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Gaining Leadership Support by Aligning Training to Business Outcomes

If you want corporate leadership to invest in training, you need to align learning with business outcomes. Alignment helps ensure that training results in identifiable, measurable outcomes that clearly represent a return on investment by depicting an overall increase in employee performance. After all, performance improvement is the bridge between learned knowledge and skill and the behavioral transformation that leads to real business impact. Providing training that builds this bridge is a challenge for most organizations, but at AllenComm, we draw upon our 35+ years of experience to simplify this process into a few specific steps:

  • Establish purpose by clearly defining business outcomes
  • Identify employee behaviors that serve as the key to performance improvement
  • Deconstruct behavior into specific learning goals

Establishing purpose: the need for defined business objectives

Establishing the right direction for training begins with a clear definition of business objectives. Similar to ADDIE and SAM, as well as many process models for non-education domains, the Performance Acceleration System emphasizes the need for definition and analysis. It is important for this analysis to focus only on the problems to be addressed by training and not on potential solutions. This ensures that designed training is well-scoped within the context of business needs, and it allows for clear communication to corporate stakeholders on the intended purpose for training.

Identifying employee behavior: the key to performance improvement

Having stakeholders united on the business objectives, analysis shifts to employee behaviors. Performance mapping helps to identify those desired behaviors most likely to result in observable, positive business outcomes. The focus here is two-fold. First, it’s necessary to identify behaviors that, when executed effectively, contribute to increased performance. Second, it’s important to determine measurements that allow for the comparison of behavior performance both before and after training delivery. These measurements help to evaluate the effectiveness of the training against the intended change in behavior, performance, and business outcomes.

Breaking it down: from behavior to learning goals

Once identified, desired behaviors can be functionally decomposed, or deconstructed, into specific performance catalysts, or factors. These factors represent discrete components of knowledge, skills, and abilities employees need to perform their organizational roles effectively. Those areas in which performance support metrics indicate employees are lacking information, guidance, or practice become gaps to be addressed by precision learning goals that focus the overall training.

Putting it back together: training with impact

With specific learning goals established, content can be curated or created to provide custom corporate training that delivers engaging, meaningful educational experiences. Furthermore, because the learning goals have been purposely aligned to drive transformations in the desired behavior, employees more easily recognize how their participation in training can improve their performance in ways that directly align with corporate strategy. Employees not only become more capable of achieving their potential, but they also become more invested to do so because they better understand how their contributions directly impact the achievement of business objectives. The result is training that delivers a real, business-focused return on investment, and that’s the kind of alignment that leadership can support.

How does your team align the business objectives with your training initiatives? Contact us to discuss how we can help.