Assess your training needs

To implement the right training for your business, you need to identify your business and employee needs

Step 1: look at your business
Ask yourself:
How well are we doing?

Are we on track to achieve our long-term business goals?
Are we doing well compared with our competitors?
How is our bottom line? Could it be better?
Are our clients happy with our service?
Are our staff happy in their jobs?
What business areas could benefit from training?
Am I completely satisfied with:

the quality of my products or services?
the efficiency of my business systems?
What standards do I want my business to achieve? Look at the:

target production rate
budgeted operating costs
maximum acceptable time lost through injury
maximum acceptable level of customer complaints or dissatisfaction
maximum acceptable shrinkage or wastage
targeted increase in market share.
Ask key staff or managers in your business what they want to accomplish and how training could help them achieve their goals.

For example, if you need to reduce production costs, targeted training can improve your production processes by decreasing rework or rejection of defective products.

Step 2: look at your staff
You should consult with all staff on an annual basis to determine their training and development needs.

You can do this using:

a focus group
one on one meetings.
After consulting with your employees, analyse the results of the questionnaires, focus group or one on one meetings to determine where skill gaps lie. Compare skills already obtained with skills required to do the current job, and those skills required for future development.

Step 3: create a training profile
Create a training profile by recording your analysis in an easily retrievable format, such as a table. Identify the types of courses or on the job experiences requested, the number and levels of people requiring training (for example, shop floor, managers) and, if applicable, the number of in house training sessions needed.

Step 4: draw up a training and development plan
Once all requirements have been worked out, draw up a training and development plan to show your commitment to the training process. The plan should list all of the courses scheduled, the employees identified as participants, the dates, venues and session times.

Step 5: publicise the training and development plan
Publicise the training and development plan to all staff, preferably providing individuals with personalised notice. This ensures that all employees are advised of the available learning opportunities and provides equal access to training.

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