysis?
a. Types of Training Needs Analysis
3. What Is a Training Needs Assessment Used For?
4. What Are the Three Levels of Training Needs Analysis?
a. Organizational Level TNA Analysis
b. Group/Job Role Level TNA Analysis
c. Individual Level TNA Analysis
5. Methods of Training Needs Assessment
6. Training Need Assessment Step-by-Step Guide
a. TNA Process Step 1: Determine the Organization’s Performance Goals
b. TNA Process Step 2: Identify the Skills/Knowledge Needed to Meet Goals
c. TNA Process Step 3: Conduct a Skills/Knowledge Gap Assessment
d. TNA Process Step 4: Determine Recommended Training Solutions
e. TNA Process Step 5: Establish Goal-Oriented Tracking Metrics
f. TNA Process Step 6: Develop & Present Training Recommendations
7. How to Analyze Training Needs with Surveys
8. Why Should Training Needs Assessments Be Part of Your Training & OCM Workflow?
9. OCM Solution Training Management Software & Training Needs Assessment Tool
10. Conclusion – TNA Training Needs Analysis Basics & Process
11. FAQ | Assessment of Training Needs Process
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Are you looking for a good training needs analysis template? Do you have questions about how to do needs assessment or how to identify employee training needs? Please reach out and let us know.
Training Needs Analysis Definition
What is a training needs assessment? At OCM Solution, we define training needs analysis as “a process that determines the skills and knowledge requirements for a project or an organization, and the training that needs to be done to ensure those requirements are met.”
The training needs assessment definition can be used for all types of training requirements that an organization may need. This includes training to improve performance KPIs and training that is associated with an upcoming project and corporate transition.
Here is another definition of training needs assessment. This is from Wikipedia: “Training Analysis is the process of identifying the gap in employee training and related training needs.”
The training needs analysis definition from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management describes training needs assessments as a process “to identify performance requirements and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by an agency’s workforce to achieve the requirements.”
No matter which definition of training needs assessment you’re using, they all include the same main idea. This is to identify operational needs as they relate to people’s skills and the gaps between what people know and what they need to know.
What Is Training Needs Analysis?
As we noted in the training needs assessment definition above, a training or learning needs assessment identifies what people need to know to meet a certain requirement.
When using a training needs assessment template, you’ll typically see columns such as the skills or knowledge a trainee or training group needs and the level of training they need. This information is gathered during the employee training needs analysis process.
Another way to think of the training needs analysis steps is a search and discover exercise. You need to discover the gaps in skills and knowledge of those that need training as compared to the skills/knowledge requirements and goals of an organization or a specific project within an organization.
We’ll go through in detail in the sections below how to conduct a training needs assessment. But what you should remember now is that conducting a training needs analysis is a critical first step before you can begin to put together a training plan.
Determining training needs for employees can be done for many different reasons. There is a need for training and development for things like ongoing leadership training, new employee onboarding, specific projects and company changes, and more. Following, are just a few different types of training needs analysis.
Types of Training Needs Analysis
Training needs analysis methods are used for some of the following reasons:
- Training need identification process for new hires
- Training analysis report for leadership development
- Employee needs assessment for a project
- Training and development needs analysis for productivity
- Training gaps analysis for a merger or acquisition
- Training and development needs assessment for remote teams
- Competency based training and assessment
- Identifying training and development needs for data security awareness
- Development needs analysis for managers and supervisors
Next, we’ll look at the answer to, “What is a learning needs analysis used for?” and list the 3 levels of training needs assessment that you should be familiar with.
Do you have any questions about how to conduct a need analysis, how to define training needs analysis, training needs analysis meaning, or understanding what is training need identification? Please reach out and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
Training Needs Analysis Sample from the OCM Solution Training Management Tool
Training Assessment Template from OCM Solution for conducting training needs analysis.
What Is a Training Needs Assessment Used For?
Needs assessment training and development are used in several ways in organizations. Training needs assessment report metrics drive decision-making on what’s needed to improve operational effectiveness.
The training need assessment process is also used as a standard part of change management support for a project. In this case, a training gaps analysis can be used to identify whether or not training is needed for an internal change, and if so, how much training is needed for each impacted group.
