February 25, 2019 9:01:03 AM EST

How to Align Trainings with Business Goals

All businesses participate in some form of training. But what’s your objective? Does your company put employees through training to check off a box? Is it to improve employee engagement and morale? Maybe you want to have a reputation for investing in staff development? These are all good reasons.

What value is your company gaining by training your employees? Even if your employees are more informed and engaged, if that information doesn’t contribute to improvement for the organization,then what’s the point?

Research has supported that thought, and many companies are transitioning to a training program that benefits everyone. According to MITSloan, companies are spending $400 billion on training. Training should both be about employee enhancement and helping to meet business objectives. That’s what you call successful training. So, how do you align your training with your business goals?

First Step: Know your business objectives

You need to know your strategic business objectives and goals before you can align employee trainings to them. What are the goals your company is striving for that you can assist with by training? Focus on something that’s measurable. Did you recently implement new software to increase efficiency? There is likely a learning curve that’s preventing its full potential. Schedule employees for focused training on the best ways to utilize the new software and contribute to improved efficiency!

Second Step: Identify gaps in learning

Based on your stated objectives, where could your employees use additional training to further your goals? The software example above is one instance. You’ve made that change to increase efficiency but you aren’t seen the gains yet. Thankfully, that is a gap that training could fill. Another example could be in the sales of a particular product. If you have a product with great customer reviews but little sales, perhaps your employees don’t know the best ways to market and sell it. If you want to increase your sales, organize training that highlight the product value to consumers and the best approaches for selling it.

Third Step: Define the metrics of success

What are the specific results you want to achieve from each of the trainings? This is an important part of the alignment with your business goals. Completion of the training cannot be the measure of success. Victory must consist as an actual contribution to your completed business goal. If we use the above example of software training, a good metric would be that employees who have completed the training utilize the software 10% faster with 80% fewer errors. Product sales is an obvious goal due to the increased sale of that particular product. You could also set a smaller goal of customer contacts related to the product.

Fourth Step: Assign roles and tasks related to your goals and training

In order to keep the momentum going all year for your business goal alignment and objectives, you will need to assign roles and tasks to various employees. Someone needs to be in charge of scheduling and facilitating individual trainings. This person would also be expected to keep track of which employees have received training and their individual level of success. You’ll need this information to know whether you are successfully aligning employee trainings to company goals. Having someone responsible for tracking and recording the training will let you know if you need to change tactics any point in the year.

Fifth Step: Communication of goals and strategic alignment

It’s helpful to inform employees of what trainings they can anticipate throughout the year. This gives them something to prepare for and look forward to. They should understand it is a valuable opportunity to enhance both their skills and their value to the company. To reassure them, y explain the relevance of the training to your overall corporate goals. Make sure employees, managers and executives understand the benefits that will come from properly aligned training. The more they understand the contribution their actions will make to the company, the more invested they will become in the success.

The last step of course is to get started! You’ve done all the preparation and you now you need to start realizing the results! Remember to keep the motivation up throughout the year and you will not be disappointed!

If you’d like more help with aligning employee trainings to your business goals, connect with us at Aspirant. We’re one of Pittsburgh’s top consulting firms and would love to put our expertise to work for you!

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson

Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.