This video will discuss the process of conducting a training needs assessment
- Psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you'll treat everything as if it were a nail." In terms of training, if you think training can solve organizational problems, you'll always recommend training as an answer. Let's say your sales team has a quota of making 50 cold calls per day. The sales manager notices that barely anyone is achieving that number, so he asks you to locate a sales trainer to come in, and teach everyone how to make cold calls, but what if something else is wrong with the phone system? Wouldn't it be a bummer to pay for all that training, only to learn that it wasn't the issue? This is where a needs assessment comes in, and there are three steps, first you'll gather data.
You could create a questionnaire to find out what the sales team thinks about the issue, or you could do focus groups, or interviews. You might also observe the team, listen in on calls, or review documents or work samples. Next, you'll analyze the data to understand what is working well, what opportunities for improvement there are, and what solutions could make a difference. Perhaps, the quota isn't being met because cold calls are longer conversations than anticipated by the manager. In that case, a better look at why those conversations are so long is important, you might learn something about your clients, or perhaps training on how to navigate cold call conversations is in order, but you may also discover other issues that can't be solved by training.
Perhaps, another portion of the sales process needs to be tweaked to free up more time for those cold calls. Maybe a quota of 50 calls is simply unrealistic, or maybe team motivation is down because the sales manager is a bully, so coaching for the manger will help increase performance. All of this highlights why you don't want to jump right into training without having a better understanding of the situation. Your final step in the needs analysis is to propose solutions based on your data, prepare a document that lays out the solutions you proposed, the actual cost of each, the expected outcome, the perceived value, and the potential savings.
See the exercise files for this course for an example of what your proposal might look like. From a strategic perspective, if you're familiar with the organization's strategic plan, you should be able to help identify what initiatives may require training, and what initiatives may require other tools. If one goal is to increase the number of purchases your customers make, for example, you may want to conduct a needs analysis to determine if customer service or sales training is in order. You may find that it is, but you may also find other things you can implement to help meet that goal.
This exercise would make you a partner in achieving the organization's strategic plan. I once heard Bob Pike, a famous training guru, say, "There's many answers to a problem, "and training is usually the sixth one." What he means, is that you should shouldn't assume a performance problem can be addressed by training. Take the time to do a needs analysis, and it will tell you exactly how to fix a problem, or achieve a goal.
- Tying HR to your company's vision and mission
- Strategic planning
- Measuring training program success
- Building engagement
- Creating culture