Corporate Education: Why You Need a Training Needs Analysis

Designing Digitally


Training Needs Analysis

You need a training needs analysis to give you the best information for making learning choices for the employees in your organization.

Limited budgets bring about the need for cost-effective employee training and development solutions. To run an effective corporate training program, you have to understand the needs of each individual on your team and your organization as a whole. This is why a training needs analysis can be very effective.

It enables your organization to funnel resources into the most-needed areas and determine if there are areas of training that are lacking. The gap between your current status and where you want your employees to be is an indicator of a training need.

Why is training necessary?

It may seem like a silly question, but some people wonder why they have to go through continuing training sessions for their jobs. Training is necessary so that each person is equipped with the skills and knowledge to do their work competently and effectively. It addresses the gap between current performance and future performance.

Why you need a training needs analysis?

Here are four of the top reasons your organization should be performing a training needs analysis.

  1. You won’t be training just for “training’s sake.”
  2. It’s more cost-effective to use targeted training.
  3. You’re meeting the areas with the biggest knowledge and/or skill gap.
  4. Provides an overall picture of your organization’s climate.

How do you conduct a training needs analysis?

To determine what areas your employees need to have targeted instruction in, there are some steps you can follow:

Set a goal

Be clear about your desired outcomes for the learners personally, as well as the impact you’d like the training to have on your organization.

Connect goals with behavior

Identify the behaviors, skills, knowledge, and qualities that employees will put into action to achieve each specific goal.

Figure out what capabilities can be taught

Determine if certain skills are necessary before starting a job or if they are able to be learned on the job.

Identify the gaps

Find the areas between the skills and knowledge that learners already possess and what they need to know but don’t yet. These are the gaps you’ll be looking to fill.


Determine the percentage of employees who need to be trained in certain skills and decide how important each skill is in attaining the goals. 

Decide how to administer training

Find the best practices for teaching each skill. For example, will virtual reality or augmented reality be the best way to train? Maybe gamification or mobile learning is the best approach.

Analyze the cost-benefit ratio

Take the total cost into account for the training method or methods you’ve chosen. Figure out the extent to which the training will fill the skill gap you’ve identified and try to determine the business impact.

Plan for training

Your corporate education program will only be effective if the knowledge is retained and then applied on the job.

What are the different types of training needs?

Your organization’s training needs can be classified into several different categories.

  • Democratic. These are preferred and/or chosen by employees, supervisors, or both. Since they’re desired by those involved, they can be leveraged to encourage support for training programs in general.
  • Diagnostic. The focus here is on obtaining a certain level of performance.
  • Analytical. These kinds of needs are all about identifying new and better ways of performing tasks.
  • Compliance. Examples of compliance needs would include mandated trainings for things like safety protocols or annual updates.

Why you shouldn’t skip a training needs analysis

Time and budget are both often-used excuses for not performing proper analyses of training needs. You may feel like you already know your target audience well enough that you don’t really need to do an analysis. Here are three ways skipping training needs analysis will waste time and your organization’s valuable resources.

  1. Teaching ALL the skills to ALL the people in your organization – whether they need it or not.
  2. Teaching necessary skills in a way that’s not optimal for the learners. For example, sticking with a traditional classroom training scenario when a mobile learning option would better meet the needs of your employees.
  3. Teaching the right skills to the wrong people happens when you don’t have the vital information about your employees.

Don’t neglect necessary tools

Imagine that you want to bake a cake. You know you have a great recipe in your cookbook, but you don’t want to take the time to find it, read it over, and follow it. How tasty will your cake be if you just wing it?

Just like a cookbook is a necessary tool for baking a cake, your training needs analysis provides you with the information you need to give the people in your organization the best learning and development opportunities.

Contact Designing Digitally, Inc. today to learn more about our training needs analysis process and how it will give you the most effective training for your learners!