Training Objectives: How To Create Them for Your Team

Updated February 20, 2023

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No matter the career field, many employers may at some point offer their employees specialized training programs. Training objectives help keep the focus of training programs and help employees understand their value.

In this article, we explore what training objectives are and how to create effective objectives for the team with examples to guide you the next time you're responsible for managing your workplace's training development.

What are training objectives?

Training objectives are similar to goals or desired outcomes that provide value to the employees that participate in the training program.

Many training objectives in the workplace focus on outcomes, such as an improved or mastered technical skill, an earned credential or another professional application that will relate directly to the advancement or overall development of their careers.

Additionally, training objectives are essential components for new employee onboarding procedures and can vary between industries and organizations.

Related: The Importance of Training Employees: 11 Benefits

The purpose of training objectives

Creating meaningful, relatable and effective training objectives is important for the overall success of the employees who participate. Several reasons to give added attention to your training objectives include the following:

  • Give purpose to the course or program and lead the training design process

  • Allow employees to understand what they need to do to succeed

  • Set goals for trainees to achieve in steps toward a larger outcome, such as mastering technical skills

  • Support business goals through the completion of training objectives

  • Provide trainers with a clear method of measuring trainees' progress through the program

Related: Employee Training and Development: How To Do It Effectively

How to create training objectives

The following steps can help you formulate your own training objectives and create a motivational and productive training program in your workplace:

1. Determine the desired outcomes

One of the most important aspects of creating effective objectives for training and development is to understand what it is you want trainees to be able to do once they complete the training.

The outcomes you want to achieve will ultimately be the guide for writing the actual objectives. This first step answers the question, "What do you expect trainees to learn during the course or the program?"

Related: Learning Goals vs. Performance Goals: Differences and Advantages

2. Align procedures to lead to outcomes

Once you have determined what you expect trainees to be able to do as a result of the training program, you can start developing the processes you'll use to support learning and help trainees progress towards the outcomes you outlined in step one.

For instance, if you want trainees to learn a new technical skill like working with a new software program, you'll brainstorm the approaches you'll take to help trainees learn this skill. These processes will ultimately drive the training toward the outcomes you want to achieve.

Related: 27 of the Best Training Programs Companies Offer

3. Identify challenges to learning

As you outline activities and procedures that align with the desired outcomes of the training program, it's important to identify any obstacles that could impede a trainee's learning throughout the program.

For example, with a diverse team of staff members, it may be difficult to create activities and learning procedures that account for everyone's unique style of learning. In this case, you might overcome this challenge by taking a survey to see what kinds of methods your team members learn best with. This way, you can set achievable objectives for all trainees.

Related: Learning Styles for Career Development

4. Connect objectives to business goals

Once you have your desired outcomes, processes and strategies for overcoming learning challenges, you can start writing your objectives.

Connect what you expect trainees to know and be able to do with the goals your company wants to reach. Several questions to ask that can help you connect your training objectives to company objectives include:

  • How will this new skill, knowledge or other outcome help the team contribute to the company's mission?

  • How do the desired outcomes contribute to the company's values?

  • How will trainees' development benefit overall productivity, performance and the achievement of the company's growth and revenue goals?

Asking questions like these can help you relate your training objectives to the overall achievement of your team's, department's and company's business goals. This can also help you ensure that the outcomes you develop will be realistic and attainable for trainees who participate.

Related: 12 Training Roles for Developing Effective Training Programs

5. Ensure objectives are realistic and attainable

The objectives you write will need to be relatable and consist of measurable criteria that allow you to assess trainees' understanding of the procedures and expectations.

For instance, in the case of learning new software, the training objectives should include methods for you to monitor trainees' progress in using the program's functions, navigating tools and other evidence that they are learning and gaining proficiency.

Your training objectives also need to be relevant to the trainees' skill level and experience. New employees for instance would benefit more from introductory training like basic company policies and procedures while more seasoned employees may benefit from certification training or another advancement opportunity.

No matter the type of training, your objectives will need to be realistic, relevant and attainable for the trainees who participate.

Training objective examples

Consider the following training objective examples for a variety of training and development applications to guide you when writing your own:

Learning objectives for training new employees

The following training objective examples show how you might create meaningful outcomes for onboarding new employees:

  • Employees will gain new knowledge and skills to perform in their roles.

  • New team members will learn how to operate and maintain equipment.

  • Entry-level staff will learn company procedures and policies.

Related: 15 Ways To Improve Your Onboarding Process

Objectives for certification training

In the case of companies that provide certification training for employees to advance their careers, there can be a variety of objectives for professionals to reach, depending on the career field. The following example objectives include outcomes related to training for obtaining certifications:

  • Employees will complete a minimum of 50 hours of CPR and emergency first-aid training to obtain certification.

  • Staff members within the finance department will complete 10 credit hours of continuing education each year of employment to stay updated on state and federal tax and business regulations.

  • All heavy equipment operators must complete safety and operational training for appropriate licensing.

Related: 10 Employee Certifications To Advance Your Career

Objectives of employee training for skill development

Skill development and training can encompass many different types of outcomes, including soft skill development like communication or customer service and hard skill mastery like writing or typing skills. The following examples of training objectives include outcomes related to mastering a specific skill:

  • Customer service representatives will learn to apply communication techniques to increase lead conversion by 10%.

  • Instruct new members in the marketing department how to navigate and use the company's content management system within the first week of their employment.

  • Teach mid-level managers innovative techniques that help boost motivation so employee engagement improves and increases productivity by 15% within the next three months.

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