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Training Needs Analysis (TNA) For The Hospitality Industry

Aug 10, 2008
Prior to any training taking place in hotels, resorts, cruise ships or other hospitality establishments, it is essential to identify what the needs are to ensure that it meets with the requirements of the business. Such an analysis is often referred to as a Training Needs Analysis (TNA).

Good hospitality training specialist consultants and their trainers highly recommend a training needs analysis (TNA) prior to any training that they undertake. This is an important first step. Training involves investment in time, money and resources. Such an investment to address the actual needs and to make a significant difference to the success of the company can lead to a more complete utilization of resources and can also affect the degree of success of the training program. As with any investment, returns are expected from training in the form of improved performance that can lead to achievement of business goals.

So how do we go about conducting a Training Needs Analysis (TNA)? Where do we begin? What are the needs? How can we plan? How to make it happen? What difference will it make?

Using a step by step approach, we can answer all these questions. Below is 4-step guide on how to conduct a Training Needs Analysis (TNA):

Step 1: Understand the Current Situation

* Make an internal assessment of the current situation. This involves gathering information on how the company is currently operating and can be gathered from a variety of methods:
  • Guest Feedback (Guest Comment Cards / Customer Satisfaction Surveys)
  • Mystery Shopper Results
  • Complaint Log Books
  • Exit Interviews
  • Employee Opinion Surveys
  • Employee Appraisal Reports
  • Operations Reviews
  • Incident Reports
  • Observations at the Workplace
  • Brand Standard Audits
  • Skills Tests
  • One-on-one discussions
  • Focus Groups
Step 2: Determine the Desired Outcome

Next, identify what the desired outcome can be. This involves visualizing what the desired future is and can be established by a review of:
  • Company Vision and Mission
  • Company Strategies and Objectives
  • Business & Marketing Plan translated into Business Goals and Objectives
  • Guest / Customer Needs
  • Career Development Needs
  • Any changes expected such as new services, policies, procedures
Step 3: Analyze the GAP

Once information is gathered on current and future situation, a GAP analysis is undertaken. This is basically the difference between findings in Steps 1 and 2 and may be defined as:

Desired Outcome - Current Performance = Training Need.

It should be noted that not all performance issues can be resolved through training. This is important to distinguish as the wrong solution could lead to the wrong outcome. Training can help if there is a lack of sufficient knowledge, skills or attitude. While knowledge and skills are easier to identify and rectify, attitude can be improved with time through a process of learning, monitoring and consequences. In the final analysis, look for correlations and consistencies. Sieve through the details and do not take the "forest for the trees".

Step 4: Present the PLAN

With budgets at the disposal for training, it is important that needs be prioritized. Training that must meet legal requirements due to external regulations such as health, hygiene and safety, goes right to the top of the list. This is not negotiable and can affect licenses to operate. Next consider what is immediately needed to put things right, for example, gaps in service and product standards delivery, changes in policies and procedures, introduction of new services, etc. Then, list all regular training programs offered as good employers do, such as orientation, soft skills training and other supervisory development programs. Finally, include any employee development activities that provide career development and growth progression in the company.

All training needs can then be documented into a "Training Plan" according to priorities. The training plan should specify for each training need:
  • What needs to be achieved (The Objective)
  • Why it is important (Impact on the business if not done)
  • Who needs training (Identify specific individuals or groups)?
  • When it is needed (Timely training can lead to more effective results)
  • Where it will take place (Conducted in house or externally)
  • How it will be evaluated (Desired changes back at the workplace)
Allocate budgets according to priority and finally present plan in a format that is easy for everyone involved to understand. Communicate and then work the plan.

This is a detailed and comprehensive process. Hence, an ever increasing number of hospitality companies seem to delegate the task of their training needs analysis (TNA) as well as their whole training to hospitality training specialist consultants, hence saving themselves time, money and resources.

References: https://www.mb-hospitality.org/HospitalityTraining.html
About the Author
This article was submitted by Maxwell Best, hospitality specialist author. For more tips on high quality and personalized hospitality training needs analysis (TNA), train the trainer programs, sales & marketing training, GDS training and specialist consultant services, visit: https://www.mb-hospitality.org/HospitalityTraining.html
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