When I have a workshop coming up, I survey the participants to figure out what they are looking for in the course. In a recent course, one survey response struck me because I’ve heard it—or variations of it—so many times before: “I want a course plan that moves from the strategic level to the details that my call center employees need to do their job better.” This is a single, concise sentence describing what we do as part of the instructional design process! Of course, we are not all working with call center employees, but the relation between the overall goals of the organization and what ends up in the classroom is something that applies to us all.
We’ll not only look at the organizational basis for the development of some of your courses, but also the benefit to the training department of aligning its objectives to those of the organization.
The strategic level should start with the prioritized organizational objectives. Many organizations determine and publicize these objectives widely. What happens to them then? They should be used by every operational part of the organization. Of course, that applies to the training department as well.
Once organizational goals have been identified (the prioritization of the objectives may require conversations with management), the training department can then establish its own objectives in alignment with the organizational objectives.
An example of an organizational objective might be “to decrease workers’ compensation claims and accidents by the end of fiscal year 20xx.” An aligned training department objective might be “to provide safety training within the next 12 months.” To support the training department objective, which also supports the organizational objective, the training department might run the following courses: Heavy Equipment Safety Training, Workplace Health and Safety, or Forklift Operator Certification. The courses and content would be determined by the duties and tasks that need to be performed better to meet the stated objectives.
Alignment of the training department objectives with those of the organization provides many benefits to both the department and the organization. Support the stated objectives of the organization and you’ll contribute to the bottom-line performance of the organization.
This alignment will position the training department as a vibrant and contributing part of the organization. It will also increase the likelihood of management buy-in at every level to support the training department in the development and deployment of its training products.
To learn more on how to align training with organizational needs and deliver cost-effective, first-class training, check out our workshop, The Successful Training Manager.