Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Connecting good analysis to good training, part of Instructional Design: Needs Analysis.
The focus of this course is on conducting a training needs analysis. This is an important part of designing a training program, but it's only the first step. One thing that should always be in the back of your mind is how your needs analysis connects to the final training program. The training needs analysis provides clear direction for designing and developing the training program. Without one, the training might be too generic or may miss the mark entirely. Imagine you're asked to design a training program for a company's billing department. The request is made because the department is making too many costly errors.
Without a needs analysis, your training might be a generic review of proper billing procedures. With a needs analysis, you might discover that there are only a few types of errors that are really the problem. This information would allow you to develop a training program that focuses specifically on the most common errors. A needs analysis might also reveal some non-training root causes of the problem. Let's say some of the most common errors come from billing procedures that aren't frequently used. Even if people receive training on those procedures, people might forget them if they didn't use them very often. You might also create a reference guide or maybe a cheat sheet that could be used for unusual procedures. This approach allows your needs analysis to reach beyond just training and impact employees' job performance. You might even be able to take things further. If the training is requested because of costly billing errors, then reducing those errors can save money. In the end, a good needs analysis isn't just about training. It's about helping employees improve performance and helping the business produce better results. We can look at the interviewing skills training we've been using as an example. Our analysis revealed a way to train employees that was faster and cheaper than what was originally requested. We also discovered some other solutions that can help supervisors reduce turnover among new employees. New turnover is costly. The regional vice president Stacie Jones told us that it costs approximately $5,000 to hire and train a new employee. We can use that number to make a couple of quick calculations. Stacie told us that a supervisor with a 30% turnover rate among new employees loses an average of six employees per year within their first 90 days. At $5,000 per year, that's costing the company $30,000 per supervisor. Stacie's goal is to cut that turnover in half, which is an annual savings of $15,000 per supervisor. There are 50 supervisors in Stacie's region, which means this project could potentially save the company $750,000. There's no way a generic training program would deliver these results. But a program developed after a good needs analysis stands a very good chance. This doesn't include other regions in the company. If other regions don't have a good training program already in place, we might be able to use the one we develop to help other regions save money too. That's ultimately the mark of a good needs analysis. It creates better training, but it also enables better performance and ultimately delivers real business results.
- Setting project objectives
- Identifying the target audience for training
- Selecting data sources
- Facilitating focus groups and interviews
- Designing effective surveys
- Identifying participant needs
- Defining learning outcomes
- Presenting results to project sponsors