How To Create Training Objectives For Business Success

How To Create Training Objectives For Business Success

There’s no doubt that effective training translates into sound business results. Clear training objectives can help raise the efficiency of your training initiatives. But how do we develop training objectives that align with business goals and reinforce our bottom line?

In this post, we’ll explore exactly that, complete with different types and examples of training objectives.

What Are Training Objectives?

Training objectives questioned in the form of wooden blocks

Training objectives are specific and measurable outcomes achieved through business training programs or on-the-job training. Sometimes referred to as learning objectives, they should contain detailed information on what your employees will learn after finishing a specific course, program, or internal training session.

Training objectives are a critical part of workplace training and facilitate the best possible outcomes for both the individual and the business. Ultimately, they contribute towards your overall training goals.

Training Objectives vs Training Goals

Training objectives and training goals are often used interchangeably, but there are slight differences:

  • Training objectives are specific, measurable outcomes for a particular training session or module. These are often short-term targets set for specific courses or practical learning experiences, aimed at ensuring certain skills or knowledge are acquired by the end of the training.
  • Training goals refer to the broader, more overarching aims of an employee training program or initiative. These goals are usually broader and more strategic, focusing on long-term development and the overall impact of the training on an individual or organisation. They are less about specific measurable outcomes and more about general development directions.

Some examples of training goals are increasing employees’ understanding of digital marketing, or improving leadership skills. The objectives of these goals might be completing a specific course on digital copywriting or learning a particular skill like how to upload content on WordPress.

Types of Training Objectives

Training objectives can be sorted into several categories:

  • Cognitive Objectives: Refers to specific mental skills or knowledge, such as understanding, recalling information, analysing, and applying knowledge to new situations. Training program examples include understanding the principles of project management or Analysing marketing trends for strategic planning.
  • Affective Objectives: Refers to emotions, attitudes, and feelings towards certain subjects, processes or behaviours. Examples include topics such as dealing with change in the workplace, or developing a positive mindset towards teamwork.
  • Psychomotor Objectives: Refers to physical skills and actions that are critical in manual or physical work. Examples include the operation of a new machine, performing CPR, or general fitness for emergency response teams.
  • Interpersonal or Social Objectives: Refers to skills that help improve an individual’s ability to work within a team environment. Examples of skills include communication, leadership, and conflict resolution.
  • Adaptive Objectives: Refers to the ability to adapt to changes that require variations in skills or perspectives. For example, adapting to new workplace tools, or adjusting sales techniques based on customer behaviour trends.

How to Write Training Objectives

Manager plans training objectives in notebook

Writing effective training objectives begins by following a few best practices. Throughout the process, keep the SMART methodology in mind, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Business objectives should also adhere to this framework.

Step 1: Business Goals Are Key Driving Factors

Training objectives are pointless without moving the needle on business goals. Whatever business goals are a priority within the next 3-12 months should guide your training objectives.

For example, if the business goals entail higher revenue, your training objectives will be centred around sales or marketing skills. If it’s cost-saving, operational skills will be the better target. Figure out which teams and skills will be the focus for each specific business goal and subsequent training program.

Step 2: Consider A Skills Audit

A skills audit can help you identify which areas within a team require the most focus. This may sound intimidating, but with online tools such as Cloud Assess, a skills audit can be done quickly and efficiently.

Once your skills audit concludes, you’ll know exactly which training objectives you’ll need to set to make progress on your business goals. You’ll be able to build out a cohesive skills matrix that can help set the direction and track your training efforts.

Step 3: Set Clear Training Objectives and Learning Plans

The next step is to identify specific training objectives for specific departments. For each required skill on either a team or individual level, write down a set of clear and concise training objectives.

For example, you may find that your electrical team cannot program on-site equipment (such as a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) themselves, and make use of a contractor. A clear training objective here would be to source a specific course on the subject in order to increase operational efficiency.

You may also be faced with a more vague problem, such as low sales conversion rates. This will entail a specialised closing training program or negotiation courses for your sales staff.

