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How to Conduct a Successful Training Needs Analysis (TNA)

October 4, 2017 | By Asha Pandey


Training Needs Analysis

As the name suggests, Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is the crucial starting point to identify the existing gaps or to meet the need of a new skill acquisition. This process can lead to solutions that include training as well as supporting activities to meet the required mandate.

In this blog, we look at the key reasons for conducting TNA and how to conduct a Training Needs Analysis.

What are the key reasons for conducting a Training Needs Analysis (TNA)?

Here are the key reasons for conducting a TNA:

  • To ensure customer requirements have been met
  • To be able to set appropriate objectives and achieve them
  • To create a benchmark for establishing comparisons
  • To enable people to evaluate and continuously upgrade their own performance levels
  • To highlight quality issues and determine focus areas

What are the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) process steps?

The Training Needs Analysis process comprises four phases.

  • Dividing the process into these phases will help you ensure that your solutions hit the desired goals.
  • It will also help you validate your training needs and analyse all reasons pertaining to performance problems.

Phase 1

Performance Gap Analysis: Performance gap analysis identifies performance gaps by comparing the current and desired operational results for employee performance. The discrepancy between the desired performance of your business and the actual business performance is known as a performance gap.

Phase 2

Root Cause Analysis: Root cause analysis determines the possible causes of performance gaps. It helps you figure out the possible causes of the performance issue (for example: lack of skills, capacity and motivation). Once the root cause is determined, it becomes easy to outline the appropriate solution to bridge the gap.

Root cause analysis can be classified into five categories:

  1. Skill/Knowledge
  2. Capacity/Environment/Resources
  3. Consequences and Incentives
  4. Motivation and Expectations
  5. Information along with Feedback

Phase 3

Needs Analysis: Needs analysis identifies the types of needs to address the root causes. Detailed analyses can help you design and implement the appropriate intervention for a performance issue.

This includes:

  • Audience Analysis
  • Job Analysis
  • Task Analysis
  • Environment Analysis
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis

Phase 4

Recommendations: Recommendations include the proposed solutions. TNA helps in determining whether training is always the right solution. Sometimes, training may need to be supported by other solutions.

Option 1 – Training is the best solution: Training might be the best solution when performance is an unsolved issue. Training might be necessary when there is:

  • Inadequate knowledge or skill deficiency
  • Lack of basic skills, such as reading, writing, technology and math skills
  • Law and order or policies requiring new knowledge or skills
  • Inadequate knowledge of new technologies
  • A customer requirement for new products or services
  • Lack of coaching on higher performance standards
  • Lack of motivation for new employees

Option 2 – Training is not the best solution: Training is not the best solution when the performance issue is a result of:

  • Recruitment, selection or compensation problems
  • Rules and regulations issues
  • Insufficient coaching and feedback
  • Lack of tools, equipment or resources
  • Physical setting problems
  • Lack of motivation for the new job

I hope this blog provides cues on how to conduct an effective Training Needs Analysis (TNA). If you have any queries, do contact me.

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