use of online surveys in the skill audit and training
needs analysis process. Written
by Paul Quinn.
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
To most organisations, the benefits of investing
in ongoing staff training are clear. They include:
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,
improvement: in quality, quantity, speed,
safety, problem solving, etc.
improvements: in attitude, ethics, motivation,
leadership, communication, reduced staff conflict,
staff satisfaction: Well trained staff tend
to be happier, stay longer, and are more loyal.
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 period. 
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.
a 2% increase in productivity has been shown to net
a 100% return on investment in training.
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:
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
conducting 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.
Data entry time/expense/errors: the online survey
quickly stores the exact data and scoring entered
by each employee. Management's data entry requirement
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
the 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.
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 staff
an Australian-built training needs analysis online survey
is an Australian built online feedback and survey tool
used extensively by Australian and New Zealand based organisations
to conduct online staff skill audits and training needs
analysis surveys. The tool can also be used by HR to conduct
cost effective staff climate surveys, exit interview surveys,
and new starter / onboarding feedback surveys to name
a few popular uses.
Please 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
be assured that your correspondence with us is confidential.
We will not divulge email addresses or any other details
you provide to outside sources.
The above demonstration request form was powered by
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).
Laurie J. Bassi et al., "Profiting From Learning:
Do Firms' Investments in Education and Training Pay
Off?" American Society for Training and Development,
"The 2001 Global Training and Certification Study,"
CompTIA and Prometric.
EOWA.gov.au - 'Training Needs Analysis and Skills