Business ResourcesUnderstanding team goals for internal training programs

Matt Krzyzynski
writes on June 22, 2017

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There are two integral parts to any significant change within an organization or when a new program is being implemented: gaining buy-in from team members and developing internal change champions. You can offer the best training in the world, but if learners aren’t “buying in” at an organizational level, your training programs could be deemed ineffective due to lackluster use. So, let’s talk about how to avoid that.

They shouldn’t wonder if taking the time to learn new things will benefit them – it should be explicitly clear!

Here at Treehouse, our Customer Success team helps teams build scalable tech training programs that align with their learning goals everyday. From working with hundreds of business customers, we know that team members are more likely to stay motivated with self-directed e-learning when they perceive the learning goals to be relevant. Motivation is even higher when students can apply what they’ve learned in their jobs. Learners need to see the direct relationship between training and their personal success. They shouldn’t wonder if taking the time to learn new things will benefit them – it should be explicitly clear!

“If you take this training, you will be able to X, Y, and Z.”

As someone trying to ensure that the training program is a success, you’ll need to go further than just stating an outcome. To help make training goals relevant, you’ll need to answer “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM), not just for the learner themselves, but for everyone involved in the training program. As you think about the WIIFM for each person, make sure your responses are tied to the student’s weekly progress. Taking the time to address WIIFM will clearly state the value of successful training and how specific sets of newly acquired skills are going to improve performance, reduce frustration, and narrow the learner’s current gap in skills or knowledge.  Helping members connect the dots to how training and education will impact them personally will create deeper levels of engagement to both the training program and the organization itself, which in turn increases employee retention and engagement. Not having a clear understanding of the goals of everyone involved in a training program is often the missing piece that challenges education sustainability, application, and true professional development.

To help make training goals relevant, you’ll need to answer “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM), not just for the learner themselves, but for everyone involved in the training program.

Here’s a cheatsheet for points of view to consider.

Employees/Learners

  • Is the training appropriate for their seniority or skill level?
  • Are there specific knowledge gaps that are affecting their jobs?
  • What training goals have they identified?
  • Have they discussed career goals?

Program leadership

  • What’s the intended outcome of the training program? Clearly choosing either ‘general continued learning’ or ‘specific outcome-based training’ can set the foundation for how they report ROI and effectiveness of the program. If you’re a Treehouse for Business user, we can help you determine which content to include in your program and which tools to use based on your goals.

Stakeholders

  • How is this training program going to benefit the organization or team?
  • If they are a Team Lead or Manager, do they want to be actively involved with the training program, or take more of a “set it and forget it” approach? To effectively manage either scenario, you’ll need to choose a learning platform that supports their needs.

Human Resources or Learning & Development

  • What is important to you as an administrator?  
  • Are you simply in charge of assigning access to Treehouse, or are you responsible for building the training program and owning the results? Treehouse for Business users have a number of admin tools they can utilize and the support of our Customer Success team to help them build custom tracks and learning programs
  • What kind of progress do you want to get updates on and how frequently?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a solid understanding of what each person involved in the training program is looking to gain. Aligning goals for learners and those adjacent to the program will help you determine how your training should be structured. How often should you update everyone on progress? How long should the program run? Where are the major milestones in the learning material, and how can you celebrate those accomplishments? Now that you understand the goals of your team, you can start your new internal training program off on the right foot.

Trying to create a new internal technical training program? Get in touch to learn more about how Treehouse for Business and our Customer Success team can help your business create a custom training program!

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