Training Needs Analysis
Training Needs Analysis or “TNA” as it is known in the trade is as the phrase suggests the process of assessing what training is required in any given function.
The optimal theoretical process for training needs analysis is for L&D to conduct an individual knowledge profile of every employee, which would then be compared with the ideal or required knowledge profile on a role-by-role basis. Then the L&D function could highlight the greatest systemic areas of weakness and work with the functional leaders to force rank the respective results to best match the greatest operational requirement/benefit. These lead indicators can if necessary be cross-correlated with the lagging indicators already available to the employer. i.e. the output measures for that job profile.
E.g. If the TNA shows that customer service staff in Site A have low knowledge of the complaints process and the scorecard for the Customer service function shows that complaints closure and CSAT measures for complaint handling is poor then the lead and lag indicators correlate and training is almost certainly required.
Conducted in this way the L&D function can ensure that every penny of training is specifically targeted at the areas of greatest benefit and training is entirely focussed on an employee-by-employee basis.
The theory sounds great but historically firms large and small have struggled with TNA and wholesale failed at employee specific, “benefit ranked TNA”. The practical realities of life in modern business means that employers simply don’t have the time to even attempt the optimal TNA model and instead end up settling for either some form of sampling possibly combined with some analysis of scorecards and lag indicators. In any event the process is rarely precise and almost never at an individual employee level.
Why the focus on individual employee training needs analysis? Well in every business I know individual employees affect the performance of the enterprise so individual employees need to know what they have been trained. Assuming that all employees are at the same level is likely to irritate the subject matter experts who may become disruptive in any re-training and conversely under-train the employees with the very lowest levels of understanding and knowledge. In reality one-size fits all TNA actually suits very few employees and is an expensive and ineffective use of time and resources.
Individual employee level training needs analysis is the Holy Grail for many L&D professionals and many have at some point in their career doubtless experimented with better more accurate methods that delver individual knowledge profiles. Most if not all will have failed as time and employee access issues thwart them. At the end of the day the operation of the business takes priority.
Clever Nelly from Elephants don’t forget is a continual assessment engine that uses less than 1 minute 30 seconds per day to conduct a continual Training Needs Analysis of each and every individual member of a workforce. She delivers constantly updated, precise, factual knowledge profiles of each employee relative to their role function and does so just as easily and effectively for office and mobile workers. Because she uses so little time, there is a zero negative impact on employee availability to work and the process is not resented by employees.
Best of all, Clever Nelly not only provides 100% accurate and continual individual employee training needs analysis, she also works gently with each individual employee to fix the gaps and guarantee that every employee learns and retains what they have been trained.
TNA is important and needs to be at an individual employee level, but it is not good simply identifying where each and every employee’s knowledge gaps are, these gaps need repairing and employee knowledge needs retaining. Only Clever Nelly from Elephants don’t forget guarantees this outcome and does so gently, unobtrusively and with no negative impact on employee availability for work.