Connecting Your Learning Objectives to Your Business Outcomes
May 13, 2021
When a company wants to create training, business leadership will often ask about the value training will bring to the company. Connecting the Learning Objectives in your training to the Business Outcomes for your company allows you to both define the value of the training, and ensure those outcomes are actually reached.
What are Learning Objectives and Business Outcomes?
Learning Objectives are brief statements that are easy to understand, and point out what the learner should know by the end of the training.
Business Outcomes are the goals you want the training to achieve within a specific business process or the company as a whole.
Connecting Learning Objectives to Business Outcomes
To connect your Learning Objectives to your Business Outcomes simply means to ensure your training is teaching people how to do the things you need them to do for your business to reach their goals.
eLearningIndustry defines the three crucial steps to connect your Learning Objectives to your Business Outcomes as follows:
- “…First identify or understand the desired organizational result (increase sales, reduce cost and/or time, improve quality, reduce waste…)
- Then translate it into the desired performance (what is the human performance that would achieve these business results, all other things being constant?)
- Then this desired performance needs to be translated into performance-based learning objectives (what is the performance you wish to see from the learners after they complete the training?).”
Based on this definition, one first identifies their organizational goals, decides what someone would need to do to reach those goals, then designs the training goals so that someone who is successful in the training will also successfully achieve the desired organizational goals.
Identifying your Business Outcomes/Organizational Goals
Firstly, you must define what your Business Outcomes or Organizational Goals are in order to be able to connect them to your Learning Objectives.
Ask yourself, what do I want the training to accomplish? If you want to create and deploy training within your business, it’s usually for an important reason.
By defining what those reasons are, you can better define the learning objectives that will be taught in the training itself. Think about why you feel like you need training. What gaps are you trying to fill? What behaviors are you trying to change?
Defining Desired Performance
After defining your Business Outcomes, now it’s time to ask yourself, “What is the performance that would achieve the desired business outcome(s)?”
Spell out exactly what you want someone to be able to do so that you can ensure the training will cover all necessary requirements and the learner will be able to successfully achieve them.
For example, if you need someone to be able to build a car, then the desired performance would be to be able to build all component parts necessary and assemble them properly, following a step-by-step process that also includes other functions.
Creating Performance-Based Learning Outcomes
After defining your organizational goals and the desired performance to meet those goals, it’s time to determine how you will know if the learners will be able to successfully do what you wanted them to do once they complete the training.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help create successful performance-based learning outcomes:
Are the criteria for success clear?
In order for a learner to be able to succeed at the training, the criteria for how to succeed must be clearly laid out. It’s important to use your learning objectives to explain what the learner will need to know, and use the testing portion to test those same areas.
For example, if your business was training workers on how to use a new computer application, then it would make sense to instruct them on how to use all required functions of that application, and then test them to determine their competency in these same areas. If the learner was able to successfully use all required functions of the application, they would pass the training.
Under what conditions will this performance be tested?
Define how the learners will be tested to determine their competency in the training.
It’s important to create a testing scenario that mimics as closely as possible the actual conditions under which a learner would be applying what they have learned under normal working conditions. This will help in being able to ensure learners can directly apply what they’ve learned to their job.
How good must the performance be to be considered successful?
Speaking of success, how does your company define it? Is being 75% competent at a trained task good enough to meet your defined organizational goals? Or do your learners need to have a complete mastery of the concepts you’re teaching in order for them to be successful?
Setting a benchmark and defining how good is “good enough” for the training will help learners and the business be able to define the importance of the training and whether success at the training will translate to achieving the business outcomes of the company.
Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that works with organizations like yours to analyze their business processes and deploy training or cloud solutions to solve for any gaps we find.
We believe in the importance of connecting your learning objectives to your business outcomes so that you can create more successful training initiatives. By identifying your organizational goals, determining the desired performance to meet those goals, and translating those answers into performance-based learning objectives, your company can create more value from training for both learners and the company as a whole.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions