by S. Bahu | May 3, 2021 | 5 Min Read

How to Determine Training Needs Using a Training Gaps Analysis

manager assessing training analysis data

Even the most effective training programs and methods can leave training gaps in employees or teams. Having indicators of training needs can help you identify performance gaps and provide more comprehensive training.

Do you know what “indicators of training needs” are?

Do you know how to determine training needs in your employees?

Determining training needs is valuable when you’re trying to increase overall efficiency and competency within a team. Performing a training gap analysis and knowing how to identify training needs at your organization will allow you to recognize training gaps and upskill employees.

If you’re looking for a training gaps meaning, ways to identify performance in your employees, and how to identify the training needs of an organisation, you’re in the right place. 

Keep scrolling and reading to gain further insight into all things related to training gaps, analyses, and indicators.

What are Training Gaps?

Training gaps (or skills gaps) are the differences between your desired outcome from an employee or team and the actual outcome. Organizations, teams, and individual employees can all develop training gaps. Employees or teams can have gaps in their hard skills (job-specific skills) or soft skills (general skills like communication and critical thinking). 

It’s okay to have training gaps. Even the most seasoned companies may need to address disparities in training expectations and actual outcomes. 

However, the best companies regularly perform a training gap analysis to identify performance issues and fix them when they arise. By determining training needs, these companies can adjust their training to provide their employees with the new skills they need. 

So, what exactly is a training gap analysis?

What Is a Training Gap Analysis?

A training gap analysis (also called a training needs analysis or skills gap analysis) is a method of identifying the competency, knowledge, or skills that your employees lack. Often, these gaps will keep your employees from performing at the highest level in their positions. 

Performing a skill gap analysis allows you to:

  1. Recognize the skills or knowledge your employees need
  2. Align training with organizational priorities
  3. Find and implement a solution
  4. Reskill or upskill employees

And this cycle isn’t a one-time thing. You’ll want to continuously observe and evaluate your training program to ensure it’s moving your company toward its goals and objectives. 

How to Determine Training Needs

Knowing the concept of a training gap analysis is a good foundation, but it’s also helpful to understand how to use one in determining training needs practically.

Here are six steps to help you learn how to identify training needs at your organization.

1. Set Goals

Before evaluating and assessing your employees’ baseline knowledge, it’s essential to set up some goals. Ask yourself and your leadership team questions like: 

  • What are our organizational goals?
  • What company objectives are we trying to achieve?
  • Where do we want our organization to be in 3, 6, 12 months?

Think about where you are as an organization and where you want to be. Talk over your goals and objectives to see if you’re moving in the right direction. 

Clarifying your goals will help you evaluate where your employees are and what they still need to achieve your company goals.

2. Identify the Skills or Knowledge Needed to Meet Goals

Now that you’ve clarified your goals and know where you want to go, you need to figure out what’s required to get there. 

Determining training needs involves identifying the skills (hard and soft) or knowledge that you think your employees need to possess to reach company goals. Understanding the skills required helps guide and focus your training so that you don’t waste your time and money on ineffective training.

3. Evaluate Employee Competencies

Piggybacking on number two, you’ll want to take your list of skills and competencies needed to meet goals and figure out how your employees match up. 

Some ways to assess your employees’ current abilities and knowledge include:

  • Using questionnaires or surveys
  • Observing employees and examining their work
  • Giving your employees an assessment

You can also:

  • Talk directly with employees or managers
  • Ask your employees if there’s anything they need to do their job better
  • Check-in with managers to see if they’ve noticed any areas for improvement 

Make sure to encourage open feedback as identifying performance gaps and providing feedback go hand in hand.

4. Track Valuable Data Points

Once you’ve set clear expectations, created a list of necessary skills and knowledge, and identified where your employees stand currently, you should choose and track data points that are relevant to your training goals.

If you’re looking to increase customer satisfaction, you may want to track the number of positive reviews received from clients pre- and post-training. Or, perhaps your goal is to see sales increase month-over-month for the following year. In that case, looking at the trend in upsells to current clients can help you see if your new sales training is effective.

You want to choose data points that can aid in evaluating the effectiveness of your training.

5. Assess Current Training Resources

At this point, you should be aware of what goals you want to achieve, what’s needed to achieve them, and what training your employees need. Now, you’ll want to decide how to deliver the necessary training to your employees. 

Virtual is the new normal in our workplaces and our employee training. One of the best virtual delivery methods for employee training is a learning management system (LMS). These powerful tools offer a host of benefits:

  • Customized training content
  • Remote accessibility
  • Wide range of training modalities (e.g., gamification, micro-learning videos)
  • Social interaction and communication
  • Feedback and surveys
  • Real-time reporting and tracking

Using an LMS will provide your employees with engaging content that they’ll retain. At the same time, it gives your management team the ability to assess the training and make adjustments quickly.

6. Custom Training

Lastly, you should match your training to your needs. After you’ve spent the time (and money) to perform a training gap analysis, you don’t want to give your employees generic training. 

The best way to give your employees the training they need is through a customized training program. Custom employee training will be on brand and tailored to your specific needs. With custom training, you control what your employees learn and how they learn it.

It will be well worth the investment to develop a solid, custom training program for your employees.

Need Help Determining Training Needs and Delivering Training?

One of the best indicators of training needs is desired outcomes from employees or teams not matching your expectations. If you recognize disparities in your outcomes and expectations, you’ll benefit from performing a training gap analysis.

A training gap analysis will help in determining training needs and identifying performance gaps. Performing a skill gap analysis is as simple as following six basic steps:

  1. Clarifying goals
  2. Identifying the skills needed to reach those goals
  3. Understanding current employee knowledge
  4. Tracking training effectiveness
  5. Choosing a good training platform 
  6. Providing custom training

However, it can be difficult to do an analysis, create a customized training program, and choose the right training platform all on your own. If you need help closing skill gaps in your employees, we’ve got you covered.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, training employees through cutting-edge technology is our specialty. From an award-winning LMS to custom training solutions for any team, we have all the training expertise and resources you need. Our experienced consultants will take the time to understand your organization and objectives to bring creative, viable solutions to the table. Don’t settle for another boring, one-size-fits-all (because one size doesn’t fit all) training solution.

Request a demo of our consulting services and start your journey toward a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce today.

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