Do you find it hard to say that you have succeeded in your corporate learning programs? You are not alone; many executives meet with staff resistance when it comes to training programs. This is a typical case when there’s a mismatch between the training goals and the objectives of an organization. For any business to maximize the benefits of corporate learning, it is imperative to match training goals to the objectives of your organization. This is basically connecting the actual learning to the business goals of your company. This helps create a learning program that is based on the real situation in your company or organization, and sets the groundwork for measuring the impact of the training on those business goals.
Source: Presenting E-Learning and Design Concepts by S.A Sannwald (2013)
Problems of Organizational Objectives Not Aligned with Staff training goals
Many staff training programs fail because they are focused more on what the management wants rather than the objectives of the whole organization. This is a great mismatch that may create a lot of friction in an organization. In many organizations, the training managers are given topics to cover and a budget for the training. It’s not uncommon that they would simply follow the directive of the management. It’s not necessarily that they assume management knows better than they do when it comes to training, it’s that training managers are often expected to treat business managers and executives as their clients, and take a service approach versus a consultative one. But this is a wrong approach as it denies the training managers a chance to evaluate the organizational training needs and create training programs based on these needs guided by the organizational objectives, and informed by adult learning theory.
In order to avoid the frustrations that come with unsuccessful organizational training it is important to match the goals of staff training to the organizational objectives. You many have spent valuable resources and time developing business objectives that may not be met if you fail to align training programs goals with them.
Helping your staff make meaningful contributions to the attainment of your company’s objectives requires that you a step beyond just publishing those objectives. It is important to align everything that your employees do with these objectives. You should, therefore, ensure that you match your staff training focus with your organizational objectives.
Steps for aligning your learning goals and organizational objectives
There are a number of steps you can follow to closely match your training goals with your company’s objectives. The following are key steps you should consider taking:
- Identify your company’s objectives
The first step to creating a successful staff training program is to identify your organization’s objectives. It is often a problem to connect learning activities in an organization when you do not know the organization’s objectives. In many organizations, the learning department is not part of the top decision-making branch of the organizations. This implies that the training managers in such cases may not fully understand the objectives of the organization. It is, therefore, important for any organization to solve this problem first so that they can reapp the full benefits of corporate training.
- Formulate learning goals based on these organizational objectives
Once you have identified and internalized your organization’s objectives, it is important to connect these objectives to your learning goals. This simply means that when defining your learning goals you should ensure that they are based on your organization’s objectives. Your learning goals should, therefore, describe the set of skills, attitudes and knowledge that the staff will attain in order to meet your organizational goals.
- Turn the set learning goals into learning activities based on the organizational objectives
In order to achieve the overall objectives of the organization through employee training, it is important to base the learning activities on both the training goals and the organizational objectives. This is because translating training goals into learning activities is often a challenge, and if you only base it on the training goals, you may miss the main point of the training program.
- Create the curriculum and learning materials around these activities
Once you have developed the learning activities, it is now time to develop the curriculum and the learning materials based on the learning goals with the organizational objectives in mind. It may be more challenging to develop a curriculum and learning material that is based on the learning activities you have while at the same time reflecting both the learning goals and the organizational objectives, but you must get it right if you want to win here. Developing lesson plans and other learning materials are important as they will help you meet the organizational goals more easily.
Everyone agrees that corporate learning goals should be matched to the corporate business objectives. But you have to be willing to make the investment and do the work in order to realize the benefits. For many organizations, this requires a change of focus. Consider adopting new strategies and attitudes that help match your organization’s objectives to the training goals. If your organization has not defined it’s bjective then take that step and define them. This will provide a clear vision of what you want to achieve as an organization, and it will be instrumental in using training to reach the aim of your organization.