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5 Tips to Write Learning Objectives for Employee Training

5 Tips to Write Learning Objectives for Employee Training
09/11/2021

All businesses benefit when employee performance is at a high level. As businesses evolve and grow, though, there will be the need for employee training – a new piece of software is to be implemented; a new product or service is being introduced; new teams are formed for specific projects; new government health and safety guidelines have been announced, etc. And of course, there is always the need for new employee training and onboarding.

When businesses train their employees well, there are four benefits:

Employees feel that they are valued and important to the company The company reaps the benefits of having better-trained employees whose job performance has improved. This in turns improves operations and, ultimate, the bottom line Proper training will result in higher morale and greater employee retention – employees are comfortable meeting the demands of their jobs Lower employee turnover rate saves money – it is expensive to recruit, employ and train new employees Companies that thrive also commit to employee training – orientation/onboarding, technical skill development, soft skill development, safety, new products or services, new software adoptions, team dynamics, etc.

Determining the types of training given to employees will depend upon the company’s business goals and how employee training can meet those goals. And for each type of training, there should be learning objectives. These should be identified and reduced to writing, so that everyone is aware and understands the purpose of the training.

Defining a Learning Objective A learning objective is a statement that identifies exactly what the learner should be able to do once the training has been delivered. Unlike instructional objectives, which state what will be presented, learning objectives are always focused on the learner. Here is a simple example:

By the end of this training module, the learner will be able to use the software dashboard to correctly enter customer data, with 100% accuracy.

Let’s unpack this objective so that you will have the tips that will allow you to write your own learning objectives for any training that will be provided to your employees.

The Objective is Specific Note in the example above the specificity in writing. Terms such as software dashboard and correctly entering customer data cannot be misinterpreted or misunderstood. The learner knows exactly what this module is about and what he must do to demonstrate that he has mastered the objective.

The Objective is Reality-Based The objective must be directly related to the desired outcomes of the training and must also be achievable. Writing an objective that is too challenging will mean that the training module itself may be as well. Perhaps it is covering too much in too short a period of time. In such cases, the module should be divided up with specific, more realistic learning objectives for each piece. The example above appears to be realistic. The employees are learning how to use a part of a new piece of software, and they will be using the dashboard to enter customer data.

The Objective Can and Will Be Measured You want your employees to demonstrate that they have mastered the learning objective. Appropriate training will include methods for learners to do this. And it is up to you to determine what mastery is. In the case of the example above, 100% mastery is the desired outcome because customer information must always be correct. There is just no room for error.

The Wording Must be Simple Notice the example objective above and the language that has been used. It is clear, concise and simply written. There can be no question about the content of the instruction and what the learner should be able to do upon finishing the training module.

Channel Benjamin Bloom In the world of education, Benjamin Bloom was a bit of a guru. One of his major contributions to the field was his “taxonomy of objectives.” He placed learner outcomes on a hierarchy – from “remembering” information all the way up to “creation” of something new. Most employee training will be at the third level up, known as “application.” In other words, employees should be able to apply what they have learned in actual real-world situations on the job. Training objectives, like the example above, clearly state that the learners will be able to apply what they have learned to the new situation – entering customer data with 100% accuracy.

Who Writes the Objectives? This depends. Often, an e-learning training course will provide objectives for each module of the course. You should review them and ensure that they meet the four criteria above. If not, you may have to re-write them to simplify the language and establish your own level of mastery.

At other times, an in-house trainer will be responsible for the objectives. If this is now you, and you have no experience writing objectives, then you may want to run those by a writing company with experience in crafting objectives. GetGoodGrade has experts in this area who can review your objectives, providing a grammar check too. You do really want them perfectly composed.

The Wrap The more experience you have writing learning objectives, the easier it will become. Just remember to ask yourself: Is it specific? Is the language simple? Is it reachable? And is it measurable? If the answer is “yes” to these four questions, you are “good to go.”

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at Writingsbyjanice. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.

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