Reasons to Conduct a Needs Analysis

Designing Digitally

08/13/2020

Reasons to Conduct a Needs Analysis

As we mentioned in our last post that reviews the two types of Needs Analysis', there are many reasons to conduct an analysis before deploying new training programs to employees. This article is going to go more in-depth on those elements and showcase the true value a Needs Analysis can bring. Below are some key benefits of completing a Needs Analysis.

Eliminate Assumptions

Even the smallest project teams can suffer from communication breakdowns. Maybe all of the eLearning modules the L&D team has created were for use on laptop computers, so you proceed with that assumption, only to learn later that someone wants learners to access this module on their smartphones. Taking the time to perform a Needs Analysis ensures everyone on the project team is aligned in their expectations and prevents re-work or emergency meetings in the future.

Maximize Investments

Training, in any format, is expensive to create. In 2019, U.S. training expenditures were $83 billion, according to the Training Industry Report by Training Magazine. Using an internal team of developers or partnering with a custom development company both require an investment of company resources. Plus, the employees who take the training will spend their valuable time on the clock to participate in the program. You cannot afford to waste company money on training that does not hit the mark.

Increase Employee Retention

The U.S. job market offers exciting opportunities for both blue and white collar employees. The allure of higher pay, richer benefits, or a brighter company culture can easily pull your employees to other firms, leaving your business to invest time and money recruiting and training new employees. Believe it or not, the training your company offers could contribute to employees staying on board. Employees who feel equipped and respected will stay longer in their current positions. A Needs Analysis will reveal a deeper understanding of the training needs as well as the audience preferences, allowing you to create training that shows you care about them and want them to succeed.

Increase Quality of Work

Companies in all industries continually strive for employees to produce better results at a faster pace. Effective training is one of the best ways to improve performance. But, in order for training to create behavior change, it has to target the necessary areas. Take time in the Needs Analysis to understand exactly where employees are making mistakes or spending too much time, then train on how to improve these elements. If you skip the analysis and simply regurgitate the same training messages your learners have already heard, you will not generate change.

Establish a Firm Foundation

A project-specific Needs Analysis is not limited to one design method. Your project will benefit from the firm foundation of a Needs Analysis whether you are using ADDIE, SAM, Agile, Design Thinking, or anything else. Every project, regardless of the number of iterations your timeline allows, needs to start off with a solid plan that everyone agrees on.

Conducting a Needs Analysis

Now that we have reviewed some of the benefits of a Needs Analysis, it is important to know the important steps needed for conducting one effectively. Here are some key considerations for properly constructing your Needs Analysis for employee training:

  • Form a team - First, establish your project team. Include the SMEs, all stakeholders for the project, and the entire development team.
  • Prepare data gathering - The next step is to get ready to collect information. If you will be interviewing members of the project team, create a list of topics to discuss with each group of people.
  • Collect information - After you complete your preparations, set your plans into action. Hold the interviews, distribute the surveys – whatever applies to your situation. Be careful not to judge or ignore any of the feedback you receive.
  • Evaluate responses - Reviewing and comparing your findings will likely bring some contradictions to light. Present your findings, calling special attention to discrepancies, and aim to find out why there are differing views.
  • Write a Summary Report -  Once the team reaches a consensus, or at least a direction they can all live with, compile the outcomes into a report. The primary goal is to document the team’s takeaways from the Needs Analysis process so all the facts are laid out before beginning the design phase.

Conclusion

A Training Needs Analysis is not a rigid procedure you have to follow precisely. It is a discovery process to learn how you can maximize the impact of the training you develop. If you need any assistance with your own analysis feel free to contact our team of experts. If you are interested in some more reading material on this topic, get a copy of our full white paper today. 

X
Get blogs like this and other resources delivered straight to your inbox!
Lead Temperature 
Lead Status 
Lead Source 
Skype ID