Master the art of crafting clear and impactful training objectives to guide your course content and measure the success of your training initiatives.
Many organizations, regardless of industry, provide specialized training programs at some point to build new skills and develop their staff.
Training objectives keep development programs on target and ensure employees recognize their importance.
In this post, we'll look at what training objectives are and how to design them, along with some examples to help you properly and effectively train your entire organization.
What are training objectives?
Training objectives are clear, measurable goals set for a training program. They define what learners should know or be able to do upon completion. Objectives guide course design, measure progress, and assess the effectiveness of the training.
Also, training objectives are essential components of new employee onboarding processes and may differ by industry or company.
Components of effective training objectives
The three main components of training objectives are performance, condition, and criteria. Each of these training components identifies individual aspects of the overall employee training program.
Here are some questions that need to be answered when establishing objectives for employee training: What will employees learn? How will you deliver learning materials? Which metrics are being measured?
What are you hoping employees take away from their training? Is your training designed to upskill or reskill employees? Knowing the expected outcome of training is the first step in developing training objectives.
How will the employees learn? What learning materials will they be given and in what timeframe? Training objectives should contain specific details of the training program. Think about where your training will be offered, what employees are eligible for which materials, and what the deadlines are for completing certain programs.
How will you measure employee training? Make sure all employee training objectives have a key performance indicator for checking it was successful. Without this measurable component, it will be hard to judge if your objectives were all met.
Before you sit down to write out your training objectives, take a look at your employee development goals. Do they reflect your vision of how you want your training program to run? Does it speak to the intended result of a well-run program?
If not, write your training objectives in this fashion and make sure it serves as a template for all of your training processes.
Now let’s discuss the steps to write specific learning objectives that answer how your goal will be accomplished.
How to write training objectives for employees
Effective training objectives for employees are structured around the outcomes of employee training. They need to revolve around business OKRs while also providing employees with the knowledge and skills to improve their job performance.
Here are the 5 steps to creating training objectives for team members:
- Decide on the number of training objectives
- Craft objectives based on employee skill level
- Training objectives need KPIs
- Use action verbs to correlate success
- Analyze your training objectives
Step #1: Decide on the number of training objectives
Before you begin actually writing your training objectives, you need to establish how many will suit your employee training needs. Some suggest a number like six as being a good number of training objectives to aim for but, you could have three or even twelve objectives.
What’s more important is keeping in mind your various audiences. Write training objectives for each audience. For example, you are an enterprise-level company that trains external users and internal employees. So you would need to write objectives geared toward:
- Full-time employees
- Team Leads
Step # 2: Craft objectives based on employee skill level
If your training program is geared toward all levels of employees then a person just starting out their career will need different training than a seasoned veteran. With this in mind, craft learning objectives based on varying degrees of curriculum and material needed per employee level.
To help facilitate this process, consult Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s philosophy was started in the 1950s by Dr. Benjamin Bloom to promote higher forms of thinking in the education field. But today, this philosophy has further been adapted and is being used in several industries. One of these areas is corporate training.
Bloom identified six principles that learners experience during training sessions. These same six principles can easily be applied to corporate employees as well:
1. Knowledge: employees are taught the basics of their expected skill sets and repeat back what they've learned throughout the training.
2. Comprehension: after initial training, employees need to translate newly learned concepts into their own words. Managers can gauge their retention in the form of employee engagement survey questions.
3. Application: the next principle is about applying newly learned skills within real-world situations through gamified training.
4. Analysis: managers or instructors must analyze how well the training went by having employees solve a problem or overcome a situation that revolves around the concepts learned.
5. Evaluation: a great way to judge if employees have mastered a training program is to let them teach others at lower levels through peer learning. It can also be a great way to create a mentorship program.
6. Creation: training now becomes "full circle", meaning management asks employees to create training materials or lessons for training others.
Step #3: Training objectives need KPIs
In order to measure the effectiveness and success rate of your training objectives, you'll need to assign training KPIs to individual aspects. These metrics are numbers or percentages relating to actions taken throughout the training process. Typical key performance indicators to measure training are:
- Attendance rates - the percentage of attendees that sign up vs attend a training
- Completion rates - the percentage of attendees that completed the entire training
- Time to completion - how long it took on average for attendees to complete the training
- Fail rates - the percentage of attendees that failed (or passed) the training, captured through assessments
A best practice for writing training objectives is to include a timeframe or benchmark when measuring your training effectiveness.
Step #4: Use action verbs to correlate success
To ensure a training objective can be measured correctly, try using action verbs when developing them. Use words like identity, translate, test, and rank instead of words like capable of, appreciate, be aware of, and know.
