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Training Needs Analysis

A Guide for Supervisors and/or Managers.


Step 1. Analyse the Job
Step 2. Analyse the persons current skills and knowledge
Step 3. Decide on the skills/knowledge gaps
Step 4. Identify training solutions
Step 5. Evaluate performance after training
Further information on Training Needs Analysis
As a supervisor or manager you are responsible for the effective functioning of your work
area and this includes the effectiveness of your staff. You may have a change in overall
function of your area or a new staff member may have joined the team. In either case it may
be obvious that your staff may not have all the skills or knowledge required to perform their
tasks at an optimal level. This process will help you identify these missing skills, knowledge
or abilities as well as determine ways to acquire them. It is best completed in partnership with
your staff member.
Step 1. Analyse the Job
Discuss with the staff member the existing resources that describe the job such as the current
position description, the Position Classification Descriptors, the outcome of the most recent
Performance Review & Development discussion, position description templates and also
position descriptions of recently advertised positions. All these resources will provide
information about key responsibilities of the position and indicators of the skills, knowledge
and abilities required to competently perform the job. Identify phrases which specify key
skills, processes or areas of knowledge. Also consider whether the job has changed from
when the position description was made as this may result in new key responsibilities /
outcomes being considered.
Examples:
1.
2.

Develop budgets to ensure there are adequate resources available for the section
Use the internal telephone system to ensure that calls and messages are efficiently
and effectively handled
3. Provide leadership to the team by setting priorities and communicating information
to allow effective work participation
4. Follow the organizations occupation health and safety guidelines to minimise risk
and maximise safety
5. Provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants
Step 2. Analyse the persons current skills and knowledge
Together with the staff member, identify the skills and knowledge the person currently has.
This information can be sourced in three main ways:
1.

From your own observations what have you noticed them doing well. What key
responsibilities are they currently expected to perform that may need improvement.
2. From information obtained from the individual such as formal qualifications,
training courses completed and tasks performed in previous positions.
3. From data available from the Human Resource information system.
Examples:
1.

Can report on budget activity including surpluses and shortfalls but cannot prepare
annual budgets at the start of the financial year.

2.

Manages the phone system well except when transferring caller to an answering
service/mobile phone connection.
3. Can set priorities but information is not passed down in a timely manner with some
staff constantly omitted.
4. Has not had any manual handling training.
5. Is not consistent with the information provided when giving feedback to
unsuccessful applicants.
6. Has poor communication skills when responding to patrons.
Step 3. Decide on the skills/knowledge gaps
By the time Step 2 is completed a 'list' of areas where some training would be required to
improve the effectiveness of your staff member may already have started to formulate. You
need to decide whether there is a gap in the staff members skills or knowledge or whether
some revision is required to 'bring them up to scratch'.
It is also recommended that you ask the staff member which areas they consider need
addressing. This way you identify tasks that you may have missed or refine tasks so that the
training can be more effective.
If there are several items that need addressing, they need to be prioritised so that a working
plan can begin to be formulated.
Step 4. Identify training solutions
This involves finding out the best way of closing the skills/knowledge gaps that you
identified in the previous step. There may be many different options available such as:
1.
2.

One on one training or coaching in the workplace.


Secondment to another department/section in the university or outside the
university.
3. Self directed learning eg. Using written instructional material or written guidelines
or instructions.
4. Short-term training courses internal look at the Professional Development Units
website to identify available training courses.
5. Short-term training courses external the professional Development Unit can also
help you identify suitable training providers for your needs.
6. Long term courses eg. Certificate, Diploma, Degree or Higher Degree courses.
7. Short term projects.
8. Mentoring.
Step 5. Evaluate performance after training.
Once the training has been completed it is important to consider whether or not the key
responsibilities can now be completed competently. This can be achieved by:
1.
2.

Asking the staff member to evaluate his or her own effectiveness in the task.
Ask yourself whether the performance gaps that were the reason for the training are
still there.
Examples:
1.
The staff member can now prepare annual budgets that accurately reflect
the operations of the section.
2.
The staff member can now transfer calls to answering services and mobile
phones without cutting the caller off.
3.
The staff member has a system in place, which ensures that all receive the
same information at the same time.
4.
The staff member can now lift heavy material in line with occupation
health and safety guidelines.

5.

The staff member can now provide feedback using a feedback criteria list
so that all unsuccessful applicants are treated equally.
3. Look at the work area to determine whether there is still evidence of a deficiency in
skills or knowledge.
If the performance gap is still there then you need to look more closely at the reasons for it
and determine whether the training solution selected was correct for the identified problem or
whether there is another performance issue that needs addressing. The Professional
Development Unit may be able to help you further with this process.
Further information on Training Needs Analysis:
Many Human Resource Development texts will have a section on Training Needs Analysis.
You should be able to find further information in most reference libraries or you may be able
to get further information from the Professional Development Unit.