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Use Surveys and Interviews to Gauge Training Needs

There are a number of methods to determine training needs of employees. In trying to keep it simple, but still effective and with usable data, over the years I have found that a combination of online surveys and in-person or virtual interviews provides data and information to enable for improved planning.

Training programs are not inexpensive. And, for some learning and development professionals, it isn’t always easy to secure the budget to invest in training. However, when you can tie the training to bottom line results, you are more likely to get the investment you need. Use surveys and interviews to determine skills gaps that may be impacting the business, customer support, and achieving strategic goals.

Here is my process, at a high level:

  1. Utilize an online survey to learn, from the employee’s perspective, where his/her strengths and development needs are based on the work he/she needs to perform in the organization.
  2. Utilize an online survey to learn, from management/leaders’ point of view where they see gaps in the workforce that may impact the ability to meet long-term goals.
  3. Interview a select number of employees and managers/leaders to follow up on data gathered in the online surveys. Use this opportunity to ask additional questions. You might select employees whose job has been changing over the years and where there is more pressure to perform. And select managers/leaders who may have specific challenges in achieving goals or addressing business issues.
  4. Review the strategic plan and any divisional and departmental plans to understand short- and long-term goals. Use this information to review skills and knowledge gaps that may need to be addressed.

The more data available, the better the plan the learning and development team can put before leadership – with information based on organizational needs – thereby linking learning to the bottom line. I have yet to see a leader not support a strategic learning program that is aligned to achieving the organization’s strategic goals.

Need help determining your training needs? Contact Abudi Consulting Group and learn how we have worked with a variety of organizations to develop and launch surveys and interviewing processes to determine training needs and ensure alignment to organizational strategic goals.

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