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Training Needs Analysis
Most of our clients were training their employees long before they began working with Think Training. But all too often, they had not achieved the desired changes in performance or results.

At Think Training, we believe that training can achieve results only when it specifically targets the knowledge and skills your employees most need in order to implement your strategy successfully. To ensure that your training addresses the issues that will have the greatest possible impact on your employees' performance, we begin by exploring your organizational strategy and objectives. Then, we focus on the specific hurdles and challenges that currently stand between your employees and the results they need to achieve. In some cases, we uncover — and will help you address organizational issues that are not training issues.

But when our needs analysis identifies issues that can be addressed effectively by training, the analysis will provide a detailed assessment of:
  • potential staff and organization issues limiting your organization's performance;
  • the skills and capabilities your employees need in order to achieve their strategic objectives;
  • what your most successful employees are doing now that helps them get better results than others; and,
  • recommended training design options.
Depending on the issues you face, the needs analysis process may be informal and require as little as half a day, or it could entail a formal research plan that takes substantially more time. Either way, the objective of our needs analysis will be to ensure that your training dollars are spent to address only those issues that will make the greatest difference in your employees' performance and results. Depending on your requirements, your needs analysis may involve any or all of the four distinct elements described below:

Executive Interviews

Training is only useful to the extent that it is linked effectively to support of an organization's strategic objectives. Thus, the starting point for any needs analysis must be to understand the objectives your senior executives want employees to focus on, and the specific issues employees must address in order to achieve those objectives. At the outset of any project, Think Training's senior consultants will interview appropriate executives to ensure that all future project activity is directed in support of your organization's business strategy and objectives.

Focus Groups

Training must cover the right skills and issues in a way that participants find both relevant and practical on the job. To ensure that programs meet this standard, Think Training's consultants conduct group interviews (i.e., focus groups) with a selection of high-performing members of each training population (sales, service, management, customers, etc.). These interviews focus on identifying the issues and skills which most distinguish successful performers from the average, and changes/trends in your business environment that top performers believe oblige them either to develop new skills or adjust their emphasis.

Individual Interviews

In addition to offering strategic relevance, effective training experiences must give participants opportunities to explore, define, practice and apply their new (or newly enhanced) skills under conditions similar to those they face on the job. To ensure that your training actually addresses these on-the-job conditions, Think Training's consultants will conduct in-depth one-on-one interviews with a cross-section of high-performers to identify:
  • what constitutes effective performance of each key skill to be covered in your organization's context, and
  • any unique conditions or obstacles participants must confront in order to use each skill effectively.

Once the key skills and issues that need to be addressed have been identified, we can use a variety of diagnostic instruments to determine — with greater precision how high, average, and low-performers differ from one another in each skill area. This information is collected to ensure that programs focus on performance that genuinely makes a difference and to gauge your employees' current skill levels. A variety of diagnostic tools are available and can be adapted or tailored to fit a client's specific needs. In addition, custom surveys can be developed.
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