The death of one-size-fits-all

March 6th, 2015


In my many discussions with various learning and development departments in large organisations, the approach each takes to meet their training needs is naturally very different according to their objectives.

Similarities are, however, emerging – Training Needs Analyses (TNAs) are becoming an increasingly important cog in the learning and development wheel. In essence, TNAs have been around for years. You ask the questions to the team leaders, the requirements come back and the training is conducted. However, in recent years TNAs have become much more formalised and widespread.  I’ve picked up from my discussions with HR departments that an increasingly structured approach is needed to be able to identify all the problems in a business, and just asking a few team leaders what they feel is needed potentially won’t unearth all the gaps.

It is evident that more time is being allocated to include as many individuals as possible to get a wider view of the training needs of the whole organisation – and particularly in larger organisations. We’ve learnt through our research on Millennials that “Gen Y have more choices than any other generation before them and as such are used to expressing their individuality”. This is being reflected in the depth of the TNAs that larger organisations are conducting. Employee engagement surveys, personal development plans and more one-to-one coaching sessions are indications that the focus is firmly on the individual’s specific needs rather than a one-size-fits-all programme.

And the message is clear. The more that organisations care about their people and creating bespoke training plans that have impact for the individual, the more likely their people are to stay and grow in their positions – taking the organisation forward and securing its future.

By Matt Elson