Benefit Related Training Needs Analysis
We wrote a piece on Training Needs Analysis recently and how often this process was carried out poorly by many L&D practitioners and we introduced the concept of Benefit Related training needs analysis. Establishing what an employee knows and does not know is a critical component of the training needs analysis process. Filling the gaps objectively is what training is all about.
The trouble is that in reality most firms have limited time and money to invest in employee training and increasingly, large corporations are seeing much of their L&D budgets hovered up with ‘Required Learning” activity. The material that many in-house Compliance functions insist has to consumed en masse, sheep-dip style by every employee every year, irrespective of the actual level of individual employee underlying knowledge.
We discuss the flaws of this approach in a different article Required Learning but focus here on what firms like yours can do to ensure the maximum bottom line business benefit from the TNA process.
Measuring what an employee knows and does not know requires a pre-ordained set of knowledge against which each employee is assessed. Many L&D practitioners use the historical training material as the basis of this assessment. All things being equal it is not a disastrous strategy, but may not deliver the greatest harvestable value to the enterprise.
If you want to shine then you need to ensure that the training needs analysis that you deliver to your stakeholders delivers the greatest economic benefit to them. The very best way to do this is to practice Benefit Related training needs analysis. This means you have to work harder and engage with functional stakeholders to establish their current ‘pain-points’ or ‘burning platforms’. Everyone of your functional stakeholders will have a scorecard as this is what big firms use to control and direct business activity and effort.
Your job is to engage with the stakeholder and understand what isn’t going to plan on the scorecard and what the consequences of this are. I have seen many scorecards and some are good and some are … not and often even on the good ones I will see KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that are of dubious economic value, but somebody wants them measured. Be certain that you ask the question to establish the importance and economic relevance of each and every KPI that looks to be performing poorly. After all, nobody is going to thank you for working all year to improve a KPI that has little economic impact on the business. Pick winners!
Once you have agreed with your functional stakeholders what KPI’s really matter and which ones are currently off-target, then you can set about establishing employee knowledge in these specific areas. It should be noted that for whatever reason previous training related to these specific areas might be light or even non existent and this may indeed be the driver of poor performance.
If you repeat this process with your key functional stakeholders then you will have a benefit related training needs analysis. Where you can prove that gaps exists then you know that filling these gaps with appropriate training that becomes learned, will improve the employee’s performance relative to those pre-identified critical KPI’s.
In our paper we look at the use of Clever Nelly to help with highly accurate, employee specific diagnostics for use in the TNA process. If you really want to make a difference you can use Clever Nelly’s in-built Business benefit Tracking (BBT) software to ensure that the TNA you deliver to your operational sponsors and stakeholders is aligned to those areas of their business that will deliver the greatest financial benefit.
Be a TNA hero and make sure you are using Business benefit related TNA.