Before you start to start any kind of training regimen for a company, you will need to be able to justify why a specific department or group in your organization would need said training. There is also a distinction between the kinds of training that you can conduct within your company. There are business critical training modules, which involve training centered on the main moneymaking function of the company or organization, and there is also basic training, such as safety training, which all of your company’s employees will need. These are the types of trainings that are absolutely essential for all of your organization’s employees. But how do you determine which types of training you and your company will need to undergo? This would be the best time to conduct your training needs assessment.
There are a number of types of needs assessment. Here we will examine a few in greater detail.
- The first type of needs assessment is user analysis. This type of analysis deals primarily with the potential instructors and participants who will be involved in the training. The questions you will need to answer in this type of analysis are who exactly will benefit from the training, who will conduct it and who will receive it. This extends also to the individual capacities of the groups – what is the learning style of the recipient group? What type of teaching technique do they respond to best? For your trainers, you will also need to know what the extent of their knowledge on the subject is. If, for example, your trainers lack the needed knowledge to effectively conduct training, they may have to undergo a separate training session themselves before they even attempt to train the recipients.
- Task analysis, on the other hand, takes into consideration the job and the requirements needed to perform the work itself. You will need to specify both the skill level required for the tasks, as well as clearly define what these tasks are. Content analysis is a type of needs assessment where the source material itself is analyzed to see whether the material is suitable for the training. Are the documents updated, and are they relevant to the training being provided? Will the training materials accomplish the goal, and effectively equate into the desired work output of the group? The content of the training materials should not contradict the job function itself; otherwise the training materials and the training itself are rendered completely ineffective.
- Cost-Benefit analysis is another type of analysis that has been borrowed from the business side of things. When talking about a cost-benefit analysis, the term that immediately comes to mind is the ROI, or Return on Investment. Each training session comes with an appropriate cost, whether it is monetary or in man-hours spent training. In this vein, what you will want to do is analyze how long it will take before you actually attain a return on the training, i.e., when are your trainees estimated to be able to use the training in their respective job roles?