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Assessing your training needs as a business

This week we’ll be deviating slightly from our usual Google Workspace tips and discuss in more detail how you can get the most out of your workforce by conducting a training needs analysis. Often overlooked within most businesses, training your existing workforce is how to up-skill and get the very best out of your existing resources without needing to go into the job market to find new talent.

Key takeaways from this video:

  • What is a training needs analysis?
  • Why do I need a training needs analysis?
  • How to complete a training needs analysis
  • Considerations for the training needs analysis

(Plus a few tips from Noelle on what we’ve found when conducting them)

Why we love a training needs analysis (TNA)

When training becomes a subject of interest, it’s often stated that staff just need “more” training, without any real specifics on what it is they need to learn, the objective of them learning it and how this can be applied within the workplace. As Noelle states in the video “just show them what the system can do” is a very broad approach and often won’t yield the most positive results for users. This can result in demotivation and users won’t see the benefit of the training. This is backed up by 85% of employers claiming they provide learning resources to staff, with only 57% acknowledging this. This means it’s likely that the resources don’t meet the needs of the users. This is interesting from a professional trainer’s perspective as training isn’t about “just go and read” because users have different training needs as well as their ability to learn in an environment that suits them. It’s part of why we like conducting TNA’s, as it aligns a business with its employees as well as giving them a platform for empowerment.

What is a training needs analysis?

Simply put, a training needs analysis is a systematic investigation to identify what training activities need to take place to enhance staff ability and productivity. This needs to take into account the business needs vs the needs at an individual or a team level. This can be split into 4 different areas before any training takes place to ensure that the correct training is given to staff and that it has genuine purpose for the individual and the business itself.

Why do I need a training needs analysis?

These objectives provide the usefulness of the training and generate the “buy-in” which can transform the training plan into a conversation rather than a mandated “do we have to?” which as mentioned before, can serve as demotivation. By ensuring that your users are engaged with the process and see actionable insights behind their learning experience, you will provide a far greater learning experience and this can generate autonomy in the learning experience. If users are engaging in the sessions by helping create them, true digital transformation can happen, rather than facing resistance which is all too common in this process.

How to complete a training needs analysis

It’s really important to get the buy-in of those you’re looking to train – change can be hard, so it’s worthwhile to have users feel like they’re part of the process. A great way of doing this is; 

  • Conduct a survey (by using Google Forms) to find out information on how users want to learn, what they want to learn and you can measure responses. 
  • Focus groups are great for smaller businesses to analyse their staff and their requirements as part of a forum whereby everyone is able to provide feedback by brainstorming and discussing what they can achieve from training. 
  • Individual interviews are also useful to get the senior team buy in and understand long term objectives for the business.
  • Steering Groups are great for companies working in different departments that can provide management with insights into other areas of the business that can be improved or if there’s cross over.

Considerations for training needs analysis

Firstly, training is exciting! It’s a way for users to empower themselves and to achieve goals, set long term objectives and provide them with the tools to succeed in their role. To this end, having the training look the part in line with branding and that it’s taken time and effort to put together – this creates excitement with users to feel like it’s worth their time and input. When we conduct surveys, we redesign them to ensure that people feel like they’ve been considered in the process.

We also recommend being very clear and concise with people, giving them a definitive reason for why they’re being asked about their training needs,, what it means for them and what they can expect during the process with clear instructions. By giving users the opportunity to buy-in to the process you immediately engage them at a level they were previously unaware of. If an email goes around that just says “we’re doing system admin training tomorrow at 10am” then there can be confusion, no objectives set and no understanding as to why this is being done. 

Going further, you can also find incredible insights during this process where you can act accordingly afterward. Often uncovering otherwise hidden statistics about the business that can facilitate even further actions your business can take to improve the workforce, even outside of training. This can be the difference in a business, as we all know employees are the driving force behind any business and anything that can be done to improve their productivity and give them the tools to succeed is a positive.

We hope you enjoyed this Tech Tip Thursday update looking at training needs analysis. They can be employed by a business to ensure that training is done right and that employees feel like part of the process.

As always, we want to hear from you. Is training something you or your business would be interested in learning more about? Let us know in the comments on our YouTube channel or contact us for more information here

As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner Program and as a Google Premier Partner for Workspace, Damson Cloud specialises in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion the very best practices in remote working and change management, helping companies and their teams collaborate productively from anywhere in the world. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.

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The team at Damson Cloud have the expertise to support your business and help you achieve success, regardless of whether you’re new to Google Workspace or looking to enhance your existing usage.