Understanding what kind of training you should plan to provide to employees can be a daunting task. On the one hand there is what employees would like to have, but do they really understand what they need to learn to improve their performances? On the other hand there is what the manager thinks his or her people should be able to do better. This is a good perspective since the manager at least knows (if your performance management process is working well) what the gap is between expected employee performance and how employees are actually performing. Another consideration would be whether your current training offerings are aligned with what is actually needed? If you have the standard classes : delegation skills, leadership skills, first-time manager training, time management etc, are you sure that you are covering everything that should be made available?
If this is already giving you a headache, relax. The task of determining training needs for next year is not a simple task to perform and all of these angles are valid input to consider in making that determination. I am going to share at least 3 different tools with you to help with your training needs analysis:
- Self-rated individual training needs. The quality of the results you obtain from this tool depends on whether you have a good career development tool/framework in place, motivated employees who maintain and work on their own development plans on an on-going basis and whether your managers/supervisors provide quality performance feedback to employees on a regular basis. Self-rated individual training needs
- Manager assessment of department/team. If the manager does not have a good understanding of your performance management process and your career development tool he or she may be basing input to this tool mainly on gut-feel, which may not be reliable. The manager should also be very familiar with the definitions to interpret the knowledge and skills areas shown in this tool correctly in order to make the right judgments. Manager rated Training Needs
- Training needs and budgeting. This tool assumes that all the courses and learning events that will be offered are known and it helps you to budget for the events planned for next year. This means that you have already collected input from managers, performance appraisals or any other reliable source to know what employees need. The outcome will help you understand and track spending associated with training events. (Some people like to track money spent on training vs planned spending on training. You may also want to track your training budget per employee or per hours worked or actual money spent on training per employee/hours worked.) Training needs and budgeting
Tips for training needs analysis:
- Create a process that you follow consistently every year. This helps your managers to understand how training offered relate to what is needed. It also helps them to be able to provide the needed input easier and faster if the process and tools/templates stay the same.
- Be clear with managers which part of the training costs would be booked to their budgets. For example – where do employees charge their time when they are in a training class? To your budget or to their manager’s budget?
- Ask yourself how much training does it make sense to provide internally vs using an external vendor. Some topics are very basic and can arguably be offered internally but do you really think it is the best use of your time to try and be a credible facilitator for every training needs topic that comes out of your annual analysis as a need?
- Determining the training offerings for the following year should also include a good review of the evaluations that you have collected from course participants this year. Are your current training classes good enough or do they need to be improved or outsourced?