Before your organisation embarks upon any programme of employee training, it is important that you identify its precise needs. Why exactly are you investing in learning and development exercises for your employees?

When there are specific goals in place, it provides a clear focus for the training. Sessions can be constructed in such a way that targets key aspects of employees' knowledge or understanding, and seeks to improve upon it.

The reality is that training sessions cost money to run. Not only do you have to consider the cost of hiring specialist facilities - if your training is taking place away from your organisations' premises - but there are man-hours to consider too.

It will likely take some time for the trainer to devise the session, produce visual aids, write a script and deliver the training. If they are an external trainer they will need paying for their time, and if they work for you, running the training will prevent them from doing other work.

And of course, any employees who attend the training session will be pulled away from their usual daily duties for the duration. In the short-term, this can hit productivity.

So all the more important then that your training sessions set out to achieve clear goals, and are designed with the outcomes in mind. Your organisation won't have unlimited time and money to carry out training, so it is important to prioritise.

In which areas are your employees particularly lacking? Where does their knowledge need topping up, or previous training require reinforcement?

If you are able to identify training needs at an early stage, and rank them in order of priority, it increases the likelihood your organisation will make the most of its training budget.

As your organisation grows and develops, and new people join, your training needs may change. It might be necessary to repeat some sessions for new recruits, and also run training which applies to all staff members.

Once sessions have been delivered for the first time, a template should exist for future repeats, should they be required. As such, you shouldn't have to repeat much of the preparatory work.