Top 8 Drivers for a Better Training Assessment

Top 8 Drivers for a Better Training Assessment
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Do You Know How to Build a Better Training Assessment?
We get asked by many learning and talent leaders about how to build a better training assessment so that they can ensure that they teach the right people, the right skills, in the right way.

Why Training Needs Assessments Matter
Getting training assessments right is an important topic because too many training assessments are statistically invalid, decrease trust, have low business and performance relevance, and just plain waste time.  We believe that the fundamental purpose of a training assessment should be to answer two fundamental questions:

  • What is holding us back?
  • Where should we focus?

The Top Eight Drivers for an Effective Training Needs Assessment
Based upon over 800 training assessment and measurement projects over the last 25+ years, we have identified the top eight drivers for an effective training needs assessment.  Done right, any training needs assessment should:

  1. Initiate the behavior change and performance improvement process
  2. Align leadership and employees on what matters most in terms of skills, knowledge, behaviors, and performance expectations
  3. Pinpoint critical skill gaps against a proven or desired standard
  4. Customize and target talent development
  5. Guide performance coaching and individual development plans
  6. Set baseline metrics to improve from
  7. Obtain stakeholder buy-in and support
  8. Increase training relevance and impact

What Skills Matter Most?
We also know that not all skills and knowledge are created equal.  Some matter more than others for your unique strategy, culture, and marketplace.  In addition to customizing training assessments to their unique environment, smart learning leaders look for more than “opinions” to guide learning and development strategies by comparing specific skills to actual on-the-job performance.

Some Field-Tested Practicalities for a Better Training Assessment
And from a purely practical point of view, we believe that training needs assessments should be:

  • Short (10-20 minutes)
  • Relevant (to the participants, their boss and the business)
  • Cost effective (they should save you money by allowing you to only focus on what matters most)
  • Timely (completed in weeks, not months)

The Bottom Line
Done right, training assessments should create agreement regarding what specifically is holding back behavior change and performance improvement while providing clarity about where to focus learning, development, and coaching interventions.

To learn more about better training needs assessments, download How to Raise the Bar with Better Training Assessments

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