If certain company key performance indicators (KPIs) are lower than desired, using a training need analysis model can help identify specific areas in the company where training can address the issue.
Ultimately, the training needs assessment process helps an organization stay on track with performance and efficiency goals. It will also help to ensure an organization is directing its training resources most effectively.
Are you looking for a sample training needs analysis, a toolkit with learning and development needs examples, and software that provides insightful training needs analysis report metrics? Want to generate a training needs assessment PDF report for executives or key stakeholders?
The OCM Solution Training Management Toolkit has all that and more! Click the image below to check it out now.
What Are the Three Levels of Training Needs Analysis?
When reviewing training needs analysis models and training needs assessment methods, you’ll often run across 3 levels of training needs assessment.
So, what are the three levels of training needs analysis? We’ll go through them below.
Organizational Level TNA Analysis
The organization is at the top level of the 3 levels of training needs assessment. This type of strategic training needs analysis looks at the organization’s performance and needs on an ongoing basis. This isn’t specific to just one particular project.
The organizational level training needs assessment steps include looking at short-term performance as well as long-range goals. It’s designed to identify training needs for things like performance KPIs, new employee knowledge at the organizational level, and ongoing training that is needed to keep productivity and performance at levels that meet corporate goals.
Group/Job Role Level TNA Analysis
The next level learning needs analysis example is the group, team, or job role level. When learning how to conduct TNA activities for a project, this will typically be the level that you’re using.
The steps of training need assessment at this group/job role level are to determine specific training needed to provide skills that a particular business unit, team, or role is lacking and need to be trained for.
When conducting an organizational readiness assessment to determine the level of training needed for an upcoming change, you’ll often be using that at this group/role level to inform your needs assessment organizational analysis for training needed for that particular group.
Individual Level TNA Analysis
The first two levels in how to perform a training needs analysis are about identifying the training needs of an organization. This third level to analyze training needs is about the individual.
What are the employee training needs for a specific person? At this level, your assessment of training needs is for particular people on your team, rather than entire roles or groups.
Training needs assessments at the individual level can be done in conjunction with a project and impending change, if that change is impacting different individuals in a group differently, or if individuals have different training needs.
This training needs analysis example can also be used for ongoing personal staff development to help ensure that staff is being nurtured so they may grow in their position and responsibilities.
One thing to remember is that there may be projects or corporate needs that require you to analyze training needs at all three levels. For an organization to continue growing and improving, using these three levels for training needs assessments is a best practice.
Methods of Training Needs Assessment
The obvious question when looking at a training needs analysis template or corporate learning needs analysis requirement is, “What are the different training needs analysis methods?” In other words, how do you assess people for their skills or knowledge level so you can compare that against corporate benchmarks?
Knowing what information is needed from an assessment for training and actually understanding HOW to gather that information are two different things.
Referencing a training needs analysis template or example of a training needs assessment can help you understand the information you need to capture using different training needs assessment methods. For example, you will be looking for:
- Employees’ current skills level
- Employees’ current knowledge level
- Skills/knowledge needed based on goals and requirements
- Level of training need identification
- Receptiveness to training (Many people forget about this one, but it’s an important KPI to capture in a learning needs assessment.)
There are many training needs analysis methods for gathering this information from trainees or managers of trainees while conducting an assessment of training needs for employees.
Popular training needs analysis methods:
- Surveys to Managers: This training needs analysis example can be used when doing a group/job role level assessment. Managers will often be the best ones to identify skills and knowledge that their teams have or don’t have.
- Employee Feedback Surveys: Sending a survey to employees is helpful to get specific details on the need for training and development from the individual’s perspective.
- Business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A good training needs example that will help you assess whether employees have the necessary skills would be looking at KPIs. (For example, call handling volume per department or the number of successfully closed support tickets per day.)
- Observation: When using a training needs assessment template for an organizational level assessment, observation is a good way to identify gaps in knowledge and skills that appear in the daily workflow of various teams.
- Skills Audit: Using corporate goals as a guide you can conduct a skills audit, which would be a test given to generate a training needs assessment report.
