Training Needs Assessment

Training Needs Assessment

Training Needs Assessment

Summary: The need for Training and Development is determined by the employee’s performance deficiency, computed as follows.

Training & Development Needs = Standard Performance – Actual Performance

Need of Training

Individual level

  • Diagnosis of present problems and future challenges
  • Improve individual performance or fix up performance deficiency
  • Improve skills or knowledge or any other problem
  • To anticipate future skill-needs and prepare employee to handle more challenging tasks
  • To prepare for possible job transfers

Group level

  • To face any change in organization strategy at group levels
  • When new products and services are launched
  • To avoid scraps and accident rates

Identification of Training Needs (Methods)

Individual Training Needs Identification

  1. Performance Appraisals
  2. Interviews
  3. Questionnaires
  4. Attitude Surveys
  5. Training Progress Feedback
  6. Work Sampling
  7. Rating Scales

Group Level Training Needs Identification

  1. Organizational Goals and Objectives
  2. Personnel / Skills Inventories
  3. Organizational Climate Indices
  4. Efficiency Indices
  5. Exit Interviews
  6. MBO / Work Planning Systems
  7. Quality Circles
  8. Customer Satisfaction Survey
  9. Analysis of Current and Anticipated Changes

Benefits of Training Needs Identification

  1. Trainers can be informed about the broader needs in advance
  2. Trainers Perception Gaps can be reduced between employees and their supervisors
  3. Trainers can design course inputs closer to the specific needs of the participants
  4. Diagnosis of causes of performance deficiencies can be done

Barriers to Effective Training:

  1. Lack of Management commitment
  2. Inadequate Training budget
  3. Education degrees lack skills
  4. Large scale poaching of trained staff
  5. Non-coordination from workers due to downsizing trends
  6. Employers and B Schools operating distantly
  7. Unions influence

How To Make Training Effective?

  1. Management Commitment
  2. Training & Business Strategies Integration
  3. Comprehensive and Systematic Approach
  4. Continuous and Ongoing approach
  5. Promoting Learning as Fundamental Value
  6. Creations of effective training evaluation system

Systems View of Training - Stages in a Training Program

The success of a training program is evaluated in terms of the end result or the increase in the work ability, skill or competency in the trainee. For any training program to be successful it is very essential to follow a certain process.

The basic process as illustrated in the figure below consists of four stages which are assessment, development, delivery and evaluation.


  • The process of training begins with the needs assessment stage. The aim of the assessment stage is to understand whether or not training is required. If the answer is yes; the next step is determining competency or skills gaps and the appropriate training intervention required. The training intervention is essentially decided in terms of attitude, knowledge and skill (ASK), the combination of which is called as competency. The assessment also called as the ‘training needs analysis’ is undertaken at three levels, the job, the individual and organisational analysis.
  • Once the training needs analysis is complete, the next stage is that of Development. This stage involves the development of content and the training material. Right from designing the appropriate environment to deciding the various tools, everything is taken care of in the development stage. Games, A/V’s, Case Studies, Class room intervention are various means that may be decided upon apart from the content delivered. For example, in behavioural training emotional intelligence, teamwork, listening are examples of competencies that are required to perform superior work. The same may be transferred into the trainees through any of the above means depending upon various factors like demographics, job nature etc which are taken care of in the first stage.
  • The most important stage and perhaps the least talked upon from the training process is the delivery. Once the development stage is over it is time to conduct the training. Factors like time and venue of delivery are already decided in the earlier stages. There are various factors that determine the process of delivery like the participant demographics, the training intervention, the individual style of the trainer etc. This brings in a lot of diversity to the training programs.
  • Evaluation is the last stage in the training process and more important from the perspective of evaluation of the effectiveness of training. Needless to say, it is aimed at analysing whether or not the training has been effective in achieving the objective (bridging the competency gap, changing the attitude, developing new skills etc). There are various ways in which the effectiveness of training programs can be evaluated but not many are able to answer in terms of ROI. The most effective tool for evaluation of training is the Kirk Patrick Model of Evaluation.

In order for the evaluation to be effective the both the criteria and design for training program is decided so that there is no discrepancy and the participants are able to evaluate the benefits effectively for themselves. The evaluation is made on the basis of participant reaction to the training, their learning and the change in behaviour. This feedback is then reused in the first step ‘training needs analysis’ for making future training more effective.