Creating SMART Goals Identify Corporate Training Performance Gaps.

January 28, 2021

By: Tonya Riney, Ph.D.

Reading Time: 2.2

Create Measurable Training Objectives

Once you’ve correctly identified your company’s performance gap (no assumptions!), you’re ready to create training objectives that you can actually measure.

You may have heard of SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. That is exactly what we are doing here.

Step 1: Identify what you want employees to learn.

This comes from identifying your performance gap. Bill wants his Acme Bank employees to learn the three techniques that successful loan officers implement so that they too can implement them.1

Step 2: Identify their level of learning.

This step is based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, which is often used in education. Bill wants his employees to apply their newfound knowledge about successful techniques to their interactions with bank customers, so the level of learning is application. You, too, will likely want employees to apply their knowledge to whatever situation they are in, whether it’s safety training or training about customer satisfaction.

Step 3: Select a verb that is observable to describe the behavior at that level of learning.

This step is easy with the Learning Objectives Builder from Arizona State University. Perhaps you want your employees to demonstrate a skill, modify their behavior, or produce results. Bill wants his employees to apply the three techniques of successful loan officers.

Step 4: Add additional criteria to indicate how or when the outcome will be observable.

This step is crucial in creating a measurable objective. It’s the ROI indicator for your overall training. How will Bill determine that the training was successful? And when will he determine that? Bill’s measurable objective then becomes this:

Auto loan officers will apply the three techniques of successful loan officers, correlated with an x% increase in auto loan sales within one month.

Here are a few other examples of measurable corporate training objectives that have gone through steps 1-4. Remember, these are objectives we can actually measure after employees have gone through their training:

Customer service representatives will demonstrate better grammar and written communication in emails with clients as correlated by the 60-day feedback review by their respective manager.

Factory workers will demonstrate the safe use of XYZ machine, correlated to x days of incident-free occurrences.

Marketing employees who attended a seminar will create a social media plan that includes a minimum of 2 course concepts from the seminar, correlated with x% increase in social media followership within one month.

Note that these examples say “correlated.” That doesn’t mean the training has directly caused these results, but correlation is still significant when we measure the benefit of the ROI in our training.

Next time, we’ll talk about how IntelliBoard can support your business’s training efforts.

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Tonya Riney, Ph.D.

Dr. Tonya Riney is the COO for IntelliBoard, Inc. Dr. Riney taught in a university classroom for more than 10 years and worked within several eLearning departments. Her PhD is in Training and Performance Improvement, with IntelliBoard being a clear passion for how it influences learning in a positive way.


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