most organisations, the benefits of investing in ongoing staff training are clear.
- Process improvements:
reduced duplication of effort, less time spent correcting mistakes, faster access
to information, etc.
savings: lower staff turnover, lower recruitment costs; reduction in bad debts;
reduced customer support calls; reduced help desk calls; reduced need for supervision;
reduced downtime; increased staff productivity; fewer machine breakdowns; lower
maintenance costs, etc.
profitability: increased sales; more referrals due to better customer service;
new product ideas; improved customer satisfaction and retention, etc.
- Performance improvement:
in quality, quantity, speed, safety, problem solving, etc.
improvements: in attitude, ethics, motivation, leadership, communication,
reduced staff conflict, etc.
staff satisfaction: Well trained staff tend to be happier, stay longer, and
are more loyal.
research undertaken to uncover the financial impact to an organisation
of investing in staff training shows a clear and quantifiable link between an
above average investment in staff training and superior bottom line performance:
- Based on the training investments
of 575 companies during a 3-year period, researchers found that firms investing
the most in training and development (measured by total investment per employee
and percentage of total gross payroll) yielded a 36.9% total shareholder return
compared with the 25.5% weighted return for the S&P 500 index for the same
- Firms that invest $1,500 per
employee in training (per year) compared with those that spend $125 experience
an average of 24% higher gross profit margins and 218% higher revenue per employee.
- Just a 2% increase
in productivity has been shown to net a 100% return on investment in training.
- A Louis Harris
and Associates poll reports that among employees with "poor" training
opportunities, 41% planned to leave within a year, whereas of those who considered
their company's training opportunities to be "excellent", only 12% planned
to leave within the same period.
if we accept the findings above that support the case for investing in a formal
staff training program, how does one go about identifying staff training requirements
and putting a suitable program in place?
The Staff Skills Audit:
If a company's
strategic plan involves doubling the workforce size within 3 years and opening
two completely new divisions during that period, then you would hope that the
company's HR Management team have a good handle on what skills the company currently
has, and what new skills it needs to obtain in order for the company to
meet its business objectives. As such, a staff skills audit (uncovering current
situation) and training needs analysis (guiding future direction) is a vital first
step in obtaining company-wide quantitative data on what skills an organisation's
workforce currently has, and (based on the company's business objectives) where
the skills gaps lie.
face-to-face meetings with a select few staff members to discuss training requirements,
or ensuring training needs are raised with staff at their annual performance reviews
can both be a worthwhile exercise, neither approach will give you an accurate
company-wide picture of the organisation's skills status and future training requirements
at one point in time. As such, an annual or bi-annual online staff training needs
survey is becoming an increasingly popular approach to address this requirement.
assessed against the alternatives of paper-based or face-to-face training needs
analysis surveys, we find the online approach has a number of clear advantages.
Speed and ease of reporting: online survey results are generated instantly,
and anyone given authorisation can access the results from any web browser in
the World, at any time, with the data securely held on encrypted servers. If the
same survey is used results can also be compared from month to month, or year
to year to help spot trends and assist with budgeting and planning. The online
approach also saves significant time with distributing and administering the survey
as a survey link is simply e-mailed to employees.
2. Data entry time/expense/errors:
the online survey quickly stores the exact data and scoring entered by each employee.
Management's data entry requirement is removed.
3. High cost:
compared with the paper or face-to-face alternatives, the online TNA process has
been shown to cost up to 80% less, and reduce decision making time by up to 90%.
4. Consistency: when a decentralised, verbal training needs analysis
system is replaced by a centralised online process, the training survey issued
is the same for all employees and comparison of like-for-like results made easy.
5. Interviewer bias or interpretation errors: the 'interview'
is in the form of an online survey and what the employee types is exactly what
HR report on.
company-wide survey has been conducted, the next steps in the training strategy
development process include:
the survey results.|
a staff training profile.|
a training development plan.|
the training development plan to all employees.|
the training effectiveness. |
It is recommended that this process be
conducted on a 12 monthly cycle at a minimum.
In short, a well constructed
skills audit and training needs analysis process will provide a fast and accurate
snapshot of workforce training requirements, assist with training vendor selection
and budgeting, and ultimately help improve employee retention levels and overall
Trial an Australian-built
training needs analysis online survey tool:
is an Australian built online feedback and survey tool used extensively by Australian
and New Zealand based organisations to conduct online training needs analysis.
The tool can also be used by HR to conduct cost effective staff climate surveys,
exit interviews, and 'new starter' feedback surveys to name a few popular uses.
complete the form below to arrange your FREE custom-branded training needs analysis
survey demonstration and a PeoplePulse pricing and information sheet.
completing the form below, a PeoplePulse representative will contact you to discuss
your needs and current situation. From there we will set up your demo and arrange
a suitable time to show the system to you:
be assured that your correspondence with us is confidential. We will not divulge
email addresses or any other details you provide to outside sources.
above demonstration request form was powered by PeoplePulse.
written by Paul Quinn, Director of Quinntessential.
1. American Society
for Training and Development (ASTD).
2. Laurie J. Bassi et al., "Profiting
From Learning: Do Firms' Investments in Education and Training Pay Off?"
American Society for Training and Development, 2000.
3. "The 2001 Global
Training and Certification Study," CompTIA and Prometric.
- 'Training Needs Analysis and Skills Audit'.