If you have ever been to an employee training seminar and walked away wondering what the point was, you know the importance of setting measurable and attainable training goals before embarking on your own training session. Not only will employees thank you for making their experience meaningful, but your organization will be pleased when the results of your training become apparent.


Without training goals, an employee orientation is likely to be unfocused and show few results. Establishing goals before the training is developed will help you to target the areas that will benefit your organization the most. When individuals know what concepts they are expected to learn, employee satisfaction with training tends to be higher and the results greater. When setting goals, do not overlook the opportunity to use training as a way to help employees function more independently in their jobs as well as work more cohesively as a team.

Creating Training Goals

When creating training goals, be very specific. For example, goals that are general, such as "Review the new yearly sales data" is not as effective as "Identify times of the year when sales are slow." It can be helpful to solicit employee input when developing training goals, as employees can provide valuable information about what causes confusion or work slowdowns. Developing training goals as an organization will help employees to meet their work needs, as well as help them to facilitate their own career development, according to the University of California at San Francisco.


Examples of specific, effective training goals are "Employees will be able to identify all four steps of the emergency procedure by the end of the day," or "Employees will recognize six signs of customer dissatisfaction and be able to explain three ways to counteract it." As you train, check that workers understand the material you are presenting. Have an additional activity prepared that relates to the goal to reinforce learning if necessary.


To determine if the training goals you set have been accomplished, you will need to evaluate your results. The most efficient way to do this is to create an evaluation instrument that asks trainees to indicate to what degree they understand the concepts related to each training goal. You can also solicit written feedback on the evaluation as well. Pass these out immediately before the training is over, and ask participants to leave them at the front of the room as they exit. Later, peruse the evaluations and look for goals that may not have been met, as these can be addressed again in later training.