The Growth Series

How to identify a person's training needs

Your people are the bedrock of your business, so it’s really important to devote time and resources to their skills and professional development.

But where do you start? 

Well, it’s really important to adopt a strategic approach to identifying people’s strengths, weaknesses and objectives.

Only then can you gather and use meaningful information that could help you drive your business forwards.

Use a scorecard to assess a person’s skills

A scorecard system can help you look at a person’s skills in the round, in a very simple and easily understandable way.

This could measure various competencies, such as a person’s:

  • Technical expertise
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • Soft skills
  • Adaptability
  • Industry knowledge

By listing this information in one place, you can quickly identify where a person’s strengths lie and where further training could be needed or beneficial.

Learn more: Job description template - Mortgage broker/consultant

Regular 121s

Managers should schedule face-to-face meetings with individual team members, where they can talk to each employee about their career goals and ambitions.

These meetings can be a valuable opportunity to talk about a person’s strengths, weaknesses and aspirations, and dig deeper into what they’re particularly interested in and what type of work they’d rather avoid.

By creating an environment where employees feel comfortable and empowered to share these insights, you’ll be in a stronger position to create a targeted and purposeful development plan that helps them thrive in the workplace.

Carry out skills assessments

Periodic skills assessments can help you measure a person’s skill set and track any improvements over time. For example, you could ask them to undergo task-based tests relevant to their job role or quizzes to identify gaps in knowledge on a particular topic.

Learn more: Why understanding personality styles can be key to recruiting the right people

Gather feedback from across the business

Ask colleagues at different levels of your organisation for feedback on an individual’s performance.

They may work much more closely with them than you do, and have genuinely useful insights on a person’s strengths and areas where they may need to improve.

Furthermore, colleagues may also have good ideas on how a certain person could add extra value to the business that won’t have occurred either to you or them - which could then form part of any future training plan.

Send out anonymous surveys and questionnaires

Even if you try to foster a culture where people can speak openly and honestly, some may still feel uncomfortable putting forward certain ideas. You can overcome this discomfort by giving people the chance to submit ideas and feedback anonymously.

While this won’t help you put together a training plan for specific individuals, it can help you identify common training needs among different groups.

Knowing each person’s strengths and weaknesses can make a big difference to your business. 

For example, you could allocate roles and responsibilities in line with people’s strengths, talents and objectives, which can in turn boost motivation and job satisfaction.

At the same time, identifying people’s training needs and acting accordingly can help to increase staff loyalty, as they’ll know you’re actively aiming to make them happy and fulfilled, and give them a chance to develop their skills and capabilities.

By giving each and every member of your team the best possible chance to fulfil their potential, there’s a strong chance that your business can do the same and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Learn more: What every great broker does every day

Learn more: Broker Talks: training and development

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