A Proactive Approach to Anticipating Your Employees’ Training Needs

The need for in-house training is often a sensitive issue for employees. In fact, they generally have high expectations that their training requests will be validated by their hierarchy. The way these requests are handled sends a message to employees about their value to the company. How can you anticipate the training needs of your employees so you can plan your response and plan for employee downtime while training? How can you gather your employees’ training needs all in one place, so you can manage training schedules? This article will explain the benefits of using a collaborative tool to achieve optimal management of your company’s in-house trainings.

Identification of Training Needs: A Major Issue

Employee training requests can raise questions for an employer about its employees. Why does this employee have an interest in this training?  What is in the employee’s long-term professional development plan? The choice of employees of certain trainings reveals where they are in their career development and indicates whether they want to stay with the company. Each training request deserves to be collected, as it reflects a gold mine of information about employees. These data can then be evaluated and used to guide managers’ decisions.

collaborative tool

Who is responsible for collecting professional training needs?

Your staff’s training needs can be collected by the training team or managers, or employees themselves can be responsible for transmitting their own training requests. This procedure should be communicated in advance, with a deadline and clear instructions about the process for each individual. The training team might gather all requests, solicit managers’ approval, and then plan the training schedule based on volume of interest in the various topics. Or, managers might draw up a training plan for all of their employees based on their own judgment of what their employees need. Alternatively, managers might specify that their team members provide this information themselves, perhaps during their annual evaluation. The manager can then discuss their own ideas for training and come to an agreement with the employee about their training plan for the upcoming year.

A Collaborative Tool: An Effective Solution for Training Planning

By using a collaborative table, the training team can centralize all the requests in one place. This shared tool also allows managers to be informed about training requests. The training team is responsible for the collaborative table and has authority to assign access or modification rights. The following items might be in the table:

  • Employee’s name
  • Manager’s name
  • Responsible for collecting the training requests
  • Deadline for making request
  • 3 training topics, submitted in order of preference
  • Application (to be attached)
  • HR validation
  • Manager validation
  • Expected date of training
  • Training completion date
spreadsheet employees’ training

The training team can follow the collection of needs and subsequent validation by HR and the manager in real time. One implication of handling requests in this efficient way is that training dates have to be scheduled as soon as possible after validations in order to effectively meet immediate needs. Managers will then be able to adjust the day-to-day operations of their teams based on employee downtime during training and, later, the new skills that the employees will acquire.

Anticipating training needs is a way to listen to your employees and understand their expectations about their own professional development. This good management approach promotes positive communication between managers and their employees and sends a positive signal from management that it takes the professional development of its employees seriously.

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