Training Needs Analysis: A Step-By-Step Guide To Identify Performance Gaps In Your Organization
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Training Needs Analysis: A Step-By-Step Guide To Identify Performance Gaps In Your Organization

Do you know which online training resources your employees need to boost on-the-job performance? In this article, I’ll walk you through each step of the training needs analysis process.

How To Identify Performance Gaps In Your Organization: A Step-By-Step Guide To Training Needs Analysis

Your online training program has all the essentials. It boasts interactive online training simulations that impart practical experience, eLearning assessments to gauge employee knowledge, and even a built-in feedback system to collect learner data.

But does it really address the performance issues that hinder employee productivity on a daily basis? Here is a step-by-step guide to pinpointing performance gaps in your organization through a training needs analysis.

1. Clarify Learning Objectives And Outcomes

Your organization must clearly define its learning objectives and desired outcomes in order to focus on the appropriate performance behaviors. For example, you might want to improve your customer satisfaction scores or reduce your product return rates. As a result, you should concentrate on the training areas that pertain to these particular goals.

You can create online training courses that impart product knowledge to your employees so that they can pass it on to consumers, thereby increasing customer loyalty and decreasing the risk of returns. Meet with managers, department heads, and stakeholders to figure out what you need to achieve through your online training initiatives.

2. Determine The Necessary Skills And Knowledge

The next step is to align your outcomes and learning objectives with employee skills and knowledge. This involves a detailed breakdown of the tasks involved, as well as the talents employees require to complete these tasks.

As an example, persuasion or communication skills to enhance sales performance or IT troubleshooting abilities to improve the effectiveness of your technical service team. Create a list that features all of the desired outcomes, then link it to performance behaviors and their respective skills.

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3. Identify Performance Behavior “Pain Points”

Now that you know what your organization needs, you must get to the root of the problem. This involves identifying performance trouble spots that hinder overall productivity. Here are a few of the ways that you can conduct a training needs analysis to diagnose the problem:

a. eLearning Assessments

eLearning assessments give a good indication of what employees know versus what they need to know. They can go a long way in identifying performance and skill gaps on an individual level. Then, you can use your LMS to pinpoint patterns and trends that are symptomatic of more widespread issues.

For example, employees participate in an online training simulation. The corresponding LMS graph shows that 50% of participants were unable to complete the task from start to finish and stopped at a particular point.

b. Observations

Monitor employees on the job or during a task-based scenario or simulation. Make a note of their areas for improvement.

Then use the data you collect to create a plan of action. For instance, a majority of your customer service employees have trouble with the POS terminal or are unable to use their communication and conflict resolution skills to appease an angry customer.

c. Surveys

Employees may be able to shed more light on the performance issues hiding beneath the surface. For example, ineffective online training courses or company policies that are holding them back. Conduct polls, surveys, and focus groups to gather employee feedback directly.

Another great way to collect their input is to host a live webinar where you field their questions and concerns, or social media groups that allow them to discuss important topics and training ideas with their peers.

d. Evaluations

Take a closer look at quarterly or annual manager evaluations to look for patterns. For instance, you notice there’s a common theme among your sales staff.

Based on the reports, they seem to lack the necessary product knowledge to achieve their monthly goals. You can also follow-up with team leaders for clarifications or suggestions, for example by offering tips on how to remedy the performance problem before it escalates.

Training Needs Analysis: A Step-By-Step Guide To Identify Performance Gaps – TalentLMS Blog

4. Prioritize Performance Issues Based On Organizational Goals

There are only so many online training resources and training hours that you can devote to performance management. As such, you need to prioritize the gaps based on organizational goals.

Meet with your L&D team to rank each performance gap based on company profits, customer satisfaction ratings, and other key indicators. For example, you need to hit your sales targets this month in order to stay on track for your quarterly goals.

Therefore, performance behaviors related to sales tasks, product knowledge, and customer service are at the top of your list.

5. Evaluate Current Online Training Resources

You may already have online training materials that are ideally suited for the task. They just need to be delivered to the right employees, such as staff members who possess specific skill or performance gaps that can be bridged by the corresponding online training activity.

However, evaluating your current online training resources also gives you the ability to identify areas for improvement and repurpose or revise online training materials. You may also discover that your online training resources are effective, but your deployment strategy needs some work.

For example, employees aren’t able to access the online training courses they require on their mobile devices. Thus, they cannot get the targeted information they need to bridge gaps on the spot.

6. Develop An Online Training Strategy That Aligns With Employee Needs

Lastly, you must create an online training strategy that centers on employees’ individual needs, goals, and performance issues. Which online training resources can you use to impart the necessary information and build practical skills?

Are there any online training activities that facilitate real-world application so that staff can apply their newly assimilated knowledge? One of the most effective ways to fill performance gaps is to offer personalized training plans.

Every employee has unique areas for improvement that require specialized online training resources. Thus, you might consider clickable eLearning course maps, microlearning libraries, and training contracts to take an employee-centric approach.

The Key Take-Away

A training needs analysis allows you to explore the performance, skill, and knowledge gaps that diminish employee productivity. However, you can also root out ineffective online training materials that are draining your resources.

As a result, your organization will be able to improve on-the-job performance and get the best return on investment.

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