Training Needs Analysis

Mind the Gap...Uncover gaps in employee training, learning and development needs

Every organisation closely scrutinises whether or not the organisation is getting value for their training dollar. Undergoing a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) ensures your training expenditure addresses the current  and future needs of your staff. A good TNA also provides a link between the skill set of your staff and the future strategies of the organisation.

3CM can help you conduct a TNA and ensure that the goal of the training is aligned with your organisational goals, allowing you to focus your budget where it’s needed most.

Successful and effective organisations scan their environments to determine how customers’ needs for products and services can be met and in doing so, achieve a competitive advantage.  As competition is the catalyst for new and improved processes, products and services, sustaining a competitive edge through the development of organisational human resource capacity is an ongoing challenge.

However, many businesses fail to recognise the value of training to improve competitiveness.

The training effort in many organisations is often wasted as a result of poor (or non-existent) needs assessment.  Surveys of Australian businesses reveal:

  • Around 40 per cent of organisations have no formal training schemes and
  • Around 32 per cent have no formal instruction to develop skills.

These statistics reveal a lack of recognition of the role human resource development (HRD) plays in the success of an organisation, or the lack of wanting to invest in training.

The TNA Process

A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is a process by which an organisation’s HRD needs are identified and articulated.  The process can identify:

  • An organisation’s goals and its effectiveness in reaching these goals
  • Discrepancies or gaps between an employee’s skills and the skills required for effective current job performance
  • Discrepancies or gaps between an employee’s skills and the skills needed to perform the job successfully in the future
  • The conditions under which the HRD activity will occur.

Ultimately, the TNA will identify needs, which require addressing in some way.  It not only provides clear direction for identifying training needs, but also serves as a basis for evaluating how effective previous training programmes have been.  The two outcomes are a training need and a non-training need.

A Training Need reveals a performance gap, and the gap can be filled with training.  It exists when the employee does not know how to do the job – it is a lack of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

A Non-Training Need reveals a gap, however this gap cannot be filled (or fixed) with training.  It might encompass workflow, recruitment, or job design.  Employees know how to do the job, but there is another issue affecting performance.

McGhee and Thayer’s Three-Level Analysis

While several different approaches can be used to identify the training needs of an organisation, McGhee and Thayer’s Three-Level Analysis is the most commonly used.

The model provides a systematic means of conducting a TNA at three levels: organisational, operational (or task), and individual (or person).  The levels of analysis are a hierachy which descends from the organisational level to the personal level.  At the same time as you descend the hierachy, you also move to a more micro focus in the organisation.

The data gathered from a TNA will be the basis for a sound argument to link training to the organisation’s strategic intent as well as to gain support from management, and for organisational commitment at all levels.  Attention to detail and engagement of all key stakeholders in the TNA is essential if meaningful and worthwhile training programmes are to be developed from its determinations.

Since 1990, 3CM’s consultants have worked with many organisations to help them maximise the effectiveness of their commitment to staff training and development.

Taking the Next Step

If you are ready for an outsourcing move...
Simply contact us and our General Manager will get back to you in confidence to discuss your business requirements and review your proposed TNA outsourcing plans in detail.