Choose the Best Data Collection Methods for Your Training Needs Assessment

  • 2 minutes read

The needs assessment process is an important step in an organizational or human resource development project. Its role in obtaining and allocating resources for projects is well recognized.
By implementing a training needs assessment process you will be able to identify the performance gaps and align learning projects with organizational objectives. It will also help manage training budgets effectively.

Need assessment refers to a process of collecting information about an expressed or implied organizational need that could be met by conducted training (Barbazette, 2006).

It is done in order to find out answers to such questions: 

  • Why is training conducted?
  • Who is involved in the training?
  • How can the performance deficiency be fixed?
  • What is the best way to perform?
  • When will the training take place? 
  1. Identify the Business Needs – determine organizational context
  2. Perform a Gap Analysis – (desired outcomes – actual outcomes = gap)
  3. Select the learning methods – things to consider:
    • Solution to a problem
    • Cost
    • Return on investment
    • Legal compliance
    • Time – sometimes the amount of time involved in training can interfere with the employees’ ability to complete other job duties
  4. Make an action plan – After all the training options have been assessed, you will have a list of training priorities and specifications.

Identifying training needs is a process of information gathering. Data collection is crucial in understanding how each employee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities can be put to value.

Not every method is appropriate for each company. We suggest to choose the method or methods that best suit your goals from the following:

  1. Questionnaires
  2. Observation
  3. Interviews
  4. Focus Groups
  5. Tests and assessments
  6. Asking the senior manager in charge
  7. Looking at the competition
  8. Existing data
  9. Customer feedback

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