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Training Needs Analysis


I have set myself the task of performing a full TNA across our Collections, Customer Service and Admin departments. In the past I have used surveys or analysed test papers but not really got the desired result - a clear idea of what training each individual needs. Can anyone help? I have until the end of January to come back with the findings and don't really know where to start!
Ruth Liebeskind

10 Responses

  1. An Opportunity
    This looks like a great opportunity to really align the training function’s work to the needs of the business and a great chance to begin a widespread consultative exercise.

    I would suggest starting with the 2003 business objectives and then interviewing senior managers in these functions to clarify their priorities and then what this could mean for skills and knowledge requirements.

    You could then interview the managers further down the line to determine their local priorities, ensuring that these at least in part reflected the higher level business objectives. From these discussions should fall out more skills and knowledge requirements (and confirm those diagnosed in the earlier interviews). Hopefully, some patterns will start to develop.

    This type of consultation exercise clearly involves the business and should mean that your work is regarded as being responsive to real business demand.

    You may still need to undertake some assessments, if the management is unclear as to the extent of any skills or knowledge deficits, but these assessments will be based on a clear business framework, so should yield more useful results.

    At this point in time, I also include specific references to the evaluation of whatever training interventions eventually emerge from the research. At the top level, I develop the Level 4 objectives and share these with the organisation; at the next level, I derive the Level 3 measures that would show the required skills changes required to achieve the Level 4 results; thereafter, it’s possible to state the knowledge and skills that are required to facilitate the required behavioural change. Training objectives, clearly aligned to the business can then fall out of this research without too much pain!

  2. Bottoms up
    Whereas can’t find anything to disagree with in Tim Drewits reply I would add, and particularly as time seems to be fairly limited, that you also need to do a bottom up analysis. You have scope to ask the recipients of interventions three simple, but specific questions; (1) what training have you done (recently) (2) what do you think it was for (3) give two/three (a specified number not too large) specific instances where it made a difference. This is retrospective I know, but it does, when aligned with previous business objectives, give an idea of its effectiveness, and what those interventions have become in the minds of recipients. This is very illuminating where patterns start to emerge, and it is particularly useful at showing how well training interventions are working in tandem with the perceived/announced objectives of the organisation. Especially interesting in organisations or departments suffering from inititiativitis!

    In an ideal world these two things (top down and bottom up) meet where you would expect them to.

  3. Response for TNA ideas for a Call Centre
    In terms of training needs analysis of the way your agents handle the call, we used to use a call monitoring form in a computer manufacturer/retailer call centre. It breaks down the incoming call into steps, indicating different standards of performance in each step. This was then linked into a ratings system to give a quantitive measure.It gave us a priority order for the off-job training. It was also used for side by side coaching and assessment. A copy is downloadable from -in the free Trainer Resources – entitled ‘Telephone Techniques – Standards’.
    Hope that helps. Happy Days!
    Bryan Edwards

  4. Conducting a TNA in a call centre
    I agree that the most (and possibly only) effective way to conduct an accurate TNA is to record a cross section of your agents’ calls and evaluate them using a quantifiable set of standards. A simple tick sheet format is the easiest and most objective to use. The key questions in relation to this type of assessment are: What did the agent actually do/say on the call? and what was the standard they were required to reach. If you tick a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box for each standard it makes marking much easier.

    A fundamental implication of moitoring and taping calls is that prompt feedback needs be given to each individual, even if it is brief. Otherwise agents are left in a state of worry, not knowing if they achieved the required standard, and worse still, maybe not understanding how they can go about making the necessary improvements.

  5. Another perspective!
    Hi Ruth, and another perspective! I am working with a company who have 5 call centres and were keen to improve the customer experience. The company had standards but these did not always give the caller the best experience possible. We did some behavioural modelling to see what the best looked, sounded and felt like. The process involved working with approx 100 call centre advisers on about 3-5 calls each and then debriefing their approach. From this we developed a model behaviours which were trained via workshops to the advisers, we also did workshops for their managers and their managers on how to coach the new behaviours. Finally the existing call handling standards are being revised to include the new bahaviours. The interesting thing was that generally even those advisers who delivered good calls to the customers were not aware of specifically what it was they did – neither were the managers. It took the modelling project to bring the bahaviours and beliefs into the open so everyone understood and could do them.

  6. Toolkit
    Have you considered having a look at the TNA toolkit we produced, which is available from the library within Training Zone. It may help.

  7. Training Needs Analysis
    Hi Ruth last year we conducted a training needs analysis on an NHS Call Centre in London. E.mail me for a copy as it includes methodology and a literature review which could be helpful to you.

  8. TNA
    Hi Ruth
    Having read your e-mail, can I ask:
    How many people are you wanting to put through a TNA?
    What is the scope of training availible to your colleagues?
    ie IT? Soft/management skills?
    What would be the timescales for the training to be carried out?
    Where could the training be delivered?
    Would you use outside resources, where necessary?
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    If you want to discuss,fine, please ring me on 01625 616 631, or e-mail if you prefer.
    Kind Regards
    John Tucker
    Focus Systems

  9. this may help
    best possible help to your TNA is to interview all your staff in groups of about 10 making sure that they are all doing similar work – this allows to you to gain generic skills and responsibilities of the job and also highlights potential areas of expansion or multi skilling.

    Its a bit of a hard job, but the results can be fantastic and its a way of keeping people positive within the work place and a good way to get to know your workforce.

    if you need further info, please email me on [email protected]

    best of luck


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