- Customer Feedback: An informal training need assessment process would be to monitor customer feedback and reviews. If you see certain complaints coming up from more than one person, that’s a potential indicator of a training need.
Below is an example of how to conduct a training needs analysis using the surveys in the OCM Solution training analysis and management toolkit.
Jump to the section in this article on: How to Analyze Training Needs with Surveys
If you have any questions about this article on training need analysis process flow, how to do needs assessment, and competency based training and assessment, please reach out and let us know.
Training Need Assessment Step-by-Step Guide
Next, we will detail a training needs assessment process, which involves six steps. This training need analysis model can be used for any type of training need identification process and for any level of how to identify employee training needs (organizational, group/job role, and individual).
If you would like to make it easy for you to refer to this sample training needs analysis step-by-step in the future, you could use your browser to print to PDF and print the pertinent training needs analysis steps below. Then save that to a folder on your device as a training needs assessment PDF reference.
We’ll give an overview of the 6 steps in our training needs analysis models below and then go into detail on each one in the following sections.
What Are the 6 Steps in the Needs Analysis Process?
- Determine the Organization’s Performance Goals
- Identify the Skills/Knowledge Needed to Meet Goals
- Conduct a Skills/Knowledge Gap Assessment
- Determine Recommended Training Solutions
- Establish Goal-Oriented Tracking Metrics
- Develop & Present Training Recommendations
Need a training needs analysis template to follow? Check out the OCM Solution Training Toolkit, which comes with a step-by-step checklist for training needs assessments, planning, and deployment.
Training needs assessment steps, as well as steps for training planning, delivery, and evaluation are all laid out for you!
TNA Process Step 1: Determine the Organization’s Performance Goals
When considering how to conduct a training needs assessment, the first question to ask yourself is, “What benchmark should I be using to assess the training needs of an organization, individual, or group?”
This benchmark will be the goals of the organization or a specific project. For example, the organization may have learning and development needs examples as what it feels are needed for an effective and evolving team.
These goals may be based on historic skills needs, future-looking goals, or operational requirements. Your training needs analysis report should identify these operational goals so that these can be translated into the knowledge and skills that employees and groups need to have for the company to achieve those goals.
Another example of conducting a training needs analysis to identify the benchmark training goals is in relation to a project. If a project is impacting the way people do things, such as employees needing to adopt new tools or policies, then you will need to know what key performance indicators signal success for the project.
In this case of how to conduct a needs analysis, you will need to look at project documentation and meet with the project team to ensure you fully understand what people are required to learn in order for the project solution to be adopted successfully.
If you have any questions about these steps of training need assessment, what is a learning needs analysis, or needs assessment training and development, please reach out and let us know. Our team of experts will be happy to help!
TNA Process Step 2: Identify the Skills/Knowledge Needed to Meet Goals
Once you’ve determined the goals of the project or organization, you need to translate those goals into the skills and knowledge that the organization’s employees need to have.
When conducting training needs analysis, it’s skills and knowledge that will be taught to employees, so this matching of that training content to measurable company metrics is vital.
One learning needs analysis example of this would be if the company had a goal of improving its shipping time to customers. In this case, the employee needs assessment may identify that time management, shipping software knowledge, and package handling best practices were all things that the shipping department would need training for to reach that corporate goal.
Another training needs analysis example is one related to a project. If there is a project with a goal to help the sales team use Microsoft Dynamics more effectively, then that would translate into training for those teams on topics like how to create reports, how to import data from Salesforce, etc.
OCM Solution Training Assessment Template to conduct a training needs analysis.
Learn More: OCM Solution Training Management Toolkit.
TNA Process Step 3: Conduct a Skills/Knowledge Gap Assessment
Now, you’ll be identifying training and development needs for your organization by conducting a skills and knowledge gap analysis. This involves using the training and knowledge needed to meet organization or project goals as benchmarks. Then using a development needs analysis to see where gaps are in employees’ current skills and knowledge.
This strategic training needs analysis is done using the methods of training needs assessment that we discussed above, such as surveys to managers, employee feedback surveys, observation, etc.
