Training departments are usually expected to provide an annual plan showing training classes and learning interventions which will be offered over the course of the year. Managers want to see when they can plan to send employees to attend specific training courses and they also would like to see that the training plan addresses key areas where performance improvement may be needed for their departments or business units. Lastly, there is also usually the need to create a budget for the planned training. All of these focus areas are covered in the templates that can be downloaded below.
What kind of training should you provide?
Consider the following sources of information which could help:
- Company strategies for growth and developing into new markets or expanding in existing markets – what skills would be needed?
- Based on current performance – which skills need to be introduced and which skills should be improved upon?
- Looking at employee career goals, which skills do you need to focus on in order to help move employees to being promotion-ready?
- Which skills do managers believe would help their teams succeed better given performance targets and customer demands?
Summary of the kinds of Training Needs to Identify
Tools and Templates
Here are three tools that can help you with conducting a training needs analysis. The first tool highlights individual training needs per employee and is based on employee self assessments. The second tool is a training needs view from a manager’s perspective focusing on the top 3 highest training needs for each employee in his/her group/team/department. The last tool helps you budget for the planned training.
- 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.
- Manager assessment of department/team. Using knowledge of employee performance in his/her department, the manager selects the top 3 courses that each employee would need to improve own performance and/or to grow further in his/her career. Be sure to share course details with the managers too – what is the duration of the course and what aspects of the topic is covered?
- Training needs and budgeting. This spreadsheet helps you budget for the planned courses. Check actual spending against this estimate to track the accuracy of your original budget and accurate allocation of items charged to your training budget.
Tips for training needs analysis:
- Create a training needs analysis process that you follow consistently every year. This helps managers get into a rhythm of providing you with the required information on time for you to submit budget requests for the following year/quarter.
- Be clear with managers which part of the training costs would be booked to their own 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. Make wise trade-offs in terms of training costs, best value for money, expertise needed to provide the training etc.
- Determining the training plan for the following year should also include a good review of the training evaluations and feedback obtained from course participants during the lasts year. Are your current training classes good enough or do they need to be improved or outsourced?