Assessing Skill Gaps Comparing Weak and Strong L&D Approaches

Training needs assessments can be used to identify the specific skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are most important to the business achieving its strategic objectives. However, not all approaches to assessing training needs are created equal. 

What Weak L&D Functions Do
In general, most learning and development functions provide a good sense of training priorities and what is most requested by the workforce. But ineffective L&D functions do not scientifically identify the critical few skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are most important to the leaders of the business or to the strategy as a whole. 

For example, an assessment that asks managers to force-rank or prioritize training options (i.e. presentation skills versus business acumen skills will tell you only what people think they want. This approach neglects the desired performance improvement or required business impact that will actually move the business forward.

What Strong L&D Functions Do 
Effective learning and development functions do not waste time comparing training options. They focus on identifying the critical few behavior-based skills, knowledge, and attitudes by person and by group that matter most to leadership and the business. This ensures that each and every training initiative is supported by management because it helps the target audience achieve important company priorities.

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