How to identify the training needs of your employees?

Employees can be like children. Parents with more than one child can tell you that each child is different. What works with one child doesn’t necessarily work with another. It’s a similar situation with employees. The same rules don’t apply to everybody. So how can you identify the training needs of your employees? A good idea is to carry out tests and surveys to find out more about each employee’s personality, work style, and knowledge gaps.

Identify training needs of your employees
Priscila
Written by Priscila Marketing
Posted on
Reading time 7 minutes

Identifying your employees' training needs

There are different types of skills: technical skills and soft skills. Technical qualifications or hard skills refer to someone's understanding and ability to apply technical knowledge in the workplace [1].

Soft skills are a combination of social skills, communication skills, and personality traits. They enable people to navigate their work environment successfully. To be a successful trainer, you must identify gaps in both these types of skills.

Identifying gaps in technical knowledge

First, you need to identify the gaps in your employees' technical knowledge. What are the activities they need to perform on a daily and weekly basis? Identifying their knowledge gaps is not that complicated. For that, you can do some in-depth interviews with your employees and managers.

A less time-consuming method is testing their knowledge level. For that, you can create an online test with questions that cover various aspects of their job. Then you can analyze their results. Seeing where the group struggled to answer helps you identify areas that need more attention and training. It's also possible to benchmark your results against other companies in the same industry to see how your staff compare to their peers.

After collecting and analyzing your data, it is time to create training material tailored to your employees' needs. Once you share this material with your current employees, you can evaluate their performance change over time.

Ask your employees what you could do better

Did the training improve their performance and ability to complete their work? If yes, great. Celebrate your success. You can use the same material to onboard new employees. Did the training not achieve the expected results? Time to create a survey and ask your employees what you could do better. Use that knowledge to improve your training materials, and so on, until you have improved them to (or close to 😉) perfection. You know what your company does, so we won't go into the details of what you should include in your technical tests or training materials. But we hope you could understand the point 😏.

Identifying soft skills gaps

Each employee has a unique learning style, work style, and personality

Soft skills are more challenging to teach and identify. A company crisis isn't the time to figure out who works well under stress or doesn't fit well with their manager. Nor is it a good time to determine which learning style suits each person best. So, an excellent way to learn more about your employees is to get to know them personally.

However, in this technological world, decisions are made fast and more people work remotely. In these circumstances, applying surveys and personality tests are good alternatives for learning about your employees.

Each employee has a unique learning style, work style, and personality. That may sound obvious, but it's's something that many companies disregard when managing people. Dealing with different people the same way "because that's how it has always been done" can create issues that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Giving some smart personality tests to your team, including managers, can help identify their different styles. Remember to ask questions to learn about how they perceive themselves and the organization they work for. The results may surprise you.

Different motivations and learning styles

Below are some frameworks that you can use as an inspiration to learn more about your employees and refine your management skills:

The Four Tendencies

Gretchen Rubin's book, The Four Tendencies, explores what motivates different people [2]. She divides people into four categories and tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels.

She explains that adopting this framework when dealing with people can help you achieve better results in your professional (and personal) life:

  • Upholders want to know what should be done.
  • Questioners want justifications.
  • Obligers need accountability.
  • Rebels want the freedom to do something their way.

Do you want to find out your tendency? Take her quiz here.

Her study shows that finding out what motivates your employees and colleagues can result in better performance.

Learning styles

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence research has determined that there are four main learning styles [3]. Understanding the differences in these types of learning styles can have a significant impact on your corporate training:

  • Visual learners are usually adept at taking notes and making lists. They memorize well what they can visualize. Cater to this learning style by including images and diagrams in your learning content.
  • Auditory learners tend to learn better when what they are learning is reinforced by sound. An excellent way to cater to their needs is to use audio and video in your training materials.
  • Kinesthetic learners are more tactile and need to get involved with things to learn. They may succeed best with hands-on training.
  • Reading/writing learners prefer to learn through written words. This style is probably the easiest one to address. Share interesting written information with them, and give them opportunities to write as well.

Finding out your employees' learning styles can be done with a quick survey. With that data in mind, tailor your training materials to meet their needs and get better results.

Taking your employee training to the next level

Figure out what the problem is, then offer the solution

With all that being said, it should be clear for you that taking your employee training to the next level is possible if:

  1. You figure out what are your employees' hard skills and soft skills gaps.
  2. You address these gaps in your training materials.

To make it short: figure out what the problem is, then offer the solution.

Employee training and Easy LMS

With Easy LMS, you can easily create Exams to identify gaps in your participants' technical knowledge. It's possible to set up a pass rate and issue certificates automatically for those who pass. Set up notification emails and get informed every time someone completes an Exam.

With Assessments, you can create personality tests and surveys that let you learn more about your employees' soft skills. You can also discover what their learning style is.

Finally, use all this information to create beautiful Courses that combine text, images, video, and audio files that cater to all learning styles. Create a training Academy and publish all your courses there. Easy!

Our robust reporting features allow you to have an overview of the learning material. See when your users started and ended their training and how long it took them. You can also see what the most challenging and easiest questions were.

You can take back control over your e-learning strategy 💪. It's just a few clicks away.

Useful resources

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Gretchen Rubin 
  3. Rasmussen college 

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