This post was originally published by Mikaela Karcher on lessonly.com.
Training programs come in many different shapes and sizes, just like people. From workout programs to new hire onboarding, each training program comes with its own set of objectives, outcomes, goals, and paths to success. Before we jump into the learning objectives that come with designing a training program, let’s answer these two questions:
- What is a training program?
- Why are they important?
According to marketing91.com, a training program is “an activity that includes undertaking one or a series of courses to boost performance, productivity, skills, and knowledge.” When figuring out how to design a training program, the best place to start is actually at the end.
Hear me out: When you set and understand the overall goal of a program and what you want to get out of it, the planning process becomes way easier. This is just one of the steps in designing a training program. Let’s take my personal workouts as an example.
Set your goals
Before I started my journey with workout apps, I asked myself what I wanted to achieve overall. The answer was toned muscles, a lower resting heart rate, and overall sense of feeling healthy and happy. Starting with the goal and working backwards helped me plan the smaller details of what each day looked like for me.
Once I had a clear understanding of my personal goals and the outcomes I wanted to achieve, I was able to fill in the gaps. To keep myself motivated and on track, I made sure to have a way of measuring my progress. To do this, I tracked my workouts on my fitness app as well as on my watch. This way I had a detailed breakdown of each workout, my output, and could log my physical progress along the way.
The same can be said for designing a training program for your team. Keep in mind what your overall goal of the program is. I like to say you are designing the training program meaning when you set these goals. Are you looking to strengthen your team’s cold-calling or negotiation skills? Maybe you’d like your agents to have a faster handle time on the phone with customers or increase their customer satisfaction scores for the quarter. Whatever the outcome is, keep those goals in mind.
Fill in the gaps
Similar to my workout example, now that you have your overall goal you wish to achieve, go back and fill in the gaps on how to get there with a training designing process. I knew in order to tone my muscles, I’d need to lift some weights, but space out arm workout days so I didn’t get tired. To lower my resting heart rate, I had to incorporate cardio into my program. This meant running or biking every other day for at least 30 minutes.
For your sales team, filling in the gaps could look like learning modules on best negotiation tactics, how to leverage the marketing team to influence deals, or resources sellers have at their fingertips to move deals along. If the overall goal for your sellers is to increase the ARR on their opportunities, a great learning objective could be increasing product knowledge by the end of the quarter.
Make it measurable
We all learned the S.M.A.R.T method (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, & time-based) for setting goals back in high school, and those still apply today…crazy, right? When creating learning objectives while designing a training program, it’s important to keep in mind you need a way to measure the success of your plan. Measurable learning objectives also keep you on track for success. For example, a sales learning objective could be to become fully knowledgeable of all products by the end of the fiscal year. Maybe towards the end of the year, you have your sellers take a quiz or assessment on the products they learned about so you can score them on this growth.
I make my workout goals measurable by setting a distance goal for a run. Each week I try to increase that by ¼ of a mile to ensure I’m improving.
The organizational aspect of creating learning objectives for a training program can be a daunting task, but don’t worry, I will list a few great resources to help you keep it smooth. Below is an awesome example of a training program design template.
Training programs encompass a lot, but here are a few of the main things they’re famous for:
- Strengthening your team’s skills
- Leveling up employee knowledge
- Increasing employee retention
- Higher ROI
- Job confidence right from the start
Set the main goal you want to achieve from the training plan before you do anything else. Fill in the gaps later on with the learning objectives that will help you reach the big picture goal. Remember the S.M.A.R.T goal method from high school while you plan out objectives and stay organized with an online training plan builder. This makes it way easier for you.
While you digest all this info to increase company revenue or achieve a higher NPS score, you can find me continuing to work on my fitness goals.
Ready to strengthen your training program?
We can’t give you toned muscles, but we can give you a tool that’s designed to make training, enabling, and coaching your frontline teams a breeze. To connect with a teammate and learn more about how we can partner with you, get a demo!