Ideally, each area of focus will have its own set of training objectives that, together, form training paths that help to guide learning in the most effective way possible.

Step 4: Set Training Objectives Criteria and Deadlines

Set realistic time-bound targets on when each objective can be achieved. Add a clear date of completion and criteria for success to remove any potential for misunderstanding.

For example, a practical examination may be required to determine whether your electrical team can effectively program on-site equipment after completing a course on the topic. Role-play sales calls may be used to determine whether your sales team has taken learning on board and has applied the techniques effectively.

Using a fit-for-purpose assessment tool can greatly aid this step and avoid heaps of manual admin.

Step 5: Measure the Impact on Business Goals

Once employee training is completed, there is one crucial step left. To measure specific impact on the original business goals.

Compare the operational effectiveness of the electrical team, or the close rate of sales staff, to the previous period and see whether the specific training program has been effective.

Additional training objectives may reveal themselves during this step, in which case we can write those down and start again from step 1 for the next round of training programs.

Examples of Training Objectives

Small team accomplishes training objectives

1. Onboarding Training Objectives Examples

Onboarding objectives will allow new employees to become effective faster. It entails laying out a set of objectives that present a clear path of progression for new employees.

Objectives could include:

  • Read & sign company policies by the end of week 1.
  • Attend training on company culture and pass the assessment.
  • Complete a simple project that illustrates competency in company technologies that new hires will use.

Onboarding can be vastly different between companies and leaves fair room for creativity. Simply develop training objectives that fit your company best. One of the best ways to achieve these objectives is by ensuring you have the most suitable onboarding software solution.

2. Skill-Based Training Objectives Examples

Skill-based objectives will focus specifically on building valuable skills within your organisation. Whether the goal is to fill skill gaps or obtain the means to offer new services, here’s where you’ll place your focus.

Examples within this category include:

  • Complete a specific course and pass the assessment by a certain date.
  • Attend practical training and showcase new skills in a practical, in-person assessment.
  • Identify and implement company-wide training for better communication skills.

3. Certification-Based Training Objective Examples

These objectives will be based on certifications instead of skills. There is some overlap in that many skills-based courses will include a certificate. However, industry regulations may require specific certification to ensure compliance. One example of this is within workplace health and safety.

Some examples here include:

  • Obtain specific regulated certification by a certain due date.
  • Showcase competency in a practical capacity to obtain accredited certification.
  • Upskill employees based on a specific manufacturer or training organisation-provided training.

Benefits of Setting Training Objectives

Clear training objectives can help both employees and companies in several different ways. A few core ways include:

  • Ensures clarity in expectations, ensuring that all parties know at all times what is expected of them and when.
  • Removes guesswork from performance measurement, with clear and measurable objectives.
  • Ensures that business goals remain the priority, so that businesses may continue to improve results by equipping employees with the skills they need to succeed.
  • Improved utilisation of resources helps to drive business goals without unnecessarily increasing staff count.
  • Encourages accountability among employees, empowering them to learn the skills they need to become more effective at their jobs.

How to Measure Success of Training Objectives

Success of training objectives measured by team

The success of training objectives must be measured in two separate ways.

  1. The first would be within completion of the objective. This will commonly be measured by an assessment to determine the successful adoption of the new skills identified.
  2. The second success metric is the impact on business goals. This entails measuring business results against previous periods and determining the impact successful training objectives have had.

A less intuitive but important way to measure an unexpected impact is through employee happiness surveys. Research has shown that employees who learn at work are 21% more likely to be happy. And happy workers are 13% more productive.

Effective Training Objectives Take Time

The ability to write training objectives can have a measurable and lasting impact on your business. They’ll help you create effective training programs that directly contribute to core business goals.

While it seems simple and straightforward, it can take practice to get things right. If creating training objectives doesn’t deliver immediate results, learn what you can and iterate to move closer to success.

There’s also the potential for training objectives to become an admin burden on your team. Thankfully, a host of customised eLearning solutions exist that can help guide your training programs and deliver consistent results.

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