No one should be in any doubt that in today’s fast-changing business environment, the key to maintaining competitiveness, achieving the expected results and strengthening the company’s position in the market is the people employed (along with their skills, knowledge and experience).

However, we have to emphasize that simply hiring such people is not enough – it is necessary to support them in their development to ensure, first, that such a person will want to stay with the company for a longer period, and second, that they will achieve better and better results from their work. Still, providing this kind of support requires proper identification of employees’ training needs. Here are 4 key strategies to do so.

Starting point in identifying employee training needs

What are the requirements for the position? What skills must the employee possess? What qualities should he or she possess? These are just some of the questions we need to address to analyze the company’s existing jobs – both by checking tasks and interviewing employees and managers.

To identify training needs, determine what skills and knowledge are necessary to successfully perform the job in a given position, and then juxtapose them with the qualities that an existing employee possesses. In this regard, it is also useful to monitor changes in the market and industry (by attending conferences, reading the trade press, etc.) to identify areas where new skills have to be acquired or existing skills need to be adapted.

Assessment of current competencies – determining the level and possibility of change

Conducting an employee competency assessment is also an effective strategy for identifying training needs. This can be done through self-assessments, evaluations by a supervisor, evaluations by co-workers (both from the team and other departments in the company) or even external evaluations – or a combination of all these tactics.

Based on these evaluations, we can identifiy areas where employees need training or support to better perform their current duties. It’s worth emphasizing that competency assessments should be conducted regularly (and not just on a one-time basis) to monitor employees’ progress and tailor training programs to their individual needs.

Conversation with an employee -confronting expectations of two parties

Also, don’t forget to allow employed people to express their opinions in terms of developmental desires. Conducting surveys or interviews with employees can provide valuable information about their perspectives and opinions in areas where they feel underprepared or unsupported. This is because employees have unique knowledge of their work and can often identify areas where they can develop more effectively.

Thus, their opinions become a valuable source of information for organizations when designing training programs. It can also become an opportunity to discover that an employed person is thinking of reorganizing or changing positions – and diagnosing such a need can get ahead of possible thoughts of parting ways with the company.

Analysis of the results received – a long-term evaluation process

Analyzing the performance of an individual or a team as a whole can provide important clues about areas where competencies are lacking or there are problems – both in individuals and in groups of employees. It involves careful examination of various indicators and data, which can include:

  • Performance – analysis of such elements as task duration, number of tasks completed in a particular time, or resource utilization can help identify training needs (areas where employees need further skill development or performance improvement),
  • Absenteeism and employee turnover – analysis of absenteeism and turnover rates can provide clues to areas where employees may feel dissatisfied or insecure. This is because the reasons for frequent absenteeism or turnover often point to problems with motivation, communication or lack of appropriate skills. Analyzing this data can help pinpoint areas where employees need support and development,
  • Customer satisfaction – relevant to specific teams, such as the customer service or product departments (identifies shortcomings that reduce the quality of products or services).
training needs

Identification of training needs – summary

You must remember that identifying the training needs of employees is not a process that can be completed just once – it is necessary to repeat it regularly to ensure adaptation to the changing requirements of the modern labor market. By continuously influencing the development of an employee, we guarantee new prospects in the professional future, while improving the company’s performance.

When designing development programs, it is worth considering the identified training needs to ensure that the paths developed will contribute to increased efficiency, commitment and results achieved by both employees and the organization as a whole.

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.