How to best identify your organization’s training needs

Crimson ocean is ruthless to those who do not adjust to global progress, but firms must change not only their technologies and operating processes. A business lives thanks to people who put their work into it, so it is also important to ensure the development of employees. Learn how to correctly select training for each company.

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Why determine staff training needs

Even museums need periodic reorganization. With the advent of the pandemic, they began to show exhibits online. Today’s business realities require a dynamic response to change in order for a company to stay afloat, compete and generate profit. But what should you do with employees who are not ready for new formats and projects? First of all, an entrepreneur needs to consider what is more profitable: to fire these employees and hire other people, or to create conditions for the current team to grow. Firms often combine these two solutions.

The staff, in whose training the company invests, shows more efficiency and loyalty to the company. If you do not determine their need to grow skills in time, this will slow down business development, increase staff turnover and result in a loss.

Read more: Guide to qualified leads

What to look for when identifying training needs for employees

Training “for show” only makes it worse: the staff does not receive useful information and notices the indifference of the employer. At the same time, the company wastes money. With the right scenario, a corporate competency model is drawn up. It is a detailed list of basic skills, set of knowledge, experience, behavioral characteristics and the character of a perfect professional. Before the training process, you need to clearly find out what knowledge employees already have and conduct a systematic collection of data in order to know exactly who, what, why and how to train. At the very least you should have a specific answer to the questions that we will list below.

  • Which employee needs training or leveling up?

The need for training can be at different levels: organization, department and individual. In the first case, it is necessary to clearly define the planned innovations and list the requirements for the qualifications of the employees who will work with them. If only the processes of the call center change, there is no point in training engineers or technologists. Moreover, there should be a separate training program for each department. The main emphasis is placed on management as it is a more stable work unit that will control and disseminate new work procedures. Also, interns, employees who have received a new position and those who need additional skills to improve work efficiency are always in need of new skills and professional training.

  • What are the specific results of the training?

In order to develop a training program, plan, calculate a budget and select a coaching staff, it is important to outline what the result should look like. It is like a technical task when concluding a contract for raw materials manufacturing, but it comes from the specialization and further plans of the enterprise. The goal can be strategic, that is, covering a long period, or tactical, for example, defined for one year. In a global sense, the employer expects to increase productivity, upgrade and increase the market value of employees, the successful introduction of innovations, and the promotion of new projects. But still, on the way to this, there is the need for an individual development plan for each employee and team which is drawn up with the help of managers and the HR department.

  • What methods and technologies are advisable to use in the training process?

Employees should not be forced to learn, it is better to induce such a desire in them with the right motivation. Levels of influence: fear of losing the job, the need to increase earnings, the desire to move up the career ladder, the benefits of new knowledge, interest in the process, a bonus system. Those who are ready for development can be offered methods that are more suitable for your company. The most popular are rotation, mentoring, applications and chatbots, short video tutorials with assessment tests at the end, corporate social networks for sharing experiences and mutual assistance between staff, face-to-face courses and training with experienced curators, classes in VR glasses to simulate real-life situations…

For example, let us take Millmax – a supplement manufacturer with its own warehouses, laboratory and plant in Latvia. Custom manufacturing of such products requires compliance with modern standards and certified equipment, so employees must regularly improve their skills. Since the enterprise is not geographically scattered, it is possible to combine training methods and use both virtual programs and real practice under the mentorship of a hired coaching team.

  • What areas of study should be considered priority?

Companies determine the directions for training employees depending on their individual needs. The most popular are:

  1. Strategic directions that are aimed at improving overall work processes for the sake of the main goals of the firm.
  2. Integration directions that are aimed at working on the involvement of each employee in the corporate culture and the specifics of the enterprise.
  3. Teamwork directions that are aimed at nurturing team spirit and increasing work efficiency.
  4. Managerial directions that are aimed at developing top management and leadership skills.
  5. Professional directions that are aimed at better matching workers to the positions they occupy. This also includes required safety lectures.

Training needs analysis methods

Rational approach to the study of qualifications is not as simple as it might seem. There are many methods that each company can tailor. There is no universal one. They differ depending on the goals of the business and the focus on a narrow circle of professionals or a general group of employees. It remains to choose the one that suits your firm.

  • Questionnaires

Their advantages are low cost and good speed of results, because they are distributed simultaneously to a large number of people in order to quickly find out their general level of training.

  • Observation

It takes a lot of time and care, but allows you to soberly evaluate the work of each individual employee. However, people will feel discomfort that can affect their results. To simplify this analysis, you can connect managers and colleagues or observe anonymously – the “Secret Shopper” method.

  • Interview

This is usually done at a job interview, but can also be repeated at an employee’s annual performance appraisal or when moving to a new position. Here you can directly ask about a person’s expectations and aspirations, their willingness to learn, strengths and weaknesses.

  • Study of work

Here you consider the skills that were used in the work and the quality of the task performed. It is better to involve a manager or an independent expert who is well versed in the specifics of the case of the selected employee in the analysis.

  • Evaluations

Regular staff appraisals should not be carried out often, but they are necessary to find out the suitability for the position. You can give an employee a test task and observe their workflow in order to identify and work out deficiencies.

  • Competitive analysis

Comparison of the performance of your company with more successful competitors. If you can figure out their business model, you can take it into account when building a staff training plan.


Staff training requires an integrated approach and detailed analysis of the needs of your company and employees. If you plan to develop a business or start a new project, you first need to prepare the qualifications of personnel for this, otherwise you risk losing profits.