How to Identify Training Needs

Designing Digitally


Custom eLearning

This blog was updated on 12/01/2020.

Organizations have realized the benefit of training in helping them remain competitive. If you want your employees to be able to perform their tasks to a certain standard, you need to ensure that they have the skill and knowledge to do so. But first, you need to identify the gap – the difference between the expected level of performance and the actual level of performance. It will be counter-productive to offer the wrong training to the wrong target audience. But how will you know what your employees need? This is where training needs analysis comes in.

There are broadly three different needs that organizations should look into.

Industry-related needs: This need is based on how your organization fits into the industry. Your employees must be aware of certain industry knowledge. For example, if you are in the healthcare industry, you expect your employees to have some basic knowledge of the sector. You need to determine what kind of in-depth knowledge is required and tailor the training programs accordingly.

Job-related needs: Job-related needs are linked directly to individual jobs. You need to research whether all the job roles have sufficient training available. Accordingly, you need to chalk out the training plan. The aim of job-related training is to ensure that the final output of the job is enhanced.

Task-related needs: At times, a job may be a combination of a variety of tasks. The task-related need may come in the form of training required for a particular task. For example, a sales executive may be great in negotiation and closing the deal. But when it comes to analyzing the sales data, he may falter. You may have to draw up a training program specifically on data analysis.

Here are some tips to help you identify the training needs of your employees.

Before analyzing the training need, it is important to determine the business outcome that is expected from the training. The training goal should be linked to a training objective. Once the training goal is fixed, the process of analyzing training needs will be on track. Next, you need to identify the important competencies that are linked to the desired business outcome and align it with employee skills. For this, you must break down the tasks involved along with the skills and knowledge required to do these tasks.

Read also: Types of Needs Analysis'

#2: Identify the skill gap

It is important to measure the existing skill level in your organization. Only then you will know how to mitigate the gap. There are several tools to measure the gap – surveys, interviews, skill management software, and so on. The skill gap can result due to the lack of experience. Once you have identified the skill gap, you need to zero in on the training methods. It can be classroom sessions, web-based training, mentoring sessions, a blended learning solution, and so on. Whatever delivery format you choose, you need to keep in mind that employees learn better if they perform a task and apply their knowledge. So, factor in related activities in the training.

#3: Calculate the cost

The training solution you zero in on will have a cost involved, irrespective of whether you get it done in-house or hire a vendor. Here are some expenses associated with training.

  • Design and development cost
  • Required time-off from work
  • Travel and accommodation expenses
  • Stationery cost

It is essential to find a balance between your requirements and cost-effectiveness.

Read also: How to Conduct a Needs Analysis

#4 Evaluate Resources

Once you know the objectives you need to offer training on, it is important to see what current resources are already available to support your initiatives. You will need to figure out if you have any programs that could just use some minor updates, or if you need to scrap courses completely. 

If you have only used traditional methods for training in the past, you may want to consider the needs of today’s modern learners, such as flexibility, on-demand access, and personalized user experiences. Think about replacing outdated tools like text-heavy books, orientation binders, and PowerPoint presentations with learning that is catered specifically to what they need to know. Experiential simulations, microlearning, interactive videos, mobile apps, and gamified courses are all great ways to engage employees while delivering more effective training.


An effective training needs analysis ensures that you correctly identify those who need training and what kind of training. It makes sense to have a planned method for choosing the right assessment for determining your training needs. You could consider using a checklist to summarize important information.

At Designing Digitally, Inc. we work side by side with you to consult and determine the best approach to your potential project by reviewing what you need. We do an in-depth analysis of your pain points and knowledge gaps and offer you the best solution that delivers positive results.

For assistance in identifying the training needs at your company, get in touch with our experts today.

View our Capability Statement

View our Online Learning Case Study Highlights Brochure