We've said it before, but there's no point in running workplace training just for the sake of it. You really need to have a clear idea of why you want to run training sessions, and what you want to achieve when the training is over. It's not just about booking a few courses and hoping for the best, you really need to put some planning into the whole process.
Today we're going to talk about how important internal training goals are when it comes to planning your workplace training, and how you can help make sure you achieve them every time!
Obviously, the first part of achieving your training goals is to actually set them in the first place so you have a clear idea of what you're aiming for. You want to make sure that the goals you are setting for your employees are SMART, to make sure you're targeting exactly what you want to be.
SMART stands for:
- Specific - Make sure they target exactly what you want to achieve, as making them too general can make it hard to know when you can actually tick something off as completed.
- Measurable - Decide what marks someone has to hit to consider this goal met.
- Attainable - Make all your goals realistic, otherwise your staff will never be able to achieve them.
- Relevant - Set relevant goals depending on what department your staff work in, or what position they currently hold, to make sure people are getting training specific to their needs and how you want them to progress.
- Time-Bound - Make sure to set a time limit on all your goals, so they don't exist for ages without getting met.
If you need a little help making sure all the goals you are setting for your staff are SMART, we have a handy worksheet you can download, which can help you work through the process!
When you're setting goals for your staff in relation to training, you want to make sure you involve everyone in the discussion that needs to be there, to make sure you get a full picture of each person's job and what training they need to complete in order to progress. This will also make it easier to create specific training plans for each person, instead of just creating one general set of goals for the entire company. However, there may be some overlap between staff members, as there may be some training that literally everyone in the company needs to complete, which is fine as well.
Think about who you want there for the planning process, as you'll typically want to include a staff member's or department's manager, perhaps someone from higher up management so you can get a clear picture of how they want the whole company to progress, and of course someone from the internal training department.
Once you have your goals settled on, the next stage is to make sure these goals are clearly communicated to all of your staff. This may seem like an obvious next stage, but it's one that can easily be skipped if people just assume staff will know what they're supposed to be aiming for or feel that the specific goals perhaps don't need to be shared with the staff, and will just book them on to the required training instead.
Sharing the goals you have decided on for your staff is important for a number of reasons:
- It lets them see how you would like them to progress. Perhaps they have their own ideas of how they would like to move forward in the company, and being able to see what you have in mind for them will let them see if you're on the same page.
- It gives you and your staff the chance to have a discussion about their progression if it turns out you both have different ideas. This will let you talk about before it becomes a problem, which it may do if your staff just assumed you had similar ideas and doesn't find out about the difference until something like an opportunity for promotion comes up.
- It lets your staff know exactly what they have to work towards, so they can clearly see how all the training they are attending links up, and how it works into the bigger picture of their development.
You'll need to decide on the best time to share your training goals with your staff, but make sure it's something you definitely do! You might want to do it at the start of each new year, or perhaps every quarter, depending on when you make decisions on booking in training for your company.
The last stage to make sure you achieve your internal training goals is to actually track them. If you have made all your goals SMART, you will have a deadline for when you want them completed, but you may want to look at them in relation to the training year, or a block of training as well to make sure your staff are on track to completing what you've set out for them.
There's no point in spending lots of time picking specific goals for everyone in the company if you're not going to constantly make sure that everyone is hitting those goals, otherwise, all that planning was just a waste of time.
However, make sure everyone is keeping track, as it's not just down to you, as a training manager. The training department should be keeping track, but it's also a good idea to push some of the responsibility onto the staff themselves, and their managers, so that everyone is accountable for goals being completed. Managers can use one-to-ones and team meetings to make sure their staff are on track, while staff themselves should be tracking their goals, in case they think they need any extra help, or perhaps need to catch up on a training session they missed.
The key to making sure you achieve your internal training goals is lots of planning. Even once the planning complete, don't think your job is over and you can just start scheduling training. Keep track of how everyone in the company is performing, so you have the chance to chase people who look like they are falling behind before they reach the stage of missing a deadline for a goal.
It's important there is an open channel of communication between all staff, managers, and the training department, so everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing, and everyone is responsible for making sure all the internal training goals are met across the whole company.