TNA Process Step 4: Determine Recommended Training Solutions
Your training needs analysis meaning should correspond to action items, which are the training programs and topics that you will recommend employees learn to fill those knowledge gaps identified in the previous step.
When you submit your training analysis report and recommendation, you should include an outline of those topics that you feel would address the organization’s or project’s training needs and thus help it meet the stated goals.
A strategic training needs analysis to solve a problem with customer support, for example, may recommend a training solution such as the following.
Training program: Customer Support Best Practices
- Topic 1: How to represent the brand voice
- Topic 2: Chat & email software skills training
- Topic 3: Response and follow-up requirements
Rather than simply stating that employees should learn certain skills, or stop at identifying the knowledge gaps, the best training and development needs analysis includes an outline of the training plan needed to address those gaps.
Do you have any questions about this article on “What is training need identification?”, how to conduct TNA assessments, and doing a needs assessment organizational analysis? Please let us know!
TNA Process Step 5: Establish Goal-Oriented Tracking Metrics
Knowing how to perform a training needs analysis isn’t complete without also realizing the importance of training delivery metrics. You need to identify certain metrics or scoring that are going to help you ensure that the training program has met the training needs of an organization or project.
An example of a training needs assessment to gauge the effectiveness of the training would be a survey provided to trainees immediately after the training asking if they thought the training was well presented and taught them useful skills and knowledge or if they feel more training is still needed.
Here are some screenshots below from the OCM Solution Training Management Toolkit that show how this tool for the assessment of training needs helps you with this step of the training need assessment.
The surveys provided in the tool help you analyze training needs by getting trainees’ feedback.
The survey data is then imported into the audience template so you can analyze training needs that still may exist.
Next, you can leverage insightful training needs assessments reporting on the 360° analytics dashboard.
Without having similar types of tracking metrics in place, it will be difficult to show the results of the training delivery should the recommendation from your assessment of training needs be deployed.
Have you been looking for a good training needs analysis template? Maybe you are looking for a tool with an example of a training needs assessment? Or need software that will make an assessment for training needs easier? If this is the case, you may want to take a look at the OCM Solution training software for learning needs analysis and training program management.
TNA Process Step 6: Develop & Present Training Recommendations
The final step in the training need assessment process is to put all the data collected and determined in the previous 5 steps into an assessment for training report.
Here is a training needs analysis example of the types of things that your training needs identification report should contain:
- Identified goals that need to be met by the organization or a project
- Skills and knowledge needed to meet those goals
- The learning needs assessment and gap analysis results and the individuals/groups targeted
- Outline of training programs and topics needed to address the skills and knowledge gap
- A description of metrics that can be used to ensure the training is fulfilling the identified employee training needs.
- The final recommendations based on this training need analysis process (such as timing for training)
If you still need the question “what is training needs analysis” answered for you or if you would like another training needs assessment example, please let us know!
How to Analyze Training Needs with Surveys
Using a training needs assessment template survey is an effective way to identify gaps in knowledge and skills that may be holding an organization back or that could get in the way of rolling out a successful project.
Often, it’s the people that are in their various roles in an organization or their managers that are the best to identify the need for training and development. Someone removed from the day-to-day workflow of a team, such as an executive, may not have the same level of knowledge in this area.
There are typically two ways that you could approach a survey to identify training needs for employees. One is to send the survey to the pertinent employees, surveying all the individuals. You would need to do this if you are tracking training progress and sending your training needs analysis report at the individual level.
The other way for how to conduct a training needs analysis survey is to send it to the manager of a group of trainees. The manager can then answer on behalf of their team. You may use this training need assessment process if you are presenting your training needs assessment report at the group level.
Within your training needs analysis process flow, you will want to create or leverage an available survey that you can use. This article includes images of the training needs analysis sample survey that is provided in the OCM Solution training software. This provides an example of some of the questions you may want to ask in general.
Our training need analysis model asks questions such as:
- What skills or knowledge do you feel you need?
- Choose your estimated level of training needed for (name of project)
- How receptive are you to receiving training?
When going through your training needs assessment process, you may also want to ask more specific questions that have to do with the details of your learning and development needs examples. For example, you might ask, “How well do you know our CRM platform?”
