How to align your training with strategic goals and objectives

The only way to achieve your goals and objectives is through your employees. To ensure people are well equipped to meet them you need to make sure they are fully trained in the right areas. Below we tell you simple steps to ensure your training programme is properly aligned with your strategic goals and objectives.

Find out your measurable objectives

Of course, this one is obvious, you need to know exactly what your business’s strategic goals and objectives are. Once you can understand them you can work towards achieving them. For example, they could be, increasing awareness, improving culture, boosting revenue or improving customer experience. Know what your goals are and how you will measure success.

Know the results that you want

Once you know the measurable objectives you can begin to think about what success will look like. For example, if you are looking to improve customer service, success would be increased NPS scores, you will measure those results to measure your effectiveness. If you are looking to boost revenue your results would be measured by the number of sales that you make.

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Think about your tactics to shape your training

You now know what the results are that you will be focusing on so you can work out what it is you need to do to achieve those results. For example, if your goal is to improve NPS scores, to meet the objective of improving customer service you’ll need to look at how you can train your employees to provide better customer service.

Start by looking at your current state. If we are talking about customer feedback look at what current feedback you are receiving, from here you can start to gauge what problems you have and try to fix them through training. A great example of this comes from a journey that Virgin Media went on to improve customer service.

Hannah Shepherd Head of retail experience at Virgin Media (VM) explained how their customer journey showed that when people entered their stores they were frustrated with sales assistants because they lacked product knowledge. They then analysed their employee journey and found that staff were overwhelmed with the amount of information they had to remember. They were struggling to keep up with all the new offers and products whilst working on the busy shop floor. This was the key moment when VM realised they needed to find a way of helping staff learn more. They needed a fun and engaging solution which would boost product knowledge to ultimately improve customer experience. This was the reason why they created Albert the gamification learning app.

Set your own learning goals

Having your own set of learning goals as well as the overall business goals will help you stay focused. You will need to find out exactly what it is that you want to measure success by. If we look at the example above VM would measure success by improving employee product knowledge. To do this they would roll out product based learning questions, with the analytics from the app they could then see staff’s progression in terms of how many questions they got right after a certain amount of time.

Another example would be if you can see that staff aren’t increasing sales because they are not up-selling, your goal as a learning and development professional would be to increase up-selling. You can measure this by carrying out more performance reviews to see if staff are actually doing it, you will then be able to see if it has any correlation with the number of sales that have taken place.

Develop your training programme which is going to achieve the results

Given that you are working to goals and objectives your training programme is going to need to be timely. You will want to see results faster so that you can prove to senior management that your efforts are working. Think about how your training is going to fit in with your staff’s daily routine, a successful learning programme is one where staff are learning regularly. With busy staff working on the shop floor you can’t possibly expect them to carry out a 45-minute learning course on top of their daily responsibilities and targets.

Think about breaking your content down into a microlearning format, microlearning breaks down learning into smaller chunks proven to help with retention, empowering employees to learn at their own pace in the way best suited to them. As you have to work with limited resources, anything that saves time or money is always going to be a bonus. Below are some tips for learning more in less time:

  1. Put the same information in different places e.g. – on your microlearning app, on posters in the staff room, in internal comms, you should be reminding staff of the information you want them to know at any touch points you can think of.
  2. Reinforce through repetition Р keep your content short and sweet but make sure it is repeated to your staff.
  3. Case-based learning is more effective as employees can see how their learnings would work in different scenarios.

Shout about your goals and results

You’ve got your plan together and you know what results you want, now it’s time to let everyone know and make sure everyone’s excited about it. Tell everyone why the goals are important and why they must be achieved, the more your staff understand the more likely they will engage with your training. Put posters up, send out internal comms and notifications letting everyone know exactly what you are doing and why it’s great! Be enthusiastic and excited about it, tell staff when it’s going to start and when you expect to start seeing results. If staff have a timeframe it will make them more inclined to reach their goals.

Follow these simple steps and you will start to see results that you and senior management will be impressed by.

Other posts that may be of interest to you: 

How to sustainably grow your business

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How to build a strong culture during a merger and acquisition

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Why customer AND employee feedback is crucial to improve customer service

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Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 14th February 2019