Training Needs Analysis

The future of work is now. We help you explore your organisational development needs.

Understand your employees learning and development needs to evolve into tomorrow’s workforce

Swinburne Professional helps organisations through the Training Needs Analysis steps by providing expert consulting advice and guidance.  Whether we work with you to further define your training needs or you manage this part of the process internally, this information has been provided as a guide for you, as you explore further what your organisation needs at this time.

Central to the design approach is the 70:20:10 methodology. This method of learning and development program design is proven to maximise participant concentration, retention, enjoyment, impact and application of learning principles.

We will explore seven phases in the Training Needs Analysis, outlined in the diagram below.

B2B - Training Needs Analysis flowchart

Phase 1: Identify required outcomes

The objective of the first phase is to identify and articulate the expected organisational outcomes of the training and development programs or initiatives. In other words- what needs to happen or change because of any training?

Any training and development goals should correspond to overall business objectives. This might be specific to an individual employee, team, department, or across your whole organisation.

It is important that the overall objective of the training is clearly articulated and kept at the forefront of the rest of the process to ensure that the entire needs analysis process keeps the desired outcomes in sight. The key question for the organisation to answer during this phase is "How will we know that the training has worked?" For example we will have improved your customer satisfaction ratings by 25%. To arrive at these types of goals and expectations, this phase may include consultation with your key stakeholders.

Phase 2: Link outcomes to employee behaviour

Once the key outcomes are articulated, there will generally be multiple behaviours that are associated with these outcomes. These behaviours are a result of employees:

  • Knowing what to do;
  • Having the capability to do it; and
  • Having the motivation to do it.

During this phase, the objective is to closely work with you to identify the desired critical competencies, i.e., behaviours and associated knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics that are linked to desired organisational outcomes.

Phase 3: Identify required competencies

This phase is often a sub-set of Phase 2, with the objective of determining which competencies can be improved with a learning and development program.

The process in this phase is to work with you to evaluate each critical competency from Phase 2 and determine if each one is something you expect employees to possess prior to job entry, or if it is something your workforce needs to develop.

Phase 4: Assess current competencies

Following Phase 3, a targeted list of competencies will be available. Phase 4 is aimed at determining and assessing the extent to which the organisations’ employees possess these.

Typically, this phase involves assessment via:

  • Competency evaluations
  • Tests or assessments
  • Review of performance appraisals

The approach selected often depends upon the competencies being assessed.

Phase 5: Determine current competency caps

Regardless of the methods used during Phase 4 to evaluate competencies, individual employee results are then combined to assess how many employees need improvement and development with respect to competencies.

To do this, Phase 5 requires working closely with you to establish what constitutes a performance gap, i.e. what are the acceptable standards of competency demonstration? 

Setting these standards will provide you with an understanding of how many employees fall above or below that standard and create a clearer picture of the size and scope of the training and development programs.

Phase 6: Prioritise training and development needs

Using the information from Phase 5, the objective in Phase 6 is to identify how many, or what percentage, of the organisation (or team) needs the training and development.

The importance of each competency also needs to be considered.

Taken together, the pervasiveness and importance will result in a list of training priorities.

Phase 7: Design training and development programs

Leveraging the training priority list from Phase 6, Phase 7 is all about discovering how to best train and develop your workforce to overcome performance gaps and achieve the required competency standards.

Whilst the exact form, outcomes, content and duration of the learning and development programs will be dependent upon the findings and results of the first six phases, it is likely that the programs will provide for a mix of delivery methods, timeframes, and options for formal recognition (i.e. qualifications).