This makes it easy to assign a number to the objects such as "identify the correct outcome of a user interacting with this product feature". It can easily be used as an assessment question while determining the employee's knowledge or expertise.
Step #5: Analyze your training objectives
Once you have finished drafting your training objective statements, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I communicate my objectives effectively to my intended audiences?
- What is my framework for how my employees will learn?
- Did I convey what training tools my employees will use to learn?
- Did I provide my employees with a way to measure their own progress?
- Do my facilitators understand their role and what they need to accomplish?
Your primary goal in writing training objectives is to create a framework that is used to teach, train, and measure employee training programs. These objectives can be designed for a variety of use cases such as:
After writing training objectives, it's important to continually return and modify your approach to employee training.
The next question you may be asking is are training goals really necessary? Isn’t a simple goal in mind enough? The simple answer is no.
Why are training objectives important?
Training objectives are more important than the overall goal because they provide a roadmap for achieving your employee training goals. Plus, it enables all parties involved to be on the same page. Stakeholders, employees, managers, facilitators, etc. will understand how the training program is supposed to run and what the expected results will be if they know what the objectives are from the beginning.
Below are some other training objective advantages worth mentioning.
Benefits of training objectives
Training objectives are a vital step in improving employee performance and the overall development of an organization. Setting these objectives correctly can provide the following benefits:
Saves time and money. Companies may think objectives are an unnecessary planning step that wastes time. But in actuality, objectives save time and money. Writing down your training objectives ahead of implementation will give your SMART goals structure. Plus, it will further define what your goal is and prove you have created the correct one for your LMS.
Helps to design training materials. When you know what the objectives are, you can define what materials are needed for your employees. For example, do you need a blended learning environment? Will your training materials be assigned by department, individual or level at the company? What features does your LMS need to have?
Gives administrators a training roadmap. These objectives will help your program administrators implement the training. When they know why they are teaching the courses or lessons, it will strengthen their ability to deliver these in an effective way.
Let employees know what they will be learning. Sharing your objectives with your employees will let them know exactly what they will be learning and why it's needed. You want motivated employees who take training seriously and think their time away from their job is being well spent.
Helps with analysis. Once your training program is rolled out, you can check each objective against your goal. Did you achieve all your training objectives with your LMS? If not, what tweaks can you make? This also offers a great opportunity to ask employees and facilitators their thoughts on if program objectives were met.
Examples of training objectives
Training objectives examples include: "Increase customer satisfaction by improving communication skills," "Enhance product knowledge to boost sales by 20%," "Improve teamwork through effective collaboration practices," and "Enhance data entry accuracy by 15% by mastering the new software system."
We've compiled some training objective examples any organization can take advantage of to improve departmental processes while upskilling employees, such as:
- New hires will receive a meaningful onboarding experience
- Employees obtain career developing certification training
- Trainees learn critical skills related to their department or role
1. Training objectives for new staff members
The examples provided of training objectives demonstrate how you may use them to achieve meaningful onboarding results for new hires:
- Employees will obtain new skills and information to help them perform better on the job
- New members of the team will be trained on how to run and manage the technology.
- The company's practices and policies will be introduced to new employees
2. Certification training objectives
Depending on the career area, organizations that give certification training for employees to develop their careers may have a number of objectives for professionals to achieve. The following training objectives are examples of actual outcomes for earning certifications:
- To earn certification, an employee must complete a minimum of 3 months of "on-the-job" training
- Marketing members can participate in a product training course provided by a software provider certifying them on the proper use of the platform
- Certain industries require safety or operational proficiency training to obtain proper certification and the ability to operate certain machines
3. Training objectives for employee skill development
Soft skill development, such as corporate communication or customer service, and hard skill mastery, such as writing or language skills, are examples of objectives that may be achieved through skill training programs. The following are some examples of training objectives for attaining the desired skill:
- Customer support reps will learn how to use communication tactics to improve leads acquisition
- Within the first week of their employment, teach new members of the marketing department how to browse and utilize the company's LMS
- Train executive management in creative approaches to motivation so employee engagement improves and productivity rises
Training objectives for your entire organization
In order to train your entire organization, you'll need to develop training objectives that work well with your business goals. Fully understanding the reason and approach to training employees is a great start to creating a program that builds new skills, improves existing skills, and assesses an employee's knowledge.
Continu's modern learning platform enables L&D, HR, and Sales professionals to effectively create learning tracks based on the training objectives laid out, as well as:
- Create entire training courses in one platform
- Powerful eLearning authoring tools
- Track employee training progress
- Compile detailed and informative reports
- Design assessments to test employee knowledge
- And much more...