Training Needs Analysis

Training needs analysis (TNA), sometimes called training gap analysis, is an essential first step in employee development. It helps you understand what skills your employees need to meet business goals and enables you to implement planned learning to help them do that.

    Why is training needs analysis important for businesses?

    Training needs analysis is an integral part of any training program. It helps you identify the areas where your employees need extra training and development.

    • Training needs analysis helps you understand your employees’ skills and knowledge gaps.

    • It can help you identify the top areas where employees need more support, so you can focus on teaching them what they need. This will ensure that the time spent in training is as efficient as possible for both the employee and your business.

    • Training needs analysis can help businesses avoid wasting time or money on unnecessary post-training assessments like performance appraisals.

    Who should carry out training needs analysis?

    The training needs analysis should be carried out by someone who is not involved in the day-to-day running of the business and has a good understanding of its goals.

    One way to ensure this happens is to make it a separate part of your HR process. This person can sit down with you once or twice a year, help you figure out what skills are needed internally and externally, and then create employee training programs based on those findings.

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    How to conduct a training needs analysis

    Before you begin, it’s essential to identify the problem you are trying to solve.

    For example, if a business has been struggling with low sales numbers, it might determine that its employees need more training in customer service skills. 

    In addition to defining the problem at hand, you should take two other steps before starting on your TNA: developing goals and setting benchmarks.

    Defining Goals

    Goals let us know what we want our future selves—and those around us—to look like when we reach our target date for achieving them (i.e., “I will be able “). They also help keep us motivated along the way by reminding us why we’re working so hard in the first place (“work hard”) and why it’s worth it (“sacrifice”). They provide a framework for measuring progress and identifying areas where improvement can be made to achieve maximum results over time (“how”).

    What are the next steps after the TNA?

    After the training needs analysis is complete, there are a few key steps to take.

    Identify training needs:

    Once you’ve identified your needs, you can create a training plan that meets them.

    Develop and implement the training plan

    Next, develop an action-oriented plan for delivering the necessary skills and knowledge to employees. The best way to do this is by creating performance objectives (POs) for each person who will receive new or enhanced skills through the implementation of this program. These POs should be outcome-oriented statements detailing what you expect an employee to be able to do after going through your new TNA program with specific time frames included for them to demonstrate improvement on their current job responsibilities—e.g., “Able to use technical writing software tools within two months of completing this coursework.”

    TNA For Employee Development

    Training needs analysis (TNA) is an essential first step in employee development. It helps you understand what skills your employees need to meet business goals and enables you to implement planned learning to help them do that.

    It’s also a great way to start the conversation with your team members about what they want out of their careers. This can be particularly helpful when new hires or significant changes are happening at the company level.


    The bottom line is this: training needs analysis is an essential part of employee development and can help your business improve its performance. Conducting a TNA means you’ll know what skills are needed from employees and how to best provide them with training opportunities that will develop those skills.

    The process can boost productivity and reduce the costs associated with hiring new staff or having employees leave because they don’t feel challenged.

    If you want to ensure that your company stays competitive and profitable, then it’s time to start planning some learning programs. Strategic Goal Management can guide you through this process as a professional third party.