How to do needs assessment with surveys is open to the specifics of the assessment information you need to collect. But using surveys, is a great way to get the most accurate training analysis report metrics.
Do you have any questions about this article answering, “What is a training needs assessment?” Have questions about training needs analysis models or training needs assessment methods? We’d love to hear from you!
Why Should Training Needs Assessments Be Part of Your Training & OCM Workflow?
Whether you present a training needs assessment PDF, slide deck, or document-style report, every training professional and change management practitioner should know how to conduct a training needs assessment. As well as include these or similar training needs analysis steps in their OCM or training workflow.
Unless you analyze training needs before jumping into a full training program, you can easily miss the mark and leave trainees without the full skills and knowledge needed to achieve the goals of the training program.
Without an assessment of training needs, you may also do unnecessary training. All groups may not need the same training, and if you don’t do a learning needs analysis before planning and scheduling training, you might just group everyone into the same training needs, in which case teams may feel that time was wasted.
Training need identification and the training needs analysis process provides a roadmap for creating an effective training program that is goal-focused to help an organization and/or specific project achieve success.
Do you have a great example of a training needs assessment that you’d like to share? Can you help other professionals with the question, “What is training needs analysis?” If you have a helpful training needs assessment example you’d like us to include, please reach out.
OCM Solution Training Needs Analysis Template & Training Management Tool
The OCM Solution Training Management Tool gives you one place to handle everything from learning needs assessment to training deployment and post-delivery evaluation.
This is a powerful, yet easy-to-use cloud application that enables your training need analysis process. In addition to individual-level and group-level templates to analyze training needs, you also get insightful training needs assessment reports, sample training needs analysis data, and much more!
The OCM Solution software for management and assessment of training needs includes:
- Program planning template
- Individual-level training audience template
- Group-level training audience template
- Checklist of assessment for training, planning, and delivery tasks
- Video tutorials, tooltips, guides, surveys, and more
Click below to purchase this comprehensive online tool to analyze training needs, plan, manage, and deploy training. You’ll have instant access that will allow you to get started right away.
Conclusion – TNA Training Needs Analysis Basics & Process
Training needs assessments are a vital part of any training program, and they provide you with a strategic process to analyze training needs of an organization. Assessment for training and development speaks directly to an organization’s operational goals and bottom-line requirements.
Using training needs assessment templates can help improve the speed and effectiveness of the learning needs analysis process. So, if you’re new to the assessment of training needs, you may want to seek out a training needs analysis example template that includes helpful steps and guidance.
The more you work with training needs assessments, you’ll find that you develop your own workflow and strategies to get the most out of your reporting on the need for training and development for projects and organizations.
FAQ | Assessment of Training Needs Process
What is a training needs assessment used for?
A TNA training needs analysis is used in several ways in organizations. Training needs assessment steps and report metrics drive decision-making on what’s needed to improve operational effectiveness.
Competency based training and assessment are used for:
• Assessment for training new hires
• Training analysis report for leadership development
• Training need identification for a project
• Training and development needs analysis for productivity
• Training gaps analysis for a merger or acquisition
• Training and development needs assessment for remote teams
• Competency based training and assessment
• Identifying training and development needs for data security awareness
• Development needs analysis for managers and supervisors
What are the 6 steps in the training need analysis process?
When learning how to conduct a needs analysis, it’s helpful to follow a 6-step training needs analysis process flow. These steps in our training needs assessment example are as follows:
1. Determine the Organization’s Performance Goals
2. Identify the Skills/Knowledge Needed to Meet Goals
3. Conduct a Skills/Knowledge Gap Assessment
4. Determine Recommended Training Solutions
5. Establish Goal-Oriented Tracking Metrics
6. Develop & Present Training Recommendations
How do you do assessment for training?
Training needs assessments can be done in a variety of ways. One training needs assessment example is to survey employees in the organization on training needs.
Another example of a training needs assessment would be through group observation or discussions with managers of groups.
How do you analyze training performance with a training needs analysis template?
What is training needs analysis without knowing if the training ultimately reaches its goals? You can analyze the performance of training by surveying trainees immediately after the training to see how effective they found it and whether they feel all their training needs on the topic have been met.
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