25 April, 2024

Establishing Training Objectives For Your Business

Training is concerned with increasing knowledge, developing skills and changing attitudes and behaviour. This is not an end in itself but is to achieve both individual and business learning needs.

Training objectives are statements of expected end results that indicate what is to be achieved , when and to what standard. Trying objectives, provide a context for both the preparation and the execution of a training activity. And knowledge of the intended outcomes provide a guide to deciding the content, the right method, the resources, aids and equipment to use, and how to measure progress and test the final achievement. Objectives are the basis for evaluation of the training.

A training activity can have objectives at different levels. Firstly there is the immediate outcome of training in terms of what has been learned, usually assessed during or at the end of the training activity. The second level is the effect on the performance of the trainee in their job role which can be assessed by an appraisal or by measures of job performance. The third level is the impact on the wider business objectives or goals, which may be assessed on the basis of team or key business performance indicators.

Which means, the various objectives of the training activity may form a grading ladder to calculate the desired impact that the training will have at different levels of the business.

The immediate outcome of a training activity is often referred to as an instructional objective about what the trainee has to learn and do to a certain standard and procedure to achieve the objective, when and under what conditions.

It is good practice to express training objectives in terms of ‘performance’ as these can then be observed when instructing people in practical skills and changes in their capability and behaviour, attitudes and against stated business values.

On the other hand, objectives for knowledge based courses can be somewhat difficult to define. For example, statements that the trainee will ‘know’ or ‘understand’ are not statements of what the trainee will be able to do as a result of the training, although the gaining of knowledge can be easily tested. If training is to increase knowledge, it is generally because of its impact on job performance, and it is the performance outcome that can provide the objective. In addition, a behavioural outcome that can be related to knowledge is that the trainee is able to explain what has been learned.

Here’s what to do now…

Write a behavioural objective for a training or development activity relevant to your own job role. This should include:

  • The specific learning objective
  • What you have to do to be able to show that learning has occurred, and…
  • To what standard(s) i.e. what is considered by your business to be acceptable performance, and…
  • Under what conditions

Then repeat the activity with a specific training objective for a member of staff or colleague.

N.B. This will also help your business when outsourcing training by looking at the training suppliers stated objects that they are assessing. Are they objectives that can be specifically assessed or just general aims? And do that make clear what outcomes from the training can be expected to help achieve the individual or team and business goals?

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