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What’s A Needs Assessment, And Why Do I Need One?

2/19/20 3:01 PM

An effective needs assessment will help determine where training will make the biggest impact.

What is a Needs Assessment?  

A needs assessment is an evaluation of an organizations strengths and weaknesses to help determine where training will make the biggest impact. A needs assessment is determined through a variety of investigative tactics, including questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and surveys, and identifies performance gaps between current conditions and desired outcomes. 

Why Do I Need One?  

Have you heard the saying “proper planning prevents poor performance”? That’s exactly where a needs assessment comes into play. 

Businesses are comprised of multiple moving parts— many of which have different strengths and weaknesses. Through robust analysis and discovery, organizations can rely on a needs assessment to identify the best way to achieve their desired results (without wasting resources on solutions that don’t work).

Conducting a Needs Assessment

Need assessments should be conducted uniquely based on your organizations industry, competitive advantage, goals and desired outcomes. To help streamline the process, Ardent Learning follows four main steps:

  1. Asses the current condition of your organization (what’s working, what’s not?) then assess the factors that influence them (like skills and knowledge, retention and attrition, or tools and resources)
  2. Gather data about these conditions: What numbers can you attribute to your findings? What metrics can you assign to each employee’s job role?
  3. Analyze this data to understand the gap between your current condition and desired outcome: what are the competencies, skills and tools needed for success?
  4. Design a training solution or find a Custom Learning Solution partner to eliminate the gap between your current condition and desire outcome

I Have a Needs Assessment. Now What?

After a needs assessment is completed, the next step is to deploy a custom learning solution. Ardent Learning collaborates on a proposal, and helps organizations create learning programs with sustainability in mind while deploying learning assets that align directly with the assessment. Comprehensive learning solutions enhance the capabilities of your employees, resulting in improved performance, efficiency, and positive return on investment.

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