Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is done by either HR or Training Department. How come employees will know their shortcomings? If they were to be that smart then they also could have been proactive in removing those shortcomings.
This forum is replete with past queries on TNA. You could have searched this forum and then raised the query. I have given so many replies on the training related subject. You may click the following link to refer the replies:
(though this is related to technical training, the comments are useful to behavioural training as well)
I recommend you going through the above links patiently. It will enhance your training awareness.
All the best!
It might be more useful to look at the roles and responsibilities of the employees and make a checklist out of these. Send the checklists out to the managers and ask them to rate which training needs are most relevant for the staff that they manage.
This will help you figure out the training needs as a snapshot. Of course it will not be perfect but it will be good enough to come up with what trainings to organise for your staff group.
Dr. Rachana Patni
What you have mentioned is traditional method of TNA. But then because of this method it becomes difficult to measure training effectiveness. Do you have example of measurement of training effectiveness with the method of TNA that you have mentioned?
Seeds of failure of measurement of training effectiveness are sown right at TNA stage itself. So what is the solution? Solution is as below:
a) Identify the costs associated with the business. To manage these costs, identify the skills needed. Conduct the training for those skills. Training effectiveness is cost before the training and cost after the training.
b) Identify the ratios associated with the business. To manage these ratios, identify the skills needed. Conduct the training for those skills. Training effectiveness is ratios before the training and cost after the training.
c) Few training programmes do not have costs associated with it or ratios. For example, Contract Management. Seemingly this may be so. However, in such cases we need to measure on the following counts:
- Disputes with the contractors before the training and after the training
- Time spent in negotiations (arising out of disputes) before the training and after the training
- Loss of mandays because of the disputes before the training and after the training
The above example shows that training or HR manager must have knowledge of operations.
Because of the traditional methods of TNA, India has very few examples of measurement of training effectiveness. Take the case of age old manufacturing sector. Though the manufacturing has been happening for the centuries, ask average HR or Training Managers what is the Inventory carrying cost of the raw materials or inventory carrying cost of the finished goods and they start fumbling. Though their entire business depends on these two important costs, they are most ignorant about them.
Once I met a training head of MNC, who incidentally was highly qualified, told me that in the last five years she had organised 3,500+ training programmes for her company. I just asked for how many she could measure the training impact accurately. She just clammed up. Her silence spoke volumes!
Normally, individuals cannot realise much about their training needs, except supervising executives. So, only ssupervising exectives can be expected to know where and to what extent their subordinates lack in the needed skills for which they need to undergo which type of training. So, better address the managerial/supervising executives to recommend the training needs for their subordinate employees.
Please don't forget, you can't fulfill the variety of training needs to cater each individual employee/ worker separately. You will have to design some common training programs, which may cover their commonly major needs and the requisite skills in the interest of the organization.
As others have said, it is pointless asking employees what training they want. They will ask for things they would enjoy doing, not necessarily what is needed to do their jobs more efficiently, and contribute to the organisation's bottom line. I know I always asked for things like Excel and Word courses etc. I didn't need them, I just enjoyed doing them. Needless to say, most of my Managers said NO. But if something really interesting came along, I made damn sure I wrote a very convincing Business Case to get approval.
However, one exception to this rule is in future staff development. You should be identifying future managers and supervisors, and starting to give them basic management training prior to, and in readiness for their promotion. It is not directly relevant to their current job, but setting them up for success later when they are promoted. That is one thing that I was lucky enough to be given early in my career. When I was eventually promoted to a supervisory position, I had all the skills I needed to do the job properly, and not left floundering. It is something I have advocated in every organisation I have worked in since, and has been very successful.
My suggestions is that you speak to managers first and get an idea of the what skills need to be improved and where they find there is highest requirement for training. Come up with a couple of options and then send these options to the employees. Take a tally and see which skills are the most sought after. If you need a template to send to the employees, let me know.