Guide

Training your staff

Develop a staff training plan

After you have identified the staff training required through training needs analysis, you will want to interpret the results and put your findings into practice.

Understanding the training needs analysis process

To effectively implement and deliver the benefits of your training needs analysis, you should consider the following steps:

1. Link to your business goals and strategy - embed the results of your training needs analysis within the direction of future training. This will ensure that you are applying your training budget to the areas within your business that need it most.

2. Prioritise training needs - this is when you form the justification for your training budget by identifying how training will meet business key performance indicators (KPIs) - see use KPIs to assess business performance. Your initial analysis may have identified the need for staff training in multiple areas, so you will need to prioritise the parts that you will focus on first. For example, you might consider if the training can help employees carry out existing tasks more efficiently or to a higher standard, or will it train staff to take on a new role with increased responsibilities. In short, what is most important to your business?

To help identify priority training courses, you can carry out a training course priority weighting exercise. This is where you weigh up the costs and benefits of a number of training courses to identify the most beneficial one for your business. Download our training course priority weighting template (DOC, 13K).

3. Find training solutions - establish how you will deliver the training whether in-house or through external trainers. Some options include:

  • conferences
  • workshops/seminars
  • e-learning/webinars
  • books/journal
  • coaching or mentoring
  • job shadowing
  • secondment

See a list of training methods to fit your business.

You can search our Events Finder for suitable training courses and events.

4. Communicate - it is important to keep your employees informed of the reasons why they may have to complete certain training. Publish your training needs analysis findings and any associated training plans. Invite feedback from your employees on how they found the training they undertook.

5. Evaluate - you should evaluate the training outcomes demonstrating how the training delivers value for money. Consider naming someone who is responsible for evaluating training (eg a dedicated staff or line manager). Analyse the impact of all training on your employees, business and productivity. You can use a range of tools to give you qualitative and quantitative evaluation feedback. You should attempt to assess the impact of the training on employees by comparing their abilities before and after training completion. The evidence you gather at this stage should be fed back to management as a demonstration of how the training provides return on investment for the business.

Most training providers use evaluation methods which fit into the Kirkpatrick Model of Evaluation for Training (PDF, 302K), where example methods are matched to each level of evaluation.

Support to help your business with training needs analysis

Invest Northern Ireland offers help and advice to local businesses on upskilling their workforce. The training needs analysis workshops give you an insight into the tools and techniques used by learning and development professionals to analyse training needs.